- 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.
- The first overhauled aircraft was handed over to Air Marshal HS Arora, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of South Western Air Command in a ceremony at Air Force Station, Ojhar on Friday.
- “Earlier, the first Su-30 MKI overhauled by this depot successfully took off on April 24 and has been flight tested for its airworthiness, before inducting it for operational tasks at a flying squadron.
- 11 BRD is the only fighter aircraft repair depot of the force and undertakes repair and overhaul of frontline fighters such as MIG-29 and Sukhoi-30 MKI.
- The Su-30MKI procured from Russia and licence manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) is the mainstay of the IAF’s fighter squadron. India has contracted 272 aircraft of which over 240 have been inducted into service.
- However, the availability rate of the Sukhoi fleet has been below 50% for a long time and over the last couple of years it has gone up close to 60% by various measures like local stocking of spares.
- 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.