India embarks on ₹60,000 crore overhaul to propel Su-30MKI fleet into technological excellence

HAL and DRDO are leading a ₹60,000 crore upgrade of India’s fleet of Su-30MKI aircraft. Native radar and avionics improve fighting power, demonstrating India’s military independence and creating economic opportunities via exports.

India’s fighter jets will enter a new era of technological capability with the planned extensive overhaul of the Sukhoi Su-30MKI fleet. The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is assisting Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and the private sector in this enormous project, which is valued at an astounding ₹60,000 crore.

A major step forward for the “Make in India” strategy, the project was authorised by the Defence Ministry last year, and HAL has been tasked with spearheading the modification. The overhaul will be completed in two stages: the first will integrate new radars and avionics, and the second will improve the flight control systems.


Developments in Radar and Avionics:
The Indian Air Force expressed reservations about the Su-30MKI fleet’s antiquated avionics and radar systems, which will be addressed in the project’s first phase. The initiative, which demonstrates India’s commitment to self-reliance in defence technology, entails swapping out several equipment of Russian origin for indigenous ones.

To overcome the limits of older-generation radar technology and allow fighter jets to detect and strike targets from substantially larger distances, a new indigenous radar system will be created. The action is intended to guarantee that the Indian Air Force can compete with enemies.

Native Combat Edge Systems:
The primary focus of the update is to improve the aircraft’s combat capability by incorporating native systems into the platform. A new electronic warfare system will be implemented as part of this to jam incoming threats and obstruct enemy communications. Improved engagement capabilities with air-to-air and air-to-ground targets will also be achieved through the use of new domestic Infra Red Search and Track systems.

The extensive overhaul is expected to strengthen the Su-30MKI fleet’s standing as a potent force in the area and fulfil the changing demands of contemporary combat.

Accelerating the Improvement:
In order to hasten the renovation of its whole fleet of Sukhois, the Indian Air Force has placed the project on high speed. About ninety fighters are scheduled for the initial phase of improvement, which will concentrate on avionics and radars. The first phase of the project is anticipated to begin this year. Significantly, the entire refurbishment procedure will take place in India, demonstrating the country’s technological prowess and dedication to independence.

Prospects for the Economy and Exports:
The project offers substantial economic prospects in addition to strengthening India’s defence capabilities. The upgrades provide a sizable export market, with over 600 Su-27/30 aircraft in service in several nations, such as Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Algeria. The Su-30MKI fleet’s achievements have the potential to establish India as a major player in the international defence industry.

Along similar lines, last year an extra ₹11,000 crore deal was authorised for 12 Su-30MKI planes, which HAL is expected to produce using more than 50% indigenous components.