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    Sukhoi Su-15 (Flagon) Long-Range Interceptor Aircraft (1965)

    Sukhoi Su-15 (Flagon) Long-Range Interceptor Aircraft (1965)

    The Su-15 Flagon series was charged with defending Soviet airspace.

    Picture of Sukhoi Su-15 (Flagon)

    Staff Writer (4/13/2016): 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).

    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".

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    Technical Specifications:
    Sukhoi Su-15 (Flagon)
    Long-Range Interceptor Aircraft


    Focus Model: Sukhoi Su-15 (Flagon)
    Origin: Soviet Union
    Manufacturer: Sukhoi OKB - USSR
    Service Entry: 1965
    Production Total: 1,290
    Crew: 1


    Length: 69.98 ft (21.33 m)
    Width: 34.55 ft (10.53 m)
    Height: 16.73ft (5.10 m)
    Weight (Empty): 24,251 lb (11,000 kg)
    Weight (MTOW): 39,683 lb (18,000 kg)


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


    Maximum Speed: 1,386 mph (2,230 kmh; 1,204 kts)
    Maximum Range: 450 miles (725 km)
    Service Ceiling: 65,617 ft (20,000 m; 12.4 miles)
    Rate-of-Climb: 35,000 feet-per-minute (10,668 m/min)


    Hardpoints: 6
    Armament Suite:
    4 x AA-3 "Anab" AA missiles
    2 x AA-8 "Aphid" AA missiles
    2 x 23mm cannons in gunpods

    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.

    Soviet Union; Ukraine