India is likely to buy an additional 42 Su-30 MKI fighter aircraft and 71 medium-lift helicopters from Russia.

The Su-30 MKI order will be in addition to the 230 aircraft of the type already contracted for, as the Indian air force (IAF) plans to raise 13 to 14 squadrons in the near future, according to a defense ministry official.

The Sukhoi Su-30 MKI, a variant of the Sukhoi Su-30, is jointly developed by Russia’s Sukhoi and India’s state-run Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL) for the IAF.

India is also planning another order of 71 Mi-17 V5 helicopters after the initial induction of 80 for $1.34 billion, the official says. Of the 71 Mi-17s, 59 will be bought for the IAF and the rest for the paramilitary forces, the official says.

Indian Defense Minister A.K. Antony held detailed discussions on the purchases with Russian counterpart Anatoly Serdyukov during the latter’s Oct. 10 visit to New Delhi. A final agreement on the deals is expected to be signed during Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to India on Nov. 1.

Both countries also discussed the Indo-Russian fifth generation fighter aircraft (FGFA) program. India plans to buy more than 200 FGFAs.

The Russian defense minister assured Antony that the FGFA prototype will be delivered in 2014 and its production will start in 2020 in India. The IAF had proposed to begin induction of the FGFA by 2017.

(Photo: IAF)