Defence Minister Rajanth Singh headed Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) has approved proposals worth about Rs 45,000 crores including 11,000 crores for twelve Russian Origin Sukhoi-30 MKI fighters which will be manufactured In India by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). The Rs 11,000 crore project would include the aircraft and the ground-related systems.
According to the proposal, the aircraft will have 60 per cent or more indigenous content as per the requirements. The Defence Officials have said that these will be the most modern and advanced Su-30MKI aircraft in the inventory of the Indian Air Force and will be equipped with multiple Indian weapons and sensors.
Features of the Su-30MKI
The Sukhoi SU-30MKI a formidable twin-seater air superiority fighter, represents a pinnacle of aerial engineering. This versatile multirole fighter was originally developed by Russia’s Sukhoi and produced under the license of India’s Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) exclusively for the Indian Air Force.
With its inception into the IAF Fleet in 2002, the Su-30MKI has been a stalwart participant in numerous conflicts and military exercises. The nomenclature of the aircraft itself speaks volumes about its capabilities. SU signifies Sukhoi, the esteemed manufacturers while MKI stands for Multirole-K-India eloquently articulating its multifaceted prowess tailored to the specific needs of the Indian Air Force (IAF)
Renowned for its exceptional manoeuvrability, a hallmark of Sukhoi Aircraft, the Su-30MKI demonstrates remarkable agility and is adept at executing breathtaking aerobatic manoeuvres. Its extensive ordnance-carrying capability encompasses a wide range and array of air-to-air and air-to-ground weapons and munitions that range from missiles to rockets. Furthermore, it is equipped with a formidable 30mm cannon to provide close air support as and when required.
Over the years, the SU-30MKI has evolved into a cornerstone of the Indian Air Force (IAF) capabilities. This versatile and battle-tested aircraft continues to serve as a stalwart guardian, standing ready to fulfil a multitude of roles and missions. Through various upgrades and adaptations, it remains a potent symbol of aerial dominance in the IAF inventory.
Why is Sukhoi -30MKI the backbone of the IAF?
The Sukhoi-30 MKI is referred as to as the main air domination fighter because it enables the force to carry out a variety of tasks essential and necessary to keep up with its expanding international prominence.
Contemporary jets such as Su-30 MKI are adaptable fighters that can do combat air patrols as well as attack and bombing missions, establishing a safe zone for other jets to fly in. It means that fewer aeroplanes are required today to complete a task than were required with earlier generations of aircraft. The IAF’s war-fighting doctrine has altered, putting and placing more emphasis on long-range and strategic operations, in addition to making a significant technological transfer from a fleet dominated by MiG-21 fighters.
The majority of Indian Air Force bases, including Adampur, Jammu, Amritsar, and Jodhpur, used to be near the Pakistani border due to the short range of IAF fighter aircraft. The Sukhois can move between the fronts in Pakistan and China when necessary thanks to their long legs and quickness.
They have been deployed at strategic locations and near forward areas such as Tezpur (close to the LAC), Thanjavur (South India- Tigersharks), Jodhpur (Desert Lions), Leh along with Bareilly and Bathinda.
The aircraft’s speed, altitude, manoeuvrability, and endurance greatly surpass those of other Indian jets like the Rafale and Mirage 2000, making it unmatched in terms of flight performance.