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India Signs Spares’ Supply Pact With Russia for Sukhoi Fleet

© AFP 2021 / MANJUNATH KIRANA Sukhoi Su-30MKI combat aircraft of the Indian Air Force takes part in the inaugural day of the 11th edition of 'Aero India', a biennial air show and aviation exhibition, in Bangalore on February 14, 2017
A Sukhoi Su-30MKI combat aircraft of the Indian Air Force takes part in the inaugural day of the 11th edition of 'Aero India', a biennial air show and aviation exhibition, in Bangalore on February 14, 2017 - Sputnik International
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The Indian Air Force has been grappling with the non-availability of its frontline fighter Su-30 MKI due to delays in the import of critical spares from Russia.

New Delhi (Sputnik) — In a landmark step to correct the tardy supply of spares for the Sukhoi-30MKI frontline Indian fighter jet, India and Russia have signed a long-term supply contract during the India-Russia Military Industrial Conference in New Delhi. The Conference is part of the celebrations of the 70th Anniversary of India-Russia Diplomatic Relations.

​The Indian government-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and United Aircraft Corporation and United Engine Corporation have signed the agreement for general terms and conditions governing the long-term supply of spares and rendering technical assistance for five years for Su-30 MKI aircraft. HAL is responsible for servicing and maintaining the Sukhois.

​The five-year contract is expected to be worth $300 million. The agreement will include the after-sales service of 200 Su-30MKI, which may be extended to the full contracted 272.

"Competition in the global market is high. We are interested not only in increasing the volume of technology supply, but also in improving the speed and quality of after-sales service, building an integrated customer support system. The right to exercise the service abroad is an important step in this direction," said Yury Slyusar, President of PJSC UAC, according to a statement from the Indian Defense Ministry.

"The Conference primarily aims at addressing the issues related to life-cycle support and maintenance of major Russian-origin equipment/platforms such as Su-30 MKI aircraft, Mi-17 helicopters, MiG-29K aircraft, INS Vikramaditya and T-90 tanks," said the statement.

Su-30MKI - Sputnik International
India, Russia Sign Agreement on Sukhoi-30MKI Aircraft After-Sales Service
According to defense ministry officials, it takes almost a year or more to import components from Russia which adversely affects the availability of the jet at any given point. Defense sources told Sputnik that a logistics hub will be set up in Bangalore where HAL assembles Su-30MKI.

Proposed logistics hub will also support the availability of other Russian origin fighters as well. Of the IAF's operational fighter aircraft, 75 percent are of Russian origin. This includes MiG-21, MiG-27, MiG-29 and Su-30MKI fighter aircraft.

"Serviceability of Russian equipment has long been a matter of concern. The long-term agreement will mitigate the difficulty being faced on this count," said Amit Cowshish, former financial advisor to the defense ministry.

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