Sukhoi Su-30

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Sukhoi Su-30
Sukhoi Su-30MKA of the Algerian Air Force
Sukhoi Su-30MKA of the Algerian Air Force
Type: * Long-range interceptors
Design country:

RussiaRussia Russia ( Soviet Union ) Soviet UnionSoviet Union 



First flight:

December 30, 1989


April 14, 1992

Production time:

In series production since 1991

Number of pieces:


The Sukhoi Su-30 ( Russian Сухой Су-30 , NATO code name : Flanker-C ) is a Russian multi -role fighter aircraft based on the two-seat training aircraft Sukhoi Su-27 UB, the development of which began in the last years of the Soviet Union .


Many of the Indian Su-30s have been built under license
Russian Sukhoi Su-30 from below (2016)
The Su-30K replaced many of the outdated MiG-21 and MiG-23 fighters in the Indian Air Force

Sukhoi began developing the Su-30 in the mid-1980s. Even before the Su-27 ("Flanker") was put into service, further development began. The aim was to create a whole series of aircraft types that would consist of a long-range interceptor, an air superiority fighter , a tactical fighter-bomber and a multi- role fighter . Suchoi referred to this generation as Series 30.

The Su-30, initially also called Su-27PU, should represent the long-range interceptor in this concept. The first prototype flew under the designation T-10PU-5 for the first time on December 30, 1989. The prototype was relatively free of problems, which is why series production began very quickly. The first Su-30 series aircraft flew on April 14, 1992, and this type was put into service that same year. In use, the Su-30 was intended as a supplement to the MiG-31 ("Foxhound"), which should then be used primarily to defend against cruise missiles. The Su-30 was designed to intercept US B-1 and B-52 bombers over the North Pole and the Pacific. However, with the collapse of the Soviet Union, this concept became obsolete, making the Su-30 "unemployed". As a result, there was initially only a limited production of Su-30 machines.

As a result, Sukhoi began to look for new tasks for the Su-30 and began to convert the Su-30 into a multi-role fighter. The result was the Su-30M, which is primarily intended for fighter-bomber missions. According to this range of tasks, a new combat electronics and a Chaika navigation system were installed instead of the interception radar . At the same time, the rear section of the machine was revised and stabilized to make it more resistant to fire. The Su-30MK was made available for export and repeatedly prevailed against its US American and European competitors on the Asian market.

Despite its size and weight, the Su-30 is capable of remarkable flight performance. This includes the cobra maneuver that has been demonstrated for the first time with a Su-27 and has been famous ever since . Compared to the Su-27, however, the Su-30 achieves a slightly lower climb performance and maximum speed. During maneuvers with very abrupt changes of direction, it loses enormous speed and thus also altitude, which is particularly evident in versions with thrust vector control, which greatly increase the maneuverability of the machine compared to aircraft with conventional engines. The strength of the Su-30 lies primarily in its high flexibility, as it can be used for almost any type of application. These so-called "multi-role" capabilities are the greatest advantage of the Su-30MK on the world market, as only the F-16 "Fighting Falcon" , F / A-18 "Hornet" and JAS 39 "Gripen" have a similar one have a high degree of flexibility, but without achieving the flight performance of the Su-30. But this could change with the introduction of the F-35 and the full operational capability of the French Rafale and the Eurofighter “Typhoon” .

The Su-30 has no stealth properties and, due to its size, has a high kerosene consumption, which is compensated for by the large internal tanks, so that the manufacturer has so far not integrated any additional drop tanks.

Radar systems

The Su-30 uses the NIIP N001 “Metsch” (also: RPLK-27, NATO code: “Slot Back”) as on- board radar . It was developed for the Su-27 and should have at least the same performance as the American AN / APG-65 . At the time of development, however, this was not feasible, so parts from the existing N019 radar were used (mainly the parabolic antenna and the TS100 processor). Development was completed in March 1983. In the following tests, the range performance was well below expectations. The radar can detect a large bomber for a maximum of 140 km instead of the planned 200 km. Reliability was also extremely low with an MTBF of just five hours. Therefore, the radar was initially not accepted and revised again. The revised radar was introduced in 1991.

