September 21, 2020

Sukhoi Su-30MKI – Frontline Fighter Of INDIA

The Sukhoi Su-30MKI is a multirole combat fighter aircraft jointly developed by the Sukhoi Design Bureau and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for the Indian Air Force (IAF). Based on the Su-30 fighter aircraft, Su-30MKI is equipped with thrust vectoring control and canards.

The development of the Su-30MKI for the IAF began in 1995. Sukhoi and Irkutsk Aircraft Production Association (now known as Irkut Corporation) were initially responsible for the development and production of the aircraft respectively.

Sukhoi built two prototypes of the Su-30MKI between 1995 and 1998. The first prototype, Su-30I-1, made its first flight in July 1997. Production began at the Irkutsk plant in 2000. The first pre-production aircraft completed its maiden flight in November 2000. India signed a MoU with Russia in October 2000, to start the licence production of Su-30MKIs at HAL’s plant.

Even though the Su-30MKI is one of the most advanced of the Generation 4+ fighters in service with the IAF, the need for its upgrade is becoming ever more obvious. The first of the planes built to the current specification were delivered to India back in 2004. Since then, a lot of new technology has become available in Russia, India, and other markets, including advanced new radars, air-launched missiles and bombs. Retrofitting the plane with this new hardware can make it much more capable. In fact, the Su-30 platform itself is extremely well suited for all kinds of upgrades, from fairly conservative to the most radical because the plane has a two-seater cockpit and can accommodate a lot of bulky and heavy additional equipment.

Sukhoi modernize program is  the another Long delayed Air force project, the Super sukhoi project is a Trending project during the early 2010, after announcing the MMRCA tender and winner most of them almost forget the modernise program, but still which not being considered as first priority, The Su 30 MKI is the Backbone of the Indian Air space protection, where recent troubles in Engines and Service availability also irked the issue.

The Su-30MKI program still remains unprecedented in terms of the time it took to implement. Most of the Indian aerospace programs are very slow. They include, for example, the Mirage 2000 and MiG-29 upgrades. Such upgrades, however, appear to be the best way for the IAF to bolster its fighting ability, especially in view of the budget constraints and the ongoing paralysis of the tender procedures that prevent the IAF from increasing the number of its squadrons to 45. Upgrading the existing planes obviates the need for increasing the already excessive number of various plane models in service with the IAF. Upgrade programs are also cheaper than buying new planes, and they are fully in line with the government’s Make in India policy.

While most other airforce’s ramming up their primary fighter, Like pakistani’s comes up with Latest F 16 Block 52 Fighter, and Chinese also in effort and Successfully fitted AESA and home grown EW systems in thier flankers, they also in talks with Russians to buy more advanced 117S jet Engines, to power their Flankers.

There is a pressing need for speeding up the Su-30MKI program in order to restore the Indian Air Force’s technological superiority over the Chinese. Essentially, India needs to pull off the same trick it did in the mid-1990s, when it responded to China’s mass procurement of Su-27/30 fighters with the original Su-30MKI program. Two decades on, India needs to respond to China’s Su-35 and J-31 jets with the Sukhoi Super 30.

The plan is to upgrade the first 80 Su-30MKIs to the level ‘Super Sukhois’ which will have highly advanced radars and weapon systems, IAF sources told PTI

The sources said the plan involves equipping the aircraft with long-range stand-off missiles up to the range of 300 km and a request for information (ROI) was issued recently for procuring such a weapon system from global vendors.Also under a Program the HAL and DRDO working to integrate Brahmos A missile with the MKI, a 44 of the Su 30 MKI can be modified to carry the Brahmos A missile, a Nuclear warhead is on the option. which may be fall under SFC,

The Possible Upgrades to the MKI is adding more effective Multi role, like Multiple ejector Rack, AESA radar, more powerful EW and Jamming systems, along with High performance Engines,

The missiles with a range around 300 kms would be in addition to the 290-km range BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles which would be carried by around 50 aircraft of the force.The same also integrating Anti armour missiles into Su 30 MKI to perform CAS missions, for doing anti armour and CAS missions, the fighter comes to very low, and need a visual identification before striking,

The aircraft would also have the highly-advanced Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar along with the latest avionics systems. India have wide options of AESA, ERDE already developed a AESA multi mode radar with the support of Israeli Elta, which is unveiled in Aero India  2015, which can be fitted into MKI, while it was originally designed for MK2 Tejas, a modified version can be used in Su 30MKI,  also variety of foreign options also available, we can buy from either Israeli’s, Americans or French,

Another major aspects is the  Engines, the engine issue in Su 30 MKI is a Major problem, while it comes with Dual engines, even one fails the other can bring the fighter to home base, the 117S engine from Russia seems good, who also power the Su 35, otherwise we may go for west for good Engines, but Better Idea is a Joint venture with some Foreign, a Engine for Indian projects must needed, we already have a Joint venture with General Electrical with an Indian private company.

Amid all this, the Indian defence establishment is also trying to ensure “maximum operationally availability” of the existing fighters at any given time. Defence minister Manohar Parrikar, for instance, says serviceability of Sukhois has jumped to 60% now from an alarming 46% earlier.

“The aim is to achieve 75% serviceability. This has been done with an active tripartite dialogue among Russia, Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) and IAF to ensure better availability of spares and maintenance for the Sukhois,” a source said.

This, in turn, has led to renewal of the plan to upgrade the jets into ‘Super Sukhois’, with advanced AESA (active electronically scanned array) radars and long-range stand-off missiles. “The technical requirements should be finalised this year, with the contract being inked next year,” said the sourThe Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) will work with the Russian help under a project expected to cost around Rs 10,900 crore for upgrading the Su-30 MKIs.Also cost can be increased to $12 billions dollar.

If all the above options are considered and Quickly established we may see the Upgraded MKI before 2020, and the Initial batches comes by 2025.

Super Sukhoi 30MKI Features

  • AESA Radar
  • Improved Air-frame with 5th gen capabilities
  • Forward-facing NIIP N011M Bars
  • Israeli Elbit SU 967 head-up display along with bi-cubic phase conjugated holographic displays & Seven liquid crystal multi-function displays.
  • Modern digital weapons control system and advanced anti-jamming system.
  • Israeli-made LITENING targeting pod
  • Integration with Bhramhos & Astra

With these features , Super Sukhoi 30-MKI will nearly out-par Su35 and will come close to T50 , the 5th gen fighter of Russia . With this upgrade , our mighty fighter will become one of the top deadly machines in the world and in Asian skies .

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