• Sunday, December 15, 2019

M2000 and F-16 are no match to Su-30MKI : IAF Sukhoi Su-30 ‘Flanker’ Pilot

Discussion in 'Indian Defence Forum' started by undercover JIX, Jul 21, 2019.

  1. undercover JIX

    undercover JIX SENIOR MEMBER

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    M2000 and F-16 are no match to Su-30MKI : IAF Sukhoi Su-30 ‘Flanker’ Pilot
    Sunday, July 21, 2019
    By: HUSHKIT.NET


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    Described as a ‘royal merciless game-changer’, the Sukhoi Su-30 ‘Flanker’ is a monster: a long-ranged, well armed, unbeatably manoeuvrable fighter uniquely equipped with 3D thrust-vectoring control (TVC) enabling it to perform seemingly impossible aerobatics in the sky. We spoke to IAF Gp Capt Anurag Sharma to learn more about flying and fighting in the Russian superfighter.

    What were your first impressions of the Su-30?
    “I was awestruck at the size of this monster! I caught a glimpse of it at Bangalore Airshow in 1997 (I was part of the inaugural day fly past in a Jaguar formation). There it stood in the lineup….. majestic, mighty and muscular! Head and shoulders above the crowd! Even the Air Display by the Russian Test Pilot was a show stopper. The M2000, F-16 etc were just no match for this beauty.”

    “Another mission that stand out is a group combat mission that was pitching a Su-30…against three F-16… End score one F-16 claimed without loss.”




    What’s the difference between a K and MKI and which is better?
    “Su-30K was basically the Su-27 UB (trainer version) modified to be a two-seater fighter and the Su-30 MKI is a two seater upgraded version of Su-30K. While the two maybe classified into the same family and have few physical differences (canards, nosewheel, thrust vectoring and glass cockpit); the operational philosophy of the two aircraft is vastly different because of the much-upgraded operational capability of the MKI.

    The Su-30 K was basically an air defence fighter of the 3.5 Gen that could drop dumb bombs (albeit in large quantities). But the MKI is a multirole fighter in the real sense of the word. The enhanced avionics package, weapons, near AESA airborne interception radar that permits simultaneous Air-to-air and air-to-ground targeting puts the MKI in a league of its own. The fly-by-wire system of the MKI allows carefree handling viz-a-viz Su-30K. The Su-30 K was handling with care especially in the low speed regime whereas the MKI is carefree handling all the way!

    Personally, my heart is with the Su-30K! perhaps because I grew up on it. Attempting to master the Su-30K was a challenge in itself because you had to develop “seat of the pants feeling” in an aircraft that was not carefree handling (as you would expect a FBW aircraft to be). The avionics package, information presentation was rudimentary and presented great challenges as an operator. I think that is what made it special. The skill of the pilot counted more on that type.

    But given a choice, I would pick the MKI for a combat fight. The total package of the MKI is a force multiplier in combat!!! Hands down!!

    Which three words best describe it?
    “Royal, merciless, game-changer.”

    5. What is the best thing about it?
    Ans. As a fighter pilot, you look to emerge victorious in every battle; the Su-30 gives you that confidence. Rest is up to you!

    And the worst thing?
    “Haven’t found one yet!”


    How you rate the Su-30 in the following categories?
    “A. Instantaneous turn– at high speeds, a shade slow, but once you get her to 650-709 Kmph- as goos as any. With thrust vectoring- unparalleled!

    B. Sustained turn– depends upon the load and altitude. At medium altitudes with AA loads only very good and matches any other 4/5 gen fighter ac.

    C. High alpha- Exceptional! Requires skill but once you know what to do- she’s a beauty!

    D. Acceleration. The Su-30K was faster because it was lighter but the MKI is good when it comes to low speed combat against F-16/F-18/ Mirage 2000 class of aircraft. Acceleration also depends upon the load carried.”

    The Su-30K had a greater reserve of power; even in the MKI, ROC is very good for its huge size. You can feel the acceleration when she climbs!


    What was your most memorable mission?
    “Well there have been many over the years but a few that stand out are as follows: –

    (a) DACT with F-16 Block 60 of Royal Singapore Air Force.

    The strongest adversary that we could possibly face in our life as a fighter pilot was the F-16 of PAF (for obvious reasons). So the excitement of facing an F-16, even in a mock combat was unbelievable. The weight of the mission was overbearing! Perhaps that’s what makes it special. As the combat commenced, we manoeuvred for our lives and in very little time the situation was in our favour! The desperate calls from the F-16, “Flare, Flare, Flare!” are very distinctly audible in my ears even today! From that day, the anxiety that prevailed over facing an F-16 in combat was gone forever…. Vanished! It was clear what the outcome would be!”

