Su-30MKI: News and Discussion - August 9, 2014

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Re: Su-30MKI: News and Discussion - August 9, 2014

Postby mody » 18 May 2021 18:09

From the likely upgrades, off the shelf type of solutions exist only the EW suite and some other avionics elements like a new helmet, SDR, etc.

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Re: Su-30MKI: News and Discussion - August 9, 2014

Postby chetak » 18 May 2021 18:14

brar_w wrote:If there is any sort of urgency (IAF) for a Super Sukhoi upgrade program, then the IAF will likely pick stuff that is already ready, and mature for integration so that limits, to some extent, its choices. If on the other hand they are willing to wait then of course that opens up the aperture to developing the upgrade package itself before beginning integration with the aircraft. But given the fleet size, and the time it will take to upgrade the entire fleet the IAF IMHO will probably want to get started sooner rather than waiting to develop and demonstrate each of the upgrade elements. Even in the best case scenario it will likely take a decade or so to upgrade the entire fleet so if they start by 2025 they will be well into the 2030's.



we have nil expertise, both in house and in country, with engine upgrades without using already proven path of tech, test-verification-validation cycle, and depending on reliable OEM support.

the engine is a different kettle of fish altogether

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Re: Su-30MKI: News and Discussion - August 9, 2014

Postby brar_w » 18 May 2021 18:17

Which is why an engine replacement is probably not very likely, at least in the near term. Complete engine replacements on fighter types is not something one sees often and its rare primarily because of the complexity involved in developing, integrating and test/cert which eats into the test fleet, budgets, and schedules of most other stuff you'd also want as part of modernization.

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Re: Su-30MKI: News and Discussion - August 9, 2014

Postby kit » 18 May 2021 20:11

brar_w wrote:Which is why an engine replacement is probably not very likely, at least in the near term. Complete engine replacements on fighter types is not something one sees often and its rare primarily because of the complexity involved in developing, integrating and test/cert which eats into the test fleet, budgets, and schedules of most other stuff you'd also want as part of modernization.


Just curious though, granted engine replacement is a tricky and expensive business, but what about refining and fine tuning the existing engine ?, at the risk of sounding too tacky., does the sukhoi engine offer "growth options" ? Through replaceable units ?

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Re: Su-30MKI: News and Discussion - August 9, 2014

Postby brar_w » 18 May 2021 20:42

^ Yes that is a different thing and much more manageable. If these are modular engines, you could introduce higher reliability or performance modules and time these upgrades to coincide with your routine overhaul cycles so that it reduces the impact on fleet readiness and availability. If you are looking at non modular engines with some tech insertion to make them better, more reliable, increase in life etc then those engineering changes need to be R&D'd, tested and certified so its like a longer process. It really all depends upon how much $$ the IAF wants to spend on this modernization, and what the schedule looks like. Also on what the Russians have readily available and tested and whether they want the MOD/IAF to carry the cost of testing and certification. I feel if they want to start at say 2024-2025 and put the entire fleet through modernization in under a decade then it would be more of an Off the Shelf upgrade, using mature and developed components and systems so that a couple of dozen aircraft can be cycled through the depots each year and receive the upgrades (USAF did that with its F-15E fleet for example where they broke the modernization into phases so as to not take the fleet out for a long time given these were high in demand aircraft). It is always a balance but with large fleets you end up with the issue of stretching out modernization and also issues with cycling the fleet in and out of depots which impacts readiness.

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Re: Su-30MKI: News and Discussion - August 9, 2014

Postby srai » 19 May 2021 04:54

...

HAL is now in the process of ramping its capacity to overhaul the SU-30MKIs from 15 aircraft per year to 25.

...


Any MLU good to do it when aircraft needs to undergo an overhaul. At 25/year capacity, it will take 10 years for the Su-30MKI fleet MLU.

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Re: Su-30MKI: News and Discussion - August 9, 2014

Postby nachiket » 19 May 2021 23:31

srai wrote:
...

HAL is now in the process of ramping its capacity to overhaul the SU-30MKIs from 15 aircraft per year to 25.

...


Any MLU good to do it when aircraft needs to undergo an overhaul. At 25/year capacity, it will take 10 years for the Su-30MKI fleet MLU.

