Sukhoi Su-30MKM

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Su-30MKM
Su30mkm flying at lima.jpg
Role Air superiority/Multirole fighter
National origin Russia
Manufacturer Irkut Corporation
Designer Sukhoi Design Bureau
Introduction 2007
Status In service
Primary user Royal Malaysian Air Force
Number built 18
Unit cost
US$35–53 million
Developed from Sukhoi Su-30

The Sukhoi Su-30MKM (Modernizirovannyi Kommercheskiy Malaysia – Modernized Export Malaysia) is a supermaneuverable fighter developed by Russia's Sukhoi and produced by Irkut Corporation for the Royal Malaysian Air Force. It is a variant of the Su-30 series fighters, with many significant improvements over the original Su-30K export version, maintaining much of the basic airframe but incorporating a number of advances from the Sukhoi Su-35 and Sukhoi Su-37 projects.[1] It is a heavy, all-weather long range air superiority fighter with multirole capabilities, similar to its Indian counterpart, the Su-30MKI.

In 2003, the Su-30MKM was selected by the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF). In August 2003, during the course of President Vladimir Putin’s official visit to Malaysia, the contract for the Su-30MKM aircraft was signed. Except for Russian MiG-29s, the RMAF has previously operated aircraft of Western origin.

Development[edit]

In 2003, Malaysia committed to purchase 18 Su-30MKMs. As part of the contract, Russia sent the first Malaysian cosmonaut to the International Space Station. It was a project under the government-to-government offset agreement through the purchase of Su-30MKM fighter jets for the Royal Malaysian Air Force. Under this agreement the Russian Federation bore the cost of training two Malaysians for space travel and for sending one to the International Space Station (ISS) in October 2007 under the Angkasawan program.[2]

In August 2003, Malaysia signed a US$900 million contract with Irkut Corporation for 18 Sukhoi Su-30MKMs. Malaysia operates the F/A-18D Hornet, and was offered Boeing's F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, but chose the Su-30MKM. The Su-30MKM is an advanced variant, whose performance involves considerable improvements over Su-30MK/MKK fighters.[3] Irkut Corporation subcontracted the task of manufacturing the canards, stabilizers and fins to HAL Nasik.[4]

The first aircraft were delivered by Irkut in 2002–2004. The expected date of delivery of the 18th aircraft was the end of 2008, but it did not arrive until the summer of 2011.

Design[edit]

Su30mkm seen manoeuvring at LIMA

The Su-30MKM was developed by the Sukhoi Design Bureau and is based on the Su-30MKI. The aircraft has the same airframe, same engines with thrust vector control (TVC), and an advanced digital fly-by-wire system. The MKM version differs from the MKI mainly in the composition of the on board avionics. Thales supplies the Head-up display (HUD), navigational forward-looking IR system NAVFLIR and the Damocles targeting pod. The aircraft carries missile approach warning sensor (MAWS) and laser warning sensor (LWS) manufactured by Avitronics (South Africa).[5] It can carry up to 8,000 kg/ 17,650 lb of weapons and payloads over 700 nmi unrefueled combat radius.[1]

The Su-30MKM can legitimately claim super-maneuverability via digital fly-by-wire, canards, and two Saturn AL-31FP engines with thrust vectoring producing 27,500 lb thrust each with afterburners. This gives them an edge in close-in fights, allowing the pilot to rapidly point the plane at potential targets to draw them within the AA-11/R-73 Archer’s wide infrared seeker cone, then launch and quickly change energy state and direction.

The electronic warfare (EW) systems, phased array radars, optical-location systems with laser rangefinder were all produced by leading Russian manufacturers. At that time, officers from RMAF formed a Su-30MKM Project Team which was based in Moscow; the team had actively participated in the integration of all the avionics systems.[5] The aircraft is capable of conducting SEAD mission when equipped with two KNIRTI SAP-518 jamming pods and Kh-31P anti-radiation missiles. The KNIRTI SAP-518 covers NATO surface-to-air and air-to-air threats in the G-J bands.[6] It is equipped with NIIP N011M phased array radar for long range aerial combat which can track up to 15 targets and engage 4 targets simultaneously. It can also be equipped with a Thales Damocles Laser Designation Pod (Thales) surveillance & targeting pod for precision ground attack. It has a rear facing radar, HUD (Thales), NAVFLIR (Navigation Forward Looking Infra-red) (French). Missile Approaches Warning System (MAWS) & laser warning sensor (LWS) supplied by Saab Avitronics of South Africa.[7]

Operators[edit]

 Malaysia

Specifications (Su-30MKM)[edit]

Su30mkm with engines seen
Su30mkm seen from top and bottom

Data from KNAAPO,[10] and Sukhoi[11]

General characteristics

Performance

  • Maximum speed: Mach 1.9 (2,120 km/h, 1,317 mph) at altitude; 1,350 km/h, 839 mph near ground level
  • Range: 3,000 km (1,620 nmi) at altitude; (1,270 km, 690 nmi near ground level; with no external fuel tanks)
  • Endurance: 3.75 hrs (up to 10 hr with in-flight refueling)
  • Service ceiling: 17,300 m (56,800 ft)
  • Rate of climb: >300 m/s (>45,275 ft/min)
  • Wing loading: 401 kg/m² (82.3 lb/ft²)
  • Thrust/weight: 1.00 (loaded weight with 56% internal fuel)
  • Maximum g-load: +9 g

Armament

Avionics

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

Related development
Related lists

References[edit]

External links[edit]