Sukhoi Su-30MKI

STEPHEN COHEN

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The IAF operates old jets today because a replacement is not yet available. Not because the IAF believes in old is gold.

I somehow believe that " Officially " MKI production has ended , but it will still go on

Only Additional Su 30s can give us some Head Room , while we wait for More Rafales and LCAs
Do we have plan for any Heavy category fighter in future? SU57 plans for IAFis already shelved i beleive.
Its literally 21's scenario. In 21's case,No proper aircraft replacement program for a point intercepter. MKI's case, there is no proper plan for a heavy category long range fighter program to replace MkI.

MKI will Not be replaced till 2040

Only AMCA can replace MKI
 

randomradio

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Do we have plan for any Heavy category fighter in future? SU57 plans for IAFis already shelved i beleive.
Its literally 21's scenario. In 21's case,No proper aircraft replacement program for a point intercepter. MKI's case, there is no proper plan for a heavy category long range fighter program to replace MkI.

There is no urgency for it right now. A program should start in the early 2030s for induction around 2050.

AMCA is supposed to get IOC in 2032, which should signal the start of a new fighter jet program from that point.
 

Picdelamirand-oil

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Do we have plan for any Heavy category fighter in future? SU57 plans for IAFis already shelved i beleive.
Its literally 21's scenario. In 21's case,No proper aircraft replacement program for a point intercepter. MKI's case, there is no proper plan for a heavy category long range fighter program to replace MkI.
With the Rafale you don't need the heavy category.
 

Hydra

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With the Rafale you don't need the heavy category.
If thats the case why france is going for new stealth fighter jet in comparable size with respect to F22 Raptor. Rafale is an impressive het, but it lacks the range of mki or f15 or similar heavy category fighter jets.
With the Rafale you don't need the heavy category.
If thats the case why france is going for new stealth fighter jet in comparable size with respect to F22 Raptor. Rafale is an impressive jet no doubt on that, but it lacks the range of mki or f15 or similar heavy category fighter jets
I somehow believe that " Officially " MKI production has ended , but it will still go on

Only Additional Su 30s can give us some Head Room , while we wait for More Rafales and LCAs


MKI will Not be replaced till 2040

Only AMCA can replace MKI
AMCA will be in same category as that of Rafale.
 
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Hydra

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There is no urgency for it right now. A program should start in the early 2030s for induction around 2050.

AMCA is supposed to get IOC in 2032, which should signal the start of a new fighter jet program from that point.
If thats the case we need to start a new engine program in addition to the proposed RR collaboration, to start a heavy category fighter program by 2030 we must need a working engine by that time. A heavy category fighter cannot be powered with 110kn engine for sure.
 

Picdelamirand-oil

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If thats the case why france is going for new stealth fighter jet in comparable size with respect to F22 Raptor.
FCAS is only a political project and it will fail. After that Dassault will be able to develop the real successor of the Rafale.

Rafale is an impressive het, but it lacks the range of mki or f15 or similar heavy category fighter jets.
The SU-30 MKI has a range of 3000 km with its internal fuel but it cannot carry drop tanks.
The Rafale has only 2500 km of autonomy on its internal fuel but with drop tanks it can go up to 3700 km of autonomy.
If we want a configuration which allows a comparison with the SU-30 MKI it is enough to add a drop tank of 2000 l which will weigh 2t and will give him the same autonomy as the SU-30 MKI. In this configuration the Rafale can carry 9500 Kg - 2000 Kg = 7500 kg on 13 hardpoints, whereas the SU-30 MKI can carry 8000 Kg on 12 hardpoints. We can see that it is very comparable.
 

randomradio

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If thats the case we need to start a new engine program in addition to the proposed RR collaboration, to start a heavy category fighter program by 2030 we must need a working engine by that time. A heavy category fighter cannot be powered with 110kn engine for sure.

We may have to develop hybrid engines, which foreign countries won't give.

But the AMCA's engine program is plenty, we won't need help beyond that.
 
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randomradio

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@vstol Jockey

Yes I spoke for the very large antennas:
I had encouraged Thales to offer an RBE2 with an antenna suitable for the SU-30 MKI for your aircraft upgrade. They did it and it was very well received by the Indians. But they realized that there was room to put an antenna of almost 4000 T/R but that the electrical generation could only support 2500 T/R.

If you change the engines you will probably have more electric generation.

Yep, the engine is a huge limiting factor for the future of the MKI.

And I bet even the 2500 modules was the upper limit, at the sacrifice of power going elsewhere.
 

Hydra

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FCAS is only a political project and it will fail. After that Dassault will be able to develop the real successor of the Rafale.


