Saturday, Aug 23, 2003
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By Vladimir Radyuhin
The IRKUT aircraft corporation plans to extend its production-sharing arrangement with HAL in the construction of the Su-30MKI planes to IRKUT's newly-signed contract to build Su-30MKM fighters for Malaysia, the company's head said here.
The HAL is supplying components of airframes for the Su-30MKI Russia is building for the IAF. The president of IRKUT, Alexei Fyodorov, told The Hindu that HAL's share in the company's $900-million deal to build 18 Su-30MKM planes for Malaysia will be about 10 per cent of the cost of the airframes. IRKUT was formed last year after a merger of Irkutsk's IAPO, the head contractor under the Su-MKI deal, with the Beriev aircraft manufacturers and several other Russian companies.
Indian companies, involved in the supply of electronic and radio devices for the Su-30MKI project, will also be invited to join in, Mr. Fyodorov said, as all the components sourced from India for the Su-30MKI will be present in the Malaysian version of the plane.
The Su-30MKM will be a carbon copy of the IAF Su-30MKI, except for avionics, which will be sourced from France, rather than from Israel and India, as in the case of the Su-30MKI.
Mr. Fyodorov said plans for launching the Su-30MKI production at HAL next year were on schedule.
"Hopefully, the first Su-30MKIs assembled in India will be inducted in the IAF in 2004," he said.
India is to build a total of 140 Su-30MKI planes under licence agreement with IRKUT in addition to 50 aircraft supplied from Russia.
He also said IRKUT and HAL had begun joint designing of the Indo-Russian Multipurpose Transport Aircraft (MTA), which is to make its maiden flight in 2008 and go into production in 2009.
IRKUT officials said the IAF had confirmed its plan to buy 150 MTA planes.
The aircraft will also be inducted in the Russian Air Force and be offered for export to third countries.
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