nachiket wrote:Secondly, there are some technologies which are still not available on the MKI even if we did an MLU today. An AESA radar, sensor fusion, an internal jammer/EW system, the Meteor missile are examples. An MLU cannot fix the MKI's huge RCS either.
A few points if I may. Will number them so that it reads easier.
You don't necessarily need an AESA on the Su-30 MKI. An Irbis style radar, provided it is sufficiently different from the Su-35s sold to PRC would be quite lethal. Reason being that not only would it offer many of the same capabilities, but its radar gimbal has huge scan limits. That combined with a long pickup, can be very very dangerous in BVR.
In fact, with this, even in the presence of jamming & its large RCS, a MKI would have long range pick-up ability and ability to cue long range BVRs. I would fully expect that with and without the MLU, the Su-30s and Rafales would act in a pack, with post MLU Su-30s acting as the long range eyes for the Rafales.
Second, sensor fusion is already there on the Su-35 and is being done for our Tejas Mk1A, has been implemented on CABS AEW&CS. Both we, and the Russians now have the gist of it. Moi had posted it on BRF, but its now in trash can and nowhere else on the net.
Big Fighter, Big Glass
Posted by Bill Sweetman at 6/20/2007 3:14 AM
Sukhoi's Su-35, to be unveiled in August at the MAKS air show in Moscow, is the biggest revision yet of the company's heavyweight fighter. On show at Paris is a demonstration simulator of the fighter's redesigned cockpit, dominated by two 15-inch diagonal LCDs - more glass area than any other fighter cockpit, including that of the JSF. There are no mechanical displays in the cockpit, and the pilot interacts with the displays using a cursor control device on the stick and soft-key pushbuttons surrounding the glass.
The two screens are each split into four sub-windows, which are normally managed automatically according to the mission plan. Primary flight instruments are carried on the left side of the right-hand screen, with the left-hand screen being the primary display for maps and targeting information - so that the pilot can operate the screen with his left hand with the right hand on the stick.
According to Sukhoi engineer Alexey Mukhin, the Su-35 has a sensor-fusion avionics system which assigns each target a single identity - Sukhoi calls it a "passport" - and indicates which sensor or sensors have tracked it. The fighter also has an intra-flight datalink that can support four groups of four fighters simultaneously and share targeting information between them.
The Su-35 introduces integrated flight and propulsion control using three-dimensional thrust vectoring, providing full-envelope carefree handling with any combination of loads. It has electronic throttle controls and the system also manages the fuel load. One novel feature: when the pilot extends the refuelling probe, the aircraft automatically switches to a more stable flight control mode.
Missing from the new fighter is the big dorsal speedbrake of previous versions. Different combinations of control surface movements are used for deceleration, and the jet can make a 60-degree descent at a stabilized speed. Removing the speedbrake (plus some other changes) bumps the fighter's already impressive internal fuel capacity from 22,000 pounds to 25,300 pounds. The Su-35 should be ready for delivery in 2010.
Third, you don't need an internal EW system when the Su30 has so many pylons. The only real issue with the SAP-518s is their size & the fact they have interface issues with our "desi" RWRs. If this is resolved and ideally with lighter jammers, they would more than hold their own. These automatically compensate for the MKIs large RCS. Note, the Israelis used the EL/L-8222 SPJ to degrade OpFor FCRs to have their F-15s radar & WCS retain an edge. The SAP-518s are far more powerful. In fact, it is the reason why the Russians chose to trade off maneuverability (in high payload strike configs) with putting these huge pods. They are far more powerful than most common systems. If you have the long range pick-up and fire first capability with RVV-BD, you really dont need to worry.
Fourth, the Su-30/35 don't have Meteor, but they do have RVV-BD. This is a follow on to the K-37, the Russians Phoenix equivalent, and capable of handling targets maneuvering up to 8G. While also advertised for large sized, non maneuvering targets like the Phoenix, its worthwhile remarking that the Phoenix was used very effectively against fighters in the Iran Iraq conflict and decimated the Iraqi fleet before they got new French fighters and started changing their tactics heavily.
I think the biggest issue is not of "capability" but the fact that integrating all the above, plus new alternators, engines, testing etc on our Su-30s would take time. Easily 3-4 years post the contract being signed. In contrast, the Rafale is ready today.