Apr 3, 2014
Faulty Avionics Gear Grounds Some Indian Su-30s
The avionics faults have included the head-up display and the mission computer.
India has contracted to acquire 272 Russian-designed Su-30 aircraft, with 140 being license-produced by HAL.
The remainder is being provided by Russia in three phases; the first began in 1996. The grounded twin-engine planes were built in India.
No HAL official would publicly comment on the faulty avionics systems but a source in HAL said the firm has sent letters to Russian arms exporter Rosoboronexport complaining about faulty subsystems supplied by Irkut, the original equipment manufacturer.
A Russian diplomat said it is not clear whether the problems have been caused by subsystems supplied by Irkut or subsystems procured from Indian vendors by HAL. Aircraft built in India use subsystems from both countries.
India began licensed Su-30 production in various phases in 2004, and it expects to produce the last of the 140 aircraft by 2016.
In addition to technical problems with the subsystems, the cost of the India-built aircraft is as much as 30 percent higher than the aircraft provided by Russia.
The Indian Air Force has often complained about the shortage of spares and high-tech subsystems from Russia, hampering aircraft maintenance.
The Russian diplomat said a steady supply of spare parts cannot be ensured because of erratic orders from India, slowing deliveries. Moreover, HAL and the Indian Air Force do not make long-term inventory and requirements plans.