India - Air Force Sukhoi Su-30MKI SB222
Pavel Bezrukov - AviaPressPhoto
Image ID: 1508478
Operator: India - Air Force - SB222
Aircraft: Sukhoi - Su-30MKI
Airport: India - Yelahanka AFB (VOYK)
Category: Main database
Photo taken on 2023-2-14 by Vaibhav Shah [Contact]
Camera setting: Canon EOS R5, 1/4000s, f/6.3 at 300mm ISO 500
(4.3.2023, 11:32 CET)
Up close with the Flanker! The Sukhoi Su-30MKI (NATO reporting name: Flanker-H) is a twin-engine, heavy, all-weather, long-range, multi-role air superiority fighter developed by Russia's Sukhoi and built under license by India's Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for the Indian Air Force (IAF). The IAF has over 250 Su-30MKIs in its fleet. The first Russian-made Su-30MKI variant was accepted into the Indian Air Force in 2002, while the first Su-30MKI assembled in India entered service with the IAF in 2004. The aircraft is tailor-made for Indian specifications and integrates Indian systems and avionics as well as French and Israeli sub-systems. The Su-30MKI has a range of 3,000 km with internal fuel which ensures a 3.75-hour combat mission. It also features an in-flight refueling (IFR) probe that retracts beside the cockpit during normal operation. The aircraft features N011M Bars Passive Electronically Scanned Array (PESA) Radar. It can function in air-to-air and air-to-land/sea mode simultaneously while being tied into a high-precision laser-inertial or GPS navigation system. It is equipped with a modern digital weapons control system as well as anti-jamming features. N011M has a 400 km search range and a tracking range of up to 200km. The radar can track 15 air targets and engage 4 simultaneously. The Su-30MKI is powered by two Saturn AL-31FP turbofans, each rated at 12,500 kg (27,550 lbf) of full after-burning thrust, which enable speeds of up to Mach 2 in horizontal flight and a rate of climb of 230 m/s. The aircraft has 12 hardpoints and can carry a plethora of air-to-air, air-to-surface, anti-ship missiles, and guided/unguided bombs. I have been a fan of this aircraft ever since I became an aviation geek, and it has been a dream of mine to see the Flanker in action. This dream became a reality at Aero India Air show 2023. As this was my first-ever experience shooting fighter jets, I was ecstatic to see her effortlessly lift off the runway and turn immediately after rotation. I felt the rumble of those Saturn AL-31FP engines in my chest as soon as she went past us. I stopped shooting for 5 seconds just to soak it all in. I crave that feeling so much and I can’t wait to shoot these fast jets again. The Su30MKI has been the backbone of the IAF Fighter jet fleet for two decades and plans to make this already formidable aircraft even better are in place under the “Super Sukhoi” program. SB222 is seen here taking off from Runway 09 of Yelahanka Airforce Station as she starts her jaw-dropping aerial display on the Day 2 of Aero India 2023.
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