The long-awaited Indian Super Sukhoi program is finally getting underway. The Indian Defense Ministry has already asked for $4 billion. Out of a total of 260 Su-30MKI fighters, 150 will undergo full modernization.
Almost two years have passed since the Super Sukhoi program was initially scheduled to begin. Due to the invasion of Ukraine by Russian troops in 2022, the Indian Air Command had to postpone its plans. But now is the moment for change, and in light of the threat posed by China, India is prepared to invest in the core of its Air Force.
Electronics, sensors, and armaments will be upgraded or replaced as part of modernization. If the project is successfully finished on schedule, India will have a Su-30 that is superior to the one produced by the Soviet Union or Russia. The replacement of the antiquated Soviet N011M Bars radar with a locally produced UTTAM AESA Radar is something to keep an eye on.
N011M Bars Phased Array-Slotted Planar Array Radar
The N011M Bars is the earliest member of the Bars radar family, which was first developed in the 1980s. The radar’s peak power comes from two electronically controlled arrays rated at 4-5 kW. He was able to aim his lasers within 400 s.
The N011M Bars have a maximum search range of 400 kilometers. However, this is not true of the scanning and tracking capabilities at the back. The Su-30MKI’s range is reduced to 200 km when it must follow a moving target. The radar has a maximum range of only 60 kilometers when viewed from behind.
N011M Bars may directly engage four aerial targets and intercept them. Compared to traditional methods, radar can simultaneously keep tabs on up to sixteen airborne targets. When used for air-to-ground missions, the Indian Su-30’s current radar has a range of up to 60 kilometers, making it capable of detecting ground targets.
However, the Russians improved the Su-30MKI years ago, and now it has a range of 120 kilometers. N011M Bars utilize real beams, Doppler beams, and synthetic aperture radar to map the earth’s surfaces.
Uttam AESA Radar
India’s Su-30MKI will soon be outfitted with a brand new radar called Uttam AESA. In 2019, it made its debut at an exhibition in India. Indians have put in a lot of effort to make it better in recent years. It would appear that they are in the last stretch.
India’s Su-30MKI fighter jet, homegrown TEJAS fighter jet, and other air weapon systems will benefit from this radar’s incorporation into their design. The HAL-AMCA stealth fighter project will also incorporate this radar in a larger and upgraded version, as India plans to construct its own fifth-generation fighter jet.
The Uttam’s core consists of water-cooled quad-frequency modules. The radar has the capacity to engage four targets at once while tracking fifty targets at a distance of over a hundred kilometers. The radar can function in numerous different modes at once. With its built-in pulse doppler, its launching powers will be greatly enhanced.
Some of the new characteristics of the radar include excellent ECM immunity, ultra-low side-lobe antenna, adaptable interfaces, fast-beam agile system, modular hardware and software, high mission dependability, and IFF modes.
- Full solid-state (electronics) radar, based on GaAs
- High MTBCF (redundancy)
- Extended detection ranges
- Multi-Target Tracking (50 Targets), Priority Tracking (4 Targets)
- Simultaneous operation modes
- Solid-state, active phased array technology
- Pulse Doppler, all aspects, shoot down capabilities
- Simultaneous multi-target tracking and engaging
- Simultaneous multi-mode operation
- High ECM immunity
- Ultra-low side-lobe antenna
- Flexible interfaces allow scalable design
- Modular hardware and software
- Fast-beam agile system
- Quad-band TRM modules pack
- High mission reliability (built with redundancy)
- IFF modes
- C-band LOS, Ku band SATCOM link
The Uttam AESA radar may switch between 18 different modes or settings, depending on whether it is serving as an Air to Air, Air to Ground, or Air to Sea system. The modes have been proven to work properly on a business jet, and now they’re being proven to work properly on the supersonic TEJAS platform. The radar has three different modes of operation: air to air, air to ground, and air to sea.