Sukhoi Su-30MKI

Sukhoi Su-30MKI

Infobox Aircraft
name= Su-30MKI
type= Air Superiority Fighter, Multirole Fighter, Heavy Class Fighter, Long Range Fighter, Strike Fighter
crew= 2
manufacturer= Sukhoi & HAL

caption= Su-30MKI in Service with the Indian Air Force
first flight= 1 July 1997
introduced= 27 September 2002
status= Active service
primary user= Indian Air Force
more users=
number built= Active: 116 Planned: 230
unit cost= US$47 million
developed from= Sukhoi Su-30
variants with their own articles= Sukhoi Su-35

The Sukhoi Su-30 MKI [MKI stands for Russian "Modernizirovannyi Kommercheskiy Indiski" (Cyrillic: Модернизированный Коммерческий Индийский), "Modernized Commercial for India".] (NATO reporting name Flanker-H) is a variant of the Sukhoi Su-30, jointly-developed by Russia's Sukhoi Corporation and India's HAL for the Indian Air Force. It is a heavy class, long-range, multi-role, air superiority fighter and strike fighter. The variant also consists of French, Israeli and Indian subsystems. The MKI variant is a much more advanced fighter jet than the basic K and MK variants and is considered a 4.5 generation fighter. [ [ The Telegraph - Calcutta : Opinion ] ] [ [ Su-30MKI ] ] Due to similar features and components, the MKI variant is often considered to be a customized Indian variant of the Sukhoi Su-35. [ A close cousin of the SU-30 MKI is the Malaysian version, the SU-30 MKK Sukhoi Su-30 MKK.] [ [ Su-35 / Su-37 Super Flanker Multirole Fighter] ] Su-30MKI showed its class last at the Indra dhanush 2007 where it was fielded against the Eurofighter Typhoon

Su-30 MKI overview

The Su-30MKI version is a development of the Su-27 series. Though a variant of Su-30, the Su-30 MKI is more advanced than the basic Su-30 or the Chinese Su-30 MKK aircraft. Its avionics, aerodynamic features and components are similar to the Su-35. [ [ Su-35 / Su-37 Super Flanker Multirole Fighter] ] This variant has significant upgrades on it from the basic Su-30 MK version. The aircraft was jointly designed by Russia's Sukhoi and India's HAL.

India exercised its Su-30MKIs against the Royal Air Force's Tornado ADVs in October 2006. [cite news | first=Rajat | last=Pandit | coauthors= | title=Sukhois 'splash' UK Tornados over Gwalior | date=14 Oct 2006 | publisher= | url = | work =Times of India | pages = | accessdate = 2007-07-11 | language = ] This was the first large scale exercise with any foreign air force in which the IAF used its Su-30MKI's extensively. This exercise was also the first in 43 years with the RAF. In July 2007, the IAF'S Sukhoi-30MKI'S were pitted against RAF Eurofighter Typhoon's . [ [ Exercise Indra Dhanush 07, RAF Waddington] ]


*Canard Foreplanes: Canards are installed to increase lifting effectiveness and enhance manoeuvrability of the aircraft, They are deflected automatically to ensure controllable flight at high angles-of-attack.
*Thrust Vectoring Control (TVC): The 2D TVC makes an aircraft highly maneuverable. The aircraft is capable of near-zero airspeed at high angles of attack and dynamic aerobatics in negative speeds up to 200 km/h. Su-30MKI becomes the world's first TVC equipped operational fighter aircraft. According to "Jane's all the World's Aircraft", India has the option to upgrade the engine with AL-31FP, which employs fuel manipulation to provide a pseudo 3D TVC (asymmetric 2D TVC), resulting in greater maneuverability. The IAF's 20- Lightining squadron has the distinction of being the first air force squadron in the world, to induct TVC fighters at the operational level.
*The N011-M Bars is the most powerful Russian passive phased array Radar (PESA) radar on any exported fighter aircraft. The passive phased array Radar Irbis-E [ [ The Shifting Balance of Regional Air Power (Passage Radar)] ] [ [ N135 Irbis Fire Control Radar;] ] [ [ Irbis-E] ] will make its debut by 2010, when the first totally-built Su-30MKI will roll out from HAL Nasik.
*A multi-national avionics complex sourced from Russia, France, Israel and India which includes Display, Navigation, Targeting and Electronic warfare systems.
*The Su-30 MKI has a maximum range, with one in-flight refuelling, of 8000 km. The Su-30MK and Su-30MK-1 have a maximum range, with one in-flight refuelling, of 5200 km (35% less than MKI variant).

