Sukhoi Su-30 K/MK/MKI

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Origin: Russia.

NATO Codename: Flanker.

Type: Two seat, multi-role, long range, fighter-bomber.

Current versions in IAF service:
MKI; Dual-seater, full multi-role capability.
MK-1; Dual-seater, long-range interceptor.
K; Dual-seater, limited multi-role capability. Phased Out

Numbers Procured: 50 MKI to be delivered by Russia
…………………………140 to be produced by HAL Ozhar
…………………….40 more to be assembled by HAL Ozhar (Ordered Feb 2007)

Direct Deliveries from Russia
……………1st-8th Ac ,Su-30Ks (SB-001 to SB-008) inducted on 11 June 1997 (Now Withdrawn from Service)
……………9th-18th Ac ,Su-30MKs (SB-009 to SB-018) inducted later (Now Withdrawn from Service)
……………19-28th Ac, first MKIs (SB-019 to SB-028) inducted on 27 Sept 2002
……………29-40th ac, all Su-30 MKIs, (SB-029 to SB-040) delivered in 2004
……………41-50th ac, Su-30 MKIs (SB-041 to SB-050) delivered 2007

HAL Manufacture
……………1st Ac , a Su-30MKI (SB-102) formally handed over to IAF in 29th Nov 2004
……………SB-122 noted in Tezpur in June 2009 (Press Release)

Units Equipped:
……………………No.24 Squadron “Hawks” (Su-30MKI)
……………………No.20 Squadron “Lightnings” (Su-30MKI)
……………………No.30 Squadron “Rhinos” (Su-30MKI)
……………………No.8 Squadron “Pursoots” (Su-30MKI)
……………………No.31 Squadron “Lions” (Su-30MKI) 
……………………No.221 Squadron “Desert Tigers” (Su-30MKI)
……………………No.102 Squadron “Trisonics” (Su-30MKI)
……………………No.106 Squadron “Lynx” (Su-30MKI)

Crew: Two in tandem seating on KD-36DM ejection seats. Rear seat raised for better visibility.

Engine: Su-30K/MK-1; Two AL-31F turbofans, each rated at 12,500 kgf (27,550 lbs) of full afterburning thrust.
……….Su-30MKI; Two AL-31FP turbofans, each rated at 12,500 kgf (27,550 lbs) of full afterburning thrust.

Engine Thrust-To-Weight Ratio: 8.7:1

Maximum Speed: At sea level – 1350 km/h.
…………………..Above 11,000 meters – Mach 2+

Service Ceiling: 17,500 meters.

Climb Rate: 230 m/s; 45,300 ft/min.

Maximum Range: The Su-30MKI with a single in-flight re-fuelling can go a distance of 8000 km; (~5000 miles). The maximum flight duration can be 10 hours –> in terms of the crew capabilities. The Su-30K/MK-1 with a normal fuel load of 5270 kg (~11,620 lbs.) can go a distance of 3000 km (~1900 miles) and with an in-flight re-fuelling the aircraft go a distance of 5200 km (3231 miles).

G Limit: +9.

Armament: The aircraft is fitted with a 30mm GSh-301 single-barrel gun which has a firing rate of 1500 – 1800 rds/min or 25 – 30 rds/sec. The gun has a maximum effective range of 1200 – 1800 meters (3937 – 5906 feet) against air targets and 200 – 800 meters (656 – 2625 feet) against ground targets. Has 170 rounds capacity with 150 rounds loaded. Can carry a variety of ordnance on 12 hard points, which can be increased to 14 by using multi-payload racks. For air-superiority missions, the Su-30MKI can carry air-to-air missiles, like the close-combat R-60MK and R-73RDM2 (up to six), the medium-range R-27RE1/TE1 (up to six/two) and the long-range R-77RVV-AE (up to six).

For surface-strike missions, the Su-30MKI can be armed with air-to-surface missiles like the Kh-25MP, Kh-29L/T (up to six), Kh-31A/P (up to six) and Kh-59/59M (up to two), as well as KAB-500KR/KAB-500OD (up to six) and KAB-1500KR/KAB-1500L (up to three) high-precision bombs which can be fitted with either laser or television guidance systems. Over 70 versions of guided and unguided weapon stores may be employed, which allows the aircraft to fly the most diverse tactical missions. The Su-30 can also carry a tactical nuclear payload.

Maximum External Stores Load: 8000 kg; 17,600 lbs. Max Take Off Wt: 34,500 kg. (38500 kg unconfirmed)

Self Defence: An integrated ECM system turns on the warning units that provide signals about incoming enemy missiles, a new generation radio recon set, active jamming facilities and radar & heat decoys. It also includes an electronic intelligence unit, a chaff and flare dispenser and a RWR system. Reportedly, the RWR system is an indigenous product developed by DRDO. The system is a modified version of the new RWR to be fitted on the upgraded MiG-21bis, known as the MiG-21UPG, and goes by the name Tarang.

Design Features: The first batch of eight Su-30MK-1s (SB 001 – SB 008), delivered to the IAF, have evolved from the Su-27K long range interceptor, a two-seat fighter derivative of the Su-27PU, which in itself is a two-seat fighter derivative of the Su-27UB trainer. These aircraft have the standard Su-27 radar, an in-flight refuelling capability, limited air-to-ground capability and a data-link system. The second batch, originally built to fulfill a cancelled Indonesian order, of ten Su-30Ks (SB 009 – SB 018) have limited PGM (Precision Guided Munitions) capability. The specifications below relate to the final Su-30MKI variant, unless specified otherwise.

