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

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

Postby srai » 27 Apr 2021 06:32

ramana wrote:Folks any one description of SU-30MKI upgrade?

Here’s from HAL




From what is being done, it’s not going to be one big MLU but rather a series of upgrades of various components in phases over a period of time. Initial ones are D-RWR, SDR, and new MC. New weapons integration are a constant.

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

Postby mody » 27 Apr 2021 18:39

nachiket wrote:
Vivek K wrote:Is the AL-31 still giving problems? Premature failures?

No but if we are replacing the Bars with an upscaled Uttam or even a more powerful Russian radar it will have higher power and cooling requirements which might mean the need for more powerful engines. But working with RR or some other western manufacturer for that is a non-starter. It would be a years long project to develop a new engine or even modify the AL-31 without help from the OEM, if even it is possible. We would be better off looking at ready-made solution from Saturn itself like the AL-41F1S.

But from what we have heard so far, an engine change is not envisaged for the Super-30 upgrade, so this is moot.


Russia reportedly offered AL-41F1S or derivative for Super-Sukhoi upgrade, but most likely we have not shown any interest, primarily due to the cost. Changing 550 engines is not going to be cheap. Hence, the thought of an inhouse upgrade using the technology being developed for the proposed 110KN engine for the AMCA. If this can be done then a major portion of the money would remain within the country and the Su-30MKI would get an upgraded engine, which an enhanced life.

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

Postby nachiket » 27 Apr 2021 22:15

That engine project has not even started yet and we needed the Super-Sukhoi upgrade yesterday. This is not going to happen.

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

Postby brar_w » 27 Apr 2021 23:42

Clean sheet engines for existing aircraft upgrades is just about the most expensive and time consuming upgrade project one could have. This is why, historically, so few aircraft programs have done this successfully with a completely new engine.

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

Postby Cain Marko » 28 Apr 2021 14:25

The AL41F/117S engines are already deployed on the VVS Su-30SM2 upgrades. Plenty more thrust - 2.5 tons per engine. Should work well with the MKI. Although my guess is that the IAF might do this last in a CIP - and by then the izd 130 could very well be available. IIRC it was already being flight tested on the Pakfa mid-2019. That power up would be insane - 5 tons extra thrust :shock:

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

Postby nachiket » 29 Apr 2021 07:40

Cain Marko wrote:The AL41F/117S engines are already deployed on the VVS Su-30SM2 upgrades. Plenty more thrust - 2.5 tons per engine. Should work well with the MKI. Although my guess is that the IAF might do this last in a CIP - and by then the izd 130 could very well be available. IIRC it was already being flight tested on the Pakfa mid-2019. That power up would be insane - 5 tons extra thrust :shock:

Those engines would probably need a lot of structural modifications. I remember reading about the AL-41F itself apparently not being compatible with the Su-30 as it is requiring modifications to the intakes etc. The Russians did that for their Su-30SM's but I don't know how feasible that is for the MKI keeping the time and cost in mind. This may be another reason the IAF is not keen on replacing engines. Also, we had a lot of trouble with the AL-31F initially in terms of reliability and a new engine might bring more unpredictability. Remember AM Nambiar's statement that more than 900 engines had been procured for the MKI fleet? Who wants to (or can afford to) do that for another engine type for the whole fleet.

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

Postby nachiket » 29 Apr 2021 07:52

One interesting thing (for me) is that I had always taken the internal fuel number for the MKI to be 5270kg from wiki to be the max internal fuel capacity. But apparently I was wrong. Sukhoi's own website states this:

Maximum fuel supply in internal tanks, kg 9640

Normal fuel supply in internal tanks, kg 5270

Maximum payload mass, kg 8000

Link: https://www.sukhoi.org/products/earlier/253/

So I went and checked the internal fuel number for the original Su-27 which is 9400kg. How on earth did Sukhoi manage to increase the max internal fuel while also simultaneously adding a second cockpit? Now obviously, if you actually fill up that much fuel you won't be carrying too much payload and the aircraft will fly like a brick with no way to dump that extra weight if you get into combat. But still, that is a truly stunning number. No wonder there is no space in the aircraft to fit an internal SPJ. Every inch of space available inside is kept reserved for fuel just in case you want to carry a little more. I am not sure what the designers had against using drop tanks.