More than 50 Su-30 MKI aircraft are currently serving in the IAF (The first squadron of Su-30MK aircraft has been taken out of service for upgrading to MKI standard), and belong to different batches- Mk.1, Mk.2 and Mk.3.

230 Su-30 MKIs, of Mk.3 standards and beyond, are expected to be in service by 2014.


After 2 years of evaluation and negotiations, in 1996, India decided to purchase Su-30 aircraft. India signed a US $1.462 billion deal with Sukhoi on 30 November 1996 for the delivery of 40 Su-30 aircraft. These aircraft were to be delivered in three batches. The first batch were 10 Su-30K or Su-30MK, the basic version of Su-30. The second batch were to be 8 Su-30MK with French and Israeli avionics. The third batch were to be 10 Su-30MKs featuring canard foreplanes. The fourth and final batch Su-30MKIs of 12 aircraft were to have the AL-31FP turbofans. Eventually, India will license produce up to 140 Su-30MKI domestically. After the delivery of the first batch, the second batch was delayed for unknown reasons. Thus it was decided to take delivery of full-standard Su-30MKIs. IAF decided to buy 10 additional Su-30Ks which were originally destined for Indonesia. The first batch of 8 Su-30Ks and these 10 additional Su-30Ks were to be upgraded in India by HAL.

In 2000, an agreement was signed allowing the license production of 140 Su-30MKIs in India. The deal combines license production with full technology transfer and hence is called a 'Deep License'. The MKI production is being done in four Phases, Phase I, II, III and IV respectively. The original plan called for the MKI production to be complete by 2018. While Phase I would see complete aircraft shipped to India, and reassembled, Phase II would see MKI's manufactured from SKD (Semi Knocked Down) kits, whereas Phase III would have MKI's made from CKD (Completely Knocked Down) assemblies as well as Indian made aggregates. Phase IV would see MKI's made from local raw materials, with locally manufactured systems (upwards of 90%).

However, the IAF's declining fleet levels had the MKI production reoriented, and the timeframe compressed by 4 years, with production to be complete by 2014. Hence to quickly reach the production numbers, the Russian side (Irkut) would supply a larger number of aircraft in SKD and CKD form than originally estimated.

Hence, the number of aircraft to be assembled in Phases II and III was expanded, and the number of airframes in Phase IV compressed. HAL continues to invest in MKI production facilities for Phase IV production. This includes MKI specific avionics at HAL Korwa and Lucknow and MKI engines at Koraput, whereas other MKI parts such as airframe, canards et al are being manufactured by HAL and private partners. HAL Nasik, in Maharashtra state, is the lead Program manager of the MKI and aircraft are integrated, test flown and delivered to the Indian Air Force at the city.

This decision also addressed points raised by the Indian Auditor General, that Indian made MKI's could be more expensive than the Russian made ones.

By 2014, HAL will be able to manufacture upwards of 90% of the MKI inhouse, but certain components will continue to be imported from Russia, on account of low rate requirements, which makes it uneconomical for India to manufacture these systems inhouse.

