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What Will Change in India's Su-30MKIs Post HAL Upgrade?

Su-30MKI  - Sputnik India, 1920, 18.12.2023
India has been fast upgrading its fleet of warplanes, and a planned enhancement in the capabilities of the South Asian nation's Su-30MKIs is part of the plan.
India's Su-30MKI fighter jets are set for an upgrade, according to an announcement by the Ministry of Defense (MoD).
The primary combat aircraft is expected to undergo a major transformation to be equipped with various modern and advanced technologies that are generally associated with 4.5-generation military planes.
As per the current Air Force chief Air Chief Marshal Vivek Ram Chaudhari, who spoke about the modernizing plans during a recent public event, the main highlight of the Su-30MKI upgrade plan was to evolve the fighter jet from a Russian origin into an indigenous platform.

What Is the Upgrade Package?

Among the enhancements that India's state-run aviation behemoth Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) will incorporate into the Su-30MKIs are:
advanced munitions, including the country's locally-manufactured anti-radiation missile RudraM,
long-range subsonic cruise missile Nirbhay.
The weapons package also includes anti-ship missiles and the extended-range BrahMos missiles.
Other upgrades include:
an all-new cockpit having state-of-the-art touchscreen displays,
a modern mission control computer,
a domestically-produced AESA radar.
As far as the overhaul of the cockpit is concerned, new-generation wider touchscreen displays will offer a seamless experience to the pilots, given that they will now be assisted in their combat missions by the aircraft's improved data visualization.
Plus, the IAF personnel flying India's premier combat fighter will have enhanced situational awareness and a greater understanding of the warplane's other functions.
Furthermore, the Su-30 MKIs will be equipped with the domestically developed "Virupaaksha" Advanced Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar.
The incorporation of the high-tech radar is expected to give a significant boost to the combat plane's surveillance and detection capabilities.
This is believed to provide the upgraded Su-30MKIs with more teeth in air-to-air combat, possibly proving a game-changer for the South Asian state's fleet of warplanes.
On the other hand, the Su-30MKIs' mission control computer, considered one of the main elements of a fighter jet's avionics suit, will be revamped to handle the Virupaaksha's cutting-edge technology as well as its modernized weapons package and its advanced and state-of-the-art cockpit.
The overall cost of the upgrade plan for the Su-30MKIs is estimated to be $7.5 billion, which the Indian Air Force says will transform the aircraft into "Super Sukhois".
A Sukhoi SU-30 displays its skills during an air show ahead of the anniversary of Indian Air Force and the diamond jubilee celebration of the Tezpur Air Force Station in Tezpur, India, Thursday, Sept. 26, 2019 - Sputnik India, 1920, 15.09.2023
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