Sukhoi Su-30MKI

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Brahmos Missile test from an Su-30 MKI a threat to region : Pak Foreign Office


Foreign Office Spokesman Dr Muhammad Faisal on Thursday said that India’s latest test of BrahMos cruise missile was a threat to regional peace and stability.

Addressing the weekly press briefing, he said that such moves threatened regional peace and stability. “They also expose Indian duplicity that it only pays lip service to the arms control regimes. Pakistan has consistently raised serious concerns about these developments as they negatively impact regional security and stability,” he said.

“Pakistan continues to stress the need for a meaningful dialogue for confidence-building, avoidance of arms race and promotion of strategic stability in South Asia. Pakistan’s proposal for a strategic restraint regime for South Asia remains on the table.”

Dr Faisal said that the recent increase in missile tests by India after its membership of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) “demonstrates its policy of duplicity” as it had refrained from any such tests in the period before receiving the membership, likely to help its chances of gaining it.

Indian missile test a threat to region: FO - Daily Times
 

smestarz

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I think now that Brahmos has been tested, what we really wonder is about the Super sukhoi upgrades, If the discussions with Russians are not progressing then maybe we forego the warranties and involve Israel in the upgrade somehow, and connect Israel with the OEM... The MiG-21 upgrades that Israel did (not sure if it was for india also but they did it for Romania) and they did improve MiG-21 a lot
 
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zarvan

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As the Indian Air Force juggles between the idea of procuring single engine or twin engine fighter jets to replenish its depleted squadron strength, an expert tells Sputnik that the emphasis on single-engine fighter aircraft is a contrived and arbitrary approach to a pressing concern.

New Delhi (Sputnik) – The Indian Air Force (IAF) is at a pivotal crossroads. Despite its impressive capability advancements in recent years, it now faces declining squadron strength as the bulk of its current squadron is either already past their service deadline or is due to retire within the next decade.

Presently, the Indian Air Force (IAF) has 34 squadrons (18-20 fighter jets in a squadron), which include MiG-21, MiG-27, MiG-29, Jaguar, Mirage 2000, Su-30MKI, and Tejas LCA aircraft. The bulk of the combat aircraft belong to the MiG family and all of them are far beyond their official dates of service. The IAF desires the strength of some 42 combat squadrons by the 2027-32 period in order to meet the contingencies of a two-front war with China and Pakistan.

India has contracted three more Su-30MKI, two Dassault Rafale squadrons, and two squadrons of Tejas MK.1 fighters. This will add some seven squadrons to the IAF. However, six squadrons of MiG-21Bison and the two MiG-27UPG will be phased out by 2025. Furthermore, one Jaguar squadron is due to retire by 2027, which would mean an overall deficiency of 13 squadrons by 2027 when set against its desired strength.


The IAF has two options before it to replenish the depleting fleet. The first is the procurement of new single and twin-engine fighter jets. The other involves the procurement of four squadrons of the locally developed Tejas Mk.1A variant.

READ MORE: India Successfully Test-Fires Supersonic Brahmos Missile From Su30MKI

In order to fill the void to be generated from immediate retirements, the IAF is considering issuing a global tender for single engine fighter jets. Twin-engine jet would be acquired at a later stage when funds are available with the force, according to sources.

Vijainder K Thakur, IAF veteran known for his independent views tells Sputnik about the most appropriate options before the force.

Sputnik: The IAF has been pondering over various options to reach out to the required strength of 42 squadrons in the shortest possible time-frame. Despite considering off-the-shelf purchases along with Make-in-India, it is highly unlikely that fleet could be replenished in the next 15 years. How necessary is it for the IAF to have 42 squadrons?

Vijainder K Thakur: If equipped with 42 squadrons of front-line aircraft, the IAF would be a formidable force which would strongly deter any joint adventure by our two adversary neighbors. However, India clearly cannot afford to equip the IAF with 42 squadrons by introducing two very expensive new fighter types into service. If the IAF wants to reach the figure of 42 quickly it should order more Su-30MKIs or MiG-35s.




© AP PHOTO/ AJIT KUMAR
Russia to Upgrade India's Frontline Fighter Jet Su-30MKI Into Super Sukhoi
Sputnik: There has been a tug of war between those favoring single engine fighter jets and those in favor of twin-engine jets. What in your opinion should be the consideration?


