Sukhoi Su-30

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Su-30
Sukhoi Su-30 inflight.jpg
Russian Air Force Su-30 over Russia
Role Multirole fighter[1]
Manufacturer Sukhoi
First flight 31 December 1989
Introduction 1996
Status In service
Primary users People's Liberation Army Air Force
Venezuelan Air Force
Vietnam People's Air Force
Russian Air Force
Produced 1990s–
Number built 509+[2][3][4]
Unit cost
US$75 million (Su-30MKI) in 2014[5][verification needed]
Developed from Sukhoi Su-27
Variants Sukhoi Su-30MKI
Sukhoi Su-30MKK
Sukhoi Su-30MKM

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.[6]

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-30SM version.

Development[edit]

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.[7]

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.[8]

Design[edit]

Sukhoi Su-30 taking off at MAKS 2007

The Su-30 is a multirole fighter. It has a two seat cockpit with an airbrake behind the canopy.

Flight characteristics[edit]

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, including the Pugachev's Cobra and the tailslide. These manoeuvers quickly decelerate the aircraft, causing a pursuing fighter to overshoot.[9]

Powerplant[edit]

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.[10][11]

Avionics[edit]

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.

Variants[edit]

Indian Air Force Su-30MKI
Su-30MKM of Malaysia
Su-30MK2
Su-30K
Commercial version of the basic Su-30.
Su-30KI
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.[12]
Su-30KN
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.[13]
Su-30MK
Commercial version of Su-30M first revealed in 1993. Export versions include navigation and communication equipment from Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd.[14]
Su-30M2
A version from manufacturer KnAAPO based on the Su-30MK2 which omits canards and thrust-vectoring. The Russian Air Force placed an initial order for the variant in 2009. Factory tests were completed in September 2010.[15][16][17] Twenty aircraft are planned; at least 4 have been produced as of December 2013.[18]
Su-30MKI
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.[19] Its NATO codename is 'Flanker-H'.[citation needed] The Su-30MKI is reputed to be more advanced than the basic Su-30MK, the Chinese Su-30MKK/MK2.[citation needed]
Su-30MKK
Export version for China. MKK stands for Modernizirovannyi, Kommercheskiy, Kitayski or "Modernized, Commercial, China". Its NATO codename is 'Flanker-G'.[citation needed]
Su-30MKM
A derivative of the India-Russian Su-30MKI,[20] 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)[citation needed] as well as the Russian NIIP N011M BARS PESA radar, electronic warfare (EW) system, optical-location system (OLS) and a glass cockpit.[21]
Su-30MKA
A version of the Su-30MKI, except with French and Russian avionics for Algeria.[22]
Su-30SM
A specialised version of the thrust-vectoring Su-30MKI for Russian military, produced by the Irkut Corporation.[23] A contract for 60 of the multirole fighter was signed in March 2012 with delivery by 2016.[24] On 21 September 2012 Su-30SM performed its maiden flight.[25][26]
Su-30MKV
Export version for Venezuela.
Su-30MK2V
Su-30MK2 variant for Vietnam with minor modifications.[27]

Operators[edit]

Operators of the Su-30 as of 2010
Indonesian Air Force Su-30
Uganda People's Defence Force Air Wing Su-30MK2
Venezuelan Air Force Su-30MK2
 Algeria
  • Algerian Air Force has 36 Su-30MKAs in service as of January 2014.[28] It received its first batch of 8 Su-30MKAs in 2011, and the second batch of 8 Su-30MKAs in 2012 from an order for 16 fighters.[29]
 Angola
  • Angolan Air Force ordered 18 Su-30K fighters on 16 October 2013 as part of a $1 billion deal that also included other equipment and maintenance services for the country. The Su-30Ks were initially delivered to India in the 1990s, but were returned to Russia in 2007.[30]
 People's Republic of China
 India
 Indonesia
 Malaysia
  • 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.[34] As part of the contract, Russia sent the first Malaysian cosmonaut to the International Space Station in October 2007.[35] Malaysia has 18 Su-30MKMs in service.[36]
 Russia
 Uganda
 Venezuela
  • 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.[47][48] A second batch of 12 Su-30MKV is also being considered.[12] It has 24 Su-30MK2s as of January 2012.[49]
 Vietnam
  • Vietnam People's Air Force operates 4 Su-30MKs and 20 Su-30MK2Vs in 2013.[50] Vietnam reportedly signed a contract for 12 more Su-30MK2s in 2009,[51] but the contract was reduced to 8 fighters.[52] On 20 July 2010, it was announced at Farnborough International Airshow that Vietnam signed a contract for 20 Su-30MK2s.[53] On 21 August 2013, Russia announced it would deliver another batch of 12 Su-30MK2s under a recent $450 million contract, with deliveries in 2014-2015.[54]

