India and Russia are pushing for the development of Super Sukhoi upgrade package for its current fleet of Sukhoi-30MKI front-line jet.
The upgrade will come at a cost of over $8 billion.
A contract for the upgrade has been signed and the prototype will be made in Russia and the upgrade will be done at India’s state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited.
The Indian Air Force (IAF) wants to upgrade the existing and eventually the entire fleet of 272 Su-30MKI to the near fifth-generation level to increase its combat worthiness.
The upgradation will focus on improving Avionics, Software, Pilot interface and Integration of new AESA Multi-mode Radar.
Few Sukhoi-30s will have strengthened air frame to support BrahMos-A but all others will be BrahMos-NG and Nirbhay ALCM capable bringing a host of new standoff weapons to India’s Sukhoi-30s arsenal. Though the upgrade won’t affect the proposed Indo-Russian Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA) — worth $25 billion — analysts say the diversion of funds for the Super Sukhoi could delay the FGFA.
FGFA will include internal weapon-carrying bays to enhance[d] stealth features, integrated internal fit of electronic warfare suite, super-cruise capability and inherent stealth design.