NEW DELHI --- India is planning to invest more than 20 billion rupees ($300 million) in setting up a spare part supply center for the Sukhoi Su-30MKI fighter jet with the help of Russia, a source in the Indian Defense Ministry told TASS.
The spare part supply center is planned to be set up on the premises of India’s Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), the source added.
"As of today, the main problem with the use of Su-30MKI [NATO reporting name: Flanker-H] fighter jets is a chronic lack of spare parts due to their complex and lengthy delivery and the dispersion of manufacturing facilities," the source said.
"The spare part supply center for Su-30MKI fighter jets, which will be set up on the premises of HAL with the help of Russia will allow resolving this problem. India is planning to invest more than 20 billion rupees in this project," the source added.
As the official said, "the idea of setting up such a center, which was previously advanced by HAL, has been enthusiastically supported by Russia’s Sukhoi Company."
According to the official, "the relevant intergovernmental agreement may be signed in the imminent future." The agreement is likely to be signed at a regular Russian-Indian summit that will take place on October 15 in the state of Goa in southwest India.
India expects the agreement to guarantee that the aircraft will be able to perform more sorties and reduce the time needed to provide maintenance for them.
As the source told TASS, "the new center will order, deliver and distribute all spare parts required to maintain the technical condition of Russian-made fighter jets at a high level."
"Earlier, one year used to pass from the moment when India’s Air Force ordered Russian-made spare parts to their arrival for HAL repair workshops. This has allowed making only 50-55% of the Su-30MKI fighter jets operational," the official said.
"We hope that the center that will accumulate spare parts will reduce the delivery time to 30 days and put into operation no less than 75% of the fighter jets," he added.