May 27, 2015
India to review safety of Su-30MKI fighter fleet
A high-level review of the more than 200 Su-30MKI aircraft fielded by the Indian Air Force is due to be held in the coming days.
The review follows the crash of an Su-30MKI during a training exercise in the far east of the country. Both crew members were reported to have ejected safely.
Since receiving the first of its Su-30MKIs in 2002, the IAF has lost six to accidents. Most recently, the fleet was grounded following a double uncommanded ejection that occurred in October 2014. The findings of an investigation into that incident have not been disclosed.
With the Su-30MKI making up nearly a third of the IAF's fast jet fleet, Indian Defence Minister was quoted by India's Zee News as saying, "We are not grounding the fleet (...) We can't ground the fleet after every accident."
India has received 205 of an expected 270 Su-30MKI aircraft, with deliveries set to run through to 2019. Of these 270, 222 are being assembled by HAL in India.
With many of the IAF's older types slated for retirement, the Su-30MKI will soon become the service's most numerous combat aircraft. In future, it will comprise the backbone of IAF's combat capability along with the Dassault Rafale and the indigenous Tejas Light Combat Aircraft.