Russia to Modernise Indian Sukhois

By admin • June 25th, 2010

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India Defence Online, New Delhi – India has decided to let Russia modernise 40 of its SU-30 MKI fighters, which are being made in India under license from Russia.

This modernisation process of the SU-30 MKI fighters will involve the installation of new radars, onboard computers, electronic warfare systems and BrahMos supersonic missiles on 40 Su-30MKI fighters. The modernisation is being carried out by the Rosoboronexport, the Sukhoi Design Bureau and NPO Mashinostroyeniya.

Currently, the Indian Air Force (IAF) operates about 100 SU-30 MKI and plans to have nearly 300 within five years. The SU-30MKI weighs about 30 tonnes and is equipped with Western electronics, and can carry more than eight tonnes of bombs and hit targets over 1,500 kilometres away. India is making 170 SU-30s locally under licensed production which is called the Su-30MKI and is considered to be the most capable version available due to its Israeli and European electronics.

As for the BrahMos cruise missile, the air-launched version weighs 2.5 tonnes, while the Army and Navy versions weigh three tons or more. The IAF has requested for an even smaller and lighter version of BrahMos and India will be funding that as well.

The BrahMos missile is a product of an Indo-Russian joint venture BrahmosAerospace and was born out of joint efforts of Indian and Russian scientists. The BrahMos missile has a range of 290 kilometres (180 miles) and can carry a conventional warhead of up to 300 kilograms (660 lbs). It can effectively engage ground targets from an altitude as low as 10 meters (30 feet) and has a top speed of Mach 2.8, which is about three times faster than the U.S.-made subsonic Tomahawk cruise missile. The maximum speed of 3,000 kilometres an hour makes it harder to intercept. The BrahMos missile is 9.4 meter long and 670 mm diameter missile and is an upgraded version of the Russian SS-NX-26 (Yakhont) missile. Although the BrahMos can carry a nuclear warhead, the current design makes it useful to go after high value targets that require a large warhead and great accuracy.

source: india defence online

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