Russian Air Force Military Aircraft: Sukhoi SU-27 Flanker, Images by Wernher Krutein and PHOTOVAULT®

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Su-30 (Su-27P)
Su-33 (Su-27K)
Su-34 (Su-27IB)
Su-35 (Su-27M)

The robust Su-27 platform has served as the basis for a number of improved variants for a diverse range of missions and users.

Su-30 (Su-27P) is a two-seat long-range intercept fighter that first flew in December 1989, and that entered service with the Russian air forces in 1992. Largely based on the Su-27UB
two-seat trainer, it has a new radiolocation system which can transmit the positions of 10 targets to four other fighters at the same time. The Su-30 is made in Irkutsk.

Su-30M (MK-export version) is a standard Su-30 with the air-to-ground missiles which can carry twice the armament (8 tons) compared to the baseline Su-27. The Su-30 'export variant'
of the formidable Su-27 'Flanker', can carry the latest Russian air-to-air missiles, including the medium-range R-27 family, the short-range R-73 and the new medium-range R-77
'AMRAAM-ski'. The Sukhoi-30K has a range in excess of 3,000km, which means it can easily patrol offshore installations without requiring aerial refuelling. In June 1999 Russia agreed to sell 72 of
these front-line Sukhoi-30 jet fighter-bombers to China. The aircraft building enterprise in Komsomolsk-on-Amur (KnAAPO) is likely to become the main supplier of a large lot of Su-30MKK
fighter jets to China. The cost of one Su-30MKK fighter jet is estimated at $35 million - $37 million. At the same time, negotiations began for Moscow to grant a licence for the production of another
250 Sukhoi-30 fighters. The Su-30MKK for China is different in details from the Su-30MKI version designed for India. Sukhoi has a $1.5-$1.8 billion deal to supply 40 Su-30MK to India. In
1997, a total of eight aircraft were supplied under this contract, which should be completed at the end of 1999. Negotiations to license the production of the Su-30MKI to the Hindustan
AeronauticsLimited (HAL) works of India continued in 1997. The Indians received feasibility plans, and it is thought that a final decision would be reached this year. Production in India would begin
after 2001. In all, India might produce 100 warplanes in a contract worth more than $1 billion. However, as of mid-1999 negotiations on the contract for the licensed production of Su-30MKI
fighter by HAL remained delayed due to the government crisis in India, which could not be resolved until after the Fall 1999 elections. The two sides had agreed on all the basic issues, including the
value of the licensing contract. As of mid-2000 India had received only eight SU-30K air defence aircraft and none of the upgraded SU-30MK multi-role aircraft in the Rs 6310-crore deal signed
with Russia in 1996. There had been no deliveries after May 1997. India's Defence Research Development Organisation had failed to develop and supply key avionics sub-systems and failed to procure
Western avionics to equip the SU-30MK aircraft for its designated multi-role. Under the contract, the Irkutsk aircraft production association will deliver 40 Su-30s to the Indian air force. After the
deliveries are complete, HAL plans to launch production of new modifications of Su-30s under a Russian license in cooperation with Sukhoi. The Sukhoi-30 can be modified into a naval version, if the
Indian Government decides to acquire an aircraft carrier.

Su-32FN is the two-seat multi-role reconnaissance and strike export version of the Su-34 fighter-bomber.

Su-33 (Su-27K) is a carrier-based variant that first flew in May 1985, and entered service in the Russian Navy in 1994. The air regiment comprising 24 fighters of the type was formed up on
Russia's only operating aircraft carrier, the Admiral Kuznetsov. It has extra small wings near the pilots cabin which shorten the take-off distance and improve manoeuvrability. The Su-33 can also
carry guided missiles such as the H-25MP, H-31 and H-41. The Su-33 is used in both night and day operations at sea, and operate with the command center ship and with the Ka-31 early-warning
helicopter. With the R-27EM missiles it can intercept antiship missiles.

