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

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

Postby shaun » 18 May 2018 09:04

Chinmay wrote:


Ramana sir, I am aware that the testing and integration of non-OEM equipment will be prolonged. However, we do have experience integrating non-Russian equipment on Russian aircraft, especially with the Su-30. My query is that if the Russian radar is not up to the mark, then would it be worthwhile to integrate a superior non-Russian radar, instead of waiting for the Russians to improve their kit?[/quote]

Russian radar is not up to the mark !! in what sense ??? to quote " N011M is not simply a PESA, but instead, it's a transition between PESA and AESA in that it adopts technologies from both: each transceiver on the antenna array of N011M has its own receiver amplifier, which is the same as AESA, and with noise level of 3dB, which is also in the same class of AESA arrays."

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

Postby tsarkar » 18 May 2018 14:53

Cain Marko wrote:What guarantee do we have that the EL 2052 is up to the mark compared to say, the NO 36? How many fighters are equipped with it worldwide?

It has won two pretty stringent Indian competitions - the Jaguar DARIN3 and Tejas Mk1A. The Tejas Mk1A AESA RFP was sent to ROE who didn't put NO36 in the competition. Even the IAF team for PAKFA/FGFA was denied access.

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

Postby fanne » 18 May 2018 16:24

There was no completion for Darin III and lca for 2052. No one was willing to offer us aesa. We shopped and shopped, mother Russia did not have, us wont let the Israelis. Then Rafael happen and we had the Aesa. Israelis were now free to offer, they put a wiered condition. Two types of plane should have- we chose jags and lca of course. Again for lca elta played hardball, we went with world wide RFI, got credible French effort. It has perhaps removed whatever was stopping 2052 in a way we wanted it.

The above does noes not make it better than current su30mki radar

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

Postby JTull » 18 May 2018 16:26

Cain Marko wrote:What guarantee do we have that the EL 2052 is up to the mark compared to say, the NO 36? How many fighters are equipped with it worldwide?


Counting the Jaguar prototype flown last year, 1 more that N036.

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

Postby tsarkar » 18 May 2018 23:05

fanne wrote:There was no completion for Darin III and lca for 2052. No one was willing to offer us aesa. We shopped and shopped, mother Russia did not have, us wont let the Israelis. Then Rafael happen and we had the Aesa. Israelis were now free to offer, they put a wiered condition. Two types of plane should have- we chose jags and lca of course. Again for lca elta played hardball, we went with world wide RFI, got credible French effort. It has perhaps removed whatever was stopping 2052 in a way we wanted it.

You're terribly misinformed - sprinkling two facts with lots of speculation

fanne wrote:The above does noes not make it better than current su30mki radar

How does your speculation on procurement process translate into proving superiority of technical performance of one over another?

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

Postby tsarkar » 18 May 2018 23:10

BTW has N036 has even been offered for the upgrade?

The present proposal is just to keep the Nashik line going.

A better option would be converting it to Tejas @ 16 per annum. That way Bangalore and Nashik can add two squadrons per year with production moving to Mk2, AMCA over time.

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

Postby JTull » 19 May 2018 00:18

+1 to that idea of converting Nashik line to Tejas.

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

Postby Karan M » 19 May 2018 09:50

tsarkar wrote:BTW has N036 has even been offered for the upgrade?


NIIP keeps pushing AESA as a 2nd step., while first is a Bars upgrade. IAF wants AESA instead. The mismatch between customer expectations and what Russia is offering, clearly indicates (to my mind at least), that despite the obvious geopolitical advantages of buying Russian (no BS on HR/NGO/Ford this that).. the IAF is no longer a captive market for the Russians. If anyone gives a better deal (e.g. Israel), IAF will seriously evaluate it. It would be even better to open the funding spigot for Uttam and see what an all-up design can seriously achieve. If we get a range increase over Bars (say 30%), plus AESA advantages (ECCM, reliability), then its anyday preferable. I can't believe how stupidly, penny pinching we are, without even having a properly funded AESA FCR program or an inhouse large scale fab, or even a fighter test-bed.