Specifications (Su-27PU/Su-30)[edit]

Szu-30.svg

Data from KNAAPO,[10] Sukhoi,[11] Gordon and Davison.[55]

General characteristics

  • 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

Performance

Armament

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.

Incidents and accidents[edit]

  • 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.[56]
  • 30 November 2009: an Indian Air Force Su-30MKI crashed near Jaisalmer. The pilots survived.[57]
  • 13 December 2011: an IAF Su-30MKI crashed near Pune. Both the pilots ejected timely and survived the crash.[58]

See also[edit]

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

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Su-30MK page". Sukhoi. Retrieved 3 July 2011. 
  2. ^ "Zbog čega Srbija neće Suhoje?". TangoSix.rs. July 25, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Delivery of Su-30 MKI Fighters for IAF to get Delayed Due to HAL’s Limited Assembly Line". 
  4. ^ a b "Russian Air Force to Get 21 Su-30 Fighter Jets in 2014". RIA Novosti. 2014-02-13. 
  5. ^ "Air force to get full Sukhoi-30MKI fleet by 2019". Broadsword Blog, 22 April 2014.
  6. ^ "Russia-Libya in billion-dollar arms deal". Moscow Top News. Retrieved 2014-04-06. 
  7. ^ Mariusz Wojciechowski, Słupsk (Poland). "Project T-10PU Heavy interceptor fighter Su-27PU (Su-30)". Retrieved June 2011. 
  8. ^ Greg Goebel/chapter 2 of 2/ public domain. "Second-Generation Su-27s & Derivatives". Retrieved February 17, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Discovering Novel Fighter Combat Maneuvers." (PDF). Retrieved 2012-05-17. 
  10. ^ a b Sukhoi Su-30MK. KNAAPO.
  11. ^ a b "Su-30MK: Aircraft performance". Sukhoi. Retrieved 3 July 2011. 
  12. ^ a b Sukhoi Su-27 – Operator List. MilAvia.net, 14 March 2009.
  13. ^ "Belarus may buy outdated Su-30 fighters from Russia".
  14. ^ "Sukhoi SU-30M technical data". 16 November 2011. 
  15. ^ "First serial Su-30M2 completed test flights" (Press release). Sukhoi. 28 September 2010. Retrieved 3 July 2011. 
  16. ^ "Su-27 Flanker Variants Overview". Milavia, 18 February 2010.
  17. ^ "Airbase in Krasnodar region will accommodate ten Su-30M2". Lenta.ru. Retrieved 2012-05-17. 
  18. ^ "Russia’s New Air Force Is a Mystery". Medium.com, 22 February 2014.
  19. ^ "SU30MKI". Aircraftinaction.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-05-17. 
  20. ^ The Hindu: India, Russia to make fighter variant for Malaysia
  21. ^ "The first two serially produced Su-30MKM fighters for the Royal Malaysian Air Force has been demonstrated" (Press release). Irkut Corporation. 24 May 2007. 
  22. ^ http://www.mars.slupsk.pl/fort/sukhoi/su-30-dz.htm
  23. ^ Karnozov, Vladimir. "Russian air force orders thrust-vectoring Su-30SM fighters". Flight International, 21 July 2011.
  24. ^ "Russian Military to Get 30 More Su-30SM Fighter Jets". RIA Novosti. 2012-12-19. 
  25. ^ http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/pictures-irkut-launches-su-30sm-test-campaign-376814/