The parabolic antenna of the N001 has a diameter of 1.075 m and transmits with an average power of 1 kW in the X-band (8–12 GHz). It belongs to the group of doppler / pulse radars, which is why it also has good look-down / shoot-down capabilities. Large targets can be detected at a distance of 140 km, a target with a radar cross-section of 3 m² over 80 to 100 km, whereby such a target can only be safely tracked from 65 km. The radar also has a TWS mode and can track ten targets at the same time and fight two of them simultaneously. The Chinese version of the Su-30MK2 is equipped with a Schuk-MSE radar, with which up to ten targets can be pursued at the same time and four can be fought simultaneously.

In the Su-30MKI and its variants, the N011M “Bars” (also: RLSu-30MK) is used as one of the most powerful Russian radar devices for combat aircraft. It is particularly characterized by the PESA antenna, which significantly increases the performance in all relevant parameters. Development began in the early 1990s, with two specially configured Su-27Ms serving as the test platform. During development, problems arose with the new antenna, which lost massive amounts of power when it was electronically swiveled over 40 °. For this reason, the antenna is now also mechanically aligned horizontally so that scan angles of ± 70 ° are possible, and only ± 40 ° in height due to the lack of mechanical alignment. The antenna itself has a diameter of one meter, weighs 110 kg and transmits in the X-band. It achieves a pulse power of 4-5 kW and a continuous power of 1.2 kW. The antenna gain is 36 dB, the first side lobe is −25 dB lower, which leads to an average side lobe attenuation of −48 dB. The opening angle is 2.4 °, whereby twelve different beams can be generated. A programmable TS200 processor with a maximum performance of 75 MIPS is used for signal processing  . The radar is controlled by three separate processors that can access a 16 MB RAM . The complete system weighs 650 kg.

The N011M has several advanced operating modes to effectively combat a wide range of air, sea, and ground targets. These include ground mapping (with Doppler sharpening), TWS (pursuing 15 targets, four of which are fighting simultaneously) and NCTI based on specific properties of rotating fan blades. The location range is around 140 km for a radar cross-section of 1 m².