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

Postby Austin » 19 May 2018 10:03

The IAF has never stated really if it wants an AESA or a BARS upgrade , it is wrong to say IAF wants AESA on Su-30 unless you can show any IAF chief or senior office stating that. An AESA upgrade would be a damn expensive one something IAF wont be able to afford on all its ~ 280 Su fighter and these are not even new airframes , From Ajai Shukla interview an upgrade of Rs 100 crore for each aircraft gives you an idea that this not high end upgrade but simply improve what exist and add some features that does not exisit now.

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

Postby Austin » 19 May 2018 10:24

Radar Su-30 spotted the Chinese invisible aircraft

Indian pilots on Su-30MKI fighters to observe the flight of the Chinese fifth-generation fighter J-20 over Tibet, reported at the headquarters of the Indian Air Force.In January 2018, airplanes with J-10 and J-11 fighter jets flying over the mountainous areas deployed at airbases in the border areas of China. Indian pilots on Russian Su-30MKI aircraft watched the maneuvers of invisible aircraft from their airspace

The Sukhoi radar sees them. New Chinese aircraft are not so invisible. To detect them, no special technologies are required, the J-20 is also recognized by conventional radar systems, "said Arun Shah, Commander of the Indian Air Force. In the opinion of Indian military leaders, one of the goals of the exercises of Chinese aviation in the border areas is to study the Indian air defense system and search for routes of covert penetration into the adjacent territory.

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

Postby fanne » 19 May 2018 16:40

The current SU30MKI radars are good no sorry great. It can detect the best our adversary can put for the next 20 years. What is the rudali about AESA? SU30MKI can use many things in upgrade (and Super Sukhoi upgrade can be in stages, where later stages are radar and engines), starting with many EW stuff, a super reliable long range BVRAM. That should be the focus.

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

Postby Karan M » 19 May 2018 19:16

Austin wrote:The IAF has never stated really if it wants an AESA or a BARS upgrade , it is wrong to say IAF wants AESA on Su-30 unless you can show any IAF chief or senior office stating that. An AESA upgrade would be a damn expensive one something IAF wont be able to afford on all its ~ 280 Su fighter and these are not even new airframes , From Ajai Shukla interview an upgrade of Rs 100 crore for each aircraft gives you an idea that this not high end upgrade but simply improve what exist and add some features that does not exisit now.


Austin, you have to be on a different planet if you cant make out how badly IAF wants AESA, from the Rafale to the much reviled LCA, all deals got a fillip because of AESA units.

The IAF has repeatedly expressed its desire to have AESA units on its frontline fighters wherever possible, and its widely reported IAF even evaluated the Zhuk AESA to see if it was ready and could supplant the Bars.

Dont get taken in by Russian propaganda about how great the PESA path is. Wherever possible they sre jumping to AESA too.

The advantages in power optimization, ECCM, reliability speak for themselves.

DRDO itself has seen the writing on the wall and firmly moved to AESA. The IAF will do all it can to stick to the latest technology in its upgrades.
Bars/Irbis are powerful but evolutionary limits have caught up.

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

Postby Austin » 19 May 2018 20:21

The IAF never sought AESA on either Mig-29UPG or M2K upgrade if they wanted one which are highly capable platform they would have got from Israel or French route , So if IAF wants AESA for MKI they can always get it from the same route but I havent come across any official interview from IAF or Russian side that says they would want an AESA . If AESA was such a magical wonder M2K would have been the first to get in the upgrade which is also the most expensive one for a fleet of 40 and M2K are still used for Strategic purpose before Rafale takes over as and when they come.

The BARS are very capable and easily have a decade of life left even in current Mk4 which itself were constantly upgraded , What they are proposing and highly likely we would see is BARS getting upgraded to Irbis standard with the entire back end geting replaced except for the main antenna so that in future an AESA can be added if required , This would essentially give BARS double the average power output and peak power of 20Kw like Irbis

Considering IAF is spending just 100 cr on each upgrade of ~ USD 16 million there is little hope in hell we will get AESA and all the bells and whistles if they are looking at fleet wide upgrade of 280 Aircraft , that also comes to around $4.5 - 5 billion just for the upgrade.

