Sukhoi Su-30MKI

randomradio

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The AESA radar will be mounted on the radar cone of Su-30 MKI aircraft as well as carrier-based MiG-29 K fighters of the Indian military, according to Seshagiri.

So, yeah, full indigenisation of the MKI's avionics. I was hoping the Mig-29K is also upgraded by 2025, and looks like it's set to happen. Hopefully the 21 new Mig-29s will also get Uttam.
 
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Ashwin

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who in the world is going to attack chinese? At the most we can expect some naval tussle in SCS other than that most of their forces are nearly free to diverted wherever they want.
Nation build defences based on their perceived threat. It's always better to be prepared than sorry. Chinese perceive threat from all corners and rightfully so. History teach them to be strong.

You could ask the same about pakistan. Who is going to attack pakistan ?
 
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_Anonymous_

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Sengupta's claims are correct most of the time. But most of these claims don't become true because of the absolute pathetic speed of the procurements and bureaucracy.
If there wasn't a need for these planes as some outlets have reported, they wouldn't have been part of the agenda of discussions . Sort of confirms some rumours I've seen of the MRFA tender not going thru , a 2nd tranche of Rafales being ordered after which in all probability that would be the end of that with a slim chance of a 3rd tranche towards the end of the decade & 50 Super Sukhoi standard fighters imported from Russia followed by upgrades of remaining MKI's to similar standards at home.
 

Sathya

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Been thinking about mirage 2000 upgrade.
At that time , upgrade were so expensive ot almost cost a new plane.. I think Rafale was around 65 € million.

If we could have gone different ly, buying Rafales instead of Mirage upgradation..
How our force would be now..

Trained Personnel , facilities created et all are there...

Scenario now..
If Su 30 upgrade is costlier, what should we do?

I find buying new evolved planes instead of going for massive upgrade of older planes is better.

1. Technologies are advancing faster.. 40 year cycle seems too long to stay ahead of others.
We cannot do anything about metal frame of Su30 Or the coxkpit can we.?
2. Russian platforms have shorter life.
3. Russia already upgraded their Su 30
4. Numbers will definitely increase, which are desperate to get.

@randomradio @Gautam
 

randomradio

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Been thinking about mirage 2000 upgrade.
At that time , upgrade were so expensive ot almost cost a new plane.. I think Rafale was around 65 € million.

If we could have gone different ly, buying Rafales instead of Mirage upgradation..
How our force would be now..

Trained Personnel , facilities created et all are there...

Scenario now..
If Su 30 upgrade is costlier, what should we do?

I find buying new evolved planes instead of going for massive upgrade of older planes is better.

1. Technologies are advancing faster.. 40 year cycle seems too long to stay ahead of others.
We cannot do anything about metal frame of Su30 Or the coxkpit can we.?
2. Russian platforms have shorter life.
3. Russia already upgraded their Su 30
4. Numbers will definitely increase, which are desperate to get.

@randomradio @Gautam

Although we are paying French costs for the M2000, it performs a particular role, and for this role, there's no cheaper aircraft available. Rafale was obviously more expensive.

Su-30 needs upgrades regardless of whether they are expensive or not. It's not about the platform alone, it's about all the training and infrastructure created as well. The Su-30 is a well-oiled system in our war machinery, a new system cannot replace it overnight even if it's more advanced. The MLU will keep it relevant. In any case, it's still in the "advanced" category when compared to our adversary, we are not fighting the US after all. The MKI is gonna become obsolete after 2035, primarily due to its large RCS than anything else, but still relevant against PAF even in the 2040s. So it's still got plenty of time.

1. The above para should have answered that.
2. Old platforms, yes. The new ones, not really. The MKI gives us 6000 hours. As per HAL, that's 25 years. So it's further extendable by 10-15 more years at the minimum. That will give us another 2000 hours at least, if not more.
3. Yeah, the Russian jets are better at the moment. But our MKI MLU will be better.
4. 190 was optimum. 230 was more than adequate, wouldn't need battle attrition replacements at this point. 270 is beyond our needs, we can fight 2 wars. More than 270 is just a sign of desperation at our failure to bring in more relevant capability, aka, a waste of money.

