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Very Nice Indian Birds Today—Quick Question about Tom's SU-30MKI

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As said in the thread title, nice models from all four contributors today! 


Something about Tom Thounaojam's SU-30MKI jogged my memory about a question I've been meaning to ask.  On the right side of the forward fuselage below the cockpit, there's a sharply defined area of a much different gray than on the rest of the aircraft, which is also present on most Russian and export SU-30's, even the blue-camo birds. What function does it serve? Is it a dielectric panel? Cannon-related?

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