By Ajit K DubeyNew Delhi [India], November 21 (ANI): In a step towards boosting its squadron strength, the Indian Air Force has issued a tender to the state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited for the purchase of 12 advanced Su-30MKI fighter jets.
"Recently, a tender has been issued to the HAL for buying the 12 Su-30MKI fighters, which will be manufactured in India by the HAL in partnership with the Russian original equipment manufacturers," defence sources told ANI.
The public sector company is expected to respond to the tender by next month with details of the project along with other details, they said.
The aircraft would include a high percentage of indigenous content as per the requirement of the Indian Air Force in line with the Aatmanirbhar policies of the government in the defence sector.
"These would be one of the modern Su-30 MKI aircraft of the IAF, equipped with multiple Indian weapons and sensors," they said.
The Indian Air Force is also working on a project to upgrade the fleet of Sukhoi-30 fighters under an ambitious project that will see 84 of its planes get upgraded with indigenous weapon systems, advanced radars and avionics.
"The project is planned to be completed with the HAL indigenously and it will also position us well for the upgrade of similar aircraft in foreign countries, they said.
India has a fleet of 272 Su-30 fighter jets, which have been procured in different tranches by the service since the early 2000s.
The aircraft have already been upgraded by integrating Indian systems and weapons like the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile and the Astra air-to-air missile.
Recently, the Indian Air Force chief Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari stated that the BrahMos supersonic missile has 'galvanised and greatly enhanced' the firepower of the Indian Air Force and bolstered the nation's ability to defend itself in any conflict.
He had said that the potent combination of a BrahMoS missile on the Sukhoi Su-30 fighter jets and mentioned that smaller versions of the next-generation BrahMos missiles are being developed for fitment to other combat aircraft.
The Su-30s have been deployed in many exercises and operations, including the Balakot air strikes and the ongoing military standoff with the Chinese People's Liberation Army. (ANI)