Military Review

Irkutsk SU-30CM: from India to Russia


It’s no secret that for many Russian defense enterprises, working for export has become the only way to survive in times when purchasing new weapons for the RF Armed Forces, they were extremely poorly financed. Then Russia armed others, but kept its army on a starvation diet, and this historical the moment is difficult to evaluate positively. Nevertheless, work on export contracts allowed our enterprises not only not to lose their production potential, but also to offer more advanced equipment to the Russian army when the money for rearmament appeared.

Do what was not

The creation of the “Irkutsk branch” of the Su-30MK is one of the most interesting stories of the post-Soviet aviation industry. The godfathers of the aircraft can be considered two managers: the Director General of the Irkutsk Aviation Production Association (IAPO, in 2002, was transformed into the Irkut Corporation) Alexei Fedorov and the General Designer of the Sukhoi Design Bureau Mikhail Simonov. Later, a major role in the development of the program was played by the President of the Irkut Corporation Oleg Demchenko, under whose leadership the line of Irkutsk Su-30 developed in the interests of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation.

The Su-30MKI (MK index means “commercial, modernized,” and the next letter is reserved for the customer country, in this case India) became the first production aircraft in our country that belongs to the class of multi-functional fighters. Historically, in the USSR cars of this class were not produced. Battle aviation It was specialized in the types of tasks to be solved: interceptors, front-line fighters, aircraft for capturing air supremacy, attack aircraft. For a huge Soviet fleet of combat aircraft, this was partly justified. In the new historical conditions for the external, and then for the domestic market, it was necessary to create more universal combat vehicles - multi-functional fighters.
Initially, the Su-30MKI program was conceived to save Russia with one of the most capacious and attractive markets of combat aircraft - India. The problem was that the Indian market is highly competitive. It was impossible to push airplanes that were mass-produced in Russia at the beginning of the 1990-s onto it. In addition, India categorically did not like the role of a simple buyer of weapons. In the new program, she wanted to act as a customer who determines the requirements for the aircraft, as well as the participant in the cooperation and the aircraft manufacturer under license.

Amount of innovation

Indian Air Force inquiries were exceptionally high. This required maximum use in the development of the Su-30MKI scientific and technical reserve, accumulated by that time, the Russian aviation and radio-electronic industry. It is enough to name only some of the many innovations.

Su-30MKI became the world's first serial super-maneuverable fighter, which was provided by the installation of AL-31FP engines with thrust vector control, advanced remote control system and domestic developments in the field of aerodynamics. The Su-30MK powerplant includes two AL-31FP turbojet engines with an axisymmetric nozzle. The total thrust on the afterburner 25? 000 kgf provides horizontal flight at a speed of 2? M at high altitude and speed at low altitudes 1350 km / h.

Differential deviation at angles up to ± 15 degrees of axisymmetric engine nozzles, the axes of rotation of which are located at an angle 32 degrees to each other, allows you to control the thrust vector in pitch and yaw. Depending on the upcoming maneuver, the nozzles may deviate synchronously with the horizontal tail or separately from it.

Until Su-30MKI, no fighter in the world in the export version was equipped with an airborne radar with a phased antenna array. This technology, which belongs to the fifth generation of combat aircraft, was used at that time on a limited number of US Air Force fighters. The integrated radar sighting system with the HEADLIGHTS mounted on the Su-30MKI is able to detect and track up to 15 air targets and simultaneously attack up to four of them. It is also worth noting that onboard Su-30MKI for the first time in domestic practice, on-board radio-electronic equipment (OBEO) with an open architecture was installed.

At the time of launch of the program in Russia, there were not some electronic systems that implement the strict requirements of Indian customers. Therefore, for the first time in domestic practice, it was decided to integrate Western-made components into the avionics. The designers of the Sukhoi Design Bureau, the Ramenskiy instrument-making design bureau and other domestic companies coped with this brilliantly.

