Indian Air Force (IAF) is among the best air forces in the world .Our airforce is well respected globally and is known for carrying out difficult operations with precision and skill.Indian air force operates various aircrafts   but the main fighter ad the backbone of IAF is it's SU 30 MKI's . 

SU 30 MKI is a 4++ gen twin-jet multirole air superiority heavy class fighter aircraft which was built by Russia's SUKHOI derived from the legendary Sukhoi_Su-27  .The MKI variant which is used by IAF is tailored and made specifically as per IAF's requirement and it is superior and more advanced than the Chinese SU 30 MKK and MK versions .

It's performance was so good that even the Russians themselves were so impressed by it that they developed a localized version of  SU-30 MKI for themselves.Its abilities are on par with the abilities of SU-35 .

The jet is manufactured within India under license by HAL and it isthe only license manufacturer and the only SUKHOI production plant outside Russia.


 SU 30 MKI was inducted in IAF on 27 September 2002 and it is expected to be India's front line fighter beyond 2020.

India planned to buy 272 SU 30 MKI's but according to officials IAF has ordered another 40 planes and now the total number of planes will be 312.


SU 30 MKI is equipped with modern avionics and radars . Currently it has the NIIP N011M Bars (Panther) passive electronically scanned array radar. It is equipped with a modern digital weapons control system as well as anti-jamming features. N011M has a 400 km search range and a maximum 200 km tracking range, and 60 km in the rear hemisphere.The radar can track 15 air targets and engage 4 simultaneously. 

The Su-30MKI can function as a mini-AWACS as a director or command post for other aircraft. The target co-ordinates can be transferred automatically to at least four other aircraft. The radar can detect ground targets such as tanks at 40–50 km.The Bars radar will be replaced by Zhuk-AESA in all Su-30MKI aircraft.Sukhoi Su-30MKI has electronic counter-measure systems. The RWR system is of Indian design, developed by India's DRDO, called Tarang.


The Su-30MKI is powered by two Al-31FP turbofans, each rated at 12,500 kgf (27,550 lbf) of full after-burning thrust, which enable speeds of up to mach two in horizontal flight (about 2450 km/h at ground-level) and a rate of climb of 230 m/s. 
 The mean time between overhaul is reportedly 1,000 hours with a full-life span of 3,000 hours.

SU 30  MKI has 3D Thrust_vectoring  which makes it highly maneuverable and agile.



The Su-30MKI has a range of 3,000 km with internal fuel which ensures a 3.75 hour combat mission. Also, it has an in-flight refueling (IFR) probe that retracts beside the cockpit during normal operation. The air refueling system increases the flight duration up to 10 hours with a range of 8,000 km at a cruise height of 11 to 13 km.

Il-78-SU-30MKI mid air refueling


The MKI are often sent for bilateral excercises where they compete against other jets of various air forces.

India exercised its Su-30MKIs against the Royal Air Force's Tornado in October 2006RAF's Air Vice Marshal, Christopher Harper, praised the MKI's dogfight ability, calling it "absolutely masterful in dogfights".

India sent Su-30MKs, an earlier variant of the Su-30MKI, to take part in war games with the United States Air Force (USAF) during Cope India 04 in 2004. The results have been widely publicized, with the Indians winning "90% of the mock combat missions" against the USAF's F-15C.

In Cope India 05, the Su-30MKIs reportedly beat the USAF's F-16s.

 On 21 July 2015, India and UK began the bilateral exercise named Indradhanush with aircraft operating from three Royal Air Force bases. The exercises included both Beyond Visual Range (BVR) and Within Visual Range (WVR) exercises between the Su-30MKI and Eurofighter Typhoon.The results were in favour of the IAF with a score of 12-0 at WVR engagements. They also claim that the IAF Su-30MKIs held an edge over the Typhoons in BVR engagements though not in as dominating a manner.


 In near future the  Sukhoi-30MKI fighters will soon be converted into 'Super Sukhois' by upgrading them with fifth generation combat jet features including reduced RCS , modern radars etc.

Also it is being integrated with Brahmos missile to provide the capability to attack ground targets from stand-off ranges of around 300 km.On 25 June 2016, HAL conducted the first test flight of a Su-30MKI fitted with a BrahMos-A missile. The first air launch of BrahMos from a Su-30MKI is to take place in October 2016. 


