|Russian Air Force Su-30 in flight over Russia|
|First flight||31 December 1989|
|Primary users||People's Liberation Army Air Force
Venezuelan Air Force
Vietnam People's Air Force
Russian Air Force
|Unit cost||US$34 million (Su-30K)|
|Developed from||Sukhoi Su-27|
The Sukhoi Su-30 (Cyrillic: Сухой Су-30; NATO reporting name: Flanker-C) is a twin-engine, two-seat supermaneuverable fighter aircraft developed by Russia's Sukhoi Aviation Corporation. It is a multirole fighter for all-weather, air-to-air and air-to-surface deep interdiction missions.
The Su-30 started out as an internal development project in the Sukhoi Su-27 family by Sukhoi. The design plan was revamped and the name was made official by the Russian Defense Ministry in 1996. Of the Flanker family, only the Su-27, Su-30, Su-34 and Su-35 have been ordered into serial production by the Defense Ministry. All the others, such as Su-37, were prototypes.
The Su-30 has two distinct version branches, manufactured by competing organisations: KnAAPO and the Irkut Corporation, both of which come under the Sukhoi group's umbrella. KnAAPO manufactures the Su-30MKK and the Su-30MK2, which were designed for and sold to China, and later Indonesia, Venezuela and Vietnam. Due to KnAAPO's involvement from the early stages of developing Su-35, these are basically a two-seat version of the mid-1990s Su-35. The Chinese chose an older but lighter radar so the canards could be omitted in return for increased payload. It is a fighter with both air superiority and attack capabilities, generally similar to the U.S.F-15E.
Irkut traditionally served the Soviet Air Defense and, in the early years of Flanker development, was given the responsibility of manufacturing the Su-27UB, the two-seat trainer version. When India showed interests in the Su-30, Irkut offered the multirole Su-30MKI, which originated as the Su-27UB modified with avionics appropriate for fighters. Along with its ground-attack capabilities, the series adds features for the air-superiority role, such as canards, thrust-vectoring, and a long-range phase-array radar. Its derivatives include the Su-30MKM, MKA and MKV for Malaysia, Algeria and Venezuela, respectively. The Russian Air force operates several Su-30s and has ordered the Su-30M2 version.
While the original Su-27 had good range, it still did not have enough range for the Soviet Air Defense Forces (PVO, as opposed to VVS – the Soviet Air Force). The Air Defense Forces needed to cover the vast expanse of the Soviet Union. Hence, development began in 1986 on the Su-27PU, an improved-capability variant of the Su-27 capable of serving as a long-range interceptor or airborne command post.
The two-seat Su-27UB combat trainer was selected as the basis for the Su-27PU, because it had the performance of a single-seat Su-27 and long-range missions require two crew members. A "proof-of-concept" demonstrator flew 6 June 1987, and this success led to the kick-off of development work on two Su-27PU prototypes. The first Su-27PU flew at Irkutsk on 31 December 1989, and the first of three pre-production models flew in 14 April 1992.
The Su-30 is a multirole fighter. It has a two seat cockpit with an airbrake behind the canopy.
Flight characteristics 
The integrated aerodynamic configuration, combined with the thrust vectoring control ability, results in unprecedented manoeuvrability and unique takeoff and landing characteristics. Equipped with a digital fly-by-wire system, the Su-30MK is able to perform some very advanced manoeuvres. They include the well-known Pugachev's Cobra and the tailslide. These manoeuvers quickly decelerate the aircraft, causing a pursuing fighter to overshoot.
The aircraft's powerplant incorporates two Saturn AL-31F afterburning low-bypass turbofan engines. Two AL-31Fs, each rated at 12,500 kgf (123 kN, 27,550 lb) of full afterburning thrust ensures Mach 2 in level flight, 1,350 km/h speed at low altitude, and a 230 m/s climbing rate.
With a normal fuel reserve of 5,270 kg, the Su-30MK is capable of performing a 4.5-hour combat mission with a range of 3,000 km. An in-flight refuelling system increases the range to 5,200 km (3,200 mi) or flight duration up to 10 hours at cruise altitudes.
The aircraft features autopilot ability at all flight stages including low-altitude flight in terrain-following mode, and individual and group combat employment against air and ground/sea-surface targets. Automatic control system interconnected with the navigation system ensures route flight, target approach, recovery to airfield and landing approach in automatic mode.
- Commercial version of the basic Su-30.
- Sukhoi proposal for upgrading Russian AF single seat Su-27S. Also proposed export version for Indonesia, 24 were ordered but subsequently cancelled due to the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis. the only single seat in Su-30 family.