I would rather see they get something more important like a desi MAWS , DRFM based interal Jammers and heavy pod mounted growler type external one , ESM with LPI capability , Towed Decoys , DIRCM , Upgrade IRST , DARE MMI and Sensor fusion and integration of all the weapons that IAF has and will have in the future including French ones we could have for Rafale like Meteor ....an AESA along with Engine upgrade would be the last good thing to have both are damn expensive component of upgrade ....Considering the fleet wide availability of Data links and AWACS , MKI would still get a big tactical picture from multiple asset.

I would bet every dime that MKI wont get an AESA in the current upgrade or an engine change to higher power one that is the last thing MKI needs for the next 15 years when there are so many other important things that it can get for it to get better capabilities , that sort of upgrade would need a lot of testing and debugging as entire weapons system will have to get realligned with new radar and tested too same with engine , easily a $40 million upgrade per aircraft

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

Postby Karan M » 20 May 2018 01:25

Austin wrote:The IAF never sought AESA on either Mig-29UPG or M2K upgrade if they wanted one which are highly capable platform they would have got from Israel or French route ,


Thats because the original suppliers, Dassault and MiG both made it clear they would not support the rest of the deep overhaul if the IAF chose to ignore their own upgrade packages. And neither had AESA on offer at the time.

Israel even offered a cost-effective EL/M-2032 + Derby package for the Mirage 2000. IAF rejected it, considering they wanted the entire aircraft overhauled and long term support for all the items within, many of which are proprietary to the system integrator and its partners. EL/M-2052 has only been made available recently, and that too with caveats.

Second, Thales AESA upgrade was not on offer because it competed with Rafale offer for India & Russia is yet to have a single AESA in service for its fighters.

You are confusing IAF's lack of choice as = to its desire.

So if IAF wants AESA for MKI they can always get it from the same route


Right, because integrating radars and their corresponding EW suites are just so easy, right? And AESAs are available in plenty for its Su-30 fleet. The Russians would gladly allow us to put an Israeli avionics suite and still support its engines, its umpteen LRUs and meet our serviceability needs even if we were to ignore half of their upgrade proposal.

Here, we can't even drop an Indian engine into Brahmos, because it would "not be true partnership", and there is talk of just randomly integrating 3'rd party AESA.

Russia effectively forced us to buy SAP-518 pods, which are too heavy, by not working with us to integrate EL-8222 capability into the fleet. And you think they will happily share the software and firmware to drop fit an Israeli radar into the Russian WCS on the Su-30 MKI?

but I havent come across any official interview from IAF or Russian side that says they would want an AESA .


The IAFs insistence on AESA for its MMRCA speaks volumes. Its rapid acceptance of the Mk1A when it got an AESA speaks volumes. The IAFs insistence that Rafale with Meteor can take on J-20 speaks volumes. The IAF taking Jaguar DARIN-3 upgrades instead of insisting on further replacements, speaks volumes.

But lets deny all of this, and pretend IAF does not want an AESA.

Russian side will pretend whatever it offers is perfect, so when has that mattered?
NIIP has no AESA on offer today. Phazatron has no AESA on offer today (PR aside, not one is in service on any fighter).

The same magazines which pretend Su30 proposal from Russia is so loved by IAF, also claim MiG-29K is a very successful program.

IAF is not stupid. If Russia had a high power AESA that they could put on the Su-30 - they would have pushed for it as a priority once they saw more Rafales were not coming.

If AESA was such a magical wonder M2K would have been the first to get in the upgrade which is also the most expensive one for a fleet of 40 and M2K are still used for Strategic purpose before Rafale takes over as and when they come.


There was no AESA on offer for the Mirage 2000 upgrade. It was reserved for the Rafale. Now we have purchased the Rafale and will very likely get more, its in Thales and Dassaults interest to provide the technology for some of our existing fleet, provided it does not detract from Rafale sales.

