Delivery of MAF Su-30SM2 Delayed Due To COVID-19

MAF Su-30SME at the assembly line of Sukhoi Design Bureau.

Myanmar’s armed forces chief Gen. Min Aung Hliang confirmed that Russia has already started assembly of the six Sukhoi Su-30SM2 multi-role fighter aircraft that were ordered in 2018 for the Myanmar Air Force (MAF).
This was made during his visit to Moscow recently.

Once delivered, the Sukhoi Su-30 would be the MAF’s main fighter aircraft, which are mostly composed of Russian and Chinese-supplied fighters like the MiG-29 and JF-17.

Myanmar would become the fourth country in Southeast Asia to operate the Sukhoi Su-30 family, with the others being Vietnam, Malaysia, and Indonesia. The Su-30SME ordered by Myanmar will have similarities with Malaysia’s Su-30MKM.

The falling revenues of the companies this year reflect the difficult market conditions these enterprises are operating in as a result of the impact of COVID-19 on government budgets.

Even before the pandemic and the consequent contraction in economic output emerged, the outlook for Russian defense spending was already subdued in light of persistently low oil prices in 2019.

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The reported moves to restructure defense industry debt will ease some of the stress on companies and provide some temporary bandwidth with which to focus on investment. However, such moves will further constrain domestic defense spending, as funds to absolve debt will inevitably squeeze investment elsewhere in the budget.

A recent crash of Su-30SM2 impacted safety checks in Russian production lines, a Sukhoi spokesperson said to Sputnik news.

Although Russia is able to produce Egyptian Su-35 and Indian S-400 orders many export orders are impacted due to COVID-19 including Myanmar’s Su-30SME orders, reported Russian news agency IZ.ru.

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