    “Another mission that stand out is a group combat mission that was pitching a Su-30 & one MiG-21 BISON against three F-16 . As luck would have it, the BISON did not get airborne and now the game was one Su-30 vs three F-16 in a BVR scenario. Again, we pushed the envelope, manoeuvred between 3000 ft to 32000 ft, pulling up to 8 g, turning, tumbling, firing and escaping missiles in a simulated engagement. The crew co-ord between us in the cockpit and the fighter controller on the ground was the best that I have ever seen! The results in a mock combat are always contentious but with ACMI, they are more reliable. End score one F-16 claimed without loss. When we got out of the cockpit we were thoroughly drenched in sweat and tired from the continuous high G manoeuvring but all smiles for the ecstasy that we had just experienced.”

    Which aircraft have you flown DACT against and which was the most challenging?
    “In the Su-30 I have flown DACT with RSAF (Royal Singapore Air Force) F-16, M-2000 H /5[ FAF], MiG -29 amongst the ASFs. I think the most challenging was the M2000 in France. The carefree manoeuvrability of the Mirage its nose profile and avionics package perhaps gave it an edge over the others. The F-16 beyond the initial turn loses steam, the MiG -29 is very powerful but conventional controls maybe …. . A good Mirage guy can manoeuvre more carefree.”

    Typhoon pilots say they ‘trounced’ the Su-30 in DACT exercises, yet Su-30 say the reverse? What is the truth?
    “Well I wasn’t part of that exercise but some close friends were. The story goes both ways especially when you are engaged in friendly exercises with fixed rules of engagements! I think it’s an even fight and the man behind the machine would make the difference! Such a contest gets any fighter jock drooling!”

    How easy is to fly? What is the hardest thing about flying it?
    “Basic flying is not very difficult including exercises such as AA refueling. But it’s a Herculean task to reach a level where you can exploit it to its fullest especially in large Force Engagements (LFE) The capability of the aircraft outruns you by miles. In fact, at times even 7 Multi-Function Displays (MFD) and two aircrew are insufficient to achieve what she can do for you!”


    Is TVC useful in air combat? If so, how should it be used?
    “Most people think that it’s not! My suspicion is that’s because it requires skill to put it to good use. Once two beasts of this kind engage in combat, it goes down to the wire and in the low speed regime the TVC allows you just the edge you’ve been looking for. Just 300m is enough to get to the right angle and Boom!”

    How would you rate the cockpit?
    The cockpit is Russian! hey don’t build the aircraft around the pilot like the western manufacturers do! So the ergonomics leave a lot to be desired. The HOTAS could be designed much better. But ask anyone who hasn’t flown other types and he’s okay with this!

    Have you fired live weapons- if so, what was it like?
    Yes,! AA missiles, LGB, and Runway denial weapons. Weapon delivery is really exciting! The adrenaline rush, the cold sweat that trickles down your temples when you press the trigger are a different feeling altogether. They are really expensive and hence the opportunity comes rarely. The thing that worries you most is that you don’t want to be the dumbass when it comes to firing Smart Weapons

    I think the AA missile is the best! When the weapon leaves your wing, the plume, noise and shear power of the accelerating missile is breathtaking.

    How confident would a Su-30 pilot feel going against a modern USAF F-15C?
    “As far as the platform is concerned, he’s got a better baby in his hands. No doubt!”

    What is the greatest myth about the Su-30?
    “That it’s too big to manoeuvre!”

    How combat effective is the Su-30?
    “A game changer!”

    How reliable and easy to maintain is it?
    “Reliable – yes! Maintenance- extensive!

    What tips would you give new pilots coming onto the Su-30?
    “It’s like a Tapasya (Sanskrit word meaning total selfless commitment. Dedication, commitment and patient hard work will reveal the true pleasures of flying to you! Early days are tough, just hang in there, get over the hump and you will experience heavenly pleasure that only fighter pilots have been blessed with.

    How much post-stall manoeuvring can the average squadron pilot do? Is this a rare skill?
    “Independent manoeuvres – they do it from day one (it’s that easy!). Relative manoeuvring in relation to an adversary in the sky requires extensive training and skill development! The manoeuvres can be counter productive in not done correctly.”

    What is the hardest manoeuvre to pull off in a Su-30?
    “A downward combat manoeuvre with TVC at low levels against a manoeuvring target.”

    As a personal opinion: What should the Indian Air Force procure and what should it get rid of?
    “Well, the Old Gen’ aircraft are already being phased out and The IAF is in the process of procuring the Rafale (a great choice!) The LCA development and large-scale induction into the IAF is no-brainer! It must be done but the platform should be a qualitative addition as well! Just adding numbers is not the right answer. Self-dependency is critical for India’s growth and rise as a major power on the World stage. There is a huge prospect of joint development with other major manufactures around the world such as BAE that have been traditional defence suppliers for IAF.”

    Tell me something I don’t know about the Su-30?
    “The Su-30 MKI has perhaps as many players as the Typhoon! The Russians provide most of the hardware; Indian , French, Israeli industries provide software, avionics and weapons! The Russians won’t give their knowhow to Israelis and the French won’t give it to Russians. So it’s is a great achievement to get these components talking to each other! The Heart of the avionics system that communicates with all these various systems is Indian.

