Super Sukhoi-30 MKI

ADITYA MAYUKH

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Armed with 5G jet features, Super Sukhoi on the way...





The Su-30MKI fighters, deployed by the Indian Air Force, will be upgraded with certain fifth generation aircraft characteristics to convert it into a "Super Sukhoi", Alexy Fedorov, President of Irkut Corporation of Russia announced during the MAKS 2011 international aviation show held in Moscow recently. The IAF currently deploys about 100 Su-30MKI fighters, with plans to increase their number to 230 aircrafts. Bangalore-based Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) holds a production certificate for manufacturing the fighters and will be in-charge of upgrading the SU-30MKIs to 5G Super Sukhoi jets. The modernisation will embrace the aircraft in IAF's military bases, fighters waiting for delivery to India and the jets that HAL will be manufacturing. The United Aircraft Corporation and HAL have signed a deal on creating substantially upgraded prototypes. Fedorov did not specify the cost of the modernisation, highlighting that the companies were still negotiating. Su-30MKI jets are a part of two major modernisation programmes, one of which aims to adapt the Su-30MKI to BrahMos supersonic missiles, while the other seeks ways to achieve a dramatic improvement in the fighter's performance.

India will see its fighters modernised within the framework of the so-called Super programme, which involves introduction of an upgraded pilot cockpit, new radar and several structural elements enhancing the jet's stealth features that make it less visible to the enemy. The upgrade will cover all aircraft employed by IAF, increasing the Su-30MKI's weapons load and list.

The modernised Su-30MKI is reported to be able to carry under its body one BrahMos missile, which is expected to weigh less than its land-based and naval counterparts. The Russia-India joint venture Brahmos Aerospace Private Limited, Sukhoi Holding and HAL are jointly engaged in developing the airborne version of the missile. Sivathanu Pillai, CEO of the joint venture, said he hoped to see BrahMos missiles launched from the aircraft in late 2012.

According to reports, the IAF plans to upgrade 44 Su-30MKI fighters to equip them with BrahMos missiles. Ruslan Pukhov, director at the Centre for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies, believes that mounting BrahMos missiles on Su-30s will add export value to both the weapon and its carrier. As various modifications of Su-30 jets are in service with many armed forces all over the globe, transforming these highly-manoeuvrable air fighters into fully-fledged missile carriers appears promising – an idea that Dr Pillai supports to the hilt.

The Super Sukhoi project, therefore, will allow the latter to transition swiftly to fully capable 5th generation fighter jets. The cost of the modernisation remains uncertain but the price tag could be around $1 billion.

The HAL is optimistic about its participation in the development of technology for the Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA). The prototype of this aircraft, the T-50 PAK FA, was exhibited at the MAKS 2011 air show. India will be one of three countries in the world, alongside the US and Russia, to have fifth-generation fighters.

HAL chairman Ashok Nayak, who visited MAKS 2011, confirmed that his company's participation in the design of the FGFA was "the right thing to do". In December 2010, Russia and India signed an agreement on preliminary designing of the aircraft, estimating the project at $295 million. The initial design will take approximately 18 months. The Indian model's main difference will be a two-man crew. "HAL hopes to complete the initial design and move further," Nayak said, adding that the use of Indian components would be determined later. The IAF will be the first foreign customer to buy the new jet. India has announced plans to buy 250-300 fighters of this type, with the first deliveries expected in 2016-2017. The cost of the project is likely to exceed $35 billion. Russia will buy approximately the same number of the aircraft.


Su-30MKI jet will be armed with BrahMos missiles by 2012.
http://img29.imageshack.us/img29/7672/su30mkistealthjpg9.jpg



Sukhoi rocks
 

Kunal Biswas

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Its hard to speculate about super Sukhoi looks, Though Russia recently inducted Sukhoi-30SM which is a version of Indian SU-30MKI in Russia but with massive changes to avionics perhaps Airframe too, Some clues here :





From Outside the Airframe looks same as MKI but use of Composite is much more than MKI also the Cockpit is from PAK-FA and Thales made HUD, same one use on Rafale..



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Read for more info..
 

A chauhan

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Photoshopped ? AFAIK there are no plans to change the nose cone shape into a stealthy nose except some RAM coatings, but it would be really nice if they change the nose and intake shape to deal with its biggest problem RCS to an extent.
 

p2prada

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Super Sukhoi is not a new aircraft.

The same aircraft that we have today will undergo upgrades under this program. So mostly internal changes, avionics, radar etc with some composites and most probably a new RAM coating. Along with new weapons.

The 42 MKIs ordered are regular MKIs which may see the new upgrades during production.
 

