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India, Russia certify latest Sukhoi fighter configuration: Jane's
London, Dec 23 (PTI) India and Russia have certified the latest Sukhoi fighter configuration, a leading defence weekly reported today.

The new variant of Sukhoi - also known as Mk3 model - differs from the earlier MKII models, 'Jane's Defence Weekly' reported quoting Russian manufacturer NPK Irkut.

The MKII model can only serve as an interceptor while the MK3 can fire anti-ship and anti-radiation supersonic Kh-31A/P series and television-guided Kh-59 subsonic cruise missiles.

The NO11M radar provides targeting for laser and television precision-guided missiles. It allows the MKIII to engage two air targets simultaneously with the R-27 missile or four with the RW-AE missile. It can also engage one air and one ground target at a time while searching for threats.

The Su-30MKIII will be built under licence at the Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd complex at Bangalore, with 140 platforms to be manufactured by 2017. The agreement has an overall value of five billion dollars, the report said.

The certification follows delivery of four Su-30MKIII from NPK Irkut earlier this month. Six more are due by the year-end, fulfilling a series of contracts signed in 1996-1998. These contracts covered 18 Su-30Ks delivered between March 1997 and December 1999 and 32 Su-30MKIs to be delivered between July 2002 and January 2005.

A Russian official was quoted as saying that talks are under way concerning a mid-life upgradation of Su-30MKIs. This would involve integration of avionic systems being developed for the Indo-Russian fifth generation fighter, called the T-50 by Sukhoi, together with more powerful engines and an improved logistics system.

Emerging story. Watch this space for updates as more details come in
FILED IN: Defence
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