No. 2 Squadron (IAF): Second World War

No. 2 Squadron (IAF): Second World War

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No. 2 Squadron (IAF) during the Second World War

Aircraft - Locations - Group and Duty - Books

No.2 Squadron, IAF, was an army co-operation and reconnaissance squadron that saw a short period of front line service over Burma between December 1944 and May 1945.

No.1 Squadron, IAF, had first formed in 1933, but it had taken five years for it to reach full squadron strength. Three years passed before on 1 April 1941 No.2 Squadron became the second squadron of the Indian Air Force. Like No.1 Squadron it was an army co-operation squadron formed to serve on the North West Frontier. At first is used the Westland Wapiti. These were replaced by the Hawker Audax in September, and then in November by some of 48 Lysanders that had been given to the IAF in August.

The Lysanders were used for army training from the start of 1942 until September, when they were replaced with Hawker Hurricane IIBs. The Hurricanes were used for tactical reconnaissance on the North West Frontier from then until November 1944, when it finally moved east to the Burma front, where it became operational of 1 December 1944. Six months of reconnaissance and ground-attack missions followed, in support of the Allied armies advancing into Burma.

In May 1945 the squadron returned to the North West Frontier, but without its Hurricanes. The promised Spitfires didn't appear until January 1946, and were only in use for just over a year before they were replaced with Hawker Tempests. These aircraft were retained until the squadron was handed over to the newly independent Royal Indian Air Force.

April-September 1941: Westland Wapiti IIA
September 1941-February 1942: Hawker Audax I
November 1941-September 1942: Westland Lysander II
September 1942-February 1946: Hawker Hurricane IIB
January 1946-May 1947: Supermarine Spitfire VIII
May-August 1947: Hawker Tempest II

April-September 1941: Peshawar
September 1941-February 1942: Kohat
February-March 1942: Secunderabad
March-May 1942: Poona
May-December 1942: Arkonam
December 1942-June 1943: Ranchi
April-May 1943: Detachment to Imphal
June-November 1943: Trichinopoly
November 1943-August 1944: Kohat
December 1943-April 1944: Detachment to Miranshah
August-November 1944: Kalyan
November 1944-February 1945: Cox's Bazaar, with HQ at Mambur
February-May 1945: Akyab
May-July 1945: Kohat
July-August 1945: Samungli
August 1945-January 1946: Willingdon
August 1945-January 1946: Detachments at Jodhpur and Raipur
January 1946-February 1947: Kohat
February-August 1947: Poona

Squadron Codes: -

1941-1942: Army Co-operation
1942-1944: Tactical Recon.
1944-1945: Fighter Bomber, Burma
1945-1947: Tactical Recon.



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DID YOU KNOW? That the Genosha Hotel and the Alger Press building in Oshawa, played a major role in world events in 1945?

The Mystery of ‘The B.S.C. Bible’ has been solved.

How timely it is that after forty years of searching, I have finally acquired a copy of the ‘B.S.C. Bible’, the document that summarizes the British Security Co-Ordination’s World War II activities.

The timing for me could not be better. My acquisition of this extremely important document completes the story, just in time for the publication of this book, likely my last on this subject. I have shared this document with: 2-Intel, CSIS, CSE, JTF-2, and JTF-X.

Just a couple of years before writing this book, I was contacted by a retired twenty-two-year veteran of the C.I.A., a good friend of the late Ernest Cuneo. Cuneo, a highly respected member of Bill Stephenson’s (Intrepid) staff in New York during World War II, was apparently allowed to photocopy ‘The Bible’ very likely Stephenson’s own copy, as this copy is marked “copy one”.

The man's name was Col. M. Cordell Hart. Cuneo and Hart were close friends in the CIA. When Cuneo died, he left all of his personal files to Hart. Over the next couple of years, Cord and I became good friends. Cord called me one day and said that he had found a document in Cuneo's files and had no idea what it was. Cord said to me, "I think that you are likely the only one who will know what it is." Cord asked for my mailing address and sent it to me immediately.

When I received it I knew exactly what it was the moment I saw it. I called Cord and told him that it was the long sought-after copy of the 'BSC Bible'. I thanked him for ending a forty-year-long search.

The following is a letter that Cord received from Sir William in 1987

Camden House
Paget, Box 445
Devonshire, Bermuda

I am greatly cheered by your recent letter indicating that our mutual friend, Dr. Ernest Cuneo, is to be nominated for a major American award. Of my many vivid memories of World War II, those of Ernie Cuneo are among the most gratifying. I admired him then, as I do now, for his brilliant intellect, but even more impressive over all these years has been his extraordinary sense of patriotism to the United States of America.