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

Postby brar_w » 29 Apr 2021 08:19

External tanks use up nearly half of their fuel just to overcome their drag so if you have lots of airspace (which Russia does) and great distances between air-bases (which Russia also has) then it is better to have loads of internal fuel because you are going to use it more often than not. You can pack a fair bit of fuel into aircraft if your mission demands it. The F-35C carries nearly 9,000 kg internally as well and that is a single engine fighter that is a step below the heavies.

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

Postby Cain Marko » 29 Apr 2021 09:36

nachiket wrote:One interesting thing (for me) is that I had always taken the internal fuel number for the MKI to be 5270kg from wiki to be the max internal fuel capacity. But apparently I was wrong. Sukhoi's own website states this:

Maximum fuel supply in internal tanks, kg 9640

Normal fuel supply in internal tanks, kg 5270

Maximum payload mass, kg 8000

Link: https://www.sukhoi.org/products/earlier/253/

So I went and checked the internal fuel number for the original Su-27 which is 9400kg. How on earth did Sukhoi manage to increase the max internal fuel while also simultaneously adding a second cockpit? Now obviously, if you actually fill up that much fuel you won't be carrying too much payload and the aircraft will fly like a brick with no way to dump that extra weight if you get into combat. But still, that is a truly stunning number. No wonder there is no space in the aircraft to fit an internal SPJ. Every inch of space available inside is kept reserved for fuel just in case you want to carry a little more. I am not sure what the designers had against using drop tanks.

The Su-34 and 35 carry 12tons internally plus 2x2000ltr bags . And the MiG-31 around 14tons :shock:

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

Postby Cain Marko » 29 Apr 2021 10:08

nachiket wrote:
Cain Marko wrote:The AL41F/117S engines are already deployed on the VVS Su-30SM2 upgrades. Plenty more thrust - 2.5 tons per engine. Should work well with the MKI. Although my guess is that the IAF might do this last in a CIP - and by then the izd 130 could very well be available. IIRC it was already being flight tested on the Pakfa mid-2019. That power up would be insane - 5 tons extra thrust :shock:

Those engines would probably need a lot of structural modifications. I remember reading about the AL-41F itself apparently not being compatible with the Su-30 as it is requiring modifications to the intakes etc. The Russians did that for their Su-30SM's but I don't know how feasible that is for the MKI keeping the time and cost in mind. This may be another reason the IAF is not keen on replacing engines. Also, we had a lot of trouble with the AL-31F initially in terms of reliability and a new engine might bring more unpredictability. Remember AM Nambiar's statement that more than 900 engines had been procured for the MKI fleet? Who wants to (or can afford to) do that for another engine type for the whole fleet.

If they managed to operationalize the Su-30SM2, which is pretty much the MKI, with the 117S, I think that technical feasibility is not an issue. The Izd 130 might be another matter though. However, considering that the Su-57 flies with the 117S, it too might not be an impossible fit.

It would entirely depend on the cost/benefit ratio and of course, the logistical reliability. The engine replacement issue was at least partly exacerbated by the lethargy and neglect shown by the UPI govt. AFAIK, under M Parrikar, they were able to bring the MKI serviceability, engines and all, to pretty respectable levels. Creating spares depots and reliable supply chain with redundancies might be more expensive, but it seems to work with Russki maal. One of the tradeoffs of lesser upfront costs I suppose.

IMHO the tradeoff is well worth it - the MKI is the IAF's backbone and giving it a full refresh is probly the best and cheapest way to increase the AF's combat capability. Far better than dumping $ 20 billion in 126 new fighters. Rather buy 36 Rafale, more Tejas, 21 Fulcrum and MKI replacements. This should create more space for a deep MKI upgrade. Hope and pray that the engines are a part of that, one way or the other, earlier the better.