Note Thales is not yet offering the RBE-2 derived radar for the Su-30, why do you think that is? Because the RBE-2 was developed primarily for the Rafale program and clearly, Dassault has some say in where it can be used.

A LCA Mk1 light fighter with AESA is not a threat to the Rafale. Heavy/Medium fighters upgraded with it, can be used to delay Rafale sales and won't be easily cleared.

The BARS are very capable and easily have a decade of life left even in current Mk4 which itself were constantly upgraded ,


They are not permanent and need upgrades.

What they are proposing and highly likely we would see is BARS getting upgraded to Irbis standard with the entire back end geting replaced except for the main antenna so that in future an AESA can be added if required , This would essentially give BARS double the average power output and peak power of 20Kw like Irbis


Austin, I dont think you understand what Irbis is. If Bars was to be upgraded to Irbis, they'd first replace the front-end not the back-end alone because Irbis is basically a lighter antenna derived from the Osa program, but with better scan angles.

You can't just make the Bars draw on 20KW of power either. If you look into the topic, you'll see the average aircraft has only so much power surplus, it can utilize for its avionics. The Irbis leverages all new power supply and transfer units, drawing on more powerful engines than the Su-30's un-upgraded AL-31 class engines.

To the Bars oscillators and receivers, the NIIP guys added extra modules, new antenna, new DSP, and heavy TWTs - to put out a lot of power and claim extreme brochure ranges such as 350-400 km.

Guess what, those ranges come in very narrow scan angles limiting the amount of time, the mode can be used.
In short, the Irbis is no magic bullet. It does however permit large look angles.

The issues regarding PESA designs remain. Power conversion remains iffy with losses in the TX part. The reliability remains a challenge, because of the number of moving parts - large look angles at least compensate for this. The LPI part as advertised for the F-22/F-35 to avoid triggering earlier RWRs is not easily implementable, that growth part is blocked off.

Basically, you have an expensive heavy radar with next to nil long term growth. You have to put an AESA in, next.

Considering IAF is spending just 100 cr on each upgrade of ~ USD 16 million there is little hope in hell we will get AESA and all the bells and whistles if they are looking at fleet wide upgrade of 280 Aircraft , that also comes to around $4.5 - 5 billion just for the upgrade.


Desi displays, RWR, SPJ. Considering an AESA can cost anywhere between 3-5 Million $, that still leaves around $10 Million per aircraft. Again, most of the other items can be easily fit in for the price.

The problem remains the Russians have no AESA for an upgrade.

They only have PESA options.

I would rather see they get something more important like a desi MAWS , DRFM based interal Jammers and heavy pod mounted growler type external one , ESM with LPI capability , Towed Decoys , DIRCM , Upgrade IRST , DARE MMI and Sensor fusion and integration of all the weapons that IAF has and will have in the future including French ones we could have for Rafale like Meteor ....an AESA along with Engine upgrade would be the last good thing to have both are damn expensive component of upgrade ....Considering the fleet wide availability of Data links and AWACS , MKI would still get a big tactical picture from multiple asset.


None of the other items you mentioned are affected by an AESA or are available OTS and some are not available at all.. eg DIRCM, who has that? Only the Russians for FGFA and US for JSF and both are not available.

The rest is all being added anyhow and is not tied to the upgrade.

A long range missile is definitely on the cards as well.

I would bet every dime that MKI wont get an AESA in the current upgrade or an engine change to higher power one that is the last thing MKI needs for the next 15 years when there are so many other important things that it can get for it to get better capabilities , that sort of upgrade would need a lot of testing and debugging as entire weapons system will have to get realligned with new radar and tested too same with engine , easily a $40 million upgrade per aircraft
[/quote]

MKI won't get an AESA because Russians don't have it and the Indian establishment has been too stupid to have not heavily invested in creating the capability locally.

That's the bottomline.

It has nothing to do with IAF does not want an AESA that's something you have just made an idea out of.

