Why India Might Buy Russian Su-35 for $12 Billion?
NEW DELHI, (BM) – Su-35 can become not only a means of replenishing the Indian Air Force with a powerful “heavyweight”, but also a unique opportunity to modernize the Su-30MKI fleet. Why the elite Su-35 can win a tender for 12 billion dollars, the Indian media tried to explain.
According to Indian Defense News, which published special material, the Russian fighter for gaining air superiority of the “4 ++ generation” Su-35 “Flanker” stands out among seven bidders for the supply of an average multi-purpose combat aircraft of the Indian Air Force as the only heavy platform and the only machine specializing in airborne control battlefield.
Given its large mass, the Su-35, placed a line above, in the circle of the “elite”, surpasses all other bidders in the entire spectrum of characteristics: in payload, range and altitude, and equipment power. For the same reason, it has increased maneuverability and speed (which MiG-35 has among the applicants only), since its dimensions made it possible to install an engine with a controlled thrust vector. This is the only aircraft participating in the tender that is able to carry hypersonic air-to-air missiles.
But, according to Indian Defense News, despite the relatively low cost and high performance, the key disadvantage of the Su-35 compared to lighter jet aircraft, such as the MiG-35 and Rafal, are increased maintenance requirements and operating costs. which possibly makes it less competitive compared to medium fighters.
Russia declared ready to transfer technology
However, according to the publication, if you link the proposal for the production of 114 units. Su-35 in India with the possibility of modernizing the existing fleet of more than 250 units in the country other “heavyweights” Su-30MKI, the Russian proposal may well compensate for the shortcomings of higher operating costs.
Allegedly, the KLA of the Russian Federation proposed to provide under the contract a number of Su-35 technologies that can be used to modernize the Indian Su-30 fleet, which will significantly improve their flight performance. Moreover, many of the systems will be produced in India itself.
As the publication explains, the potential contract stipulates that the engines and other systems installed on the Su-35 will be integrated into the Indian Su-30, which will make the two aircraft substantially similar and, accordingly, compatible. This, in turn, can lead to less burdensome maintenance and a reduction in the net operating costs required to maintain the fleet of heavyweight fighters. No other bidder can offer such an option, Indian Defense News believes.
“Although Su-35 is likely to be one of the three main contenders, the unique opportunity to improve due to its existing Indian fleet of Su-30 India […] may well make it a leading challenger” concludes the edition.
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Original title: In India, explained why the elite Su-35 can win a tender for 12 billion dollars
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect BGM`s editorial stance.