He, as “CRUSADER”, and I, as “INTREPID”, cooperated in many British and American intelligence operations during the war. I have long believed that Ernie’s efforts for the O.S.S. during that time were not sufficiently understood by the American side. So much of what he did—that I am aware of—was clearly “above and beyond the call of duty”. Yet, to my knowledge, he has never received an appreciable award.

Perhaps it is not too late, for principle and person, to set things right. I do hope your petition for an award for Ernie succeeds. You may certainly use my name and my comments here, in your efforts.

Yours truly,
(Signed) Wm. Stephenson”

In the middle of 1945, a few trusted individuals of Stephenson’s B.S.C. were summoned to his office where he asked them to take on a special project. It would mean long days and nights away from home, but, to a man and woman, each agreed to the project without reservation.

“A casual visitor staying at the Genosha Hotel in Oshawa in the summer/fall of 1945 might have been intrigued by the daily and nocturnal routine of a small group of men and women who were obviously long-term residents. They kept to themselves, talked little, and were a cut above the average visitor to Oshawa’s premier but nonetheless modest hostelry more to the point, they kept peculiar hours. Just when most of the guests were relaxing for the evening after their dinner, the nine or ten civilian strangers would be picked up by an army truck outside the hotel and disappear into the night. The next morning, they would reappear in time for breakfast, clearly having worked all night. They would then retreat to their rooms for the rest of the day until dinnertime when once again the routine would be repeated…….”

“The importance that Stephenson attached to the history is indicated by the people he selected and the way in which he arranged for it to be written. Even before the war in Europe was over, he had set the project in motion. The first person he chose was a member of his B.S.C. staff, Gilbert Highet, a professor of classics at Columbia University and the husband of Helen McInnes, the well-known spy-fiction writer. Perhaps Stephenson felt that her writing skills would rub off on her husband.

“The second person he selected was Tom Hill, a Canadian and one of the BSC staff sent up to Camp-X for an introductory course who spent most of the war writing the Western Hemisphere Weekly Intelligence Bulletin. After Highet’s attempt had been rejected, Hill was a natural choice to be put in charge of the project.

“The other writer that Stephenson chose was the famous British author Roald Dahl. Dahl, who had been wounded while flying with No. 80 Flight Squadron on the Western Desert, was already making his name as a writer when he was posted to Washington as assistant British air attaché in 1943. Some of his early short stories had already appeared in the United States, and his children’s book, The Gremlins, had just been published and was a favourite of Eleanor Roosevelt’s grandchildren. So it was not surprising that Dahl quickly joined the Washington social circuit, where he was a frequent dinner guest of the Roosevelts, the Morgenthaus, and other members of the administration.

“It was another sign of the importance he attached to the project that Stephenson assigned his two private secretaries to the team: Grace Garner, a Canadian who had been his principal secretary since the beginning and was going to write up some of the early chapters, and Eleanor Fleming, another Canadian who had worked in his private office for most of the war. Merle Cameron, head of Stephenson’s filing section, also accompanied them.”

Visitors to the Genosha Hotel in the summer of 1945 had no idea that in the rooms just above their heads, the history of the free world was being written. A selected few members of Sir William Stephenson's British Security Co-Ordination, including the now-famous author, Roald Dahl, had been charged with taking thousands of B.S.C. papers from the offices in New York and bringing them to Oshawa where, over a period of several months, they would compile them into what would be known henceforth as ‘The B.S.C. Bible’. Once completed, ten leather-bound copies were printed at the Alger Press building in Oshawa under absolute secrecy, and then handed over to Sir William Stephenson. The thousands of B.S.C. files were then taken to Camp-X and set ablaze in what was described at the time as, “A giant bonfire.”

Over the years, I interviewed two members of the B.S.C. who witnessed history as part of the staff responsible for printing the document:
“We were told to go into a large walk-in closet where we worked. There, a man in military uniform told us to strip down and put these overalls on and report to our foreman. For the next eight hours, we worked on our printing press on something that we were only told was ‘top-secret’ in fact, we had to sign the ‘Official Secrets Act’ swearing that we would never divulge the type of work we were doing. I can’t recall exactly how long it took to print ‘The B.S.C. Bible’, but I believe it was more than a week. At the end of the day, we had to go back into the closet, change back into our civilian clothes and then head home for the evening.”

The Genosha Hotel in Oshawa where the ‘bible’ was written – circa 1944 (photo credit 175)

The ‘Bible’ was printed on this printing press inside the Alger Press building in Oshawa. (Photo credit 176

Noble Frankland: RAF veteran and military historian who transformed the Imperial War Museum

Noble Frankland, who has died aged 97, was a former wartime RAF navigator who was instrumental in the transformation of the Imperial War Museum during more than two decades as its director general.

