Wednesday, 21 August 2019

India's HAL may close production line of Su-30 MKI in Nasik plant by March 2020 if no fresh orders

India's HAL may close production line of Su-30 MKI in Nasik plant by March 2020 if no fresh orders - News - Russian Aviation - RUAVIATION.COM

An Indian government facility manufacturing Sukhoi Su-30MKI fighter aircraft under license of Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation says it may have to close production by March 2020 if no fresh orders are received.

State-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) said its production facility in Nasik in India’s Maharashtra state needs fresh orders of Sukhoi-30 MKI fighter aircraft to sustain itself financially.

It said production of eight remaining Sukhoi fighters would be completed by March next year. If there is no fresh order, at least 400 local suppliers would have to close shop, HAL said.

HAL said it had sent requests to India’s defence ministry and the Indian Air Force (IAF) to produce 72 additional Su-30 MKI aircraft to meet existing gaps in fighter squadron strength.

The IAF, according to media reports, says it needs only 18 aircraft to replace those lost in accidents over the past two years, adding it does not have the budget to order more.

By March 2020, HAL would have produced 272 fighter aircraft. HAL is hoping to get an order to produce at least ten aircraft to prevent the closure of the Nasik plant.

“If we are looking at a strength of 42 squadrons for the air force, the fastest means of getting it is to go for more Light Combat Aircraft and the Su-30 MKI jets. We are currently making 12 of the fighters per year at the Nasik plant,” Indian business daily Economic Times quoted HAL Chairman R. Madhavan earlier this week.

“It is no surprise that HAL is seeking fresh orders from the Indian Air Force and the Ministry of Defence. The Su-30 MKI fighter aircraft has been one of the biggest procurement orders for the Indian defence sector and specifically for HAL for years,” said Laxman Kumar Behera, Research Fellow at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, a Delhi-based think tank.

“HAL has requested a fresh order as its financial position isn’t good. We also have to keep in mind that the IAF is very keen on purchasing multirole combat aircraft (MRCA), aircraft that can perform many roles,” he added.

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Indian Government Justifies Higher Cost of Locally-Developed Su-30s

The Sukhoi Su-30MKI first took off on July, 1, 1997
Sukhoi Crash In Nashik: Fighter pilots eject safely from Rs 300 crore combat jet - Watch Video

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