The Indian Cabinet Committee on Security has approved a Rs150bn ($3.1bn) order to acquire 42 additional Sukhoi-30 MKI fighters for the Indian Air Force (IAF).

Under the new order, the IAF will receive the new Sukhoi-30 MKIs by 2018, increasing the total number of Sukhoi fighters to 272, according to the Economic Times.

Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) will begin manufacturing the Sukhoi-30 MKI, each costing Rs3bn ($74m) in 2014.

The Sukhoi-30 MKI is expected to be the dominant fighter of the air force by the time the 126 MMRCAs (medium multirole combat aircraft), worth $10bn, enter service.

India originally awarded a contract for 40 Sukhoi-30 MKI in 1996, but later added two more to the order book to replace two crashed fighters.

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