He was born Anthony Noble Frankland in 1922 to Maud and Edward Frankland, a gentleman farmer in Westmorland, now Cumbria. Frankland was educated at Sedbergh School and went up to Trinity College Oxford, where he read history. His studies were interrupted when, in 1942, he was called up for wartime service.

He joined RAF Bomber Command, serving for the next four years as a navigator onboard the Avro Lancaster bombers of No 50 Squadron. Remarkably, he was able to successfully complete 34 missions, at a time when survival rates for air personnel on these operations were pitifully low. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross in 1944 before being demobbed a year later, going on to complete his studies at Oxford.

Having faced adversity at war, a further challenge came when, as a military historian to the Cabinet Office between 1951 and 1958, he and his co-author Sir Charles Webster documented the RAF strategic air offensive against Germany. In their writing for the official History of the Second World War series, the pair discovered that the impact of the bombing on the German war machine and civilian population differed significantly from the previously accepted view.

Their research demonstrated that the intensive bombings of Dresden were both ineffective and inaccurate, leading to unnecessary RAF aircrew and German civilian casualties. On its publication in 1961 the work was criticised by much of the British press for its interpretation and apparent criticism of this aspect of the military campaign. Frankland later recalled: “There were fierce and threatening attacks from some of the great figures of the Second World War.”


However, Frankland was later both exonerated and amused when, in 1979, an RAF official history described their work as “an exhaustive and scholarly account of Bomber Command’s defeats and triumphs, and the final and decisive contribution to the defeat of Germany”.

Frankland then worked briefly at the Royal Institute of International Affairs. His career took a dramatic turn in 1960 when, on his way to the office by train, he discovered an advertisement in The Times for the post of director general at the Imperial War Museum (IWM) and decided to apply.

The museum had been founded in 1917 and relocated in 1936 to the buildings of the earlier Bethlem psychiatric hospital on Lambeth Road, Southwark. When Frankland took over as director general, it was a tired and dilapidated institution, physically and in morale.

Over the next two decades he transformed the buildings, renovating and extending the estate, creating a dedicated cinema and adding sites at IWM Duxford in 1976 and HMS Belfast in 1978. The museum’s previously neglected document and photographic archives were brought to life, to the delight of visitors and military researchers alike.

The Churchill War Rooms, which Frankland and his team had conceived as a visitor attraction during his time in office, were opened in 1984. Over his tenure staffing increased from 70 to 342, reflecting higher visitor numbers and the much improved status of the institution, which by the time of his retirement had become one of the leading centres for the study of conflict.


Frankland faced yet another challenge in October 1968 when the IWM suffered an arson attack by a protester, Timothy Daly, against what he saw as the institution’s promotion of militarism. Precious archives and artefacts perished in the fire. Daly was convicted for arson and jailed for four years. Once again, Frankland’s determination saw the IWM soon repaired and reopened to the public.

Beyond his IWM official role, Frankland wrote widely on military history, including Bomber Offensive: The Devastation Of Europe (1970), a key reference work. He was appointed CBE in 1976 and a CB in 1983, and in 2016 received the Legion d’Honneur, in recognition of his involvement in the liberation of France.

Frankland retired from the IWM in 1982 and married Sarah Davies, who died in 2015. He is survived by a son and daughter from his earlier marriage to Diana Tavernor, who died in 1981, and his three stepchildren.

Anthony Noble Frankland, military historian, born 4 July 1922, died 31 October 2019

VIVOS EN EL AVERNO NAZI. En busca de los últimos supervivientes españoles de los campos de concentración de la segunda guerra mundial.

«Un libro emocionante y un documento extraordinario sobre el Mal del mundo, pero también sobre el Bien, sobre la increíble capacidad de supervivencia de los humanos»

Rosa Montero

«¿Otro libro sobre los campos de exterminio nazis?», se preguntarán algunos al tomar este volumen en sus manos. Si comienzan a leerlo descubrirán que no es «un libro más» y, de paso, se percatarán de lo mucho que ignoraban acerca de este mundo de lucha, sufrimiento y resistencia en que se vieron involucrados tantos españoles. Montserrat Llor ha realizado un espléndido trabajo de investigación, entrevistando a un gran número de supervivientes, con el fin de ir más allá de la literatura habitual sobre los campos y recuperar a estos hombres y mujeres, no como víctimas de un drama colectivo, sino como seres humanos que vivieron, cada uno a su modo, la experiencia del campo y su posterior reinserción en la sociedad: «saber cómo viven hoy, en su vejez, aquellos recuerdos de la guerra, exilio, deportación, el retorno (o no retorno) y el silencio».

