Sukhoi 30mki is a super-maneuverable twin-jet air superiority fighter developed by Russia’s Sukhoi and built under licence by India’s Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for the Indian Air Force(IAF). The Su-30MKI development was started in 1995 by Sukhoi Corporation and manufactured at Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), Nasik, Maharashtra production line . It is derived from the Su-27 Flanker, it is a heavy, all-weather, long-range fighter. It has close coupled canards with Thrust Vectoring, gives a deadliest combination.

The Su-30MKI’s structural and aerodynamic configuration incorporates the latest research and technological achievements. It is basically a triplane (a combination of conventional design with fore-planes) with a lifting fuselage and developed wing-root extensions. The interaction of the fore-planes and wing-root extensions creates a controlled vortex effect similar to that of the adaptive wing. The F-16 and F-18 designs were developed in the early and mid-1970s. In terms of maximum aerodynamic efficiency, the Su-30MKI, like all Su-27-family aircrafts, is unparalleled in the world and outperforms the above foreign counterparts by at least 50 to 100 percent.

Currently this fighter is the only most modern and advance fighter jet of IAF (Indian Air-force), this fighter was introduced in Indian Air-force on 27 Sept 2002.  Till 2017 total 240 fighter produced  in total and one fighter jet in building cost 358 crore rupees. First Su-30mki produced by Russia in 2002 and Air-force accepted that. What about Indian version, first Su-30mki which  assembled by HAL in 2004. Earlier Air-force ordered 240 fighter, but recently due to lack of fighter jet and more trust on su-30mki, Air-force increase its order from 240 to 314 in total number. No new fighter jet (double engine) coming to IAF in near future, so Su-30mki will be the backbone of Air-force until a new Fighter come to IAF.

Su-30mki is not less than su-35 which is one of the most advance fighter of not only Russia but also the world too. This is because Indian Su-30mki integrated with Indian, Israel, French modern equipment’s.

Su-30 MKI is equipped with R-77 BVRAAM which is a Russian medium range, active radar homing air-to-air missile system. The R-77 has the ability to engage multiple airborne threats simultaneously thanks to its fire and forget capability.
Su-30 MKI will aslo be fitted with Astra BVRAAM which is designed to be capable of engaging targets at varying range and altitudes allowing for engagement of both short-range targets (up to 20 km) and long-range targets (up to 80 km).It uses smokeless propulsion system to evade enemy radars and has the capacity to engage in multi-target scenario. Astra can reach up to 110 km when fired from an altitude of 15 km, 44 km when launched from an altitude of 8 km and 21 km when fired from sea level. A smokeless


Su-30 MKI is fitted with NIIP NO11M Bars (Panther) which is a powerful integrated PESA Radar. The N011M can function in air-to-air and air-to-land/sea mode simultaneously while being tied into a high-precision laser-inertial or GPS navigation system. It is equipped with a modern digital weapons control system as well as anti-jamming features. N011M has a 400 km search range and a maximum 200 km tracking range, and 60 km in the rear hemisphere. The radar can track 15 air targets and engage 4 simultaneously including cruise missiles and motionless helicopters. The Su-30MKI can function as a mini-AWACS as a director or command post for other aircraft. The target co-ordinates can be transferred automatically to at least four other aircraft. The radar can detect ground targets such as tanks at 40–50 km.

Electronic Warfare Suite :

Su-30MKI has electronic counter-measure systems. The RWR system is of Indian design, developed by India’s DRDO, called Tarang, (Wave in English). It has direction finding capability and is known to have a programmable threat library. Elta EL/M-8222 a self-protection jammer developed by Israel Aircraft Industries is the MKI’s standard EW pod, which the Israeli Air Force uses on its F-15s. The ELTA El/M-8222 Self Protection Pod is a power-managed jammer, air-cooled system with an ESM receiver integrated into the pod. The pod contains an antenna on the forward and aft ends, which receive the hostile RF signal and after processing deliver the appropriate response.

Su-30MKI design and avionics:

The Su-30MKI aircraft incorporates an aerodynamic airframe made of titanium and high intensity aluminium alloys. The twin stabilisers and horizontal tail consoles are joined to tail beams. The semi-monocoque fuselage head includes the cockpit, radar sections and the avionics bay. The section between the engine nacelles houses the equipment bay, fuel storage and the brake parachute mechanism. The aircraft has a length of 21.9m, wingspan of 14.7m and a height of 6.4m. The maximum take-off weight of Su-30MKI is 38,800kg.

Radar warning receiver (RWR): Su-30MKI fleet are equipped with DARE developed Tarang-Mk2 Radar Warning Receiver (RWR) + High Accuracy Direction Finding Module (HADF). DARE now has developed all digital RWR christened ‘Dhruti’ for the Su-30MKI fleet, based on its experience on D-29 RWR developed for the Mig-29UPG fleet.

Self-Protection Jammer Pods: Su-30MKI fleet are equipped with Russian SAP-518 pods which due to poor performance was supplemented with Israeli Elta EL/L-8222 Airborne Self Protection Jammer (ASPJ) pods, which now have been offered with wideband EL/L-8222WB pods. DARE also has developed DARE’s High Band Jammer (HBJ) which has begun dummy trials in 2019.

Infrared image search and track system (IRST): IAF’s Su-30MKI fleet is equipped with Russian OLS-30 IRST which soon will be replaced by India’s Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) developed IRST which will be far more advanced and will be tuned to detect stealth aircraft at long range.


The Su-30MKI is powered by two Al-31FP turbojet engines. Each engine generates a full afterburn thrust of 12,500kgf. The power plant, equipped with thrust vector control, provides a maximum speed of Mach 1.9 in horizontal flight and a rate of climb of 300m/s.

Thrust vectoring is the ability for the exhaust nozzles of the aircraft to pitch and yaw, directing the thrust in some direction other than straight back. When used in concert with the normal control surfaces of the aircraft, this augments the aircraft’s maneuverability, allowing it to pitch and turn at tighter angles. This makes the aircraft more lethal in a dogfight, as it helps get the aircraft’s nose onto the enemy faster than the enemy can get its nose around to a lethal position.

The Su-30MKI is the fighter which contains the avionics and equipments from round the world not only Russian, French, South African and Israeli Customer Furnished Equipment (CFE), but also a substantial percentage of Indian developed and manufactured avionics.

Super Sukhoi Upgrade:

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 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,

Some report spreading in media claimed that Under super-30 Updgrade program IAF Su-30 MKI will be upgraded to SU-35+ standards which will be far superior to the SU-35 currently been operated by Russian and Chinese Airforce but here we have to wait for final technical specifications to make comments for these comparisons.






Source:-  Strategic Front

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