New Delhi: State-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has recorded a turnover of more than Rs. 21,100 crore ($3 billion) for the financial year ending on 31 March 2020. The company said that the production facility of Su-30MKIs is expected to continue to be in operation as the Indian Air Force may opt for more fighter jets.

Hindustan Aeronautics Limited has completed the production of all 272 Su-30MKIs contracted to HAL by the Indian Air Force (IAF) during the current year and is expecting to get a few additional orders for the multi-role fighter jet, the company said in a statement on Tuesday.

India’s state-owned HAL was producing 272 Su-30MKI fighter jets on a license from Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation. The company, which is assembling each aircraft at $70.3 million, also expects to continue the Nasik facility for the assembly of additional Su-30MKIs for the IAF. HAL set up a Su-30 (MKI) Refuelling and Overhaul (ROH) project stores facility in Nasik city in Maharashtra state in 2014.

Sputnik reported last year that the state-owned firm had requested that the Defence Ministry provide an additional order for the assembly of 72 Su-30MKI fighters for about $5 billion.

IAF chief Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria, in a media interaction in October 2019, confirmed that the additional Sukhoi-30MKI fighters would be built by HAL in Nasik.

“We are moving towards ordering 12 more Sukhoi-30s. Whether we need some more in lieu of aircraft that are going to get phased out from 2025 onwards… we will have to take a look later. But at the moment, 12 is what is being followed up straightaway”, Bhadauria said.

HAL on Tuesday hoped that with additional Su-30MKI orders and the expected order for 83 domestically made MK1A LCA, “the order book is likely to attain a healthy position during the next financial year 2020-21”.

For the financial year 2019-20, HAL recorded a turnover of over INR 21,100 crore ($3 billion).

Improved Sukhoi-30MKI

The IAF chief also provided details on upgrading the Sukhoi-30MKI with modern “radar and weapons capabilities and also tackling obsolescence management and electronic warfare aspects”.

Earlier this year, the IAF commissioned its first squadron of Su-30MKI with the BrahMos-A (Air) supersonic cruise missiles in the southern part of the country to counter threats emanating from the Indian Ocean Region.

HAL has said that the avionics upgrade of the SU-30MKIs and BrahMos missile modifications would be a game-changer and is important for the future growth of the company.

Currently, the Indian Air Force has been facing a shortage of over 250 fighter jets against a required strength of 42 squadrons (18-20 fighter jets in each).