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

Postby hemant_sai » 29 Apr 2021 18:45

IAF has denied engine upgrade and also gave approval for new AESA based on UTTAM - it does mean that as far as radar upgrade is concerned there is no question of shortage of power or something is figured out to provide the additional power required.

I am not in favor with russian proposal. Even with all Indian upgrade on 250 planes plus royalty to russians will cost minimum 5BN. With russian proposal we will bleed and miss the edge with more % of Indian components.

I would rather pay extra to improve on existing AL31FP for its durability and maintenance. No need to reinvent engine saga for Su30 with altogether different engine.

Real advantage will be Indian radar, EW suites and Indian weapons. And of course CATS will be extended to Su30 as well.

What more we need to make Su30 worth for future?

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

Postby chetonzz » 29 Apr 2021 21:01

Mig-21 was backbone of IAF ... russia upgraded them into bison (HAL did that btw but most upgrades were russian in origin)...

During above we had MKIs coming which became the backbone

Now MKI upgrades should be mostly indian origin (added with israeli, french etc) i think we are certainly capable of that

While that happens we should make tejas variants as new backbone

Same could repeat for tejas and AMCA

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

Postby srai » 29 Apr 2021 22:17

nachiket wrote:That engine project has not even started yet and we needed the Super-Sukhoi upgrade yesterday. This is not going to happen.

Agree.

HAL has deep ToT for AL-31FP and can manufacture the engines from raw materials stage. Each airframe requires around 2.5 (x2) engines in its lifetime. Extensive infrastructure exists for maintenance, repair, and operations (MRO) along with overhaul capacities. Fleet serviceability reaching 70%. Exports of parts and components occurring.

Waste of an investment to go for an alternate engine at this point. Money better spent on a host of other critical component upgrades. Even without engine change, the MLU of 270 MKI will end up costing around $10 billion.

They can always look at incremental improvements to AL-31FP to increase its time between overhaul (TBO) and total lifespan. Improve the durability and reliability of various parts and components. Maybe squeeze out a few more kN.

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

Postby Rakesh » 04 May 2021 18:49

https://twitter.com/hvtiaf/status/13879 ... 79073?s=20 ---> Photo by a wildlife photographer. How apt!

Image

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

Postby mody » 07 May 2021 16:36

srai wrote:
nachiket wrote:That engine project has not even started yet and we needed the Super-Sukhoi upgrade yesterday. This is not going to happen.

Agree.

HAL has deep ToT for AL-31FP and can manufacture the engines from raw materials stage. Each airframe requires around 2.5 (x2) engines in its lifetime. Extensive infrastructure exists for maintenance, repair, and operations (MRO) along with overhaul capacities. Fleet serviceability reaching 70%. Exports of parts and components occurring.

Waste of an investment to go for an alternate engine at this point. Money better spent on a host of other critical component upgrades. Even without engine change, the MLU of 270 MKI will end up costing around $10 billion.

They can always look at incremental improvements to AL-31FP to increase its time between overhaul (TBO) and total lifespan. Improve the durability and reliability of various parts and components. Maybe squeeze out a few more kN.


My suggestion which sparked this whole discussion was for incremental improvement in the Al-31FP, with technology developed as part of the next gen 110KN engine project. The latest technology would help in increasing the TBO and the total life of the engine would increase as either the entire hot section or parts of it would get replaced. We have deep ToT for the engines and will share the IP and development for the new 110KN engine. We can leverage both to upgrade the Su-30MKI engines and the make the planes even more lethal.

Agree with Nachiket that the 110KN engine project with RR has not yet started and hence, the above seems implausible. However, my suggestion was to include the upgrade of the AL-31FP engine as part of the agreement with RR to begin with itself. The development of the 110KN engine and the upgrade of the Al-31FP engines should start almost together. If we can develop a viable upgrade within 5-6 years, then it could be a worthwhile effort.

