Head of Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation has confirmed that 110+ fleet of Su-30SM inducted by Russian Air Force will be swapped with Saturn AL-41F-1S turbofan engines from existing Salyut AL-31FP to maintain commonality with Su-35S fleet and a study to modify and integrate AL-41F-1S engines into Su-30SM fleet already has been approved and AL-41F-1S turbofan engines reportedly also has been offered to Indian air force on Su-30MKI fleet upon which Su-30SM was based on.

Russian Air Force has decided that fresh batch of 36 Su-30SM fighter jets will come equipped with AL-41F-1S engines which roughly translates into an additional power of 19kN (4271lbs) thrust per engine opening up the potential for future avionics upgrades such as a new radar, electronic countermeasures, additional weapons load capabilities and boost to the thrust-to-weight ratio of the fighter aircraft.

AL-41F1S is heavy upgraded AL-31F engine which entered in service with Su-35s fighter jet which is in service with Russian and Chinese air force and also on offer to India under MMRCA 2.0 tender for 114 units of fighter jets. According to Industrial sources close to, Service issues of AL-31FP which has been notified to Russian engine makers by Indian Air Force have reached a stage that minor fixes no more can fix all the issues raised by IAF and Russia has offered AL-41F1S which they claim faces no such issues and comes with years of reliability while equipped on Su-35S fleet.

Swapping AL-31FP engines with AL-41F1S will mean that Su-30MKI will have additional electrical power available for future avionics upgrades such as a new or upgraded AESA radar and also improve overall kinematic performance by some margin. If India ends up buying Su-35S fighter jets then it will also maintain commonality with Su-30MKIs. India and Russia are yet to complete finalization of Super 30 upgrade program under which the whole fleet of 270+ Su-30MKIs fleet in Indian Air Force will get hosts of new improved avionics and weapons package along with new AESA Radar.

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