Sukhoi Su-17

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For the earlier aircraft with the same designation, see Sukhoi Su-17 (1949).
Su-17/-20/-22
Sukhoi Su-22UM-3K Fitter at RIAT 2010 arp.jpg
Su-17/22 Polish Air Force
Role Fighter-bomber
National origin Soviet Union
Manufacturer Komsomolsk-on-Amur Aircraft Production Association
Designer Sukhoi OKB
First flight 2 August 1966
Introduction 1970
Status Limited service
Primary users Russian Air Force
Libyan Air Force
Polish Air Force
Syrian Air Force
Produced 1969–1990
Number built 2,867
Developed from Sukhoi Su-7

The Sukhoi Su-17 (NATO reporting name: Fitter) is a Soviet attack aircraft developed from the Sukhoi Su-7 fighter-bomber. It enjoyed a long career in Soviet, later Russian, service and was widely exported to communist and Middle Eastern air forces as the Su-20 and Su-22.

Development[edit]

An Su-17 (left) next to an older Su-7, note the similarities between the aircraft

Seeking to improve low-speed and take-off/landing performance of the Su-7B fighter-bomber, in 1963 the Sukhoi OKB with input from TsAGI created a variable-sweep wing technology demonstrator. The Su-7IG (internal designation S-22I, NATO designation "Fitter-B"), converted from a production Su-7BM, had fixed inner portions of the wing with movable outer segments which could be swept to 28°, 45°, or 62°.[1] A fixed inner wing simplified construction, allowing the manufacturer to retain the Su-7 landing gear and avoiding the need for complex pivoting underwing hardpoints, and it minimized the shift in the center of pressure relative to the center of mass with change in wing sweep.[2] The new wing also had extensive leading-edge slats and trailing-edge flaps. Su-7IG first flew on 2 August 1966 with V. S. Ilyushin at the controls, becoming the first Soviet variable geometry aircraft.[2] Testing revealed that take-off and landing speeds had decreased by 50–60 km/h (31-37 mph) compared to the conventional Su-7.[2]

The production aircraft was named Su-17 (NATO designation "Fitter-C", factory designation S-32) and was unofficially dubbed Strizh (Стриж, martlet) in service. Aside from the new wing, it differed from its predecessor Su-7 in having a new canopy and a dorsal fuselage spine for additional fuel and avionics. The Su-17 first flew on 1 July 1969 with E. K. Kukushev at the controls.[2]

A total of 2,867 Su-17 and its variants were built, of which 1,165 were exported to 15 nations.[2]

Operational history[edit]

USSR Su-17M

Soviet Union/Russia[edit]

The Su-17 entered service with the Soviet Air Force in 1970. The aircraft was used by both the Soviets and the Afghanistan government forces during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. High-altitude airfields and hot dusty climate created special operational challenges. In the summer, the takeoff roll of the Su-17 increased 1.5-fold and landings frequently ended with burst tires and brake fires. Avionics failures were common due to heat and sand contamination.

However, the AL-21F engine proved tolerant of routine ingestion of sand and sand-contaminated fuel and by 1985 the combat readiness of the Su-17 fleet exceeded that of the Sukhoi Su-25 and the helicopters.[3] The first-series Su-17s were quickly replaced with more capable Su-17M3 and Su-17M4. Despite its durability and payload, the aircraft proved ill-adapted for combat in the mountainous terrain due to high attack speeds, low maneuverability, and the need to stay out of range of anti-aircraft artillery due to lack of significant armor protection, Although external armor was added around the engine, hydraulics, and fuel systems based on damage analysis, this was still insufficient compared to dedicated close air support Su-25s.[3]

The appearance of MANPADS such as the Soviet-made Strela 2 (smuggled from Egypt), and the American FIM-43 Redeye and later FIM-92 Stinger, presented a new threat and forced Su-17s to even higher operational altitudes. Revised tactics and retrofit of up to 12 flare dispensers which fired automatically during the attack run proved effective, and in 1985 only one Soviet Su-17 was lost to ground fire.[3]

Forced to operate 3500–4000 m (11,500-13,000 ft) above ground, Su-17s shifted from using unguided rockets to bombs, including thermobaric weapons, while Su-25s were tasked with precision strikes.[3] Toward the end of the war, the Su-17 force was partially replaced by the Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-27s in order to perform operational testing of the new fighter-bomber.

