Bangalore: India is poised to get fifth generation aircraft sooner than expected. While an Indo-Russian programme to develop a fifth generation fighter aircraft is already under way, Russia has agreed to provide India with an advanced version of the Sukhoi-30MKI, which boasts of fifth generation capabilities and stealth features.
The Indian Air Force, which currently has over 100 Sukhoi MKIs, has placed an order with Russia for about 280-300 aircraft, which are likely to come in the form of the Super Sukhois. This development is expected to provide India a considerable edge over Pakistan. In January 2011, China had agreed to deliver its J-20 fifth generation fighter – touted to be the world's most advanced fighter aircraft — to Pakistan.
The timeframe of the delivery of the Super Sukhois has not been specified, but India plans to deploy four squadrons of the advanced aircraft in the northeastern sector by 2015.
The Super Sukhoi has come about after India decided to get rid of some of its outdated combat jets and replace them with superior ones. As part of that, India decided to return 18 Sukhoi-30K aircraft to Russia and replace them with the advanced Sukhoi-30MKI, which is being christened as "Super Sukhoi" that boasts of fifth generation features.