24 October 2007

F-15 versus Su-30MKI: A South-East Asian perspective?

The USAF is considering upgrading the radars of its fleet of F-15C fighters to an AESA (Active Electronically Scanned Array). The consistent defeat of F-15s by Su-30MKI in simulations was a major factor.

Quoting from the Defence Industry Daily:

"With cruise missile defense rising in importance, and longer-range detection of threats desired, upgrades are necessary. They may also correct a known air-air weakness that can reputedly be exploited by aircraft like Russia's SU-30 family. Thus far, 18 USAF F-15Cs have been modified to carry APG-63v2 radars – a misnomer, since the upgrade uses a revolutionary new technology that bears little resemblance to its predecessor."

In recent years, the Indonesian and Malaysian procurement of the Su-30MKI had brought a new dimension in terms of long range strike capability for this region. The replacement of the Singaporean A-4SU Super Skyhawks by the F-15SG with its AESA radar would provide Singapore with an equivalent strike and air defence capability to its neighbours.

Quoting from the Defence Industry Daily:

"The F-15SG will be an advanced version of the U.S. Air Force's F-15E Strike Eagle, with minor customization to Singapore's specifications and the most up-to-date avionics available. The higher-thrust GE F110 engine will be used in place the Pratt & Whitney F100 engines that power some F-16s and most F-15s. AN/APG-63v3 AESA radars will be included, and there are rumors that a number of Israeli electronics and self-defense systems will be part of the F-15SG as well. Sniper XR surveillance & ground targeting pods, and IRST systems built in for air-air engagements, will also be added to Singapore's standard equipment list."

The recent Thai announcement of their purchase of the JAS-39 Gripen had signalled a general modernisation of the regional air forces.

Image source: Boeing


Anonymous said...

The only question now is how reliable can the Su-30MKI be plus the pilots that are flying them.

Just like patching the operating system of a PC. Whoever can do it faster wins.


Chuang Shyue Chou said...

That is true. Piloting ability will play a large part.