What prompted India to send Su-30MKI fighters to Egypt for exercises?

Su-30MKI heavy fighters from the Indian Air Force arrived in Egypt on June 26 for a month-long tactical command programme.

Su-30MKI heavy fighters from the Indian Air Force were confirmed to have arrived in Egypt on June 26 for a tactical command programme that would last one month. Long-range aircraft were on their way to Africa while refuelling over the Persian Gulf with the assistance of United Arab Emirates MRTT aircraft.

In a statement about the programme, the Indian Air Force said: “This is the only exercise with the equipment in a large-force engagement environment, simulating various conflict scenarios.

The goal of the exercise is to improve defence cooperation between the two nations. The Su-30MKI fighter is a crucial choice for India because it is thought to be the Indian Air Force’s or Indian Air Force’s most capable aircraft in South Asia. It is anticipated that its performance will increase Egypt’s interest in purchasing comparable fighter jets.

The Russian-built Su-35, which has not yet been delivered, is quite similar to the Su-35S, which the Egyptian Ministry of Defense bought in 2018.

Although the contract has not yet been terminated, there is speculation that Western pressure and US threats to apply economic penalties could prevent Egypt from receiving the aircraft.

The Su-27 Flanker, which was regarded as the most effective fighter used by any air force during the Cold War, served as the basis for both the Su-30MKI and Su-35, two fighters that were evolved from that design.

The Su-30MKI is a unique version of the Su-30, a Su-27 upgraded for long-range interception and multitasking, with superior air-to-air capabilities and a variety of features including It was decided to scrap the thrust-vectoring engine that was carried over from the Su-37 project.

Many technology from the Su-37 programme are also carried over into the Su-35S, a more expensive and sophisticated design that entered service 12 years after the Su-30MKI.

India presently has more than 260 Su-30MKI fighters in its possession, and when it places additional orders in 2020, that number will rise. In order to increase its fleet size, the Egyptian Air Force is also anticipated to make an order for Su-35s.

While India has a sizable fighter fleet for aerial combat, all of its fighter classes are capable of launching active radar-guided missiles with the available visibility. Such missiles are fairly uncommon among Egyptian fighters today.

Only infrared-guided missiles are available for the majority of Egyptian Air Force jets.

By showcasing the Su-30MKI’s capabilities in Egypt and presenting more proof of its obvious superiority to Egyptian Air Force fighters, the Egyptian Ministry of Defense may decide to adopt the Su-35 and is likely to explore placing larger orders.

While the Su-30MKI is made in India, it is highly uncertain whether Egypt will ever pursue a deal for high-performance heavy fighters.

Since the 1970s, India and Egypt have had tight defence connections, and both countries were major buyers of Soviet aircraft like the MiG-21.

Both nations were the first to get the third-generation MiG-23 fighters from the Soviet Union. The most potent fighters from the Soviet Union and Russia, including the MiG-25, MiG-29, and Su-30MKI, are still being delivered to India.

In contrast, Egypt only received very low-level Western fighters, namely heavily degraded F-16s without access to any out-of-sight weapons for their roles. air-to-air, anti-ship or air-to-ground – what many call the worst F-16s ever built.

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