Su-30 IAF

Su-30MKI: A first of its kind

We all know that the Su-30MKI is the backbone of the Indian fighter fleet. But, did you know that the Su-30MKI is the reason why most of the export customers fly the aircraft today?

Yes! You read it right. India was the first country to buy the Su-30 from Russia. Initially, India ordered 50 aircraft, of which 18 belonged to the Su-30K variant. Confused with so many variants? Let me explain.

Su-30 is the derivative of Su-27, a Soviet era Air superiority fighter jet.  An air superiority fighter jet is something like the bouncer in the sky: it has to prevent enemy fighters from entering its territory and it is so good at its job that nothing can get past it!

When Russia was recovering from the fall of the Soviet Union, they desperately wanted to export aircraft to fund their manufacturing industry. Thus entered India, and placed an order for 50 Su-30K aircraft.

Now what does the letter K stand for? K stands for Kommercheskiy, or just "commercial". The Russians, who wanted to sell their aircraft, were willing to customise aircraft as per their client requirements.

India, utilising this opportunity, got their Su-30Ks modified such that, even the Russians were amazed by the product!

Back to blog