A plan to upgrade Indian Air Force (IAF) Su-30MKI aircraft to the “Super Sukhoi” configuration may be delayed owing to unresolved issues with the Su-30MKI aircraft.
Russia’s Rosoboronexport and Irkut Corp. had proposed in 2011 to equip the Su-30MKI with an active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, improved weapons and stealth characteristics to bring it close to the level of a fifth-generation fighter aircraft.
A source confirmed to defenseworld.net that inter-governmental talk is on between India and Russia on the “Super Sukhoi” program. But the IAF is chary about the program as it has “unresolved problems” with the Su-30 MKI.
The unresolved service issues include in-flight displays blanking off, ejection seat activating on its own and problems with the engine. “There has been a game of buck-passing between the IAF, Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd, and Sukhoi Design Bureau regarding the unresolved issues”, the source said.
The source said that any talk of a Sukhoi upgrade being signed on to by the IAF is not a possibility in the near future. “Talks have been going on for the past three-four years about the Super Sukhoi program – the way the upgrade program is named – but nothing has been decided.”
"Research institutions and industrial facilities in India will participate in the program to modernize the Su-30MKI, which will significantly increase the combat capabilities of the aircraft," an Irkut spokesperson had told journalists ahead of the Aero India show earlier this year.