Josep Fontana (historiador prologuista del libro)

Para leer más sobre el libro: Vivos en el averno nazi 2a edición Nota Prensa 2014. AK

LA AUTORA: Montserrat Llor es periodista licenciada en Ciencias de la Información por la Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona.

Inició su trayectoria profesional en Cadena SER como redactora de informativos, documentalista y en la producción de programas. Trabajó también como redactora y colaboradora en revistas de cultura y viajes.

Para la redacción de esta obra ha viajado, desde el año 2008, por distintas ciudades de España, Francia, Austria e Italia a fin de recoger el testimonio de supervivientes de la segunda guerra mundial, principalmente de españoles que sufrieron primero la Guerra Civil, después el exilio y, finalmente, la deportación a los campos de concentración nazis. También ha entrevistado a otros supervivientes no españoles en Rusia, así como a víctimas del Holocausto judío y del genocidio armenio. Ha escrito artículos sobre esta temática en El País Semanal, el Magazine de La Vanguardia, la revista La Aventura de la Historia y ha colaborado en diversos programas de la emisora Punto Radio y la Cadena SER.

En octubre de 2011 participó en las Primeras Jornadas de Memoria y Trauma que tuvieron lugar en Madrid en colaboración con el Instituto de la Mujer.

Como consecuencia de las ponencias, testimonios y debates acontecidos en estas jornadas y en las de años posteriores, colaboró en el libro ‘Mujeres y Memoria. Exilios y silencios en el siglo XX’ (editorial Catriel) publicado en septiembre de 2014 y coordinado por Maria José Palma Borrego. En este ensayo se aborda la violencia sufrida por las mujeres en distintos conflictos del siglo XX, su silencio, la transmisión del trauma y su superación. Fue presentado en Madrid (noviembre de 2014) con la intervención de Maria Luisa Fernández, más conocida por Libertad Fernández, que nació durante la Guerra Civil, sufrió el día a día junto con su madre en los campos franceses de Magnac-Laval, Gurs y Rivesaltes y, tras la liberación de la Segunda Guerra Mundial, vivió el exilio en México.

‘Mujeres y Memoria’ es el resultado de la inquietud de cinco mujeres –psicoanalistas, psicólogas, educadoras y la periodista aquí presente- por todo lo referente a la Memoria Histórica. Tras numerosas reuniones y gracias al apoyo del Instituto de la Mujer de entonces, organizaron lo que serían las “I Jornadas Memoria y Trauma” donde se impartieron diversas conferencias. Entre otras/otros colaboradores, participaron la psicóloga clínica Anna Miñarro y la escritora-traductora Janine Altounian, quien durante las jornadas recordó la catástrofe psíquica individual y colectiva del Genocidio armenio, así como la terrible experiencia de su familia.

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Origins and acquisition Edit

The Su-30MKI was designed by Russia's Sukhoi Corporation beginning in 1995 and built under licence by India's Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). [10] [11] The Su-30MKI is derived from the Sukhoi Su-27 and has a fusion of technology from the Su-37 demonstrator and Su-30 program, [12] being more advanced than the Su-30MK and the Chinese Su-30MKK/MK2. [12] Russia's Defence Ministry was impressed with the type's performance envelope and ordered 30 Su-30SMs, a localised Su-30MKI, for the Russian Air Force. [13] It features state of the art avionics developed by Russia, India and Israel for display, navigation, targeting and electronic warfare France and South Africa provided other avionics. [14] [15]

After two years of evaluation and negotiations, on 30 November 1996, India signed a US$1.462 billion deal with Sukhoi for 50 Russian-produced Su-30MKIs in five batches. The first batch were eight Su-30MKs, the basic version of Su-30. The second batch were to be 10 Su-30MKIs with French and Israeli avionics. The third batch were to be 10 Su-30MKIs featuring canard foreplanes. The fourth batch of 12 Su-30MKIs and final batch of 10 Su-30MKIs were to have the AL-31FP turbofans.

In October 2000, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed for Indian licence-production of 140 Su-30MKIs in December 2000, a deal was sealed at Russia's Irkutsk aircraft plant for full technology transfer. The Indian Air Force (IAF) has ordered 272 aircraft, of which 50 were to be delivered by Russia in 2002-2004 and 2007. The rest of 222 planes are to be produced under license at HAL’s Indian facilities in 2004. [16] The first Nasik-built Su-30MKIs were to be delivered by 2004, with staggered production until 2017–18. In November 2002, the delivery schedule was expedited with production to be completed by 2015. [17] An estimated 920 AL-31FP turbofans are to be manufactured at HAL's Koraput Division, while the mainframe and other accessories are to be manufactured at HAL's Lucknow and Hyderabad divisions. Final integration and test flights of the aircraft are carried out at HAL's Nasik Division. [18] Four manufacturing phases were outlined with progressively increasing Indian content: Phase I, II, III and IV. In phase I, HAL manufactured the Su-30MKIs from knocked-down kits, transitioning to semi knocked-down kits in phase II and III in phase IV, HAL produced aircraft from scratch from 2013 onwards. [ citation needed ]

