IAF’s Su-30 MKI fighter jets to get a Rs 60000 Cr upgrade

Defence PSU Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, supported by the Defence Research and Development Organisation, has secured approval from the Indian Defence Ministry for a major upgrade of the Su-30 MKI fighter jet fleet of the Indian Air Force (IAF).

This Rs 60,000 crores ($7.5 Billion) project aims to bolster the aircraft’s capabilities through the integration of new radars, mission control systems, electronic warfare capabilities, and weapon systems.

Noteworthy, this  comprehensive upgrade of the mainstay Su-30MKI fighter jet fleet will see the aircraft getting new radars, mission control system, electronic warfare capabilities and integration of new weapon systems.

Further, several major components will be procured from the Indian private sector, with HAL as the lead integrator.

The project, which has been put on fast track by the Indian Air Force, is to be carried out in two phases.

  • The first will involve new avionics and radars for the aircraft 
  • The second phase will concentrate on flight control systems. Several Russian origin systems are being replaced by indigenous options.

A majority of the work will involve indigenous systems that are to be fitted onboard the platform to give it a combat edge.

This will include a new indigenous radar that will enable the aircraft to pick up and engage targets at much larger distances.

The radar in older generation jets had been a point of concern for the Air Force as it would get outperformed by systems used by adversaries.

In the first phase, the aircraft will also get a new Electronic Warfare System to jam incoming threats and disrupt enemy communication.

Besides, the fighters are to get new indigenous Infra-Red Search and Track systems that will greatly enhance the ability to engage air-to-air and air-to-ground targets.

Work on integrating the aircraft with the new systems could begin this year, with the Air Force keen on modernising the entire fleet at the earliest.

Close to 90 of the fighters are to be upgraded in the first tranche that would be conducted entirely in India.

India ordered 272 of the fighter jets from Russia that form the mainstay of the Air Force fighter fleet.

Earlier, in 2023 an order for 12 more jets was also cleared for Rs 11,000 crore.

These jets would be manufactured by HAL with indigenous content of over 50%.

Over 600 aircraft of the Su-27/30 type have been manufactured and large operators include Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia and Algeria.

This opens up a significant export market for the upgrades as well.

Source: https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/defence/60000-crore-sukhoi-fighter-upgrade-begins-to-involve-private-sector-in-big-way/articleshow/107831860.cms