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India has approached Russia for further Transfer-of-Technology (ToT) for its massive Sukhoi-30MKI fighter jet fleet, aiming for greater local production with Indian private or public sector companies. This move comes amidst concerns over dwindling supplies due to the ongoing war in Ukraine and Western sanctions on Russia.

Indian Air Force (IAF) Chief has previously assured that the over 250 Sukhoi-30MKI jets remain operational thanks to the IAF’s foresight in stockpiling spare parts. However, with the war extending into its second year, those stockpiles are depleting, and fresh supplies are hindered by sanctions on Russia’s financial systems.

To address this challenge, India seeks collaboration between Russian Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and Indian companies. The aim is to localize the production of crucial components currently sourced directly from Russia, ensuring long-term sustainability for the Sukhoi-30MKI fleet.

While India has achieved significant progress in indigenous production of the Sukhoi-30MKI, many engine components and Line Replaceable Units (LRUs) are still procured from Russia under licensing agreements that came with the deal. The upcoming Super-30 upgrades aim to increase the indigenous content to 71%, but a reliance on Russia for certain parts will persist.

This push for deeper ToT highlights India’s desire to bolster its strategic partnership with Russia while mitigating supply chain vulnerabilities stemming from the ongoing war. By achieving greater localization of Su-30MKI parts, India aims to ensure the continued operational readiness of its crucial fighter jets.

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