In 2007, another order of 40 Su-30MKIs was placed. In 2009, the planned fleet strength was to be 230 aircraft. [19] In 2008, Samtel HAL Display Systems (SHDS), a joint venture between Samtel Display Systems and HAL, won a contract to develop and manufacture multi-function avionics displays for the MKI. [20] A helmet mounted display, Topsight-I, based on technology from Thales and developed by SHDS will be integrated on the Su-30MKI in the next upgrade. In March 2010, it was reported that India and Russia were discussing a contract for 42 more Su-30MKIs. [21] In June 2010, it was reported that the Cabinet Committee on Security had cleared the ₹ 15,000 crore (US$2.1 billion) deal and that the 42 aircraft would be in service by 2018. [22] [23]

By August 2010, the cost increased to $4.3 billion or $102 million each. [24] This increased unit cost compared to the previous unit cost of $40 million in 2007, has led to the rumours that these latest order of 42 Su-30MKIs are for the Strategic Forces Command (SFC) and these aircraft will be optimised and hardwired for nuclear weapons delivery. The SFC had previously submitted a proposal to the Indian Defence Ministry for setting up two dedicated squadrons of fighters consisting of 40 aircraft capable of delivering nuclear weapons. [25]

HAL expected that indigenisation of the Su-30MKI programme would be completed by 2010 V. Balakrishnan, general manager of the Aircraft Manufacturing Division stated that "HAL will achieve 100 per cent indigenisation of the Sukhoi aircraft – from the production of raw materials to the final plane assembly". [26] As of 2017, HAL manufactures more than 80% of the aircraft. [27] On 11 October 2012, the Indian Government confirmed plans to buy another 42 Su-30MKI aircraft. [28] On 24 December 2012, India ordered assembly kits for 42 Su-30MKIs by signing a deal during President Putin's visit to India. [29] This increases India's order total to 272 Su-30MKIs. [28]

In June 2018, India has reportedly decided not to order any further Su-30s as they feel its cost of maintenance is very high compared to Western aircraft. [30]

In June 2020, India decided to place an order for 12 more Su-30MKI aircraft along with 21 MiG-29s. The Su-30MKI order is to compensate for losses due to crashes to maintain the sanctioned strength of 272 Su-30MKIs. The MiG-29 order was placed to form a fourth MiG-29 squadron to bolster depleted IAF strength. The MiGs were ordered despite being an older platform since they were deliverable within a 2-3-year timeframe, because they were built for an order that was previously canceled and since they were very reasonably priced compared to newer aircraft. [31]

Upgrades Edit

In 2004, India signed a deal with Russia to domestically produce the Novator K-100 missile, designed to shoot down airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) and C4ISTAR aircraft, for the Su-30MKI. [32] Although not initially designed to carry nuclear or strategic weapons, India has considered integrating an air-launched version of the nuclear-capable Nirbhay. [33]

In May 2010, India Today reported that Russia had won a contract to upgrade 40 Su-30MKIs with new radars, onboard computers, electronic warfare systems and the ability to carry the BrahMos cruise missile. The first two prototypes with the "Super-30" upgrade will be delivered to the IAF in 2012, after which the upgrades will be performed on the last batch of 40 production aircraft. [34] [35] The Brahmos missile integrated on the Su-30MKI will provide the capability to attack ground targets from stand-off ranges of around 300 km. [36] On 25 June 2016, HAL conducted the first test flight of a Su-30MKI fitted with a BrahMos-A missile from Nashik, India. The first air launch of BrahMos from a Su-30MKI was successfully carried out on 22 November 2017. [37] [38]

India is planning to upgrade its Su-30MKI fighters with Russian Phazotron Zhuk-AE Active electronically scanned array (AESA) radars. The X band radar can track 30 aerial targets in the track-while-scan mode and engage six targets simultaneously in attack mode. AESA technology offers improved performance and reliability compared with traditional mechanically scanned array radars. [39] On 18 August 2010, India's Minister of Defence A K Antony stated the current estimated cost for the upgrade was ₹ 10,920 crore (US$2 billion) and the aircraft are likely to be upgraded in phases beginning in 2012. [40]

