Sukhoi Su-11 (Fishpot-C) Interceptor Aircraft
Improvements brought about to the Sukhoi Su-9 Fishpot series of Soviet interceptors gave rise to the Sukhoi Su-11 line.
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When the more potent Uragan 5B ("Hurricane") series interception radar became available to Soviet warplanes, it was deemed beneficial to advance an existing design. The selection fell to the Sukhoi Su-9 "Fishpot" with its conventional design lines and overall effectiveness. The new radar fit, along with support for the new R-98 (AA-3 "Anab") medium range Air-to-Air Missile (AAM), produced the resurrected "Su-11" designation. The type would be taken into service to strengthen Soviet interception capabilities across the empire's vast frontier.
The size of the Urugan radar fit dictated an increase in the cross-section of the Su-9 airframe so the fuselage was made larger and the nose-mounted intake revised to keep airflow consistent to the same turbojet engine within. Like the Su-9, the Su-11 was powered by a single Lyulka AL-7F afterburning turbojet engine which outputted 21,164lb of thrust. A revised fuel system was also included which meant that external pipes were added along the rear section of the fuselage so no internal changes would have to be made in serial production. Swept-back tail planes and delta-wing mainplanes were both retained from the original Su-9 and completed the rather sleek look to the fast aircraft. The sole pilot sat under a bubble-style canopy with generally good views around his aircraft.
A first flight by way of the T-47 prototype was had on December 25th, 1958 and production spanned from 1962 until 1965 to which only 108 examples were completed due to developmental delays. As such introduction into Soviet Air Force service was not had until 1964. NATO designated the Su-11 as the "Fishpot-C" due to its origins in the original "Fishpot" entry.
The Anab missile became available in two distinct forms - one semi-active, radar-guided and the other InfraRed (IR) homing. With four total hardpoints , the Su-11 could be outfitted with two missile types each. The radar allowed the interceptor to be used for all-weather sorties but direction to the target still required reliance on ground-based radar which limited the tactical value of the Su-11. Additionally, its speed, radar, and armament made it exclusively a high-altitude counter against aerial threats - these points accounting for the rather low production figure (comparatively the Su-9 was completed in over 1,100 units).
As such, the Su-11 was something of a limited success in the Air Force stable and only replaced some of the older Su-9s in service. Through-and-through it remained an interim interceptor design at best and was retired during the early 1980s as more advanced aircraft became available to the Air Force. The series was also never exported to Soviet allies of the period.