The Sukhoi Su-30MKI, the most powerful and modern fighter jets in Indian Air Force’s stable, has been hit by mid-air engine failures. Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said in Parliament today that as many as 35 instances of engine failures were reported in 2013-14 – that’s nearly three a month.
In all, there are 69 instances of engine failure in the last four years, the minister said. Inquiries by the Air Force have revealed that in as many as 33 instances, the engines failed because of impure fuel, in another 11 cases, the problem was caused by excessive vibration and in eight others, engine failures were reported because of low pressure in the lubricant tanks, the Defence Minister said. About five SU-30 MKI have crashed since 2009.
Like all twin-engine jets, the Russian-made Su-30s are capable of landing on a single engine. But to reach its maximum potential of carrying a total eight tons of payload including bombs, missiles and spare fuel tanks, the jet needs both its NPO Saturn AL-31FP engines to function.
For the complete story by Sudhi Ranjan Sen of NDTV.com, click here.