The Indian Defence Ministry proposed several upgrades for the Su-30MKI to the Indian Parliament, including the fitting of Russian Phazotron Zhuk-AE AESA radars starting in 2012. [41] During MMRCA trials the Zhuk-AE AESA radar demonstrated significant capabilities, including ground-mapping modes and the ability to detect and track aerial targets. [42] At the 2011 MAKS air-show, Irkut chairman Alexy Fedorov offered an upgrade package with an improved radar, and reduced radar signature to the Indian fleet to make them "Super Sukhois". [43] [44]

In 2012, upgrades of the earlier 80 Su-30MKIs involves equipping them with stand-off missiles with a range of 300 km a request for information (ROI) was issued for such weapons. [45] In 2011, India issued a request for information to MBDA for the integration of the Brimstone ground attack missile and the long-range Meteor air-to-air missile. [46]

In February 2017, it was reported that the planes would be upgraded with AL-41F turbofan engines, same as the ones on Sukhoi Su-35. [ citation needed ] In August 2017, the Indian government cleared a proposal of Rs. 30,000 crore to equip the planes with new reconnaissance pods. [47]

India is planning to increase Su-30MKIs BVR engagement capability by arming its entire fleet with the indigenous Astra BVR missile [48] having a range of 110 km [49] and Israeli Derby after it was found that the R-77 active-radar homing BVR missile has inadequate performance. [50] In September 2019, the Astra was in multiple user-trials by Indian Air Force to validate its lethality for the Su-30MKI. [51]

Characteristics Edit

The Su-30MKI is a highly integrated twin-finned aircraft. The airframe is constructed of titanium and high-strength aluminium alloys. The engine intake ramps and nacelles are fitted with trouser fairings to provide a continuous streamlined profile between the nacelles and the tail beams. The fins and horizontal tail consoles are attached to tail beams. The central beam section between the engine nacelles consists of the equipment compartment, fuel tank and the brake parachute container. The fuselage head is of semi-monocoque construction and includes the cockpit, radar compartments and the avionics bay.

Su-30MKI aerodynamic configuration is a longitudinal triplane with relaxed stability. The canard increases the aircraft lift ability and deflects automatically to allow high angle of attack (AoA) flights allowing it to perform Pugachev's Cobra. The integral aerodynamic configuration combined with thrust vectoring results in extremely capable manoeuvrability, taking off and landing characteristics. This high agility allows rapid deployment of weapons in any direction as desired by the crew. The canard notably assists in controlling the aircraft at large angles-of-attack and bringing it to a level flight condition. The aircraft has a fly-by-wire (FBW) with quadruple redundancy. Dependent on flight conditions, signals from the control stick position transmitter or the FCS may be coupled to remote control amplifiers and combined with feedback signals from acceleration sensors and rate gyros. The resultant control signals are coupled to the high-speed electro-hydraulic actuators of the elevators, rudders and the canard. The output signals are compared and, if the difference is significant, the faulty channel is disconnected. FBW is based on a stall warning and barrier mechanism which prevents stalls through dramatic increases of control stick pressure, allowing a pilot to effectively control the aircraft without exceeding the angle of attack and acceleration limitations. Although the maximum angle of attack is limited by the canards, the FBW acts as an additional safety mechanism.

The Su-30MKI has a range of 3,000 km with internal fuel which ensures a 3.75 hour combat mission. Also, it has an in-flight refueling (IFR) probe that retracts beside the cockpit during normal operation. The air refueling system increases the flight duration up to 10 hours with a range of 8,000 km at a cruise height of 11 to 13 km. [ citation needed ] Su-30MKIs can also use the Cobham 754 buddy refueling pods. [53] [54]

The Su-30MKI's radar cross-section (RCS) is reportedly from 4 to 20 square metres. [55] [56]

Cockpit Edit

The displays include a customised version of the Israeli Elbit Su 967 head-up display (HUD) consisting of bi-cubic phase conjugated holographic displays and seven multifunction liquid-crystal displays, six 127 mm × 127 mm and one 152 mm × 152 mm. Flight information is displayed on four LCD displays which include one for piloting and navigation, a tactical situation indicator, and two for display systems information including operating modes and overall status. Variants of this HUD have also been chosen for the IAF's Mikoyan MiG-27 and SEPECAT Jaguar upgrades for standardisation. The rear cockpit has a larger monochrome display for air-to-surface missile guidance. [ citation needed ]

The Su-30MKI on-board health and usage monitoring system (HUMS) monitors almost every aircraft system and sub-system, and can also act as an engineering data recorder. From 2010, indigenously designed and built HUDs and Multi-Function Displays (MFD) were produced by the Delhi-based Samtel Group Display Systems. [57]

The crew are provided with zero-zero NPP Zvezda K-36DM ejection seats. The rear seat is raised for better visibility. The cockpit is provided with containers to store food and water reserves, a waste disposal system and extra oxygen bottles. The K-36DM ejection seat is inclined at 30°, to help the pilot resist aircraft accelerations in air combat.

