Sukhoi Su-15

Country of originSoviet Union
ManufacturerSukhoi OKB
First flight30 May 1962
Numbers built1,290
Unit costsData is not available
Max speedMach 2.1, 2,230 km/h (1,386 mph) armed (2 x K-8/R-8/R-98 missiles, no external fuel tanks) at high altitude.

Mach 2.5 clean at high altitude
Max rangeRange: 1,380 km (897 mi) combat
Ferry range: 1,700 km (1,106 mi)
Service ceiling: 18,100 m (59,383 ft)
DimensionsLength: 19.56 m (64 ft 2 in)
Wingspan: 9.34 m (30 ft 7 in)
Height: 4.84 m (15 ft 10 in)
Wing area: 36.6 m² (394 ft²)
WeightEmpty weight: 10,874 kg (23,973 lb)
Loaded weight: 17,194 kg (37,920 lb)
Powerplant2 x Tumansky R-13-300 turbojets
Armament2 x R-98M (AA-3 "Anab"), normally 1 radar homing and 1 IR homing (outer wing pylons)
2 x or 4 x R-60 (AA-8 "Aphid") (inner pylons)
Option of 2 x UPK-23-250 23 mm gun pods on fuselage pylons
OperatorsFormer operators:
Russia/Soviet Union (some are stored in the emergency war reserve storage, Ukraine

The Sukhoi Su-15 Flagon is a supersonic interceptor which developed by the Soviet Union in the 1960’s and became the backbone of the Soviet Union’s air defenses to ward off any incoming hostile bomber and reconnaissance aircrafts, especially the British and the United States aircrafts that try to enter the country’s airspace. Sukhoi Su-15 became increasingly popular after the shooting incident of civilian airliner Korean Air Flight 007 on 1 September 1983 over the Sea of Japan, which killed all 269 passengers and crew aboard, including one member of the United States Congress.

Earlier in the year 1978, a Su-15 also tried to shoot down civilian aircraft Korean Air Flight 902. But the Korean airliner was able to survive and made an emergency landing on a lake near Murmansk.

Su-15 also showed its action several times to shoot down balloons that were used for reconnaissance and several other incidents including the Middle East.

The Su-15 interceptor was considered being able to deter any infiltration of B-52 bomber, the U-2 reconnaissance aircraft, and the British V bombers. Of course, with its technology and performance, Su-15 was not able to cope with other higher performance threats such as the American the XB-70 and B-58.

The Development and Design of Sukhoi Su-15

Sukhoi Su-15 was developed after the Soviet Union considered that then-most advanced American bomber presence, Boeing B-52 Stratofortress, was a threat that must be resisted. However, the Soviet Union interceptor owned at the time, the Sukhoi Su-11 Fishpot-C, was considered not having ability to intercept the B-52 due to its less reliable radar technology and less good performance of the aircraft.

It lead to the development of T-49, a better version of the Su-9. The development continued until the creation of T-58 which became the forerunner of the Su-15. On 30 May 1962, Sukhoi Su-15 flew for the first time. On 5 August 1963, Sukhoi Su-15 started entering service. Soviet Air Force was satisfied with the performance exhibited by Sukhoi Su-15. In 1967, Sukhoi Su-15 joined the Soviet Air Defence Force or PVO.

In terms of design, basically the components that used for Su-15 are similar to the predecessors’ components, the Su-9 and Su-11, including the use of rear-fuselage airbrakes. A very visible difference is the Su-15 uses side-mounted intakes instead of the shock-cone nose intake of the Su-9 and Su-11. The air intake feeds two very powerful engines so that the Su-15 can reach a maximum speed of Mach 2.5 and a maximum rate of climb of 228 m/s.

With this new nose, SU-15 has greater room to put more sophisticated search radar, namely RP-22-D Oryol. However, like other Soviet-made interceptors, the Su-15 is still very dependent on the performance of ground control interception (GCI).

Wing shape used on Su-15 was similar to its predecessor’s delta-wing. But starting from the eleventh production and so on the delta was slightly modified to be able to generate better speed and lift force.

In order to carry out its duties properly, the Su-15 is armed with two R-8/K-8 water-to-air missiles, two or four Aphids R-60 missiles and interceptor. As another option the interceptor could also be armed with two UPK -23-250 23 mm gun pods on fuselage pylons, each containing a two-barrel GSh-23L cannon.

Sukhoi Su-15 videos

Sukhoi Su-15 FLAGON


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