Sukhoi vs Sukhoi: India vs China

India has decided to order 12 more Su30MKI fighter jets that will be made at Nasik by HAL under Russian licence. This new order will add to the 272 fighters of the type already ordered by the Indian Air Force. The Su30MKI fleet is now the backbone of IAF and will continue to be so for the coming years. The Chinese air force, too, operates the Su30 fighters. A comparison:

– With more than 260 fighters in service, Su30MKI forms the bulk of IAF. Additional jets are still being manufactured by HAL at Nasik and production will continue for next 2-3 years. The Indian versions are different from other Su30s as they are tailored to the needs of IAF- Designated MKI for India, the fighters have advanced Israeli avionics and an electronic warfare systems, making them different from the standard Su30
– Indian fighters have demonstrated Brahmos firing capabilities
– While they all have standard Russian origin R73/77 missiles, the Indian version will now be equipped with the longer-range Astra, the beyond visual range air-to-air missile developed by DRDO
– This will add a critical new capability to the aircraft that has till now been hampered by limited range to take down air targets, compared to the western platforms
– Though its beyond visual range combat ability is limited, at close quarters it has unbeatable capabilities

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