NEW DELHI – India has signed an agreement with Russia to buy air-to-air guided missiles for the Indian Air Force (IAF), media reports.
According to the agency ANI, which quotes a source from the Indian government, armament for Su-30MKI Indian fighters.
“A contract has been signed with Russia for the purchase of R-27 air-to-air missiles to be installed on Indian Air Force Su-30MKI aircraft,” the source said.
Modernization of India’s fighter fleet
Previously, India officially requested Russia to modernize its Su-30MKI fighter fleet. The request was issued by one of IAF’s leaders, Birender Singh Danoa, in an interview published July 18.
The interview was published by the Russian Armed Forces newspaper, Krasnaya Zevezda. In the publication, Dhanoa states that Indians are happy with the program of modernization of the Mig-21, Mig-27 and Mig-29 Russian jets used by the Indian Air Force.
These aircraft received modern weapons and aviation systems that were successfully tested, Dhanoa said.
Meanwhile, the Su-30 jets have been used in India for 20 years, so they now need fleet modernization, he added.
The Indian Air Force chief explained that India intends to make a decision after the 5th generation Su-57 Russian fighter has “entered service” in Russia and could be ” seen in action.”
At the same time, according to him, India is “very pleased with the planned modernization of the MiG-21, MiG-27 and MiG-29. The country is now” considering the possibility of modernizing the Su-30, which is in operation.
Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister said in February there was the possibility of extending the life of 200 Su-30MKI aircraft in India.
The Su-30MKI were designed by Russian company Sukhoi and built by Indian Hindustan Aeronautics.
By 2028, three Russian air regiments will be fully retrofitted with the Su-57. In addition, it is planned to equip these fifth generation multifunctional fighter jets with the latest weapons.
India has been the leading importer of Soviet and Russian fighter jets since the 1960s. Given China’s fifth-generation fighter weaponry and Pakistan’s plans to obtain them by 2020, India will gain an advantage when it decides to buy the Su-57.