In contrast, IAF is busy ensuring every new fighter acquisition it has, comes with AESA. And thank goodness for that.

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

Postby Cain Marko » 20 May 2018 01:58

Karan M wrote:
tsarkar wrote:BTW has N036 has even been offered for the upgrade?


NIIP keeps pushing AESA as a 2nd step., while first is a Bars upgrade. IAF wants AESA instead. The mismatch between customer expectations and what Russia is offering, clearly indicates (to my mind at least), that despite the obvious geopolitical advantages of buying Russian (no BS on HR/NGO/Ford this that).. the IAF is no longer a captive market for the Russians. If anyone gives a better deal (e.g. Israel), IAF will seriously evaluate it. It would be even better to open the funding spigot for Uttam and see what an all-up design can seriously achieve. If we get a range increase over Bars (say 30%), plus AESA advantages (ECCM, reliability), then its anyday preferable. I can't believe how stupidly, penny pinching we are, without even having a properly funded AESA FCR program or an inhouse large scale fab, or even a fighter test-bed.


I have a feeling that the bars upgrade had already been carried out, note the increased detection range for fighter sized targets. Any further upgrades will probly offer only marginal increases and aesa might be the only course left
Last edited by Cain Marko on 20 May 2018 02:54, edited 1 time in total.

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

Postby Karan M » 20 May 2018 02:04

And for all the talk of Su-35 being some super program with Irbis etc.

The Brazilians received classified presentations on Su-35, for the program they also had Rafale, F/A-18 E/F, and Gripen competing.

The Su-30 performance was classified as average, with radar performance being OK and EW capability also classified as ok-ok but nothing great.

The Rafale was the "dream acquisition" but dropped because of costs, and Gripen won out because of cost and industrial participation.

In short, Rafale offers Su-35 level and even superior performance with greater sophistication (e.g. EW suite & lower RCS) in a much more compact package.

US has some dozen odd programs out there with AESA. France has a fighter AESA radar. The Swedes have one in trials and the British are also putting one in service, more or less given ME export sales. The Indians, latecomers to the entire FCR party, have now got an AESA in trials.

And the Russians are yet to demonstrate even the existing NIIP AESA to the IAF.

Does anyone think it is a co-incidence that the IAF said enough is enough to the FGFA when they were finally permitted a visit to the program, and the darn aircraft had an engine fire, and the IAF was not even allowed to see what went wrong?

Does anyone treat a customer who invests $400 Mn into a program, with such cavalier disregard and contempt.

It shows Russia either thought we were idiots who didn't have options, OR didnt want us to see how far the program was from completion and we would walk away if we realized the truth.

Looks like they didn't figure out we did have options.

I suspect if they play the same game with S-400, DRDO/IAI will come up with a new SAM and that's goodbye to the S-400 as well.

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

Postby Karan M » 20 May 2018 02:15

I hope you are right. That would be a sweet thing, if the last 40 unit order for the Sukhois was actually to a mid-way upgraded specification. What we do know is the final version of Bars, which finally met IAF specifications, was actually realized only a few years back and it was then subsequently released for production. However, the Su-30 upgraded Bars was to be far more capable.


Cain Marko wrote:
Karan M wrote:
NIIP keeps pushing AESA as a 2nd step., while first is a Bars upgrade. IAF wants AESA instead. The mismatch between customer expectations and what Russia is offering, clearly indicates (to my mind at least), that despite the obvious geopolitical advantages of buying Russian (no BS on HR/NGO/Ford this that).. the IAF is no longer a captive market for the Russians. If anyone gives a better deal (e.g. Israel), IAF will seriously evaluate it. It would be even better to open the funding spigot for Uttam and see what an all-up design can seriously achieve. If we get a range increase over Bars (say 30%), plus AESA advantages (ECCM, reliability), then its anyday preferable. I can't believe how stupidly, penny pinching we are, without even having a properly funded AESA FCR program or an inhouse large scale fab, or even a fighter test-bed.


