Sukhoi Su-30SM: An Indian Gift to Russia's Air Force

Neil

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Russia's Defense Ministry has ordered 30 heavy Sukhoi Su-30SM fighter planes. Given that the same model has been exported to India for more than 10 years, this choice seems both logical and pragmatic.

Thirty 30's

The Defense Ministry and the Irkut Corporation, an affiliate of the United Aircraft Corporation, have signed a supply contract for 30 Su-30SM multirole fighter aircraft, a Defense Ministry spokesman told journalists Thursday, March 22. "Under the contract, Irkut Corporation will build for Russia's Ministry of Defense 30 planes of this type by 2015," he said.

Su-30 Multirole Fighter

Rumors that Irkut, a long-standing exporter, may supply several dozen fighter aircraft to the Russian air Force began circulating late last year. Now the rumor has become a reality – a contract in black and white.

But why did the Defense Ministry choose the Su-30's? After all, they have been mostly supplied to customers abroad rather than to the Russian Armed Forces, where just a few planes of this type are in use.

The Su-30, properly speaking, is an entire family of aircraft and the most famous Russian-made (not to be confused with Soviet-made) fighter plane outside of Russia. It was developed in the Soviet Union on the basis of the Su-27UB combat trainer aircraft as a command plane for air Defense air regiments flying ordinary Su-27 interceptor aircraft.

In 1993, its export version, the Su-30K, was developed, sparking record demand and the sale of several hundred planes.

The family is further subdivided into two parts: the "Chinese" Su-30MKK/MK2, which were produced in Komsomolsk-on-Amur and exported to Venezuela, Indonesia, Uganda, Vietnam, and of course China; and the "Indian" Su-30MKI, manufactured in Irkutsk and purchased by India, Algeria and Malaysia.

The model ordered by the Russian military is a "localized" version of the "Indian" Su-30MKI. Earlier, Komsomolsk-on-Amur delivered to the Air Force four "localized" Su-30MK2's.

A flying multi-tasker

As a basic platform for the multirole heavy fighter aircraft, the Su-30MKI is remarkable primarily for its universality. It boasts a so-called "open architecture", making it relatively easy to add new systems in the basic electronic equipment and to use advanced guided weapons (supplied by different manufacturers).


The Su-30MKI sports a Russian radar and optic locator, French navigation and heads-up display systems, Israeli EW and weapon-guidance systems, and Indian computers.

The "Chinese" line is based on a different logic that prescribes parallel installation of new systems that fall short of full integration.

Most likely, the military is attracted by how easy it is to add different weapons and equipment to the Su-30MKI, transforming it into an attack fighter-bomber, a heavy interceptor aircraft, or something else.

Who placed the order?

It is hard to pinpoint who exactly ordered these 30 aircraft. The contract was signed by Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov and Irkut President Alexei Fedorov. After the signing ceremony, Serdyukov commented that the planes would "increase the Air Force's combat power."

By contrast, Fedorov went on record as saying last summer that the Defense Ministry was going to order 40 aircraft. Later the press reported, citing the Irkutsk aircraft plant's general director Alexander Veprev, that the deliveries were likely to be made in two installments: the first 28 aircraft were intended for the Air Force and another 12 as an option for naval aviation. Air Force C-in-C Alexander Zelin confirmed the figure of 28 in fall 2011.
As we can see, the first batch of Sukhoi-30's has been purchased. The remaining 12, as some military sources intimated to the press, were intended for the Black Sea Fleet's naval aviation.

Given that naval aviation has seen cuts in combat aircraft, it seems logical to reinforce it with heavy Su-30SM two-seaters that are efficient both in air-to-air combat and against ground and surface targets.

Thus far, however, there is no mention of plans to buy the Su-30 for the Navy. Possibly the option will be realized later.

Exporters' courtesy

There is another simple explanation for choice of the Su-30MKI. Irkut has been churning out these planes for 10 years thanks to its completely streamlined production method. This means that its products are of high quality, relatively cheap (which pleases the Defense Ministry in particular) and will be supplied on time.

It is one thing if, in order to make 30 aircraft, you have to breathe life into an idling plant, to fine-tune (or develop anew) your technological method, buy additional equipment, and – still worse – hire personnel. But it's quite another if you have been manufacturing standardized aircraft for years and years and can easily divert your workforce to produce an "improved" modification for your own country's Air Force. The cost of this batch on the side is dramatically lower.