Capacity to overhaul 25 aircraft/year does not mean capacity to upgrade 25 per year. Upgrading will be a more involved process and each individual component of the upgrade and sub-component will have to be ordered from some vendor, domestic or foreign. So you have to look at their capacities and supply constraints etc. as well. We have had two decades to build up and stabilize the supply chain for the replacement components needed during overhaul and we are still at only 15/yr. Investing heavily upfront to give out larger orders to vendors instead of our usual piecemeal ones would help but you know that pigs will fly before that happens.

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Re: Su-30MKI: News and Discussion - August 9, 2014

Postby chetak » 20 May 2021 00:13

kit wrote:
brar_w wrote:Which is why an engine replacement is probably not very likely, at least in the near term. Complete engine replacements on fighter types is not something one sees often and its rare primarily because of the complexity involved in developing, integrating and test/cert which eats into the test fleet, budgets, and schedules of most other stuff you'd also want as part of modernization.


Just curious though, granted engine replacement is a tricky and expensive business, but what about refining and fine tuning the existing engine ?, at the risk of sounding too tacky., does the sukhoi engine offer "growth options" ? Through replaceable units ?


are you talking about a modular engine

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Re: Su-30MKI: News and Discussion - August 9, 2014

Postby chetak » 20 May 2021 00:16

brar_w wrote:Which is why an engine replacement is probably not very likely, at least in the near term. Complete engine replacements on fighter types is not something one sees often and its rare primarily because of the complexity involved in developing, integrating and test/cert which eats into the test fleet, budgets, and schedules of most other stuff you'd also want as part of modernization.


we cannot even tweak an existing engine because we simply do not have the capability to do so.

So, it's back to the OEM to exploit any "growth potential" the engine may have

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Re: Su-30MKI: News and Discussion - August 9, 2014

Postby Cain Marko » 22 May 2021 17:26

mody wrote:Another option that I have not listed above would be to partner with Russia to upgrade the AL-31FP engines, rather than replacing them with the AL-41F1S engines.

But saar, that's exactly what the 41 is, an upgraded 31fp.

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Re: Su-30MKI: News and Discussion - August 9, 2014

Postby Karan M » 22 May 2021 18:42

Its an upgrade but a heavy one, and consequently expensive as well.

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Re: Su-30MKI: News and Discussion - August 9, 2014

Postby Philip » 23 May 2021 15:39

The cost of a single PW F-135 engine amounts to approx. $16.2 M for a 40K thrust engine. A 2017 report said that Ru offered all 270 MKIs upgraded to SS std. with the new AL 41 FP engine for approx.$6+B. That's approx. $22M per aircraft. If one assumes that half the cost is that of the two engines, given the PW cost given above, then a sum of around $2-3 B would be soley for the engine cost. If there are actual costs around of the new engine for the MKI fleet,pl. post the same. This is a substantial sum,perhaps why the reluctance of the IAF. OOne could get around 40 to 60 LCA Mk-1As for the same sum.

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Re: Su-30MKI: News and Discussion - August 9, 2014

Postby basant » 23 May 2021 15:53

It would be nice to have 2 sq of Growler like EW variants with AL-41s. Additionally, it will mess up response plans of the adversary too.

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Re: Su-30MKI: News and Discussion - August 9, 2014

Postby brar_w » 23 May 2021 17:05

Philip wrote:The cost of a single PW F-135 engine amounts to approx. $16.2 M for a 40K thrust engine.


viewtopic.php?f=3&t=7088&p=2500284#p2500284

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Re: Su-30MKI: News and Discussion - August 9, 2014

Postby Manish_P » 23 May 2021 18:52

Philip wrote:The cost of a single PW F-135 engine amounts to approx. $16.2 M for a 40K thrust engine. A 2017 report said that Ru offered all 270 MKIs upgraded to SS std. with the new AL 41 FP engine for approx.$6+B. That's approx. $22M per aircraft. If one assumes that half the cost is that of the two engines, given the PW cost given above, then a sum of around $2-3 B would be soley for the engine cost...


It's not how simple you make it out to be. It is not even an apples to oranges comparison. You need to factor in parameters like the life cycle of the engines.. IIRC there were a few posts some months ago (including by Brar) wherein it was shown that the western engines typically had a usage life nearly 2.5 to 3 times the russian ones.

