India Wants Fleet of 1,317MPH Next-Gen Russian ‘Super Sukhoi’ Fighter Jets

A Russian Su-30MKI fighter performs at the Moscow International Air Show in Zhukovsky

New Delhi and Moscow near an $8 billion deal to upgrade the fearsome Su-30MKI fighter jet into the Super Sukhoi, but the deal does not threaten the joint Indo-Russia fifth-generation fighter aircraft (FGFA) program.

Negotiations between New Delhi and Moscow have ramped up with India planning to upgrade 194 warplanes to become fifth-generation Sukhoi SU-30MKI fighter jets at a cost of more than $8 billion, Defense News reported this week.Defense News quoted an anonymous senior official at India’s Ministry of Defense who said, “A Russian team was in New Delhi earlier this month to discuss [the] upgrade plan with India, which will be finalized in the next four to six months.”

The new planes will be known as “Super Sukhoi” jets with upgrades featuring improved stealth abilities, longer ranger missiles and radars, a supersonic cruise missile and an advanced suite of avionics.

“A major part of the upgrade involves avionics and sensors,” said Muthumanikam Matheswaran, a retired Indian Air Force officer. “These are completely new with new systems and new software. Hence it has no relation to old problems with software. Engine issues will have to be dealt with.”

According to an anonymous Russian diplomat, a prototype of the plane will be developed in Russia while the actual upgrades will be done at India’s state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited.

The Indian Air Force confirmed that the Su-30MKI upgrade will not impact the proposed Indo-Russian Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA) program – worth $25 billion. Analysts believe, however, that a possible diversion of India’s defense funds towards the Super Sukhoi could delay the FGFA.

India and Russia first signed a Prelminary Development Agreement in 2011 to jointly build the FGFA, but  a final agreement which will require a roughly $6 billion payment by New Delhi towards the development of the fighter jet has yet to be inked as the two sides continue to negotiate issues relating to production work share.

Asked about the rationale of pursuing the substantial and costly upgrades to India’s existing SU-30MKI fighter jets rather than purchasing new aircrafts whole, Matheswaran explained, “An upgrade at the maximum will be about half the cost of the original aircraft in Su-30 generation. A new aircraft in place of Su-30 means FGA, which is far more expensive.”

Dajit Singh, a retired IAF Air Marshal and defense analyst, explained that there will be significant differences between the upgraded Super Sukhoi and the coming FGFA fighter jet.

“FGFA has some distinct features, which Super Su-30MKI will not have,” said Singh. “These include internal weapon-carrying bays to enhance stealth features, integrated internal fit of the electronic warfare suite, super-cruise capability and inherent stealth design.”

“Su-30 cannot be redesigned as a stealth aircraft,” Singh continued. “Any changes of the wing design and material to improve stealth would be very expensive and time consuming and would be akin to a different design. Therefore, the FGFA project may not be canceled in total in view of the Su-30 upgrade.”

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Syrian-Russian ‘Humanitarian Offensive’ Takes US Policymakers by Surprise

Unloading Russian EMERCOM plane with humanitarian aid which arrived to Latakia Airport in Syria. File photo

 

The joint Syrian-Russian humanitarian operation to save civilians trapped in militant-held territories in Aleppo has struck a severe blow to US policy in the country, says former diplomat and Middle East expert Vyacheslav Matuzov.

On Thursday, the Russian Ministry of Defense announced that Moscow and Damascus had launched a massive humanitarian operation in Aleppo, establishing exit routes for civilians and any militants wishing to leave the jihadist-held portions of the city.Three routes were designated for civilians and militants who decided to lay down their arms and surrender, along with a fourth marked for militants who will be able to leave the city with their weapons and equipment. “We’re going to take this step only in order to ensure the safety of the residents of Aleppo,” Russian Defense Minister Shoigu said, referring to the exit route for armed militants.

On Saturday, Russian officials also confirmed that 14 metric tons of humanitarian aid had already been delivered to checkpoints in Aleppo, including foodstuffs, medicines and other necessities. The checkpoints have already begun the provision of hot food and medical care for local residents.

Speaking to Radio Sputnik about the operation, Vyacheslav Matuzov, a veteran former diplomat and Middle East expert with decades of experience in the region under his belt, began by recalling that together with Damascus, Aleppo is one of the two most strategically significant cities in Syria, and home to much of the country’s population. In this sense, what’s going on is of prime importance in bringing the war closer to an end.

