Russia gives ‘documentations’ for Sukhoi-30 overhaul
Russian manufacturers of Sukhoi-30 MKI, Indian Air Force’s top line heavy fighter, have finally handed over the ‘documentations’ for repair and overhaul of the aircrafts, thus enabling Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) to undertake the important tasks.
About 20 Su-30s are to be ‘inducted’ into HAL for ROH over this year, thus creating a panic in Indian public sector military aircraft manufacturer and maintenance specialist. In an e-mailed reply to Millennium Post, HAL’s Nasik centre responded, ‘The relevant documentation required under ROH facilities is received from Russian side and the overhaul activities are in full progress.’ Earlier, in a spat between the Russians and the HAL about setting up repair and overhaul (ROH) facilities, the latter had reminded in end-December last year, that all negotiations for the same had been completed and agreements signed in 2009. Despite that, the Russians had not supplied the necessary materials and documentations for HAL to undertake the jobs. Recently, they had even been dragging their feet on posting Russian engineers to address the arising issues.
Though in the e-mail to this newspaper, there were signs of HAL’s bravado as it stated,’ HAL had always been supporting and addressing all issues related to Serviceability of Su-30MKI aircraft with the expertise available in house. Serviceability of aircraft is a Joint effort of HAL & IAF. 1st & 2nd line support is undertaken by IAF and HAL supports for 3rd and4th Line servicing.’
‘HAL has the required technology and it is currently undertaking the raw material manufacturing. Further Repair & Overhaul facilities is also being established. This would further improve the serviceability since all the issues could be addressed by HAL. Any Technical issues related to Original Equipment Manufacturer and affecting serviceability is immediately taken up with the related co-partners involved in the program and ensures for timely resolution,’ it added.
First and second line support are the technical terms of the levels of servicing and maintenance that is provided, while third and fourth line maintenance signifies almost complete overhaul, after’disaggregating’ all the parts and subsystems and then rebuilding the aircraft.
Replying to the question of a possible glut of Su-30 MKIs coming in for ROH, HAL makes light of the issue saying, ‘HAL has set up the repair and overhaul facilities for Su-30 aircrafts. Aircrafts have been inducted as per IAF schedule and have already been taken up for overhaul. In order to handle more aircrafts due for servicing, HAL, along with IAF, has already initiated augmentation of repair & overhaul facilities.’