  26. ^ [1]
  27. ^ Russia, Vietnam ink submarine, arms deal, spacewar.com, 2009-12-21, accessed 22 December 2009.
  28. ^ "World Military Aircraft Inventory". 2014 Aerospace. Aviation Week and Space Technology, January 2014.
  29. ^ "Another successful year" Quote: "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."
  30. ^ Angola Inks $1Bln Arms Deals With Russia - Rian.ru, 16 October 2013
  31. ^ http://www.mars.slupsk.pl/fort/sukhoi/su-30-cn.htm
  32. ^ Ajay Banerjee (3 August 2014). "Engine rejig to cut Su-30 burnouts". The Tribune. Retrieved 23 August 2014. 
  33. ^ a b "Indonesia’s Air Force Adds More Flankers". Defense Industry Daily, 10 May 2013.
  34. ^ The Malaysia Deal: Offsets & Updates. defenseindustrydaily.com
  35. ^ Soyuz spacecraft takes first Malaysian into space. RT.com
  36. ^ http://www.flightglobal.com/airspace/media/reports_pdf/world-air-forces-2014-108161.aspx
  37. ^ New Su-30M2 (Russian). BMPD Live Journal, 7 August 2014
  38. ^ http://www.ruaviation.com/news/2014/6/18/2379/
  39. ^ http://www.sukhoi.org/eng/news/company/?id=5490
  40. ^ http://www.arms-expo.ru/news/air_force/vvs_rossii_poluchili_ocherednuyu_partiyu_samoletov_su_30sm_i_yak_130/
  41. ^ "Новый Су-30М2 в Дземги". Retrieved 2014-02-26. 
  42. ^ "С соблюдением формальностей, ВВС в 2012 году примут на вооружение бомбардировщики Су-34" (in Russian). lenta.ru, 20 September 2011. Retrieved: 5 October 2012.
  43. ^ Минобороны и «Иркут» подписали контракт на поставку первых истребителей Су-30СМ для ВМФ. 17.1.2014
  44. ^ "Russia signs $1.2 bln contract for jet fighter delivery to Algeria, Uganda | Russia". RIA Novosti. Retrieved 2012-05-17. 
  45. ^ Tabu Butagira, Martin Ssebuyira, "New Russian-built jet fighters arrive". Daily Monitor (13 July 2011).
  46. ^ "Uganda receives final Su-30s from Russia". DefenceWeb. 7 June 2012. Retrieved 2 September 2013. 
  47. ^ Air Forces Monthly, August 2006 issue.
  48. ^ Chavez warns U.S. after getting Russian warplanes. RIA Novosti,
  49. ^ "World Military Aircraft Inventory". 2012 Aerospace. Aviation Week and Space Technology, January 2012.
  50. ^ http://www.mars.slupsk.pl/fort/sukhoi/su-30-vn.htm
  51. ^ "Russia To Build 12 Fighters for Vietnam: Reports". Defense News, 14 May 2009.
  52. ^ Francis, Leithen. "Vietnam reportedly buys 12 more Sukhoi Su-30MK2 fighters". Flight International, 11 February 2010.
  53. ^ "Russia Announces Military Aircraft Sale To Vietnam, Algeria". Defense News, 20 July 2010.
  54. ^ Russia to Deliver 12 Su-30 Fighter Jets to Vietnam – Source - Rian.ru, 21 August 2013
  55. ^ Gordon and Davison 2006, pp. 92, 95–96.
  56. ^ "Pilot killed in SU-30 MKI crash in Jaisalmer". Rediff.com. Retrieved 2012-05-17. 
  57. ^ "Su-30MKI fighter jet crashes in western India, pilots survive | Defense | RIA Novosti". En.rian.ru. 30 November 2009. Retrieved 2012-05-17. 
  58. ^ "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[edit]

  • 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. 

External links[edit]