The fact is we have so many MKIs that if we fight either of our adversaries in a one-front war, they have to first destroy 80 MKIs before beginning to make a dent on the MKI fleet. But, due to the inherent limitations of the MKI's design, and the politics surrounding Russia, we need other non-Russian, non-MKI jets to compensate for other roles. Otherwise we could have bought another 200 MKIs and be done with it. The Russians are role-compensating the Su-35 with the Su-30 and Su-34, we don't have such an option. Plus the MKI is fricking expensive to operate.

The MKI program was originally meant to end with 50+140 jets. Which is why the options was only 40 more jets. But we had to buy 80 additional jets because our LCA program failed to deliver in time. During war, after the initial 2 days, most of our MKIs are actually gonna do roles that they have not been designed for. So it doesn't make sense adding more MKIs to the fleet. In fact the IAF had planned to begin replacing the MKIs with FGFA after 2030.
 

randomradio

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Sure. Any aircraft equipped with the AL-31F can get upgraded to 117S.

The AL-31F has a service life between 1500-2000 hours, whereas the 117S gives 4000 hours. The MKI needs 7 engines to get through its 6000 hours. And 2 more engines post life extension. With 117S, you can cut down your engine requirements by half overnight.

The MKI requires an engine change every 8 years. The Russians started buying their first SMs in 2013, so it's getting the 117S upgrade at this time. Makes technical sense for us to upgrade during MLUs too.
 

Hydra

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Although we are paying French costs for the M2000, it performs a particular role, and for this role, there's no cheaper aircraft available. Rafale was obviously more expensive.

Su-30 needs upgrades regardless of whether they are expensive or not. It's not about the platform alone, it's about all the training and infrastructure created as well. The Su-30 is a well-oiled system in our war machinery, a new system cannot replace it overnight even if it's more advanced. The MLU will keep it relevant. In any case, it's still in the "advanced" category when compared to our adversary, we are not fighting the US after all. The MKI is gonna become obsolete after 2035, primarily due to its large RCS than anything else, but still relevant against PAF even in the 2040s. So it's still got plenty of time.

1. The above para should have answered that.
2. Old platforms, yes. The new ones, not really. The MKI gives us 6000 hours. As per HAL, that's 25 years. So it's further extendable by 10-15 more years at the minimum. That will give us another 2000 hours at least, if not more.
3. Yeah, the Russian jets are better at the moment. But our MKI MLU will be better.
4. 190 was optimum. 230 was more than adequate, wouldn't need battle attrition replacements at this point. 270 is beyond our needs, we can fight 2 wars. More than 270 is just a sign of desperation at our failure to bring in more relevant capability, aka, a waste of money.

The fact is we have so many MKIs that if we fight either of our adversaries in a one-front war, they have to first destroy 80 MKIs before beginning to make a dent on the MKI fleet. But, due to the inherent limitations of the MKI's design, and the politics surrounding Russia, we need other non-Russian, non-MKI jets to compensate for other roles. Otherwise we could have bought another 200 MKIs and be done with it. The Russians are role-compensating the Su-35 with the Su-30 and Su-34, we don't have such an option. Plus the MKI is fricking expensive to operate.

The MKI program was originally meant to end with 50+140 jets. Which is why the options was only 40 more jets. But we had to buy 80 additional jets because our LCA program failed to deliver in time. During war, after the initial 2 days, most of our MKIs are actually gonna do roles that they have not been designed for. So it doesn't make sense adding more MKIs to the fleet. In fact the IAF had planned to begin replacing the MKIs with FGFA after 2030.
Russian offer of another 50 mki is good offer I believe, a 50 or 60 brahmos capable MKI will not out a dent on our aur superiority version MKI fleets. A 20 or so MKI ( combination of Brahmos rated & conventional MKI) can be fielded in A&N, our first strike on PLAN surface fleets can be performed from A&N then.
More over we can fool catsa ,since MKI is not a new addition.
 

randomradio

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Russian offer of another 50 mki is good offer I believe, a 50 or 60 brahmos capable MKI will not out a dent on our aur superiority version MKI fleets. A 20 or so MKI ( combination of Brahmos rated & conventional MKI) can be fielded in A&N, our first strike on PLAN surface fleets can be performed from A&N then.
More over we can fool catsa ,since MKI is not a new addition.

