In a big boost to the Indian Air Force (IAF), Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has finished the Phase 4 production of 140 Sukhoi Su-30MKI fighter jets in its facility in Maharashtra’s Nashik.
Phase 4 production involves building an aircraft from the raw-material stage.
HAL, which also develops India’s home-grown Tejas fighters, made this announcement in a Twitter post on March 18.
The Sukhoi Su-30MKI fighter jets are jointly developed by Russia’s Sukhoi Design Bureau and HAL for the use of the Indian Air Force (IAF). HAL has obtained the production license from Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation (UAC).
The Su-30MKI, which is equipped with thrust vectoring control and canards, is said to be the backbone of the Indian Air Force. The license production program in India for the Russian-origin fighter jets is carried out in a four-phased manner.
In the earlier phases, the fighter jets’ manufacturing had been progressively indigenized, according to reports. Phase 4 of the production involves the development of the fighter jets from raw materials sourced from the Sukhoi company.
The HAL Nashik division, called the Aircraft Division Nasik, was established in 1964 for the license manufacture of MiG-21FL aircraft & K-13 Missiles. The division is located at Ojhar town, 24 km from the main city and approximately 200 km from India’s financial capital of Mumbai.
HAL’s Nashik Division completes production from Raw Material phase (Phase IV) of 140 Sukhoi 30 MKI aircraft contract. @SpokespersonMoD @drajaykumar_ias @DefProdnIndia @ANI @PTI_News @TOIIndiaNews @gopalsutar #indiaat75 pic.twitter.com/9K0cKLg00z
— HAL (@HALHQBLR) March 18, 2021
Along with the Su-30MKI fighters, the HAL division has manufactured variants of Russia’s Mikoyan (MiG) fighters, including MiG-21M, MiG-21 BIS, MiG-27 M.
Currently, HAL Nashik is manufacturing thousands of components that are required for integration into the Su-30MKI fighter jet.
According to reports, the completion of the project is considered the end of the manufacturing of the Su-30MKI fighters for the Indian Air Force from the raw material stage.
Apart from the Su-30MKI fighters, HAL also manufactures the fighters’ AL31FP engines from raw materials supplied by Sukhoi at its Engine Division in Koraput town of Odisha.
Two Al-31FP turbojet engines are used to power the Su-30MKI fighter, with each engine generating a full afterburn thrust of 12,500kgf, helping it to attain speeds of Mach 1.9.
The latest developments regarding the Russian-origin fighters mark the completion of the production of the 272 Su-30MKI fighters.
India had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Russia in October 2000, to start the license production of Su-30MKIs at HAL’s plant.
The Indian version of the Sukhoi has advanced Israeli avionics and electronic warfare systems, making them different from the standard Su-30s or the Chinese versions. Additionally, the S3-30 MKI has a variety of missiles including the Russian origin R73/77 and the Indian-made Astra and Brahmos.