- Upgrade project for operational two-seat fighters, the Su-27UB, Su-30 and Su-30K. This was cancelled in Russia but later revived as Su-30M2. Belorussia consider updating ex-Indian Su-30K to the Su-30KN standard.
- Commercial version of Su-30M first revealed in 1993. Export versions include navigation and communication equipment from Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd.
- A Su-30 version from manufacturer KnAAPO based on the Su-30MK with canards and optional thrust-vectoring. The Russian Air Force placed an initial order for the variant in 2009. Factory tests were completed in September 2010.
- MKI stands for "Modernizirovannyi, Kommercheskiy, Indiski" meaning "Modernized, Commercial, Indian". Jointly-developed with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited for the Indian Air Force. Includes thrust vectoring control (TVC) and canards. Equipped with a multinational avionics complex sourced from Israel, India, Russia and France. Its NATO codename is 'Flanker-H'. The Su-30MKI is reputed to be more advanced than the basic Su-30MK, the Chinese Su-30MKK/MK2, and the Malaysian Su-30MKM.
- Export version for China. MKK stands for Modernizirovannyi, Kommercheskiy, Kitayski or "Modernized, Commercial, China". Its NATO codename is 'Flanker-G'.
- A derivative of the India-Russian MKI, the MKM is a highly specialised version for Royal Malaysian Air Force. It includes thrust vectoring control (TVC) and canards but with avionics from various countries. It will feature head-up displays (HUD), navigational forward-looking IR system (NAVFLIR) and Damocles Laser Designation pod (LDP) from Thales Group of France, MAW-300 missile approach warning sensor (MAWS), RWS-50 RWR and laser warning sensor (LWS) from SAAB AVITRONICS (South Africa) as well as the Russian NIIP N011M BARS PESA radar, electronic warfare (EW) system, optical-location system (OLS) and a glass cockpit.
- A specialised version for Algeria based on the MKI but with French and Russian avionics as specified by the Algeria.
A specialised version of the thrust-vectoring Su-30MKI for Russian military. A contract for 60 of the multirole fighter was signed in March 2012 with delivery by 2016. On 21 September 2012 Su-30SM performed its maiden flight.
- Export version for Venezuela.
- Su-30MK2 variant for Vietnam with minor modifications.
- People's Republic of China
- People's Liberation Army Air Force operates the Su-30MKK variant. The People's Liberation Army Naval Air Force operates the Su-30MK2 variant. As of 2012 the China operates 76 Su-30MKK and 23 Su-30MK2
- Indian Air Force operates the Su-30MKI variant. Russia built the early Su-30MKIs; later Su-30MKIs are assembled indigenously under license by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. The IAF has 157 Su-30MKIs in service as of January 2013.
- Indonesian Air Force ordered three Su-30MK2s; it received two on 26 December 2008 and the third in 2009. Another 6 fighters were ordered in 2010. It has 2 Su-30MK and 3 Su-30MK2s in operational use as of January 2012.
- Royal Malaysian Air Force after a close visit to see India's Su-30MKI, ordered 18 Su-30MKMs in May 2003. The first 2 Su-30MKMs were formally handed over in Irkutsk on 23 May 2007, later arrived in Gong Kedak airbase on 21 June. As part of the contract, Russia sent the first Malaysian cosmonaut to the International Space Station in October 2007. Malaysia had 12 Su-30MKMs in service with 6 on order in November 2008. Due to past issues with aircraft support, Malaysia was to purchase spare parts from China.
- Russian Air Force received 5 Su-30s in 1994–1996. It operates 11 Su-30s, including 4 Su-30M2s delivered in 2011, and 3 Su-30SM. The Russian Air force is to receive 10 more Su-30M2s in 2012. The Russian Air Force has 60 Su-30SMs on order as of December 2012, with deliveries to be completed by 2016. The first two Su-30SMs were delivered in November 2012.
- Ugandan Air Force has ordered 6 Su-30MK2s in 2010. It has 4 Su-30MK2s in use as of January 2012.
- Venezuelan Air Force and the government of Venezuela announced on 14 June 2006 the purchase of 24 units of the Su-30MK2. The first two Su-30MK2s arrived in early December 2006 while another 8 were commissioned during 2007; 14 more units arrived in 2008. A second batch of 12 Su-30MKV is also being considered. It has 24 Su-30MK2s as of January 2012.
