Saturday, August 14, 2010

Russia hike prices for Sukhoi 30 MKI

On august 9th government cleared a defence deal worth over Rs 20,000 crore for procurement of another 42 Russian-origin Sukhoi 30 MKI fighter aircraft that are currently being manufactured under license from Russia by the Bengaluru-based Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL).

India and Russia are negotiating a new contract on the delivery of 42 Sukhoi 30 MKI to the Indian Air Force.

But yesterday surprisingly Russia has, virtually doubled the figure, India concluded a deal of 40 Sukhoi 30 MKI fighters back in 2007 for $40 million dollar a unit and now the Russian are asking $102 million per Unit that is 155 percent higher then the pervious deal.

Experts are staggered with the brutal price rise, RETD Air Vice Marshal said " The cost is very high and at this price Air Force can go for F-35 which the American already offered"

F-35 is generation ahead then the Sukhoi 30 MKI in terms of capability.

The Indian built Sukhoi 30 MKI fighters were suppose to cost less then exported one. HAL chairman Nalini Ranjan Mohanty back in 2001, said that the Indian-built Sukhoi 30s will cost only about $22.5 million a unit against the current import price of about $37.5 million.

Tiding over depleting force levels is crucial for the IAF. Its existing 32 fighter squadrons are much below the sanctioned 39 and half. The squadron strength is projected to plunge to around 27 during 2012-2017.

The additional 42 Sukhoi 30 MKI would add up the total number of 272 of these modern Russian fighters for Indian Air Force.

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