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India wants to develop a fleet of near fifth-generation fighters with Russia
By IANS | Bharat Defence Kavach | Publish Date: 7/29/2016 12:00:00 AM

Amid a gridlock between India and Russia on the development of their fifth-generation fighter aircraft (FGFA), India has decided to set up negotiations with Russia to upgrade 194 Sukhoi Indian Air Force Su-30MKIs to a near fifth-generation level for about $8 billion.

The improved Su-30s will feature advanced stealth technology, longer range missiles and radars, a jointly developed BrahMos supersonic cruise missile, and an advanced suite of avionics.

"[A] major part of the upgrade [to Super Sukhoi] involves avionics and sensors. These are completely new with new systems and new software. Hence it has no relation to old problems with software. Engine issues will have to be dealt with," retired Indian Air Force Air Marshal Muthumanikam Matheswaran told news.

But even improved Su-30s won't do the job needed by the IAF, who have fallen behind with aircraft maintenance.

Furthermore, the move to upgrade the existing aircraft while India and Russia wait for a new generation of fighters represents a kind of half-measure, and it complicates the already fraught joint venture between India and Russia to develop the FGFA.

"Upgrade of the Su-30 will certainly slow the FGFA acquisition primarily due to financial limitations," Matheswaran said. "But upgraded Su-30 is not the same as FGFA."

Indeed the difference between "near fifth generation" and "fifth generation" is a huge. A fifth generation jet should employ an integrated stealth design, internal electronic warfare capabilities, and super-cruise abilities. No matter how much the Su-30 is upgraded, the basics, like an airframe lacking internal weapons bays and other stealth features, cannot be tacked on at this late stage.

In fact, the FGFA, also known as the PAK FA or the T-50, already hardly meets the requirements of the "fifth generation" aircraft as defined by planes like the F-22 and F-35.



India wants to develop a fleet of near fifth-generation fighters with Russia


भारत डिफेंस कवच की नई हिन्दी पत्रिका ‘डिफेंस मॉनिटर’ का ताजा अंक ऊपर दर्शाया गया है। इसके पहले दस पन्ने आप मुफ्त देख सकते हैं। पूरी पत्रिका पढ़ने के लिए कुछ राशि का भुगतान करना होता है। पुराने अंक आप पूरी तरह फ्री पढ़ सकते हैं। पत्रिका के अंकों पर क्लिक करें और देखें। -संपादक

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