I have a feeling that the bars upgrade had already been carried out, not the increases detection ranges for fighter sized targets. Any further upgrades will probly offer only marginal increases and aesa might be the only course left

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

Postby Karan M » 20 May 2018 02:16


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

Postby Karan M » 20 May 2018 02:26

In short, we have the final variant of Bars from circa 2012. The ones in IAF service are effectively from that standard.

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

Postby Cain Marko » 20 May 2018 03:14

Just reposting what I recently found in case you didn't get a chance to read it...

Image and range references removed...
Last edited by Cain Marko on 20 May 2018 06:10, edited 1 time in total.

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

Postby Karan M » 20 May 2018 03:54

Cain, as long as un-upgraded Su-30s are in service and are the majority, I don't think we should be discussing Bars ranges.

However, I will say this, TR1's enthusiasm, over "new numbers" is misplaced. Those are the same figures in the same brochure, which have remained unchanged for over a decade. I saw those details in 2007 or even earlier (the ROE brochure has been available from 2002 onwards as I recall).

I will also say this - the Bars is a formidable radar & the majority of speculation regarding it being less powerful is also fallacy.

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

Postby Austin » 20 May 2018 11:41

Karan , You are just repeating same thing based on what you think but I have no intention on debating with you its an endless one , I would just put out my analysis on based on inverviews from HAL , NIIP and IAF about the upgrade.

There is not a single statement from IAF that says IAF wants AESA or PESA or something else , We dont know what is the frozen specs of Super MKI upgrade and what will be its final cost.

An AESA upgrade for a MKI size aircraft is a project in itself not only its an expensive upgrade but also a time consuming one because they will have to recaliberate and re-certify the entire weapons suite of MKI with the new radar , no body know how compatiable these would be.

IF you have a new program like MMRCA or Rafale deal which will come into IAF after 2020 then it makes sense to have a AESA because most of the aircraft will come into service after 2025 except for Rafale. Jags upgrade with new Radar is more of a necessiaty because 2032 did not perform well either on SAHR or Jags IM , I got this from someone in know the only reason it was there because it was better than the original radar and other option from UK and France were very expensive as good as cost of new aircraft.

BARS are exteremly capable radar and can out match in Range any radar that IAF has today or will have in future the current potential to improve BARS exists and it will remain very competent for next 10 years , but as any upgrade would start 2-3 years for now and its potential to upgrade the entire fleet by HAL will be 6-8 years , They are pursuing the IRBIS option ( they might replace the antenna too but thats not yet decided ) IRBIS will remain competent for next 25-30 from 2020 which will also be the time MKI service life would end after upgrade.

IF IAF wants a 15-16 million USD upgrade then they will have to look at cost effective option for fleet wide upgrade , if they want an expensive upgrade involve AESA for the next 40 new airframe they may buy then it makes sense to put in AESA but that would be a 30-40 million dollar upgrade ..would that be worth the money is something IAF has to decide

So to summarise from offical statements in interview from HAL , NIIP , IAF
Super 30 MKI upgrade

1 ) Would include IRBIS class radars either upgrading the BARS to IRBIS standard or replace BARS with IRBIS antenna , The back end would be AESA radar if in future IAF decides to have AESA then it just needs to replace the Antenna no need to replace back end

2 ) Would involed MAWS, EW and many new Weapons Suite including current weapons for Tejas , ASTRA , Meteor , Israel weapons would be certified for Super MKI , RVV-BD, RVV-SD etc would be integrated , This would give IAF fleet wide flexibility to add any weapons available in any weapons theatre

3 ) Would involve new cockpit , new MMI and Sensor Fusion based on DARE and Su-35 standard sensor fusion

4 ) BRahmos Mini and Brahmos with extended Range 450 km is part of Super MKI suite

5 ) No engine Upgrade is talked about but AL-31FP has the potential to get upgraded to AL-31FM2 or FM2 standard without increasing diameter of Fan , will need new hot parts for higher TET and higher thrust either 1 ton or 2 T more per engine.

That is what I know , This is not based on IAF Final Specs which might change depending on money IAF wants to spend


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