How PAF Should Counter the SU-30 MKI

Discussion in 'Pakistan Air Force' started by Free Soul, Feb 20, 2012.

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  1. Free Soul

    Free Soul PDF THINK TANK: CONSULTANT

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    Know Thy Enemy– Dissecting SU-30 MKI
    Introduction:

    SU 30 MKI belongs to a world renowned SU 27 family of Russian flankers that are seen as a formidable NATO opponent. SU 30 MKI is presented as the most potent air superiority fighter in the heavy weight class that comes with an impressive mix of avionics and armament and benefits from both the Western & Russian input. Keeping that in view this article is based on how an opponent will try to look for any weaknesses or openings to counter this behemoth should a situation arise.

    SU 30 falls in the class of heavy combat aircrafts due to its size and twin engines and payload capacity. We will mostly discuss the MKI version to be precise which is claimed to be the most potent variant of SU 27 family. But some general pictures and features will be used that are common in all variants of SU 30.

    In most likely scenario that adversary will be PAF which will field its own front role fighters. Just like a boxer a fighter pilot always enters a battle with a view to win and does his homework to know the strengths and weakness and to avoid the former and exploit the later to achieve the kill.

    (the fig gives you a visual idea about the scale of SU 30 vs a medium size plane like F16)

    [​IMG]


    IRS – Infrared Signature


    The main sources of IR SL in aircraft are: power plant, nozzle, exhaust plume, airframe, Hot engine parts of the tail pipe and the air intakes. Among these, the Power plant is the major source of IR emission because of the large amount of heat produced by the engine. Plume radiation is visible from all aspects, because of its dimensions and orientation. Bigger the aircraft, bigger would the area of air friction and drag contributing more towards IRS so “bigger is better” rule doesn’t apply here.


    Exposed Twin Engines – bigger IR Signature

    [​IMG]

    The central beam section between the engine nacelles consists of the equipment compartment, fuel tank and the brake parachute container. The fuselage head is of semi-monocoque construction and includes the cockpit, radar compartments and the avionics bay. PLEASE NOTE THAT TWIN ENGINES ARE NOT ENCASED IN THE FUSELAGE .

    The aircraft rear fuselage has a large surface area at relatively low temperature, which is primarily heated by the embedded powerplant and external aerodynamic heating by the freestream. An Engine encased in the fuselage reduces the IR Signature .
    The engine casing (engine nacelles) and nozzle act as grey bodies and emit radiation in all IR bands – In case of SU30MKI it is even exacerbated by the overly exposed twin engines , thereby making IR detection easier. Afterburner flames further enhance IR emissions from the powerplant. So its size and the construction makes it an IR beacon.


    [​IMG]

    RCS – Radar Cross-section – long distance detection made easy

    With a larger RCS due to its size means it is seen from a farther distance, compared to a light or medium aircraft. An opponent would be able to achieve BVR lock before SU30-MKI would.

    The Large dimensions contribute to IRS so they also fall in the category of the Achilles heel for MKI. If it survives the BVR missile fired at it, then travelling at mach 1 and above would mean that it would be approaching the merge within a minute or more. As it continues its travel towards that point and enters the medium and short range the IRS issue starts hanging over it like a large spectre.

    PAF inventory:
    F-16 Block 50/52 [BVR] [APG-68 radar] - F-16 A MLU – with upgraded APG-66 radar –[ advantage use of AIM-7 Sparrow and AIM-120 AMRAAM- BVR missiles]

    PAF F-16s are armed with – AIM-9 Sidewinder
    Off-bore sight aiming capability, Proximity/optic fuse

    At a Short/Medium range AIM-9 Sidewinder would have no difficulty downing a big mass of SU 30 MKI. Overly exposed Twin Engines of MKI would be radiating IRS off the charts, and the operational range of AIM-9 being - 1 to 35 km makes mince meat of the MKI.

    Note: AIM-9M Proximity/optical fuse doesn’t even require waiting for the sight of the engines, being all aspect it can take down a MKI from side-on/frontal/any aspect.

    Also the exposed twin engines would be emitting so much IRS that every inch of the aircraft would be crying out that it has got bigger IR Signature ‘Hit Me’!

    Merge and Turning Battle
    While on paper the diagonal thrust of the SU-30MKI pushes the face across and rotates the nose. In practice it is an altogether different thing, post merge when the turning battle ensues things may turn ugly. To minimize the turning circle the compulsion of using thrust Vectoring can prove fatal.

    While climbing in scissors thrust vectoring puts the aircraft in post stall manoeuvre, the rear end drops and instead of going up the aircraft starts loosing elevation. Reason being Vector Thrust causes the centre of gravity to shift from mid to nose of the SU 30 MKI causing the tail end to fall, now applying angular Vector thrust the nose would turn around -but this would cause massive drag and the aircraft starts sinking. That’s what an F-16 pilot will be waiting for and he will barrel roll, dive and gun down the SU 30 that is losing altitude.

    Thrust Vectoring Blessing or Curse


    Now if you have got big mass and the sheer size is causing drag then Thrust Vectoring is rendered useless against an agile and good sustained Turner like an F-16. TVC has its advantages but it seems to be a double edged sword and can backfire even against a heavier aircraft with rate of turn not so great e.g. against experienced F-15 pilots WHEN USAF F-15s WERE CARRYING 4 MISSILES AND WING TANKS and MKIs were CLEAN- Red Flag 2008).

