India’s fleet of Su-30MKI jets are to be upgraded due to issues with the Sukhoi PAK-FA.
The Sukhoi/HAL Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA) is to be a fifth-generation fighter. The jet is being developed by India and Russia. It is a derivative of the PAK-FA being developed for the Russian Air Force.
The completed FGFA will include “a total of 43 improvements over the T-50, including stealth, supercruise, advanced sensors, networking and combat avionics.”
Two separate prototypes will be developed, one by Russia and a separate one by India. The Indian version will be a two-seater.
A source told ITARTASS:
“Due to the postponement of the FGFA joint program, the Indian Ministry of Defense (MoD) has apparently revealed its intention to upgrade Su-30MKI combat aircraft in order to turn the planes into the fifth-generation fighter jets. A Russian military-industrial delegation visited New Delhi in early July to forge the upgrade strategy and to discuss it with the Indian colleagues. We suppose that the draft of the new program will have been hammered out by the year-end.
The preliminary name of the enhanced fighter is ‘Super Sukhoi’. The Indian MoD is planning to upgrade almost all 272 ordered Su-30MKI aircraft to the ‘Super Sukhoi’ level in efforts to increase the combat capabilities of the fighters. I should note that the new program will [not] cancel the FGFA project. At present, India intends to get both FGFA and ‘Super Sukhoi’ fighter jets. If the relevant projects have been implemented to full extent, the Indian Air Force (IAF) will be one of the strongest in the world.”
By 2016, Indian interest in the project was fading after Russia cut back their own purchases. In January 2016, it was reported that Russia and India had agreed to develop and lower investment cost to $4 billion for each nation.