Russian Air Force Takes Upgraded Su-27s Intended for China

AIN Defense Perspective » January 20, 2012
Su-27SM3
The latest upgrade to the Su-27 fighter was displayed at the Moscow Air Show last August. (Photo: Vladimir Karnozov)
January 20, 2012, 10:30 AM

Sukhoi has delivered 12 Su-27SM(3)s to the Russian air force. The aircraft were originally intended to be supplied as subassemblies to China under a contract signed in 2009, and the last delivery was made in late December. The airframes were assembled at Sukhoi’s KnAAPO plant in Komsomolsk-on-Amur from parts originally manufactured for what was meant to be a second batch of 95 airframes in the Chinese order for 200 Su-27SKs. However, China took only the first 105 Su-27SKs, most of which were assembled in China from Russian kits.

The Su-27SM(3) is a single-seat multirole fighter capable of air superiority and ground strike missions. The Russian air force has already upgraded a considerable number of its Su-27 fighters to the SM standard. The SM(3) has a stronger airframe than previous SM variants, allowing the manufacturer to increase mtow by more than 2,000 pounds. It has additional hard points for weapons carriage. The heavier weight is offset by higher-thrust AL-31F-M1 engines manufactured by MMPP Salut. As an added bonus, these engines have extended service life.

The Su-27SM(3) also features a new electronic warfare suite and improved targeting systems. The weapons package includes new missiles (Sukhoi declined to specify the type) and the air-to-air and air-to-surface missiles in the Su-27SM(3) arsenal have longer firing ranges. Furthermore, the Su-27SM(3) can use modern precision guidance munitions guided by Glonass/GPS. Finally, the company has added the KIS “comprehensive information system,” which monitors the condition of onboard systems to make maintenance easier.

The cockpits of previous Su-27SM variants were based on dial instruments. But the SM(3) has a modern glass cockpit with four liquid-crystal MFDs in lieu of 13 “steam gauges” on the original Su-27S. The onboard communications complex is jam-proof and provides a secure datalink with ground command posts and airborne assets. According to Sukhoi the Su-27SM(3) is more than twice as effective against aerial targets and three times more effective against ground targets than the Su-27S.

The Russian air force exhibited a Su-27SM(3) at the Moscow Air Show last August, but at the time did not specify how it differed from earlier SM variants.

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neo con
on January 21, 2012 - 10:29am

there a piece of scrap,a outdated piece of soon to be Russian junk like all Russian hardware,spent power about to be annihilated

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Jaime Grant
on January 22, 2012 - 12:25am

You are obviously American and probably a young one at that. The only aircraft the US has that can match this aircraft is the F-22. It is no longer in production and if not for its stealth would likely be inferior to this aircraft in many respects. The F-15 is also a good plane, but not compared to the latest Su-27 variants.

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neo con
on January 21, 2012 - 10:29am

there a piece of scrap,a outdated piece of soon to be Russian junk like all Russian hardware,spent power about to be annihilated

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salaam khan
on January 29, 2012 - 9:43am

You are so wrong,any plane has a limited window, once locked on target it can damage destroy others.Also the US has many outdated planes,It is involved in so many things it is bankrupt.They borrow money from China, India, Russia, and others if they do not pay they become ,bankrupt.Also the USA Has a bad history, it killed millions of natives took over the land, and it preaches democracy.You need to be more objective.

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Rekab
on March 31, 2013 - 4:49am

The comment by neo-con just shows that that "person" is either a young dummie, or has grown in age, but still is a shmuck.

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