The Su-17M3/4 were used during the First Chechen War alongside Sukhoi Su-24s and Sukhoi Su-25s in ground attack and reconnaissance missions.[4]

In a move to eliminate single engine strike aircraft from its inventory, the Russian Air Force retired its last Su-17M4 along with its fleet of MiG-23/27s in 1998. Around 550 remain in service with other nations.

Angola[edit]

The Soviets supplied the communist government of Angola with 12 Su-20Ms in 1982 or 1983, which formed the basis of the 15th FS. The squadron suffered a swift loss of at least six aircraft – most in mishaps - by 1985, and three more by 1988, and had only two aircraft left when it was reinforced with another Soviet batch of 14 Su-22M-4Ks and two Su-22UM-3Ks in 1989–1990 (incorporated into the 26th Air Regiment, based in Mocamedes).[5] A second shipment from Belarus in 1999 consisted of 2 Su-22UBs and 4 Su-22Ms, and a third one from Slovakia in 1999-2001 consisted of 10 Su-22M-4s and one Su-22UM-3K.[6]

These aircraft saw heavy use in the war against UNITA. From the aforementioned losses, which can't be classified as mishaps or combat attrition, only an Su-20M, serialled C510 was reportedly downed in 1987 and a more well-documented case occurred on 6 November 1994 when an Su-22 based at Catumbela was shot down by a SAM fired by UNITA during a raid against Huambo. The pilot managed to eject and flee naked after stripping off his flight suit.[7][8]

Libya[edit]

Libyan Su-22M

Two Libyan Su-22s were shot down in the Gulf of Sidra incident by U.S. Navy Grumman F-14 Tomcats on 19 August 1981. One Su-22 fired an AA-2 Atoll missile head-on at one of the F-14s from an estimated 300 meters closing distance. Both were then downed by AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles.

On 8 October 1987, in the aftermath of the Chadian-Libyan conflict, an Su-22MK was shot down by a FIM-92A fired by Chadian forces. The pilot, Capt. Diya al-Din, ejected and was captured. He was later granted political asylum by the French government. During the recovery operation, a Libyan MiG-23MS was shot down by a FIM-92A.[9]

A Libyan Su-22 crashed near the city of Benghazi, Libya on 23 February 2011. The crew members, Captain Attia Abdel Salem al Abdali and his number two, Ali Omar Gaddafi, were ordered to bomb the city in response to the Libyan civil war. They refused, bailing out of the aircraft and parachuting to the ground.[10][11] Su-22s were heavily used by the Libyan loyalist forces against the insurgent forces from mid February up to mid March 2011, when the international mission started and the no fly zone was imposed. Among other missions, Su-22s also attacked Anti-Gaddafi positions on Bin Jawad in early March 2011 as government forces retook the town.[12][13] Some Libyan Air Force Su-22s were claimed shot down by the rebels.[14] One was destroyed on the ground by a Belgian Air Force F-16AM on 27 March.[15] Other Libyan Air Force Su-22s were probably destroyed in the opening nights of the UN air raids in their shelters.

Iraq[edit]

Iraqi Su-22M aircraft in a hangar damaged by Coalition air strikes during Operation Desert Storm.

From 22 September 1980 to 20 August 1988, during the Iran–Iraq War, Iraq used Su-17 export versions (Su-20 and Su-22) alongside older Su-7s. They were most used in ground attack and close air support role. In 1991, during the Gulf War, they saw limited active service because the Iraqi regime distrusted the Air Force.

Two Su-20/22 and one Su-7 were shot down by a USAF F-15C in the closing days of the campaign, when the IQAF was moving its aircraft to Iran. Many more were destroyed on the ground by coalition air forces or evacuated to Iran and they were never returned.

On 20 and 22 March, two other Su-20/22s were downed by a USAF F-15C during Operation Provide Comfort that started soon after the war.[16]

During Iran-Iraq war Iranian F-14s shot down 21 Su-20/-22s, that has been confirmed by western sources. 18 Su-20/-22s were shot down by Iranian McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom IIs also.[17] and 3 Su-20/-22s by Iranian Northrop F-5[18]

Official Iraqi accounts show the loss of zero SU20 aircraft throughout the war against the Kurds and Iran. 20 SU22M2, 2 SU-22M3 and 7 SU-22M4 were lost during the war with Iran with the majority of losses to ground fire sustained during low level bombing raids against the Iranian front lines. [19]

