Indian air forces will purchase 40 Russian Su-30MKI fighters upgraded to “Super Sukhoi” version in 2012. As reported by Lenta.ru with reference to Defense World, the new contract may be announced during visit of Vladimir Putin to India in November.
The total value of the jets is assessed at $3,77 billion. The deliveries may be completed in 2014-2015. At present India operates 5 squadrons of Su-30МКI fighters (each squadron has 20 jets). These vehicles may also be upgraded to “Super Sukhoi” version in future. Taking into account the previously ordered jets, the total number of Su fighters operated by India will reach 270 ones.
The “Super Sukhoi” modification includes new cockpit, new radar (presumably with an active phased antenna array) and improvement of the jet’s stealth capabilities. Thus, “Super Sukhoi” will become closer to the characteristics of fifth-generation fighters. Supposedly “Super Sukhoi” will be armed with “BraMos” supersonic cruising missiles.
Besides Su-30MKI, India will also be operating Rafale fighters, which have won the tender on delivery of 126 aircraft in late January 2012. RafalejetsshouldreplacetheoutdatedSovietMiG-21 fighters. Nevertheless, the contract on delivery of the French jets has not been signed yet (the contract’s total value is assessed at $10 billion).