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Re: Su-30MKI: News and Discussion - August 9, 2014

Postby Vips » 24 May 2021 01:40

Yes, the Su 30 airframe of the IAF would see at least 3 engines being changed during its lifetime. Cheap is OK when you re facing a crunch but as the saying goes you get what you pay for.

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Re: Su-30MKI: News and Discussion - August 9, 2014

Postby titash » 24 May 2021 01:56

Vips wrote:Yes, the Su 30 airframe of the IAF would see at least 3 engines being changed during its lifetime. Cheap is OK when you re facing a crunch but as the saying goes you get what you pay for.


Vips-ji & Philip-ji,

The debate is quite irrelevant. The stark reality is:

1) American engines are high performance, reliable, and relatively cheap. We love them. But they are *always* under the gun of sanctions. Sneeze out of turn, let alone step out of line, and your fleet will be grounded before you can say ‘uncle’ :D

2) French engines are high performance, reliable, but relatively expensive. They are also sanction proof for the most part. But buy large amounts of French weaponry and you’ll never have any $$ for schools, roads, and other essentials of life

3) Russian engines are high performance, and relatively cheap, and sanctions proof. But they have low reliability and MTBF requiring frequent overhauls and replacements. So higher OPEX as opposed to CAPEX. Buying Russian is the only way to get a reasonable force structure at reasonable prices…maintaining it is a different ballgame altogether

You have to buy a mix and keep all OEMs on their toes. Long term, going native with GTRE (or any other organization that volunteers to deliver a high performance gas turbine, if you think GTRE are a bunch of bums) is your only choice if you want to play in the big boys league

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Re: Su-30MKI: News and Discussion - August 9, 2014

Postby basant » 24 May 2021 02:18

Apparently Al-41 has double the mean overhaul and engine life times.

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Re: Su-30MKI: News and Discussion - August 9, 2014

Postby LakshmanPST » 24 May 2021 02:28

Since we are talking about Engine replacement in Su30 MKI, few recent tweets from @hvtiaf--->

https://twitter.com/hvtiaf/status/13935 ... 39624?s=19
Engines are well settled. I think analysts may be out of touch with the present ground situation.

Engine change is neither envisaged, not necessitated for achieving any of its op roles.


https://twitter.com/hvtiaf/status/13935 ... 92896?s=19
Upgrade includes wet stations. Engine is fine. A change will not yield any specific op benifit.


https://twitter.com/hvtiaf/status/13937 ... 53152?s=19
Engine change is not a practical or economic solution to any perceived problem on a fighter. There are no successful programmes of engine retro-mod on an existing fighter. Su-30MKI definitely doesn't need an engine upgrade.

It's lifetime support is well established in India.


https://twitter.com/hvtiaf/status/13937 ... 05025?s=19
It wouldn't alter operational efficacy in any way. It'll not be done.

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Re: Su-30MKI: News and Discussion - August 9, 2014

Postby Vivek K » 24 May 2021 02:35

basant wrote:Apparently Al-41 has double the mean overhaul and engine life times.

Key word - “apparently “! The Kaveri apparently produces 150 KN thrust.

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Re: Su-30MKI: News and Discussion - August 9, 2014

Postby Manish_P » 24 May 2021 10:25

LakshmanPST wrote:
https://twitter.com/hvtiaf/status/13937 ... 53152?s=19
Engine change is not a practical or economic solution to any perceived problem on a fighter. There are no successful programmes of engine retro-mod on an existing fighter. Su-30MKI definitely doesn't need an engine upgrade.

It's lifetime support is well established in India.



Was posted earlier as well and understood on this forum.

I think this discussion (a thinking exercise) began with the theory that the AESA upgrade would require more power, and could that additional power come from the newer engine (which is touted to offer other benefits like longer life time, less maintenance and more reliability), rather than exploring if the existing engine could be uprated in some way..

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Re: Su-30MKI: News and Discussion - August 9, 2014

Postby Philip » 24 May 2021 10:28

One point,if French engines cost an arm and a leg, and leaves us with little moolah for civvy street, how come all our desi helos being built in large number,ALHs, LCH,LUH, and the MH to come have French engines?

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Re: Su-30MKI: News and Discussion - August 9, 2014

Postby titash » 24 May 2021 10:38

Philip wrote:One point,if French engines cost an arm and a leg, and leaves us with little moolah for civvy street, how come all our desi helos being built in large number,ALHs, LCH,LUH, and the MH to come have French engines?