Vijainder K Thakur: The requirement for a single engine fighter is contrived and arbitrary. Single engine or multi-engine was not a criterion during the MMRCA acquisition which was ultimately abandoned. Why has it become an important consideration now? The single-engine qualitative requirement was likely introduced purely to limit the choice to the F-16 and SAAB Gripen-E, not out of any operational necessity. The IAF should be focused on the payload, range and operating costs of its fighters, not whether it is single or twin engine.

Sputnik: In October, Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa categorically stated that the emphasis on single-engine fighter jets was a cost-cutting attempt whereas the Indian Air Force actually desired twin-engine jets.

Vijainder K Thakur: Single engine fighters are claimed to have lower operating costs. However, the evidence to support the claim is not convincing. According to Forbes, the operating cost-per-hour for a F-16C is $8,278 and for the F/A-18E is $10,507. The difference is marginal and if you factor in the F/A-18E's much greater weapon load and range, the 'single engine is cheaper' claim completely falls apart. On the other hand, many F-16s have crashed because their only engine failed, while many F/A-18s have returned to base safely after losing one engine. Twin engine fighters are unarguably safer to fly! Lesser crashes results in lowered operating costs!

Sputnik: Should the Indian Air Force order more upgraded Su30MKI and Su35 instead of going for the global tender on the single-engine fighter jet?

Vijainder K Thakur: The IAF has ordered 272 Su-30 aircraft, enough to equip around 23 — 24 squadrons. Considering that at one point in time the IAF was operating with around 30 squadrons of MiG-21 variants, there is scope to order additional upgraded Su-30MKI or Su-35s. The aircraft is currently under production at Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) Nasik division. Also, the Su-30MKI is a perfect fit for the IAF doctrine, which advocates use of fighter aircraft that can perform any role.

Sputnik: The why is the IAF not considering the purchase of additional Su30MKI?

Vijainder K Thakur: The IAF should be considering additional upgraded Su-30MKIs/Su-35 or MiG-35 to limit and optimize its inventory. The imperatives for not considering additional Su-30MKIs/Su-35/MiG-35 are likely geopolitical, not operational.

Sputnik: Is this because the Indian Air Force wants different types of fighter jets in its inventory?

Vijainder K Thakur: The USAF operates 4 fighter types: F-16, F-15, A-10, and F-22. It is in the process of replacing its A-10 and F-16 fighters with the F-35A. In other words, the USAF aims to reduce the types of fighters in its inventory from four to three. The US Navy, the second largest air force in the world, operates with a single fighter type — F/A-18. It is in the process of replacing the older F/A-18 variants with the F-35C. In other words, the USN inventory fighter types are set to increase from 1 to 2. The RuAF operates 4 fighter types — Su-27/30/35, MiG-29, MiG-31 and Su-25 (The Su-34 is a bomber). The IAF currently operates seven fighter types: MiG-21 variants, MiG-27 variants, MiG-29 variants, Jaguar, Mirage 2000, Su-30MKI, and Tejas LCA. It's set to introduce 8th type — Rafale! Clearly, there is a need for the IAF to reduce the types of fighters in its inventory, not the other way around!

Air Force Veteran Suggests India Should Go for More Russian Su-30MKI/Su-35
 

smestarz

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I do agree with "The IAF should be focused on the payload, range and operating costs of its fighters, not whether it is single or twin engine."
Actually twin engine are more reliable than Single engine. That is why I was suggesting twin engine LCA with two smaller engines somewhat the concept of F-5 which was small and cheap and easy to operate and in times where there were powerful jets like Phantom jet etc, this plane made its own space and was produced in big numbers. It was the plane that was sold to USA allies before F-16 came into the scene
 

Milspec

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My projections for SU30MKI is 320+, and has been for a very long time. Given the complexities of LCA tranches, production and integration rates for Rafales, othe LWF options all being about 5-8 years off. MKI being an active product line is low hanging fruit, and at 57 million/piece the cost to capability is unbeatable.

It may not be the best strategy to amass MKI, but it remains the simplest, easiest, quickest and most potent route to add platforms to the IAF's dropping sqdn strength.
 

Milspec

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I do agree with "The IAF should be focused on the payload, range and operating costs of its fighters, not whether it is single or twin engine."
Actually twin engine are more reliable than Single engine. That is why I was suggesting twin engine LCA with two smaller engines somewhat the concept of F-5 which was small and cheap and easy to operate and in times where there were powerful jets like Phantom jet etc, this plane made its own space and was produced in big numbers. It was the plane that was sold to USA allies before F-16 came into the scene

in that case why not just build more MKI's as the veteran suggests, all the tooling exists, the platform for commissioning costs 57 million. At twice the cost of LCA, gives you almost 4 times the capability of an LCA. also qualified for pretty much every possible ordinance in the inventory.
 