    Note: in exercises such as Red Flag usually F-16s are used as red team [The aggressors] against the F-22 that has a sustained rate of turn of about 28 degrees at 20k feet. F-16 is one of the very few aircrafts that has managed to give F-22 Raptor a fight.

    USAF Col. Terrence Fornof –Briefing: The Red Flag Experience

    Deadly FOD
    SU 30 MKI engines are very susceptible to FOD (Foreign Object Damage). So much so that the SOP is 1 minute spacing between take offs. (more on that some other time)

    End Notes:

    In the end it is concluded that PAF will take on the SU 30 in its territory of expertise which is WVR. This is where the most of the present day air to air combat has happened and this is where most of the air to air kills have been achieved. I rest my case quoting Colonel John Richard Boyd – Military Strategist, Pilot, Pentagon consultant of the late 20th century.

     
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  2. AZADPAKISTAN2009

    AZADPAKISTAN2009 ELITE MEMBER

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    Oh damn that don't look good for the double decker bus
     
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  3. RazPaK

    RazPaK BANNED

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    Excellent. In those terms Pakistan is on top. :pakistan:
     
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  4. zip

    zip SENIOR MEMBER

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    What about j10 which your air force want to induct in future !! Present is brighter than future ? What you say ?
     
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  5. IndoUS

    IndoUS SENIOR MEMBER

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    I am not so sure about red flag, because the MKI were not allowed to use the radar. And as for any short falls, the aircraft are getting some upgrades to Super Su-30 MKI so I will wait till then.
     
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  6. ptldM3

    ptldM3 SENIOR MEMBER

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    The is just a statement based on lack of knowledge. The engines are not exposed, the unpainted area of the fuselage is just that, the fusalage. Some Flankers do have that part of the fusalage painted. Search a video search, ‘Sukhoi factory’ and see what I mean.


    Yes they are, here let me post a video showing a Flanker without any engines. Forward to 2:06:


    Su 30 factory - YouTube


    As for engines being hot, you do know that you can touch most jet nozzles even while they are in afterburner right?















    In tern, Flankers large radar makes detection easier.





    Given that the other aircraft is able to defeat the MKI’s ECM’s and given the other aircraft has the resolution to achieve a radar lock. It’s not as simple as you make it out to be.







    A question to ponder,: what is the F-15? It’s a large twin engine aircraft, now what is its combat record against smaller single engine aircraft?











    Please just stop, for one TVC can be controlled, the pilot can choose to perform, wide turns, tight, terns, or a post stall to cause an overshoot.

    The point of the scissors, especially vertical scissors is to cause the other guy to overshoot. The aircraft with TVC can operate in speeds that would cause a conventional aircraft to stall.




    A little, education lesson. Any Flanker can do the cobra with a full weapons load.
     
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  7. airuah

    airuah BANNED

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    lol...Su 30 MKI functions as a mini awac and sends signals to other Su30 MKI in the area......

    so how this possible if friend or foe identification is not there?

    anyway....whatever makes you guys happy....
     
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  8. Pak47

    Pak47 FULL MEMBER

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    Paf, already has ways to counter the MKI.
     
  9. VelocuR

    VelocuR SENIOR MEMBER

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    That's blog article from 2007, many errors in it. You know, JF-17's goal is not the designed against MKIs.

    JF-17 transformed quickly to become more mature platforms.
     
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  10. CaptainJackSparrow

    CaptainJackSparrow SENIOR MEMBER

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    JF-17 is not designed to take on MKI's. Agreed.

    However, in a conflict, JF-17 will ultimately have to take on the MKI's.

    Hence, a comparison is in order.
     
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  11. TalkToMe:D

    TalkToMe:D FULL MEMBER

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    I think the best counter measure against Su-30 mki for PAF are Fighter jets accompanied by AWACs systems, with a larger radar on you side Su-30 mki will lose its size advantage or its radar power advantage.

    Those reports are bullshy!ts if su-30 mki are subjected to FOD damage all fighter jets are subjected to such damage.
     
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  12. Avisheik

    Avisheik SENIOR MEMBER

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    The MKI is a really advanced jet. Even though, in case of war, a few MKI may be shot down, its not possible for pakistan to bring down 100+ MKIs with just f16s, even if pakistanis find weakness with the MKI.
     
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  13. acetophenol

    acetophenol SENIOR MEMBER

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    Also,either the MKI's are gonna come in packs,with their "mini-awac" capability linking them together.
    they may be followed by the mig-29upgs!
    their endurance will be doubled or tripled with refueling tankers escorted by mig-21 bisons/mirage 2000/tejas/rafales
     
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  14. Tumba

    Tumba FULL MEMBER

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    and the story does'nt end here ,,, and 29s may also be followed by upg Mirage-2k .. and if we wait for 5-10 years more ... new babes Rafale.. FGFA .. Tesjas Mk2.. will also be coming thr :)...
     
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  15. acetophenol

    acetophenol SENIOR MEMBER

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    right now,in the event of a war,India is most likely able to take the fighting into pakistan

    ---------- Post added at 10:47 AM ---------- Previous post was at 10:46 AM ----------

    the best thing for pakistan is-
    1.increase the number of their aircrafts and try to build up numerical superiority.
    2.build up surface to air missile capability

    ---------- Post added at 10:48 AM ---------- Previous post was at 10:47 AM ----------

    i've edited my post!;);)
     
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