NATO reporting name: Flanker

TYPE: Multirole fighter

PROGRAMME: Design started 1991; demonstration and development work by Su-27UB 0806 '321' and 0403 '56'; 'Blue 56' first flew in Su-30M configuration on 14 April 1992, but it was not then canard-equipped and did not have full avionics package. Conversion of first true prototype ('06') began 1993, using 0201/T10PU-6; 0101 '603' (formerly first prototype Su-27PU-5) first demonstrated at Berlin Air Show 1994; thrust vectoring and canards under development as options 1997. Canards and AL-37PP engines first flown on '56' 1 July 1997, this regarded by Sukhoi as first flight of Su-30MK; second prototype (06) flew 23 April 1998. In production for India.
Su-30M designation initially associated with canard fitment. However, this now appears to identify multirole aircraft with upgraded airframe capable of 38,800 kg (85,539 lb) MTOW, irrespective of aerodynamic configuration. Chinese Su-30MKKs are described by Sukhoi Su-30MK family members, despite having twin nosewheels and square-topped fins previously regarded as Su-35 features.

CURRENT VERSIONS: Su-30M (Flanker-F Variant 2): Basic version.
Su-30MK: Irkutsk-built. As Su-30M, for export.
Su-30MK: Designation re-used for advanced two-seater derived from Su-27SK by KnAAPO plant and combining two-seat Su-30 concept with avionics, canards and thrust vectoring of Su-37. Design, under A.F. Barkovsky, began 1994. Known internally (by KnAAPO) as Su-35UB (T10UBM) and Su-37UB. First and second true Su-30MKs, 01 (produced through the retrofit of canards to '56') and 06 (converted from T10PU-6 in Sukhoi OKB's own workshop) first flown on 1 July 1997 and 23 April 1998, respectively. Equipped with foreplanes and AL-37FP thrust-vectoring engines; demonstrated to Indian officials at Zhukovsky, 15 June 1998 as Su-30MK-1 and Su-30MK-6, respectively. Su-30MK-1 had the new twin-wheel nosegear, which may become a feature of the production MKI, but was lost while displaying at Paris Air Show on 12 June 1999. Additionally, 01 was exhibited at Aero India, December 1998. AL-37FP power plant, as specified for India, extends length by 40cm (153/4 in) and incurs weight penalty of 110 kg (243 lb), engine life remaining unchanged at 5,000 hours (1,000 hours TBO). Nozzle movement is 15o up or down. Flight control system helps pilot to set power and thrust vector for each engine, according to required manoeuvre. Indian radar choice will be between improved version of Phazotron N010 (Zhuk-27) and NIIP N011M multimode, dual-frequency radar with electronically scanned antenna. Expected to be known as Su-30MKR if produced (at Irkutsk) for Russian Air Forces.
Su-30MKI (Flanker-H): Version for India in four configurations, initially referred to as Su-30MKI, MKII, MKIII and MKIV. Indian contract signed 30 November 1996. First eight delivered March 1997 to basic Su-30PU (Su-30K or even Su-37UB) standard, with AL-31F engines; eight for 1998 delivery were expected to have French Sextant avionics including VEH 3000 HUDs, high-resolution colour LCD MFDs, a new flight data recorder, a Totem ring laser gyro dual INS with embedded GPS, Israeli EW equipment, a new UOMZ OLS-30 electro-optic targeting system and rearward-facing radar in tailcone; 12 originally to have been delivered 1999 were to add canards, as on Su-37; final 12 (originally scheduled for delivery in 2000) were to have AL-37FP engines with single-axis thrust-vectoring nozzles inclined outwards 32o from centreline for improved yaw control, especially in single-engined case. AL-37PP claimed to offer 3-D thrust vectoring, with nozzle actuation via the fuel, and not the hydraulic, system.
Completion and delivery of balance of 32 was repeatedly delayed; decision taken that all these would be completed to final standard before delivery. (In interim. India contracted on 18 December 1998 for 10 standard Su-30Ks which had been cancelled by Indonesia; all had been delivered by October 1999.) First prototype full-specification Su-30MKI flew at Irkutsk on 26 November 2000; Irkutsk built four prototypes, last of which handed over to Sukhoi design bureau on 11 August 2001.
First production aircraft flew 28 December 2001. Under renegotiated contract, IAF to receive six full-specification aircraft by 2002 and balance of 26 in batches beginning 18 to 24 months later; thereafter eight 1997-delivery aircraft will be raised to full standard. First two departed Irkutsk inside An-124 transport 22 June 2002. However, 'full-specification' still being received in three standards, first 10 being Stage I; these 10 formally accepted into service by 20 Squadron at Pune 27 September 2002. Stages II and III, (12 in 2003 followed by 10 in 2004), to introduce additional weapons and upgraded flight control system. Licensed production of 140 (since reduced to 120) Su-30MKIs by HAL was agreed in September 2000, followed by contract signature in Irkutsk on 28 December 2000. Sometimes referred to by KnAAPO as Su-35UB.
Su-30MKK ('Flanker-G'): Second K stands for Kitaya or China. Two-seat, multirole version, with an N001VE radar (with expanded air-to-ground capabilities, including mapping); 'glass cockpit' with two 178x127 mm (7x5 in) MFI-9 colour LCD MFDs in front, plus single MFI-9 and 204x152 mm (8x6 in) MFI-10 in rear; ILS-31 HUD; A737 GPS: expanded EW capability; provision for various new TV- and EO-based targeting pods.
First Su-27PU (T10PU-5) was refurbished and rebuilt to serve as an Su-30MKK development aircraft, first flying in its new guise on 9 March 1999. First KnAAPO-built prototype ('501') flew 19 May 1999 (sometimes reported as 20 February 1999), with second ('502', in basic Chinese camouflage scheme but marked simply as Su-30MK, not MKK) following later in 1999. '501' and '502' representative of planned production configuration, with tall, flat-topped Su-35-type tailfins, retractable in-flight refuelling probes and (according to some sources) Su-35-type radomes. Further pair ('503' and '504') built by mid-2001.
Chinese production of the 'Flanker' will switch from the J-11 to the Su-30MKKK after 80 aircraft. However, China reportedly ordered 45 KnAAPO-built Su-30MKKs and placed supplementary order (initially quoted as 24, but later stated to be 40) in June 2001. First batch of 10 Su-30MKKs left Russia on delivery to China on 20 December 2000; nine followed in March/April 2001 and 10 more on 21 August. Later Chinese aircraft, known as Series III, will switch to Zhuk-MS radars. Russian weapon deliveries began in January 2001 with Kh-59ME (AS-18 'Kazoo'), Kh-29T (AS-14 'Kedge') and Kh-31P (AS-17 'Krypton') ASMs and KAB-500Kr guided bombs. Early Su-30MKKs variously reported with 'Three Swords' Air Regiment at Yuxikou, near Nanjing or at Wuhu, Anhui; those delivered in August 2001 were supplied to Cangzhou, Hebei.
Su-30MKM: Malaysian version; US$900 million contract initialled 19 May 2003.

