Super sukhoi:- What happen to upgrade plan for SU-30 MKI
Russia has offered to upgrade its existing Su-30 fleet in India to make it “very close to” the fifth generation fighter, but India has asked for time to evaluate its strategy, an official from Russian Helicopters maker Rostec said.
The deal for Super Sukhoi upgrade has not been signed yet. The Super Sukhoi deal included upgradation of radar, engines, EW suite, integration of air launched BrahMos and also possibly some structural changes to reduce RCS.
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 aircraft would also have the highly-advanced Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar along with the latest avionics systems.
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.
Interacting with a select group of journalists on the sidelines of International Air show MAKS in Moscow, Rostec’s Director of International Cooperation and Regional Policy Victor N. Kladov said Russia had made the offer for upgradation of the Su-30 during a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Narendra Modi last month.
“As far as I know it was raised between President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Modi in St Petersburg last month. The Indian Prime Minister once again reiterated that the Indian side needs time to evaluate its strategy of development and how to spend the money,” Kladov said.
“We are offering a package for modernising the Su-30 aircraft. It will obtain new capabilities, it will be very close to the fifth generation aircraft in capabilities. This is a deep modernisation, everything should be changed – engine, computers, radar etc,” he said.
Asked how much would such upgradation cost, he said that would depend on what upgradation India selects. “The Indian Air Force has to evaluate its strategy and then take a decision,” he said.
The twin-jet multirole air superiority fighter Su-30 is developed by Russia’s Sukhoi and built under licence by India’s Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for the Indian Air Force (IAF).
India has around 230 Su-30 jets which remain the frontline fighter for the IAF and more are under production.
Indian Air force want to upgrade SU-30 MKI but the fact is that the deal has been stuck for quite some time just like the FGFA project. The reason is also similar – Russians are asking for extraordinarily high price for the upgrades.
Earlier in 2013, Russians were asked for integration of the 2.5 tonne BrahMos missile on the Su-30MKI. The Russians demanded ₹1300 crores. But HAL having budget constraints, refused the deal and started working on integration of the missile without the Russian’s help. In October 2017, the first trial of air launched BrahMos missile was carried out successfully. HAL completed the project in just ₹80 crores.That is just 6% of what the Russians had asked for.
Even the FGFA has been stuck because Russians are demanding high prices for ToT and work share.
India has already denied Russian offer to replace the AL-31FP turbofan engines of Su-30MKI with Russian AL-41F1S (117S) turbofan engines because of performance issues. So, in the future India may replace the AL-31FP turbofan engines by indigenous 125kN Kaveri K-10 Engines.