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Why is Japan keen to train with IAF Sukhoi fighters?

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At the first “2 + 2” meeting involving the foreign and defense ministers of India and Japan at the end of 2019, the two countries agreed to hold a military exercise involving their fighter jets.

It would have been the first such training enterprise between the two countries, which organized exercises involving warships, ground forces and transport planes of their air forces. The fighter exercise, proposed for mid-2020, would have involved the Indian Air Force deploying its Russian-designed Su-30MKI fighters to Komatsu Air Base to train with US-designed F-15J fighters operated by Japan Air. Self-defense force.

But the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in the postponement of the planned fiscal year.

Earlier this week, Japan Sankei Shimbun The newspaper reported that the Japan Air Self-Defense Force and the Indian Air Force had agreed to hold the exercise by the end of this year, “given the threat from China.”

The Sankei Shimbun noted that this would be the first time the JASDF has held an exercise with a Russian-designed fighter. The report claimed that the Indian Air Force will deploy six Su-30MKI fighters for the proposed exercise.

The Sankei Shimbun revealed that countries had planned to hold a fighter exercise involving JASDF F-2 jets at Hyakuri Air Base in July, but that plan was also postponed due to the second wave of COVID-19 in India. The F-2 is a native Japanese fighter based on the design of the American F-16.

It was not revealed where the proposed exercise would take place. The Sankei Shimbun noted that the Su-30 fighter was also used by the China People’s Liberation Army (PLAAF) Air Force.

The Su-30 is a versatile variant of the Soviet-era Su-27 fighter. China was the first export customer for the Su-27. Beijing then purchased the Su-30 fighter and developed several native derivatives such as the J-11 multirole jet (based on the Su-27 design) and the J-16 jet, which is optimized for attack missions from area.

China has also become the first export buyer of the Su-35, the most advanced derivative of the Su-27 family, which features new engines offering increased handling and improved radar and electronics. China bought 24 Su-35 fighters.

A Japanese Defense Ministry report on Chinese military activity in the South China Sea, released in March this year, estimated that China had 3,015 fighter jets, of which more than 1,000 were fourth and fourth fighter jets. newer fifth generations.

The Japanese Defense Ministry report estimated that China has 349 Su-27 and J-11 category fighters and at least 97 Su-30 jets in operation. The Indian Air Force Su-30MKI is different from the first Su-30 fighters used by China in terms of electronics and radar and because of its engines with thrust vector nozzles, which gives the aircraft a greater agility. However, an exercise with Indian jets should allow the JASDF to familiarize themselves with the basic capabilities of the Su-30 family, which could prove invaluable in both close-range air combat and air combat. – long range air.


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