A Sukhoi Su-30K of the Indian Air Force
Initial version and long-range interceptor based on the Su-27UB. Differs from the Su-27UB in that it has more extensive equipment to coordinate the deployment of a group of hunters.
First production version of the Su-30. 18 pieces were exported to India as an interim solution. Russia committed to take back these machines as soon as sufficient replacement in the form of the Su-30MKI was available. The machines were stored in an aircraft repair plant near Minsk. A resale to the Belarusian air force has been speculated several times in the years 2010–2012, but an agreement could not be reached. Instead, Angola ordered 12 of these aircraft as part of a comprehensive arms treaty with Russia.
Air superiority fighter based on the Su-27SKM for Indonesia . The 1997 contract was not implemented due to the financial crisis in Asia. The machine was converted back to the Su-27SKM. In 2010, Indonesia received the Su-30MK2 model. The only single-seat variant of the Su-30.
Modernization version for the Russian naval air force of the naval fleet . About 40 Su-27UB machines were to be converted to Su-30KN, but the project was abandoned in favor of modernizing the Su-27S.
Multipurpose fighter aircraft based on the Su-30. Six series machines were delivered to the Russian air force and served as technology carriers. Basic version, from which the two important branches of the Su-30 family were developed: Su-30MK, Su-30MK2 and their derivatives on the one hand and Su-30MKI and their variants on the other.
Production version of the Su-30 as a multi-role combat aircraft based on the Su-30M. The letter "K" in the name stands for commercial or export oriented and forms the basis for one of the two branches of Su-30 development since the Su-30M.
Export version of the Su-30MK for the People's Republic of China . 76 machines were delivered.
Improved Su-30MK. This version has two additional attachment points for armament and is able to use Ch-59M missiles. The radar has been improved and, if required, can be replaced by Fasotron NIIR Schuk variants. 24 of these machines were procured by the Chinese People's Navy. Also, Libya and Uganda have each appointed six aircraft of this type. The first two machines for Uganda were delivered in July 2011.
Proposal for a modified Su-30MK2 for the Chinese People's Navy. Ultimately, this designation was not introduced and the aircraft were sold to China as the Su-30MK2.
Export version of the Su-30MK2 for Venezuela . 24 machines were delivered.
Version of the Su-30MK2 for Vietnam.
Su-30MK2 for the Russian armed forces. As part of the contract for the delivery of 48 Su-35s , Russia also acquired 4 Su-30M2s that were left over from previous business relationships with KnAAPO. Another 16 were ordered in December 2012.
A Su-30MKI
Special fighter-bomber version of the Su-30M for the Indian Air Force. The planes got canards; later construction lots, which have been manufactured under license by Hindustan Aeronautics since 2006 , also include a thrust vector control. Equipped as standard with the N011M Bars radar, which remained the most powerful radar in the entire T-10 family until the Su-35BM was released. Characteristic for the Su-30MKI is the high proportion of western avionics, which is why it is regarded as one of the most advanced variants of the Su-30. It was also the first Russian fighter aircraft with duck wings and thrust vector control in series. Establishes the second important branch of Su-30 development.
Export version of the Su-30MKI for Malaysia . The machines were ordered by Boeing in 2003 instead of the F / A-18F "Super Hornet" . The delivery was agreed in August 2006 and by the end of 2007 six machines were in stock. Twelve more Su-30MKM were delivered to Malaysia in 2008. The aircraft has duck wings and thrust vector control and looks very similar to the Indian Su-30MKI.
Export version of the Su-30MKI for the Algerian Air Force . In the first installment, 28 machines were delivered. Since the 15 MiG-29SMT delivered in 2007 were made with decades-old fuselages and did not meet the requirements of the Algerian Air Force, they were returned and 16 Su-30s were requested instead. After the Algerian Air Force found that their Su-30MKA had the radar and avionics systems of Israeli origin installed, they asked for their replacement with Franco-Russian components.
Su-30SM of the Russian Navy
Modified Su-30MKI for the Russian Air Force, of which the first 30 aircraft were ordered in March 2012 and 30 more aircraft in December of the same year, which were delivered by 2015 and 2016 respectively. The first flight took place on September 21, 2012. In 2013, the Russian Navy also ordered five Su-30SMs for the first time. In 2016, the individual orders added up to a total of 116 aircraft, 88 of them for the Air Force and 28 for the Navy, which were delivered by the end of 2018.
Export version of the Su-30SM.