At the same time, the analyst noted that unfortunately, he has already observed some problems with the use of the designated exit routes, with civilians attempting to leave eastern Aleppo being blocked off by terrorists who want to continue to use them as human shields.Meanwhile, the analyst noted, the combined Syrian-Russian ‘humanitarian offensive’ has plunged US policymakers into a state of disarray.

“The decision on a ‘humanitarian offensive’…against the positions where the terrorists have taken the local population hostage has also taken the Americans by surprise, leaving them confused as to what their next step might be. Attempting to challenge or deny the humanitarian approach would be pointless.”

Furthermore, Matuzov noted that once civilians are successfully evacuated, “the US will stripped of the argument that Russian aircraft are bombing only pregnant women, children and the elderly. Our approach, complete with these humanitarian overtones, serves as a very serious blow to US policy in Syria,” the analyst added. The analyst clarified that ultimately, once civilians evacuate militant-held portions of the city, the Syrian Army and its allies will be able to conduct operations to liberate eastern Aleppo without the threat of the loss of civilian life.

Effectively, Matuzov noted, Western countries will be forced to accept Aleppo’s liberation by the Syrian army, including from those militant groups which the US and other Western and regional powers have long supported. “I believe that this will be a tremendous defeat not only for the Syrian terrorist groups, but a series blow to the political positions of the US in the region,” the commentator concluded.

Nearly 170 Civilians Left Aleppo Via Aid Corridors Since Thursday

Syrian government forces secure a street as civilians walk on a street in the neighbourhood of Bani Zeid, on Aleppo's northern outskirts on July 29, 2016

 

Since the beginning of the humanitarian operation from areas controlled by illegal armed groups in the Syrian city of Aleppo through the crossing points left 169 civilians and 69 militants laid down their weapons, according to the Russian Defense Ministry.

HMEYMIM (Latakia, Syria) – Some 169 civilians have left the Syrian city of Aleppo via aid corridors and 69 militants laid down their arms since the start of humanitarian operation there, the Russian Defense Ministry said Saturday.

“Since the beginning of the humanitarian operation from areas controlled by illegal armed groups through the crossing points left 169 civilians, 69 militants laid down their weapons, qualified medical aid was provided to 59 in need,” Lt. Gen. Sergei Chvarkov, chief of the Russian center for Syrian reconciliation said.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Thursday that Moscow and Damascus had launched a joint large-scale humanitarian relief operation in Aleppo, establishing three corridors for civilians and one for militants wishing to lay down arms.

Some 14 Tonnes of Humanitarian Aid Delivered to Aleppo Checkpoints

Syrian government forces secure a street as civilians come back to the neighbourhood of Bani Zeid, on Aleppo's northern outskirts on July 29, 2016

 

The reconciliation center delivered 14 tonnes of humanitarian aid to checkpoints in the Syrian city of Aleppo, including foodstuff, medicines and goods of prime necessity.

HMEYMIM (Syria)— A total of 14 tonnes of humanitarian aid cargo has been delivered to the checkpoints in the Syrian city of Aleppo, Lt. Gen. Sergei Chvarkov, chief of the Russian center for Syrian reconciliation, said Saturday.”The reconciliation center has delivered 14 tonnes of humanitarian aid to checkpoints, including foodstuff, medicines and goods of prime necessity,” Chvarkov told journalists, adding that the aid packages have been delivered to over 500 residents in need.

On Thursday, Moscow and Damascus launched humanitarian relief operation in Aleppo, establishing three corridors for civilians and one for militants wishing to surrender.

Several Dozen Militants in Aleppo’s East Lay Down Arms in Past Two Days

Residents walk past damaged buildings in the rebel held area of Aleppo's Bab al-Hadeed district, Syria, June 27, 2016.

 

The militants were sent to intelligence services departments to undergo required procedures before returning to civilian life.

 Dozens of militants in the eastern part of the Syrian city of Aleppo have laid down their arms and gave up in the last two days, a source in the Aleppo militia told RIA Novosti on Saturday.

“We cannot yet say that the militants are giving up en masse. But several dozens from Salaheddin and Sheikh Maqsood [neighborhoods] have given up in the last two days,” the source said.

