India buys 4th-Gen Su-30 MKI fighters amid the war in Ukraine

NEW DELHI, ($1=76.21 Indian Rupees) — According to the Belgian online portal AirRecognition, which quotes the online site Military Leak, New Delhi is preparing to order a dozen [12 units] Russian Su-30 MKI fighters, which are manufactured in India under Russian license.

Su-30 Flanker-C – Russian 4 generation fighter jet [review]
Russian Su-30 | Photo credit: Wikipedia

According to the two online portals, the contract is expected to be submitted for approval in the coming days by the Defense Acquisition Council [DAC], chaired by Rajnath Singh, India’s defense minister. In addition to Singh, the DAC includes three others.

The news is quite unexpected against the background of the statement of Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Donald Lu in a statement to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday, March 2, 2022, about which BulgarianMilitary.com wrote. “What we’ve seen from India is the cancellation of MiG-29 orders, Russian helicopter orders, and anti-tank weapon orders.”

However, a statement by Donald Lu, BulgarianMilitary.com wrote in early March that production and orders from India for the Su-30MKI will not be affected.

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Photo credit: Wikipedia

Su-30 MKI

The aircraft is specially made to Indian specifications and integrates Indian systems and avionics, as well as French and Israeli subsystems. It has capabilities similar to the Dry Su-35, with which it shares many features and components.

Otherwise, the Sukhoi Su-30 is a Russian multi-role fighter aircraft based on the two-seat training aircraft Sukhoi Su-27UB, the development of which began in the last years of the Soviet Union.

4th-gen Su-30 Flanker-C

Despite its size and weight, the Su-30 is capable of remarkable flight performance. This includes the cobra maneuver that has been demonstrated for the first time with a Su-27 and has been famous ever since. Compared to the Su-27, however, the Su-30 achieves a slightly lower climb performance and maximum speed.

During maneuvers with very abrupt changes of direction, it loses enormous speed and thus also altitude, which is particularly evident in versions with thrust vector control, which greatly increases the maneuverability of the machine compared to aircraft with conventional engines.

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BulgarianMilitary.com graphics

The strength of the Su-30 lies primarily in its high flexibility, as it can be used for almost any type of application. These so-called “multi-role” capabilities are the greatest advantage of the Su-30MK on the world market, as only the F-16 “Fighting Falcon”, F / A-18 “Hornet” and JAS 39 “Gripen” have a similar one have a high degree of flexibility, but without achieving the flight performance of the Su-30. However, this could change with the introduction of the F-35 and the full operational capability of the French Rafale and the Eurofighter “Typhoon”.

The Su-30 has no stealth and, due to its size, has a high kerosene consumption, which is compensated for by the large internal tanks, so the manufacturer has so far not integrated any additional drop-off tanks.

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