Russia’s Su-30SM jets made by Irkut Corp are on the procurement radar of Bangladesh which has put out a request for information (RFI) to buy eight multi-role fighter jets with an option of four more planes for its air force.
“We are seeking information about the Su-30 and other planes”, Md Humayun Kabir, Defence Advisor in the Bangladesh High Commission, Kuala Lumpur told Defenseworld.net after his meeting with Irkut Corp executives at the Langkawi International Maritime and Aviation (LIMA) exhibition yesterday.
“Since India is a big operator of Su-30 jets, we may need the help of India with service and maintenance should the Bangladesh Air Force (BAF) select the Russian plane”, Hymayun Kabir said adding that the procurement process had just begun and he would not like to say which other aircraft manufacturers have been approached or are in contention to supply aircraft to the BAF.
He said in his meeting with Irkut executives he asked if there would be synergy between the YAK-130 combat/trainer planes bought by the BAF in the past and the Su-30SM jets. The Irkut executives told him that the YAK-130 could train its pilots to fly the Su-30SM jets as the latter were designed to train pilots to fly the advanced Su-30s.
The Directorate General of Defence Purchases (DGDP) has issued an RFI issued an in early March this year detailing the type of aircraft it needs. According to reports, the aircraft should be a twin-engine design, with each powerplant providing at least 5,500 kg in dry thrust and more than 8,000 kg with afterburn. It must have a minimum of eight hardpoints and a minimum payload of 5,000 kg, according to the tender.
The new fighters must provide a platform for anti-surface, maritime and offensive counter-air operations.
The government wants the fighter to be equipped with an electronically-scanned array radar with an air-to-air range and air-to-surface range of 150 km and 50 km, respectively.
The fighter must also be equipped with an integrated electronic warfare (EW) and electronic countermeasures (ECCM) suite; infrared search and track (IRST) system with a target tracking range of at least 50 km; helmet-mounted display and sight (HMD/S) system with cueing; head-up display (HUD) and modern glass cockpit.
The BAF is seeking a complete package comprising of the aircraft, maintenance and training package, and a set of air-to-air and air-to-surface munitions. The aircraft are to be delivered in two batches, with each comprising of four aircraft. The second batch must be delivered 18-24 months after the first.