India and Russia on Friday signed two agreements for long-term supply of spares for the Indian Air Force’s Sukhoi-30 fighter jets, a fleet plagued by engine troubles and poor serviceability.
The IAF has contracted 272 Su-30 MKI fighter aircraft, out of which nearly 240 have been delivered and the remaining planes are likely to be inducted over the next three years.
The two pacts were inked at the two-day India-Russia Military and Industrial Conference jointly inaugurated by defence minister Arun Jaitley and Russia’s minister for industry and trade Denis Manturov.
Seven Su-30 jets have crashed since 2009, including the fighter that went down in Rajasthan on March 15.
The agreements lay down the terms and conditions for technical assistance and supply of spares for five years.
Jaitley said issues related to maintenance and life-cycle support of Russian equipment in the Indian armed forces would be discussed during the conference being attended by 150 representatives from Russia. More than 100 Indian private firms are also taking part in the event.
“Russian companies should come forward for technology transfer to Indian companies and facilitate manufacturing of components/parts and sub-systems at least for those cases where the requirement is in large numbers and is recurring in nature,” Jaitley said.
The Su-30 fighters recorded as many as 35 engine failures/engine-related problems between January 2013 and December 2014. The serviceability of the Su-30 fleet currently stands at 60%, meaning only 60 out of 100 fighters are available for missions at any given time.