For aircraft N011M has a 350 km search range and a 200 km tracking range. The radar can track and engage 20 air targets and engage the 8 most threatening targets simultaneously. The forward hemisphere is ±90º in azimuth and ±55º in elevation. These targets can include cruise/ballistic missiles and even motionless helicopters. A MiG-21 for instance can be detected at a distance of up to 135 km. Design maximum search range for an F-16 target was 140-160km. A Bars' earlier variant, fitted with a five-kilowatt transmitter, proved to be capable of acquiring Su-27 fighters at a range of over 330 km. In comparison, the advanced Kopyo radar found in the latest MiG-21UPG can detect small drone targets at a range of 50 km. Another radar meant for the Flanker family, Phazotron-NIIR’s Zhuk-MS radar has a range of 150-180km against a fighter and over 300km against a warship. N011M can withstand up to 5 percent transceiver loss without significant degredation in performance. Additionally the Su-30MKI can function as a 'mimi-AWACS' and can act as a director or command post for other aircraft. The target co-ordinates can be transferred automatically to atleast 4 other aircraft. This feature was first seen in the MiG-31 Foxhound, which is equipped with a Zaslon radar.
Russian designers have stated that they believe that the key to dogfight supremacy rests in the pilot's ability to engage the enemy in any position relative to their own aircraft. While TVC permits post-stall maneuvering and pointing which are impossible in conventional aircraft, they are convinced that a rearward facing radar and missiles that can be fired in the aft-quadrant all join to make an unbeatable integrated weapons system.
Ground surveillance modes include mapping (with Doppler beam sharpening), search & track of moving targets, synthetic aperture radar and terrain avoidance. To penetrate enemy defenses, the aircraft can fly at low altitudes using the terrain following and obstacle avoidance feature. It enables the pilot to independently find his position without help from external sources (satellite navigation, etc.); detect ground targets and their AD systems; choose the best approach route to a target with continuous updates fed to the aircraft navigation systems; and provide onboard systems and armament with targeting data.
According to Sukhoi EDB the Su-30MKI is capable of performing all tactical tasks of the Su-24 Fencer deep interdiction tactical bomber and the Su-27 Flanker A/B/C air superiority fighter while having around twice the combat range and atleast 2.5 times the combat effectiveness.
The N011M offers a quantum leap in technology over the earlier Russian radars. Small ground targets, like tanks, can be detected out to 40-50 km. The MiG-29, Su-27 and other fighters can be provided with a ground strike capability only if their radars can operate in the down-looking mode which generates a map of ground surface on a cockpit display (this mode is called the Mapping Mode).
N011M ensures a 20 m resolution detection of large sea targets at a distance up to 400 km, and of small size ones - at a distance of 120 km. Coupled with the air-launched Brahmos-A AShM, the Su-30MKI will become an unchallanged platform for Anti-Ship duties. The Brahmos is a result of a joint collaboration between India and Russia and is a variant of the Yakhont AShM (which has not entered service).
The Su-30MKI also has a NO12 rearward facing radar which is housed at the end of the center section spine or sting and alerts a pilot to the approach of an enemy aircraft on his tail. This radar has a range of 50km for a 3 sqm RCS target and 100 km for large ones. It features a surveillance area of ±60º in azimuth and elevation. It enables the pilot to fire the R-73RDM2 missile without turning to get a positive lock on the enemy aircraft. The missile will be launched as usual and will then flip 180º to intercept the aircraft.