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Su-27 fighter family variants

Posted: Mon 15 Jul 2019 16:17
by molnibalage ... 0e5924.jpg

Maybe the image is not 100% correct with the text but in theory it should be. Su-35S and Su-34 are not on the image above.
Here is a list about variants and their main elements and their operators and manufacturers.

Su-30 (wx. Su-27PU)
Engine: MMPP Saljut Al-31F (base engine without thrust vectoring)
Radar: N001 Mecs (mechanical scan)
Manufacturer: Irkut (IAPO)
Operators. Russian Air Force from. It had air refuelling capability it was designed for PVO for long range BARCAP like MiG-31 but without the R-33 + Zaslon.
Following only two prototypes only 7 airframes were shipped between 1993 and 1999. From these airframes 3 were prototypes of another variants. 4 airframes were sent into the training centre of PVO. When PVO was disbanded after 2000 they were relocated to Kubinka Airfield. Nowadays they are not flown. It has been proposed to overhaul them as replacement of old Su-27UB

Engine: MMPP Saljut AL-31FM-1, +1 ton static thrust comparing to the base engine model
Radar: N001 (strongly upgraded but it is still mechanical scan) l
Manufacturer: KNAAZ (KNAAPO)
Operators: Russia
Between 2010 and 2011 very likely using leftover Chinese export airframes 12 Su-27SM3 were shipped to RuAF then another 12 airframe size batch between 2014 and 2019 using older airframes. The 3rd Regiment in North Caucasus are equipped with these 24 airframes. More SM3 upgrade was planned but it was eventually cancelled. (Very likely because of the later designed more advanced variants.) It does not have air refuelling capability.

About 2-3 regiments were made between 2004-2009 by upgrading Su-27S and P variants. SM2 was planned but it was cancelled. [COLOR="#FF0000"]In total 54 airframes were upgraded to SM configuration. 2-2 squadrons got in the Far-East in two regiments but following the introduction of Su-35S they were relocated into Europe but even at this location they are pushed out progressively by new jets. Currently the largest operator is the 38th regiment in Crimea.[/COLOR]
Manufacturer: KNAAZ (KNAAPO)

Engine: MMPP Saljut AL-31F,
Radar: N001 with increased capability
Manufacturer: Irkut (IAPO)
Operators: First of these birds were sold for Indonesia. It is the multirole variant of the Su-27PU. (M = Monofunkcionnij) The RuAF cancelled the further acquisition of Su-27UB therefore Irkut with strong marketing strategy found the potential customer using already manufactured airframes. Later customers bought new airframes.

Engine: MMPP Saljut AL-31FM-1, +1 ton static thrust comparing to the base engine model
Radar: same as in in Su-27SM3, l
Manufacturer: KNAAZ (KNAAPO)
Operators: Russia, entered in service after 2010. It is the home version of the export MK2 fighters. They were leftover airframes and RuAF took over and got different avionics for RuAF. They acts mostly as replacements of Su-27UB airframes, 1-3 airframes are allocated for each sq. In totaly 4+16 were manufactured.
It has air refuelling capability.

Engine: MMPP Saljut AL-31F
Radar: Same as in Su-30 (Su-27PU)
Manufacturer: Irkut (IAPO)
Operators: Originally they were designed Su-27PU but eventually sold for India as Su-30K as forerunner of Su-30MKI. It was part of the deal of 1996 an option when the MKI program is enough matured MK airframes will be upgraded to MKI configuration. This option was canalled and with Russian clearance they were sold. In total 18 Su-30K were shipped for India and they were replaced with 18 Su-30MKI. From the 18 airframes 12 were sold to Angola between 2017-19. Before that they were stored in Belorussia for 4-6 years.

