BEIJING – According to various military sources in India, as well as according to the Chinese publication Sohu, there is a high probability that India will abandon the acquisition of the Russian Su-57 Super Sukhoi and move to the American F-35.
The high cost of the upgraded version of the Russian Su-57 Super Sukhoi fighter, and the purchase of the basic version of the Indian Air Force is not considered due to the “dampness” of this version.
The Su-57 purchase could be unbearable for India, betting that the first deliveries of this combat aircraft are planned only in five years, in this connection, India began to consider the possibility of acquiring the American F-35A.
According to some reports, the cost of the upgraded version of the Su-57 will vary from 150 to 200 million dollars, and given the fact that India plans to acquire several hundred fifth-generation fighters, it is obvious that we are talking about billions of dollars.
Given that the export value of American F-35s is about 120-140 million dollars, and this combat aircraft was seen performing military operations, India is likely to really abandon Russian fighters.
“It would not be an exaggeration to say that the Su-57 of the second stage, which is planned to be released in 2024, is the“ real Su-57. At the current stage, the Su-57 can only be considered a pre-production Su-57, and its degree of completion is relatively low. Even the Russian Air Force does not want to receive them in large quantities” experts said.
“At this stage, the Su-57 with a very low degree of readiness will obviously not be accepted by the Indian Air Force, so even if India wants to buy a Su-57 fighter, it will have to wait at least until the second stage fighter appears around 2025. If India wants to buy a fifth-generation car in five years, the F-35A/B is the most ideal choice. The likelihood of buying a Su-57 is very small. As for the value of the Russian export fighter for India, it is inexpedient for the Russians not to demand more than 150 million US dollars.” Sohu reports.
Earlier, India abandoned the joint development of a fifth-generation fighter with Russia, declaring its low efficiency and overpriced.
Russia Is Desperately Trying To Find A Market For Its Su-57
Russia is ready together with India to create a fifth-generation fighter; a positive signal to intensify this work may be a contract with the Russian Ministry of Defence for the purchase of Su-57, according to Minister of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov statement on February 4.
Manturov said that the Russian side is ready to “continue negotiations on a fifth-generation fighter,” RIA Novosti reports.
“An important event took place in the Su-57 program – the Ministry of Defence placed an order for 76 fighters. I believe that this is a positive signal for our Indian partners, but we will discuss specific formats for cooperation,” he added.
The Minister also noted that the Russian new MiG-35 fighter, which was announced to participate in the Indian tender, surpasses many competitors “in flight performance and combat properties.”
In addition, we must not forget about economic feasibility, as well as a significant level of continuity for the Indian Air Force, which has successfully operated Russian-made equipment for over 50 years.
“Of course, the decision will be made by the Indian side, but I am convinced that Russia is the best supplier of modern combat aircraft for India,” the head of the Ministry of Industry and Trade emphasized.
The US Has Warned India Not To Rely On Russian Fighter Jets In Combat
On June 22 the American columnist of Forbes, David Ax, recalls that recently it became known about the death of 20 Indian soldiers in a shootout along the disputed Indian-Chinese border, passing through a towering mountain range. He also notes that, according to media reports [Forbes – ed.], forty-three Chinese soldiers were injured in the clash.
“It is not surprising that India this week allegedly placed an order with Russia for $780 million for 33 fighters with Russia, which is enough to equip or re-equip two squadrons,” the publication says.
It is known that New Delhi plans to acquire 21 MiG-29 and 12 Su-30MKI fighters.
The Indian Air Force has long planned to purchase additional aircraft to strengthen the existing arsenal of service, consisting of about 230 Su-30s and 60 MiG-29s. New Delhi also plans to acquire 83 local TEJAS light fighters, as well as 144 foreign medium-sized fighters, in the coming years.
David Axe notes that all new fighters are part of the effort to increase the air force from 28 front-line squadrons to 40, the number of which New Delhi considers sufficient to fight simultaneously with Pakistan and China.
“These 28 squadrons fly on a stunning variety of fighters, including Indian and Russian types, the French Mirage 2000s and Rafales, and European Jaguars,” recalls an observer for the American publication.
Tom Cooper, an author and aviation expert, expressed his surprise that the Indian Air Force wants the Su-30 and MiG-29 to meet the extraordinary requirements for a pair of aircraft squadrons. Su-30, although it seems impressive on paper, in comparison with Western models does not have performance and combat efficiency.
David Axe explains that Cooper’s point of view is this: for decades, the Mirage-2000 was a more effective fighter in the Indian service than the Su-30. Rafale, the successor to the French-made Mirage, is also one of India’s finest fighters. However, the Indians ordered a total of 36 Rafale.
“The Su-30 not only does not have the latest high-precision air-to-ground ammunition, but also does not work well with high-altitude air bases supporting Indian operations along the so-called border,” the Forbes publication says.
The lighter MiG-29 is better suited for the Indian Air Force than the Su-30. However, this does not mean that the old MiG is the right choice for New Delhi.
Even The Russians Do Not Believe The Su-57 Will Defeat The F-35 In An Air Battle
The Russian Su-57 fighter is already a good combat vehicle. However, there is still something to improve, for example, in order to bypass the American F-35 in terms of basic indicators, expert Vladimir Vasiliev believes and said on January 11 this year.
If we compare the Su-57 with an American competitor, then the domestic aircraft surpasses the opponent in terms of manoeuvrability, flight range and top speed, which makes it more attractive for buyers in foreign markets. It is not in vain that Turkey, being in danger of breaking the F-35 supply contract, is increasingly thinking about buying new Su-57s from Russia.
Be that as it may, but the F-35 has one important feature that has been acquired by him historically, the expert emphasizes. The fact is that American fighters are always designed as aircraft carrier-based vehicles, and therefore have the ability to take off and land in short bands.
It is noteworthy that even in this component the Russian fighter has some groundwork for improvements. Russian designers, among other things, have experience in creating aircraft with a vertical take-off and landing system, so they can combine the qualities of the latest fighter with the capabilities of the famous Yak-141 in the future to inherit the best properties of previous prototypes and get ahead of the F-35 in all respects.
Courtesy – INDIAN DEFENCE NEWS