Peru[edit]

Sukhoi Su-22A "Fitter F" aircraft from the Peruvian Air Force

Peru was the only Latin American export customer of the type. On 24 April 1992, Peruvian "Fitters" attacked a U.S. Air Force Lockheed C-130H Hercules of the 310th Airlift Squadron which was intercepted in the sea, west of Lima, injuring six of the 14 crew members. Crew member Joseph C. Beard, Jr., was killed, when he was sucked from the cabin at 18,500 feet, and crew member Ronald Hetzel sustained severe injuries, with his chest blown open and his jugular vein severed.[20] The incident caused an almost year-long interruption to the US anti-drug Air Bridge Denial Program and the establishment of a Joint Air Operation Center at Howard Air Force Base in Panama.[21]

During the 1995 border war between Peru and Ecuador two Peruvian Sukhoi Su-22 were lost.

On 10 February 1995, two Ecuadorian Air Force Mirage F1JAs, piloted by Maj. R. Banderas and Capt. C. Uzcátegui, were directed over five targets approaching the disputed Cenepa valley. After making visual contact, the Mirages fired their missiles, claiming two Peruvian Su-22Ms shot down, while a Kfir claimed a further A-37B Dragonfly.[22][23][24][25] Peru, however, denied that the two Sukhois Su-22Ms were shot down by Mirages, stating that one was lost due to being struck by Ecuadorian anti-aircraft artillery during a low flying ground-attack mission, with the second Sukhoi was lost because of an engine fire.[26][27][28]

The Su-22s flew 45 sorties into the combat zone. A 20-strong force of "Fitters" was also set up at El Pato as a retaliatory force should Ecuador decide to attack the coastal port.[29]

Syria[edit]

The Syrian Air Force used Su-20/22s to attack Israeli forces in the Yom Kippur War[4] and 1982 Lebanon War. Several Su-20/22s were shot down by Israeli Air Force.[30][31]

During the Syrian civil war, since the second half of 2012, Syrian Air Force Su-22’s have been involved in combat operations against the Syrian insurgents.[32] Like other SyAAF fixed wing aircraft, videos showed Su-22’s using unguided munitions, mostly general purpose bombs, cluster bombs and incendiary bombs and unguided rockets. Strike techniques were low to medium altitude flat bombing runs with pull up after ordnance delivery and use decoy flares for self-defense. [33]

Yemen[edit]

On 11 August 2009, Yemeni armed forces started Operation Scorched Earth in northern Yemen to fight the Shia insurgency. Yemeni Air Force backed the army in the offensive performing air raids over rebel held positions. On 5 October 2009, a Yemeni Su-22 crashed when it was flying in formation with another aircraft, on the way back from a mission. The rebels claimed they shot it down, while Yemeni armed forces said it crashed due to technical problems.[34] Earlier on 2 October, the insurgents said they shot down a "MiG-21" while again the military insisted technical problems caused the crash.[35] On 8 November, a third Yemeni fighter aircraft reported to be a "Sukhoi" was destroyed. Again the military claimed it crashed due to technical problems, while the rebels claimed they shot it down.[36] The pilot ejected and was recovered by friendly forces.

The Yemeni Air force once again used Sukhoi aircraft during the Arab Spring uprising. On 28 September 2011, a Yemeni Air Force Su-22 was shot down by tribesmen opposed to the rule of President Saleh. The government confirmed that rebel tribesmen were responsible for the shoot-down, and that the jet's pilot had been captured.[37][38] On February 19th, 2013 a Yemen Su-22 on a training mission crashed for unknown reasons into Sanaa, killing 12.[39] On May 13th, 2013 a Yemen Su-22 on a training mission crashed in Sanaa, killing the pilot.[40]

Poland[edit]

On 19 August 2003, a Polish Air Force Su-22M4K was accidentally shot down by friendly fire during an exercise by a Polish 2K12 Kub battery. The aircraft was flying 21 km from the coast over the Baltic Sea near Ustka. The pilot ejected and was rescued after two hours in the water. He later died in a C-295M crash on 23 January 2008.[41][42] As of 2012, Poland is planning to replace its Su-22s with three squadrons of UAVs.[43]

