Source : Indian Defence Analysis
Indian Air Force Sukhoi Growler spotted during Exercise Ranvijay
The Battle domain of air superiority has shifted from dog fights and BVR combat to dominance in the electromagnetic spectrum. The air force which is able to dominate the electromagnetic spectrum will win the war. This is where the fighters like USA’s EA-18G and Chinese J-16D plays a crucial role. These electronic warfare fighters have four primary roles.
First, Detect the electronic emissions – this could be a ship radar, a SAM radar or even emissions from a cruise missile. Second, Jam the electronic emissions – It can JAM everything what it sees. Third, Fool the enemy sensors – there are various methods to present enemy sensors with spoofing emissions. For example, two EA-18G can make themselves appear like an entire strike package of aircraft. Fourth, Attack radars – It can attack Ship or SAM defence systems with Anti-Radiation Missiles like the HARM and AARGM.
#Ex-RanVijay was conducted in UB Hills and CAC AoR from 16-23 Jun 23, wherein full spectrum Ops by all combat assets by day & night were carried out. The focus was on Integrated Ops while optimally exploiting EW capabilities of #IAF. pic.twitter.com/jmnpZe9NwA
Indian Air Force has also been rapidly modernizing its electronic warfare capabilities and same was witnessed during the recent aerial exercise of Air Force.
From 16th to 23rd June 2023, Indian Air force has conducted Exercise Ran Vijay. In this exercise the Indian Air Force has conducted full spectrum Operations using its all combat assets in day & night. The exercise was aimed at Integrated Operations & optimally exploiting EW capabilities of IAF.
In the images shared by IAF’s Central Air Command we can see Su-30 MKIs with its EW payloads regarding which we are going to discuss in detail in today’s video.
SU-30 MKI as EW fighter
First, let’s try to understand, SU-30 MKIs strike package as an EW aircraft. In this role the fighter jet needs 2 jammer pods at wing tip, 2 high band jammer pods and one low band jammer pods similar to the configuration of EA-18G. It will also need an advance Radar Warning receiver, SATCOM antenna and communication countermeasures set (CCS) antenna. Since it is an EW aircraft, it needs to carry an Anti-Radiation Missile like Rudram-I and optionally Astra MK-1 for BVR combat.
The SU-30 MKI in the Growlerski configuration can counter enemy air defenses using both reactive and pre-emptive jamming techniques. It is also highly effective in the traditional stand-off jamming mission and is confidently capable of defending itself with the variety of air-to-air missile.
The SAP-14 and SAP-518 are Russian jamming pods whereas Dhruti has been developed indigenously by DRDO.
The SAP-518 is an extremely powerful jammer and its primary mission is to jam advanced air defenses during ground attack missions & imitating electronic signatures of various aircraft while generating false targets within enemy sensors. The SAP-518 covers NATO surface-to-air and air-to-air threats in the G-J bands and is deployed in two underwing or wingtip pods. It is deployed as a pair of wingtip pods.
The Su-30 MKI can also carry SAP-14 pods on its centerline which provide escort jamming capabilities for larger groups of aircraft.
Installed on a single aircraft along with the SAP-14 jamming pod is considered similar to the United States ALQ-99 jamming system installed on the EA-6B Prowler and EA-18G Growler electronic attack aircraft.
IAF calculates that the Su-30MKI’s thrust-vectoring engines and its pilots’ superior training and resultant air combat proficiency, in combination with the formidable SAP-14/SAP-518 self-protection/escort jamming systems, would allow the aircraft to deny its opponents a hard kill while closing range with them sufficiently to enable the effective use of its own air-to-air missiles.
Because the SAP-14/SAP-518 jammers constrain the aircraft’s aerodynamic performance in many ways, the IAF has often used the EL/L-8222 self-protection jammer with the Su-30MKI, while continuing to look for smaller, but more advanced, systems.
DARE has also developed a High Band Jammer (HBJ) pod for SU-30MKI aircraft to be carried at the wingtips. The HBJ can replace the SAP-518 jamming pods in SU-30 MKIs. HBJ is expected to have better integration with the RWR on board than the existing Russian SAP-518 pods.
DARE has also started working on Advanced Self Protection Jammer (ASPJ) which will feature Gallium Nitride based solid-state active electronically scanned array (AESA) jammer transmitters along with Digital Radio Frequency Memory (DRFM). The DRFM jammers are known for severely degrading adversaries’ radars and missile seekers. ASPJ is going to be a single POD unlike HBJ which is dual pod. This POD is going to be the next generation POD for upcoming 4.5th & 5th generation fighters of Indian Airforce.
The SU-30 MKIs overall capabilities enable the fighter jet to be used for coordinated targeting, in which some fighters can illuminate the opponent while other can fire the missiles by being unseen and their radar signals turned off. The heavy and diverse payload the Su-30MKI coupled with its excellent self-defense capabilities, and extended operating radius makes it a superb strike fighter capable of carrying out a range of offensive and defensive missions—either in small formations or in larger force packages. Indian Air Force Sukhoi Growler spotted during Exercise Ranvijay Indian Air Force Sukhoi Growler spotted during Exercise Ranvijay Indian Air Force Sukhoi Growler spotted during Exercise Ranvijay Indian Air Force Sukhoi Growler spotted during Exercise Ranvijay Indian Air Force Sukhoi Growler spotted during Exercise Ranvijay Indian Air Force Sukhoi Growler spotted during Exercise Ranvijay Indian Air Force Sukhoi Growler spotted during Exercise Ranvijay Indian Air Force Sukhoi Growler spotted during Exercise Ranvijay Indian Air Force Sukhoi Growler spotted during Exercise Ranvijay Indian Air Force Sukhoi Growler spotted during Exercise Ranvijay IgMp