Armenia could request Indian expertise and systems to improve the four SU-30SM fighter aircraft of the Armenian Air Force, because India has an enormous fleet of the “Flankers”, according to an article in Forbes magazine.
“Rumor has it that Armenia is “keen” on having India supply weapons and train fighter pilots for its Russian-built Su-30SM Flanker fighter jets,” Forbes reported citing an article by IDRW.
India has an enormous fleet of 272 Su-30MKI Flankers, most of them built by New Delhi under license. Aside from operating such a large number of these fighters for 20 years, India has also acquired and developed formidable non-Russian armaments for them. “What makes the Indian Su-30MKI different from the Flankers operated across the world is that it is a beautiful integration of various weapons, sensors, and avionics from all over the world,” an ace Indian fighter pilot told local media in January.
These missiles notably include an air-launched version of the indigenous BrahMos supersonic cruise missile, giving the Su-30MKI a substantive standoff capability, and the Astra beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile (BRAAM).
Indian engineers could modify the Armenian aircraft to carry the Astra and even the BrahMos, according to the article.
“Defense ties between India and Armenia have noticeably increased in recent months. Yerevan became the first foreign customer for the Indian-built Pinaka multiple-launch rocket system (MLRS) when it ordered four batteries for an estimated $250 million in 2022. Furthermore, the two countries are concerned about growing trilateral military ties between Turkey, Azerbaijan, and Pakistan. Therefore, it would make sense if they cooperate to improve Armenia’s Su-30 fleet,” noted Paul Iddon for Forbes. He added however, that, “any Armenian acquisition of additional Su-30s could spur Azerbaijan to respond by acquiring modern fighters.”