HAL report finds sporadic ‘blank-outs’ of avionics gear in Su-30 fighter planes
Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) says that the reports about sporadic ‘blank-outs’ of avionics gear including head-up displays (HUD) of Su-30 MKI frontline, heavy fighters of the IAF have been discovered in the Russia-supplied aircrafts.
In other words, the aeronautics behemoth have sought to dispel speculations that the malfunction has not occurred in any of its assembled Su-30s. In an e-mailed reply to Millennium Post, the company has claimed thus, ‘It is clarified that the occurrence of problem is intermittent in nature and that too reported/observed on a few aircrafts.’
Further adding that, ‘This problem has occurred on aircrafts manufactured in Russia and delivered (first 50 aircraft) directly by the Russian side in fly-away condition to IAF and also on few fly-away aircrafts, which were bought by HAL under the 40 aircrafts contract,’ it has specified the origin of the problem.
This factor is important because there is a certain level of indigenisation that has taken place in the Su-30 MKIs built by HAL in the avionics front. Companies like Samtel have provided a number of elements of the avionics suit, besides of course European giant, Thales, providing some others.
In a rather worried communication to the Irkut Corporation early this year, the manufacturer of Su-30s, the head of the Aircraft Upgrade R&D Centre of the HAL had written that this was a critical matter in terms of ‘exploitation’ of the fighters and considering its ‘frequency,’ needed the personal intervention of the deputy director of supplies and after-sales service direction of Irkut, to resolve the technical issues.
Earlier, the IAF had shared all the details of the avionics failures, including the inputs of the flight data recorders (FDRs) with the Russians.
In its reply to this organisation, the HAL Nasik division had specified, ‘The occurrence is not specific with HAL built aircraft. And also cannot be attributed to the local/western avionics items as all the onboard avionics items which go on aircraft are of military standard after meeting due requirements with regards to aircraft standards and certification procedure.’
In addition, ‘The problem is being timely attended through possible rectifications and thus ensuring the availability of serviceable aircraft. However, in order to arrest the problem in totality, the issue has been referred to Russian specialists and requested to render suggestive measures.’
Referring to the supposed smooth functioning of the licenced production by HAL, the company had signed-off with, ‘There are no glitches in terms of residual transfer of technology as the raw material production phase is progressing satisfactorily.’
However, in terms of the supply delays (be it spares or documentation) or occasional delayed reactions in terms of correcting critical problems, all of the Indo-Russian partnership do not seem to be working like clockwork.