Initial Operational Capability (IOC):
1 July 1997
Also Known As: Flanker-H, Su-30MKI(A), Su-30MKM and Su-30SM
Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (Only for Indian Air Force aircraft), IRKUT Corporation and Sukhoi
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Description: The Su-27, Flanker-B NATO-designation, is a single-seat, twin-engine, long range, air defense fighter designed to counter the F-15 Eagle and NATO fighter aircraft. It can accommodate R-27 and R-73 missiles for short, medium and long range air-to-air engagements. In addition, a built-in GSh-301 30mm gun provides very short range air-to-air engagement capability. The Su-27 air defense fighter can also carry out escort missions in support of Tu-22M, Backfire NATO nickname, as well as other bomber/attack aircraft such as the Su-24, Fencer NATO nickname. Despite its size and weight, the Su-27 and its derivatives are the most maneuverable aircraft ever flew. The Su-27 Flanker features an integrated Infrared Search and Track (IRST) system located in front of the cockpit's canopy. The IRST system together with a helmet-mounted sight, the R-73 advanced short range air-to-air missile, and Su-27's maneuverability outperforms any existing fighter aircraft in a short range air-to-air engagement.
The Su-30, also known as the Su-27P, is a derivative of the Su-27UB twin-seat trainer designed to provide long endurance, through in-flight refueling, improved air defense capability. Su-30s can share airborne targets information in the same way that groups of Mig-31 interceptors do. Up to ten targets can be shared by a group of five Su-30 fighters to engage targets in a cooperative way. The latest air-to-air weapons can be employed by the Su-30 fighter. The Su-30MK, a further improvement over the Su-30, can perform air-to-surface missions employing precision-guided weapons while retaining the advanced air-to-air features introduced in the early Su-30s. The MK model is intended as the standard configuration for Su-30 aircraft.
The Su-30 fighter achieved initial operational capability with the Russian Air Force in 1992. The Su-30MK advanced multi-role fighter is available for export. About 40 Su-30MK, under the Su-30MKI designation, have been sold to India with 140 Su-30MKIs to be produced in India by the HAL Corporation under a license manufacturing agreement between 2003 and 2017. The initial batch (50) of Russian-built Su-30MKs ordered by India between 1996 and 1998 was upgraded to the impressive Su-30MKI configuration. A second batch of 40 Su-30MKIs was ordered in 2007. In 2003 Malaysia ordered 18 Su-30MKMs, based on the Su-30MKI design, equipped with western avionics to be delivered by 2008. Algeria ordered 16 Su-30MKI(A) jets in April 2010.
The Su-30MKI features canard foreplanes and AL-31FP thrust vectoring control engines achieving the super-maneuverability concept. Super-maneuverability means that the airplane can aim at any direction within seconds to fire an air-to-air missile without changing its bearing. Super-maneuverability can be used in many situations during a mission. The aircraft features a Russian radar and optic locator, French navigation and heads-up display systems, Israeli EW and weapon-guidance systems, and Indian computers. India's Su-30MKI multi-role fighter-bomber is one of the best 4-5 generation aircraft currently available. Its range can be extended from 3,000 kilometers to 5,200 kilometers with only one air refueling. The extended range capability along with its outstanding payload capacity were envisaged as the most important asset for India allowing to perform deep strike attacks in Pakistan and China.
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