With the success that was the Sukhoi Su-17 "Fitter" swing-wing product, it was only natural for Soviet authorities to allow its sale to global allies and this endeavor provided the basis for the Su-20 "Fitter-C" export mark - based largely on the Su-17M (S-32MK model). The Su-20 was delivered with a ranging radar system, improved navigation suite, and a modern attack system while being powered by an AL-21F-3 24,800 lb thrust engine. The aircraft also appeared in limited export quantity as a reconnaissance variant under the designation of "Su-20R" - these being based on the Su-17R reconnaissance model. The Su-17 was later developed into a much-improved export variant recognized as "Su-22".
Armament included 2 x 30mm Nudelman-Rikhter NR-30 series internal cannons for close-in work. The airframe also held some ten hardpoints for the carrying of various air-to-air and air-to-surface munitions. Its crew was one and the export model retained much of the form and function of the Soviet line. Operational use of the Su-20 fell to Egypt, Poland, and Syria where they served in the fighter-bomber and ground attack roles.
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
✓Air-to-Air Combat, Fighter
General ability to actively engage other aircraft of similar form and function, typically through guns, missiles, and/or aerial rockets.
Ability to intercept inbound aerial threats by way of high-performance, typically speed and rate-of-climb.
✓Ground Attack (Bombing, Strafing)
Ability to conduct aerial bombing of ground targets by way of (but not limited to) guns, bombs, missiles, rockets, and the like.
✓Intelligence-Surveillance-Reconnaissance (ISR), Scout
Surveil ground targets / target areas to assess environmental threat levels, enemy strength, or enemy movement.
Developed ability to be used as a dedicated trainer for student pilots (typically under the supervision of an instructor).
61.5 ft (18.75 m)
45.3 ft (13.80 m)
16.4 ft (5.00 m)
42,990 lb (19,500 kg)
(Showcased structural values pertain to the base Sukhoi Su-20 (Fitter-C) production variant)
1 x Lyulka AL-21F-3 turbojet engine developing 24,802 lb of thrust.
10 x Hardpoints for a variety of air-to-air or air-to-ground munitions.
(Not all ordnance types may be represented in the showcase above)
Hardpoint Mountings: 10
Su-7 (Fitter-A) - Base Fixed-Wing Interceptor Model on which the Su-17 is based on.
Su-7IG/ S-22I (Fitter-B) - Based on the Su-7BM production model; used in testing the swing-wing component.
Su-17 (Fitter-B) - Base production model; limited production; extended fuselage based on the Su-7U two-seat trainer; revised airframe with dorsal fuselage spine; increased internal fuel capacity; fitted with Lyulka AL-7F-1 engine; production from 1969 to 1973.
Su-17K (Fitter-B) - Egyptian Export Model Designation of the base Su-17.
Su-17M (Fitter-C) - Initial Production Model of note; fitted with Lyulka AL-21F-3 engine; revised nav-attack system; implementation of dual pitot vanes as well as AoA vane; brake parachute; positional shock cone; production from 1972 to 1975.
Su-20 (Fitter-C) - Export Designation of Su-17M production model.
Su-17M-28 - Developmental Airframe for testing AS-9 "Kyle" anti-radar missile.
Su-17MKG - Developmental Airframe for testing AS-10 "Karen" and AS-14 "Kedge" air-to-surface missiles.
Su-17R (Fitter-C) - Limited Production Reconnaissance Variant of the Su-17M production model.
Su-20R (Fitter-C) - Export Designation of Su-17R reconnaissance model.
Su-17M2 (Fitter-D) - Redesigned and extended nose assembly; undernose Doppler radar; laser rangefinder; improved and expanded avionics; production from 1974 to 1977.
Su-17M2D (Fitter-D) - Fitted with Tumansky R-29BS-300 series engine of 25,335lbf; revised rear fuselage; production from 1977 to 1978.
Su-22 / S-32M2K (Fitter-F) - Export Designation of Su-17M2D production model.
Su-17UM / S-52U (Fitter-E) - Two -Seat Conversion Trainer; based on the Su-17M2 production model; revised deeper fuselage; deletion of internal fuel capacity; portside cannon removed; enlarged vertical tail fin for improved longitudinal control at high AoA; production from 1976 to 1978.
Su-22U - Export Model Designation of Su-17UM two-seat trainer; fitted with Tumansky R-29 series engine.
Su-17M3 / S-52 (Fitter-H) - Additional fuel and avionics equipment; based on two-seat trainer sans the second cockpit; improved range; internal Doppler radar system; launch rails installed for AA-2 and AA-8 missiles; production from 1976 to 1981.
Su-22M / S-52K (Fitter-J) - Export Model Designation of the Su-17M3; fitted with Tumansky R-29 series engine; downgraded avionics.
Su-22M3 / S-52MK (Fitter-J) - Export Model Designation of Su-17M3 with Soviet Su-17M3 avionics in place.
Su-17UM3 / S-52UM3 (Fitter-G) - Improved Two-Seat Trainer; Su-17M3 avionics; production from 1978 to 1982.
Su-22UM3 (Fitter-G) - Export Model Designation of Su-17UM3 trainer; fitted with Tumansky R-29 engine.
Su-22UM3K (Fitter-G) - Export Model Designation of Su-17UM3 trainer; fitted with Lyulka AL-21 engine.
Su-17M4 - Upgraded avionics suite; improved laser rangefinder; Sirena radar-warning receiver; fuselage and dorsal air inlets for improved engine cooling; fixed shock cone; TV-guided ordnance compatibility; production from 1981 to 1988.
Su-22M4 / S-54K - Export Model Designation of Su-17M4 production model; production from 1983 to 1990.
Su-22M5 - Modernized Fitters with French/Russian-based equipment and systems; HOTAS; glass cockpit; improved avionics suite; Phazotron/Thomson-CSF radar system; sans laser rangefinder.
Ribbon graphics not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective aerial campaigns / operations / aviation periods.
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Right underside view of a diving Sukhoi Su-20 Fitter fighter
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