    What should I have asked you about the Su-30?
    “A fighter pilot has a unique relation with his aircraft. A unique bonding; much like the Avatar with his Ikran*! . Sharing that feeling with another occupant in the cockpit is not easy! Especially when your WSO is not fixed.

    Loosing that privacy or rather intimacy is not easy! While you learnt to live with it, I personally consider a huge loss as a fighter pilot. But alas there is no way out! With such competent platforms; perhaps two crew are indispensable!”
    *the dragon in the Avatar film

    The R-73 is an old missile- What do you think about the idea of adding ASRAAM to the Su-30?
    “The Su-30 is getting upgrades continuously and plans are in place to enhance the weapon inventory. So it’s a cat and mouse game with the adversary being payed all the time.”

    How good is the helmet mounted sight – is it used much in air-to-air training?
    “Very good! It allows off bore targeting and that coupled with TVC gives a good angular advantage to the Su-30 in combat!”

    http://www.defencenews.in/article/M2000-and-F-16-are-no-match-to-Su-30MKI--IAF-Sukhoi-Su-30-‘Flanker’-Pilot-585973
     
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  2. Lord Of Gondor

    Lord Of Gondor FULL MEMBER

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    Thanks for sharing it.
    RSAF is Republic of Singapore Air Force.Hush Kit site should duly edit.
     
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  3. Alternatiiv

    Alternatiiv SENIOR MEMBER

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    Correct source is hushkit.net, which also put up PAF pilot interview.

    And on topic, apparently pilot and chief can't agree on whether Su 30MKI is better or worse than its F-16 counterparts.
     
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  4. MastanKhan

    MastanKhan PDF VETERAN

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    Hi,

    For that particular reason---I had stated that the Paf air command fkd up bad---they had the chance to smash the might of the SU30 to kingdom come and they let it escape with all its integrity---.

    If the Paf had taken out 5 or 6 of them that night---the SU30 was a dead aircraft and nothing would have revived it---.

    But alas---enemies of pakistan are all from within---.
     
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  5. undercover JIX

    undercover JIX SENIOR MEMBER

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    So, correct source is mentioned in the Article by the website sharing it. there should be no confusion /issues.
    Thanks for highlighting it.
     
  6. Angry Easterling

    Angry Easterling SENIOR MEMBER

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    If we struck back beyond our share the world would've judged us as the bad guy. In fact India's propaganda drive already had convinced the world that we were the bad guy even after getting struck by them

    chadar dekh kar paon phelao
     
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  7. undercover JIX

    undercover JIX SENIOR MEMBER

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  8. Alternatiiv

    Alternatiiv SENIOR MEMBER

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    If only it was that simple.
     
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  9. Pandora

    Pandora SENIOR MEMBER

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    SU30 is no doubt a capable fighter. It is not Pakistan but Indians who started to degrade their front line fighter jet just to glorify Rafale jet deal. Thank Modi for belittling their best fighter aircraft in public. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this monster jet it is like a flying fortress and in capable hands with well thought strategy it could easily take down F16 Rafale or any other jet in its league.
     
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  10. AUz

    AUz ELITE MEMBER

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    Lol, gets outranged and outgunned by 35 year old PAF F-16 (as admitted by their own indian media)-----but continues to brag.

    Typical indian lacking any military IQ and hence the devastating history of loss after loss after loss at the hands of smaller enemy.

    F-16s armed with AIM-120Cs (let alone AIM 120-7s) are more than a match to this giant elephant of a plane. Recent engagement proved that where PAF's F-16s came out on top easily and hence went unchallenged by the intercepting Su-30MKIs (who ran away with tails tucked in their arse once PAF F-16s surprised them at long range and got a lock first, and launched their AIM-120C BVRs)
     
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  11. MastanKhan

    MastanKhan PDF VETERAN

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    Hi,

    Screw the world---. You had the chance to smash the might of the SU30 forever and out of habbit---because it is in your genes---you gave it an NRO and let is escape---so that it could come later and destroy you---like you did with your politicians---.

    Does Israel care about the world---. Is it afraid of the world's reaction---?
     
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  12. Trango Towers

    Trango Towers ELITE MEMBER

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    And repeating yourself doesnt make you right. Su30 was downed and the indians know it. The Israelis were warned and they packed their bags. They truth is known to the indians but talking is their national sport just like u repeating yourself.
    Hushkit's PAF interview showed several su30mki were lit up across the line. You thinks their pilots didnt know they were glowing
     
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  13. MastanKhan

    MastanKhan PDF VETERAN

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    Hi,

    It was outgunned by the JF17---. Don't take the JF17 any lesser than the F16---. We are not in a turning fight---.
     
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  14. Imran Khan

    Imran Khan PDF VETERAN

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    27 feb is not too far . all BS was come out at morning 11am .
     
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  15. War Thunder

    War Thunder SENIOR MEMBER

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    Yes, we should have blown 5 and 6 of them out of the sky and ensured an all out war. And we are so prepared for an all out war already right?
     
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