Avionics Edit

The forward-facing NIIP N011M Bars (Panther) is a powerful integrated passive electronically scanned array radar. The N011M is a digital multi-mode dual frequency band radar. [58] The N011M 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 maximum 200 km tracking range, and 60 km in the rear hemisphere. [59] The radar can track 15 air targets and engage 4 simultaneously. [59] These targets can even include cruise missiles and motionless helicopters. The Su-30MKI can function as a mini-AWACS as a director or command post for other aircraft. The target co-ordinates can be transferred automatically to at least four other aircraft. The radar can detect ground targets such as tanks at 40–50 km. [59] The Bars radar will be replaced by Zhuk-AESA in all Su-30MKI aircraft. [60]

OLS-30 laser-optical Infra-red search and track includes a day and night FLIR capability and is used in conjunction with the helmet mounted sighting system. The OLS-30 is a combined IRST/LR device using a cooled, broad waveband sensor. Detection range is up to 90 km, while the laser ranger is effective to 3.5 km. Targets are displayed on the same LCD display as the radar. Israeli LITENING targeting pod is used to target laser guided munitions. The original Litening pod includes a long range FLIR, a TV camera, laser spot tracker to pick up target designated by other aircraft or ground forces, and an electro-optical point and inertial tracker, which enables engagement of the target even when partly obscured by clouds or countermeasures it also integrates a laser range-finder and flash-lamp powered laser designator for the delivery of laser-guided bombs, cluster and general-purpose bomb. [ citation needed ]

The aircraft is fitted with a satellite navigation system (A-737 GPS compatible), which permits it to make flights in all weather, day and night. The navigation complex includes the high accuracy SAGEM Sigma-95 integrated global positioning system and ring laser gyroscope inertial navigation system. Phase 3 of further development of the MKI, will integrate avionic systems being developed for the Indo-Russian Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft programme. [61]

Sukhoi Su-30MKI has electronic counter-measure systems. The RWR system is of Indian design, developed by India's DRDO, called Tarang, (Wave in English). It has direction finding capability and is known to have a programmable threat library. The RWR is derived from work done on an earlier system for India's MiG-23BNs known as the Tranquil, which is now superseded by the more advanced Tarang series. Elta EL/M-8222 a self-protection jammer developed by Israel Aircraft Industries is the MKI's standard EW pod, which the Israeli Air Force uses on its F-15s. The ELTA El/M-8222 Self Protection Pod is a power-managed jammer, air-cooled system with an ESM receiver integrated into the pod. The pod contains an antenna on the forward and aft ends, which receive the hostile RF signal and after processing deliver the appropriate response.

Propulsion Edit

The Su-30MKI is powered by two Lyulka-Saturn AL-31FP turbofans, each rated at 12,500 kgf (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 mean time between overhaul is reportedly 1,000 hours with a full-life span of 3,000 hours the titanium nozzle has a mean time between overhaul of 500 hours. In early 2015, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar stated before Parliament that the AL-31FP had suffered numerous failures, between the end of 2012 and early 2015, a total of 69 Su-30MKI engine-related failures had occurred commons causes were bearing failures due to metal fatigue and low oil pressure, in response several engine modifications were made to improve lubrication, as well as the use of higher quality oil and adjustments to the fitting of bearings. [62]

The Su-30MKI's AL-31FP powerplant built on the earlier AL-31FU, adding two-plane thrust vectoring nozzles are mounted 32 degrees outward to longitudinal engine axis (i.e. in the horizontal plane) and can be deflected ±15 degrees in one plane. The canting allows the aircraft to produce both roll and yaw by vectoring each engine nozzle differently this allows the aircraft to create thrust vectoring moments about all three rotational axes, pitch, yaw and roll. Engine thrust is adjusted via a conventional engine throttle lever as opposed to a strain-gauge engine control stick. The aircraft is controlled by a standard control stick. The pilot can activate a switch for performing difficult maneuvers while this is enabled, the computer automatically determines the deflection angles of the swiveling nozzles and aerodynamic surfaces. [63]

The Sukhoi Su-30MKI is the most potent fighter jet in service with the Indian Air Force in the late 2000s. [64] The MKIs are often fielded by the IAF in bilateral and multilateral air exercises. India exercised its Su-30MKIs against the Royal Air Force's Tornado ADVs in October 2006. [65] This was the first large-scale bilateral aerial exercise with any foreign air force during which the IAF used its Su-30MKIs extensively. This exercise was also the first in 43 years with the RAF. During the exercise, the RAF Air Chief Marshal Glenn Torpy was given permission by the IAF to fly the MKI. [66] RAF's Air Vice Marshal, Christopher Harper, praised the MKI's dogfight ability, calling it "absolutely masterful in dogfights". [67]