Also a proposed upgrade of 550 engines would sweeten the deal for RR to a large extent as well.
Don't know how feasible this suggestion is, but that's just what it is, my humble day dream.

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

Postby Vips » 07 May 2021 18:00

Simply not going to happen as why would the Russians allow RR to tinker with the AL-31?

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

Postby mody » 09 May 2021 18:43

Vips wrote:Simply not going to happen as why would the Russians allow RR to tinker with the AL-31?


Technically we would be tinkering with the engines with RR as consultants.
Given that we have deep ToT for the engines and that we have integrated many non ruskie systems on the planes, it might just be possible. We are even proposing to change the radar and mostly also the pilot helmets.

The Su30MKI is unique and post the proposed Super Sukhoi upgrade with our own AESA radar, our own EW suite and a totally revamped weapons suite, they will be unlike any other Flanker.

The main thing is whether the technical exterpertice and the technical solution, exists to undertake this kind of an exercise and within reasonable cost.

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

Postby Philip » 11 May 2021 13:08

Tejas production has to hugely perk up if it going to be the future backbone of the IAF.The 270+ MKIs and after the extra 21,around 80+ 29s ,plus 100+ Rafales and M2Ks will be the sharp end of the IAF's stick. The 120 or so Jags also lend useful support. At the current rate of production, by the end of the decade ,we will have only around 180+ built,while during that time,all 120 Bisons plus the Jags would've been pensioned off. AMCA will also have to be at hand post 2030 to replace the various legacy med. fighters .

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

Postby mody » 12 May 2021 16:33

Almost right on cue, some reports suggest that the Russians have said that the Su30SM2 should form the baseline template for the Super Sukhoi upgrade and that AL-41F1S engine will almost be mandatory for this kind of upgrade.

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

Postby hemant_sai » 12 May 2021 16:47

It is another case where russ will run their upgrade program with Indian money. Are we so idiots not to understand this?

We should not accept Russian proposal. Just give then token royalty for what we have planned for Su30 upgrade, thats it.

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

Postby Philip » 12 May 2021 22:53

Cutting one's nose to spite one's face! Dispassionately,we should examine the various upgrade options,assess the pros and cons,not get subjective ranting and railing at the Russkies who in the first place have given us the MKI,the backbone of the IAF! To jog the memory,got the better of perhaps every other frontline fighter in the western world other than the 2 Yanqui stealth fighters which will never take part in any exercise with the MKI.

The 270+ MKIs,of which even half of them are upgraded to SS std.,carrying BMos,BMos-NG,BMos-AAM,etc.,that no other fighter in our inventory can do,will have a quantum effect upon the strike capability of the IAF,possessed with such LR stand-off weaponry.Add to that the possibility of equipping the SS with a similar drone company as has been touted for Tejas, and the capability expands even further.

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

Postby Prasad » 12 May 2021 23:47

Question is whether the 117S engine is worth the price and if any additional dependency will be created since we can pretty much manage the production and maint of the current engine.

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

Postby fanne » 13 May 2021 05:04

hemant_sai wrote:It is another case where russ will run their upgrade program with Indian money. Are we so idiots not to understand this?

We should not accept Russian proposal. Just give then token royalty for what we have planned for Su30 upgrade, thats it.


What should Russia do with that money which we pay to them to make the purchase?- Donate to some temple in India? Or drink more Vodka? I mean they shouldn't run their upgrade program with Indian money or dare pay their scientist or even eat dinner from our money. Since we are buying from them using our money, we should dictate what they should do with the money they get. And if they do not spend that money as we please, we should not buy.

Is the above capitalism or socialism or communism or barter system?

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

Postby Manish_P » 13 May 2021 10:23

:D Sounds like an IMF dictated bail out program.. the kind the Pakis are very familiar with. And the Pakis take the money and do what they (they uniformed jihadis) please anyway, and promptly go back to scheduled begging...

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

Postby Vips » 13 May 2021 10:31

Prasad wrote:Question is whether the 117S engine is worth the price and if any additional dependency will be created since we can pretty much manage the production and maint of the current engine.