However, HAL's deep manufacture of the MKI is expected to allow MKI serviceability to remain high and ample spares stocks to be maintained over time. This decision was taken based on the lessons learnt from earlier programs. HAL is also acquiring technology for manufacturing items sourced from other Original Equipment Manufacturers, such as Sagem. in 2007 Sagem and HAL agreed to set up a Joint Venture in India to make Sagem's Sigma 95N Ring Laser Inertial Navigation Systems and service Automatic Flight control systems. [ [ Sagem and HAL Joint Venture] ] HAL had earlier ordered 100 Sigma 95N systems from Sagem for the MKI, LCA and other programs. [ [ Sagem Défense Sécurité : PRESS & EVENTS - Press releases ] ]

Recent reports indicate that Belarus is to buy the second hand 18 Su-30Ks from India [ [] .] Though a variant of Su-30, the Su-30 MKI is significantly more advanced than the Su-30 and its various other variants.

India signed a deal on Feb 2007 for purchase of another 40 Su-30MKI in light of the declining fleet levels of the Indian Air Force. These will be Mk3 standard aircraft. In light of the fully booked production facilities at HAL, and the IAF's desire for aircraft as soon as possible, a new arrangement was worked out for these 40 aircraft.

15 Aircraft will be provided complete, whereas another 15 will be provided partially assembled and will have to be integrated and tested in India. The remaining ten will be provided as partial kits, so that HAL can assemble them, also utilizing components which have already been mastered in India.

India will eventually acquire a total of 230 Su-30MKI with all these supplied by 2014.


The IAF has been exercising with other air forces like the USAF, French Air Force, Singapore Air Force, Israeli Air Force over the last couple of years and the most recent one being the exercise with the RAF's Tornados and Eurofighter Typhoons. Indra Dhanush Exercise 2007 featured advanced combatants on both sides. On one side is Britain's Eurofighter Typhoon, whose advanced aerodynamics and intuitive controls and avionics have led to studies like the UK DERA rating it as the second-best air superiority aircraft in the world. On the other side is India's SU-30MKI, the most evolved variant of Sukhoi's outstanding Flanker family, with aerodynamics that allow unique maneuvers, and full thrust vectoring besides. The british pilots where really impressed by the performance of the pilots and Su-30 MKIs.For the first time in July 2008, the IAF sent Su-30Mki's and aerial refuellers to participate in the red flag exercises, USAF pilots were impressed by the grand show put up by the SU-30MKI, with the chief of the excercise going on to say that IAF was one amongst the best forces to have taken part in the excercise till date. [ [ IAF’s first ever Participation in Exercise ‘Red Flag’] ]

Technical information

Pugachev's Cobra maneuver

The integrated aerodynamic configuration, combined with the thrust vectoring control ability, results in unprecedented maneuverability and unique takeoff and landing characteristics. Equipped with a digital fly-by-wire system, the Su-30MK is able to perform some very advanced maneuvers. They include the well-known Pugachev's Cobra and the Bell. While performing a somersault maneuver the aircraft makes 360-degree turn in the pitch plane without any loss of altitude. In the Controlled Flat Spin maneuver the aircraft performs several full turns in the horizontal plane, with zero forward speed, virtually on the spot.


The Su-30MKI is a highly integrated twin-finned aircraft. The airframe is constructed of titanium and high-strength aluminium alloys. The engine nacelles are fitted with trouser fairings to provide a continuous streamlined profile between the nacelles and the tail beams. The fins and horizontal tail consoles are attached to tail beams. The central beam section between the engine nacelles consists of the equipment compartment, fuel tank and the brake parachute container. The fuselage head is of semi-monocoque construction and includes the cockpit, radar compartments and the avionics bay.


Su-30MKI aerodynamic configuration is an unstable longitudinal triplane. The canard increases the aircraft lifting ability and deflects automatically to allow high angle-of-attack (AoA) flights. The integral aerodynamic configuration combined with thrust vectoring results in extremely capable maneuverability, taking off and landing characteristics. This high agility allows rapid deployment of weapons in any direction as desired by the crew. The canard notably assists in controlling the aircraft at large angles-of-attack and bringing it to a level flight condition. The wing will have high-lift devices featured as deflecting leading edges, and flaperons acting as flaps and ailerons.