Su-34 (Su-27IB - Istrebitel-Bombardirovshchik) is a two seat ("arm-to-arm") strike variant that first flew in 1990. It features frontal wings and a large flattened nose with sharp edges
(like the SR-71) reduce radar cross-section. This new ship-borne fighter is fitted with two AL-31FP engines with vectored thrust. Using them allows either the take-off distance or maximum
take-off weight (MTOW) of the aircraft to be increased by 10-15 per cent. The aircraft has a distinctive large "sting" in the rear which contains the NO-14 radiolocation system, a radioelectronic
countermeasures system, and a fuel tank. The Su-32 and Su-34 have been developed and are in serial production in Novosibirsk for the Russian Ministry of Defence.

Su-35 (Su-27M) is a single-seat attack fighter that first flew in 1988. The Su-35 and Su-37 are made in Komomolsk-na-Amure. Like the Su-33 it features small wings near the cabin to
enhance manoeuvrability. It also has new digital pilot control and digital engine control systems, replacing the analog computers in the original Su-27. The radar, with a range of 400 km, can follow
the position of 15 targets and fire at 6 of them at the same time. An improved "Zuk" ("Scarab") radar features a mobile (+/- 130 degree) antenna which can follow position of 24 targets with ability
to fire to 8 of them. The rear "sting" has a radiolocation system, which moved back the center of gravity, and which along with other innovations improve its tactical ability. Armaments includee:
R-77, R-73, KS-172, R-27EM/AE, R-27E, R-27, H-31, H-29L/T, KAB-500L/KR, KAB-1500, H-15, H-65, H-59M, S-25LD, 500kg and 250 kg bombs.

Su-37 Super Flanker is a single-seat and/or two-seat multi-role combat aircraft that was first shown in model form at 1991 trade shows. Some wind tunnel tests completed as the aircraft entered
the basic design stage in 1992, with foreign partners being sought for development. Unlike the other twin-engine Su-27 derivatives, the Su-37 concept originally featured a single Soyuz/Tumansky
turbofan engine rated at 180 kN (40500 lb st) thrust with afterburning. What finally emerged from the design process was a supermanoeuvrable version of the Su-35 with a pair of AL-37FU
afterburning turbofans with axisymmetric, steerable nozzles and thrust vector control (TVC). When the Su-37 was shown at Farnbrough in 1996 it stole the show, performing an astounding
aerobatic display.

The Su-30s cost approximately $34 million each - considerably more than the F-16. India, for example, has agreed to buy 40 Su-30MK two-seat fighters for $1.2 billion. dIndonesia's planned purchase of Russian
fighters and helicopters has been postponed indefinitely owing to the country's economic crisis and the savage devaluation of the Rupiah. The dIndonesia Department of Defence announced in 1997 that it would buy 12
Sukhoi Su-30K fighters in place of the F-16 Fighting Falcon fighters it originally planned to buy from the US. dIndonesia already operates a squadron of 12 F-16s.

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Brazil: Embraer: EMB-312 Tucano, Esquadrao de Demonstracao Aerea (Brazilian Air Display Squadron)

Canada: De Havilland: U-6A Beaver, Snowbirds, C-7A Caribou

Germany: Junkers: JU-52, JU-88 Messerschmidt: Me-109, Me-163 Komet, Me-262 Swallow Focke-Wulf: FW-190, Heinkel: He-111, V-2 Rocket

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Russia and CIS: Antonov: An-74, An-124 Condor, Mikoyan-Gurevich: MiG-15, MiG-17, MiG-19, MiG-21, MiG-25, MiG-29 Sukhoi: Su-27 Flanker

United Kingdom: Avro: 638 Lancaster, MK-2-B2 Vulcan, MRMk2P Nimrod, Folland: FO-141 Gnat, De Havilland: DH-90 Dragonfly, Hawker Siddeley: C1 Andover Hunting, T-5 Jet Provost, Spitfire, Vickers-Armstrong T.10 Wellington Bomber, T.3 Mosquito

Weapons: GBU-27A Paveway 3 Laser Guided Bomb, Rockwell International GBU-8 Electro-Optical Guided Bomb, Hughes AMRAAM AIM-120A, GBU-15 Modular Guided Weapon System, Texas Instruments Bolt-117 Laser Guided Bomb

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Links to United States Marines Aircraft: McDonnell Douglas/British Aerospace AV-8B Harrier, A-4 Skyhawk, CH-46 Sea Knight, F4U Corsair, F7F Tigercat, S-65, T-28 Trojan

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