The Ruskies have said the extra 16% power produced by the Al41 is required to take care of the increased power requirements of the AESA radar and to carry heavier armaments and get this they have touted the better serviceability and availability record of AL41 over the AL31 :rotfl:

So first they screw us by giving an engine with a lousy availability record and then try to convince us to buy a "supposed to be better" engine :D

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

Postby Cain Marko » 13 May 2021 12:04

Philip wrote:Cutting one's nose to spite one's face!.

Can't agree more....this Russia bad-bad bit is getting a bit tiresome. People are starting to sound like the Democratic party.

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

Postby mody » 13 May 2021 17:58

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.

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

Postby chetonzz » 13 May 2021 18:39

I sincerely hope that IAF's Super Sukhoi project should have as minimum new Russian components as possible...
after so many decades of Soviet/Russian (MiG21-MiG23-MiG27-Su-7-Bisons-Su-30)
direct aircraft purchase ...
joint manufacturing...
local manufacturing from raw materials...
maintenance...
local overhauls...
upgrades...
we must be capable of doing it with that amount of experience!

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

Postby nachiket » 13 May 2021 23:49

Vips wrote:The Ruskies have said the extra 16% power produced by the Al41 is required to take care of the increased power requirements of the AESA radar and to carry heavier armaments and get this they have touted the better serviceability and availability record of AL41 over the AL31 :rotfl:

So first they screw us by giving an engine with a lousy availability record and then try to convince us to buy a "supposed to be better" engine :D

Russkies do not have an AESA offering for the MKI upgrade. The Irbis is still a PESA but a more powerful one than the Bars and a higher powered radar will have more power and cooling requirements, there is no escaping that. I believe a scaled up Uttam will have the same issue. The MKI unlike say the Mig-29 does not have ample reserve power available with the existing engines, which is not surprising considering the Bars itself has higher power requirements than the N001 radar on the original Su-27 which has essentially the same amount of engine power available. Add in the added weight of the second cockpit and additional avionics and TVC, this means the AL-31 engines may already be at the limit of their capacity. So this is not the Russkies trying to screw us as usual but a real consideration that the IAF and HAL will have to take into account.

Having said that HVT sir's statement that they aren't envisaging an engine change probably means that they have already done the cost-benefit analysis of upgrading engines for the entire fleet as part of the upgrade and come to a decision that it is not worth it. What this means for the radar upgrade I am not entirely sure because currently there is no clarity on what the new radar is even going to be.

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

Postby Cain Marko » 14 May 2021 04:08

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.

I would add to this the pakfa array as well. Not to mention the l band arrays in the leading edge.

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.

This makes the Russian radar offers a bit unnecessary.
.

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

I think an upgrade to the fp to take it to 117s standards is possible. In fact this might already be the case, which would mean that there is sufficient commonality that makes the upgrade viable .

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

Postby JTull » 16 May 2021 03:40

Irbis has been talked about for a decade. It is not a radar of tomorrow and shouldn't be in consideration. If Uttam variant is a possibility then there isn't any reason to look further.

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

Postby basant » 16 May 2021 13:38

I am curious to know whenever there was talk on using GE-F414 in LCA Mk1/A, many arguments are given why it is not a trivial upgrade, especially the need to modify the intakes. But no such considerations are discussed for Su-30 MKI upgradation. Why is it so?

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

Postby kit » 16 May 2021 17:27

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.

2). The weapons package.
. Note that not a single new Russian weapons system is proposed to be integrated or being tested for integration currently.
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
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.

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.

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.


So what exactly is Russian is in this upgrade ?

Would Russia be interested in co developing an air launched hypersonic weapon that is compatible with the MKI ?

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

Postby John » 17 May 2021 07:49

kit wrote:Would Russia be interested in co developing an air launched hypersonic weapon that is compatible with the MKI ?