Flight control

The aircraft has a fly by wire (FBW) with quadruple redundancy. Depending on the flight conditions, signals from the control stick position transmitter or the FCS will be coupled to the remote control amplifiers. These signals are combined with feedback signals fed by acceleration sensors and rate gyros. The resultant control signals are coupled to the high-speed electro-hydraulic actuators of the elevators, rudders and the canard. The output signals are compared and, if the difference is significant, the faulty channel is disconnected. FBW is based on a stall warning and barrier mechanism which prevents development of aircraft stalls through a dramatic increase in the control stick pressure. This allows a pilot to effectively control the aircraft without running the risk of reaching the limit values of angle of attack and acceleration. Although the maximum angle of attack is limited by the canards the FBW acts as an additional safety mechanism.

Cockpit instrumentation

The displays include a highly customised version of the Elbit Su 967 head-up display consisting of bicubic phase conjugated holographic displays and seven liquid crystal multifunction displays, six 127 mm x 127 mm and one 152 mm x 152 mm. The HUD was widely misreported to be the VEH 3000 from Thales. Variants of the same HUD have also been chosen for the IAF's MiG-27 and SEPECAT Jaguar upgrades, on grounds of standardisation. Flight information is displayed on 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 rear cockpit is fitted with a larger monochromatic screen display for the air-to-surface missile guidance.


The aircraft is fitted with a satellite navigation system (A-737 GPS compatible), which permits it to make flights in all weather, day and night. The navigation complex comprises high accuracy SAGEM integrated global positioning system and ring laser gyroscope inertial navigation system.


The communications equipment comprises secure VHF and HF radio sets, a secured digital telecommunications system, and antenna-feeder assembly. It mounts a noise-proof target data exchange system, which provides for coordination of the actions of several fighter aircraft engaged in a group air combat. An automatic flight control system makes all phases of its flight automatic, including the combat employment of its weapons.

Two-pilot crew

Two-pilot crew provides higher work efficiency as well as the engagement in close and long range combat and the air situation observation. Besides, the same dual control aircraft can be used as a combat and training aircraft. Additionally, the integrated air-borne equipment enables the aircraft to be used as an air command post to control the operation of other aircraft. The back seater is the Weapon systems officer (WSO). The pilot flies the aircraft and handles air-to-air and some air-to-ground (ATG) weapons, as well as countermeasures. The WSO takes care of the detailed aspects of navigation, ground radar mapping & target designation, delivery solution for ATG weapons etc.

Ejection seats

The crew are provided zero-zero KD-36DM ejection seats. The rear seat is raised for better visibility. The cockpit is provided with containers to store food and water reserves, a waste disposal system and extra oxygen bottles. The KD-36DM ejection seat is inclined at 30º, to help the pilot resist aircraft accelerations in air combat.


The forward facing NIIP N011M Bars (Panther) is a powerful integrated passive electronically scanned array radar. The N011M is a digital multi-mode dual frequency band radar. []

*The N011M can function in air-to-air and air-to-land/sea mode simultaneously while being tied into a high-precision laser-inertial or GPS navigation system. It is equipped with a modern digital weapons control system as well as anti-jamming features.
*For aircraft N011M has a 350 km search range and a maximum 200 km tracking range, and 60 km in the rear hemisphere. A MiG-21, for instance can be detected at a distance of up to 135 km. Design maximum search range for an F-16 target was 140–160 km.
*The radar can track 15 air targets and engage the 4 most dangerous simultaneously. These targets can even include cruise missiles and motionless helicopters.
*The Su-30MKI can function as a "mini-AWACS" as a director or command post for other aircraft. The target co-ordinates can be transferred automatically to at least 4 other aircraft.
*The radar can detect ground targets such as tanks at 40–50 km.
*The N011M is claimed to detect large sea targets at a distance up to 400 km, and small sized ones at a distance of 120 km.The Su-30MKI can be integrated with the BrahMos cruise missiles, it can carry up to 3 of these cruise missiles for the land attack and anti shipping roles. This ability, being a unique feature, usually assigned to dedicated bombers, further enhances its multi-role capabilities and is the only fighter in the world at present, with this capability.

