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  • Sukhoi Su-15 (Flagon) Long-Range Interceptor Aircraft

    Like many other Cold War-era Soviet interceptors, the Sukhoi Su-15 Flagon was charged with defending Soviet airspace against incursions by Western bombers and spyplanes.

     Updated: 4/7/2017; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©www.MilitaryFactory.com

    Like the United States and Britain in the post-World War 2 years, the Soviet Union managed a long history in perfecting turbojet-powered combat aircraft. There were many failures for each singular success and these ran the gamut of fighters, bombers, specialized attack platforms, and interceptors. In the latter, the Sukhoi Su-15 (NATO codename of "Flagon") proved a successful entry. Production totaled 1,290 units with the last operational forms remaining active until 1996 with the Ukrainian Air Force (its only foreign operator).

    The primary conventional threat to Soviet air defense of the 1950s became the Boeing B-52 "Stratofortress" - a mammoth jet-powered heavy bomber introduced in early 1955 with the USAF. Flying high and carrying a great warload of bombs, the aircraft proved herself a capable platform and manufacture ultimately netted 744 of the type (the design remains active even today - 2016). At this point in Soviet aviation history, the primary interceptors on hand were the Sukhoi Su-9 and Su-11 which, it was realized by Soviet authorities, did not hold the intercepting capabilities required of them to counter the B-52 threat and others emerging from the United States and Britain.

    From the Sukhoi "T-49" prototype arose the" T-58" which relied on an ultra-streamlined form that included swept-back wings and a side-by-side twin-engine configuration. The pilot sat aft of a radar-equipped nosecone with generally good views of the area surrounding his airplane. The twin engines were aspirated by side-mounted intakes and exhausted at the tail through circular ports. The wing mainplanes were set about midships and low-mounted along the fuselage sides.

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    Sukhoi Su-15 (Flagon) Technical Specifications

    Service Year: 1965
    Type: Long-Range Interceptor Aircraft
    National Origin: Soviet Union
    Manufacturer(s): Sukhoi OKB - USSR
    Production Total: 1,290

    Structural (Crew Space, Dimensions and Weights)

    Operating Crew: 1
    Length: 69.98 feet (21.33 meters)
    Width: 34.55 feet (10.53 meters)
    Height: 16.73 feet (5.10 meters)

    Weight (Empty): 24,251 lb (11,000 kg)
    Weight (MTOW): 39,683 lb (18,000 kg)

    Installed Power and Standard Day Performance

    Engine(s): 2 x R-13F2-300 Tumansky turbojet engines with afterburn developing 15,873 lb of thrust.

    Maximum Speed: 1,386 mph (2,230 kph; 1,204 knots)
    Maximum Range: 450 miles (725 km)
    Service Ceiling: 65,617 feet (20,000 meters; 12.43 miles)
    Rate-of-Climb: 35,000 feet-per-minute (10,668 m/min)

    Armament / Mission Payload

    4 x AA-3 "Anab" AA missiles
    2 x AA-8 "Aphid" AA missiles
    2 x 23mm cannons in gunpods

    Global Operators / Customers

    Soviet Union; Ukraine

    Model Variants (Including Prototypes)

    Su-15 "Flagon-A" - Initial Production Model Designation.

    Su-15 "Flagon-D" - First Su-15 produced in quantity; increased wingspan.

    Su-15 "Flagon-E" - Improved powerplants; revised larger air intake systems.

    Su-15 "Flagon-F" - Definitive Flagon version with larger engines; improved radar system; aerodynamic improvements throughout; improved capabilities.