India Eyes Cheaper, Reliable Russian Su-30 Jets as Rafale Deal Stalls
The Indian government has not taken the
final decision on the purchase of Russian SU-30 aircraft yet, however,
noted that the French jet fighter was costly.
(Sputnik) — India still has not decided if it will purchase Su-30MKI
multirole fighters over France's Rafale fighters, but the Russian jets
are reliable and cheaper, Indian Minister for External Affairs in the
North Eastern Region Vijay Kumar Singh told Sputnik on Thursday.
"The French jet fighter is costly. But as far as the SU-30 is
concerned, it's cheap and reliable. The government has so far not taken
the final decision," the minister said.
The statement came after the Indian Air Force said in January it
could not confirm media reports that India wanted to scrap the Rafale
deal with France and buy Russian jets instead.
Several local media outlets reported in recent days that India could
pull out of a deal with France's Dassault Aviation on the purchase
of 126 Rafale multirole fighter aircraft and go for Russian-designed
Su-30 jets instead. Reasons cited by Indian media outlets included
France's reluctance to pass on technologies to the Indian side and an
increase in the price of the jets.
In January, a source in the Indian Defense Ministry told Sputnik that
the country had not made a decision regarding the purchase of the
Rafale jets. According to the source, Su-30s are seen as an alternative
if the deal with France falls through.