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Russian Su-57 Fighter Jet Emerges As A Viable Option for India’s Fifth-Generation Requirements: Report

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Russian Su-57 Fighter Jet Emerges As A Viable Option for India’s Fifth-Generation Requirements: Report


India has been scouting for a fifth-generation warplane with advanced stealth features for years. Sputnik India analyses why the Russian Su-57 could be a good acquisition for the Indian Air Force (IAF).

The Russian Su-57 fighter jet is a potential option for India’s fifth-generation fighter jet needs. The Su-57 could address India’s immediate needs, and it could also provide long-term benefits.

These benefits include:

Technological knowledge transfer

Enhanced air defence integration

Proven technology

Advanced features

The Su-57 is a twin-seater fighter jet. It has a subsonic range of 2,200 miles, a supersonic range of 930 miles, and a service ceiling of 66,000 feet. It can track 30 targets and engage 8 simultaneously.

The procurement of the twin-seater Russian-manufactured Su-57 fighter jet would be logical for India considering that the development of the homegrown fifth-generation Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA) would take at least 15 years, an IAF veteran has said.

The comments of military pundit Vijainder K Thakur come at a time when defence publications in India have speculated that the IAF could be relooking at the stealth aircraft following a lethal surge in its capabilities.

Interestingly, India was part of the Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA) which the Eurasian sovereign state and the South Asian country were jointly developing under a deal inked in 2007.

Under the terms of the contract, Indian aviation major Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and Russia’s Sukhoi Design Bureau would co-develop an advanced version of the Su-57 warplane having modern stealth characteristics. However, New Delhi pulled out of the program in 2018.

Sizing Up The Su-57’s State-of-the-Art Features

Notably, the Su-57 is the first combat jet designed and produced by Russia since the Cold War ended in 1991.

The Sukhoi-built fighter is widely believed to carry the most modern radio-electronic warfare machinery, including a computer that serves as its second pilot.

Additionally, the Su-57’s body is made of various composite materials, making it lighter to function in the skies and conduct all kinds of operations against the enemy, including demolition of naval and on-ground targets.

Moreover, the Indian Air Force’s squadron strength is fast depleting. The IAF has publicly stated that 42 squadrons are required to deal with the joint threat from Pakistan and China.

But as per current estimates, the IAF is operating with 31 squadrons in its fleet of aircraft comprising France-made Rafales, Russia’s MiG-29s, and Su-30MKI, amongst others.

Maiden Flight of India’s AMCA Fighter Still 15 Years Away

Against this backdrop, Thakur noted that the AMCA program will likely take another 15 years based on the first flight to operational induction timelines of fighters such as the TEJAS, and the Su-57.

“Keep in mind, AMCA is nowhere near its first flight as yet, so it could well be longer,” the former IAF pilot told Sputnik India.

According to him, the Indian Air Force would be compromising its operational abilities by not inducting a stealth fighter for yet another 15 to 20 years.

“Since India, at the time of withdrawing from the FGFA, kept its option open to buy the Su-57 it would be logical for India to procure the dual seat variant now under development in Russia,” Thakur mentioned.

What Could Influence India’s Decision To Acquire Su-57?

On being asked if the billions of Indian rupees lying with Russia that Moscow has generated through exports of crude to New Delhi could play a role in India’s decision to acquire the Su-57 fighter planes, he pointed out that India was resolving its trade imbalance issues with Russia on a different track – by stepping up export of ships and other manufactured goods.

He opined that more than the trade imbalance, the threat of CAATSA sanctions will influence India’s decision or the timing of the decision.





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INS Arihant’s Nuke-Capable K-4 Submarine-Launched Ballistic Missile ‘Ready To Roll’

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INS Arihant’s Nuke-Capable K-4 Submarine-Launched Ballistic Missile ‘Ready To Roll’


NEW DELHI: India tested its nuclear capable K-4 submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM), designed to have a strike range of 3,500 km, for the second time in six days on Friday. The missile test, as the one conducted on January 19, was undertaken from an undersea platform in the shape of a submersible pontoon off the coast of Andhra Pradesh according to a report by Rajat Pandit of TOI.

The solid-fuelled K-4 missile is being developed by DRDO to arm the country’s nuclear-powered submarines in the shape of INS Arihant and its under-development sister vessels. INS Arihant, which became fully operational in November 2018 to complete India’s nuclear triad, is currently armed with the much shorter K-15 missiles with a 750 km range.

“The K-4 is now virtually ready for its serial production to kick-off. The two tests have demonstrated its capability to emerge straight from underwater and undertake its parabolic trajectory,” said a source.