There are more buyers

However, the problems of the project went far beyond the scope of technology. Non-standard management decisions were required. For the first time, such a complex program was organized by a commercial enterprise - IAPO, which at the beginning of 1990-s was reincorporated by decision of the state. The planning depth was unusually large. Already when signing the first delivery contract in 1996, the 20-year program development plan was outlined. In addition to the development and supply, it included the transfer of documentation, the creation of production facilities, the deployment of operational infrastructure, the training of specialists for licensed production in India by HAL. Earlier, work of this magnitude in our country was organized and coordinated at the level of at least branch ministries.

Another difficulty lay in the fact that IAPO had to form and coordinate international cooperation, which was fundamentally new for the national defense-industrial complex. Finally, at IAPO, the burden of solving the financial problems associated with the development, testing and preparation of the production of a new combat complex was completely laid down.

Despite all these difficulties, in 2002, the first Su-30МКИ was transferred to the Indian Air Force. The machine quickly passed the stage of "childhood diseases" and became the flagship of Indian military aviation. A number of subsequent contracts signed on the initiative of the Ministry of Defense of India brought the total order for Su-30MKI to 272 machines. India’s positive experience has led two other customers to acquire the Irkutsk Su-30MK: Algeria and Malaysia. Note that these countries also belong to the category of picky buyers, because they have the opportunity to choose between Russian and Western equipment.

Thanks to the success of the Su-30MKI project, the Irkutsk Aviation Plant was re-equipped: digital technologies were introduced, the machine park was updated, international quality standards were established, and personnel training was organized. This will allow the company to successfully build military vehicles, as well as work on a new high-tech Russian airliner MC-21.

Irkutsk SU-30CM: from India to Russia

The leader of the aviation industry

In the process of working on the Algerian Su-30MKI (A) and the Malaysian Su-30MKM, the machine was constantly improved. Increased reliability, improved performance, new systems were introduced into the avionics. The profit from foreign supplies was invested in the technical re-equipment of the Irkutsk Aviation Plant, a branch of OJSC Irkut Corporation. As a result, by now it has become one of the best enterprises in the technological equipment of not only the aircraft industry, but also the entire Russian defense industry.

In addition to the machines belonging to the “Indian” branch Su-30MK, the Yak-130, a two-seat combat training aircraft, is produced here. Also at IAP, the construction of the first samples of the newest Russian medium-haul airliner MC-21, which is expected to show competitive economic characteristics due to the use of composite components in the design, has begun.

The success of the MKI project told about the beneficial effect on the fate of the Irkutsk enterprise, said Irkut Corporation President Oleg Demchenko: “The Su-30MKI program has become the basis for the development of our corporation. We invested the profits from export deliveries in the development of new projects, such as the Yak-130 combat training aircraft and the MS-21 passenger liner. An equally important area of ​​our investments is a cardinal technical re-equipment of the Irkutsk Aviation Plant. We conducted a comprehensive introduction of digital technologies, updated the machine park, introduced world-wide quality standards, conducted mass retraining of engineers and workers. As a result, the capabilities of the enterprise have significantly increased. In the past, in the best years, we raised fighters per year to 30 fighters. Today, the total annual release of the Su-30CM and Yak-130 is approaching 60 machines. The growth was achieved on the background of the enormous work on the preparation for the serial production of the MS-21 aircraft and the production of the first MS-21-300 aircraft intended for testing. ”

Make for yourself

The optimal combination of combat effectiveness and operational characteristics of the Irkutsk Su-30 and cost parameters of the program attracted the attention of the Ministry of Defense of Russia, which began in the beginning of 2010-s to radically re-equip the combat aviation fleet. As a result, in 2012, contracts were signed for the supply of two large batches of Su-30CM multifunctional fighter jets to the Russian Air Force. This machine was the development of export aircraft Su-30MKI and Su-30MKM. In a short time, Irkut and the Sukhoi Design Bureau refined the aircraft to meet the requirements of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, and in 2013, it successfully passed the tests that opened the way for the troops. Today, the Su-30CM fighter regiment deployed at the Domna Air Force Base of the Eastern Military District fully mastered the new machine and is on combat duty.

