Wednesday, August 11, 2010

India Deploys Su-30MKI Near China

The Indian Air Force has deployed a full squadron of Russian-made Sukhoi Su-30MKI multirole aircraft to an air base near the Chinese border.

The Su-30MKI are at the Air Force base in Tezpur in the eastern state of Assam.

Another air base near the border, Chabua, is being upgraded to house Sukhois, transport aircraft and eventually the Medium Multirole Combat Aircraft (MMRCA), a senior Indian Air Force official said.

The moves are part of the effort to strengthen India's defenses against China.

The MMRCA will fly in the Indian northeast near the Chinese border and northwest, near Pakistan, the official said.

In June, the government approved a deal worth more than $3.3 billion to buy 42 more Su-30s, bringing the planned total to 272 by 2018.

The Su-30 will be the most numerous fighter in the Indian fleet.

The official said a nuclear-armed Su-30MKI could fly deep inside China with midair refueling.

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