Originally posted by Stealth Spy
Originally posted by Daedalus3
Cockpits pretty sucky though! Russian ignorance for interior design aesthetics!
The SU-30MKI employs extensive use of French (Sextant Avionique) components in the cockpit. A total of 6 LCDs, 5 MFD 55s and 1 MFD 66 for displaying
information and accepting commands are used. The six LCDs have a wide-screen, offer image-superimposing and are shielded to make them readable even in
bright sunlight. All the flight information is displayed on these four LCD displays which include one for piloting and navigation, a tactical
situation indicator, and two for display systems information including operating modes and overall operation status. A VEH 3000 holographic HUD is
standard. The cockpit also retains some traditional dial displays as standys.
The aircraft is fitted with a satellite navigation system (A-737 GPS compatible), which permits it to make flights in all weathers; day and night. The
navigation complex comprises an inertial directional system (Totem) and short and long range radio navigation systems. It also has a laser attitude
and a heading reference system. An automatic flight control system makes all phases of its flight automatic, including the combat employment of its
weapons. Once the automatic flight control system receives information from the navigation system, it solves the route flight tasks - involving a
flight over the programmed waypoints, the return to the landing airfield, making a pre-landing maneuver and the approach for landing down to an
altitude of 60 meters, as well as uses the data supplied from the weapons control and radio guidance command systems to direct the aircraft to the
target and accomplish the attack.
Front (left) and Rear (Right) cockpits
note: Sukhoi brochures intentionally carry horizontally fliped pictures of the cockpits in their public literature like brochures and websites.
The diagram in the middle is the actual layout, and the one of the left has been flipped possibly for secrecy.
The communications equipment comprises secure VHF and HF radio sets, a secured digital telecommunications system, and antenna-feeder assembly. It
mounts an automatic noise-proof target data exchange system, which provides for coordination of the actions of several fighter aircraft engaged in a
group air combat. The voice radio communication with ground control stations and between aircraft is possible up to a range of 1,500 km in the
Su-27SK, and the Su-30MKI should equal it if not better this. The Integrated Information System (IIS) allows the performance of a ground
serviceability test of the entire equipment and the location of troubles to an individual plug-in unit. In case of an in-flight failure, the indicator
of the integrated information system will provide the pilot with a text message about the failure and recommendations on how to correct it or will
dictate further actions. The message is also duplicated by voice.
A two-pilot crew provides higher work efficiency (thanks to distribution of the aircraft handling and armament control functions) as well as the
engagement in close and long range combats and the air situation observation. Besides, the same dual control aircraft can be used as a combat and
training aircraft. Additionally, the integrated air-borne equipment enables the aircraft to be used as an air command post to control the operation of
In practice, the front seater is the pilot and the back seater is the "Wizzo", the WSO (Weapons Systems Operator). The pilot flies the aircraft and
handles air-to-air and some ATG weapons, as well as countermeasures. The WSO takes care of the detailed aspects of navigation, ground radar mapping &
target designation, setting up delivery solution for ATG weapons, designating for guided bombs/missiles, ECM, and so on. There are many tasks which
overlap; either pilot or WSO can do the job depending on circumstances.
The crew are provided zero-zero KD-36DM ejection seats which have a slightly modified comm/oxygen interface block compared to the Su-27. Rear seat is
raised for better visibility. The cockpit will be provided with containers to store food and water reserves, a waste disposal system and increased
amounts of oxygen. The KD-36DM ejection seat is inclined at 30º, to help the pilot resist aircraft accelerations in air combat.
Flight Control and Other Avionics
For flight control, reliability and survivability, the aircraft has a FBW with quadruple redundancy. Depending on the flight conditions, signals from
the control stick position transmitter or the automatic FCS will be coupled to the remote control amplifiers. Upon updating, depending on the flight
speed and altitude, these signals are combined with feedback signals fed by acceleration sensors and rate gyros. The resultant control signals are
coupled to the high-speed electro-hydraulic actuators of the stabilizers, rudders and the canard. For greater reliability, all the computers work in
parallel. The output signals are compared and, if the difference is significant, the faulty channel is disconnected.
An important part of the FBW is based on a stall warning and barrier mechanism with an individual drive of its own. It prevents development of
aircraft stalls through a dramatic increase in the control stick pressure. This allows a pilot to effectively control the aircraft without running the
risk of reaching the limit values of AoA and acceleration. The stall control is accomplished by the computer of a signal limiting system, depending on
the configuration and loading of the aircraft. The same system sends voice and visual signals, as the aircraft nears a stall condition.
An oft criticised aspect of Russian aircraft in general is their 'poor' servicebility. This is more of a perception, and in capable hands they can
return more than satisfactory performance. The Su-30MKI does add some new features regarding this, including self-diagnostic software that will indeed
make life a lot easier for the airmen!
The Su-30MKI contains not only Russian, French and Israeli Customer Furnished Equipment (CFE), but also a substantial percentage of Indian designed
and manufactured avionics. They took six years to develop from start to MKI. Advanced avionics were developed by DRDO under a project code named
"Vetrivale" (a Tamil name for the victorious lance carried by the youthful Lord Karthikeya or Murugan, a son of Parvati and Shiva) in close
collaboration with the PSUs and the IAF. Indian avionics have been received and acknowledged enthusiastically by the Russian principals.
The following are the components developed by Bangalore-based Defence Avionics Research Establishment (DARE):
Radar Warning Receiver - High Accuracy Direction Finding Module (HADF) called Tarang Mk II or Tranquil - manufactured by BEL. Tarang was originally
developed for the MiG-21 Bison but later adapted for most IAF aircraft including the MiG-27ML.
Integrated ommunication equipment - HAL
Radar Altimeter - HAL
Programmable Signal Processor has been developed by the LRDE
These avionics equipment have also been certified for their airworthiness in meeting the demanding standards of Russian military aviation. The
cumulative value of such indigenous avionic equipment is estimated to exceed Rs. 250 lakhs per aircraft. Since the core avionics were developed by a
single agency (DRDO) - they have significant commonality of hardware and software amongst them using a modular approach to design. This obviously
results in major cost and time savings in development; it also benefits the user in maintenance and spares inventories.
The DRDO has gone a step further and come out with a new design of the Core Avionics Computer (CAC) which can be used with a single module adaptation
across many other aircraft platforms. Thus the CAC which is derived from the computers designed for the Su-30MKI will now be the centre piece of the
avionics upgrades for the MiG-27 and Jaguar aircraft as well. The CAC was demonstrated by DRDO at the Aero India exhibition at Yelahanka and attracted
a good deal of international attention. Taken together with the systems already developed indigenously for the LCA (such as the Digital Flight Control
Computer and HUD), clearly Indian avionics have a significant export potential in the burgeoning global market for avionics modernisation.
The navigation/weapons systems from the various countries were integrated by Ramenskoye RPKB.
Sukhoi 30MKI Front cockpit pic
Su-30 MKI rear cockpit
[edit on 18-10-2004 by Stealth Spy]