Modifying MKIs for Brahmos compromises the airframe. 50 Brahmos-1 capable MKIs are more than enough. Even LCAs will carry Brahmos-M.
 

_Anonymous_

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Subject to whether the Russians agree with replacing the Su-30's Bars radar with the UTTAM Mk2. I doubt they would let go of it very easily. Although given the humongous size of the MKI's radome we can fit in a much larger radar with 1500+ TRMs. The MKI produces enough electricity to support something like that. Do we want to go with this version of the UTTAM ? That is also a question.

We should develop an even larger version of the radar to be used on say the MKIs, Mig-29Ks, TEDBF & of course the AMCA. If we begin development right now we can only scale up the UTTAM Mk2's tech. Mk2's tech is very modern but if we wait a couple of years there maybe we will complete the development of a few more advanced radar tech currently under R&D.

The most notable work ongoing right now are in semi-conductors & UWB antennas. Our work on GaN HEMTs have branched into development of Al-GaN HEMTs & some other niche areas. SSPL & GAETEC are spearheading the HEMT R&D work while LDRE is pushing the UWB antenna work. If we can take this to work then we can make radars quite a bit more more efficient in terms of space & energy. It would also give the radars the ability to work in multiple bands. All this will be undoubtedly helped by the fact that the SCL fab is being upgraded.

These technologies would also help our other radars & seekers. But its too early to tell if & when the R&D will fructify. The Mk2 hasn't even been fabricated yet. Let's see what comes up.
With respect to the engine upgrade program, which engine was to have been tooled into the Su-30 MKI? The ones powering the Su-35 or are we awaiting the ones which are supposed to go into the Su-57 Mk-2 ?
 

Gautam

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With respect to the engine upgrade program, which engine was to have been tooled into the Su-30 MKI? The ones powering the Su-35 or are we awaiting the ones which are supposed to go into the Su-57 Mk-2 ?
I remember in 2017-18 the Russians made an offer to upgrade the Su-30MKI's engine to the 117 engine.

The Su-57 will use the 117 engine, or as the name now goes AL-41F-1. The Su-35's engine is the 117S engine officially named the AL-41F-1S. The 117S engine is a derivative of the 117 engine. Both engine have nearly the same dry thrust but the 117 produce 5 kN more on wet thrust (142 kN vs 147 kN).

Now I don't know which one was offered to us for the upgrade program. But it is one of those two. Both engines completed development around the same time. Choosing one over the other will not delay the upgrade program. There will be a difference in price point I imagine.
 
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_Anonymous_

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I remember in 2017-18 the Russians made an offer to upgrade the Su-30MKI's engine to the 117 engine.

The Su-57 will use the 117 engine, or as the name now goes AL-41F-1. The Su-35's engine is the 117S engine officially named the AL-41F-1S. The 117S engine is a derivative of the 117 engine. Both engine have nearly the same dry thrust but the 117 produce 5 kN more on wet thrust (142 kN vs 147 kN).

Now I don't know which one was offered to us for the upgrade program. But it is one of those two. Both engines completed development around the same time. Choosing one over the other will not delay the upgrade program. There will be a difference in price point I imagine.
Which engines are expected to go into the Su-57 Mk-2 then? If I'm not mistaken the development was completed in 2020 & bench trials commenced. It's supposed to be certified for operation somewhere in 2025-26.
 

randomradio

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I remember in 2017-18 the Russians made an offer to upgrade the Su-30MKI's engine to the 117 engine.

