Sukhoi Su-30

The Sukhoi Su-30 is a twin-engine, two-seat super maneuverable 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-30SM version.


Sukhoi Su-30
Class Aircraft
Type Fighter
Manufacturer Sukhoi
Origin Russia (USSR)
Country Name Origin Year
Russia (USSR) 1989
Country Name Operational Year Retirement Year
Algeria View
Angola View
China View
China View
India 1990 View
Indonesia View
Indonesia View
Kazakhstan View
Malaysia View
Russia (USSR) 1990 View
Uganda View
Venezuela View
Vietnam 1990 View
ManufacturerName Production From Production To Quantity
Sukhoi 500 View

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-30 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.

Powerplant

The aircraft's powerplant incorporates two Saturn AL-31F afterburning low-bypass turbofan engines, fed through intake ramps. 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 aerial refueling system increases the range to 5,200 km (3,200 mi) or flight duration up to 10 hours at cruise altitudes.

Avionics

The aircraft features autopilot ability at all flight stages including low-altitude flight in terrain-following radar 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.

Bangladesh Air Force and the ministry of defence announced plans to procure one squadron of Su-30MK2s after the delivery of 16 Yakovlev Yak-130 in 2015.

Thailand formally requested information for the possible acquisition of the Su-30MK/MK2 However, the Saab Gripen was procured instead.

Role Multirole fighter
Manufacturer Sukhoi
First flight 31 December 1989
Introduction 1996
Status In service
Primary users People's Liberation Army Air Force
Indian Air Force
Vietnam People's Air Force
Russian Air Force
Produced 1990s–present
Number built 500+
Unit cost Su-30MK2: US$37.5 million in 2012
Developed from Sukhoi Su-27
Variants Sukhoi Su-30MKI
Sukhoi Su-30MKK
Sukhoi Su-30MKM


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) with 56% fuel
  • 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
  • Fuel capacity: 9,400 kg (20,724 lb) internally

Performance

  • 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 with 56% fuel (468.3 kg/m2 with full internal fuel) (82.3 lb/ft2 with 56% fuel)
  • Thrust/weight:
    With full fuel: 0.86
    With 56% fuel: 1.00
    Maximum g-load: +9 g

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.

  • Guns: 1× GSh-30-1 gun (30 mm calibre, 150 rounds)
  • AAMs: 6× R-27ER (AA-10C), 2× R-27ET (AA-10D), 6× R-73E (AA-11), 6× R-77 RVV-AE (AA-12)
  • ASMs: 6× Kh-31P/A 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

End notes