Source – The Tribune
Two of the world’s biggest exporters of weapons — the US and Russia — are looking to expand their ambit in the Indian defence equipment market. The move includes joint ventures and offers of “cutting-edge” technology.
Amid the excitement of the US-made F-35 jets and B1-B bomber arriving at the Aero India here, the Russian side on Wednesday made a significant statement on upgrading the Indian Air Force (IAF) fleet of 270 Sukhoi-30 MKI fighter jets.
Yury Slyusar, General Director, United Aircraft Corporation (UAC), said: “We have defined the phases and the upgrade will take place in India. Our proposals will meet requirements of the IAF.”
As part of the plan, the Russians have to integrate India-made weapon systems onto Sukhoi. “We started ‘make in India’ long ago and have localisation of 60 per cent,” said Slyusar.
When asked whether or not IAF’s Sukhoi fleet would get a new engine, he did not specify what sort of power the new engine could provide. “We have offered more variants of engines for Sukhoi,” he noted.
To a query on Russia offering its fifth-generation fighter jet Sukhoi-57 to India, he said: “As the Russian federation, we are interested in foreign partners such as India for the jet.”
The UAC has also met with officials of HAL. “We spoke about the joint development of medium transport aircraft,” said Slyusar.
India is looking at a new transport plane and has asked global manufacturers to send offers. The UAC has offered a new plane with a carrying capacity of 20 tonnes and a range of 5,000 km