The team will be constituted at the Aircraft & Systems Testing Establishment (ASTE) headquartered in Bengaluru, its commandant Air Vice Marshal Sandeep Singh confirmed to TOI.
It was ASTE which did the field trials for all six contenders—Lockheed Martin’s F-16; Boeing’s F/A-18 E/F; European Eurofighter Typhoon; the Swedish Gripen; the French Dassault’s Rafale and the Russian Mig-35.
Out of the six contenders only the Eurofighter Typhoon and Rafale met all the 750 quality requirements, including weapon systems. ASTE clarified that they do not compare aircraft and that only clear them based on requirement and that the decision of picking one is made at a higher level.
Singh, explained that the team, once constituted will have pilots, engineers and air crew. “The size of the team will vary. For the Su-30MKI for example, we had a 10 member team,” he said.
Given that the ASTE has already flown Rafale, a smaller team will be going to France. The advantage that this will give the IAF is that it will bring back a known platform, which its pilots understand.SU30-Brahmos integration soon
Further, Singh said that the Su30-MKI and air-launched cruise missile Brahmos will happen soon with the firing of the actual missile. “Advanced trials are ongoing as we speak. We’ve already completed a dummy drop and the next drop will be the actual missile,” he said.The integration will enable IAF to strike targets 300km away and the aircraft had to be modified to accommodate this missile.
The IAF’s initial requirement is for two Su-30 MKIs with BrahMos but it eventually wishes to integrate 216 missiles on 42 Sukhois. The project was conceived in July-August 2012 and as TOI had reported late in 2015, some quality certification issues has delayed the integration, which was to be complete by the end of 2015. Posted in India