In July 2007, the Indian Air Force fielded the Su-30MKI during the Indra-Dhanush exercise with Royal Air Force's Eurofighter Typhoon. This was the first time that the two fighters took part in such an exercise. [68] [69] The IAF did not allow their pilots to use the radar of the MKIs during the exercise so as to protect the highly classified N011M Bars radar system. [70] Also in the exercise were RAF Tornado F3s and a Hawk. RAF Tornado pilots were candid in their admission of the Su-30MKI's superior manoeuvring in the air, and the IAF pilots were impressed by the Typhoon's agility. [71]

In 2004, India sent Su-30MKs, an earlier variant of the Su-30MKI, to take part in war games with the United States Air Force (USAF) during Cope India 04. The results have been widely publicised, with the Indians winning "90% of the mock combat missions" against the USAF's F-15C. The parameters of the exercise heavily favored the IAF none of the six 3rd Wing F-15Cs were equipped with the newer long-range, active electronically scanned array (AESA) radars and, at India's request, the U.S. agreed to mock combat at 3-to-1 odds and without the use of simulated long-range, radar-guided AIM-120 AMRAAMs for beyond-visual-range kills. [72] [73] In Cope India 05, the Su-30MKIs reportedly beat the USAF's F-16s. [74]

In July 2008, the IAF sent 6 Su-30MKIs and 2 Il-78MKI aerial-refueling tankers, to participate in the Red Flag exercise. [75] The IAF again did not allow their pilots to use the radar of the MKIs during the exercise so as to protect the highly classified N011M Bars. In October 2008, a video surfaced on the internet which featured a USAF colonel, Terrence Fornof, criticising Su-30MKI's performance against the F-15C, engine serviceability issues, and high friendly kill rate during the Red Flag exercise. [76] [77] Several of his claims were later rebutted by the Indian side and the USAF also distanced itself from his remarks. [78] [79]

In June 2010, India and France began the fourth round of their joint air exercises, "Garuda", at the Istres Air Base in France. During Garuda, the IAF and the French Air Force were engaged in various missions ranging from close combat engagement of large forces, slow mover protection, protecting and engaging high value aerial assets. This exercise marked the first time the Su-30MKI took part in a military exercise in France. [80]

The Indian Air Force first took part in the United States Air Force's Red Flag exercise in 2008. Participating in Red Flag costs the IAF ₹ 100 crore (US$17.5 million) each time. To reduce costs, the IAF decided to take part once every five years. The IAF is taking part [ needs update ] in the Red Flag exercise in July 2013, at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, United States. For the exercise, it is dispatching [ needs update ] eight Su-30MKIs, two Lockheed C-130J Hercules tactical aircraft, two Ilyushin Il-78 (NATO reporting name "Midas") mid-air refueling tankers, one Ilyushin Il-76 (NATO reporting name "Candid") heavy-lift aircraft, and over 150 personnel. [81]

The IAF again fielded its MKIs in the Garuda-V exercise with France in June 2014, where they manoeuvred in mixed groups with other IAF aircraft and French Rafales. [82] [83]

On 21 July 2015, India and UK began the bilateral exercise named Indradhanush with aircraft operating from three Royal Air Force bases. The exercises included both Beyond Visual Range (BVR) and Within Visual Range (WVR) exercises between the Su-30MKI and Eurofighter Typhoon. Indian media reported the results were in favour of the IAF with a score of 12-0 at WVR engagements. They also claim that the IAF Su-30MKIs held an edge over the Typhoons in BVR engagements though not in as dominating a manner. [84] The RAF issued a statement that the results being reported by the Indian media did not reflect the results of the exercise. [85] According to Aviation International News In close combat, thrust vector control on the Flankers more than compensated for the greater thrust-to-weight ratio of the Typhoon. [86]

On 26 February 2019, four Sukhoi Su-30MKIs escorted Mirage 2000s into the Pakistani airspace for the Balakot airstrike on an alleged Jaish-e-Mohammed camp. [87] [88] [89] The following day, two Su-30MKIs on combat air patrol were attacked by multiple Pakistani F-16s using AMRAAM missiles. The missiles were successfully evaded according to India. [90] [50] Pakistani media claimed that PAF had downed an Indian Sukhoi Su-30MKI in the aerial skirmish. [91] The Indian Air Force stated that all dispatched Sukhoi aircraft returned safely with the only confirmed loss was a MiG-21. [92] [93] [94] On 8 October 2019, during the Indian Air Force Day celebrations, the IAF reportedly flew the Su-30MKI that Pakistan claimed to have shot down. [95] [96]