Future upgrades:
*Future upgrade plans include new gimbals for the antenna mount to increase the field of view to about 90-100 degrees to both sides. New software will enable a Doppler-sharpening mode and the capability to engage up to eight air targets simultaneously.
*By 2010, when the first totally-built Su-30MKI will roll out from HAL, it could be equipped with a new phased array radar called the "Irbis" (Snow Leopard), which will replace the N011M Bars. These reports are yet to be confirmed by the Indian Air Force or official sources. The Irbis has been widely misreported to be an active phased array. It is not. NIIP in "Vzlet, 2006" (a journal edited by noted aviation journalist A. Fomin) details the Irbis as a high power "passive" electronically scanned array, built using the experience of the Bars project. However, it will have a lighter antenna derived from the NIIP Osa ("Wasp") radar, new servos to rotate the antenna in both axes, with a greater scan field (adding up to a total of 100 degrees), and an entirely new architecture with dual travelling wave tubes, giving a range of 400 km against a 3 meter square target (RCS). Using new high speed computers, the Irbis will be able to track 30 targets and engage 8. It will also be KS-172 capable.

Radar modes:
*Air-to-Air : velocity search, range while search, track while scan, target ID, close combat modes.
*Air-to-Surface : Real beam mapping, DBS mapping, SAR mapping, moving ground target selection, tracking and measuring of ground target coordinates.
*Anti-shipping : Sea surface search, moving sea targets selection, tracking and measuring of sea target coordinates, sea target ID.

Weapons-related avionics

Laser-optical locator system

*OLS-27 laser-optical locator system to include a day and night FLIR capability and is used in conjunction with the helmet mounted sighting system. The OLS-27 (Izdeliye 36Sh) is a combined IRST/LR device using a cooled, broader waveband, sensor.
*Tracking rate is over 25 deg/s with 50 km range in pursuit engagement, 15 km head-on. The laser rangefinder operates between 300 and 3000 m for air targets, 300 and 5000 m for ground targets.
*Detection range is up to 50 km, whilst the laser ranger is effective from 300 to 3000 m. Azimuth tracking is accurate to 5 s, whilst range data is accurate to 10 m. Targets are displayed on the same CRT display as the radar. Weighs 174 kg.

Targeting Pod

*Israeli LITENING targeting pod will be used to target the laser guided munitions. Litening incorporates in a single pod all the targeting features required by a modern strike fighter.
*The original pod included a 1st Generation FLIR, a TV camera, a flash-lamp powered laser designator, laser spot tracker for tracking target designated by other aircraft or from the ground, and an electro-optical point and inertial tracker, which enabled continuous engagement of the target even when the target is partly obscured by clouds or countermeasures.
*The pod integrates the necessary laser rangefinder and designator, required for the delivery of Laser Guided Bombs, cluster and general purpose bombs.

Electronic countermeasures

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 and heat decoys. It also includes an electronic intelligence unit, a chaff and flare dispenser and a RWR system.
*The RWR system is an indigenously developed system by DRDO, called Tarang, ("Wave" in Sanskrit). It has direction finding capability and is known to have a programmable threat library. The RWR is derived from work done on an earlier system for India's MiG-23BNs known as the Tranquil, which is now superseded by the more advanced Tarang series.
*Elta EL/M-8222 a self-protection jammer developed by Israel Aircraft Industries is the MKI's standard EW pod, which the Israeli Air Force uses on its F-15s. The ELTA El/M-8222 Self Protection Pod is a power-managed jammer, air-cooled system with an ESM receiver integrated into the pod. The pod contains an antenna on the forward and aft ends, which receive the hostile RF signal and after processing deliver the appropriate response.