SU 30 MKI is a very capable fighter which is one of the best fighters in the world .It is the best in its class and can compete with any modern jet.


  1. Tell me Hitesh which aircraft would be best for india the gripen or the f16?
    And is a single engine fighter really necessary for india when it has the LCA Tejas
    I mean couldnt India just save up money for the hal amca and the sukhoi/hal fgfa cuz by the time production lines will be set and the aircraft of gripen or f16 will be delivered by then India would have finished with the amca project(year 2025).Also India has its own single enginge 4++ gen fighter why does it need another imported aircraft which is single engine?

    1. Buddy Saab grippen E would be best and to be true yes India ATM does need another single engine fighter other than our own Tejas. India has a requirement of 400 jets in a decade and Tejas mk1a which is a very good jet is still not in same league as grippen E which is one of the best jets in world.
      The advantage of buying grippen E is full tot and make in India which will just be helpful for Tejas mk2 and AMCA as we will get the latest AESA and data link etc technology along with engine tech ( Saab has rights). Also Saab is not just offering production line but also an entire aeronautical ecosystem in India which will be a big boost to indian aviation and this will help in developing Tejas MK2 which is still years away for now. Also even HAL TEJAS production is not very fast ( 8-12 ATM and soon to be 16 per year) but our jets are retiring fast and need to be replaced.
      If grippen is selected now they can start deliveries by 2020 max and that will be a big relief.

      I understand ur concern about its chances of killing our own jet Tejas but ATM they r no risk to Tejas as Tejas has firm order of 123 (40 MK1 and 83 MK1A) and Tejas 2 may get another 50-100 as order.

      The need of single engine fighter is that single engine jets are cheaper and easier to operate and maintain compared to double engine jets for same power and load ( this is not always true but 95% times it is valid).
      I hope I cleared most of Ur queries and
      M currently working on an article on the same topic in which I would do a comparison btw f 16 BLOCK 70 and Saab grippen E and do a in-depth review of this deal.

    2. Thanks you for clearing that up :)
      Do you work for the indian government or something where do you get this information from?

    3. Buddy I really like defence and keep check on defence related issue and have been doing this for quite some time so now I have idea about the topic.

      Currently m just a blogger and an army aspirant

    4. Cool‚ i have a great respect for army but i want to join the INDIAN AIR FORCE.
      I always wanted to become a pilot‚ whats better than a fighter pilot plus the IAF has a very bright future modern jets and everything by the time i join the IAF (approx 6 years to go to become a commissioned officer) just two more years and ill be training for the iaf at the national defence academy(nda).
      What about you buddy where you from? How old are you?

    5. It's great u want to join IAF u will get to work with some of the most experienced pilots in world and yes the future of IAF is very bright with rapid modernization under process and within 6 years IAF would be a very strong force ( it's even strong today but there is always room for improvement), I wish u all the best for Ur NDA paper and selection in IAF, IAF clearing people are truely a cut above, the medical norms are just insane, they check everything from the basic to the very minute details and at the end of the medical they know more about Ur body than u know.

      As for me m just another defence enthusiast who is currently promoting armed forces via this site and is trying to join frontlines and hopefully I will make it to the frontlines soon.

    6. Thanks man‚ I know all the medical norms and requriements for eligibility to join the IAf. Best of luck to you too for joining the Army :) keep posting defence articles on ur website they are really good and informative keep up the good work buddy.

  2. Bro any idea by when will all of our sukhois will be upgraded to super sukhois?

    1. Brother as per current information the contract is being finalised and it will be signed before the year end and maybe till 2022-24 we will have all our 272 su 30 MKI upgraded to super sukhoi ( excluding the 40 about which m not sure because they r for SFC).

  3. A sick and AOG fighter. 50% AOG. No spares and no hope. Used engines used for new jets. What a sick sick program.

    1. U do realise that Ur airforce has less than 130 fighters and even with 100% aog Ur jets are dud compared to just 50% Sukhoi

      Also not to mention that Sukhoi are just part of our arsenal and not the only fighter we have.

      3rd the new song is 70% mate, which a Singaporean Chinese piggy will never be able to see.🐷😂


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