The Sukhoi Su-30MKI advanced multi-role fighters of the Indian Air Force suffer such large number of engine failures that the availability and combat readiness of the Indian air combat force is under pressure.
This according to fresh reports in Asian media, like the Tribune of India. The number of incidents has not been disclosed, but the Indian Air Force is said to be “worried”.
Indian maintenance personnel needs about a working week to replace engines that stopped in mid-air. Moreover, as a precautionary arrangement the current power plants are already serviced after 700 in stead of the planned 1000 flight hours.
The extra work load on the maintenance crews is very likely to put strains on the combat readiness of the fleet of Su-30MKIs. The reason why many Flanker-Hs – as the NATO-reporting name for the type goes – have made it home safe is that the plane has two engines, making pilots resort to an one-engine landing when the second has stopped working.
The Indian Air Force has 194 Su-30MKIs and aims to have 272 by 2018. Four aircraft have been lost in accidents since the type’s introduction in Indian service in 2000. The Indian Air Force Flankers operate from Air Force Stations Bareilly, Bhuj, Bhatinda, Chabua, Halwara, Hashimara, Jodhpur, Kalaikunda, Pune/Lohegaon, Sirsa, Tezpur. In 2016 respectively 2017 Su-30MKIs will start flying from Sulur and the new airbase at Thanjavur as well.
© 2014 Airheadsfly.com editor Marcel Burger, including source information from the Indian Air Force