Indian contribution

Su-30MKI is fitted with several Indian designed and manufactured avionic items. Several critical items were developed by DRDO under a project code named "Vetrivel" (Spear of Victory Vel in Tamil) in close collaboration with the PSUs and the IAF. These included the mission computer, display processor and radar computer. Other systems supplied by the DRDO and HAL include the INCOM frequency hopping, jam resistant radio set, radar altimeters, IFF units, as well as dial-pointer instrumentation for the cockpit, intended as a backup for the digital Liquid crystal displays.

Some of the components developed by Indian agencies were:
*Mission Computer Display Processor-MC-486 and DP-30MK (Defence Avionics Research Establishment DARE): The 32-bit mission computer performs mission-oriented computations, flight management, reconfiguration-cum-redundancy management and in-flight systems self-tests. In compliance with MIL-STD-1521 and 2167A standards, Ada language was adopted for the mission computer's software.
*Radar Computer - RC1 and RC2 (DARE)
*Tarang Mk2 Radar Warning Receiver + High Accuracy Direction Finding Module
*IFF-1410A - Identification Friend or Foe
*Integrated communication suite
*Radar altimeter

Other critical items from the Indian side, included test instrumentation and support equipment for the Sukhoi, which India now hopes to provide to other Sukhoi customers such as Malaysia.

Furthermore, Indian pilots and technical personnel played a vital role in optimizing the Sukhoi-30 MKI's ergonomics as well as information displays. Given the high level of user involvement, and local aeronautical expertise built up via the LCA program, it can be reasonably expected that Indian Su-30 MKI's will continue to evolve further.

Further developments in local avionics

*The DRDO has gone a step further and come out with a new design of the Core Avionics Computer (CAC) which can be used with a single module adaptation across many other aircraft platforms.
*The CAC which is derived from the computers designed for the Su-30MKI can also be also used in the avionics upgrades for the MiG-27 and Jaguar aircraft. The CAC was demonstrated by DRDO at the Aero India exhibition at Yelahanka and attracted a good deal of international attention. It has been suggested that a variant of the CAC may be also retrofitted to the Su-30 MKI. The advantage of the CAC is in its compact design, which performs both mission computing and display processing functions. DARE took up the development and delivery in quantities of Mission Computers, Display Processors and Radar Computers for the Su 30 avionics upgrade. The requirements were analysed and instead of building three different computers DARE developed nine functional modules. The chassis was also common across the computers. These modules use state of the art processors. They are designed as independent modules to do a specific function such as generating computer generated imagery for display on HUD or MFD. But they are able to communicate with the main processor module through high speed Dual Ported RAMs. This makes development of software for these specific functions as independent activities. Also, hardware changes in one module do not affect the other modules. Hence this approach utilizes the benefits of an Open System Architecture. The CAC is housed in an aircraft industry standard 3/4 th ATR chassis with an option rear mount ARINC 404 connector or front mounted 38999 series connectors. The tray is mounted in the equipment bay/rack of the aircraft and the computer is plugged in to the tray. It is forced air cooled and weighs less than 8 kg. At present however, the MKI uses two Mission Computers and two Display Processors. These four units could possibly be replaced by two CAC's or two of the new DARE CPCi based open architecture computers. The DARE is also working on a more powerful CPCi based open architecture computer as well as developing a Power PC 7400 based open architecture computer around the VME standard, for the Light Combat Aircraft. This also combines mission processing, display processing and a video switching unit in a compact line replaceable unit.

*HAL and DARE are currently working with SAMTEL India, a prominent Indian manufacturer of television displays, for the development of new multifunctional displays (MFD) which are to be superior to the original Sextant Avionique units currently used on the MKI. These displays will be able to simultaneously display both analogue and digital data on the same screen, and hence help in improved situational awareness for the aircrew.

*DARE has developed and inducted the "High Accuracy Direction Finding" (HADF) payload, on a "Siva" pod, for the MKI. As the name suggests, this is a direction finding sensor, which works in combination with the onboard Tarang RWR.