Technical specifications

Three-sided tear
The climbing performance of the Su-30 machines has decreased compared to the original Su-27
Thrust vector control engines from a Su-30MKI
Parameter Data from the Su-30K Data from the Su-30MKI
Type Long-range interceptors Multipurpose fighter
crew 2 2
length 21.94 m 22.10 m
span 14.70 m 14.70 m
Wing area 62.04 m² 63.20 m²
Wing extension 3.48 3.42
Wing loading
  • minimum (empty weight): 285 kg / m²
  • nominal (normal takeoff weight): 396 kg / m²
  • maximum (max. take-off weight): 532 kg / m²
  • minimum (empty weight): 280 kg / m²
  • nominal (normal take-off weight): 413 kg / m²
  • maximum (max. take-off weight): 614 kg / m²
height 6.36 m 6.38 m
Empty mass 17,700 kg 17,700 kg
normal takeoff mass 24,550 kg 26,090 kg
Max. Takeoff mass 33,000 kg
  • normal: 34,500 kg
  • Overload: 38,800 kg
Fuel capacity 9,400 kg 9,640 kg
g limits −3 / + 8.5 g −3 / + 9 g
Top speed
  • Mach 2.35 (at optimal altitude)
  • Do 1.35 at sea level
  • Mach 2 (at optimal altitude)
  • Do 1.14 at sea level
Service ceiling 17,500 m 17,300 m
Rate of climb 230 m / s 230 m / s at sea level
  • at optimal altitude: max. 3000 km
  • in low flight: 1270 km
  • with air refueling: 5200 km
  • at optimal altitude: max. 3000 km
  • with air refueling: 5200 km
Takeoff route 550 m 550 m with normal takeoff mass
Landing route 700 m 750 m with braking parachute
Engines two Saturn / Ljulka AL 31FL - turbofans two Saturn / Ljulka AL-31FP turbofan engines
  • with afterburner: 2 × 122.58 kN
  • without afterburner: 2 × 74.50 kN
  • with afterburner: 2 × 130.76 kN
  • without afterburner: 2 × 79.43 kN
Thrust-to-weight ratio
  • maximum (empty mass): 1.41
  • nominal (normal take-off mass): 1.02
  • minimum (max.start mass): 0.75
  • maximum (empty weight): 1.51
  • nominal (normal take-off mass): 1.02
  • minimum (max.starting mass): 0.69
Fuel ratio: 0.34 0.35


A crew member checks the R-27 and R-73 guided missiles on a Su-30 during the Syrian civil war in October 2015

Permanently installed gun armament in the bow
1 x 30 mm automatic cannon GRYAZEV-SHIPUNOV GSH-301 (9A-4071K) with up to 150 rounds of ammunition

Gun loading of 8000 kg at twelve external load stations

Air-to-air guided missile
6 × AKU / APU-470 launch rails for 1 ×  GosMKB Wympel R-27R (AA-10 "Alamo-A")
each - semi-active radar-guided for medium-range 2 × AKU / APU-470 launch rails for 1 each ×  GosMKB Wympel R-27T (AA-10 "Alamo-B") - infrared
-controlled for medium distances
6 × AKU / APU-470 start rails for each 1 ×  GosMKB Wympel R-27ER1 (AA-10 "Alamo-C") - semi-active radar-controlled for long distances
2 × AKU / APU-470 start rails for 1 ×  GosMKB Wympel R-27ET1 each (AA-10 "Alamo-D") - infrared
-controlled for long distances
6 × AKU / APU-170 start rails for 1 × GosMKB Wympel each 
R-77 / RWW-AE / RWW-SD (AA-12 "Adder") - active radar-guided for long distances
6 × P-12-1-D start rails for 1 ×  GosMKB Wympel R-73R / E / M2 (AA -11 "Archer") - infrared
-controlled for short distances
2 × AKU / APU-470 start rails for 1 ×  GosMKB Wympel R-27P / R-27EP1 (AA-10 "Alamo-E / F") - passively steered to combat EloKa aircraft

Cruise missile
2 × AKU-58 launch rails for an MKB Raduga Ch-59ME "Owod" (AS-18 "Kazoo")
4 × AKU-58 launch rails for an MKB Raduga Ch-59MK "Owod" (AS-18 "Kazoo") )

Air-to-ground guided missiles
6 × AKU-58M starter rails for 1 ×  GosMKB Wympel Ch-29L (AS-14 "Kedge")
each - laser-guided 6 × AKU-58M starter rails for 1 × GosMKB Wympel Ch-29T / TE ( AS-14 "Kedge") - TV-controlled
6 × AKU-58 launch rails for a Zvezda Strela Ch-31P "Taifoon" (AS-17 Krypton) - passive location for radar control
6 × AKU-58 launch rails for a Zvezda Strela Ch-31A "Taifoon" (AS-17 Krypton) - actively radar-guided for fighting ships
4 × AKU-58 launch rails for a Zvezda Ch-35E (SS-N-25 Switchblade) - actively radar-guided for fighting ships