This approach (buying quickly and on the cheap what can be produced immediately) has been growing in popularity in the Russian military. We have mentioned the Su-30M2 combat trainer aircraft intended for the Russian Air Force. The same goes for the carrier-based MiG-29K, which in its present form was developed for the Indian Navy.

This approach is logical in its own way. The military expects certain fundamentally new models that are being tested with some degree of success. The Air Force is eying the T-50, the fifth-generation fighter aircraft, and the Navy has been trying to get into shape its Lada project involving the construction of non-nuclear submarines. The Land Forces have boycotted the purchases of all currently existing armor models, urging manufacturers to invent something totally new.

In the meantime, the Armed Forces will buy cheap, mass-produced, well-equipped, if ordinary, military hardware, like the Su-30SM.

The views expressed in this article are the author's and may not necessarily represent those of RIA Novosti.



Sukhoi Su-30SM: An Indian Gift to Russia's Air Force | idrw.org
 

kaustav2001

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Along with the Su-30SM the Mig 29 K is also an Indian gift in a way. Without the IN order the Ru Navy would have probably gone the Sukhoi way.
 

ashicjose

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Is SU-30M using any INDIAN component? if not how it can be called a INDIAN gift?????????
 

sayareakd

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Export versions of SU-30 carry Indian components, not sure about this particular beast.
Indian, french and israeli, that is why it took so much time for SU 30 MKI's arrival, but Russians have their own system, but it carry more weight or is not that miniaturized.
 

p2prada

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Is SU-30M using any INDIAN component? if not how it can be called a INDIAN gift?????????
The MKI was designed and built for India with mostly Indian funding and the entire project was watched over by IAF officials in Russia.

The MKI was first built solely for export. It was so good that Russia could not help but buy some for themselves. I think this is the first time that Russia is going for an aircraft like the MKI, a full multirole aircraft. Other than that the MKI is cheaper than other flankers for the capability it offers.

I don't think they are going for the IAF specific Super 30 upgrade though.
 

Mad Indian

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The MKI was designed and built for India with mostly Indian funding and the entire project was watched over by IAF officials in Russia.

The MKI was first built solely for export. It was so good that Russia could not help but buy some for themselves. I think this is the first time that Russia is going for an aircraft like the MKI, a full multirole aircraft. Other than that the MKI is cheaper than other flankers for the capability it offers.

I don't think they are going for the IAF specific Super 30 upgrade though.
Any way, can MKI or even the Super sukhoi be boasted as the best Flanker in the world, at least for A2A?
 

Tshering22

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Export versions of SU-30 carry Indian components, not sure about this particular beast.

How can you say that all export contains Indian components? The only Su-30 series that has our stuff is the MKI version that is meant for the IAF. The closest version is the Malaysian MKM which shares some Russian-made components with us. The Malay version doesn't have Israeli and French avionics or Indian made mission computers. The other variants than ours are all 100% Russian made or partially French made.

The only reason why we have an agreement with Malaysia is for common spares as per the guidelines of the manufacturer aka Sukhoi Bureau.
 

p2prada

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Any way, can MKI or even the Super sukhoi be boasted as the best Flanker in the world, at least for A2A?
Currently the Su-35BM takes the top spot among Flankers. If 117S comes with the Super 30 upgrade then MKI will come on top, else no.

How can you say that all export contains Indian components? The only Su-30 series that has our stuff is the MKI version that is meant for the IAF. The closest version is the Malaysian MKM which shares some Russian-made components with us. The Malay version doesn't have Israeli and French avionics or Indian made mission computers. The other variants than ours are all 100% Russian made or partially French made.

The only reason why we have an agreement with Malaysia is for common spares as per the guidelines of the manufacturer aka Sukhoi Bureau.
The MKM has French avionics(HUD and HMS) along with South African(MAWS and LWS). The MKA has Israeli avionics and that got the Algerians hopping mad. Whatever is Israeli on MKI was replaced with Russian/French on MKA and MKM.

Foreign components aren't very vital and can be replaced with Russian systems except for the INS(Totem) which is based on GPS, something Russia does not use as much.
 

indian_sukhoi

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Makes a lot of sense of inducting some Su-30Ks, A cheaper option.

They actually planning to use them as replacements for the Su-24 of the Russian Navy.
 

