NATO reporting name: Flanker-F Variant 1
TYPE: Air superiority fighter.
PROGRAMME: Design started 1986; proof-of-concept T10PU (T10U-2 'Aircraft 01-02'; see Su-27 entry) first flew 6 June 1987; construction of two prototypes (T10PU-5 '05' and T10PU-6 '06', converted from Su-27UBs T10U-5 and 0201/T10U-6) began at Irkutsk in 1987, as Su-27PU; first flown 31 December 1989; prototype flew 7,252 n miles (13,440 km; 8,351 miles) in 15 hours 42 minutes non-stopduring round trips Moscow-Novaya Zemlia-Moscow and Moscow-Komsomolsk-Moscow. First pre-series Su-27PU flew at Irkutsk on 14 April 1992; initial two aircraft (27596 and 27597 c/ns 0101 and 0102), without military equipment, delivered to "Test Pilots" aerobatic team at Zhukovsky flight test centre, possibly as Su-27PUDs. By 1999, 27597 was flight-testing MFI-68 152x203 mm (6x8 in) LCDs for Russian 'Flanker' upgrade programms while 27596 had been used in support of the Su-30MK programme, renumbered '603'.
CURRENT VERSIONS: Su-30 (Sukhoi T10PU, Izdelie 10-4PU): Unofficial OKB designation for basic two-seat long-range interceptor for Russian Air Forces (to which it is still the Su-27PU); deliveries under way by 1996 to 54 Interceptor Air Regiment at Savostleyka advanced training base, though production very limited, and unit relies heavily on Su-27 and Su-27UB. Apparently, five Su-30s are in frontline use (Red 50, 51, 52, 53 and 54). Designed for mission of 10 hours or more with two in-flight refuellings; systems proved for extended duration sorties, including group missions with four Su-27s; only Su-30 would operate radar, enabling it to assign targets to Su-27s by radio datalink; can carry bombs and rockets but not guided air-to-surface weapons. Su-27UB training capability retained. Canards and thrust vectoring to be optional. Export designation Su-30K (T10-4PK). Situation confused by tendency to describe all current Irkutsk-built two-seaters as Su-30s, even standard Su-27UB trainers and by emergence of upgrade using MiG-29SMT cockpit, using the same Su-30K designation. This Su-30K was reported to have been tested at Akhtubinsk by June 2000 but may be the same as the Su-30KM described below. Reported in early 2002 that 'Russian Knights' aerobatic team to convert to Su-30s from Su-27s.
Su-30KI: Single-seat configuration for Indonesia, subsequently offered more widely as an upgrade. Described in main Su-27 entry.
Su-30I: One foreplane-equipped Su-27PU prototype only; served as Su-30MKI prototype; believed offered as upgrade for Su-27 and as naval trainer, but neither taken up.
Su-30K-2: Variant of Su-33UB and described in that entry.
Su-30KN: An undelivered production Su-30 (0302 '302') first flew in early March 1999 as the testbed (also referred to as Su-30K and Su-30KM) for a Russian Air Forces upgrade of UB Su-27s and Su-30s. Prime purpose of 'Project 302' was to convert fighter into multirole attack aircraft by adding terrain-mapping and moving target indication to the N001 radar. This achieved by adding new bypass circuit (obvodnoy kanal, abbreviated to Oko - 'eye'). Cockpit initially unchanged, apart from MFI-55 127x127 mm (5x5 in) MFDs, an SUV-30K weapons control system comprising a new MVK computer added to existing SUV-27 system (permitting new types of AAM and ASM to be carried) and an A737 GPS; joint venture is undertaken by Sukhoi, Irkutsk (IAPO) and Russkaya Avionika and has high commonality with MiG-29SMT upgrade. Prototype tested at Air Forces Research Institute from mid-1999. State certification awarded 9 November 2001. Added weapons are Kh-29T short-range, or two Kh-59ME long-range TV-guided ASMs; up to six KAB-500KR bombs; four Kh-31P ARMs; and six Kh-31P/A anti-ship missiles. By late 2000, the Su-30KM designation had been replaced by Su-30KN and potential maritime capabilities were being stressed, including possible future compatibility with Kh-59. Yakhont and Alfa ASMs. Up to November 2001, upgrades comprised prototype '302' and three air force aircraft ('51' being the first), all used for trials and modernised at IAPO's expense; order signed by Russian Air Forces in October 2001 for eight upgrades in 2002, 10 in 2003 and 12 in 2004, Su-27UBM and Su-27SM are parallel programmes. 12 Su-30Ks sought by Vietnam believed to be to this standard with Kh-29, Kh-31 and Kh-59 ASMs, KAB-500 PGMs and R-77 AAMs.
Su-30KNM: Subsequent modifications to 0302 involve larger (152x203 mm; 6x8 in), MFI-68 screens (three for pilot and four for WSO), Pero ('Feather') phased-array radar and equivalent of MIL-STD-1553B databus. Project began in 2002. Upgrade of air force aircraft could begin 2005.
Su-30M (Sukhoi T-10PM): Multirole version; described separately.
CUSTOMERS: See table. Indian aircraft to be upgraded to Su-30MKI in 2004, according to one report.
DESIGN FEATURES: Development of Su-27/27UB, with latter's tandem seating and new avionics, and without Su-35's advanced radar, foreplanes (in basic version), advanced control system and new power plant. Designed for effective engagement of fighters at long distances from base, and to destroy bombers and intercept cruise missiles. Integral configuration similar to Su-27UB, with unstable aerodynamic characteristics. Automatic control system standard.
FLYING CONTROLS: As Su-27UB.
STRUCTURE: As Su-27UB.
LANDING GEAR: As Su-27UB.
POWER PLANT: As Su-27UB, but flight refuelling probe and buddy refuelling capability standard.
ACCOMMODATION: Two crew in tandem in identical cockpits, on K-36DM zero/zero ejection seats, with rear seat raised.
SYSTEMS: As Su-27UB, except gaseous oxygen for 10 hours' flight.
AVIONICS: Radar: NIIP N001 Myech ('Slot Back') coherent pulse Doppler look-down/shoot-down radar offered, detection range up to 54 n miles (100 km; 62 miles), tracking range 35 n miles (65 km; 40 miles); ability to track 10 targets and engage two simultaneously; probably not available on current in-service aircraft.
Flight: New navigation system based on GPS, Loran and Omega.
Instrumentation: Integrated fire-control system enables radar, IRST and laser range-finder to be slaved to pilot's helmet-mounted target designator and displayed on wide-angle HUD.
Mission: Provision for fitting foreign-made airborne and weapon systems at customer's request.
Self-defence: SPO-15LM Beryoza 360o radar warning system; chaff/flare dispensers.
ARMAMENT: One 30 mm GSh-301 gun, with 150 rounds; 12 hardpoints for up to six R-27R1E and R-27T1E (AA-10 'Alamo') radar homing and IR long-range AAMs, and six R-73E (AA-11 'Archer') IR close-range AAMs; alternative RVV-AE (R-77; AA-12 'Adder') AAMs; unguided bombs or rockets as Su-27; reconnaissance or EW pods.