Unguided air-to-surface missiles
4 × B-8-O / M1 missile launch containers for 20 × unguided S-8 air-to-surface missiles; 80 mm caliber
4 × B-13L rocket launch containers for 5 × unguided S-13 air-to-surface missiles each ; 122 mm caliber
4 × PU-O-25 missile launch container for an unguided S-25OFM air-to-surface missile; 340 mm caliber

Guided bombs
3 × BD-4 suspension for each 1 × GNPP KAB-1500 L-F ( laser-guided 1500 kg bomb)
3 × BD-4 suspension for each 1 × GNPP KAB-1500S-E (satellite navigation-
guided 1500 kg bomb )
3 × BD-4 suspension for each 1 × GNPP KAB-1500TK / Kr (TV-controlled 1500 kg bomb)
6 × BD-3U suspension for each 1 × GNPP KAB-500 D (laser-guided thermobaric 500 kg bomb )
6 × BD-3U suspension for each 1 × GNPP KAB-500L / LK / KR (laser-guided 500 kg bomb)
6 × BD-3U suspension for each 1 × GNPP KAB-500T / KR (television-controlled 500 kg -Bomb)
6 × BD-3U suspension for 1 × GNPP KAB-500S-E each (satellite navigation-guided 500 kg bomb)

bombs 8 × basalt FAB-500M-62T (500 kg high-explosive / fragmentation free-fall bomb )
8 × SB-500 (500 kg incendiary bomb)
8 × RBK-500 (500 kg
cluster bomb )
8 × ODAB- 500 PM (500 kg aerosol bomb )
8 × BETAB-500SHP (500 kg anti-slope bomb )
3 × basalt KMGU -2 (270 kg submunition container for small bombs and mines)
4 × multiple bomb carriers MBD3-U6-68 each with 6 × basalt FAB-250M-62 (250 kg free-fall bomb, max. 28 bombs)
4 × multiple bomb carrier MBD3-U6-68 each with 6 × OFAB-250-270 (250 kg free-fall bomb, max. 28 bombs )
5 × multiple bomb carriers MBD3-U6-68 with 4 × RBK-250-275AO-1SCh each (280 kg cluster bomb with AO-10 bombs, max. 20 bombs)
4 × multiple bomb carriers MBD3-U6-68 with 6 × each Basalt FAB-100 (100 kg free-fall bomb, max. 28 bombs)
6 × multiple bomb carriers MBD3-U6-68 with 5–6 × basalt OFAB-100-120 (100 kg free-fall bomb, max. 32 bombs)
8 × P-50T practice bombs

External container
1 × Tekon / Elektron-APK-9E data transmission container for Ch-29, Ch-59 and KAB-1500TK
2 × Sorbzija / KNIRTI SPS-171 / L005S "Sorbzija-S" jamming container
2 × KNIRTI L-175W "Chibiny “ Disturbance container
1 × KNIRTI SAP-14 disturbance container
2 × KNIRTI SAP-518 disturbance container

Self-defense systems

between the engines are tailskid two larger batteries APP-50A decoy for 14 blocks of 3 x 50-mm-decoys and centered on the bead of the rear spur a Gorizont-APP-50MA-decoy (rectangular container for each 12 x 50 -mm- heat flare decoys ) installed. There are a total of 96 decoy cartridges.

User states

Current users

  • MalaysiaMalaysia Malaysia - As of January 2018, there are 18 Su-30MKM in service with the Malaysian Air Force .
  • RussiaRussia Russia - As of January 2019, 20 Su-30M2 and 114 Su-30SM are in service with the air and naval forces .
  • UgandaUganda Uganda - As of January 2018, there are 6 Su-30MK2 in service with the Ugandan Air Force.
  • VenezuelaVenezuela Venezuela - As of January 2018, there are 23 Su-30MKV in service with the Venezuelan Air Force.
  • VietnamVietnam Vietnam - As of January 2018, there are 35 Su-30MK2 in service with the Vietnamese Air Force .