Engine: MMPP Saljut AL-31F
Radar: Same as in Su-27S
Manufacturer: KNAAZ (KNAAPO)
Operators: It is literally a single seater variant of the Su-30 or Su-27S (regardless how you approach) with aerial refuelling capability. It was exported only Indonesia, [COLOR="#FF0000"]only three (!) were produced.[/COLOR]

Engine :MMPP Saljut Al-31F without thrust vectoring
Radar: The first 20 airframe with N001 VEP form the 21th Fazotron N010 Zsuk-MS (PESA)
Manufacturer: KNAAZ (KNAAPO)
Operators: China
Following three prototypes 76 airframes were sold to China between 2000 and 2003. Three combat and one training sq. were set up. (24 pcs/regiment was the standard before this.) Currently they are partially replaced with J-16. 24 Su-30MK2 were acquistioned by the Navy in 2004.

Szu-30MKI, MKM, MKA MKA2 (?)
Engine : NPO Saturn AL-31FP with thrust vectoring and +0,5t static thrust
Radar: N011 Bars (PESA)
Manufacturer: Irkut (IAPO)
Operators: India (MKI), Algeria (MKA), Malaysia (MKM)
Produced qty. of MKI variant:
2002-2004 32 Su-30MKI by Irkut
-2007 140 Su-30MKI by HAL
2011-12 18 Su-30MKI by Irkut to replace the Su-30K.
In more detailed form:
Aug. of 2007 order. 40 MKI = 15 Irkus + 15 HAL partial assembly + 10 prod kit for HAL
Dec. of 2012 order 42 MKI kit for HAL
Jul o of 2019 order 18 MKI kit for HAL
Following 10 years of HAL production India reached about 50% share in the production.

Engine : MMPP Saljut AL-31F but with -1 ton (!) static thrust for increased life span
Radar: Same as in MKK
Manufacturer: KNAAZ (KNAAPO)
Operators: Venezuela

Engine: MMPP Saljut AL-31F
Radar: Same as in MKK
Manufacturer: KNAAZ (KNAAPO)
Operators: Vietnam

Engine: NPO Szaturn AL-31FP with thrust vectoring, with minor static thrust increase
Radar: N011 Barsz (PESA)
Manufacturer: Irkut (IAPO)
Operators: Russia, the upgrade has been started to Su-30SzMD it will get the Saturn AL-41F1-S engine.

Su-33 (ex. Su-27K)
Engine: NPO Saturn AL-31F-3Sz, it was modified for naval operation (corrosion) with increased 0,5-0,6 ton static thrust and faster RPM reaction
Radar: Same as Su-27P (with some naval modes for Kh-31?)
Manufacturer:KNAAZ (KNAAPO)
Operators: Russia
(China developed the J-15 naval variant using an unfinished Su-33 prototype, the T-10K-3 which was acquired from Ukraine and the J-11B. J-11B is the Chinese built variant of the Su-27. J-11A was the export variant of the Su-27SK.)

Engine: NPO Saturn AL-41F-1Sz, comparing to AL-31F +2 ton static thrust better characteristics and thrust vectoring capability
Rdar: N035 Irbis (PESA)
Manufacturer:KNAAZ (KNAAPO)
Operators: Russia, China

Engine: MMP Saljut AL-31FM-1, +1 ton static thrust comparing to the base engine model
Radar: Leninec B004 (PESA)
Manufacturer: NAPO
Operators: Russia

Stand by more about the history of Sukhois will come soon.
Original post was made in Hungarian here.

Re: Su-27 fighter family variants

Posted: Tue 16 Jul 2019 16:33
by molnibalage
More detailed info was added to first post with red text.

When anybody anywhere use the Su-30 designation as a generalization it should be careful. The base Su-30 originally was developed as a long range aerial refuelling capable Su-27PU. This variant was developed in the final hours of the USSR for the PVO. Only some airframes were shipped to the air force and the rest were left in the courtyard of the manufacturing plant. Then came the idea to provide strike capability (at first only with non precision weapons) got the Su-30 designation. Without at least minimal multirole capability was impossible to sold any fighter in the early '90s.

