Sukhoi Su-30MKI

TypeAir superiority fighter
Country of originRussia
ManufacturerHindustan Aeronautics Limited under licence from Sukhoi
First flightIAF Su-30: 1 July 1997
Su-30MKI: 2000
Introduced27 September 2002
Numbers built159
Unit costsINR 1.61 billion (US$32.65 million)
Max speedMaximum speed: Mach 1.9 (2,120 km/h, 1,317 mph) at altitude; 1,350 km/h, 839 mph near ground level
Max rangeRange: 3,000 km (1,620 nmi) at altitude; (1,270 km, 690 nmi near ground level; with no external fuel tanks)

Endurance: 3.75 hrs (up to 10 hrs with in-flight refueling)

Service ceiling: 17,300 m (56,800 ft)
DimensionsLength: 21.935 m (72.97 ft)
Wingspan: 14.7 m (48.2 ft)
Height: 6.36 m (20.85 ft)
Wing area: 62.0 m² (667 ft²)
WeightEmpty weight: 18,400 kg[69] (40,565 lb)
Loaded weight: 24,900 kg (54,895 lb)
Max takeoff weight: 38,800 kg (85,600 lb)
Powerplant2 × Lyulka AL-31FP turbofans with thrust vectoring, 123 kN with afterburner (27,600 lbf) each
ArmamentGuns: 1 × GSh-30-1 gun (30 mm caliber, 150 rounds)

12 hardpoints: 2 × wing-tip AAM launch rails, 6 × pylons under-wing, 2 × pylon under-engine nacelle, and 2 × pylons in tandem in the "arch" between the engines. It can be increased to 14 using multiple ejector racks. It can carry up to 8 tonnes of external stores.

Air-to-air Missiles:

10 × R-77 (AA-12) active radar homing medium range AAM, 100 km
10 × Astra missile active radar homing medium range AAM, 120 km
6 × R-27ER (AA-10C) semi-active radar guided, long range AAM 130 km
6 × R-27ET (AA-10D) Infrared homing extended range version, long range AAM 120 km
2 × R-27R (AA-10A) semi-active radar guided, medium range AAM,80 km
2 × R-27T (AA-10B) infrared homing seeker, medium range AAM, 70 km
6 × R-73 (AA-11) short range AAM, 30 km
3 × Novator KS-172 AAM-L 400 km/Russian air-to-air missile designed as an "AWACS killer"

Air-to-surface Missiles:

3 × Kh-59ME TV guided standoff Missile, 115 km
3 × Kh-59MK active radar homing anti-ship missile, 285 km
4 × Kh-35 anti-ship missile, 130 km
1 × PJ-10 Brahmos supersonic cruise missile,300 km
1 × Nirbhay subsonic cruise missile,1000 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)


8 × 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

The Sukhoi Su-30MKI Flanker-H is a variant of Su-30 which is fighter jointly developed by Russia’s Sukhoi and India’s Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for the Indian Air Force (IAF). The fighter is a multirole, air superiority, all-weather, heavy and long-range fighter.

The development of Su-30MKI started out after India had a deal with Russia in 2000. The first Su-30MKI, a Russian-made, delivered to IAF in 2002 while the first Indian-made entered service with the IAF in 2004. Up to January 2011, the IAF operates 142 Su-30MKI and it plans to have 280 units by 2015 as the fighter is expected to be the backbone of IAF’s fighter fleet to 2020 and beyond.

The Development of Su-30MKI

The Su-30MKI is designed for Indian specifications and incorporates Indian systems and avionics as well as French and Israeli subsystems. Therefore, the Su-30MKI is designed to be similar to the Sukhoi Su-35 and more advanced than the basic Su-30MK, the Chinese Su-30MKK/MK2, and the Malaysian Su-30MKM.

In October 2000, both India and Russia signed a Memorandum of Understanding determineing the license production of 140+ Su-30MKIs in India and in December 2000, the deal was made at Russia’s Irkutsk aircraft plant, with full technology transfer.

In 2004 India signed an agreement with Russia to locally manufacture the Novator K-100 missile for its Su-30MKI fighters. The Novator K-100 missile is developed to take down AWACS and other C4ISTAR aircraft while preserving the launch platform away from range of any fighters that could be defending the target.

Despite the fact that not originally intended to bear nuclear or strategic weapons, the IAF will obtain 40 upgraded Su-30MKIs able to holding the BrahMos cruise missile probably by 2012. Additionally, there are also programs to incorporate the nuclear-capable Nirbhay missile with the aircraft likewise.

The Design of Su-30MKI

The Su-30MKI is a highly built-in twin-finned aircraft. The airframe is manufactured of titanium and high-strength aluminium alloys. The fuselage head is of semi-monocoque structure and consists of the cockpit, radar compartments and the avionics bay.

Su-30MKI aerodynamic configuration is an unstable longitudinal triplane. The canard raises the aircraft lifting ability enabling it to perform Pugachev’s Cobra. The integral aerodynamic configuration coupled with thrust vectoring results in incredibly capable maneuverability, taking off and landing characteristics. This high agility enables rapid deployment of weapons in any direction as preferred by the crew. The canard remarkably helps in controlling the aircraft at large angles-of-attack and taking it to a level flight condition. The aircraft features a fly by wire (FBW) with quadruple redundancy.

In the cockpit, the displays incorporate a greatly tailored version of the Israeli Elbit Su 967 head-up display including bi-cubic 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 extensively misreported to be the VEH 3000 from Thales. Versions of the same HUD have also been selected for the IAF’s MiG-27 and SEPECAT Jaguar upgrades, on grounds of standardization. Flight information is shown on four LCD displays which consist of one for piloting and navigation, a tactical situation indicator, and two for display systems information which includes operating modes and overall operation status.

Starting out in 2010, HUDs and Multi-Function Displays (MFD) will be supplied by the Delhi-based Samtel Display Systems. These are indigenously designed and developed and are not a part of a joint foreign venture.

The aircraft is equipped with a satellite navigation system (A-737 GPS compatible), which allows it to make flights in all weather, day and night. The navigation complex includes the high accuracy SAGEM Sigma-95 integrated global positioning system and ring laser gyroscope inertial navigation system.

The crew has zero-zero KD-36DM ejection seats in the cockpit with the rear seat is lifted for better visibility. The cockpit is furnished with containers to keep food and water reserves, a waste disposal system and additional oxygen bottles. The KD-36DM ejection seat is sloped at 30 degree to aid the pilot withstand aircraft accelerations in air combat.

Su-30MI features the forward-facing NIIP N011M Bars (Panther), powerful integrated passive electronically scanned array radar. The N011M is digital multi-mode dual frequency band radar. N011M has a 350 km search range and a maximum 200 km tracking range, and 60 km in the rear hemisphere. The radar can keep track of 15 air targets and engage 4 simultaneously including cruise missiles and motionless helicopters.

The Su-30MKI can do the job as a mini-AWACS as a director or command post for other sorts of aircraft. The target co-ordinates can be transmitted instantly to at least four other aircraft. The radar can identify ground targets for instance tanks at 40-50 km.

The Su-30MKI is driven by the two Al-31FP turbofans. The Su-30MKI seems to have a range of 3,000 km with internal fuel which assures a 3.75 hour combat mission. The supersonic fighter also features an in-flight refueling (IFR) probe that retracts beside the cockpit during normal operation which can enhance the flight duration up to 10 hours with a range of 8,000 km at a cruise height of 11 to 13 km. Su-30MKIs can also perform buddy refueling ability.

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