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  • Sukhoi Su-7 (Fitter-A) Fighter-Bomber / Ground Attack Aircraft

    The Sukhoi Su-7 Fitter-A was produced in nearly 1,850 examples with over a quarter of these made available for export.

     Updated: 6/19/2017; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©www.MilitaryFactory.com

    The Sukhoi Su-7 (NATO codename of "Fitter-A") was a single-seat, single engine jet-powered fighter in service with the Soviet Air Force (Frontal Aviation) throughout the 1960s. It was a nuclear-capable aircraft that went on to be a successful ground-attack fighter (noted for its ability to withstand large amounts of combat damage and still fly), seeing extensive combat actions particularly in the Middle East and in Southern Asia. The type was delivered to Warsaw Pact nations as well as trusted Third World allies and, today, few are in service with any air force. Despite its speed, bombing accuracy and battlefield robustness, the Su-7's powerplant proved exceedingly thirsty, limiting its tactical usefulness to its meager combat radius of several hundred miles. The aircraft went on to be produced in at least ten known major variants that also included a two-seat trainer and appeared in approximately 1,847 total production examples from 1957 to 1972.


    The Su-7 began life as early as 1953 (the final year of the Korean War), to which the Sukhoi OKB firm was reestablished and charged with finding an answer to the North American F-86 Sabre jet fighter. The American jet effectively "stole" the Korean War away from the North Korean/Chinese/Soviet conglomerate, matching wits with the highly-prized Soviet-made Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15 "Fagot" single-seat, single engine, swept-wing jet fighter.

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    Sukhoi Su-7BKL (Fitter-A) Technical Specifications

    Service Year: 1959
    Type: Fighter-Bomber / Ground Attack Aircraft
    National Origin: Soviet Union
    Manufacturer(s): Sukhoi OKB - Soviet Union
    Production Total: 1,847

    Structural (Crew Space, Dimensions and Weights)

    Operating Crew: 1
    Length: 55.12 feet (16.8 meters)
    Width: 30.54 feet (9.31 meters)
    Height: 16.37 feet (4.99 meters)

    Weight (Empty): 18,365 lb (8,330 kg)
    Weight (MTOW): 33,532 lb (15,210 kg)

    Installed Power and Standard Day Performance

    Engine(s): 1 x Lyulka AL-7F-1 turbojet engine developing 22,150lb of thrust with afterburning; 2 x SPRD-110 JATO lift rockets developing 13,300lb of thrust.

    Maximum Speed: 715 mph (1,150 kph; 621 knots)
    Maximum Range: 1,025 miles (1,650 km)
    Service Ceiling: 57,743 feet (17,600 meters; 10.94 miles)
    Rate-of-Climb: 31,500 feet-per-minute (9,601 m/min)

    Armament / Mission Payload

    2 x 30mm Nudelman-Rikhter NR-30 cannons

    Mission-specific armaments included a combination of the following across six external hardpoints (2 usually reserved for fuel tanks):

    Conventional Drop Bombs
    UB-16-57U 57mm Rocket Pods
    Gun Pods
    R-13M air-to-air missiles
    R-60 air-to-air missiles
    R-73A air-to-air missiles
    Kh-25ML air-to-surface missiles
    Kh-27 air-to-surface missiles
    Kh-29 air-to-surface missiles
    Kh-58 air-to-surface missiles
    8U69 5-kiloton nuclear bomb
    2 x 160 gallon fuel tanks

    Global Operators / Customers

    Afghanistan; Algeria; Bangladesh; Czechoslovakia; Hungary; Egypt; India; Iraq; North Korea; North Vietnam; Poland; Soviet Union; South Yemen; Syria; Vietnam

    Model Variants (Including Prototypes)

    S-1 - Prototype Model Designation

    S-2 - Prototype Model Designation with redesigned slab tailplane; becoming the Su-7 air superiority production model.

    S-22 - Preproduction Derivative Model of the S-2 fitted with Lyulka AL-7F turbojet capable of 19,814 lbs of thrust; becoming the ground attack production model.

    Su-7 (Fitter-A) - Initial Production Model Designation; tactical air superiority version; produced from 1957 until 1960; 132 examples produced.

    Su-7BM - Fitting an upgraded Lyulka AL-7F-1 turbojet engine; revised aerodynamics; wing fuel tanks; provision for underwing external fuel tanks for increased range; nuclear-capable; production from 1963 to 1965.

    Su-7BKL / S-22KL - Fitted with 2 x SPRD-110 JATO lift rockets of 13,300lbf; skids added to main landing gear for improved field operations; brake parachutes for short-landings; production from 1965 to 1972.

    Su-7BMK - Export Model of the Su-7BM production version; produced from 1967 to 1971.

    Su-7U (Moujik) - Two-seat tandem trainer model; deletion of internal fuel tank; produced from 1966 to 1972.

    Su-7UMK - Export version of the Su-7U two-seat trainer.

    Su-7UM - Two-Seat Trainer version of the Su-7BM production model.

    Su-7IG - Proposed Variable Geometry Wing model (swing-wing); becoming the Su-17 "Fitter" production model line; fitting improved AL-7F-1 turbojet engine of 24,691lbs thrust.

    100LDU "Control Configured Vehicle" (CCV) - Modified Su-7U trainer model fitted with canards; fly-by-wire testing platform.