Defence News: We talked about super Sukhoi program some time ago, wishing AESA comes on board the deadly platform. Now that seems to be closer to the board with indications that the Sukhoi 30MKI of IAF may get AESA along with long range missile, most probably the Meteor. Meteor is coming to India with the Rafale fighter jets already and adding it to one more platform may make a whole lot of sense.
Now News is already in the media about possible AESA integration and Meteor porting to Sukhoi 30MKI. India Today has this article about Sukhois shooting longer and faster. Most notably it says “Under the plans to enhance the capabilities, the air frame of the planes would also be strengthened to allow it to carry heavier missiles with longer ranges for carrying out special operations, the sources said. The Air Force is also planning to enhance the enemy detection capabilities with advanced radar like the Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar which can help the IAF pilots to track enemy planes and target more effectively and at longer ranges, the sources said.” and “About three years back, the IAF had also issued a Request to Information to the European vendors for acquiring stand-off missiles with ranges beyond 300 kilometres for being fired from the Sukhois”
The total expense being quoted by Russia is around 50K crores for the upgrades. “We are looking for enhancing the capabilities of the aircraft by equipping it with more potent weapons including air-to-air missiles with kill ranges up to 120 kilo meters like the Meteor missiles which are being fitted on the Rafales,” sources told MAIL TODAY.
Meteor missile is a BVRAAM (Beyond visual range air to air missile) based on radar seeking guidance with one or 2 way data link (depending upon configuration of aircraft) which can shoot at highly maneuverable targets out to more than a 100 Kilometers. it can work in heavily defended ECM (electronic counter measures) environment. This means it’s quite immune to jamming and in-flight “hacking” by enemy electronic warfare systems, counter measures or decoys.
The missiles puts India way ahead of China and Pakistan’s Air to Air missile capabilities and gives the Su-30MKI unbeatable advantage when it comes to fighter to fighter combat edge. AESA will provide quiet (read stealthy) radar scans without giving away the fighter position and enable targeting stealth aircraft that China is developing.