We need helicopters and don't have a desi engine. But we can produce the rest of the helicopter in-house.

So, either we choose to buy the entire helicopter from abroad, or build locally with a foreign engine. We chose the latter.

With regard to foreign engines, the US LHTEC T800 was the first choice. Due to sanctions post 1998, the Turbomeca TM 333 2B2 (a lower performing french engine) was ordered, that was subsequently developed into the more powerful Shakti/Ardiden. No Russian engine was ever considered.

Again - we order a mix to keep all OEMs happy. The French get to sell 600-1000 Shakti engines, the Russians get to sell 300+ Mi-17 helicopters, the Americans sell niche Apache / Chinook helos, HAL gets to put its Dhruv into service. Everyone's happy :-)

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Re: Su-30MKI: News and Discussion - August 9, 2014

Postby Manish_P » 24 May 2021 20:22

^<OT> Quick question - Why were the Russian engines not selected for our indigenous Helis. Trying to reduce dependency? </OT>

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Re: Su-30MKI: News and Discussion - August 9, 2014

Postby Pratyush » 24 May 2021 20:38

Manish_P wrote:^<OT> Quick question - Why were the Russian engines not selected for our indigenous Helis. Trying to reduce dependency? </OT>


When ALH was designed, India was actively seeking to diversify our defence suppliers.

We would have been OK with buying from the Khan's as well and we had a fairly long shoping list of khan's equipment. Including but not limited to TOW ATGM and M2 12.7 MM machine gun.

It's actually a very interesting story. But totally OT for the thread. IDSA in either 2000 / 2001 had covered the issues with American stupidity in terms of supplying weapons to us.

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Re: Su-30MKI: News and Discussion - August 9, 2014

Postby titash » 24 May 2021 22:09

Manish_P wrote:^<OT> Quick question - Why were the Russian engines not selected for our indigenous Helis. Trying to reduce dependency? </OT>


One more reason:

Russian engines are high performance, and relatively cheap, and sanctions proof. But they have low reliability and MTBF requiring frequent overhauls and replacements. So higher OPEX as opposed to CAPEX

Helicopters in the Indian context are largely for peacetime usage in disaster relief, air bridge to Siachen, casualty evacuation from forward areas, etc. They see heavy utilization and are effectively consumables. So you want low OPEX and higher reliability and higher availability. That eliminates the Russian engine for the most part.

Note: the Mi-8/Mi-17 family is an exception and the sheer cheapness of the helicopter and the relatively older technology of the helicopter & engine AND the continued OEM support (because it’s still in production) make it a very attractive proposition

Hence the choice to go American or French

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Re: Su-30MKI: News and Discussion - August 9, 2014

Postby titash » 24 May 2021 22:19

titash wrote:
Manish_P wrote:^<OT> Quick question - Why were the Russian engines not selected for our indigenous Helis. Trying to reduce dependency? </OT>


One more reason:

Russian engines are high performance, and relatively cheap, and sanctions proof. But they have low reliability and MTBF requiring frequent overhauls and replacements. So higher OPEX as opposed to CAPEX

Helicopters in the Indian context are largely for peacetime usage in disaster relief, air bridge to Siachen, casualty evacuation from forward areas, etc. They see heavy utilization and are effectively consumables. So you want low OPEX and higher reliability and higher availability. That eliminates the Russian engine for the most part.

Note: the Mi-8/Mi-17 family is an exception and the sheer cheapness of the helicopter and the relatively older technology of the helicopter & engine AND the continued OEM support (because it’s still in production) make it a very attractive proposition

Hence the choice to go American or French


Another point…the entire Russian helicopter industry is based around the Klimov VK-2500 (and it’s ancestor TV3-117VMA). They have 1 reliable engine and *everything* is designed around it…KA-27 family, Mi-24 family, Mi-8 family, Ka-50 family, Mi-28 family etc.

Our Dhruv is not in that 10-12 ton category. Ergo American / French

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Re: Su-30MKI: News and Discussion - August 9, 2014

Postby nachiket » 26 May 2021 01:44

Manish_P wrote:


Was posted earlier as well and understood on this forum.