Two-seater multifunctional Su-30CM was chosen by naval aviation of the Russian Navy for its coastal units. Their supply to the troops is already underway. Russia's ally in the CSTO Kazakhstan has become a new foreign customer of the Su-30CM.

The family of "Irkutsk" Su-30 good prospects. The total order for Su-30МКИ / МКИ (А) / МКМ / СМ aircraft exceeded 400 aircraft. It is expected that it will increase. About 300 aircraft successfully operated in the army. The first machines delivered to India are included in the middle stage of the life cycle, which promises serious orders for repairs.

The process of joining different elements of the Su-30CM
At this stage, the aircraft will acquire the appearance of an aircraft, after which it will go to the final assembly shop.

It is still difficult to recognize the Yak-130 training and combat aircraft in the design carried by the crane factory shop at the Irkutsk aircraft factory. Gaining wings ahead. Su-30MKI and Su-30CM assembly line. Today, if we talk about the interest of customers and production volumes, the Russian military aircraft industry feels much better than civilians. It is hoped that this will not always be the case and civil projects will also gain strength and momentum.
Plus "BrahMos"

Fighting upgrades are underway. The first such project is to equip part of the Su-30MKI with supersonic BrahMos cruise missiles. BrahMos is another high-profile Russian-Indian project, in which the Reutov JSC MIC NPO Mashinostroyenia took part on our part. "BrahMos" is built on the basis of export anti-ship missile "Yakhont" (in the domestic version, it is called P-800 "Onyx"). The rocket is designed to destroy a wide range of targets, has a high range (up to 290 km), high supersonic speed (up to 2,8 M), powerful combat load (up to 250 kg), and low visibility for radar. The flight of the rocket, the weight of which in the base case is 3000 kg, is carried out in the height range 10 − 14 thousand meters along a variable trajectory. In practice, the “rocket shot and forgot” principle is implemented in practice, since the rocket finds the target itself. The air-launched missile is lighter than the base on the 500 kg. According to experts, there are no analogues of such a rocket, which would have a supersonic speed and a similar range of flight. In relation to foreign counterparts that are being exploited today, the BrahMos has three times the speed advantage, two and a half times the range, and three to four times the response time.

The first aircraft modified in India for testing the aviation version of the BrahMos-A rocket was handed over to the Indian Air Force in February 2015. The Su-30MKI + "BrahMos" complex has unique capabilities for hitting sea targets with strong air defense. The program of the “big modernization” is being discussed, as a result of which the “Irkutsk” Su-30 will get a more efficient locator and updated avionics.

It is interesting that the Su-30MK line of aircraft has not only an “Indian”, but also a “Chinese” branch. Production of the Su-30MKK was organized at the aircraft factory in Komsomolsk-on-Amur. But this is a completely different story.
21 comment

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  1. The point
    The point 13 June 2016 05: 43
    Hello to IAZ from KnAAZ! Good luck to you, colleagues!
  2. aszzz888
    aszzz888 13 June 2016 06: 55
    The Irkutsk Su-30 family has good prospects.

    This is how they will provide our defense order "in full", then we can say a huge thank you to the entire Sukhoi team!
    1. Dryuya2
      Dryuya2 13 June 2016 09: 45
      a little about Yak-130, MS-21, "IRKUT" and Demchenko
      watch from 1:28:51
  3. avg-mgn
    avg-mgn 13 June 2016 07: 11
    Quote: aszzz888
    This is how they will provide our defense order "in full", then we can say a huge thank you to the entire Sukhoi team!

    Judging by the latest publications, they provide in full, with repair potential, too, it seems like everything is in order, at least stated. Let's hope.
  4. excomandante
    excomandante 13 June 2016 08: 48
    Beautiful picture. Why the hell is not 1920 by 1080 ?!
    1. lelikas
      lelikas 13 June 2016 13: 59
      Quote: excomandante
      Beautiful picture. Why the hell is not 1920 by 1080 ?!