ADITYA MAYUKH

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Upgrade will start from mid 2014 and till 2018.which new radar ,avionics..more composite airframe ,new engine and a cockpit from pak fa will make it a beast
 

Shirman

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By the way @Austin, @p2prada one thing i personally wanted to or say wish to add on Super 30 mki, T-50 PAKFA and Su-35 super flanker is an enhanced stealthy RAM coated Weapons pod in its center-line flanker-belly........ While we have generally seen missile / weapons pod on f/a-18 international road map upgrades on super-hornet and also on future proposed Rafale variants (remember the ones with CFTs and multiple cocoon missile pods with desert background) all the latest sukhoi fighters will lets say enhance lethal factor as not only a stealthy missile pod reduces the over all RCS figure of super mki, super flanker and pakfa but also 4-6 extra latest R-77s to enhance its air-to-air capabilities.......what say guys....:thumb::cool2:
 
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p2prada

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These pods or EWPs (External Weapons Pods) as they are called in the States come with other problems. For eg: increased weight, increased drag, higher maintenance etc. Then there would be other issues like the failure rate of opening and closing the pod doors before and after weapons delivery. They also come with increased RCS figures which will be okay for 4th gen fighters but bad for fifth gen fighters. Even the F-35B/C's gun pod comes with some RCS penalty. Aircraft like F-22 and PAKFA will come with major drag penalties and will be unable to use supercruise, we don't want that.

As of today we have seen multi-ejector AMRAAM racks on F-35 and F-22. These carry two missiles on one hardpoint, effectively doubling the weapons load. The Super Hornet B3 EWP is said to carry 3 AMRAAMs and one Sidewinder on one hardpoint. Su-35 can carry two multi-ejector racks on the centerline with 4 missiles, instead of the usual two.

Dassault's and Boeing's attempt at using these EWPs is in order to sell to the export market. Neither ALA nor the USAF are interested in this.

I don't know if existing forces will want to spend more on pods for their 4th gen.
 

Mariner HK

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When ever i see news about Super Sukoi i just feel bad that we dont have Su-35

Next door chinese friend will have su 35 ...with out carnad
 

Shirman

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These pods or EWPs (External Weapons Pods) as they are called in the States come with other problems. For eg: increased weight, increased drag, higher maintenance etc. Then there would be other issues like the failure rate of opening and closing the pod doors before and after weapons delivery. They also come with increased RCS figures which will be okay for 4th gen fighters but bad for fifth gen fighters. Even the F-35B/C's gun pod comes with some RCS penalty. Aircraft like F-22 and PAKFA will come with major drag penalties and will be unable to use supercruise, we don't want that.

As of today we have seen multi-ejector AMRAAM racks on F-35 and F-22. These carry two missiles on one hardpoint, effectively doubling the weapons load. The Super Hornet B3 EWP is said to carry 3 AMRAAMs and one Sidewinder on one hardpoint. Su-35 can carry two multi-ejector racks on the centerline with 4 missiles, instead of the usual two.

Dassault's and Boeing's attempt at using these EWPs is in order to sell to the export market. Neither ALA nor the USAF are interested in this.

I don't know if existing forces will want to spend more on pods for their 4th gen.
Ok not on PAK FA but definitely on super-30 mki and su-35 me thinks it will be a direct rival to boeing silent eagle and super hornet international roadmap.......... The entire funda of having these missile pods in the first place is to enhance air-to-air dominance by bringing in more bvr missiles like r-77ms and amraams in the aerial arenas of today and future.......Pardon me but how can a stealthy ram coated weapon pod increase RCS figure of a 4th-4.5th gen fighter....i didn't quite get it.........
 

p2prada

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Pardon me but how can a stealthy ram coated weapon pod increase RCS figure of a 4th-4.5th gen fighter....i didn't quite get it.........
Because it is still a pod that is hanging on the wings.

Okay, let me explain in another way.

The parts which provide the biggest returns are the engine's compressor blades, wings and the vertical fins. You want to keep returns as low as possible from these parts. Therefore compressor blades are hidden using S-intakes or blockers. The fins are canted to reduce corner reflectors.

But the wings, there is very little you can do about wings. Now when you add more to the wings, the radar returns will become higher because the stations will act as corner reflectors on multiple angles. The EWP itself may have lower RCS, but the missiles inside the pod do not have a low RCS. The missiles themselves will generate reflections between each other. Then the attachment between the pod and the wing will create a reflector. And so on and so forth.

An EWP pod is not an answer to more stealthy aircraft. It is merely a method to carry more missiles rather than a cheap replacement to an actual stealth aircraft.

As for whether 4th gen aircraft without internal bays can pass off as 5th gen fighters with just the EWP. Not possible. Yeah, it will be better than a 4th gen fighter without EWP, at least in terms of weapons load. But such large EWP take over crucial heavy hardpoints that are needed to carry fuel in EFTs.

On an MKI, the centerline can already hold 4 R-77s. If we add two EWPs with 3 missiles each on the inner most hardpoints, then we may end up increasing the weapons load by only 2 missiles. A regular MKI may carry 14 missiles with multi-ejector racks, with EWP only 2 additional missiles are added since the EWPs are big enough to cover up an extra hardpoint on the wing that normally carries the innermost R-73. So you think the additional cost is acceptable, just for 2 or 4 extra missiles?
 