- Viet Nam
- Vietnam People's Air Force operates 4 Su-30MKs and 20 Su-30MK2Vs in 2013. Vietnam reportedly signed a contract for 12 more Su-30MK2s in 2009, but the contract was reduced to 8 fighters. On 20 July 2010, it was announced at Farnborough International Airshow that Vietnam signed a contract for 20 Su-30MK2s.
Specifications (Su-27PU/Su-30) 
- Crew: 2
- Length: 21.935 m (72.97 ft)
- Wingspan: 14.7 m (48.2 ft)
- Height: 6.36 m (20.85 ft)
- Wing area: 62.0 m2 (667 ft2)
- Empty weight: 17,700 kg (39,021 lb)
- Loaded weight: 24,900 kg (54,900 lb)
- Max. takeoff weight: 34,500 kg (76,060 lb)
- Powerplant: 2 × AL-31FL low-bypass turbofans
- Dry thrust: 7,600 kgf (74.5 kN, 16,750 lbf) each
- Thrust with afterburner: 12,500 kgf (122.58 kN, 27,560 lbf) each
- Maximum speed: Mach 2.0 (2,120 km/h, 1,320 mph)
- Range: 3,000 km (1,620 nmi) at altitude
- Service ceiling: 17,300 m (56,800 ft)
- Rate of climb: 230 m/s (45,275 ft/min)
- Wing loading: 401 kg/m2 (82.3 lb/ft2)
- Thrust/weight: 0.98
The Su-27PU had 8 hardpoints for its weapon load, whereas the Su-30MK's combat load is mounted on 12 hardpoints: 2 wingtip AAM launch rails, 3 pylons under each wing, 1 pylon under each engine nacelle, and 2 pylons in tandem in the "arch" between the engines. All versions can carry up to 8 tonnes of external stores.
- Guns: 1 × GSh-30-1 gun (30 mm calibre, 150 rounds)
- AAMs: 6 × R-27ER1 (AA-10C), 2 × R-27ET1 (AA-10D), 6 × R-73E (AA-11), 6 × R-77 RVV-AE (AA-12)
- ASMs: 6 × Kh-31P/Kh-31A anti-radar/ship missiles, 6 × Kh-29T/L laser guided missiles, 2 × Kh-59ME
- Aerial bombs: 6 × KAB 500KR, 3 × KAB-1500KR, 8 × FAB-500T, 28 × OFAB-250-270, nuclear bombs
Incidents and accidents 
- 12 June 1999: Paris Air Show, Le Bourget, France, a Russian Su-30MK crashed – both pilots ejected safely and no one was hurt on the ground.
- 30 April 2009: an Indian Air Force Su-30MKI crashed near Jaisalmer. A pilot died.
- 30 November 2009: an Indian Air Force Su-30MKI crashed near Jaisalmer. The pilots survived.
- 13 December 2011: an IAF Su-30MKI crashed near Pune. Both the pilots ejected timely and survived the crash.
See also 
- Related development
- Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
- Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet
- McDonnell Douglas F-15E Strike Eagle
- Dassault Rafale
- Eurofighter Typhoon
- Mikoyan MiG-35
- Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon
- Related lists
- "Su-30MK page". Sukhoi. Retrieved 3 July 2011.
- Su-30, FAS.org
- "Su-30MK". Airforce Technology. Retrieved 2012-05-17.
- "Discovering Novel Fighter Combat Maneuvers." (PDF). Retrieved 2012-05-17.
- Sukhoi Su-30MK. KNAAPO.
- "Su-30MK: Aircraft performance". Sukhoi. Retrieved 3 July 2011.
- Sukhoi Su-27 – Operator List. MilAvia.net, 14 March 2009.
- "Belarus may buy outdated Su-30 fighters from Russia".
- HAL to supply for Sukhoi fighters to Russia[dead link]
- "First serial Su-30M2 completed test flights" (Press release). Sukhoi. 28 September 2010. Retrieved 3 July 2011.
- "Su-27 Flanker Variants Overview". Milavia, 18 February 2010.
- "нПСФХЕ: юБХЮАЮГЮ Б йПЮЯМНДЮПЯЙНЛ ЙПЮЕ ОНКСВХР ДЕЯЪРЭ ХЯРПЕАХРЕКЕИ яС-30л2". Lenta.ru. Retrieved 2012-05-17.
- "SU30MKI". Aircraftinaction.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-05-17.
- The Hindu: India, Russia to make fighter variant for Malaysia[dead link]
- [dead link]
- "The first two serially produced Su-30MKM fighters for the Royal Malaysian Air Force has been demonstrated" (Press release). Irkut Corporation. 24 May 2007.
- Karnozov, Vladimir. "Russian air force orders thrust-vectoring Su-30SM fighters". Flight International, 21 July 2011.
