The Indian Air Force will send its Su-30MKE fighters to Japan for joint exercises with Japan’s Air Self-Defense Forces, Japanese newspaper Sankei Shimbun reports.
The training takes place against the background of the two countries’ difficult relations with China. As mentioned in the article, the PLA is also armed with a Su-30 aircraft, which is deployed near Japanese airspace.
“The value of training with India’s Su-30 aircraft could be significant for Japan, as the japanese Air Defense Forces will gain insight into the Su-30’s manoeuvrability, range, fuel consumption, maintenance time.” said Corey Wallace, a researcher at Kanagawa University in Japan.
In addition, the Indian Su-30 is equipped with thrust vectoring engines, which makes it particularly valuable for practising close air combat.
Recently, the Indian Su-30s took part in joint exercises with US F-15s and British Typhoons. For Japanese F-15 and F-2 pilots who recently acquired the F-35, the joint exercise will be a rare opportunity to practice air combat against the Russian-developed Sukhoi 30, according to the Japanese newspaper.
The Indian Air Force has at least 250 Su-30MKE fighters, most of which were assembled under license from Indian aircraft manufacturer HAL. It is equipped with Israeli and French avionics and electronic warfare systems.