Is the Su-30MKI Superior to the Eurofighter And Rafale?
Defenseworld Analysis
02:39 PM, August 7, 2015
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Su-30mki beats Typhoon in Indradhanush combat exercises with 12-0 scoreline
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In the recently concluded international air combat exercises featuring the Indian Air Force’ (IAF) Sukhoi Su-30 MKI fighters and British Royal Air Force Typhoon jets, the Su-30MKI outsmarted the Eurofighter Typhoon 12-0 in the Within Visual Range (WVR) dogfighting operations.

If the Su-30MKI has a tactical advantage over the Typhoon, the same advantage should extend over the Rafale as well, both of which are more expensive than the Russian origin aircraft.

Eurofighter Typhoon and Dassault Rafale can be closely compared. Both the fighters have nearly identical size, power and performance. Both are twin-engined Eurocanards. Both aircraft are capable of carrying advanced Electronic warfare suites equipped with jammers and decoys. Both can deliver ALCMs like storm shadow, AASM or Taurus KEPD 350. Both have roughly the same IR and radar signature. Both are equipped with AESA radars and IRSTs. Both have roughly the same speed and are capable of mounting ramjet powered MBDA Meteor.

The Sukhoi-30 MKI mounts a Vympel R-77M BVR AAM missile and aNIIP NO11M Bars (Panther) integrated radar sighting system. The Russian origin plane is capable of performing all tactical tasks of the Su-24 Fencer deep interdiction tactical bomber and the Su-27 Flanker A/B/C air superiority fighter while having around twice the combat range and atleast 2.5 times the combat effectiveness.

The Su-30MKI is powered by the Al-31FP (P for povorotnoye meaning "movable") engine. The Su-30MKI has a large range of 3,000 km without refueling which allows for autonomous operations that require high endurance.

It has an inbuilt In-Flight Refueling (IFR) probe that is retracted beside the cockpit during normal operation. The aircraft can carry air-to-air and air-to-surface missiles, guided bombs, unguided projectiles, APK datalink pods, ELTA RF jammers etc.

“In all dog fighting exercises, IAF Sukhois were able to turn sharply into the extremely agile Typhoons using their thrust-vectored engines to keep the RAF jets locked in their sights. The Su-30's advanced Infrared Search and Track System (IRST), a passive sensor, which cannot be tracked, proved to be a distinct advantage for the IAF's pilots in close-combat maneuvering,” NDTV quoted Group Captain Ashu Srivastav, the Contingent Commander in the exercises as saying.

“Both the IAF and RAF used the full capabilities of their onboard radars in training mode, which meant that actual radar frequencies used in combat conditions were never exposed for confidentiality reasons. However, the detection ranges of the radars of both aircraft were not curtailed per se. This was air combat as close to the real thing as possible,” he said.

So does it mean that the Su-30MKI is superior to the two leading European fighters? Experts are divided on this as the Russian aircraft won in a dogfight, a type of aerial warfare which went out of practice in the 80s with network-centric warfare now in vogue.

Both Eurofighter and Dassault were contenders for the Indian Air Force MMRCA program. Dassault Rafale won the contract but later with technology transfer and cost escalation issues, India chose to reduce the number of aircraft from 126 to 36 this April.

The MMRCA deal was scrapped only this month. The new deal to buy 36 Rafales is still to materialize.

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Comments
xxx on Sunday, November 22, 2015 @ 05:58 AM

Googled su-30 vs rafale, and found two internet site with an incredible amount of amateurism (wrong figures and tremendous lack of knowledge). Also funny to see defenseworld or expert planes etc in their names... I bet you don't even know the conditions in the "12-0 wvr" nor what are supposed to do x or x plane apparently. Noobies!

Putine on Sunday, August 9, 2015 @ 08:22 AM

Absolute bullshit

Kabuto on Saturday, August 8, 2015 @ 07:15 PM

Is that a serious article? Comparing jet fighters on numbers? The Typhoon has maybe similar designs with the Rafale, but they are tremendously different. One can do what it was designed for, the other is not even ready. From where can you say that SU-27 is 2.5 times the combat effectiveness of others? Why not infinite more effective due to 12-0? Hope this website is not massively visited.. And History does not give advantage to russian fighters... Not only recent crashes (6 in last months (Mig21, TU 95, etc...)), but wars before. One last thing, russian's fighter was rejected by the MMRCA... Just saying... Indian's pilots must have their reasons.

The Admiralty on Friday, August 7, 2015 @ 11:06 PM

Sources from the RAF state, however, that Indian planes were being 'bedded in' to new terrain and effectively shown the ropes. The RAF were "introducing them to the airspace", putting the Typhoons up against the Sukhois in something more akin to a pigeon-shooting exercise, rather than a combat exercise, so the Indian pilots could get their bearings. Once the IAF were comfortable flying in foreign air space the Large Force Exercises (LFEs) began and subsequently the RAF Typhoons proved more than a match for the Indian SU-30's. The Large Force Engagements saw 4 v 4 engagements at beyond visual range and graduated to a massive 8 v 8 engagement featuring 16 aircraft in the skies near Coningsby. Asked about the performance of IAF pilots in these Large Force Engagements, Group Captain Srivastav told NDTV his pilots performed "fairly well" though "quantifying [the results] is difficult". http://forces.tv/00317417