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Sukhoi Su-30 (Flanker-C) Air Superiority / Strike Fighter Aircraft

The Russian Sukhoi Su-30 fighter has proven a commercial success around the globe with operators found in India, Malaysia and Venezuela.

 Updated: 7/26/2017; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©

The Sukhoi Su-30 (NATO codename of "Flanker-C") is an air superiority and strike fighter version of the Su-27 "Flanker" series. The aircraft is essentially a multi-role aircraft based on the Su-27PU two-seat, long range interceptor which, itself, is based on the Su-27UB two-seat trainer. As it stands, the Su-30 can operate in all-weather and is equally capable of air-to-air and air-to-surface engagements as needed and has seen some of its variants profit in the global foreign sales market. The Su-30 can favorably be compared to the Boeing F-15E "Strike Eagle" multi-role fighter-bomber version of the successful F-15 Eagle air superiority fighter.

The Su-30 features a crew of two seated in tandem. The rear-placed pilot is offered up a beneficial view above and over the front pilot. An airbrake extended upwards just aft of the second cockpit position. Externally, the Su-30 retains much of the look of the base Su-27. The undercarriage is of a tricycle arrangement with the main gears sporting single wheels.

Standard armament remains the GSh-30-1 30mm cannon. Other armament on the aircrafts 12 hardpoints (under wing and fuselage) consist of air-to-air missiles, air-to-surface missiles, laser-guided bombs and missiles and conventional drop bombs. Anti-radiation missiles are also part of the impressive armament load. Weapon placement can also be supplemented by external fuel tanks for increased range.

The aircraft achieved first flight in 1989 and was officially added to the Russian inventory in 1996.

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Sukhoi Su-30 (Flanker-C) Technical Specifications

Service Year: 1996
Type: Air Superiority / Strike Fighter Aircraft
National Origin: Russia
Manufacturer(s): Sukhoi Design Bureau - Russia
Production Total: 540

Structural (Crew Space, Dimensions and Weights)

Operating Crew (Typical): 2
Overall Length: 71.95 feet (21.93 meters)
Overall Width: 48.23 feet (14.70 meters)
Overall Height: 20.87 feet (6.36 meters)

Weight (Empty): 39,022 lb (17,700 kg)
Weight (MTOW): 76,059 lb (34,500 kg)

Installed Power and Standard Day Performance

Propulsion: 2 x Saturn AL-31FL turbofan engines with afterburner developing 27,560 lb thrust each.

Maximum Speed: 1,317 mph (2,120 kph; 1,145 knots)
Maximum Range: 1,864 miles (3,000 km)
Service Ceiling: 56,759 feet (17,300 meters; 10.75 miles)
Rate-of-Climb: 45,275 feet-per-minute (13,800 m/min)

Armament / Mission Payload

1 x 30mm GSh-30-1 internal cannon

External ordnance can be any combination of the following:

R-27ER1 (AA-10C) "Alamo" medium-range air-to-air missiles
R-27ET1 (AA-10D) air-to-air missiles
R-73E (AA-11) airoto-air missiles
R77 RVV-AE (AA-12) air-to-air missiles
Kh-31P anti-radiation air-to-surface missiles
Kh-31A anti-radiation air-to-surface missiles
Kh-29T/L laser-guided missiles
Kh-59ME air-to-surface missiles
KAB-500KR bombs
KAB-1500KR bombs
FAB-500T bombs
OFAB-250-270 bombs

Global Operators / Customers

Algeria; Angola; China; India; Indonesia; Kazakhstan; Malaysia; Russia; Uganda; Venezuela; Vietnam

Model Variants (Including Prototypes)

Su-27PU - Designation for two-seat, long-range interceptor; redesignated as Su-30 series; based on Su-27UB two-seat trainer.
Su-30 - Base Series Designation; developmental designation for new Su-30 design with canard wings added; in-flight refueling probe.
Su-30K - Export Variant Designation of Su-30 base model.
Su-30KI - Single-Seat Variant; developed as an Su-27S upgrade and Indonesian export order model.
Su-30KN - Standardized Su-30 upgrade from Su-27UB, Su-30 and Su-30K models.
Su-30M - Upgraded Su-27PU as multi-role fighter.
Su-30MK - Export Variant of Su-30M
Su-30M2 - Upgraded Su-30MK; wing canards added; thrust vectoring.
Su-30MKI - Modernized Flanker for India; revised avionics; canard implementation; thrust vectoring.
Su-30MKK - Chinese Export Variant
Su-30MKM - Based on Su-30MKI model; revised avionics; for Malaysian sale.
Su-30MKV - Venezuelan Export Variant; similar to Su-30MK2.
Su-30MK2 - Su-30MKK model with upgraded electronics; anti-ship missile provisions.
Su-30MK2V - Vietnamese Export Model
Su-30MK3 - Su-30MKK model fitted with Zhuk MSE radar system; provision for Kh-59MK anti-ship missiles.