Kazakhstan has ordered a new batch of Sukhoi Su-30 fighter jets from Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation, the company’s president said.
“Today we have signed a contract on the delivery of eight Su-30SM planes to Kazakhstan,” Tass reported UAC President Yuri Slyusar as saying at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum on Thursday, May 25. “We are very glad that this serial-produced and effective fighter jet that has proven its worth will replenish the fleet of Kazakhstan’s Air Force.”
As of January 2018, Kazakhstan has a total of 214 military aircraft, including 67 fighter aircraft. The Kazakh Air Defence Force utilizes a number of Soviet and Russian combat planes, including MiG-27 ground-attack aircraft, Su-25 close air support jets, and eight Su-30s.
In January, the Kazakhstan Armed Forces took delivery of a new batch of Su-30SM fighters, part of 32 aircraft the defense ministry plans to acquire by 2020. The first four aircraft were delivered in July 2015. Kazakhstan is also planning to purchase Mi-35 helicopters, the Ministry of Defence said in March.
The aircraft is capable of using advanced air-to-air and air-to-surface precision missiles.
Russia deployed a number of Su-30s in Syria after intervening in the conflict in 2015. In July, it was reported that Russia had developed a new variant of the twin-engine, multirole jets featuring upgraded avionics and weapons based on operational lessons learned in Syria.
Two pilots were killed earlier this month when an Su-30 crashed over the Mediterranean Sea shortly after takeoff from Hmeimim air base in Syria’s western Latakia governorate. Russia’s defense ministry said the plane was not shot down, and a bird in the engine was the suspected cause of the crash, Interfax news agency reported.
Deputy Defence Minister Lieutenant General Alexander Fomin announced that Myanmar will purchase six Su-30 fighter jets, which it plans to incorporate as the air force’s main combat fighter.