^ There is already Brahmos-2 but there is bigger req for smaller and slightly faster Brahmos-M

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

Postby Cain Marko » 17 May 2021 11:49

basant wrote:I am curious to know whenever there was talk on using GE-F414 in LCA Mk1/A, many arguments are given why it is not a trivial upgrade, especially the need to modify the intakes. But no such considerations are discussed for Su-30 MKI upgradation. Why is it so?

The biggest reason is because in the case of the MKI/AL-41F (117s), it has already been done, and is currently in service. Even so - "minor changes were required to the intakes" iirc.

But in general, the 41F maintains the same dimensions, weight and mounting points as the original 31FP. Not sure if this is the case wrt 404 -> 414, least of all in context of the Tejas mk1. IN case of the hornet -> super hornet upgrade, the latter is a LOT bigger than the original, which meant that larger intakes would have been incorporated in the design itself.

All in all, this upgrade shouldn't be nearly as extensive as the Tejas mk1 -> mk2.
Last edited by Cain Marko on 17 May 2021 11:59, edited 1 time in total.

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

Postby Cain Marko » 17 May 2021 11:58

kit wrote:Would Russia be interested in co developing an air launched hypersonic weapon that is compatible with the MKI ?

They already have this beast lined up....

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

Postby rajsunder » 17 May 2021 22:09

mody wrote:
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.


If we intend to go on re-engineering of engine, then we should go the US way of getting the license for Ceramic Matrix Composites from Japan.
That itself would give a huge jump in engine optimization. It will provide a jump of up to 200 degrees in hot sections and a considerable amount of weight savings and increased engine output.

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

Postby basant » 18 May 2021 00:17

Cain Marko wrote: ...
But in general, the 41F maintains the same dimensions, weight and mounting points as the original 31FP. Not sure if this is the case wrt 404 -> 414, least of all in context of the Tejas mk1. IN case of the hornet -> super hornet upgrade, the latter is a LOT bigger than the original, which meant that larger intakes would have been incorporated in the design itself.

All in all, this upgrade shouldn't be nearly as extensive as the Tejas mk1 -> mk2.

Thanks for the reply.

The dimensions of GE-F404 and 414 are same. But due to more air flow requirement, it may not be a drop-in replacement. Additionally, it is about 60 kg heavier.

Image
Source: https://milidom.net/?module=file&act=pr ... le_srl=113

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

Postby mody » 18 May 2021 18:00

rajsunder wrote:
mody wrote:
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.


If we intend to go on re-engineering of engine, then we should go the US way of getting the license for Ceramic Matrix Composites from Japan.
That itself would give a huge jump in engine optimization. It will provide a jump of up to 200 degrees in hot sections and a considerable amount of weight savings and increased engine output.


That seems extremely unlikely. Generally I don't think we would take up any kind upgrade of the AL-31FP engine without active support from a reliable engine manufacturer. Currently for Western tech, this boils down to either RR or Safran. Going with whosoever we decide to co-develop the next gen 110KN engine with, would obviously make sense.

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. Not an optimum solution and mostly we would opt for this only for cost considerations and to avoid any problems with Russia by upgrading Russian engine with Western help. Maybe some contractual obligations might not allow us to partner with RR or Safran easily.
I personally would not prefer this option, as mostly the Russians would still charge us quite a lot for this kind of upgrade. One more option would be to check for feasibility to reduce the weight and hence improve the thrust to weight ratio with the existing engines.
This would require considerable Russian help, as it would probably also require some flight testing.


From the rest of the likely upgrades required/planned for the as part of the Super Sukhoi program (my own assessment, no official word on that), thete is hardly anything that we would need from Russia.
The only possible contribution could be if we opt for the above options of either weight reduction or Russia led engine upgrade.
One possible area of Russian involvement could be to check the airframes for metal fatigue and assess the residual life left in the airframes and the possibility of repairs and replacement of sections to solve any metal fatigue issues.
Last edited by mody on 18 May 2021 18:06, edited 1 time in total.

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

Postby brar_w » 18 May 2021 18:03

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.


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