16 August 2016, 09:54 GMT
New Delhi (Sputnik) – India, with the help of Russia, plans to set up a logistics hub for its most lethal combat aircraft, the Su-30MKI, at the facilities of Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) in Bangalore. Sources from India's Ministry of Defense told Sputnik, "we are trying to ensure the maximum operational availability of Su-30MKI fighters at any given time. We have improved the serviceability of the aircraft from 46% to more than 60%. Notwithstanding, the Indian Air Force (IAF) has also finalized long term repair agreement with Russian original equipment manufacturers to improve the availability of aircraft for operational use but the long process of getting spare parts delivered is negatively impacting the operational availability of the aircraft….A spare parts logistics center will solve this problem."
Currently, it takes up to 18 months to deliver spare parts to India from Russia, mainly due to cumbersome bureaucratic process, customs, bank guarantees, etc.
Air Marshal P. P. Khandekar, Air Officer-in-Charge for Maintenance at Air HQ IAF says, "For a small fleet, there is no need to set up infrastructure in the country. Our indigenous infrastructure development requirement is mainly for when the fleet is large."
Currently the Indian Air Force has more than 200 Su 30 MKI in its fleet and is expected to receive the remaining fleet by 2019. India contracted for the delivery of 272 Su 30 MKI with Russia.