Avionics: The Su-30MKI features an all-weather, digital multi-mode, dual frequency, forward facing NIIP N-011M radar which has a 350 km search range and a 200 km tracking range. The radar can track and engage 20 targets and engage the 8 most threatening simultaneously. These targets can include cruise/ballistic missiles and even motionless helicopters. The radar is combined with a helmet mounted sight system, which allows the pilot to turn his head in a 90º field of view, lock on to a target and launch the TVC-capable R-73RDM2 missile. The radar’s forward hemisphere is ±90º in azimuth and ±55º in elevation. The N-011M ensures a 20 metre resolution detection of large sea targets at a distance up to 400 km, and of small size ones – at a distance of 120 km.

In March 1998, the IAF signed a contract with the French electronics manufacturer, Sextant Avionique, to add six liquid colour displays, five MFD 55s and one MFD 66, for both the pilot and his WSO (Weapons System Officer), the Totem inertial guidance system with the GPS technology and the VEH 3000 holographic HUD. Officials from Sexatant have acknowledged that they have already validated the GPS system on Sukhoi aircraft. The six LCDs have a wide-screen and are shielded to make it readable even in bright sunlight. All the flight information is displayed on these four LCD displays which include one for piloting and navigation, a tactical situation indicator, and two for display systems information including operating modes and overall operation status. The aircraft is fitted with a satellite navigation system, which permits it to make flights in all weathers; day and night. The navigation complex comprises an inertial directional system and short- and long-range radio navigation systems. It also has a laser attitude and a heading reference system. An automatic flight control system makes all phases of its flight automatic, including the combat employment of its weapons.

Comments: The Indian Air Force (IAF) signed a $1.8 billion deal with Sukhoi on 30 November 1996 for the delivery of 40 Su-30 aircraft from the Irkutsk plant in phased manner, spread out over four years – from 1997 to 2000. In September 1998, the IAF signed a deal for 10 additional Su-30s, originally destined for Indonesia, and thus bring the total number of Su-30s on order to 50. An article by Jon Lake in the June 2001 issue of Air International has gone a long way in removing discrepancies and questions about the deal and the delivery status of the aircraft. Some of that information has been reproduced below.

Under the original deal signed, the first batch of eight aircraft (Standard Su-27Ks, also known as Su-30MK-Is) would be delivered in 1997 and would be used primarily for training purposes. The second batch of eight aircraft (Su-30MK-IIs) would be delivered in 1998 and would be fitted with Sextant Avionique’s avionics from France, liquid crystal multi-function displays (MFDs), a new flight data recorder, a dual ring laser gyro INS (inertial navigation system) with embedded GPS (Global Positioning Satellite), EW (Electronic Warfare) equipment procured from Israel’s IAI (Israeli Aircraft Industries), a new electro-optical targeting system and a RWR (Radar Warning Receiver). The third batch of twelve aircraft (Su-30MK-IIIs) would be delivered in 1999 and would feature canard fore-planes and the last twelve aircraft (Su-30MK-IVs, also known as Su-30MKIs) would be delivered in 2000 and would add the single-axis, thrust-vectoring AL-31FP turbofans. The first 32 aircraft delivered would then be upgraded to the Su-30MKI variant, in a phased manner.

The first deliveries of Su-30MK-1s arrived in kits at Lohegoan AFB in March 1997, where they were assembled and were formally inducted into the No.24 Squadron on 11 June 1997 by the then-incumbent Prime Minister, Inder Kumar Gujral. Ten Su-30K aircraft, which was originally destined for Indonesia, was delivered in November 1999. The Su-30Ks have updated electronic warfare suites, PGM (Precision Guided Munitions) capability and possibly updated radar. Sukhoi, as per contract, was supposed to deliver the next batch of eight (Su-30MK-IIs) aircraft in 1998. Delivery was however postponed, because only in March 1998 did the IAF specify the requirements for the advanced avionics and signed the agreements with the respective companies. The ordinate delays finally led to the decision to have all future deliveries of the aircraft in the full MKI standard. In mid-2002, ten Su-30MKI aircraft were finally delivered in completely-knocked down kits to Lohegaon AFS. These aircraft were formally inducted into the No.20 Squadron on 27 September 2002. Upgrades of the first 18 aircraft (eight Su-30MK-1 and 10 Su-30K) is to be conducted at one of HAL’s facilities located across the country, expected to begin in 2003 and to be completed by 2004/05.

In October 2000, a MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) was signed confirming the license production of 140+ Su-30MKIs and in December 2000, the deal was sealed at Russia’s Irkutsk aircraft plant, with full technology transfer. The first Su-30MKIs from Nasik are to be delivered from 2004, with the original plan of carrying production up to 2017-18. However in November 2002, it was decided that the delivery schedule would be completed within ten years – by 2014 – by increasing the annual rate of production from 10 to 14 aircraft annually. An estimated 920 AL-31FP turbofans are to be manufactured at HAL’s Koraput Division, while the mainframe and other accessories are to be manufactured at HAL’s Divisions in Lucknow and Hyderabad. Final integration of the aircraft and its test flight are to be carried out at HAL’s Nasik Division.

In February 2007, it was reported that India had placed an additional order for 40 more Sukhois – which will be assembled by HAL. Two of these aircraft were delivered by January 2009.



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