Further improvements to the MKI

Other improvements suggested include a higher proportion of composites in the airframe, drawn from the Indian experience with the Light Combat Aircraft, whose airframe is 95% composite by surface area, and 45% by weight. Such a move, would assist in:

*Weight reduction hence improving the aircraft performance
*Reduce its radar cross section.
*A Mid Life Update has been proposed for the MKI, and for the last production batches. This would include improvements to the radar and other avionics systems, as well as new weapons.


The Su-30MKI is powered by the two Al-31FP turbofans. Each Al-31FP is rated at 12,500 kgf (27,550 lbf) of full afterburning thrust:
*Al-31FP builds on the Al-37FU with the capability to vector in 2 planes. The TVC nozzles of the MKI are mounted 32 degrees outward to longitudinal engine axis (i.e. in the horizontal plane) and can be deflected ±15 degrees in the vertical plane. This produces a cork-screw effect and thus enhancing the turning capability of the aircraft.
*Two AL-31FP by-pass thrust-vectoring turbojet reheated engines (25,000 kgf full afterburning thrust) ensure a 2M horizontal flight speed (a 1350 km/h ground-level speed) and a rate of climb of 230 m/s. The mean time between overhaul for the AL-31FP is given at 1,000 hours with a full-life span of 3,000 hours. The titanium nozzle has a mean time between overhaul of 500 hours.
*There is no strain-gauge engine control stick to change the engine thrust in the cockpit, rather just a conventional engine throttle control lever. The pilot controls the aircraft with help of a standard control stick. On the pilot's right there is a switch which is turned on for performing difficult maneuvers. After the switch-over, the computer determines the level of use of aerodynamic surfaces and swiveling nozzles and their required deflection angles.

Range and fuel system

*The Su-30MKI has a range of 5,000 km with internal fuel which ensures a 4.5 hour combat mission.
*Also, it has an in-flight refueling (IFR) probe that retracts beside the cockpit during normal operation. The air refuelling system increases the flight duration up to 10 hours with a range of 8,000 km at a cruise height of 11 to 13 km.
*The IAF in cooperation with the Defence Food Research Laboratories (DFRL) has designed inflight meals to provide nutrition to pilots flying long duration missions.
*Su-30 MKIs can also use the Cobham 754 buddy refuelling pods. [ [] .]

Health and usage monitoring system

Russian aircraft are often criticized on account of poor serviceability. For acquiring predictive maintenance capability, the IAF joined forces with South Africa's Aerospace Monitoring And Systems Ltd which developed a health and usage monitoring system.
*Predictive maintenance refers to the on and off board processing of aircraft sub-systems data, resulting in an accurate, conclusive indication of the health and usage status of various airborne systems
*The Su-30MKI on-board health and usage monitoring system (HUMS) monitors almost every aircraft system and sub-system including the avionics sub-systems. It can also act as an engineering data recorder

The Indian Air Force's Software Development Institute has also developed its own Health and Usage Monitoring systems as well as Mission Planning Systems, which are stated to be comparable to other products available internationally. Variants of these may also be used on Indian made MKIs.

*The Su-30 MKI's avionics also feature modular components as well as extensive reliance on BITE or "Built In Tests", so as to assist maintenance personnel with quickly locating and rectifying/ replacing defective avionics items.

Weapons and payload

The Su-30MKI combat load is mounted on 14 stations (the wing points adjacent to the wingtips can hold two weapons) . The maximum advertised combat load is 8000 kg (17,600 lb). The aircraft features the built-in single-barrel GSh-301 gun, a 30 mm weapon, and space for 150 rounds. Over 70 versions of guided and unguided weapon stores may be employed, which allows the aircraft to fly the most diverse tactical missions.

Armament:The ranges mentioned should be taken as "indicative", since they vary based on flight profile, target characteristics as well as several other factors.