As of 2014 the Polish Air Force is planning to retain the Su-22s in service. The Air Force will either keep all of its planes for the next 3 years, or withdraw 50% of them use the remainder for the following decade. It is hoped that this decision will have a positive impact on Polish industry, as the "WZL nr 2." - Bydgoszcz, Poland repair facility will be able to use its experience and carry out repairs of the remaining aircraft under contract to the Air Force. The decision will also allow the Air Force to retain the well-trained ground crews and pilots, currently operating the machines. The Poles consider the Su-22 easier to maintain and repair than the other main combat aircraft types currently in Polish service (mainly the MiG-29 and the F-16). They also suffer from less malfunctions and other problems (high, 70-75% non-error index). It is also the only plane in Polish inventory equipped for electronic intelligence, warfare, and support of ground systems. The Polish Air Force has retained a large stockpile of air-to-ground weapons for use with the Su-22. By some estimates, the cost of destroying these resources would be higher than the projected cost of continuing Su-22 operations. [44]

Variants[edit]

Polish Su-22M4K in the markings of 7th Tactical Sqn.
Polish Su-22 in flight

Sources[2]

Su-7IG (S-22I, "Fitter-B")
Su-7BM variable geometry wing demonstrator.
Su-17 (S-32, "Fitter-B")
Limited production run based on the longer fuselage of the two-seat Su-7U trainer, with bulged dorsal spine for extra fuel (4,550 L/1,200 U.S. gal total). Retained Su-7s Lyulka AL-7F-1 engine. Manufactured 1969-1973.
Su-17K - export version of the Su-17 for Egyptian Air Force
Su-17M (S-32M, "Fitter-C")
First major production version, introduced Lyulka AL-21F-3 engine, twin pitot tubes, new navigation and attack computer (retaining Su-7BMK's SRD-5M ranging radar), angle of attack vane, single brake parachute. Variable-position intake centerbody providing maximum speed of Mach 2.1. First flight: 28 December 1971 with V. S. Soloviev at the controls. The export version was designated Su-20, first flying 15 December 1972 with A. N. Isakov at the controls. Manufactured 1972-1975, entered service in 1973. Exported to Egypt, Poland, and Syria.
Su-17M-28
Testbed for Kh-28 (AS-9 Kyle) anti-radiation missile
Su-17MKG
Testbed for Kh-25 (AS-10 'Karen') and Kh-29 (AS-14 "Kedge") missiles
Su-17R
Small number of Su-17M aircraft equipped to carry reconnaissance pods. Equivalent export version designated Su-20R.
Su-17M2 (S-32M2, "Fitter-D")
Nose extended 38 cm (15 in), deleting ranging radar and 'drooping' to improve pilot visibility. Fon-1400 laser rangefinder/marked-target seeker (LRMTS). ASP-17 and PBK-3-17s aiming avionics. RSBN-6S short-range navigation and instrument landing system. Undernose fairing for DISS-7 Doppler navigation radar. First flight: 20 December 1973 with V. S. Ilyushin at the controls. Manufactured 1974–1977, entered service in 1975.
Su-17M2D
Test-fit of the Tumansky/Khatchaturov R-29BS-300 engine (shared with some MiG-23s), with 112.7 kN (25,335 lbf) afterburning thrust, in a bulged rear fuselage. Due to lack of performance advantage and decreased range due to higher fuel consumption, it was decided to offer this engine as an export version only. First flight: 31 January 1975 with A. N. Isakov at the controls. The export variant was designated Su-22 (factory code S-32M2K, NATO "Fitter-F"), manufactured 1977-1978.
Su-17UM (S-52U, "Fitter-E")
First two-seat trainer version, based on the Su-17M2, but with a different, deeper fuselage with windscreen moved forward; same length as the original Su-17M. Internal fuel capacity reduced and port cannon deleted, but retained full avionics and armament. First flight: 15 August 1975 with V. A. Krechetov at the controls. Test flights revealed longitudinal instability at high angles of attack which was remedied by enlarging the tail fin. Export version with the R-29 engine was designated Su-22U. Manufactured 1976-1978, entered service in 1976.
Su-17M3 (S-52, "Fitter-H")
Based on the revised airframe of the Su-17UM, but with an avionics bay and an additional fuel tank in place of the rear cockpit, increasing the internal fuel capacity to 4850 l (1,280 U.S. gal). Doppler radar moved internally, removing the fairing. "Klen-P" laser rangefinder/target designator. A launch rail for K-13 (AA-2 "Atoll") or R-60 (AA-8 "Aphid") was added between the two existing pylons on each wing. First flight: 30 June 1976 with V. A. Krechetov at the controls. Export version with the R-29 engine and downgraded avionics (equivalent to Su-17M2) was designated Su-22M (factory designation S-52K, NATO "Fitter-J") and first flew on 24 May 1977 with E. S. Soloviev at the controls. An export version with Su-17M3 avionics was designated Su-22M3 (factory S-52MK). Su-17 manufactured 1976-1981, Su-22Ms were manufactured 1978–1984. Su-17M/Su-22M/Su-22M3 was the most numerous variant with almost 1,000 built.
Su-17UM (S-52UM)
The initial trainer version with the same avionics suite as the Su-17M.The export version was designated Su-22UM3 with R-29 engine, and Su-22UM3K with the AL-21 engine. Manufactured 1978-1982.
Su-17UM3 (S-52UM3, "Fitter-G")
Revised trainer with the same avionics suite as the Su-17M3. First flight: 21 September 1978 with Yu. A. Yegorov at the controls. The export version was designated Su-22UM3 with R-29 engine, and Su-22UM3K with the AL-21 engine. Manufactured 1978-1982.
Polish Su-22M4K in markings of 7th Tactical Sqn.
Su-17M4 (S-54, "Fitter-K")
Final production version with considerably upgraded avionics, including RSDN navigation (similar to LORAN), beacon navigation, inertial navigation, a more powerful (Klyon) "Kлён-54" laser rangefinder, radio compass, and SPO-15LE ("Sirena") radar-warning system. Additional fuselage inlets (including ram-air inlet at the base of the fin) to improve engine cooling airflow, fixed air intake shock cone. Many aircraft were equipped for the use of TV-guided missiles and BA-58 Vjuga pod for anti-radiation missiles. AL-21F-3 engine. Export version was designated Su-22M4 (factory S-54K). First flight: 19 June 1980 with Yu. A. Yegorov at the controls. Su-17M4 was manufactured 1981–1988, Su-22M4 was manufactured 1983-1990.
Su-20
The initial export version of the Su-17M, (S-32MK).
Su-22M5
A Russian-French upgrade package offered for existing aircraft with modernized cockpit, HOTAS, improved avionic systems. Deletes the laser rangefinder in favor of Phazotron/Thomson-CSF 'Phathom' radar.
Su-22U
The S-52U two-seat combat-trainer, export version of the Su-17UM, with a completely re-designed nose housing the tandem cockpits for student and instructor.
Su-22UM3K "Fitter" of the Polish Air Force at RIAT 2010. This is an export version of the Su-17.
Gun pods such as the GSh-23 based UPK-23 and SPPU-22 were utilized by the Su-17, Su-20, and Su-22. The SPPU-22 ground attack variant featured 30 degrees of traverse.
An experimental version of the Su-20 was built with fixed wings attached to an Su-17M fuselage, in an effort to increase Payload/range performance by eliminating the weight of the wing sweep system. Good results were obtained in flight tests in 1973 but further development was cancelled.
Tactical Reconnaissance versions of all variants could be made by fitting the KKR (Kombinirovanny Konteiner Razvedy – combined reconnaissance pod) on the centre-line pylon.