Future users

  • ArmeniaArmenia Armenia - In February 2019, 4 Su-30SMs were ordered for the Armenian Air Force and are scheduled for delivery in 2020.
  • MyanmarMyanmar Myanmar - In early 2018, 6 Su-30SME were ordered for the Myanmar Air Force.
  • BelarusBelarus Belarus - 12 Su-30SMs were ordered for the Belarusian Air Force and are currently being delivered.


  • On 12 June 1999, a Su-30MK crashed during a demonstration at the Paris Air Show at the Le Bourget Airport from - both pilots managed to escape in time by ejection seat.
  • On September 17, 2015, a Venezuelan Su-30MKV had an accident near the border with Colombia while intercepting an aircraft that had illegally entered the airspace, killing both pilots.
  • In early May 2018, a Russian Su-30SM crashed into the Mediterranean shortly after taking off from the Hmeimim military airfield . Both pilots were killed.

Web links

Commons : Sukhoi Su-30  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. The Military Balance 2017
  3. Aviation Week and Space Technology Su-30MK Beats F-15C 'Every Time'
  4. a b c d e f g h i j k Overscan’s Guide to Russian Military Avionics
  5. a b Radar and Electronic Warfare Systems 2003.
  6. Air Power Australia: Flanker Radars in Beyond Visual Range Air Combat
  8. Chavez warns US after getting Russian warplanes
  9. UAC annual financial statements, page 12 (PDF; 1.8 MB)
  10. BMPD. Retrieved April 9, 2016 (Russian).
  11. Press release of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation. April 3, 2016, Retrieved April 9, 2016 (Russian).
  12. a b c d e f g h i j k l m Jane’s All The World's Aircraft 2005. p. 443.
  13. a b c d e f g h i j Jane’s All The World's Aircraft 2005. p. 442.
  14. ^ Jefim Gordon : Soviet / Russian Aircraft Weapons since World War Two. Midland Publications, 2004, p. 175.
  15. a b c d e f g h i The International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS): The Military Balance 2018 . 1st edition. Routledge, London 2018, ISBN 978-1-85743-955-7 (English, January 2018).
  16. L'armée algérienne va recevoir 14 nouveaux Su30 MKA. In: Algerie Solidaire. , accessed on August 23, 2019 (French).
  17. Binnie, Jeremy: Angola receives all 12 Sukhoi fighters. In: IHS Markit - Jane's 360., May 20, 2019, accessed August 23, 2019 .
  18. Iraq purchased six Su-30K fighters overhauled in Belarus. In: RUSSIAN AVIATION., July 2, 2014, accessed on August 23, 2019 .
  19. HAL's Su-30 MKI Fighter Jet Production for IAF Crosses 200 Marks. In: Digitalwriters Media Pvt Ltd -, January 22, 2019, accessed on August 23, 2019 (English, 198 Su-30MKI's own production and a further 50 Su-30MKI manufactured in Russia were handed over to the Air Force by December 2018, 8 of which have since crashed) .
  20. Центр АСТ (BPMD): Поставки боевых самолетов в Вооруженные Силы России in 2018 году., January 13, 2019, accessed on August 23, 2019 (Russian, a total of 114 Su-30SMs are in service).
  21. Fediushko, Dmitry: Armenia to acquire four Su-30SM combat aircraft . February 5, 2019. Archived from the original on February 6, 2019. Retrieved on August 23, 2019.
  22. Myanmar Is Stocking Up On Russian Jets. In: 21st Century Asian Arms Race, February 20, 2018, accessed August 23, 2019 .
  23. Karnosow, Wladimir: Belarus To Receive Sukhoi Su-30SM Fighters. In: Aviation International News, February 10, 2016, accessed August 23, 2019 .
  24. Sukhoi Su 30 Crash., April 5, 2012, accessed May 23, 2018 .
  25. Venezuelan fighter jet crashes on Colombia border., September 19, 2015, accessed May 23, 2018 .
  26. Russian fighter jet crashes over the Mediterranean Sea - two dead., May 3, 2018, accessed on May 23, 2018 .