June 1, 2006:
Russia has become increasingly creative and flexible in making deals to sell its high tech weapons to foreign nations. Most recent case in point is a deal with India, whereby Russia will take 18 Su-30K fighters in trade for 18 more modern Su-30MKI models. The Su-30Ks were delivered in the late 1990s. The 18 Su-30K aircraft will be refurbished and sold to Belarus, where they will become part of the air defense system.
Russia also has a deal with India to allow 140 Su-30MKI aircraft to be assembled in India, using Indian, French (electronics) and (mostly) Russian components. The MKI model is designed to Indian specifications, thus the inclusion of French electronics. The Su-30MKI is actually an upgraded Su-27. The two seat, 34 ton aircraft is similar to the U.S. F-15E, and is equipped to carry up to three tons of missiles and smart bombs.