Delhi, 11 October 2002
IAF celebrated its 70th Anniversary with a stunning airdisplay
with the Air Chief Marshal S Krishnaswamy making making many
statements of policy and these are signs of confidence in the Air
Force capability including its ability to deliver nuclear
weapons. These must have had clearances of the Government as the
Chiefs have been very careful about making statements and many
changes are expected in the higher echelons of the Armed Forces.
With the commissioning of the SU 30 MKI squadron at Pune on 27th
September the IAF is up beat and one of our viewers has summed up
the capabilities of this aircraft, which has been progressively
improved by the IAF and IDC salutes the efforts of the IAF.
the information provided by one of our viewers:
“The Sukhoi-30 multi-role
deep penetration strike fighters entering IAF (Indian Air Force)
service are in every way suitable for delivery of nuclear ordnances
at enemy high-value military and commercial targets and are likely
to constitute the primary airborne platform for the proposed
in concept to United States F-15E "Strike Eagle", the
Sukhoi-30MKI has multiple "hardpoints" each capable of
carrying 1000 kilograms of weapons load that may well include
nuclear gravity bombs. The extensive array of self-defence weapons,
avionics and Indo-Israeli EW (Electronic Warfare) suite will permit
penetration of highly defended enemy airspace at low level with a
minimum number of supporting aircraft that are required for escort,
sweep and SEAD (Suppression of Enemy Air Defence) operations.
According to Sukhoi EDB (Experimental Design Bureau) Sukhoi-30 MKI
is capable of performing all the tactical tasks of Sukhoi-24
"Fencer" deep interdiction tactical bomber while retaining
unparallel air-combat capability with twice the combat range and
two-and-half times combat effectiveness.
For air-superiority missions Sukhoi-30MKI is equipped with the
formidable NIIP N-001M "Bars" (Snow Leopard) multi-mode
radar with a passive phased-array antenna. "Bars" can
track several targets while continuing to scan for more. It can
simultaneously track ten targets and shoot at four with the numbers
slated to increase with new software releases. During flight-testing
aboard Sukhoi-30MK and Sukhoi-35, "Bars" detected air
target at 330 kilometres and that is likely to increase through an
enhanced signal amplifier and increased power transmitter.
the Sukhoi-30MKI can function as a "mini-AWACS (Airborne
Warning And Control System)" platform and can act as a fighter
director or airborne command post by transferring target
co-ordinates to at least four other aircraft. This special feature
was first demonstrated by S-800 Zaslon "Flash Dance"
airborne radar mounted on MiG-31 "Foxhound".
IAF should select the R-77M AAM (Air-to-Air Missile) as the premier
air combat AAM for its Sukhoi-30MKIs. R-77M is the improved model of
baseline R-77RVV-AE (AA-12 Adder) with a larger motor increasing
range to well beyond 160 kilometres and falls in the class of United
Stated AIM-54 Phoenix AAM. PJ-10 "BrahMos" is projected to
be the standard anti-ship missile, while India has reportedly shown
interest in 150 kilometre ranged United States-Israeli Popeye
stand-off ASM (Air-to-Surface Missile).
IFR (In-Flight Refueling) tankers like Illyushin-78
"Midas" is likely to extend the endurance and loiter time
of Sukhoi-30MKIs operating in air defence role. But how much
effective it will be in extending the range in strike missions
depends upon certain factors. In-flight refueling takes place in
high to medium altitudes, and near political border often in full
view of enemy radar. Thus unless local air superiority can be
established in "sensitive" areas, in-flight refueling
needs to be conducted well within ones own airspace especially when
confronting a powerful adversary.”
already put up the details of the Czech L 159 which has an American
Honeywell engine being considered for the AJT deal of the IAF. We
had hinted that there were behind the scenes action to push the L159
and it looked like a repeat of the SU 30 deal –– when the voice
of the Air Force was used in the early 90s to seal the deal with
advances to Russia. The Air Chief also said the Indian Air
Force and their French counterparts would hold combat aircraft
exercises in India next year.
Indian Navy was badly hit and saddened by the loss of 12 aircrew in
two IL 38s which crashed at INS Hansa. It was a very tragic loss of
very experienced MR crew.
aerobatics show by various IAF fighters and the parade marked an
'eventful year', Krishnaswamy said, pointing out that the 'IAF
aircraft have reached farther than any time before as ambassadors of
our country, flying our flag amongst other friendly air forces'. He
said an IL-76 transport aircraft was in Alaska, participating in an
Indo-US joint exercise in which army and air force personnel and
equipment of both nations were involved. "This is the farthest
an IAF aircraft has ever flown," he said. "On way to
Alaska, we were most touched by the warm reception given by the Self
Defence Air Force of Japan when our aircraft passed through their
said a team of IAF personnel had recently visited China and had been
regularly interacting with Russian, French, British, Israeli and the
US air forces.
the nine Surya Kiran aircraft that put up the aerobatics show were
among the best in the world. "The aircraft is 100 per cent
designed and produced by Indians, in India and for India. The
aerobatics team that we have today is of world class. They deserve
wider recognition," he said. He added that government
permission would be sought for sending the team for displays outside
Surya Kiran team, flying Kiran Mark II aircraft used for training
pilots, put up a stunning show that impressed the crowd around the
runway at the end of the Indira Gandhi International Airport, which
was closed during the entire show. The IAF had also put a
thrust for Mirage 2000 aircraft and a large team from Dassault was
in India in mid September and made many presentations to the Air
Chief and the Chairman of HAL Mr N R Mohanty .
is also making progress though the news on the LCA is not so good.
Air Marshal Phillip Raj Kumar and Mr Verma have taken over form Mr
Kota Harinarayan who like Dr Arunachalam has moved to academics. The
Chief did not mention the LCA but said his force was looking forward
to the development of an attack variant of the Advanced Light