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India Claims Its Su-30MKI Detected Chinese J-20 Stealth Fighter Jets

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India Claims Its Su-30MKI Detected Chinese J-20 Stealth Fighter Jets

J-20. Click to see full-size image

In October 2019, Indian Air Force Chief Air Chief Marshal Rakesh Kumar Bhadauria said that India planned to upgrade its Su-30MKI with modern “radar and weapons capabilities and also enhance features that tackle obsolescence management and electronic warfare aspects.”

Vijainder K Thakur, Air Force veteran and defence analyst said that if the report was true, it would probably be the NIIP N035 Irbis E (Snow Leopard), a 20 KW class steerable hybrid ESA radar fitted on the Su-35.

“At full power, the radar can detect an F-35 at a distance of 58-km (36-mi), In tracking mode, the distance drops to 29km.”

Harsh Vardhan Thakur, an experimental test pilot said: “When defining pick up and rack ranges for the F-35, the low-observability may have been exaggerated. I think F-35 can be picked up at larger ranges, just as a J-20 can.”

India Claims Its Su-30MKI Detected Chinese J-20 Stealth Fighter Jets

Click to see the full-size image

It is unlikely that these upgrades had taken place in the recent reports that the J-20 fighter jets had been detected.

It should also be noted that in 2018, the Indian Air Force claimed that it had the means and had detected Chinese J-20 fighter jets.

Air Chief Marshal B.S. Dhanoa, back then, said that signals from the J-20s can be picked up easily by existing radar from several kilometers away against the currently held belief.

“The air force is on a strong wicket against China. Whatever requirements are there from the budget, have been sent to the government,” the Air Force Chief said.

In 2018,  the Indian Air Force repeatedly claimed that its Su-30MKI fighter jets were able to detect the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force’s J-20 stealth fighters.

The very fact that the J-20 stealth fighter jet was detected by the radars of the previous generation of fighter jets causes great reputation damage to Chinese aircraft. If true, it would also be quite showing about the effectiveness of the “stealth” technology.

India Claims Its Su-30MKI Detected Chinese J-20 Stealth Fighter Jets

Su-30. Click to see the full-size image

Recall that in China they claim that the J-20 fighter jet belongs to the fifth generation of combat aircraft, in the same class as the “invisible” F-35.

India claimed that the detection of J-20 stealth fighters is due to several reasons. One of them is that, J-20 fighter jets were detected during a flight over a mountain range, and it appeared that the Chinese aircraft were causing a thermal lensing effect that led to their discovery. The emerging “additional thermal anomalies” at certain heights became a factor in discovering an aircraft flying at the location.

Whether that is the only explanation is unclear, since the Indian side hasn’t revealed anything else.

China claimed that the Indian side can simply use information published in the media about military patrols in the western segment of China’s airspace by J-20 fighters as a possibility of allegedly “detecting J-20 stealth fighters.”

Regardless, if the reports that the J-20 stealth fighter jet could be detected by radars from the previous generation, and modern radars could potentially also detect both it and the F-35 fighter jet from a larger distance, that is worrisome for country’s that are betting a lot on stealth technology.

India Claims Its Su-30MKI Detected Chinese J-20 Stealth Fighter Jets

Click to see the full-size image


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Jimmy Jim

Imagine the kikes F-35 fate!

Jens Holm

Thats not comparable at all.

Ashok Varma

The Chingaloo’s have made an inferior copy of Russian SU-57, the J-20 is worse than their cars. India’s SU-30 are decades old but still better than any aircraft. India is now interested in SU-35 as it the best in the market.

Dick Von Dast'Ard

MiG 1.44 evolution isn’t it?


Are we sure the detection was not done by IRST? J-20 engines are anything but stealthy. IRST can easily detect and track it, specially if J-20 is facing away from it. But detection range would be something <40km which is still pretty good for a passive system.

Jens Holm

We should take it as it is. High tech makes people look closer to old as well as new technology just as in any other sector of production.

Here we again see som pilot results, which improved might be implemented. Telling fx stealth then is worth nothing is crap but at least in soe ways able to defend.

People here below as often look for “the best airplane in the world”. That very often dont make sense at all if We as Friend or the Enemy as Enemy has not many of them.

Often the winner is best to the price. That goes for cars and potatoes too.

Ivan Freely

This claim would be more plausible IF it was a ground based radar installation. Also, the PLA-AF fly their J-20s with the Luneburg lens installed. It’s only removed during wartime.

Assad must stay (gr8rambino)

Luneberg lens?

Ivan Freely

AKA Radar Reflectors. It’s installed underneath.

More info on why HERE.

Rhodium 10

58km is nothing because the stealth jet already have tracked the non stealth aircraft and have fired its long range missile!..thats happened during NATO operation vs Serbia…then the old and not upgraded Serbian MIg 29 had a detect range of 70km while US jets a 150km beside AWACS and using masive long range AIM 120 missile…during Desert Storm operation 1991 Iraqi MIG 29/25 were able to shot down many US&Allies jets as they only had medium/short Sparrow and sidewinder air to air missile to face vs Mig 29/25 and lacked of the long range AIM 120…thats why a modern navy F-18 ( Top Gun Cap Scott Speicher) was shot down by Mig 25..on january 17.. as well as the F-15 serial number 88-1689 ( Major Thomas F. Koritz and WSO LT Donnie R. Holland)…both killed ( USAF told that it was as consecuence of “AAA artillery”)…

opet ja

Just to add that radars on our Mig-29s didn’t work at all… Few years ago F-22 tried to lock Growler. Failed due to heavy jamming from Growler’s EW system.

Dick Von Dast'Ard

Of course if India had kept with the T-50 PAK/FA then they would be fielding the best air-superiority fighter available.

Now they are up against the second best air-superiority fighter there is, the PLAAF Su-35S.

Thankfully both China and India have far more to gain from each other in friendship than enmity.

Assad must stay (gr8rambino)

and they are part of BRICS they cant be enemies

Assad must stay (gr8rambino)

They need to be friends not enemies they are in BRICS!!!!

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