In-house OKB designations[edit]

S-22I
The first prototype "Variable-Geometry" Su-7, converted form a production Su-7BM, first flown on 2 August 1966.
S-32
The initial production version, dubbed Su-17 by the VVS (Voyenno-Vozdooshnyye Seely - Soviet air force).
S-32M
The Su-17 with the Lyul'ka AL-21F engine and re-structured fuselage plus several smaller modifications, resulting in a greater fuel capacity and more weapons stations.
S-32MK
The Su-20 export version with revised armament options, and less sophisticated avionics. First flight: 15 December 1972.
S-32M2
The Su-17M with improved flying controls and weapon-aiming equipment. Production carried out from 1975 to 1977
S-32M2K
The Su-22 export version of the Su-17M2 with a Tumansky R-29BS-300 engine.
S-32M2D
An Su-17 tested with ski landing gear, similar to that used on the S-26 (Su-7),used for [very] rough field landing and takeoff tests.
Su-52U
The Su-17UM/Su-22U two-seat combat-trainer version with a completely re-designed nose housing the tandem cockpits for student and instructor.
S-52
In a reverse development the trainer modifications were adapted for a new Attack variant, the Su-17M3.
S-52K
An export variant of the S-52, given the designation Su-22M.
S-52M3K
Series production Su-22M3 aircraft with laser range-finder and avionics mods.
S-52UK
The trainer variant with all the S-32M2k structural modifications and a reduced weapons portfolio.
S-52UM3
The Su-17UM3 for the VVS with avionics and aero-dynamic changes.
S-52UM3K
The export version of the Su-17UM3.
S-52R
Tactical Reconnaissance Su-17M3R with a KKR (Kombinirovanny Konteiner Razvedy – combined reconnaissance pod) on the centre-line pylon; S-54 Production Su-17M4 fighter-bombers.
S-54K
Export Su-17M4s, designated Su-22M4.
S-54R
Tactical reconnaissance Su-17M4R with a KKR (Kombinirovanny Konteiner Razvedy – combined reconnaissance pod) on the centre-line pylon.