I think this discussion (a thinking exercise) began with the theory that the AESA upgrade would require more power, and could that additional power come from the newer engine (which is touted to offer other benefits like longer life time, less maintenance and more reliability), rather than exploring if the existing engine could be uprated in some way..

That should end the debate I think. Yes a lot of us including myself were wondering how the radar upgrade would work with the existing engine but if HVT sir says that the MKI does not need a new engine, it doesn't need it. He knows far more about the whole situation than any of us. If they can somehow make an upscaled Uttam work satisfactorily with the current engines, that is the best possible solution. I have a feeling they seem confident of being able to do that. How, I do not know. Perhaps someone knowledgeable like Indranil or Karan may have some theories.

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Re: Su-30MKI: News and Discussion - August 9, 2014

Postby brar_w » 26 May 2021 05:43

nachiket wrote:
Manish_P wrote:
Was posted earlier as well and understood on this forum.

I think this discussion (a thinking exercise) began with the theory that the AESA upgrade would require more power, and could that additional power come from the newer engine (which is touted to offer other benefits like longer life time, less maintenance and more reliability), rather than exploring if the existing engine could be uprated in some way..

That should end the debate I think. Yes a lot of us including myself were wondering how the radar upgrade would work with the existing engine but if HVT sir says that the MKI does not need a new engine, it doesn't need it. He knows far more about the whole situation than any of us. If they can somehow make an upscaled Uttam work satisfactorily with the current engines, that is the best possible solution. I have a feeling they seem confident of being able to do that. How, I do not know. Perhaps someone knowledgeable like Indranil or Karan may have some theories.


Practically every 4th gen. aircraft didn't start with an AESA (F-teens, Rafale, Typhoon etc) was upgraded to it without the need for a complete engine replacement. There are other power and thermal management sub systems that can be upgraded or modified to support a different requirement but you shouldn't need to replace a complete engine for that.

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Re: Su-30MKI: News and Discussion - August 9, 2014

Postby Cain Marko » 26 May 2021 08:56

I'm not so concerned about the power needs of an area driving the engine replacement. There could be other massive advantages offered by a more powerful engine. The increase in twr alone might make the platform more effective. The ability to lug more load could be another.

The question of course is whether the cost is manageable.

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Re: Su-30MKI: News and Discussion - August 9, 2014

Postby nachiket » 26 May 2021 23:11

brar_w wrote:Practically every 4th gen. aircraft didn't start with an AESA (F-teens, Rafale, Typhoon etc) was upgraded to it without the need for a complete engine replacement. There are other power and thermal management sub systems that can be upgraded or modified to support a different requirement but you shouldn't need to replace a complete engine for that.

You are right. Although from your list I would point out that the Typhoon already had a lot of excess thrust available and the F-16 did get an engine upgrade. The AESA equipped Block-60 has the F110-GE-132 engine which provides 15kN more thrust than the -129 on the Block-50 which itself had 25kN more thrust than the F100-PW-220 which powered the original F-16A. That is a huge increase in thrust.

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Re: Su-30MKI: News and Discussion - August 9, 2014

Postby Cain Marko » 27 May 2021 09:44

nachiket wrote:
brar_w wrote:Practically every 4th gen. aircraft didn't start with an AESA (F-teens, Rafale, Typhoon etc) was upgraded to it without the need for a complete engine replacement. There are other power and thermal management sub systems that can be upgraded or modified to support a different requirement but you shouldn't need to replace a complete engine for that.

You are right. Although from your list I would point out that the Typhoon already had a lot of excess thrust available and the F-16 did get an engine upgrade. The AESA equipped Block-60 has the F110-GE-132 engine which provides 15kN more thrust than the -129 on the Block-50 which itself had 25kN more thrust than the F100-PW-220 which powered the original F-16A. That is a huge increase in thrust.

Was the f16s engine requirement driven by the aesa or the massive weight gained by the bird?

