Friday, July 29, 2016

Super Sukhoi?

via Defense Aerospace.
According to him, FGFA and 'Super Sukhoi' will be different aircraft. "FGFA has several advantages over the upgraded Su-30MKI, namely, improved stealth capabilities, internal weapon bays, integrated electronic warfare (EW) suite, state-of-the art engines, and an advanced software. 'Super Sukhoi' cannot be rebuilt into a fully stealth aircraft. Yes, we are planning to enhance the plane`s stealth. However, you should not delude into thinking that the upgraded Su-30MKI would be an almost invisible aircraft. It is a "Super Sukhoi', not a 'Super Stealth' aircraft.

“Such basic components as the airframe will retain their structure, be sure. India has demanded that Russia save the Su-30MKI`s legendary reliability, let alone high combat performance. I see the future of the IAF`s combat aircraft fleet as a mixture of the FGFA stealth planes and the 'Super Sukhoi' multirole fighters. You should consider that Moscow and India have committed to the FGFA program, having earmarked billions of dollars in order to support it. At the same time, the contract for "Super Sukhoi' planes has yet to be signed by both sides. Hence, the IAF is intending to get both planes," the source said.

The 'Super Sukhoi' aircraft is supposed to receive an advanced glass cockpit, long-range guided weapons, a state-of-the-art avionics, and a radar with an active electronically scanned array (AESA), the source pointed out. "The IAF is planning to integrate the air-launched variant of the BrahMos cruise missile jointly developed by Russia and India with the 'Super Sukhoi' aircraft. The plane is supposed to get long-range air-launched missiles with an infrared guidance system interfaced with an advanced software. India is planning to power the jet with top-performing engines to reduce the number of potential failures," he added.

I've been waiting for this.  After Boeing came out with their stunning proposals to radically modernize the F-15 and F-18, I've been waiting for the same treatment to come to the Typhoon, Rafale, Gripen and Russian aircraft.
Modernized/Stealthified Super Hornet!

Looks like its finally happening.

Got word of this a couple of days ago but it was just fan boy art that didn't give the details behind the story.  Now?  Now we have it and it sounds
impressive.  It seems like every major air force except our own (well the Marines and Air Force seem lost in the sauce, but the Navy is working the problem) understands that the expense of stealth aircraft doesn't stop with their purchase but continues with outrages maintenance costs.  So the Indian Air Force plan of radically modernized legacy jets with a small fleet of Stealth Fighters seems like something we should be doing.

What will really be interesting is to see how many of Boeing's ideas end up in the Super Sukhoi.  If they can work the low observable pods to be large enough to carry their long range anti-air missiles then they'll have an adhoc version of the "missile truck" idea (that's disappeared and isn't talked about anymore) available for these heavy weight fighters.  Even worse?  China is watching so you can expect them to copy the concept.

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