Operators[edit]

Military operators of the Su-17, Su-20, and Su-22
World operators of the Su-17.png
Blue = Current Red = Former
 Angola
The People's Air and Air Defence Force of Angola operates eight Su-22 variants.
Polish Su-22
 Poland
The Polish Air Force operate 26 Su-22M4 and 6 Su-22UM3K aircraft of 110 delivered.
 Syria
50 Su-22 aircraft served with the Syrian Air Force prior to the Syrian civil war
 Vietnam
38 Su-22M4 examples serve with the Vietnam People's Air Force.[45]
 Yemen
50 Su-22 have served with the Yemen Air Force, with a number remaining active.
Hungarian Su-22
 Hungary
Hungarian Air Force. The Hungarian Air Force maintained 67 Su-22M3 and three Su-22UM3 aircraft from 1983. Two single seat and one training aircraft crashed. Withdrawn from service in 1997.

Former operators[edit]

Democratic Republic of Afghanistan
Afghan Air Force. More than 70 were sent to the Afghan Air Force from 1982, including 45 Su-22M4 delivered from 1984.
 Azerbaijan
The Azerbaijan Air Force
 Belarus
Belarus Air Force. The Belarusian Air Force inherited Su-17s from the Soviet Air Force, but none remain in service.
 Bulgaria
Bulgarian Air Force. The Bulgarian Air Force operated 18 Su-22M4 and five Su-22UM aircraft. All are retired.
Czech Air Force Su-22
 Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakian Air Force. The Czechoslovakian Air Force's Su-22 (49 Su-22M4 and 8 Su-22UM3K in 1992) inventory was split between the Czech Republic and Slovakia in 1993. They were passed on to the Czech Air Force.
 Czech Republic
Czech Air Force. The Czech Air Force inherited 31 Su-22M4 and five Su-22UM3K. All were retired in 2002.[46]
 East Germany
Air Forces of the National People's Army. The East German operated the Su-22 until unification, when they were passed on to the Luftwaffe.
  • Volksmarine. The East German Navy operated eight Su-22M-4Ks and two Su-22UM-3K aircraft.
 Egypt
Egyptian Air Force. The Egyptian Air Force operated 48 of Su-20/22 aircraft, although all have been withdrawn, being replaced by the F-4 Phantom II and General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcons in their role.
 Germany
Luftwaffe. A number of Su-22 aircraft were inherited from East Germany, although these did not serve in the Luftwaffe, but some of them were painted with a Luftwaffe color scheme for test and evaluation. All of them have been decommissioned.
Iraq
Iraqi Air Force. The Iraqi Air Force received a number of Su-22 models, of which some were taken by Iran in 1991. None survived the 2003 invasion of Iraq by the United States. All Russian-made and Chinese-made fighters acquired during Saddam Hussein's regime will be replaced by U.S.-made F-16s.
 Iran
Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force. The Iranian Air Force operated a number of various Su-20 and Su-22 aircraft through the 1980s and 1990s, including examples flown to Iran from Iraq in 1991. While apparently non-operational, many remain in reserve or stored status unless Russia would continue maintaining Iranian Su-22 fleet.
 Kazakhstan
Su-17 aircraft were inherited by the Armed Forces of the Republic of Kazakhstan, but never put into service.
Former LARAF Sukhoi Su-22M3 Fitter-H
 Libyan Arab Jamahiriya
The Libyan Air Force operated as many as 90 Su-22 aircraft, with around 40 Su-22M3 and Su-22UM3K aircraft in service at the beginning of 2011 when the Libyan uprising started. During the Libyan civil war, the Gaddafi regime used Su-22s in combat operations.
 North Yemen
North Yemen Air Force
SU-22 Peruvian Air Force
 Peru
Peruvian Air Force. The Peruvian Air Force acquired 32 Su-22M2K, 16 Su-22M3, 4 Su-22UM2K and 3 Su-22UM3 aircraft between 1977 and 1981. Retired in 2007, 11 remain in reserve status.
 Russia
Russian Air Force. The Russian Air Force inherited Soviet Su-17 aircraft, but has withdrawn the type from service. At least one example remains flying as a chase aircraft operated by Sukhoi at their KnAAPO facility.
Retired Slovak Su-22M4
 Slovakia
Slovak Air Force. The Slovakian Air and Air Defense Forces inherited 18 Su-22M4 and three Su-22UM3K aircraft from Czechoslovakia in 1993. In 1999, six Su-22M4 and in 2001, four Su-22M4 and one Su-22UB aircraft were sold to Angola while rest of the fleet was grounded and is being used as museum exhibits and as teaching aid in flight schools.[47]
 South Yemen
South Yemen Air Force
 Soviet Union
Soviet Union Su-17s were split between post-USSR countries.
 Turkmenistan
A number of Su-17 aircraft were inherited by the Military of Turkmenistan, but they were never put into service.
 Ukraine
Ukrainian Air Force. A total of 40 Su-17 aircraft were inherited from the Soviet Union and most of them now retired from service, but a few are stored.
 Uzbekistan
A number of Su-17 aircraft were inherited by the Military of Uzbekistan, now all are retired and stored at Chirchiq.