The Su-30 in this very immature form was successful attempt to step into the market but the evolution it has just started. The OKB Sukhoi started to work on the real multirole Su-30M variant. For export market was designed the Su-30MK ("Kommersant") as commercial variant not for the need of RuAF. (They lacked the sources to buy any new jets in the '90s.) The first customer was China which got the multirole (M), commercial (K) and Chinese (K) variant the Su-30MKK. It was designed by the very specific request of China. No so much later India also singed a contract but they wanted to a more advanced variant. As an interim solution was the base Su-30 from the courtyard to gather experience with the Su-27/30 family.

(China in the early '90s bought Su-27SK and UB airframe therefore they already had experience with Sukhois.) Following the deal the sold Su-30 airframes were redesignated as Su-30K because they were now commercial variants. These airframes remained in Indian service until the Su-30MKI variants became enough numerous. It was part of the deal of 1996 an option when the MKI program is enough matured MK airframes will be upgraded to MKI configuration. This option was canalled and with Russian clearance they were sold for African countries

In the meantime was a very isolated model with very limited numbers the Indonesian Su-30MKI "fleet". It is a very special single seater variant and is the solely Su-27S descendant which has aerial refuelling capability, is multirole and it has R-77 missiles. Considering the changes in design is very hard to understand that later Su-37SM and SM3 variants why did not get the aerial refuelling capability regardless the position of the KOLS IRST was relocated to make room for the refuelling probe. This solution worked for the Su-30KI. Two Su-30KI was given to the Gromov Flight Research Institute where Anatoly Kvochur flew many times with that jets besides the two seater variants in the '90s.

Later Indonesia also bought from the MK2 variants which is the more generalized variant of the MKK without the request and specific avionics of China. Ethiopia , Angnola and Vietnam also bought from such variant. From this MK2 was developed the Venezuelan MKV with some very specific need such the the lower thrust (!) engine because of the longer life span. In the meantime the "super hybrid" MKI variant also was in developing stage. From this branch of evolution was born the Malaysian MKM and the Algerian MKA variant either.

Re: Su-27 fighter family variants

Posted: Wed 17 Jul 2019 15:30
by molnibalage
About that time the Aircraft Repair Plant No. 558 at Baranovichi in Belorussia got clearance from the Sukhoi to upgrade their Su-27UB variants a part of the capability of the Su-30M variant these airframes became Su-27UBM. Besides Belorussia Kazakhstan has this variant these variants is able to use Kh-29, Kh-31 and KAB-500 weapons and only from any Sukhoi ever produced in Kazakhstan the jets got the western LITENING laser targeting pods. This was possible because the Sukhoi had to elaborate the integration for Su-30MKM which is quite a funny case because of the specific request of Malaysia the Israeli components of the avionics has to replaced with another except the targeting pod which is also Israeli design and product.

Because of the legacy of massive Sukhoi fighter export for a long time the Russian Air Force had inferior fighters comparing to what exported to other countries. Following the new directive of Vladimir Putin this state was unacceptable and the RuAF had to equipped with more advanced fighters. Both the Irkut and KNAAZ became very happy following this order. The KNAAZ created fro the Su-30MK2 the M2 variant while the Irkut from the Su-30MK the Su-30SM. The S = series production, home variant (like the Su-27S was).

Currently (2016) three manufacturers produces different kind of Sukhoi variants.

1. NAPO in Novosibirsk
During the Cold War here were produced the Su-24s and in 2000s every Su-34 was manufactured here.

2. Irkut (previously IAPO) in Irkutsk

Their main product was Su-30MKI/MKA/MKM and SM variant. This had the A-31FP TVC capable engine with N011 Bars (PESA) radar and digital FbW canard airframe. These variants were made for India, Algeria and Malaysia. For India with Israeli-UK-Russian avionics, for latter two with French-Russian and French-Sweden-Russian avionics.

