The Indian Cabinet Committee on Security has approved the purchase of 42 new Su-30 MKIs directly from Russia for a whopping 3 billion USD (15,000 crore rupees) . This will bring the Su total up from the initial envisaged 230 to 272
This of course raises many questions about India's shoddy and unprofessional approach to defence
1) The figure indicates a full 100% + price inflation (71.5 million per plane) while the initial Sukhoi deal envisaged each plane costing 35 million in 2002 dollars
2) Why was this deal given to Irkut in-spite of the DRDO tom-tomming "full indigenisation to be achieved in 2010" in Aug 2009
3) Why wasn't this additional requirement foreseen when the contract was negotiated - especially given that Pakistani and Chinese procurement plans have been more or less clear since 2003, and certainly predictable since 2001
4) Does point 3 mean the AF high command are a) clueless about forecasting. b) don't carry out strategic studies before deciding procurement
5) Why wasn't the license production contract negotiated with upward limit flexibility if the AF wasn't sure of how many planes it wanted
6) HAL claims to be producing 23-28 Sus per year, this would have maximum stretched the production line 2 more years -
7) evidently HAL and DRDO should consider making Hot Air Balloons since hot air press releases seems to be the only thing they produce in copious quantities.
8) This raises doubts as to a) the actual level of indigenisation achieved b) India's absorbtion of technology c) production capabilities of HAL
9) Despite being Russia's largest client it also shows how weak a hand India has at the bargaining table (or its inability/incompetence/ineptitude at playing its cards right)
10) Bureaucratic bungling is of course a given - especially since most bureaucrats in the MOD had degrees in English literature (as per the 2008 IAS directory). Presumably they think an invasion can be defeated by a ringing rendition of Ozymandias or bombing the enemy with copies of Wordsworth and Byron.