India and Russia today signed two long-terms support agreements for the Sukhoi Su-30MKI combat aircraft fleet. The agreements were signed in the presence of Defence Minister Arun Jaitley and Russian Trade and Industry Minister Denis Manturov. The pacts include an upgraded schedule for delivery of spares from Russia for these jets, local manufacturing of parts and a proposed logistics hub for the fighter jets in Bengaluru by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. Su-30MKI was designed and developed by Russia’s Irkut Corporation specifically for India and it is the mainstay of the Indian Air Force. The Sukhoi is serviced and maintained by public sector undertaking Hindustan Aeronautics Limited.
Meanwhile, India has asked Russia to adopt a liberal approach in sharing technology for components of major defence platforms saying it is critical to keep them in operational readiness as most of its weapons systems are of Russian-origin. Addressing India-Russia Military and Industrial conference in New Delhi today, Mr Jaitley called for deeper bilateral engagement in defence production. He said, Russia should at least facilitate manufacturing of parts and sub systems which are needed in large numbers and where the requirement is recurring in nature.