The SU-30 MKI has a range of 3000 km with its internal fuel but it cannot carry drop tanks.
The Rafale has only 2500 km of autonomy on its internal fuel but with drop tanks it can go up to 3700 km of autonomy.
If we want a configuration which allows a comparison with the SU-30 MKI it is enough to add a drop tank of 2000 l which will weigh 2t and will give him the same autonomy as the SU-30 MKI. In this configuration the Rafale can carry 9500 Kg - 2000 Kg = 7500 kg on 13 hardpoints, whereas the SU-30 MKI can carry 8000 Kg on 12 hardpoints. We can see that it is very comparable.
I am not a technical guy , but I think with drop tanks Rafale's kinematics will be compromised but that's not the case with MKI with same fuel load. @vstol Jockey pls shed some light on this.

And during upgrade MKI most probably will get wet hard points,so it will be able carry drop tanks.
 

vstol Jockey

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@vstol Jockey



Yep, the engine is a huge limiting factor for the future of the MKI.

And I bet even the 2500 modules was the upper limit, at the sacrifice of power going elsewhere.
I will go with lower T/Rs of about 2000 and add L band AESA in the leading edges. The engine change is a must if we need to support new euipment in super sukhoi.
I am not a technical guy , but I think with drop tanks Rafale's kinematics will be compromised but that's not the case with MKI with same fuel load. @vstol Jockey pls shed some light on this.

And during upgrade MKI most probably will get wet hard points,so it will be able carry drop tanks.
MKI already outranges Rafale. With maximum fuel, including drop tanks, Rafale carries juat about 3 tons of bomb load. But MKI vd these two drop tanks will be able to carry 5 tons to a distance which Rafale can never reach.
 
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randomradio

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The ejection seat is obviously faulty. Now Sukhoi cannot stick their heads in sand anymore.
 

Picdelamirand-oil

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MKI already outranges Rafale. With maximum fuel, including drop tanks, Rafale carries juat about 3 tons of bomb load. But MKI vd these two drop tanks will be able to carry 5 tons to a distance which Rafale can never reach.
If one supposed that the SU-30 MKI was able to carry drop tanks, and that one wanted to know, under these conditions at which distance it can carry a load of 5t, one should equip it with drop tanks having a capacity of 8t - 5t = 3t of fuel. In these conditions its autonomy would be of 3478 km.
If one wanted to make the same exercise with a Rafale one should equip the Rafale with drop tanks having a capacity of 9.5 t - 5 t = 4.5 t of fuel. In these conditions its autonomy would be 3300 km.
The way to outrange the SU-30 is to use CFT to reduce drag.
The result may seem strange but 3t represents 32% of the 9.4 t of internal fuel of the SU-30 whereas 4.5 t represents 95.7% of the 4.7 t of internal fuel of the Rafale.
 
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Picdelamirand-oil

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By using CFT the autonomy of the Rafale must be calculated with 1840 kg of fuel in the CFT and 2660 kg of fuel in the drop tank which gives an autonomy of 3465 km very closed of the 3478 km of the SU-30 MKI

I have made an error : I said that the Rafale range is 2500 km on internal fuel and it's only 2250 km. With 2500 the range with maximum drop tank load is too much so I had to correct my mistake.

But all these calculations are approximate and are only intended to show that we can do comparable missions with both aircraft.
 
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randomradio

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If one supposed that the SU-30 MKI was able to carry drop tanks, and that one wanted to know, under these conditions at which distance it can carry a load of 5t, one should equip it with drop tanks having a capacity of 8t - 5t = 3t of fuel. In these conditions its autonomy would be of 3478 km.
If one wanted to make the same exercise with a Rafale one should equip the Rafale with drop tanks having a capacity of 9.5 t - 5 t = 4.5 t of fuel. In these conditions its autonomy would be 3300 km.
The way to outrange the SU-30 is to use CFT to reduce drag.
The result may seem strange but 3t represents 32% of the 9.4 t of internal fuel of the SU-30 whereas 4.5 t represents 95.7% of the 4.7 t of internal fuel of the Rafale.

MKI already outranges Rafale. With maximum fuel, including drop tanks, Rafale carries juat about 3 tons of bomb load. But MKI vd these two drop tanks will be able to carry 5 tons to a distance which Rafale can never reach.

This post can get confusing. But here goes...

Without CFTs, they are more or less the same. A Rafale with 1 tank equals an empty MKI. A Rafale with 3 tanks equals an MKI with 2 tanks. Both jets will then be capable of reaching ranges of up to 4000Km.

