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As Russia’s after-sales support for Su-30MKI/MKK/MKA operators diminishes, India is eyeing not only overhaul orders from countries with Sukhoi Su-30MKI fighters but also orders for mid-life upgrades for these platforms. According to sources familiar with the matter, told that several nations operating Russian-origin Su-30MKI-based variants have been in contact with Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL) and closely monitoring the “Super-30” upgrade program.

The “Super-30” upgrade initiative aims to modernize India’s current fleet of over 270 Su-30MKI fighters by replacing Russian-origin equipment and systems with Indian-made counterparts. This overhaul includes significant hardware upgrades to the aircraft, such as the integration of the Uttam AESA Radar, advanced Electronic Warfare (EW) systems, enhanced weapons systems, a modern Mission Control Computer, Infrared Search and Tracking (IRST) capabilities, digital cockpit, and various other systems.

Typically, a Su-30MKI undergoes an overhaul after flying 1,500 hours or operating for 14 years, whichever comes first. Throughout its total service life of 6,000 flying hours or 30-40 years, each fighter is scheduled for three overhauls. Many countries that operate Su-30 variants, including older models without thrust-vectoring engines, have expressed interest in HAL’s overhaul services. HAL’s Nashik facility has been identified as a potential hub for these overhaul operations.

Several countries, including Vietnam, Malaysia, Algeria, and others, have been approached by HAL and offered its expertise in overhauling Su-30 variants. This presents a unique opportunity for these nations to extend the service life and operational capabilities of their Su-30 aircraft with modernized Indian-origin systems and equipment.

India’s “Super-30” upgrade program not only strengthens its air force capabilities but also opens doors for international collaboration and partnerships in the field of military aviation. The demand for upgraded Su-30 variants highlights the global interest in enhancing the performance and longevity of this renowned fighter aircraft.

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