India plans to buy 33 fighter jets from Russia

22 June 2020 (Last Updated June 22nd, 2020 14:34)

India is planning to purchase 33 fighter jets from Russia amid ongoing border tensions with China.

India plans to buy 33 fighter jets from Russia
An Indian Air Force Su-30MKI. Credit: Alan Wilson.

India is planning to purchase 33 fighter jets from Russia amid ongoing border tensions with China.

Under the proposed government-to-government deal, Russia will supply 21 MiG 29 fighter jets and 12 Sukhoi Su-30 MKI aircraft to Indian Air Force (IAF). The deal is estimated to cost Rs60bn ($787.6m), reported ANI.

The proposal has been forwarded to the Indian Ministry of Defence for final approval.

According to a WION news report, Russia will assess the feasibility of delivering the jets in the shortest possible timeframe.

Currently, Russia is also working with the IAF to support the modernisation of MiG 29 fighters. The upgrades will improve the combat capabilities of MiG-29 fighters, as well as enable the aircraft to integrate new weapons and technologies.

The modernisation is expected to increase the service life of MiG 29 fighters by up to 40 years.

On the other hand, the Sukhoi Su-30 MKI aircraft is the only fighter in IAF arsenal that can fire BrahMos supersonic missiles.

Once the latest contract is finalised, the 12 Su-30MKI fighters are expected to be built by Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) in India. The Mig 29 fighters will be produced in Russia.

Recently, the IAF has ramped up efforts to bolster its strength and capabilities. Last month, it operationalised its second squadron of the Tejas light combat aircraft (LCA) at Sulur airbase in Tamil Nadu.