Full external fuel on both jets leaves 2 hardpoints on the Rafale for 4 500Kg LGBs, and 6 hardpoints on the MKI for 6 LGBs. But the MKI needs a point for the LDP, so the actual number drops to 5 hardpoints for weapons. But if MKI is equipped with the Rafale's weapon design, then the MKI can carry 2 bombs each on 2 hardpoints, which can take the number up to 7. So the Rafale carries 4 bombs at 2 tons whereas the MKI carries 7 bombs up to 3.5 tons to the same range.

But the main drawback for the MKI is if there's a need to carry AAMs and the SPJs as well, then it gets really bad for the MKI. The MKI needs 4 hardpoints for AAMs and 2 hardpoints for the 2 SPJs on wingtips. So, out of the MKI's 12 hardpoints, we need to take 6 out of the equation, leaving only 6. Then we take 1 out for the LDP, we get 5 left over. Since the MKI lacks a MAWS right now, we will need to eliminate 1 hardpoint for a MAWS pod as well, which leaves only 4 hardpoints for 4 bombs. Add the two drop tanks in and you get only 2 hardpoints. And with current MKI bomb designs, the MKI can only carry 2 bombs.

So if you want to duplicate the Rafale's overall capabilities, including avionics, on the MKI, then the MKI is only capable of carrying 2 bombs versus 4 on the Rafale out to pretty much the same range. If the Hammer is integrated on the MKI, then the payload will pretty much be the same. One of MKI's center hardpoints can be freed with dual pylons for 2 BVR missiles, which will add an extra bomb on the MKI.

Only the Su-35 provides significant range and payload advantage over the Rafale. It has an internal EW suite and MAWS. To match the range of the Rafale or MKI, it only needs an extra drop tank. So it has 6 free hardpoints for bombs versus 2 on the MKI/Rafale while carrying the same avionics. If the Su-35 is installed with Hammer then it can carry 8 bombs with 2 drop tanks.

If the MKI gets an internal SPJ, then two hardpoints can be freed. So it can carry either 4 regular LGBs or 6 Hammers.

One more thing, when the MKI is carrying full internal fuel, its actual payload is only 6T. The Su-35's is even lesser. So in reality, neither the MKI nor Su-35 can actually use their full paper capabilities from the ground. They need to take off with less fuel and then refuel in the air for it to work out. This makes both jets inferior to the Rafale without midair refuelling. The main reason for the addition of drop tanks on the Flanker is for the purpose of air policing, escort etc where the jets are only carrying 4-6 AAMs along with full fuel and not for A2G missions.

CFT is useless for the Rafale unless carrying long range missiles. For tactical strike, it's neither safe, nor is it useful in stores management. The only aircraft that has truly benefited from CFT is the Mig-29 since it can properly blend into the fuselage with no kinematic deficiencies.
 

vstol Jockey

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The maximum in air weight of Su-30MKI is 38 tons and MTOW is 34 tons. The operating weight Empty (OWE) is 18.4tons. So with a 34 ton MTOW the useful load of MKI with full internal fuel is 7 tons.
As a thumb rule, you can take the 40% max ferry range in clean config as the combat radius with full load for any fighter class aircraft. It is based on the profile that outbound will be with full load resulting in much higher drag index and fuel burn and also lower altitude cruise in Hi-Lo-Hi profile due to optimum altitude being lower. But in Return after bomb release and fuel burnt to reach the target, the aircraft will be much lighter and clean and will have higher optimum altitude to cruise home resulting in much lower fuel burn. resulting in lower need of fuel to return back to base.
If anyone of you had ever done mathematics of air navigation, you will find that PNR always lies into the wind. Same is the case with mission profiles of fighters.
 
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randomradio

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The maximum in air weight of Su-30MKI is 38 tons and MTOW is 34 tons. The operating weight Empty (OWE) is 18.4tons. So with a 34 ton MTOW the useful load of MKI with full internal fuel is 7 tons.

I beg to differ.

34T - (18.4 + 9.6)T = 6T

3.4T of external fuel in 2 2000L tanks leaves only around 2.6T as payload.

Then we have 750Kg along with their ejectors for 4 AAMs. And about 200Kg for the 2 SPJs. Add another 450Kg for LDP and MAWS, we only get 1.2T for bombs, only 2 bombs. And it's going to be an absolute turd in the air while carrying such loads. If we use standoff PGMs and eliminate the SPJ, LDP and MAWS, we still get only about 1.9T, about 4 bombs. So even the freed HPs are of no use without midair refuelling.

That's why it's not surprising that the IAF is pushing for the quick development and induction of the Ghatak. It's the only aircraft we will have that can carry a reasonably large payload of 2T up to a long distance with very high survivability and low cost.

The only area where the MKI does the best in strike is carpet bombing. That's always a sight to see.