SPIEZ

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Currently the Su-35BM takes the top spot among Flankers. If 117S comes with the Super 30 upgrade then MKI will come on top, else no.



The MKM has French avionics(HUD and HMS) along with South African(MAWS and LWS). The MKA has Israeli avionics and that got the Algerians hopping mad. Whatever is Israeli on MKI was replaced with Russian/French on MKA and MKM.

Foreign components aren't very vital and can be replaced with Russian systems except for the INS(Totem) which is based on GPS, something Russia does not use as much.

p2p what are these LWS and MAWS, give us some insight.
 

rahulrds1

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First Su-30SM for Russian Air Force Flies

The first Sukhoi Su-30SM two-seat multirole fighter performed its maiden flight on September 21,2012, followed four days later by the second Su-30SM.

The Su-30SM is a new variant in the highly successful Su-30 series. It represents a customized version for the Russian air force of the Su-30MKI exported to India, Algeria and Malaysia.

Sukhoi test pilot Sergei Kostin and navigator Pavel Malovechko served as the crew on both occasions. Flight durations were two hours and one hour 40 minutes, respectively, and both flights were uneventful. Both missions originated from the aerodrome of the Irkutsk Aviation Plant (IAZ) in Western Siberia. IAZ is the main manufacturing site for Irkut.

Sukhoi says that the Su-30SM features super-maneuverability and represents further evolution of the Su-30MK line. It differs from the earlier version in having radiolocation, radio communications and IFF systems, as well as ejection seats and a number of onboard devices "adapted to the requirements of the Russian air force."

The Su-30SM has some unspecified advanced weaponry, according to Irkut. The company earlier said that the aircraft is able to deploy the supersonic anti-ship and land-strike Onix missiles, a completely Russian version of the Indo-Russian PJ-10 BrahMos. The air-launched version of this missile is sometimes called the Alfa. Irkut holds a firm order for 30 Su-30SMs awarded in March 2012, with deliveries due by 2015. The Russian MoD has plans to deploy a Su-30SM regiment at a base on the Black Sea.

Irkut claims a 15-percent share of Russia's overall military exports by value. Since 1996, the Su-30MKI/MKM series of two-seat multirole fighters have been Irkut's cash cow, with the company logging orders for 294 aircraft so far and delivering more than 200 of them. Irkut claims a backlog of $7 billion after winning Su-30SM and Yak-130 orders from the Russian defense ministry. The company's revenues in 2011 amounted to approximately $1.54 billion, almost twice what they were in 2006 and 5.3 percent greater than in 2010. Gross profits (before tax) were approximately $389 million, and net profits reached $24.5 million.

www_ainonline.com/aviation-news/ain-defense-perspective/2012-09-28/first-su-30sm-russian-air-force-flies
 

Super Flanker

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Export versions of SU-30 carry Indian components, not sure about this particular beast.
I am Not sure. I don't think so that all Export Versions of the SU-30 MKI have indian Components in them but I do know that Malaysian SU-30 MKMs which are based off of the SU-30 MKI share a common airframe, thrust vectoring engines and digital fly-by-wire system with the Indian SU-30 MKI(Basically they have 90 percent commonality)

Also for your information, the Canards, Stabilizers and Fins for these Particular SU-30MKMs were actually Manufactured by HAL which was part of a Sub contract by Irkut Corporation to HAL.
 

Super Flanker

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p2p what are these LWS and MAWS, give us some insight.
LWS and MAWS are short forms. They stand for:
1)LWS-Laser Warning System
2)MAWS-Missile Approach Warning System
 

Super Flanker

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How can you say that all export contains Indian components? The only Su-30 series that has our stuff is the MKI version that is meant for the IAF. The closest version is the Malaysian MKM which shares some Russian-made components with us. The Malay version doesn't have Israeli and French avionics or Indian made mission computers. The other variants than ours are all 100% Russian made or partially French made.

The only reason why we have an agreement with Malaysia is for common spares as per the guidelines of the manufacturer aka Sukhoi Bureau.
Incase you didn't know, the Canards, Stabilizers and Fins for the Malaysian SU-30 MKMs were built by HAL as part of a Subcontract by Irkut Corporation to HAL. Also some Avionics are Supplied by HAL for these SU-30 MKMs I suppose?(I am not sure about this)
 

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