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Sukhoi fighter jet: IAF’s Sukhoi fighter jets to get a Rs 60,000 crore booster: Here are all the upgrades for the new Su-30MKI

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Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), supported by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), has secured approval from the defence ministry for a major upgrade of the Su-30MKI fighter jet fleet. This Rs 60,000 crore project aims to bolster the aircraft’s capabilities through the integration of new radars, mission control systems, electronic warfare capabilities, and weapon systems.

Private Sector Participation and Indigenous Upgrades

HAL Chairman and Managing Director CB Ananthakrishnan confirmed that the project would see significant involvement from the private sector, with HAL acting as the lead integrator for the upgrade. The project is divided into two phases, focusing initially on installing new avionics and radars, followed by enhancements to the flight control systems.

“The upgrade will see significant private sector participation, with HAL as the lead integrator,” CMD of HAL CB Ananthakrishnan said.

What are Sukhoi-30MKI’s Key Upgrades

This project reflects India’s commitment to self-reliance in defence manufacturing, as indigenous systems will replace several Russian-origin components. Key upgrades include the installation of a new indigenous radar system, enhancing target detection and engagement capabilities. Additionally, the aircraft will be equipped with a new electronic warfare system to counter incoming threats and disrupt enemy communication.

Enhanced Targeting CapabilitiesIntegration of indigenous infrared search and track systems will significantly improve air-to-air and air-to-ground targeting capabilities. The Air Force is set to commence work on integrating the new systems within the year, with approximately 90 fighters slated for upgrade in the initial phase, all to be conducted in India.Global Market Potential

With over 600 Su-27/30 type aircraft manufactured globally, countries like Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Algeria present a significant export market for these upgrades. India’s initial order of 272 Su-30MKI jets from Russia forms the backbone of the Air Force’s fighter fleet, with an additional order for 12 jets cleared last year.

Defence Acquisition Council Approval

The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), led by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, granted Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) for the indigenous upgrade of Su-30 MKI Aircraft by state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).

Future Upgrades and Russia’s Involvement

The Su-30MKI fleet has been undergoing continuous upgrades for over a decade, integrating new weapons and sensors. Indigenous additions to Su-30MKI weaponry include BrahMos and Astra air-to-air missiles, with further integration anticipated involving new generation anti-radiation missiles (NGARMs).

  • Installation of a new indigenous radar system to enhance target detection and engagement capabilities
  • Addition of a new electronic warfare system to counter incoming threats and disrupt enemy communication
  • Integration of indigenous infrared search and track systems to improve air-to-air and air-to-ground targeting capabilities

What is the new engine for Su-30MKI?

Russia has persistently urged India to consider the AL-41F-1S engine for the Sukhoi-30MKI fleet. The AL-41F-1S engine boasts a thrust of 142.2 kN, a notable improvement compared to the current AL-31FP engines with 122.6 kN of thrust.

The upgrade of the Su-30MKI fighter jet fleet represents a significant step towards enhancing India’s defence capabilities and achieving self-reliance in defence manufacturing. The project’s successful execution is expected to strengthen India’s position in the global defence market while ensuring the operational readiness of the Air Force’s fighter fleet.

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