If it's cheap as the Russians claim honestly it could be a good stopgap stealth plane until the amca becomes online. This is also a mig 29 replacement and the Russians displayed a navalised version of this. So wouldn't be surprised if this is offered since the TEDBF itself will come online in 2028.The problem with this plane is they have designed it to be cheap enough for export, and I don't mean the sticker price, I mean in terms of capabilities. It's far too limited as a next gen aircraft, especially with their engine choice.
The biggest drawback with it is it's not designed as per RuAF requirements. Furthermore, someone has to pay for it. They need to find a bakra that's willing to ignore CAATSA and buy 100+ so it can actually be developed into a real aircraft.
Basically, it's been designed to replace older fighter jets of air forces that are not going to fight the US or China. Another option would be countries that want to set up their own aerospace industries. Or countries that are willing to use it as the low component of the hi-lo mix.
There are four countries capable of operating it in large enough numbers. Turkey, Egypt, Vietnam and Iran. All of them don't worry/care about CAATSA. Turkey and Egypt need to replace a lot of F-16s. Furthermore, Turkey may ask to modernise the aircraft with Turkish avionics and/or the Izdeliye 30. Vietnam can use the Su-57 and this jet in a hi-lo mix, they need to replace 100+ Mig-21s. The Russians can play Iran and UAE off each other, although Iran will win due to CAATSA. Basically, if the Russians bag even one of these countries, the jet will have a future.
In the case of India, it doesn't seem suitable. It's a very expensive LCA Mk2 replacement or it's a very immature, limited Rafale replacement. Plus it's overkill for the LCA role while being insufficient for the Rafale's role. So it has no place at this time. However, since LCA Mk2 squadron requirement is 6+6, in a more modern avatar by the mid 2030s, it can possibly try and eat up a few of those remaining 6 squadrons. Another option is to offer a modernised unmanned variant as a loyal wingman by the mid to late 2030s.
Honestly we will only buy this from stopping the Russians to offer this product to the Pakistanis. And if we reach that situation. I would rather go for atleast 3-4 squadrons of Russian fifth gen so that we can get hands on the al41-f1 and use it on our mki's..