NEW DELHI, November 24. /TASS/. India and Malaysia have decided to set up a Sukhoi-30 forum - a joint platform for exchanging information on training, maintenance and technical support of the fleets of Su-30 fighter aircraft of Russian manufacture, which are operated by countries and which India has used in the past to train Malaysian Air Force pilots, The Economic Times daily said on Tuesday.
The project is part of a broader bilateral plan "to exchange notes on exploiting common military platforms and upgrading joint training exercises as part of a new thrust in defense relations agreed upon during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Kuala Lumpur," the newspaper said.
The Indian Air Force operates the customized MKI version of the Su-30 family of jets while Malaysian Air Force has the MKM variant of the jets on its tables of equipment. The number of these aircraft in India is expected to reach 272.
Since 2007, India has received 50 aircraft assembled in Russia and another 150 jets of the family were assembled on license by Indian factories afterwards. By 2018, the Indians hope to set up 14 squadrons of Su-30MKI fighters.
"We have considerable experience on the fighters and have operated them in all conditions," an Air Force official told ET. "We can share our experience on things like maintenance as well as flight safety with Malaysia. Maintenance expertise as well as spares developed by state-run Hindustan Aeronautics could also be shared with Malaysia."