Staff Writer (Updated: 8/2/2016):
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).
Sukhoi Su-15 (Flagon) (1965)
Type: Long-Range Interceptor Aircraft
National Origin: Soviet Union
Manufacturer(s): Sukhoi OKB - USSR
Production Total: 1,290
69.98 feet (21.33 meters)
34.55 feet (10.53 meters)
16.73 feet (5.10 meters)
24,251 lb (11,000 kg)
39,683 lb (18,000 kg)
2 x R-13F2-300 Tumansky turbojet engines with afterburn developing 15,873 lb of thrust.
1,386 mph (2,230 kmh; 1,204 knots)
450 miles (725 km)
65,617 feet (20,000 meters; 12.4 miles)
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
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.
The prototype achieved first-flight on May 30th, 1962 and this form, following some alterations to make her service-capable, was selected for serial production in February of 1962 carrying the designation of "Su-15". From August 1963 on it was involved in the usual service tests required of Soviet aircraft but the expected production lines Novosibirsk (already committed to the Yakovlev Yak-25) were contested and served to delay entry of the Su-15. As such, its introduction did not take place until 1965 and, once recognized by NATO, it received the codename of "Flagon-A". ©www.MilitaryFactory.com
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