The AL-31FP is manufactured in UMPO at Ufa plant which is part of the United Engine Corporation.**
The MMPP Saljut was another company which is also already integrated in UEC since 2015.

The Su-27UB airframes were manufactured by Irkut this is why is not a coincidence why is based on this variant the Su-30MKI/MKA/MKM. In the summer of 1996 was signed the contract and in summer of 1997 the first flight carried out by the first prototype. This was one of the quickest development in modern jet age. The problem was the first airframe with fully integrated western avionics was finished only is 2003. Most of the work was carried out by Irkut in development and integration.

Today (2016) is applied the most advanced technologies in military aviation industries in Russia they have the most western (and Japanese) machines and apply the most foreign workforce. In 2016 manufactured the second batch of Algerian MKA and Su-30SM for Kazakhstan.

Besides these Sukhoi fighters here is manufactured the Yak-130, Be-200 and A-50U modernization is also carried out here. The Indian AWACS with Israeli radar and Yak-152 was also developed here.

3. KNAAZ (previously KNAAPO)*
Here were manufactured every Su-27P and S variants as well as Su-33 and Su-27M then nowadays the Su-35S and every PAK-FA prototype. For ensuring more work it got the the Su-27SM and SM3 upgrade and manufacture.
The Chinese Su-30MKK fighters also were produced here. The MKK got from the 7th prototype the taller vertical stabilizer as well as the Vietnamese, Angolan, Indonesia MK2 and Venezuelan MKV airframes which were developed from the MKK. These Su-30 variants got the AL-31F and the Su-33 the AL-31FS-3 with extra corrosion protection.
The Sukhoi figthers of the KNAAPO got the N001 Mech or the Fazotron N010 ZUK-MS radar.


Following the decision of Vladimir Putin and finishing the production of export Su-30 variants both the KNAAZ and Irkut were contracted for manufacturing new planes. Irkut produced the above mentioned Su-30SM the KNAAZ the Su-30M2 which was derived from MK2. The KNAAZ had a better position for manufacturing the new planes because their variant had so far only Russian manufactured avionics therefore creating a different domestic variant was easier. The Su-30M2 got a different engine e the MMPP Saljut AL-31FM-1 (same as in Su-34) with about +1 ton static thrust.

Comparing to the 60+ order of the Su-30SM (Irkut) only 16 Su-30M2 was ordered from the KNAAZ replacing the ageing Su-27PU fleet. These new airframes were mostly leftovers, not finished export airframes. The main products of KNAAZ are today are the Su-35S and the Su-57 (will be later).

One of the most important new item in the avionics of the Su-35S is the N035 Ibris radar which was developed from the N011 Bars. The N011 was designed in the '80s based on the larger N007 Zaslon radar of the MiG-31. The N011 Bars had to be smaller because of the smaller nose section of the T-10M (Su-27 family prototype). One of the unique feature of the N035 Ibris that it can be steered mechanically besides its electronic scanning which make possible to scan beyond the usual +/- 60-75 degree azimuth zone.

The engine of the Su-35S is the AL-41F-1S. This is the most powerful fighter engine today since the D-30F6 is not in production (engine of MiG-31) and stronger and larger engines are produced for bomber by the Kuznetsov.
The AL-41F-1S were used for the initial series of Su-57 because the "izdeliye 30" has not been completed yet.

In short, when we are speaking about "Su-30 family" it mean two main branches which were manufactured by Irkut or KNAAZ with different engines and avionics. The MKI/MKA/MKM/SM have canard with fully digital FbW controls where the TVC capable engine is integrated to the flight control system. The MKK/MK2/M2 FbW is analogue only for elevator control.

Re: Su-27 fighter family variants

Posted: Thu 18 Jul 2019 11:24
by molnibalage
RuAF acquisitions.
(The modernized Su-27SM3 airframes using older airframes are not in the list because they are not fully new acquisitions.)