Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) is working with the Indian Air Force and the Russian government to set up a spares hub for Sukhoi 30 fighters in India in order to rectify the technical difficulties facing the aircraft and to end the prolonged grounding of the Russia-made fighter aircraft.
HAL, according to a report in The Economic Times, is looking to invest over Rs2,000 crore to create a spares hub that will store and deliver all parts needed for the fleet.
HAL expects to sign a long term spares agreement with the Russian company shortly that will help in reducing the amount of time frontline fighters are grounded due to technical issues.
The absence of spares, which often forced fighter jets to remain grounded for long periods, has been the bane of Russia-made aircraft in India. This has resulted in a situation in which at any given point of time, only 50-55 per cent of the fleet is ready for operations.
Defence ministry expects the spares hub to help increase the availability of the Sukhois to at least 75 per cent, The Economic Times quoted sources as saying.
As per the new agreement, the Air Force will source all its spares from HAL that will maintain an inventory of parts. Russian aircraft spares at present are being ordered separately under a lengthy process involving licence, customs clearance and bank guarantees.
The plan is to have a system in place that will ensure that spare parts are delivered within days of the Air Force raising a requirement.