India to have squadron of Russian multi-purpose fighters Su-30MKI
The Indian air force will be the first in the world to have a squadron of Russian multi-purpose fighters Su-30MKI.
The planes will be delivered to the country by the end of September. The formation of the first squadron will be completed when the last two planes are transported to India.
Indian defence minister George Fernandes will take part in the solemn ceremony to be conducted on this occasion on September 27th at the military air base in Puna (the western state of Maharashtra), where the squadron has been deployed.
The next batch of Su-30MKI is to be delivered in 2003 and another 10 planes - in 2004, said a representative of the Indian Air Force.
In addition, 15 such fighters will be assembled on the license at the Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. in the course of 15 years.
The effectiveness of Su-30MKI fighters at India's will increase after the purchase of two Il-78 filling planes in Uzbekistan early next year, a representative of the Indian Air Forces pointed out.