Sukhoi-30 still missing: Five facts about Russian-origin fighter plane | india-news | Hindustan Times
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Sukhoi-30 still missing: Five facts about Russian-origin fighter plane

The Su-30 fleet is plagued by engine trouble and poor serviceability.

india Updated: May 24, 2017 10:45 IST
Rahul Singh
An Indian Air Force Su-30 fighter plane is missing after it lost radio contact 60km near Assam’s Tezpur.
An Indian Air Force Su-30 fighter plane is missing after it lost radio contact 60km near Assam’s Tezpur.(AFP File Photo)

The Sukhoi-30 fighter plane that went off the radar in India’s northeast on Tuesday is still untraceable. The fate of its two pilots is also uncertain after the Russian-made jet lost radio and radar contact 60km north of Tezpur in Assam.

Here are five things about the Indian Air Force’s frontline Su-30 fighter planes:

The fleet

The IAF has contracted 272 Su-30 MKI fighter planes out of which nearly 240 have been delivered. The remaining 32 fighters are likely to be inducted over the next three years.

The first 50 jets came in ready from Russia, the remaining were and are being built under licence by the state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited.

Safety record

Seven Su-30 jets have crashed since 2009, while one is still listed as missing. The IAF inducted its first Su-30 fighter at the Lohegaon air base in Pune in June 1997.

Engine trouble

India’s Su-30 fleet is plagued by engine troubles. Russian-origin fighters recorded 35 engine failures or engine-related problems between January 2013 and December 2014.

Poor serviceability

The Su-30 fleet is also battling poor serviceability, standing at barely 60%. Simply put, only 60 of 100 fighter planes are mission-ready at any given time.

Way forward

India and Russia signed two agreements in March for long-term supply of spares for Su-30 fighter jets. The agreements lay down the terms and conditions for technical assistance and supply of spares for five years, improving the fleet’s serviceability.