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sunstersun

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idk, the price of the mki is pretty misleading.

yeah it's 57million a pop compared to say 100mil of a rafale, but the MKI upgrade to bring it up to date with a lot of the rafale systems such as AESA radar, avionics and RCS reduction is a rough guess of 8billion for 272 aircraft=30million. And let's be honest, that's a pretty generous guess if you look at the recent costs of upgrades for planes like the F-16. SU-30MKI's probably have to go through structural change to get the RCS reduction India wants.

I don't think more MKI's is anything than a small band aid for the squadron shortage.
 

smestarz

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What I would agree is
That upgrading Su-30 MKI with latest avionics will put it on par with most top of the line planes in the world,.
What I do not agree with is ordering more Su-30 MKI. Most experts find AL-31 not so reliable, so, first need to upgrade with AL-41 engine.
Also when China has 5th Gen planes would we feel comfortable facing them with "semi 5th Gen" planes? If we face China with 320+ Su-30 MKI there is good chance the fight may be prolonged and also that China would win due to attrition as china has big numbers and Super Sukhoi might be able to push it on our favour or break even at the most. But with Su-57 we have much better position based on attrition. Never enter a war which you cannot win. Always enter a war in which you have an unfair advantage.

With your point ". At twice the cost of LCA, gives you almost 4 times the capability of an LCA. also qualified for pretty much every possible ordinance in the inventory" can you give me such a ratio for say Su-57 vs LCA or Su-57 vs Su-30 MKI ? it will be theoretical analysis but at present I would take that too for sake of debate.

Thus my take might be
Go for few squadrons of Su-57 (right version we need)
Upgrade Su-30 MKI with latest cutting edge avionics and arm them with Indian missiles and develop further.
Use Tejas to make up numbers specially to protect industrial bases

All future planes like say Tejas Mk2 and AMCA etc, please make them twin engine because I might favour spending more on operating cost of twin engine, rather than lose the plane altogether due to engine failure of single engine


in that case why not just build more MKI's as the veteran suggests, all the tooling exists, the platform for commissioning costs 57 million. At twice the cost of LCA, gives you almost 4 times the capability of an LCA. also qualified for pretty much every possible ordinance in the inventory.
 

smestarz

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Not sure what the 8 Billion upgrade would bring, Hope all from my wish list.

Reduction of RCS would be nice, but lately some members have been talking about Active cancellation, so instead of using structural changes and then to compromise with performance, why not put avionics for active cancellation, That might in a way shut up the rafale fan boys too.

Rather I might say, lets not try and change RCS of Su-30 MKI but lets use it as a "beacon" and let everything focus on the beacon, and move in Stealthy dark planes like Su-57 to silently move in and strike the important targets.
They might be a good distraction which themselves can cause damage to the enemy

idk, the price of the mki is pretty misleading.

yeah it's 57million a pop compared to say 100mil of a rafale, but the MKI upgrade to bring it up to date with a lot of the rafale systems such as AESA radar, avionics and RCS reduction is a rough guess of 8billion for 272 aircraft=30million. And let's be honest, that's a pretty generous guess if you look at the recent costs of upgrades for planes like the F-16. SU-30MKI's probably have to go through structural change to get the RCS reduction India wants.

I don't think more MKI's is anything than a small band aid for the squadron shortage.
 

Milspec

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What I would agree is
That upgrading Su-30 MKI with latest avionics will put it on par with most top of the line planes in the world,.
What I do not agree with is ordering more Su-30 MKI. Most experts find AL-31 not so reliable, so, first need to upgrade with AL-41 engine.
Also when China has 5th Gen planes would we feel comfortable facing them with "semi 5th Gen" planes? If we face China with 320+ Su-30 MKI there is good chance the fight may be prolonged and also that China would win due to attrition as china has big numbers and Super Sukhoi might be able to push it on our favour or break even at the most. But with Su-57 we have much better position based on attrition. Never enter a war which you cannot win. Always enter a war in which you have an unfair advantage.

