- In a major step towards improving the availability rate of the backbone of the Indian Air Force (IAF) fighter fleet, the IAF’s Base Repair Depot (BRD), in Ojhar, Maharashtra has successfully overhauled a Su-30 MKI aircraft.
2. During the overhaul, the aircraft was stripped completely and rebuilt from scratch, replacing certain worn out parts/components.
3. It has now become almost like a brand-new aircraft with its life-span doubled.
4. About Su-30MKI:
- The Su-30MKI procured from Russia and licence manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) is the mainstay of the IAF’s fighter squadron.
- The Sukhoi Su-30 is a twin-engine, two-seat supermaneuverable fighter aircraft capable of attaining speeds of Mach 2 (double the speed of sound or 2,120 kmph) at high altitudes and can carry guns, missiles, bombs, rockets and other weaponry.
5. Ojhar depot, Maharashtra: The Ojhar depot is the only fighter aircraft repair depot of the IAF and undertakes repairs, renovations and overhaul of frontline fighters like the MIG-29 and now the Su-30MKI.
6. India has contracted 272 aircraft of which over 240 have been inducted into service.
7. However, the availability rate of the Sukhoi fleet has been below 50% for a long time.
8. Over the last couple of years it has gone up close to 60% by various measures like local stocking of spares.
9. Benefits: Indigenous overhauling in-house within the IAF, will significantly reduce the time and improve the availability rate of the overall fleet at a time when the service is a facing a drop in its fighter squadron strength.