TOKYO, ($1=109.62 Japanese Yens) – Japanese Self-Defense Forces pilots will have the opportunity to train together with heavy multi-role Su-30 aircraft, and more precisely with their Indian variant of the Su-30MKI, learned BulgarianMilitary.com citing Defence24. This will be possible thanks to the tightening of military cooperation with India, with which only the Japanese navy, army, and transport aviation have practiced so far.
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According to Japanese sources, joint exercises with combat jets are a sign of high mutual trust between the two countries. The exercises are to be held at the Japanese military base later this year, although it is not yet known exactly where. The venture was planned for a long time and was initially planned to take place in June last year, and flights will be carried out from the Japanese Komatsu base where the Japanese F-15Js are stationed.
Due to the pandemic, however, they were moved to July this year, and the Su-30MKI was to be used mainly by F-2 fighters from the Hyakuri base. This time, the delta coronavirus variant originated in India. Currently, it is not known what base and what planes will train with the Indians. It is known, however, that the exercises are to take place later this year, and the Japanese expect a visit of six Su-30MKI.
It is no secret that the goal of the Japanese side is to learn about the Su-30 and its characteristics in flight, such as range, maneuverability, fuel consumption, but – as Japanese sources say – also methods of keeping them in working order or, for example, the time needed to prepare such a machine to fly and throw her into battle again. The Su-30 radar signatures at different angles of attack will also be examined, and Japanese pilots are also supposed to be approved for flight at least as passengers of the two-seater Su-30MKI.
The willingness to get to know this plane is not surprising. The People’s Republic of China has 97 such machines, whose fighters regularly fly between the Japanese islands. In the event of an armed conflict, they would be the main opponent of Japanese planes, just like their Chinese versions of the J-16, or other Chinese Su-27 family planes [Su-27, Su-35, J-11, on-board J-15], not to mention the machines Russian. A better understanding of this design is therefore crucial for the Japanese and much more important than the air cooperation conducted since 2018 between Indian and Japanese transport aviation.
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