Warplanes: October 27, 2003


India's HAL (Hindustan Aeronautics Limited) is investing over $700 million in manufacturing facilities for building the Russian designed Su-30 warplane. Many of the parts are coming from Russia, and the first Indian built Su-30 will be delivered early next year. HAL is spending $165 to build the assembly plant, and over half a billion dollars for equipment. India has bought 50 Su-30s from Russia and has a license to assemble at least 140 more in the Indian plant. The Su-30 is roughly equivalent to the 25 ton U.S. F-15. Of course, the F-15 comes in many versions, as does the Su-27 (which the Su-30 is a variant of.) The SU-30MKI that India uses is most similar to the two seat F-15E fighter-bomber. The Indian aircraft will be equipped with French and Israeli electronics. Even so, the Su-30MKIs are only costing about $35 million each, about half what an equivalent F-15 costs. The Su-30MKI can carry more than eight tons of bombs and hit targets over 1,500 kilometers away.


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