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Because it is still a pod that is hanging on the wings.
Okz so done some research and homework on the this ongoing topic and came out with some new findings here it goes :-

After having a closer look at both F-15SE silent eagle and f/a-18 e/f blk-3 international roadmap versions i noticed that both aircraft has initially no external hardpoints and rely on internal weapons bays in the case of the silent eagle and EWP in case of super hornet upgrade..........what strikes me is both jets carry limited amount of weapons ie 4 amraams in the internal weapons bay of silent eagle and in the upgraded super hornet EWP it has 3 amraams and one sidewinder in its center line EWP as you mentioned earlier.

What is its design philosophy? I mean sure i know about the multi-ejector racks to carry more missiles as i have seen pics of mig-29, gripen ng, Australian F/a-18A/Bs etc. I mean we could have more bvr missiles via both AMRAAM racks and R-77 racks when air-to-air combat scenarios mushrooms.... gripen ng advertises mind-boggling configuration of even Meteor racks in its brochures. My point is these particular Boeing upgrade packages are specifically designed for low RCS and limited concealed weapons in the form of amraams in the form of internal weapons bays and weapons pod..... not that external,regular hardpoints cannot be added later on. But for that enhance air-to-air stike scenarios and in order to juice out maximum from Bvr fights they must have designed these.......I was suggesting a single medium size EWP which could carry minimum 4 maximum 6 R-77s bvr since our mkis are huge compared to super-hornet.......that along with planned super mki upgrades like reduce rcs measures and RAM coating should help in its lethalty....... Recently German Typhoons adopted the similar approach vs Raptors at recent red flag ie- they stripped / shaved their Typhoons for reduce rcs.........
 
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p2prada

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What is its design philosophy?
Not configured by captive forces, meaning it is for export. Rather for countries that don't want or can't afford PAKFA/F-35. Even then the costs of SE and SH B3 are increasing to greater heights everyday.

I mean we could have more bvr missiles via both AMRAAM racks and R-77 racks when air-to-air combat scenarios mushrooms.... gripen ng advertises mind-boggling configuration of even Meteor racks in its brochures. My point is these particular Boeing upgrade packages are specifically designed for low RCS and limited concealed weapons in the form of amraams in the form of weapons bays and weapons pod..... not that external,regular hardpoints cannot be added later on. But for that enhance air-to-air stike scenarios and in order to juice out maximum from Bvr fights they must have designed these.......I was suggesting a single medium size EWP which could carry minimum 4 maximum 6 R-77s bvr since our mkis are huge compared to super-hornet.......that along with planned super mki upgrades like reduce rcs measures and RAM coating should help in its lethalty....... Recently German Typhoons adopted the similar approach vs Raptors at recent red flag ie- they stripped / shaved their Typhoons for reduce rcs.........
The problem is this would affect performance. The point in carrying an air to air load is to decrease drag as much as possible and maintain supersonic agility. With EWPs the aircraft will become subsonic. An MKI shooting its missile at mach 1.5 will be far more effective than when fired at mach 0.9.

EWPs will be too big and too bulky for any effective use. They take up the most important hardpoints, won't provide supersonic agility and will come at a cost that is entirely unnecessary. Even in strike missions, the extra missiles would help, but if they take up the innermost hardpoints there won't be any left to carry bombs and external fuel tanks which are more important in a strike sortie.

EWPs would probably be useful only for CAP, but still take up precious wet points. More useful on a Flanker than any other aircraft and the Flanker already has a very good missile loadout, 12-14 missiles.
 

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The problem is this would affect performance. The point in carrying an air to air load is to decrease drag as much as possible and maintain supersonic agility. With EWPs the aircraft will become subsonic. An MKI shooting its missile at mach 1.5 will be far more effective than when fired at mach 0.9.
So you mean to say that this super hornet blk-3 is a sub sonic jet. I don't think so ,

EWPs will be too big and too bulky for any effective use. They take up the most important hardpoints, won't provide supersonic agility and will come at a cost that is entirely unnecessary. Even in strike missions, the extra missiles would help, but if they take up the innermost hardpoints there won't be any left to carry bombs and external fuel tanks which are more important in a strike sortie.
No the scenario i envisioned was a hardpoint less super mki with a center line EWP should be only for air-to-air strike missions..the German airforce typhoons which i mentioned earlier only had air-to-air gun fights with raptor in spite of that they scored a good rate against raptors at recent red flag exercise ...........

EWPs would probably be useful only for CAP, but still take up precious wet points. More useful on a Flanker than any other aircraft and the Flanker already has a very good missile loadout, 12-14 missiles.
Here the crux of my discussion lies 12-14 missiles conventional loadout is good but a reduced rcs super mki going in air to air combat we should do something about further reducing it by concealed it main weapons at a cost of take up precious wet points. My entire concern is how we can enhance its air superiority capabilities...
 

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