With your point ". At twice the cost of LCA, gives you almost 4 times the capability of an LCA. also qualified for pretty much every possible ordinance in the inventory" can you give me such a ratio for say Su-57 vs LCA or Su-57 vs Su-30 MKI ? it will be theoretical analysis but at present I would take that too for sake of debate.

Thus my take might be
Go for few squadrons of Su-57 (right version we need)
Upgrade Su-30 MKI with latest cutting edge avionics and arm them with Indian missiles and develop further.
Use Tejas to make up numbers specially to protect industrial bases

All future planes like say Tejas Mk2 and AMCA etc, please make them twin engine because I might favour spending more on operating cost of twin engine, rather than lose the plane altogether due to engine failure of single engine

What are your current options? - MKI, LCA1P, Rafale, LWF.
MKI has almost 6 times the range of a LCA, 3 times the payload, twice the hardpoints, 1.6 times the speed, and more ordinance commonality with the rest of the platforms, and twice as capable radar. This 4 times jibe, is for LCA because both are same Generation aircraft. Not with SU57 or AMCA because there is a generational gap there. In the current comparison with all the platforms in the IAF's arsenal with confirmed book order including the speculated LWF, MKI can hold it's ground against all the platforms.

You bring up AL41, what makes you think AL41 is any more reliable than AL31FN? Can Al31's performance be better, sure I would love that, would that increase price of the aircraft - definately yes.

Adding more MKI will give you a bigger squadron strength, also during its mid life upgrade you will get better bang for your buck.
 

bonobashi

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Dec 3, 2017
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I do agree with "The IAF should be focused on the payload, range and operating costs of its fighters, not whether it is single or twin engine."
Actually twin engine are more reliable than Single engine. That is why I was suggesting twin engine LCA with two smaller engines somewhat the concept of F-5 which was small and cheap and easy to operate and in times where there were powerful jets like Phantom jet etc, this plane made its own space and was produced in big numbers. It was the plane that was sold to USA allies before F-16 came into the scene

Dear Sir,

What is the time-frame in which you imagine the 'twin engine' LCA should be ready for FOC?
 

bonobashi

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Dec 3, 2017
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in that case why not just build more MKI's as the veteran suggests, all the tooling exists, the platform for commissioning costs 57 million. At twice the cost of LCA, gives you almost 4 times the capability of an LCA. also qualified for pretty much every possible ordinance in the inventory.

O R D I N A N C E ?

Sleepy moment, dear Sir?
 
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Abingdonboy

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I do agree with "The IAF should be focused on the payload, range and operating costs of its fighters, not whether it is single or twin engine."
Actually twin engine are more reliable than Single engine. That is why I was suggesting twin engine LCA with two smaller engines somewhat the concept of F-5 which was small and cheap and easy to operate and in times where there were powerful jets like Phantom jet etc, this plane made its own space and was produced in big numbers. It was the plane that was sold to USA allies before F-16 came into the scene
Agreed but the operational costs aspect rather excludes any Russian product and the MKI especially, the ammount of downtime and spares the MKIs SQNs go through is truly horrendous and the sad reality is that latest block MKIs (especially with Brahmos-A capability) aren't even that much cheaper than a current spec Rafale to buy off the shelf but with 2-3x higher operational costs.

That said, IAF will have no choice but to go for more MKIs in the near future for 2 reasons; FGFA isn't coming ANY time soon so the Nasik MKI line will have to be kept open hence more MKIs will be ordered and the fighter mess the IAF is in isn't going to be adressed anytime soon and the IAF really cannot afford to drop to <30 SQNs (which they will at the current stand down rate by 2025).

Remember the MKI requires 2x the pilots and costs 2-3x per flight hour to a Rafale or LCA, all fears that were articulated previously about the IAF becoming a "top heavy" AF were entirely founded and will become a reality soon.
 

RATHORE

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My projections for SU30MKI is 320+, and has been for a very long time. Given the complexities of LCA tranches, production and integration rates for Rafales, othe LWF options all being about 5-8 years off. MKI being an active product line is low hanging fruit, and at 57 million/piece the cost to capability is unbeatable.

It may not be the best strategy to amass MKI, but it remains the simplest, easiest, quickest and most potent route to add platforms to the IAF's dropping sqdn strength.

It would work out in a lot of ways, but what about the new issue brought to light by Parikrama, which necessitated the SE MMRCA tender in the first place? Wouldn't that become an even bigger issue as the percentage of fleet composed by Sukhois increases?