India and Russia on Friday signed two key agreements for long-term maintenance and technical support for Russian-made Su-30MKI fighter jets of the Indian Air Force and now details have emerged of the major upgrade planned for the Indian Air Force (IAF) Su-30MKI fleet next by HAL and Russia.

Under Super-30 Upgrade program IAF’s Su-30MKI will be upgraded to Su-35+ standards which will be far superior to the Su-35 currently been operated by Russian and Chinese Airforce.

Super-30 Upgrade program will feature a modernised cockpit, along with an active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, plus advanced avionics and sensors. AESA Radar will be Plug and Play based on Open Architecture which means India will be able to integrate Meteor, Astra BVRAAM and other weapons of western origin to make IAF’s Su-30MKI independent from Russian-origin weapons.

Russia’s United Engine Corporation has offered the AL-41F-1S turbofan to re-engine IAF Su-30MKIs.The AL-41F-1S engine is currently powering Su-35 and offers 18% additional thrust and also offers easy maintenance. Both AL-41F-1S and Saturn AL-31F currently fitted in the Su-30MKI are similar in dimension and will not require changes to the airframe or to the engine bay.

Super-30 Upgrade program will so see multi-purpose Su-30MKI fighter jet to be used as main strike component of the modern Indian Air Force (IAF) with the integration of BrahMos supersonic cruise missile, Nirbhay Subsonic cruise missile and new Shorter Air launched Subsonic cruise missile currently in development.

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