New Delhi: Already having delayed the deliveries of the Su-30MKI over three years, the state-run Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has offered to sell 40 more of these planes to the Indian Air Force, offering around Rs 100 crore discount by reducing the Make in India component in the programme. 

The HAL has, so far, received orders for building 272 Su-30MKI combat aircraft for the Air Force, and has delayed the project by over three years, as it is likely to deliver all the planes now by 2020 instead of the 2017 timeframe that it was supposed to follow earlier.

“The IAF, at this point, is not interested in buying these planes as it thinks that they have already got 11-12 squadrons of these heavyweight planes and now wants multirole fighter planes for a mix of fighter plane fleet,” government sources told MyNation.

The cost of a Su-30MKI combat aircraft, if bought directly from Russia, comes at around Rs 315 crore per plane; but when it is bought through HAL, which assembles them at its Nashik facility, the cost goes up to Rs 415 crore.

Under the present offer, HAL is planning to reduce the Make in India component significantly so that it can offer the planes at a lower price to the Air Force, the sources said. 

On the charges that Sukhoi-30s cost one-third of the French Rafales, sources said the Russian plane costs three times more for maintenance than its existing western origin plane, taking into account the man hours required for keeping the plane serviceable.

A Rafale or a similar plane costs Rs 9 crore per year for maintenance whereas the Su-30 costs around three times at Rs 27 crore for the same purpose. 

The Modi government has placed orders for 83 LCA Mk1A planes with the HAL and asked it to ramp up production capabilities to increase the number of indigenous aircraft produced every year. 

Similarly, the fifth-generation fighter programme plan under the Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA) project will also see a major role played by the only aerospace public sector unit in the country.