The Russian Ministry of Defense will soon receive a Su-30SM2 fighter jet, an improved version of the Su-30SM which could form the basis of an upgrade proposal for the Indian Su-30MKI.
"This is modernization of the complex. This is a new assortment of weapons and the expansion of combat capabilities sufficient for this aircraft," head of the United Aircraft Corporation Yuri Slyusar told reporters while referring to the Su-30SM2 during the Army 2020 event in Moscow on Tuesday.
"They will be supplied both in the interests of the army itself and in the interests of the Navy," the head of the UAC added.
Earlier on Tuesday, the Ministry of Defense and the UAC signed a contract for the supply of Su-34 bombers, Su-35 and Su-30SM2 fighters for the Aerospace Forces (VKS) of Russia, Su-30SM2 fighters for the Navy (Navy), combat training aircraft Yak-130 and heavy military transports Il-76MD-90A.
While not much is known about the specifics of the Su-30SM2 over the base Su-30SM, some hints of what is coming were provided in early 2019. “The Sukhoi Su-30SM fighter jet will be standardized with the 4++ generation Su-35 fighter by upgrading its onboard equipment and armament to cut its cost price and breathe a new life into the plane,” Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov told journalists in February 2019.
He hinted that the heavily upgraded Su-30SM plane may open a new market for the jet in India. "Considering that there are about 200 such planes in India, an opportunity will probably open for modernizing this fleet (to the standards of the Su-30SM2) to prolong its service life," Borisov had explained.
There is also talk of the existing radar of the SU-30SM to be replaced by the Passive electronically scanning array (PESA) radar from the Su-35.
One significant inclusion into the Su-30SM2 will be a heavy air-to-surface missile developed as part of the Adaptation-Su development work- the project to develop the Su-30SM2. Russian newspaper Izvestia reported earlier this year that the missile in question is likely to be the liquid hypersonic missile Kh-32, previously used on Tu-22M3 bombers.
Other reports have suggested that the Su-30SM2 fighters would get the AL-41F-1S engine from the Su-35 planes thus increasing thrust to be able to carry heavier armaments. Reports have emerged in the recent part that the Russian military industry is starting to look at universal engines for the following fighters – Su-27, Su-30 and Su-35. The new engine could be a derivative of the AL-41F-1S.