NEW DELHI (Agencies): India’s Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) has accorded an Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) to procure 12 new Sukhoi Su-30MKI aircraft with associated equipment from Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), according to the Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD).
The AoN signifies the initial approval for the defence acquisition. The AoN is part of an ongoing, four-year effort by the Indian Air Force (IAF) to procure 12 additional Su-30MKIs to replace attrition-related losses. According to data on air accidents nine Su-30MKIs have crashed since 2012.
However, an IAF source said the procurement of the 12 new aircraft could also support the formation of a new squadron. “The induction of 12 Su-30MKIs presents a superior capability than [ageing Mikoyan-Gurevich] MiG-21s,” the IAF source added.
Janes earlier reported that the establishment strength of an IAF squadron is 18 aircraft. The acquisition of 12 new aircraft would comprise two-thirds of a new squadron.