Within the frames of the contract for delivery of the Su-30MKI aircraft to the Indian Air Force, bench tests of the AL-31FP engine with thrust vector control (TVC) have been successfully completed in
The tests of the engine had been carried out in parallel, at the bench of its designer – “NPO “Saturn” in Moscow, and the series production plant – JSC “UMPO” in the city of Ufa. The results of the tests confirmed 1000 hours mean time to overhaul and 2000 hours assigned life that were declared in the contract. Besides, the tests confirmed the mean time to overhaul making out 500 hours of the controlled jet nozzle.
The “Certificate of the AL-31FP life-time” was signed on October 6, 2004, by the leadership of the Russian Ministry of Defence, the Central Aviation Engines Institute (CIAM), “NPO “Saturn”, UMPO, SUKHOI Corporation and IRKUT Corporation.
All the works to certify the AL-31FP life-time were conducted upon order and at the expense of Irkut Corporation. Costs of AL-31FP research and development (R&D) were around 20% of the total Su-30MKI contract R&D costs.
Irkut Corporation President Alexey Fedorov stated that “engine life-time has always been one of the most critical factors to define customer’s choice. I’m glad that the tests have been accomplished successfully and we managed to implement parameters that were declared. Test program was very long and complicated, and I would like to thank for excellent work all who participated in its realization”.
The AL-31FP is the only engine with TVC under series production in the world. TVC improves safety of flight in all modes, prevents spin and enables the Su-30MKI aircraft to operate in the super maneuverability mode, thus ensuring a critical advantage in close-in air-to-air combat. The AL-31FP thrust amounts to 12500 kgf, the engine is controlled by means of an electronic regulating system. In terms of its lifetime parameters, the engine complies with the international standards of fighter power plants and has no equivalent in Russia.
Mastering of the AL-31FP license production has started at the facilities of the Indian HAL Corporation. Its maintenance and repair will be carried out in a service center being established in India jointly by Russia and India.