      Вам сюда -
      ideo = off & sort = popular & order = 0
      And stretch the monitor! laughing
  5. svp67
    svp67 13 June 2016 08: 50
    Due to the success of the Su-30MKI project, the Irkutsk Aviation Plant underwent re-equipment: digital technologies were introduced, the machine stock was updated, world quality standards were established, and staff training was organized.
    How would you like to read more of such news.
  6. voyaka uh
    voyaka uh 13 June 2016 11: 46
    Su-30MKI should be produced in bulk and together - exactly the same for
    two armies - Russia and India.

    The same as with the Su-30MKI must be done with the PAK-FA.
    Otherwise, there will be units in the Russian Air Force and units in the Indian.
    1. Boa kaa
      Boa kaa 13 June 2016 12: 08
      Quote: voyaka uh
      Su-30MKI must be produced in bulk and together - exactly the same for two armies - Russia and India.
      Do you think that we have invested all our know-how in SU-30MKI? as a gift for our best friends from Pindo.stan? Well, you can't be so "open" for a country that is friends with everyone and buys military equipment from everyone.
      I agree: the glider can be put on the stream, but the weapons (avionics) and weapons are strictly individual: for the Indians - "export", for us - combat! for internal use. And let pin.dosy continue to judge the combat capabilities of the complex by the flight characteristics of "export" products ... The more pleasant it will be their "surprise" when meeting with our samples, when the tactics of use will have to be changed! It is always impressive! It is encouraging and uplifting - even to the point of refusal to fly, or, as it was in Vietnam, until the cessation of flights until the "antidote" is found.
      The picture is similar for "Brahmos". They asked - we did. But we prefer to cut our hypersound ourselves. The state secret is called!
      Therefore, the Indians are offended that we do not particularly admit them to PAK FA. So, to participate financially, but not to work in laboratories and design bureaus!
      1. voyaka uh
        voyaka uh 13 June 2016 16: 25
        "And let pin.dosy continue to judge the combat capabilities of the complex by
        LTH of "export" products ... "////

        I am afraid you are wrong. Simplified export options "passed"
        in Soviet times. With Indians, in particular, such tricks do not work. On the contrary, they twist the arms of arms sellers so that they are forced to sell models even more wound to them,
        what are the armaments of seller countries.
        So what to do? Orders are very large, pay in cash, currency.
        Or you fly out of the tender, or you open your trump cards ... recourse
        1. Revolver
          Revolver 13 June 2016 19: 51
          Yes, turkeys are still okay, but who had the smart mind to sell the Chinese? It is clear that they will be allowed to use xerox, and against whom will photocopies act? They will not reach America, let alone Europe, and with the PTB, and with whom does China border on their north? Whose land on the map marks as native Chinese? Of course you can minus me, but this will not change the geopolitical picture, but I don’t care about these minuses.
        2. Lt. Air Force stock
          Lt. Air Force stock 14 June 2016 12: 11
          Quote: voyaka uh
          I am afraid you are wrong. Simplified export options "passed"
          in Soviet times. With Indians, in particular, such tricks do not work. They, on the contrary, twist the arms of arms sellers

          So the Indian Su-30MKI has a significant part of the avionics and electronics produced in France.
        3. The comment was deleted.
        4. Zaurbek
          Zaurbek 14 June 2016 16: 00
          I agree, a good example of the Su-30MKI. At the time of its creation, it was the most perfect thing that the Russian Federation had in service. What we lacked from Avionics, France supplied India. For example, our Su-30s (very modern aircraft) still do not have hanging containers for shock functions, while India has them on the Su-30s. And this makes Drying the most versatile machine. And we are forced to keep on balance the Su-24/34. In general, the Su-30 platform is very successful in terms of modernization and resource extension. No wonder India made it the main air force machine
      2. The comment was deleted.
    2. Alex_Tug
      Alex_Tug 15 June 2016 06: 50
      voyaka uh IL June 13, 2016 11:46
      Su-30MKI should be produced in bulk and together - exactly the same for
      two armies - Russia and India.

