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Sukhoi - 30MKI Acquisition and Upgrade

Discussion in 'Indian Air Force' started by Galaxy, Jul 6, 2011.

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  1. Galaxy

    Galaxy Captain SENIOR MEMBER

    Jun 22, 2011
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    Su-30MKI comprise the mainstay of IAF's fighter fleet for "air dominance." India purchased 40 Su-30MK/MKI aircraft from Sukhoi in Russia in 1996 and acquired a license to manufacture an additional 140 MKI fighters at HAL. In 1998, it purchased an additional 10 Su-30Ks bringing the total order to 50. In January 2009, India ordered an additional 40 Su-30MKIs from Russia.


    Acquisition Summary

    Total Order: 272
    Initial Purchase (1996 and 1998) from Russia: 50
    Follow-up order on Russia in 2007: 40
    Initial order on HAL: 140
    Additional order for Super 30 variant: 42

    Acquisition Details
    Of the initial 50 aircraft procured, 8 were basic Su-30MKs, 10 Su-30Ks, 10 Su-30MKIs with canards, and the remaining 22 Su-30MKIs with canards and AL-31FP engines, the thrust vectoring version of AL-31 engines fitted on the earlier aircraft.

    The first batch of Su-30MKIs were delivered to the IAF in the beginning of 2002

    The AL-31FP engine is 110 kg heavier and 0.4m longer than the AL-31F but retains the same thrust.

    All the 50 aircraft acquired have since been upgraded to Su-30MKI standard.

    By June 2009

    HAL had assembled 42 MKIs from the total order of 140 to be assembled by the end of 2012.

    As of December 2009, the IAF was operating five Su-30MKI squadrons, with two squadrons flying HAL assembled aircraft.

    As of June 2010

    HAL had delivered 74 of of the 140 aircraft on order. It delivered 23 Su-30MKI in 2009 and is expected to deliver 28 in 2010.

    Three aircraft from the follow-up order for 40 placed on Russia had been delivered by December 7, 2009. Delivery of the remaining is expected to be completed by 2011-12.

    A total of two aircraft were lost in crashes on 30 April 2009 and 30 November 2009.

    Additional Order

    According to the TOI, in the first week June 2010, the Cabinet Committee on Security cleared the purchase of 42 additional Su-30MKI Super 30 aircraft.

    The 'Super' variant of the Su-30MKI have the radar, onboard computer annd EWS to launch the airborne version of the supersonic Brahmos missile, and later the strategic subsonic Nirbhay cruise missile with a range of 1,000 km.

    Su-30MKI Deployment in IAF

    The IAF will eventually be equipped with 15 Su-30MKI squadrons.

    As in March 2011, seven Su-30MKI squadrons have been raised - three in Lohegaon in Pune (20, 30, 31), two in Bareilly (8, 24), and one each in Tezpur (2) and Chabua (102).

    Two Su-30MKI squadrons are planned to be deployed in Jodhpur under SWAC, by 2013. [Reference]

    Additional Su-30MKI squadrons will be deployed in Halwara.

    N011M BARS Radar

    The Bars radar fitted on the Su-30MKI is a hybrid radar that fits between a PESA and contemporary AESA radar. It features a detection range of 76 nm (50 nm form the rear hemisphere). It has 0.9m diameter antenna The phased array can electronically steer the mainlobe through +/-70 degrees in azimuth and +/-40 degrees in elevation. The whole array can be further steered mechanically. Polarisation can be switched by 90 degrees for surface search modes.

    The radar can simultaneously track both air and ground targets and engage 4 to 8 targets.

    The radar can transmit targeting information to 4 other aircraft operating their radars in the passive mode

    BARS N011M Capabilities displayed at HAL pavilion at Aero India 2011.

    Su-30MKI modernization

    India Today reported in its June, 2010 issue that the project to modernize the initial batch of Su-30s delivered to India by Russia has been finalized.

    The aircraft are due for major overhaul and Russia has proposed incorporation of the latest technologies during the major overhaul.

    Defence Ministry sources told Economic Times on July 4, 2010:

    "As part of IAF's modernisation programme, we are going to upgrade 50 Sukhoi-30 MKI aircraft with help of original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) from Russia.

    "Su-30 MKIs have been inducted into the IAF in four phases. The ones to be upgraded are from the first phase and the project is likely to be completed in the next three to four years," they added.

    Of the 50 aircraft, around five would be sent to the Russian facilities while the remaining would undergo upgrading within India, they said.

    "The airframe of these aircraft would also be strengthened to equip them with air-launched version of the 290 km range BrahMos supersonic cruise missile," the sources said.

    The SU-30s were inducted into the IAF in late 90s and at present six squadrons of the aircraft are in service.

    Radar Upgrade
    The Bars phased-array radar of the aircraft will be upgraded in two phases. In the first phase, advanced operating modes will be introduced based on computer and other hardware upgrades.

    In the second phase, the passive array will be replaced with a AESA.

    The upgrades are to be carried out jointly by Russia, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited and Defence Research and Development Organisation.

    AESA Radar
    India and Russia have reached an agreement for the eventual upgrade of the BARS N011M radar to AESA, but no contract has yet been signed.

    Upgrade Cost and Schedule
    In a written reply in the Rajya Sabha on August 18, Defence Minister Shri AK Antony said the current estimated cost for the upgrade is Rs. 10920 crores and the aircraft are likely to be upgraded in a phased manner from year 2012 onwards.

    IAF is already upgrading its two main fighter aircraft fleet of 60 MiG-29s and is about to sign an around USD two billion deal with France to modernise its 50 Mirage aircraft. The Jaguar, MiG-27 and MiG-21 fleets have already been upgraded by the force.
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2011
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  2. Scorpion82

    Scorpion82 Captain FULL MEMBER

    Jul 7, 2011
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    Some additions. The original order was for 40 aircraft only which were to be delivered in 4 batches between 1997 and 2000. Each batch should have been made up of aircraft of a different configuration. The first batch of 8 aircraft was delivered on time. These aircraft were stock Su-30K, the export variant of the original Su-30. In 1998 another 10 Su-30K were ordered, sometimes refered to as Su-30MK and these were delivered in 1999. The IAF decided to accept any additional aircraft in the final Su-30MKI configuration only and these were delivered since June 2002. IIRC the Su-30Ks were put to storage ~2005 and an order for another 18 new built Su-30MKI was placed in 2006 to replace them. Plans to transfer the Su-30K back didn't materialize as it seems. It is worth noting that the initial aircraft should have been upgraded to the MKI standard, but this plan was abandoned as well and 18 new built aircraft from Irkut were ordered instead as stated above.
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