- Russia, Vietnam ink submarine, arms deal, spacewar.com, 2009-12-21, accessed 22 December 2009.
- "Algeria received its second and final batch of eight Su-30MKI (A) fighters under the 2010 contract for 16 of the type; the first eight airframes had been delivered in 2011."
- "Алжир - 26 (16 Як-130, 8 Су-30МКИ(А), 2 - Су-24М ? )"
- "World Military Aircraft Inventory". 2013 Aerospace: Aviation Week and Space Technology, January 2013.
- "Three Su-27SKM fighter jets are due to be delivered by 2010". armybase.us, 27 December 2008.
- pt. kompas cyber media (29 December 2011). "RI Beli Enam Sukhoi - KOMPAS.com". Nasional.kompas.com. Retrieved 2012-05-17.
- "World Military Aircraft Inventory". 2012 Aerospace. Aviation Week and Space Technology, January 2012.
- The Malaysia Deal: Offsets & Updates. defenseindustrydaily.com
- Soyuz spacecraft takes first Malaysian into space. RT.com
- "Directory: World Air Forces". Flight International, 11–17 November 2008.
- "China Humbly Launches Serial Production of Stolen Russian Fighter Jets". English.pravda.ru. 19 November 2009. Retrieved 2012-05-17.
- "Су-30". Paralay.com. Retrieved 2012-05-17.
- "Su-30 Two-seat multirole fighter | Russian Military Analysis". Warfare.ru. Retrieved 2012-05-17.
- "Авиабаза на Кубани получила истребители четвертого поколения — Ольга Бондаренко — Российская газета — Авиабаза на Кубани получила истребители четвертого поколения". Rg.ru. 17 March 2012. Retrieved 2012-05-17.
- "Russia signs $1.2 bln contract for jet fighter delivery to Algeria, Uganda | Russia | RIA Novosti". En.rian.ru. Retrieved 2012-05-17.
- Tabu Butagira, Martin Ssebuyira, "New Russian-built jet fighters arrive". Daily Monitor (13 July 2011).
- Air Forces Monthly, August 2006 issue.
- Chavez warns U.S. after getting Russian warplanes. RIA Novosti,
- "Russia To Build 12 Fighters for Vietnam: Reports". Defense News, 14 May 2009.
- Francis, Leithen. "Vietnam reportedly buys 12 more Sukhoi Su-30MK2 fighters". Flight International, 11 February 2010.
- "Russia Announces Military Aircraft Sale To Vietnam, Algeria". Defense News, 20 July 2010.
- Gordon and Davison 2006, pp. 92, 95–96.
- "Pilot killed in SU-30 MKI crash in Jaisalmer". Rediff.com. Retrieved 2012-05-17.
- "Su-30MKI fighter jet crashes in western India, pilots survive | Defense | RIA Novosti". En.rian.ru. 30 November 2009. Retrieved 2012-05-17.
- "Air Force's Sukhoi jet crashes near Pune, pilots safe". Ndtv.com. 13 December 2011. Retrieved 2012-05-17.
- Gordon, Yefim and Peter Davison. Sukhoi Su-27 Flanker. Specialty Press, 2006. ISBN 978-1-58007-091-1.
Further reading 
- Eden, Paul (ed.). The Encyclopedia of Modern Military Aircraft. London, UK: Amber Books, 2004. ISBN 1-904687-84-9.
- Gordon, Yefim. Sukhoi Su-27 Flanker: Air Superiority Fighter. Airlife Publishing, 1999. ISBN 1-84037-029-7.
- Williams, Mel (ed.). "Sukhoi 'Super Flankers'". Superfighters: The Next Generation of Combat Aircraft. Norwalk, Connecticut: AIRtime Publishing Inc., 2002. ISBN 1-880588-53-6.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to:|
- Sukhoi Su-30 Photo Pool on Flickr
- Su-30MK page on Sukhoi.org
- Su-30 page on Milavia.net
- Su-30 page on GlobalSecurity.org
- Su-30MK page on Airforce-Technology.com
- Sukhoi Flankers – The Shifting Balance of Regional Air Power
- Su-27 Series at Greg Goebel's AIR VECTORS
- Su-30 page on Fighter Tactics Academy site
- Asia's Advanced Flankers on ausairpower.net
- YouTube video, Su-30 Videos on patricksaviation.com, Su-30 Videos on flightlevel350.com
- Malaysian SU-30MKM image on airliners.net
- Sukhoi Su-30 story in colours at mars.slupsk.pl