India, Russia ink long-term support pact for Sukhois
India and Russia signed two long-term support agreements for the Sukhoi Su-30MKI combat aircraft fleet, which is the mainstay of the Indian Air Force (IAF). Pacts were also signed for maintenance and life-cycle support for other Russian-origin platforms, such as Mi-17 helicopters, MiG-29K aircraft, INS Vikramaditya and T-90 tanks. The agreements were signed by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) with United Aircraft Corporation and United Engine Corporation. The pacts provides for an upgraded schedule for delivery of spares from Russia for these jets, local manufacturing of parts and a proposed logistics hub for the fighter jets in Bengaluru by HAL. The Su-30MKI was designed and developed by Russia’s Irkut Corporation, specifically for India. The licensed production of the aircraft takes place at HAL’s facility in Nashik, Maharashtra. The objective of having long-term supply agreements between the Russian OEMs and Indian Armed Forces or platform manufacturers is to ensure licensed production and to firm up modalities for Indian companies to manufacture some of the spare parts and components under the ‘Make in India’ initiative. This will be done through technology transfer or joint ventures between India and Russian companies.