Know About the Backbone of Indian Air Force


The backbone of the Indian Air Force (IAF) is its one of the most advanced and powerful aircraft Sukhoi Su-30 MKIs. Popularly known as Sukhoi fighter aircraft.

It is a twinjet aircraft specialized in multirole air superiority. It is developed by Russia’s Sukhoi and was built under license by India’s Hindustan Aeronautics Limited(HAL).

India signed a deal in 2000 with Russia to manufacture 140 SU-30 fighter jets.

The first Sukhoi variant was accepted in 2002 by IAF and in 2004, first Sukhoi jet entered into IAF. India has 260 fighter aircraft as of 2020.

On 26 February 2019, India launched an airstrike in Pakistan airspace on Jaish-e-Mohammad camp under Balakot Air Strike. In this airstrike mission Four Sukhoi aircrafts escorted Mirage 2000s  into Pakistan airspace.

Pakistan claimed that it shot down one of the Sukhoi in its aerospace but it was a false accusation as on 8 October 2019, during Indian Air Force Day, India flew the same Sukhoi aircraft which Pakistan claimed to have shot down in its aerospace.

Sukhoi Dimensions are :-

Length:- 21.935m

Wingspan:- 14.7m.

Height:- 6.36m

It has a top speed of 2,120 km/h and has a range of 3,000 km.

Its weight and fuel capacity are :-

Empty weight:- 18,400 kg.

Gross weight:- 26,090 kg.

Max takeoff weight:- 38,800 kg.

It is equipped with latest technology and weapons :-

  • Air to Air missiles :-
  1. It has ten R-77 missiles
  2. It has ten 1-Derby ER missiles
  3. It has ten Astra MKI missiles
  4. It has six R-27 ER/ET missiles
  5. It has two R-27 R/T missiles 
  6. It has six R-73 missiles
  7. It has three K-100 missiles
  8. It has MICA missiles

Air to Surface missiles :-

  1. It has three Kh-59 ME missiles
  2. It has six Kh-29 T/L missiles
  3. It has two Nirbhay missiles 

Anti Ship missiles :-

  1. It has three Kh-59 MK missiles
  2. It has four KH-35 missiles
  3. It has six Kh-31 A missiles
  4. One Brahmos missile

These aircrafts have participated in many military excercises :-

  1. In October 2006, joined military excercise with Royal Air Force’s Tornado ADVs.
  2. In 2007, participated in Indra Dhanush Excercises with Royal Air Force Euro fighter Typhoon.
  3. Used in Red Flag Excercise in July 2008, in which India sent six Sukhoi Fighter Aircraft.
  4. Used in Joint Air excercises “Garuda” between India and France in June 2010.