CUSTOMERS: Indian Air Force initial US$1.8 billion order for 40 signed 30 November 1996; deliveries from Irkutsk began to No. 24 'Hunting Hawks' Squadron aat Pune in March 1997; declared operational 11 June 1997; 10 more ordered September 1998. Option taken up on licensed production of 140 more by HAL, India; however statement of November 2002 noted IAF had reduced quantity to 120. On 29 August 1997, Indonesia signed for eight 'single-seat Su-30s' and four two-seat, but this was cancelled on 9 January 1998. Interest reportedly renewed in 2001, and in 2003 plan to acquire 48 of 'Flanker' family was announced, initial purchase being two each of Su-27 and Su-35.

COSTS: Indian aircraft quoted as US$20 million each (flyaway, 1998), with US$8 million extra per aircraft to integrate Indian-specific systems and avionics. Chinese order for 40 Su-30MKKs valued at US$1.5 billion (2002).
Description refers to two-seat Su-30MK which generally as for Su-30, except as follows:

DESIGN FEATURES: Improvement on combat capabilities of Su-30 by compatibility with high-precision guided air-to-surface weapons with standoff launch range up to 65 n miles (120 km; 75 miles), in addition to Su-30's ability to engage two airborne targets simultaneously.

POWER PLANT: Two Saturn/Lyulka AL-35F turbofans, each 123 kN (27,558 lb st).

AVIONICS: In addition to standard Su-30 systems, Su-30M has more accurate navigation system, a TV command guidance system, a guidance system for anti-radiation missiles, a larger monochrome TV display system in rear cockpit for ASM guidance, and ability to carry one or two pods, typically for laser designation or ARM guidance in association with Pastel RWR and APK-9 datalink. Western avionics, guidance pods and weapons can be fitted optionally. Sextant Avionique package for Indian aircraftincludes VEH3000 or Elop HUD, Totem or Sigma 9SN/MF INS/GPS and liquid-crystal multifunction displays (six 127x127 mm; 5x5 in MFD 55 and one 152x152 mm; 6x6 in MFD 66 per aircraft).

ARMAMENT: One 30 mm GSh-301, with 150 rounds; 12 external stations for 8,000 kg (17,635 lb) of stores, including FAB-250, FAB-500, OFAB-250-270, OFAB-100-120 and guided KAB-500KR and KAB-1500KR bombs; B-8M-1 (20x80 mm), B-13L (5x130 mm) and O-25 (single 266 mm) rocket packs; up to six R-27ER (AA-10C 'Alamo-C'), R-27ET (AA-10D 'Alamo-D') or RVV-AE (R-77; AA-12 'Adder') medium-range AAMs; or two R-27ETs and six R-73E (AA-11 'Archer') IR homing close-range AAMs; and a variety of air-to-surface weapons such as four ARMs, six guided bombs or short-range missiles with TV homing, six laser homing short-range missiles, or two long-range missiles with TV command guidance; these include Kh-29L/T (AS-14 'Kedge'), Kh-31A/P (AS-17 'Krypton') and Kh-59M; (AS-18 'Kazoo') with APK-9 pod.