HAL Will Upgrade Su-30MKI Fighter Jets with Russian Tech

Setember 26, 2023

ON SEPTEMBER 16, INDIA’S MINISTRY OF DEFENCE approved the purchase of 12 Su-30MKI fighter jets for the Indian Air Force (IAF). This is the largest purchase of Russian-made equipment for our armed forces since the special military operation began. The extra 12 fighter jets and related equipment are expected to have an estimated cost of approximately INR 11,000 crore. People who know about this situation have been telling the media that, in recent months, it has become easier to make payments for orders, so now, we can send money to Russian defence companies more smoothly.

The Ministry of Defence will buy the 12 fighter jets from Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). This company makes the Su-30MKI planes in India under a licence. In 2016, the head of HAL said that they had learnt how to make the Su-30MKI with the technology Russia had given them. He said all the parts needed for technology transfer were now made in India by HAL and they had fully learnt, and adopted, the technology for both the airframe and engines. In July 2022, the government-owned Russian military company Rostec announced that they were prepared to provide kits to help HAL produce an additional 12 Su-30MKI fighter jets.


Right now, over half (51%) of the Su-30MKI planes’ value comes from aeronautical parts made in India. This is slightly more than the 49% that was originally agreed upon with Russia when they signed a contract in 2000 to build 140 planes in India. According to the Indo-Russian contract, India must get 5,800 titanium blocks and forgings, as well as aluminium and steel plates, from Russia. Additionally, 7,146 items, such as nuts, bolts, screws and rivets, must also come from Russia. These components are crucial for making the Su-30MKI fighter jets. These Russian materials will be sent to HAL in a kit.

The Rosoboronexport company, as part of the ‘Make in India’ programme, is prepared to provide more technical kits for assembling the Su-30MKIs and collaborating on their upgrade. This includes adding new aviation weapons and avionics to these aircraft. The aircraft will, thus, incorporate various avionics and communications instruments that are manufactured in India and these will be combined with locally produced weapons systems.

The extent and details of the upgrade have not been decided yet. The IAF has already thought about making the Su-30MKI as good as the Su-35S. Russia has upgraded its Su-30SM fighter—which is similar to the Su-30MKI, but with Russian technology—to a level close to the Su-35S. Giving the IAF’s existing Su-30MKI a significant upgrade may involve changing the engines and the main structure of the aircraft. This would need HAL and Russia’s UAC to work together on the development. UAC stands for United Aircraft Corporation’, a Russian state-owned aerospace and defence conglomerate that oversees the production of various aircraft, including such fighter jets as the Su-30MKI.

India has 260 SU-30MKIs in service. The Su-30MKI is a two-seater, twinjet multirole air superiority fighter that is tailor-made to Indian specifications and integrates Indian systems and avionics, as well as French and Israeli sub-systems. It is derived from the Sukhoi Su-27 and has abilities similar to the Sukhoi Su-35. It is the backbone of the IAF’s fighter fleet.


The SU-35S is more efficient than the SU 30 MKI in several aspects, such as:

  • The SU-35S has a higher thrust-to-weight ratio of 1.13 compared to the SU-30MKI’s 0.92. This means that the SU-35S can accelerate faster and climb higher than the SU-30MKI
  • The SU-35S has a lower radar cross-section of 1 square metre compared to the SU-30MKI’s 4 square metres. This means that the SU-35S is harder to detect and track by enemy radars than the SU-30MKI
  • The SU-35S has a more advanced radar, the Irbis-E, which can track up to 30 air targets and engage up to eight simultaneously, at a range of up to 400 kilometres. The SU-30MKI has a hybrid ESA radar, the Bars, which can track up to 15 air targets and engage up to four simultaneously, at a range of up to 200 kilometres
  • The SU-35S has a longer combat radius of 1,600 kilometres compared to the SU-30MKI’s 1,270 kilometres. This means that the SU-35S can operate farther from its base and stay up longer in the air than the SU-30MKI



By Girish Linganna
To submit your article / poem / short story to Daijiworld, please email it to news@daijiworld.com mentioning 'Article/poem submission for daijiworld' in the subject line. Please note the following:

  • The article / poem / short story should be original and previously unpublished in other websites except in the personal blog of the author. We will cross-check the originality of the article, and if found to be copied from another source in whole or in parts without appropriate acknowledgment, the submission will be rejected.
  • The author of the poem / article / short story should include a brief self-introduction limited to 500 characters and his/her recent picture (optional). Pictures relevant to the article may also be sent (optional), provided they are not bound by copyright. Travelogues should be sent along with relevant pictures not sourced from the Internet. Travelogues without relevant pictures will be rejected.
  • In case of a short story / article, the write-up should be at least one-and-a-half pages in word document in Times New Roman font 12 (or, about 700-800 words). Contributors are requested to keep their write-ups limited to a maximum of four pages. Longer write-ups may be sent in parts to publish in installments. Each installment should be sent within a week of the previous installment. A single poem sent for publication should be at least 3/4th of a page in length. Multiple short poems may be submitted for single publication.
  • All submissions should be in Microsoft Word format or text file. Pictures should not be larger than 1000 pixels in width, and of good resolution. Pictures should be attached separately in the mail and may be numbered if the author wants them to be placed in order.
  • Submission of the article / poem / short story does not automatically entail that it would be published. Daijiworld editors will examine each submission and decide on its acceptance/rejection purely based on merit.
  • Daijiworld reserves the right to edit the submission if necessary for grammar and spelling, without compromising on the author's tone and message.
  • Daijiworld reserves the right to reject submissions without prior notice. Mails/calls on the status of the submission will not be entertained. Contributors are requested to be patient.
  • The article / poem / short story should not be targeted directly or indirectly at any individual/group/community. Daijiworld will not assume responsibility for factual errors in the submission.
  • Once accepted, the article / poem / short story will be published as and when we have space. Publication may take up to four weeks from the date of submission of the write-up, depending on the number of submissions we receive. No author will be published twice in succession or twice within a fortnight.
  • Time-bound articles (example, on Mother's Day) should be sent at least a week in advance. Please specify the occasion as well as the date on which you would like it published while sending the write-up.

Comment on this article

  • Gautam Das, Bangalore

    Fri, Sep 29 2023

    Thanks to congress for putting foundation stone and initiating our defence infrastructure.

Leave a Comment

Title: HAL Will Upgrade Su-30MKI Fighter Jets with Russian Tech

You have 2000 characters left.


Please write your correct name and email address. Kindly do not post any personal, abusive, defamatory, infringing, obscene, indecent, discriminatory or unlawful or similar comments. Daijiworld.com will not be responsible for any defamatory message posted under this article.

Please note that sending false messages to insult, defame, intimidate, mislead or deceive people or to intentionally cause public disorder is punishable under law. It is obligatory on Daijiworld to provide the IP address and other details of senders of such comments, to the authority concerned upon request.

Hence, sending offensive comments using daijiworld will be purely at your own risk, and in no way will Daijiworld.com be held responsible.