India has the land-based Agni missiles, with the over 5,000-km Agni-V inter-continental ballistic missile now in the process of being inducted, and fighter jets jury-rigged to deliver nuclear weapons. But INS Arihant gives the country’s deterrence posture much more credibility because nuclear-powered submarines armed with nuclear-tipped missiles are considered the most secure, survivable and potent platforms for retaliatory strikes.

Once the K-4 missiles are inducted, they will help India narrow the gap with countries like the US, Russia and China, which have over 5,000-km range SLBMs. The K-4 missiles are to be followed by the K-5 and K-6 missiles in the 5,000-6,000 km range class.

The 6,000-ton INS Arihant, which is propelled by an 83 MW pressurised light-water reactor at its core, in turn, is to be followed by INS Arighat, which was launched in 2017. The next generation of nuclear submarines, currently called S-4 and S-4*, will be much larger in size.





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After Upgradation, Sukhoi Su-30MKI Indigenisation To Reach 78%

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After Upgradation, Sukhoi Su-30MKI Indigenisation To Reach 78%


India has received clearance to upgrade 84 Sukhoi Su-30MKI fighter jets, which will result in 78% indigenization after the upgrade

In a significant step towards bolstering its military might with indigenously developed technology, India is poised to witness its Russian-origin Sukhoi Su-30MKI fighter jets evolve into a domestic platform. Speaking at a recent lecture.

The upgrade program is being led by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) in partnership with the Indian Air Force and other partners. The upgrade is expected to cost US$7.5 billion.

The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) granted Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) for the upgrade. The upgrade is part of India’s efforts to improve the capabilities of its primary fighter aircraft, it refers to as the “Super Sukhoi”.

This initiative is a part of a larger effort by the Indian Air Force to modernize its ageing fleet. Air Chief Marshal Chaudhari asserted the critical role of an offensive air force as demonstrated in current global conflicts and emphasized India’s move towards an indigenized arsenal. To this end, the IAF has been proactive, from upgrading its Mirage 2000 to enhancing its MiG-29 fleet.

In summary, the IAF’s commitment to updating their combat forces with the latest technology, including shifting to fifth-generation fighter jets, ensures operational preparedness and a strong deterrence capability. The gradual indigenization of its air fleet marks a pivotal shift in India’s defence landscape, reducing dependency on foreign imports and fostering technological sovereignty.





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Akash Weapon System Exports For The Armenian Armed Forces Gathers Pace

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Akash Weapon System Exports For The Armenian Armed Forces Gathers Pace


According to unconfirmed reports, Armenia is a top contender for an export order for Akash SAM system manufactured by Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL).

While there is no official confirmation because of the sensitivities involved, documents suggest that the order for the same has already been placed the report further added.
There are nine countries, in turn, which have shown interest in the indigenously-developed Akash missile systems, which can intercept hostile aircraft, helicopters, drones and subsonic cruise missiles at a range of 25-km. They are Kenya, Philippines, Indonesia, UAE, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Vietnam and Algeria reported TOI.

The Akash export version will also be slightly different from the one inducted by the armed forces. The 100-km range air-to-air Astra missiles, now entering production after successful trials from Sukhoi-30MKI fighters, also have “good export potential”, said sources.

Akash is a “tried, tested and successfully inducted systems”. Indian armed forces have ordered Akash systems worth Rs 24,000 crore over the years, and MoD inked a contract in Mar 2023 of over Rs 9,100 crores for improved Akash Weapon System

BDL is a government enterprise under the Ministry of Defence that was established in 1970. BDL manufactures surface-to-air missiles and delivers them to the Indian Army. BDL also offers its products for export.

Akash Weapon System

The AWS is a Short Range Surface to Air Missile (SRSAM) Air Defence System, indigenously designed and developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). In order to meet aerial threats, two additional Regiments of AWS with Upgradation are being procured for Indian Army for the Northern borders. Improved AWS has Seeker Technology, Reduced Foot Print, 360° Engagement Capability and improved environmental parameters.

The project will give a boost to the Indian missile manufacturing industry in particular and the indigenous defence manufacturing ecosystem as a whole. The project has overall indigenous content of 82% which will be increased to 93% by 2026-27.

The induction of the improved AWS into the Indian Army will increase India’s self-reliance in Short Range Missile capability. This project will play a role in boosting the overall economy by avoiding outgo of precious foreign exchange to other countries, increasing employment avenues in India and encouraging Indian MSMEs through components manufacturing. Around 60% of the project cost will be awarded to the private industry, including MSMEs, in maintaining the supply chain of the weapon system, thereby creating large scale of direct and indirect employment.





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