Specifications (Su-17M4)[edit]

Orthographic projection of the Su-17M4 "Fitter K", with plan view of wings swept and spread

Data from Sukhoi,[48] Wilson[49]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 1
  • Length: 19.02 m (62 ft 5 in)
  • Wingspan:
    • Spread: 13.68 m (44 ft 11 in)
    • Swept: 10.02 m (32 ft 10 in)
  • Height: 5.12 m (16 ft 10 in)
  • Wing area:
    • Spread: 38.5 m² (415 ft²)
    • Swept: 34.5 m² (370 ft²)
  • Empty weight: 12,160 kg(12.2t) (26,810 lb)
  • Loaded weight: 16,400 kg(16.5t) (36,155 lb)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Lyulka AL-21F-3 afterburning turbojet
    • Dry thrust: 76.4 kN (17,185 lbf)
    • Thrust with afterburner: 109.8 kN (24,675 lbf)
  • Fuel capacity: 3,770 kg (8,310 lb)

Performance

  • Maximum speed:
    • Sea level: 1,400 km/h (755 knots, 870 mph)
    • Altitude: 1,860 km/h (1,005 knots, 1,156 mph, Mach 1.7)
  • Range:
    • Combat: 1,150 km (620 nmi, 715 mi) in hi-lo-hi attack with 2,000 kg (4,409 lb) warload
    • Ferry: 2,300 km (1,240 nmi, 1,430 mi)
  • Service ceiling: 14,200 m (46,590 ft)
  • Rate of climb: 230 m/s (45,275 ft/min)
  • Wing loading: 443 kg/m² (90.77 lb/ft²)
  • Thrust/weight: 0.68
  • G-force limit: 7
  • Airframe lifespan: 2,000 flying hours, 20 years

Armament

EAF Su-20 armed with four 250 kg bombs, two rocket pods, and fitted with two external fuel tanks.

See also[edit]

Related development
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
Related lists

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Green and Swanborough 2001.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Sukhoi Su-17." Sukhoi Company Museum. Retrieved: 15 April 2007.
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Bibliography[edit]

  • Cooper, Tom and Farzad Bishop. Iranian F-14 Tomcat Units in Combat. Oxford, UK: Osprey Publishing, 2004. ISBN 1-84176-787-5.
  • Green, William and F. Gordon Swanborough. The Great book of Fighters. St. Paul, Minnesota: MBI Publishing, 2001. ISBN 0-7603-1194-3.
  • Wilson, Stewart. Combat Aircraft since 1945. Fyshwick, Australia: Aerospace Publications, 2000. ISBN 1-875671-50-1.

External links[edit]