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Re: Su-30MKI: News and Discussion - August 9, 2014

Postby brar_w » 27 May 2021 17:43

The weight increase and other features led to engine upgrades on the F-16 family but I'll have to check if an engine upgrade is a pre requisite for fitting a more capable radar. In the case of the UAE, it wasn't just the radar but also a pretty powerful EW/EA suite, other sensors, CFT's etc all of which required greater margin for cooling systems and performance that necessitated increased thrust to compensate (the weight increase alone would have warranted it). I think the AESA upgrade can be done with an avionics upgrade to even older F-16 A/B versions of the jet as is the case with Taiwan. The F-15's have had an AESA radar for over 20 years, and I don't remember them needing any significant (as in an expensive R&D and certification upgrade in its own right) engine upgrades either. The F-15EX likewise fields the E's APG-82 which is the third AESA variant on the Eagle family and I don't think they've spent a lot of money on engine upgrades for that purpose (though the power management and thermal suite needed a fairly significant upgrade to get the more powerful AESAs).
Last edited by brar_w on 27 May 2021 19:29, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Su-30MKI: News and Discussion - August 9, 2014

Postby mody » 27 May 2021 19:08

mody wrote:We have to look at the Super Sukhoi upgrade project objectively. What are the systems that specifically need to be upgraded to maintain the Su30MKI's air superiority edge.

1). Radar upgrade.
The main candidates for this are a Uttam AESA derivative or Russian IRBIS-E PESA radar.
IAF currently seems to be leaning towards the Uttam based AESA. The UTTAM based radar can continuously be improved upon, via software upgrades, as and when required.
The IRBIS-E is also a good radar, but will be the down graded export version and we cannot upgrade it on our own. Besides the higher power rating of the radar will require more powerful engines.

2). The weapons package.
This is already an ongoing effort, with the ASTRA-MK1 already integrated along with SAAW. Other air to ground weapons like SDB and Brahmos have also been integrated. Other precision guided weapons like Rudra-M1(NGARM), Garuda/Garuthma/Gautam/Gaurav etc are also being tested. ASRAM or Python-5 might also be integrated along with Astra MK-2 and ASTRA-IR. Other weapons in the future will be AL-LRCM, Rudra-M2 and Rudra-M3 etc. Note that not a single new Russian weapons system is proposed to be integrated or being tested for integration currently. This means that almost no Russian assistance would be required for this effort. Also the upgrade might include multi-missile racks on a single pylon, however this too will most likely be an Indian effort, don't know if any Russian help might be required to study the flight dynamics etc for this.

3). Upgrade of the cockpit
The current cockpit also has Indian systems and the upgrade is entirely envisaged as an Indian effort, based on the Tejas MK1/MK2 program.

4). Mission Computer, EW Suite and Avionics
The current mission computer is Indian, developed as part of Project Vetrivel. The new upgraded version too will be entirely an Indian effort. The EW suite too will mostly not have any Russian inputs and will mostly be an indigenous effort, maybe with some Israeali and/or French assistance or systems. Also, if the radar chosen will be the Uttam based AESA than the interface/interference between the EW systems and the radar will also have to be looked at by DRDO/HAL.
Some of the other systems like the Pilot Helmet, HUD etc, will also mostly be either Israeli/French or domestic.
Other avionics components like SDR are already in the works and once again will be either sourced from Israel with license manufacturing or an Indian effort.

5). New IRST pod
DRDO is already reportedly developing a new IRST pod for the Su-30MKI and so this too will be an indigenous effort. Integration of Litening-IV-I type of pods has already been carried out.

6). Indigenising some of the LRUs or components for greater ease of maintenance, better availability and lower cost.
This will obviously be an Indian effort only.

7). Last is the Engine upgrade.
To power a new AESA or a more powerful PESA radar, more powerful mission computer and a new EW suite, both part internal and external poded systems, might require a higher powered engine. Also the engine MTBO and total life might need to be enhanced. For this currently the only option is the Russian AL-41F1S engine. The other option that I proposed above or on the last page was to upgrade the existing AL-31FP engines using latest western tech from the likes of Safran or RR to increase the thrust and also increase the life and serviceability of the engines.
Currently IAF has said that no engine upgrade would be required for the proposed Super Sukhoi upgrade. However, everyone will agree that an upgrade would certainly be desirable. Either we negotiate with Russia for the Al-41F1S engine or see if we can somehow upgrade the existing engine.
Another option would be to upgrade the existing Al-31FP engines with Russian help. This might be slightly cheaper than an outright relacement using the AL-41F1S engine.


