Rus­sian Air Force Keen to Ex­change “Sukhoi” Com­bat Ex­pe­ri­ence with IAF

India Strategic - - MAKS 2017 - – Vi­nay Shukla

ZHUKOVSKY, MOSCOW. The Rus­sian Aero­space Force is keen to share its Syria com­bat ex­pe­ri­ence with the Ind ian Air Force (IAF) which has the rich­est op­er­a­tional ex­pe­ri­ence in fly­ing Su30MKI, a top de­fence of­fi­cial told In­dia Strate­gic on side­lines of the MAKS-2017 In­ter­na­tional Aero­space Show. The Rus­sian Aero­space Force is widely us­ing Sukhoi’s Su-30SM - a lo­calised ver­sion of Su-30MKI in the Syria cam­paign.

“Of course! We are keen to swap ex­pe­ri­ence. We al­ways keep con­tact with the In­dian col­leagues; we have an in­ter­gov­ern­men­tal com­mis­sion, which on our side is headed by our De­fence Min­is­ter Sergei Shoigu. We con­stantly meet and dis­cuss the is­sues of mu­tual in­ter­est. As for the Su-30SM, it showed very well and in Syria and is very well proven in com­bat, and Su-35 also,” Rus­sian Deputy De­fence Min­is­ter Gen­eral Yuri Borisov said.

Su-30MKI was jointly de­vel­oped by Sukhoi and Hin­dus­tan Aero­nau­tics Lim­ited (HAL) to meet the spe­cific re­quire­ments of the IAF and was in­ducted in 2000. Im­pressed by its per­for­mance en­velop the Rus­sian De­fence Min­istry only 12 years later or­dered first batch of 30 Su- 30SM with Rus­sian avion­ics and sen­sors, a vari­ant of MKI sans French, Is­raeli avion­ics for the IAF. As of July 2017, the Rus­sian Aero­space Forces have 70 Su-30SMs as com­pared to IAF’s 200 odd Su-30MKIs and the In­dian pi­lots over a decade longer ex­pe­ri­ence of op­er­at­ing this air­craft.

In Septem­ber In­dia and Rus­sia are hold­ing their first ever Tri-Ser­vices war games in far east­ern parts of Rus­sia, which would also in­volve Su-30SM multi-role fight­ers.

“SU­PER SUKHOI” PROJECT YET TO TAKE-OFF

In­dia is yet to take a fi­nal call on the Rus­sian of­fer to up­grade its ex­ist­ing Su-30MKI fleet to make it at par with Su-35, an air­craft “very close” to the fifth gen­er­a­tion fighter, a se­nior of­fi­cial of Rus­sia’s Rostec de­fence in­dus­try con­glom­er­ate said.

“As far as I know the is­sue was raised at talks be­tween Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin and Prime Min­is­ter Modi in St. Pe­ters­burg last month. The In­dian Prime Min­is­ter said that the In­dian side needs more time to eval­u­ate its strat­egy of de­vel­op­ment and how to spend money,” Rostec’s Di­rec­tor of In­ter­na­tional Co­op­er­a­tion and Re­gional Pol­icy Vic­tor Kladov said re­spond­ing to In­dia Strate­gic on the side­lines of the MAKS-2017 In­ter­na­tional Aero­space Show. Ear­lier, at Aero In­dia 2017 Air Show in Ban­ga­lore in Fe­bru­ary HAL CMD T. Su­varna Raju had told that a fi­nal de­ci­sion on “Su­per Sukhoi” will be taken within 90 days. Mr Kladov, who had led the Rus­sian del­e­ga­tion to Ban­ga­lore, had ex­ten­sive talks on the is­sue with se­nior IAF and HAL of­fi­cials on the side­lines of Aero In­dia 2017.

“We are of­fer­ing a pack­age for mod­ernising the Su- 30MKI air­craft. It will ob­tain new ca­pa­bil­i­ties; it will be very close to the fifth gen­er­a­tion air­craft in ca­pa­bil­i­ties. This is a deep mod­erni­sa­tion, every­thing should be changed - en­gine, com­put­ers, radar etc.,” he said.

The up­graded Su­per Sukhois will in­clude a mod­ernised cock­pit, AESA radar and will have ad­vanced stealth ca­pa­bil­i­ties. “The In­dian Air Force has to eval­u­ate its strat­egy and then take a de­ci­sion,” Mr Kladov said.

Su-30SM multi-role fighter of the Rus­sian Air Force

Su-30MKI of the IAF: to be up­graded un­der the Su­per Sukhoi Project

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