The Su-57 will use the 117 engine, or as the name now goes AL-41F-1. The Su-35's engine is the 117S engine officially named the AL-41F-1S. The 117S engine is a derivative of the 117 engine. Both engine have nearly the same dry thrust but the 117 produce 5 kN more on wet thrust (142 kN vs 147 kN).

Now I don't know which one was offered to us for the upgrade program. But it is one of those two. Both engines completed development around the same time. Choosing one over the other will not delay the upgrade program. There will be a difference in price point I imagine.

The one meant for the Su-30SM2 is 117S. The same has been offered to us.

117 is only on the first 24 Su-57s. Perhaps an initial lot of Checkmates as well. I don't think 117 is suitable for the Flankers. Or at least we have to pay for it out of our own pockets.
 

Gautam

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992, the last I heard.
Some were saying 1000. Well 992 is close enough.
I believe the goal for Mk1 was 160Km for a 2m2 target. That's 135Km for 1m2.
I forgot the exact number for 1 sq m I left it at >100 km.
Upgrade the MKIs with our own tech, buy a few squadrons of Su-57 as the alternative.
Then even with stealth jets IAF's inventory will remain a zoo. 😑
Or we could even go for a mix. Buy Russian stuff for the 50 jets they delivered as flyaway. Upgrade the remaining with Indian stuff.
The 50 MKI's under negotiation ? That is a better alternative than going for Su-57s.
 

Hydra

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Then even with stealth jets IAF's inventory will remain a zoo. 😑
Only if we go for US stealth jet along with SU57. If i am not wrong, su57 is a heavy class (so called stealth), there is a room for stealth heavy aircraft in IAF.
From where? The West?
From where else you will get an independent analysis? Also logically speaking, so far no working AESA radar is flying in any Russian jet.
 

randomradio

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Then even with stealth jets IAF's inventory will remain a zoo. 😑

The IAF is gonna be a zoo for a very long time. Only after 2040 we will start losing our zoo status, with just 4 types remaining. LCA, Rafale, AMCA and MKI. At worst we will have a stopgap import like Su-57 or F-35/NGAD or whatever.

The 50 MKI's under negotiation ? That is a better alternative than going for Su-57s.

You mean 12? That 50 is just a Russian offer.

The IAF's gonna have to take a call whether the Rafale is enough to fill the gap between 2025 and 2040, before AMCA Mk2 arrives in numbers, or they need a stopgap 5th gen. Which is why the IAF was experimenting with a small number of Su-57, at least 63, imported directly from Russia. So, even if those 50 new MKIs come in, the stopgap requirement's gonna be a separate call.

There's also the question of a stopgap between 2035 and 2050, when we will presumably induct something new to replace the MKIs, to match the Chinese 6th gen jet post the J-20, which should become operational by 2035. So an AMCA Mk3 or an upgraded Su-57 or FCAS/Tempest. Personally, I don't believe we will be a fully independent aerospace power until the time the MKIs begin replacement.

IMHO, we gotta completely Indianise the MKI MLU. And we can buy 60 fully customised Su-57s with the Indianised MKI avionics for pretty much the same price as those overpriced 50 MKIs, since the Su-57s will come in via the new exchange rate.
 
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randomradio

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Funding the AMCA alone is troublesome, not the Su-57 too.

We are funding the MKI MLU already, even AMCA. All we gotta do it customise the Su-57 with pretty much the same avionics. The MKIsation costs are not a lot since we only need to adapt existing tech to the FGFA's internals. So we get a deal done by 2025-26, it's gonna be a 6-year effort to get our first two jets, with most of the 60 jets available by 2035, in time to meet the Chinese 6th gen.

Of course, we can screw all that and just buy the Russian one with basic customisation, like we did with the Rafales. Either case, it will enter service between 2030-35 and will serve our high end needs until the MKI replacement comes along by 2050.

Anyway, this is only if the IAF believes the Rafale isn't good enough for the job. 2025 to 2040 is way too long to have a capability hole. And there's a good chance even AMCA might not match up to the Chinese 6th gen. So the risk goes all the way to 2050.
 
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