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SOURCE: VISHAL KARPE / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG

IAF’s much delayed modernizing plans for its Su-30MKI fleet standardized with the generation 4++ Su-35 fighter and also prolong its service life will get the much-needed boost after Indian Defense Ministry restarted Deep upgrade talks of the fleet with Russia’s Defense Ministry, after Russia shared its road map to upgrade its Sukhoi Su-30SM fighter jet based on baseline IAF’s Su-30MKI with India.

Russia’s Defense Ministry has decided to Heavily upgrade it’s Sukhoi Su-30SM fighter jet in line with its Su-35 fighter so has to cut the operating cost of this aircraft by standardizing the airborne weapon systems, onboard equipment and change of engine to AL-41F-1S engines from current AL-31FP engine to bring fleet similarity with Su-35 fleet.

Su-30SM upgraded jets will have the same layout of the onboard radio-electronic equipment as seen in Su-35 fleet, Su-30SM will also get new onboard equipment borrowed from Su-35 which will increase the range of detecting and identifying air targets capabilities of the Su-30SM. Change of current AL-31FP engine to AL-41F-1S engines will also see a jump of 19kN thrust with afterburners further improving multirole super maneuverability of the Su-30SM aircraft.

IAF to had its share of complaints regarding AL-31FP engines manufactured by State-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) but engine swap will mean additional cost for India which will be much more than of Russia since IAF has a larger fleet of AL-31FP engine powered Su-30MKI fleet then Russian Su-30SM fleet which is relatively still small.

Indian officials will discuss the Road map of the Su-30SM Upgrade with their Russian counterparts in the Defense Ministry and will see how it can be implemented into India’s IAF’s Su-30MKI upgrade plans. previous ” Super-30″ Upgrade plans also had proposed to change the current phased array radar with an Ultra-Modern AESA Radar along with the integration of other locally developed avionics and sub-systems to remove the technological obsolescent in the Su-30MKI fleet which is already in the 18th year of its service life since its induction in 2001.

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