The whole discussion about the engine upgrade started from the likely upgrade for the Super Sukhoi program that I had posted as given above and the what the likely Russian contribution would be in the Super Sukhoi program.
The list given above was purely my own speculation and not from any authoritative source.

As per HVT sir if engine upgrade/change is not required then so be it.
Maybe the more knowledgeable ones can comment on the likely components that will be included as part of the Super Sukhoi program and where might those be sourced from.

Some sources have also speculated that the UTTAM based AESA radar will actually weigh much less than the existing BARS radar. Don't know how far this would be true. What is the approximate weight of the Bars radar?

brar_w
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Re: Su-30MKI: News and Discussion - August 9, 2014

Postby brar_w » 27 May 2021 19:32

A modern AESA radar (designed with the current tech) should weight less than a much older PESA design. It will also be more efficient, and within an unchanged power and thermal margin, would offer greater performance across most metrics. Not to mention wider bandwidth, more resistant to jamming, significantly higher reliability, and higher MTBF etc. If additional thermal and power margin can be provided then these radars would be capable of offering even better performance so there would be room to grow by upgrading sub-systems (over time) without requiring a completely new radar. Notice on the F-22 and F-35, they haven't gone for a significant antenna swap program (besides upgrading the F-22 antenna to F-35's T-R elements). Performance growth, for now, is being acheived by upgrading power delivery and thermal management. Particularly on the F-35, they are adding about 50% to the power generation for Radar and EW with corresponding increase in thermal management. That alone would net better sensor performance without requiring a wholesale, and much more expensive, antenna swap.

fanne
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Re: Su-30MKI: News and Discussion - August 9, 2014

Postby fanne » 27 May 2021 21:01

The whole Bars system I read weighs a whooping 650 kg

lakshmanM
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Re: Su-30MKI: News and Discussion - August 9, 2014

Postby lakshmanM » 27 May 2021 21:31

brar_w wrote:A modern AESA radar (designed with the current tech) should weight less than a much older PESA design. It will also be more efficient, and within an unchanged power and thermal margin,


Image
Not likely, and the same for the power requirement because not only you have to power the backend but also a much more demanding cooling system. Even the most efficient GaN SSPA based radars would be heavier than the PESA radars they replaced (except for the BARS, of course, they have a rather unconventional type of antenna unit, LNA in the receiving loop). Any savings by a lighter and more power-efficient backend would be offset by the AAAU which is always going to be heavier than a metal-plate-sandwich with a bunch of holes in it. Also, any existing AESA radar would lose out to legacy TWTA based planar radars in terms of power and thermal efficiency.
Also, in the case of Uttam, there is only a marginal (yes, I call it that) improvement in terms of bandwidth. An increment of 400 MHz over BARS is not what some would call phenomenal. They are going to have to replace the AAAU, otherwise, it's going to be a huge bottleneck in the radar performance.

brar_w
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Re: Su-30MKI: News and Discussion - August 9, 2014

Postby brar_w » 27 May 2021 21:36

For reference, the F/A-18 E/F's APG-79 weighs around 300 kg including the array, controllers, processors and installation equipment . Increasing the array by 50% (and other enhancements) to account for a larger overall would still net a sub 400 kg radar with 1600+ elements.

lakshmanM wrote:Not likely, and the same for the power requirement because not only you have to power the backend but also a much more demanding cooling system. Even the most efficient GaN SSPA based radars would be heavier than the PESA radars they replaced (except for the BARS, of course, they have a rather unconventional type of antenna unit, LNA in the receiving loop)


We are talking about a decades old PESA design (I was comparing it to the current radar) compared to a modern AESA. Looking at it from a different angle, based on technology limitations dating back 20-25 years, we know that given a fixed radar performance requirement (keeping it static) an Active array requires less volume, less power, and weighs less than an corresponding passive system designed for the same requirements. For example, on the F-22 radar (ATF radar trades published by the design team), to meet the ATF radar specs, a comparable PESA would have weighed twice as much as the APG-77 and would have exceeded both the allotted volume and power & cooling margins. These specs should be better if one was to design something with 2020 level of tech. So now getting back to the MKI, an AESA should get better performance in virtually every category even if we keep the margins the same. Added benefits are obviously better MTBF, reliability and upgradability.

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Re: Su-30MKI: News and Discussion - August 9, 2014

Postby Aditya_V » 24 Jul 2021 12:46



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