Warplanes: November 25, 2004

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India has begun manufacturing the Russian designed Su-30 fighter. Roughly equivalent to the U.S. F-15, the Su-27 family is available in several different versions and upgrades, the Su-30 being one of the most recent. India will soon be producing ten Su-30s a year. China has been building twenty Su-30s a year since 1999. China is also producing about two thirds of the aircraft components themselves. This will soon go to over 90 percent when China begins building, under license, the AL-31F engines that power the Su-30. China also received 76 Russian built Su-30s, and the Chinese navy is still receiving 24 Su-30s it ordered. Smaller numbers of Su-30s have recently been purchased by Vietnam and Malaysia. Several other countries are also interested. Russia also has a lot of faith in the Su-27, and is upgrading many of the 350 Su-27s it has in service. The Russians consider the Su-27 type its most advanced fighter type, and has invested a lot of money into developing new electronics for them. The 23 ton aircraft has been in service for twenty years.

 


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