The Defense Ministry of Belarus has confirmed the information on the planned adoption of the first batch of Russian Su-30SM jets this year. The ministry noted that “the contract provides for the supply of the first four aircraft.”
On Wednesday, January 30, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu visited the Irkutsk Aviation Plant where he said that in 2019, the Armed Forces of Belarus are preparing to receive the first batch of Su-30SM, interfax.by reports.
In the summer of 2017, the Belarusian military reported that Belarus would purchase a batch of Su-30SM fighter jets from Russia in order to update the combat aircraft fleet. In total, the ministry reports, it is planned to purchase 12 aircraft. The transaction cost has not been unveiled.
In 2018, Belarus Defense Minister Andrei Raukou said that Russia, due to the spare parts’ embargo, is still unable to deliver Su-30SM fighter jets to Belarus. Deliveries can be held in 2019.
“The contract was signed on deferred terms. So far, the Russian Federation has not been in a position to supply us with these aircraft, because there are certain difficulties with the supply of spare parts under the embargo. This is not a secret,” said Andrei Raukou.
According to him, the Russian side is busy localizing the aircraft production.
Su-30SM fighter jets of the “4+” generation developed by the Sukhoi company are mass-produced at the Irkutsk Aviation Plant of the Irkut Corporation and is designed to gain air superiority, block enemy airfields at great depth, destroy air, land and sea targets, including at night and in difficult meteorological conditions.
The military observer Alyaksandr Alesin has commented on the situation:
“I think that if Belarus adopts these planes, they will be unprofitable. It should be borne in mind that they will work in the interests of the Russian Federation. Belarus is at the forefront of Russian defense. And it’s not for nothing that Russia became generous and agreed after decades of difficult negotiations to supply us with these planes. I think that it will partially pay for the operation of these machines … “