America’s F-16 vs India’s Su-30 MKI

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The US has okayed the sale of eight F-16 fighters to Pakistan. Here’s how it stacks up against India’s meanest fighter jet, the Sukhoi 30MKI…

US F-16: Armament ::f16
– M-61A1 20mm multibarrel cannon with 500 rounds
– Up to six air-to-air missiles
– Conventional air-to-air and air-to-surface munitions
– Electronic countermeasure pods

India’s Sukhoi 30MKI Armament ::su-30
– Built-in single barrel 30-mm
– GSh-301 gun (150 rounds)
– Up to 6 air-to-air missiles
– Up to 6 guided air-tosurface missiles
– Up to 6 laser guided bombs
– Up to 8,500-kg cluster bombs
– Up to 80 unguided rockets
– Payloads up to 8,000 kg

Primary function ::
F-16 – Multirole combat fighter aircraft
Su-30MKI – Multirole combat fighter aircraft

Wing Area ::
Su-30MKI – 15m
F-16 – 10m

Manufacturers ::
F-16 – Lockheed Martin (US)
Su-30MKI – Irkut Corp (Russia), HAL (under licence, India)

Introduction ::
F-16 – Aug 1978
Su-30MKI – Sept 2002

Top Speed ::
F-16 – 2414 kmph (Mach 2, twice the speed of sound)
Su-30MKI – 2120 kmph (Mach 1.7)

Maximum take-off weight ::
F-16 – 21,772 kg
Su-30MKI – 38,800 kg

Max Cruise Altitude ::
F-16 – 50,000 ft
Su-30MKI – 56,800 ft

Range ::
F-16 – 3,222 km
Su-30MKI – 3,000 km

A BRUSH WITH THE ENEMY ::
During Kargil War, IAF MiG-29s of 47 (Black Archers) Squadron tracked two PAF F-16s close to Indian air space.

The MiG-29s with long-range BVRs (beyond visual range) were able to lock on to the Pakistani F-16s which lacked BVR capability. The planes weren’t brought down because they were still flying on their side of the border.

The Pakistani F-16s eventually backed down and returned to their base and did not dare confront IAF’s Mig-29s.