In the middle of the ongoing India-China standoff, the Indian Air Force has sent a proposal to the government for acquiring 33 new Russian fighter aircraft, including 21 MiG-29s and 12 Sukhoi-30MKIs.
“The Air Force has been working on this plan for some time but they have now fast-tracked the process and the proposals expected to be worth over Rs 6,000 crore would be placed before the Defence Ministry for its final approval next week at a high-level meeting,” government sources told to news agency ANI.
India has pushed the proposal under the emergency purchase so that the fighter jets that can be delivered at short notice.
The procurement is significant as both India and China have realised that the use of air assets will be a very big element if there is a large scale escalation of hostilities between both the countries.
The Sukhoi-30 MKI is a massive force multiplier. It is the most potent and larget weapon platform that can carry up to 10 tonnes of weapons.
The MKI can also fire the BrahMos Supersonic Cruise missile – this together makes the Sukhoi-30 MKI a lethal combination.
India had previously placed orders for 272 Su-30 fighter jets over a period of 10 to 15 years in different batches.
The Chinese Air Force has a larger number of fighter aircraft and has more airbases than India. The Chinese are said to have stolen the blueprints, reverse-engineered it, and build their own fifth-generation fighter aircraft similar to Sukhoi-30.