Meanwhile, Moscow and Damascus had launched a joint large-scale humanitarian relief operation in Aleppo, establishing three corridors for civilians and one for militants wishing to lay down arms, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Thursday.”This humanitarian operation is a factor speeding the resumption of Geneva talks,” Jamil said, adding that “it facilitates the humanitarian situation and changes partially the balance of powers in Syria by creating the conditions to resume the talks in Geneva,” Jamil said.

He stressed that Russian suggestion to open humanitarian corridors in the area of military operations is possible only with Russian participation, and the UN would not be able to do it on its own.

Syria has been mired in civil war since 2011, with government forces loyal to President Bashar Assad fighting numerous opposition factions and extremist groups. On February 27, a US-Russia brokered ceasefire came into force in Syria. Terrorist groups such as Islamic State (IS, also known as Daesh), as well as  al-Nusra Front, both outlawed in Russia and a range of other states, are not part of the deal.

Russia Delivers Humanitarian Aid to Syrian Aleppo, Homs, Deir Ez-Zor

Humanitarian cargo dropped in Deir ez-Zor with the help of Russian parachute systems

 

Russia delivered 25 metric tons of humanitarian aid to Syria’s provinces of Aleppo and Homs as well as the city of Deir Ez-Zor.

MOSCOW   Russia delivered 25 metric tons of humanitarian aid to Syria’s provinces of Aleppo and Homs as well as the city of Deir Ez-Zor besieged by terrorists, a daily bulletin on the Russian Defense Ministry website said on Friday.

“Mi-8 helicopters have dropped 2 tons of humanitarian cargos on regions of Aleppo controlled by armed formations. Low-income families of al-Butma (Homs province) have received 2 tons of humanitarian cargos with flour, rice, canned meat and fish,” the bulletin said.

The Russian Defense Ministry also said that an aircraft of the Abakan Air, Russian aviation company, delivered 21 metric tons of humanitarian aid to Deir ez-Zor.

“Aircraft of the Abakan Air, Russian aviation company, has dropped 21 tons of UN humanitarian cargos with corns and tomato paste on Deir ez-Zor, which had been besieged by ISIS terrorists,” the bulletin said.Syria has been mired in civil war since 2011, with government forces loyal to President Bashar Assad fighting numerous opposition factions and extremist groups. On February 27, a US-Russia brokered ceasefire came into force in Syria. Terrorist groups such as Islamic State (IS, also known as Daesh), as well as Jabhat al-Nusra (Nusra Front), both outlawed in Russia and a range of other states, are not part of the deal.

In Syria’s Aleppo Russia is Saving the US’ Face

Mideast Russia's photo.

 

It is only too clear that the US is losing face in Aleppo: the victory of the government forces in what has turned out to be the most important battle in this war will definitely put President Assad in the circle of statesmen tasked with defining Syria’s future. However, it seems that Russia is not too eager to corner Washington.

 

One of the most important and heaviest battles of the Syrian war is practically over. The western Aleppo is going to be cleaned up, but first its local residents should be evacuated into a safe place, says Russian online newspaper Vzglyad.

 

This comes as a serious blow to the image of the US, the outlet says, however Russia seems to be not too eager to “finish off” its ‘American partners”.

 

The clean-up of the eastern Aleppo will put an end to the US policy in the region, to the six years of the Obama administration’s activity and will indirectly hit the electoral capacity of Hillary Clinton, the newspaper says.

 

However, it further notes, it seems as if nobody wants to corner the superpower.

 

The opening of a corridor for the militants who would wish to leave Aleppo is definitely working for the saving of the US’ image.

 

If the US were not back pedaling with the list of terrorist organizations operating in Syria, it would have been all over by now. The majority of the groups operating within Fatah Halab are the former “clients” of the US.

 

 

 

However “the pride would not allow” Washington to recognize them as terrorists. Because it would further mean either dispersing half of the CIA due to its underqualification or publicly admitting the irrationality of its six-year campaign in Syria.

 

In such a stalemate Washington is still unable to get rid of ideological clichés and look at its former allies without the rose-colored glasses.

 

Amid the above developments, the outlet says, nobody seems to pay any attention to the arrival of Russia’s Tu-214R remote reconnaissance aircraft (RF-64514) to its airbase in Hmeymim.

 

The aircraft, fitted with cutting-edge optical and electronic equipment and radar systems was already used in Syria in February-March, but then was returned back to Russia.

 

And now it is needed again. It only remains to be seen what for.