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.
Meeting with Mr Denis Manturov, Russian Minister for Industry & Trade, March 17, 2017 pic.twitter.com/PWjhbYV7JL— Arun Jaitley (@arunjaitley) March 17, 2017
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.
MoUs signed between HAL & PJSC UAC and JSC UEC for long term support to Su-30 MKI fleet. pic.twitter.com/0ES98Wcubb— All India Radio News (@airnewsalerts) March 17, 2017
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.
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.