      Not a ride, Indian may be better than Russian. Use other avionics, which is impossible for Russian. All sanction and patent restrictions already play a role.
      1. Alex_Tug
        Alex_Tug 15 June 2016 07: 16
        Pilatus PC-12 cockpit
      2. Alex_Tug
        Alex_Tug 15 June 2016 07: 20
        Pilatus PC-12 cockpit with Primus APEX system.
        Unlike the first option, this one I can drive. I know all the avionics code.
    3. The comment was deleted.
  7. aksakal
    aksakal 13 June 2016 18: 19
    Quote: voyaka uh
    So what to do? Orders are very large, pay in cash, currency.

    - Well, what about the cash you have enough - for a small batch of such airplanes you need to send a train of cash laughing laughing Interstate contracts - what's the "cash"? For the sake of a catchphrase they said ...
    As for the more wound ones - not always and not in everything. Russia will not send the Iskander exactly even to the Indians, and if it does, it will definitely not be more than 280 km in range and there will definitely not be a couple of branded Iskander bells and whistles. On Sabzh aircraft - it could very well happen that the plane turned out to be more sophisticated than those that were in service in Russia. The fact is that here the development was carried out on the money of the Indians, but if not on their money, then for them, which practically does not change the essence. So, after all, Hashim was designed for Jordanians, and the Shell 1C with the money of either the Saudis or someone else - it is necessary to reconsider Shipunov's memoirs. But this is a NEW DEVELOPMENT, made by order of the customer and on his (most often) money, therefore sometimes such an incident occurs
    Quote: voyaka uh
    that they are forced to sell them models even more wound,

    But it never happened on a finished serial and already in service product. In any case, Soviet / Russian military exports have no such examples. It turned out to be more sophisticated when developing for the customer, if the customer had a sufficiently competent and well-developed technical task, and I gave you examples. It is simply surprising that, well, the Indians there know how to make up the terms of reference, far from the last power, but when the Jordanians or what Saudis can do this ... Where did the specialists from the terms of reference come from? Do they even know that speed is measured in m / s, and acceleration in m / s2? Although I also had enough here, the stereotypes are wrong smile I admit, I’m mistaken, they have specialists there, but if so, then what if at least the attempts do not make their way? Sea grandmother, you can either buy specialists, or grow your own, according to equipment - there are no sanctions on them and there will not be laughing I guess mother laziness
  8. cedar
    cedar 13 June 2016 18: 20
    Quote: voyaka uh
    I am afraid you are wrong. Simplified export options "passed"
    in Soviet times. With Indians, in particular, such tricks do not work. On the contrary, they twist the arms of arms sellers so that they are forced to sell models even more wound to them,
    what are the armaments of seller countries.
    So what to do? Orders are very large, pay in cash, currency.
    Or you fly out of the tender, or you open your trump cards ...

    That is, by this principle, Izrail also sells its weapons for export, but then the IDF is in flight, but an excerpt from the article says that this is far from the case ...
    "Although the enemy armies have always outnumbered the IDF, the IDF has an undeniable quality advantage.the most advanced weapons systems, many of which are developed and manufactured in Israel with tailored to his specific needs..."
    So in Russia, weapons for her army are made taking into account her specific needs.
  9. Beefeater
    Beefeater 13 June 2016 21: 37
    I would like to remind the author that there was no external threat in either the 90s or the zero ones. Why during this period produce mountains of modern technology. Spending billions. Now this weapon would have turned into rubbish.
    1. Irkutian
      Irkutian 14 June 2016 04: 15
      Well, about the absence of an external threat, you are bent. She didn’t go anywhere. Just then the adversaries got everything for nothing.
  10. Zaurbek
    Zaurbek 14 June 2016 16: 04
    Is it necessary to make the T-50 the same for India and Russia is a question. Cars are now being made modularly; units can be changed relatively easily. Radar with AFAR (as for its army) Nobody will sell the Hindus, they will not be able to do it themselves. Therefore, some critical systems can be made simpler.
  11. Alexey-74
    Alexey-74 16 June 2016 16: 40
    I think our defense industry has reserved the best for our army. The entire line of SU-30, 35, T-50 and MiG-35 will be much higher than export options. For the T-50 in general, you can only speak in a whisper ....