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Will India buy more upgraded Su-30 MKIs

The Indian defense contractor Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL) has voiced its interest to produce more Sukhoi-30MKI fighter jets. The HAL manufactured Sukhoi makes up the backbone of India’s Air Force.

Its fleet would grow to 312, if the company’s proposal external link to produce 40 more planes is accepted by the Ministry of Defense. India originally received standard Su-30MKs, while its government and industry worked with the Russians to develop the more advanced Su-30MKI, complete with innovations like thrust-vectoring engines and canard fore planes.

The Su-30MKI ended up using electronic systems from a variety of countries: a Russian NIIP N-011 radar and long-range IRST sensor, French navigation and heads-up display systems from Thales, Israeli electronic warfare systems and LITENING advanced targeting pods, and Indian computers and ancillary avionics systems.

HAL is currently producing the Su-30 at a cost of $62.6 million per unit, making it significantly cheaper than the competing Rafale that costs close to $165 million.

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