Type Multirole fighter
Country of origin Russia
First flight 31 December 1989
Produced Data is not available
Numbers built Total number is not available
Unit costs US$34–53 million
Max speed Maximum speed: Mach 2.0 (2,120 km/h, 1,320 mph)
Max range Range: 3,000 km (1,620 nmi) at altitude
Service ceiling: 17,300 m (56,800 ft)
Dimensions Length: 21.935 m (72.97 ft)
Wingspan: 14.7 m (48.2 ft)
Height: 6.36 m (20.85 ft)
Wing area: 62.0 m2 (667 ft2)
Weight Empty weight: 17,700 kg (39,021 lb)
Loaded weight: 24,900 kg (54,900 lb)
Max takeoff weight: 34,500 kg (76,060 lb)
Powerplant 2 × AL-31FL low-bypass turbofans
Dry thrust: 7,600 kgf (74.5 kN, 16,750 lbf) each
Thrust with afterburner: 12,500 kgf (122.58 kN, 27,560 lbf) each
Armament 12 hardpoints:
2 wingtip AAM launch rails, 3 pylons under each wing, 1 pylon under each engine nacelle, and 2 pylons in tandem in the "arch" between the engines. All versions can carry up to 8 tonnes of external stores.
Guns: 1 × GSh-30-1 gun (30 mm calibre, 150 rounds)
AAMs: 6 × R-27ER1 (AA-10C), 2 × R-27ET1 (AA-10D), 6 × R-73E (AA-11), 6 × R-77 RVV-AE (AA-12)
ASMs: 6 × Kh-31P/Kh-31A anti-radar missiles, 6 × Kh-29T/L laser guided missiles, 2 × Kh-59ME
Aerial bombs: 6 × KAB 500KR, 3 × KAB-1500KR, 8 × FAB-500T, 28 × OFAB-250-270, nuclear bombs
Operators Algeria, People's Republic of China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Russia, Uganda, Venezuela, Vietnam
Su-30 features twin-engine and manned by two persons. The fighter series are built by KnAAPO and the Irkut Corporation, they are two competing companies but are actually still under the Sukhoi group. KnAAPO manufactures the Su-30MKK and the Su-30MK2 while Irkut offered the multirole Su-30MKI.
The Development of Su-30
Sukhoi initially proposed the Su-27PU to serve as a fighter controller, a mini-AWACS, with the back-seater working with the radar and data links to control other fighters. Still, the oviet Air Defense Forces (PVO) was not attracted in purchasing the Su-27PU. All five Su-27PUs, designated as Su-30, finished up in PVO service for training purpose.
A Su-30M two-seat multirole variant was suggested for Russian use and some may have been developed in the mid-1990s for evaluation. Sukhoi also proposed an export variant, Su-30MK, where “MK” stood for “Modernizirovannyi Kommercheskiy” (Modernized Commercial). Sukhoi exhibited a Su-30MK demonstrator at the Paris Air Show in 1993. A much more improved Su-30MK demonstrator was showcased in 1994.
The Su-30 is a multirole combat fighter features a two-seat cockpit with an airbrake at the rear of the canopy. The Su-30MK is competent at completing a wide range of combat missions at considerable ranges from the home base, in all-weather and throughout radar jamming, night and day.
The Su-30MK’s aerodynamic configuration is an unstable-in-longitude triplane. To boost lifting effectiveness and increase manoeuvrability of the aircraft, foreplanes are fitted. They are deflected instantly to assure controlled flight at high angles-of-attack. Foreplanes, nevertheless, are mounted only in a few Su-30 variants such as the Su-30MKI.
The integrated aerodynamic configuration, coupled with the thrust vectoring control ability, leads to unparalleled manoeuvrability, takeoff and landing characteristics. Built with a digital fly-by-wire system, the Su-30MK has the ability to carry out some very sophisticated manoeuvres including the Pugachev’s Cobra and the Bell.
The fighter’s power plant features two Saturn AL-31F afterburning low-bypass turbofan engines. Two AL-31F turbofans, each rated at 12, 500 kgf (123 kN, 27, 550 lb) of full afterburning thrust ensures Mach 2 in level flight, 1, 350 km/h speed at low altitude, and a 230 m/s climbing rate.
With a standard fuel reserve of 5, 270 kg, the Su-30MK is perfect for executing a 4.5-hour combat mission with a range of 3,000 km. An in-flight refuelling system enhances the flight length up to 10 hours with a range of 5, 200 km (3, 200 mi) at cruise altitudes of 11-13 km. The long range significantly raises deployment options. The missions vary from extented patrols, and escorts to long-range intercept and ground attacks.
The thrust vectoring engines on some Su-30 variants have nozzles with turn axes positioned at 32-deg angle to one another. The differential ±15-degree deflection of the engines’ asymmetric nozzles enables pitch/yaw thrust vectoring control. Dependent upon the manoeuvre to be accomplished, nozzles deflections can be synchronised with or vary from the deflections of horizontal tail planes.
A two-member crew configuration leads substantially to better combat functionality, as a result of rational distribution of workload between crew members. While the first pilot flies the aircraft, controls weapons and performs manoeuvring dogfight, the co-pilot employs BVR air-to-air and air-to-ground guided weapons in long-range engagements, monitors tactical environment to make sure situational consciousness, and carries out command-and-control tasks in group missions.
The Su-30 features either a N001VE or Phazotron N010 Zhuk-27 or an N011M BARS pulse Doppler passive electronically scanned array radar that capable of sensing and monitoring up to 15 air targets, while simultaneously attacking four of them. For avionics, the manufacturer uses an integrated optronic sighting-and-navigation system with a laser gyro navigation system; helmet-mounted displays, a head-up-display, multifunction color LCDs with image mixing ability; and a GPS system (GLONASS/NAVSTAR compatible).
Other features such as IR and laser sighting pods to identify and hit small-size ground targets are obtainable for installation. The aircraft is supplied with an ECCM facility designed to subvert hostile electronic and electro-optical countermeasures.
The aircraft also includes autopilot ability at all flight stages which includes low-altitude flight in terrain-following mode, and individual and group combat employment against air and ground/sea-surface targets. Automatic control system interconnected with the navigation system ensures route flight, target approach, recovery to airfield and landing approach in automatic mode.
The Variants of Su-30
Following are several variants of Su-30:
- Su-27PU – Later designated as Su-30, a long range interceptor.
- Su-30K – Commercial version.
- Su-30KI – Sukhoi proposal for upgrading Russian AF single seat Su-27S and also exporter version for Indonesian Air Force.
- Su-30KN – Upgrade project for operational two-seat fighters, the Su-27UB, Su-30 and Su-30K.
- Su-30M – An upgraded Su-27PU with multirole capabilities.
- Su-30MK -Commercial version of Su-30M.
- Su-30MKI – Jointly-developed with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited for the Indian Air Force. Includes thrust vectoring control (TVC) and canards.
- Su-30MKK – Export version for China.
- Su-30MKM – Export version for Malaysia.
- Su-30MK3 – Equipped with Zhuk MSE radar and support for Kh-59MK anti-ship missile.
- Su-30SM – A specialized version of the thrust-vectoring Su-30MKI for Russian military.
RMAF Sukhoi SU-30MKM with USAF Thunderbird