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Sukhoi Su 30MKI[]

Su-30MKI SB-042 Indian Air Force

The Sukhoi Su-30MKI (Hindi:सुखोई ३० एमकेआई) (NATO reporting name: Flanker-H) is a multirole combat aircraft jointly-developed by Russia's Sukhoi Corporation and India's Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for the Indian Air Force (IAF). A variant of the Sukhoi Su-30, it is an all-weather capable, heavy class, long-range air superiority fighter which can also act as a strike fighter aircraft.

Development of the variant started after India signed a deal with Russia in 2000 to manufacture 140 Su-30 fighter jets. The first Russian-made Su-30MKI variant was accepted into the Indian Air Force in 2002, while the first indigenously assembled Su-30MKI entered service with the IAF in 2004. In 2007, the IAF ordered 40 additional MKIs. As of July 2010, the IAF has 124 MKIs under active service with plans to have an operational fleet of 280 MKIs by 2015. The Su-30MKI is expected to form the backbone of the Indian Air Force's fighter fleet to 2020 and beyond.

The aircraft is tailor-made for Indian specifications and integrates Indian systems and avionics as well as[1]French and Israeli subsystems. It has abilities similar to the Sukhoi Su-35 with which it shares many features and components.


The Su-30MKI was jointly designed by Russia's Sukhoi Corporation and India's Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). The MKI's airframe evolved from that of the Sukhoi Su-27 while most of the avionics were developed by India.

The Su-30MKI is more advanced than the basic Su-30MK, the Chinese Su-30MKK, and the Malaysian Su-30MKM .[15] The aircraft features state of the art avionics developed by Russia, India and Israel which includes display, navigation, targeting and electronic warfare systems. Other key avionics used in the aircraft were sourced from France and South Africa.


In 2004 India inked a deal with Russia to domestically produce the Novator K-100 missile for its Su-30MKI fighters. The Novator K-100 missile is designed to shoot down AWACS and other C4ISTAR aircraft whilst keeping the launch platform out of range of any fighters that might be protecting the target.

Although not initially designed to carry nuclear or strategic weapons, the Indian Air Force will receive 40 upgraded SU-30MKIs capable of carrying the BrahMos cruise missile possibly by 2012. In addition, there are also plans to integrate the nuclear-capable Nirbhay missile with the aircraft as well.[2]In May 2010, India Today reported that Russia had won a large contract to upgrade 40 Su-30MKI fighters with new radars, onboard computers, electronic warfare systems and the ability to carry the BrahMos missile. The first two prototypes with the 'Super-30' upgrade will be delivered to the Indian Air Force in 2012, after which the same upgrades will be performed on the last batch consisting of 40 production aircraft. The exact value of the contract has yet to be disclosed however.

India is planning to fit its Sukhoi Su-30MKI fighters with Russian Phazotron Zhuk-AE Active Electronically Scanned Array AESA radars. The X-band radar can track 30 aerial targets in the track-while-scan mode and engage six targets simultaneously in attack mode. AESA technology offers improved performance and reliability compared with traditional mechanically scanned array radars. Indian Defense Minister A.K Antony proposed several upgrades for the Su-30MKI to the Indian Parliament, which included fitting the fighters with Russian Phazotron Zhuk-AE AESA radars starting in 2012.