Air to Air Missiles:
*6 × R-27R/AA-10A/Astra [cite web
title = Astra missile to be fitted on Su-30MKI
publisher = The Hindu
url =
accessdate = 2007-12-12
] semi-active radar homing medium range AAM of range 80 km.
*6 × R-27T (AA-10B) infrared homing seeker, medium range AAM, 70 km
*2 × R-27P (AA-10C) passive radar seeker, long range AAM
*10 × R-77 (AA-12) active radar homing medium range AAM, 100 km
*6 × R-73 (AA-11) short range AAM, 30 km

Air to Surface Missiles:
*2 × Kh-59ME TV guided standoff Missile, 115 km
*2 × Kh-59MK Laser guided standoff Missile, 130 km
*4 × Kh-35Anti-Ship Missile, 130 km
*3 × PJ-10 Bramhos Supersonic Cruise Missile,300 km
*6 × Kh-31P/A anti-radar missile, 70 km
*6 × Kh-29T/L laser guided missile, 30 km
*4 × S-8 rocket pods (80 unguided rockets)
*4 × S-13 rocket pods (20 unguided rockets)

*6 × KAB-500L laser guided bombs
*3 × KAB-1500L laser guided bombs
*8 × FAB-500T dumb bombs
*28 × OFAB-250-270 dumb bombs
*32 × OFAB-100-120 dumb bombs
*8 × RBK-500 cluster bombs

*APK-9 (Datalink Pod for the KH-59 Missile)
*Cobham buddy refuelling pod, 754 series [ [] .]
*IAI - Elta EL/L-8222 (RF jammer)
*Rafael LITENING Laser Targeting Pod.
*DARE (DRDO) High Accuracy Direction Finding (HADF) pod

Specifications (Sukhoi Su-30MKI)

Aircraft specifications
plane or copter?=plane
jet or prop?=jet
length main=22.10 m
length alt=72 ft 51 in
span main=14.70 m
span alt=48 ft 23 in
height main=6.38 m
height alt=22 ft 89 in
area main=62.04 m²
area alt=667.8 ft²
max takeoff weight main=38,800 kg
max takeoff weight alt=85,600 lb
empty weight main=17,700 kg
empty weight alt= 39,300 lb
loaded weight main=34,500 kg
loaded weight alt= 76,100 lb
engine (jet)=Lyulka AL-31FP
type of jet=turbofans with thrust vectoring
number of jets=2
thrust main=131 kN
thrust alt=29,400 lbf
max speed main=Mach 2.35 (2,500km/h)
max speed at alt=
max speed more=at 11,000 m (36,000 ft)
range main=8000km (5,330miles) (Refueled)
range alt=
ceiling main=20,000 m
ceiling alt=59,000 ft
climb rate main=>304 m/s
climb rate alt=70,000 ft/min
loading main=556 kg/m²
loading alt=113 lb/ft²
thrust/weight=0.77(at loaded weight)


*Indian Air Force: After years of negotiations, the Indian Air Force finally ordered 40 Su-30MKI aircraft, with more powerful AL-31FP engines, advanced avionics, canards, and thrust vectoring. Hindustan Aeronautics has a license to manufacture up to 140 additional aircraft through 2020.


ee also

* Sukhoi Su-27
* Sukhoi Su-30
* Sukhoi Su-30MKK
* Sukhoi Su-35
similar aircraft=
* Eurofighter Typhoon
* F-15 Strike Eagle
* Sukhoi Su-35
* F-22 Raptor

* List of fighter aircraft
see also=


External links

* [ MKM variant]
* [ Bharat - Rakshak : Indian Defence consortium Website for Sukhoi 30 MKI with all performance parameters]
* [ Extensive Technical Information about Su-30MKI]
* [ Core Avionics for Su-30 MKI]
* [ Interview about MKI with Alexey I. Fedorov (April 23, 2002), the president of the Irkutsk Aviation Industrial Association, responsible for delivery of Sukhoi 30 MKI to India]
* [ A news report on the SU-30MKI in an air exercise with the Royal Air Force]
* [ Video] at YouTube

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