How do you see the future of Su-30MKI aircraft in the Indian Air Force?

Su 30 MKI is a multi role air superiority fighter. The ‘MKI’ version is specially ‘tailored’ version made for the Indian Air Force. The ‘I’ stands for India in MKI. Su 30 MKI is the most potent fighter aircraft in the inventory of IAF. This aircraft is a world class platform. This aircraft is the ‘tip of the sword’ for IAF. It is the front line serving fighter aircraft of IAF. Su 30 MK is a Russian made aircraft but Indian version of the aircraft which is MKI is different. It has components of Russian, Indian, Israeli and French origins. The MKI was inducted into IAF in 2004 and since then 240 aircraft are in operational service out of 272 aircraft ordered. And more orders were placed taking number to 314 aircrafts. Su 30 MKI is produced locally by HAL (under licence) in its Nashik production line with spares, parts, engines supplied by Russia. Now talking about the future of the aircraft. The Su-30MKI is expected to form the backbone of the Indian Air Force’s fighter fleet to 2020 and beyond. With such a potent fighter aircraft becoming backbone of the IAF the power capability of IAF will drastically increase. With two hostile neighbours IAF will need these type of potent aircrafts in numbers also that’s why IAF has planned to induct 300+ MKIs. Also IAF has already began a programme under which Su 30 MKIs will be upgraded to ‘Super Sukhoi’ with upgraded avionics, weapon systems and most importantly the engines. Su 30 MKI is powered by ‘AL 31′ turbofan engines which will be replaced by ‘AL 41′ turbofan engines under upgradation programme which powers Su-35. Russian Air Force Su-35 which is also operated by PLA Air Force of China. The People’s Liberation Army Air Force of China also operates ‘Su-30 MKK’ version of Su 30 family. And it also operates the Su-35 . So, to answer the threats posed by PLAAF, IAF has Su-30 MKI which is no less or even better than Su-30 MKK in many aspects and is even direct competitor to the Su-35 which is most advance 4++ generation fighter jet of Russian origin till date. Also threats posed by the Pakistan Air Force’s aircrafts F-16 Fighting Falcon, JF-17 Thunder is no match for MKI. Whether its range, variety of weapons, payload, manoeuvrability, etc. MKI is superior to every aircraft in PAF’s inventory. So, the way I see the future of Su-30 MKI is very promising. It is the dagger of IAF. And the aircraft will see operational service till or beyond 2040. IAF will induct other aircrafts as well but MKI will be the ‘backbone’ of IAF’s fighter fleet


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