India for last few years has been looking to upgrade its mainstay Su 30MKI fighter fleet under “Super Sukhoi” upgrade program to keep them modernized for next 20 years or so and some sense of urgency has been building up since now craft-type will turn 18 this year since its induction in 2002 but the technology is close to 25 years old now and has been in production without any changes.

HAL is expected to deliver the last batch of Su-30MKI ordered by IAF in March this year and, likely, IAF will also sign a contract for an additional 8 Su-30MKI as attrition replacement to the aircraft which were lost in last few years. IAF, HAL has begun talks with Rosoboronexport to upgrade its Avionics, Electronic warfare suites, Engine, and its Radar.

While Original plans were to order `Super Sukhoi’ upgrade for India’s Entire fleet of the front-line fighters which is a total of 272 combat aircraft due to budget concern and looking at the aging of few older air frames which were extensively used for training a larger batch of pilots, as per sources close to, first 50 Russian-produced Su-30MKIs inducted in 2002 might not get this upgrades and IAF instead might plan to retire them by 2035 onwards.

While it is almost certain that under the `Super Sukhoi’ upgrade program, the Su-30MKI fleet might get New Wide Screen Touch displays with New Heads up display. Russia has offered India its Zhuk-AE AESA radar to replace 011M Bars and it’s AL-41F turbofan engines to replace Lyulka AL-31FP after-burning turbofan engines.

An advanced electronic warfare suite which is a derivative of the one used on the 5th Generation Su-57 fighter jet is also on offer. New upgraded Long Range Dual Band Infrared Imaging Search and Track System (IRST) for SU-30 MKI which can detect ultra-stealthy aircraft are also planned.

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