TYPE: Close air support aircraft

MISSION: The Su-39 aircraft, equipped with Kopyo radar is a profound upgrading of the baseline Su-25 ground attack airplane. It is intended specifically for counteraction to small-size, wellprotected targets (including new-generation NATO tanks), by day and night in all weather conditions. The onboard SUV-25T Voskhod weapons control system is designed to identify and automatically track mobile small-size targets (tanks, vehicles, boats, etc.), provide target designation and automatic missile guidance and control for missile/gun/rocket. The Shkval-M optical-TV sighting system performs target search and identification in the scanning mode. Automated navigation and target attack procedures enable a group of Su-39s to strictly maintain prescribed time intervals, and, as a result, a wellcoordinated group attack from different directions. The Su-39 automatically flies to the target area, and its pre-directed TV system is activated 10-12 km away from the target. The pilot monitors automatic target selection, lock-on, and switching to the autotracking mode. After the first target run the aircraft can either automatically complete a second run or return to home base, if the pilot so decides (manual control can be resumed only before landing). Another novelty in the aircraft’s avionics is the pod-mounted Kopyo-25 radar. The navigation system is supplemented with the A-737 satellite navigation unit, which enables automatic target acquisition with up to 15m position accuracy regardless of the distance to the target. The upgraded EW system comprises both built-in equipment and externally-mounted pods. The airplane’s protection has also been increased: the total weight of onboard survivability assets amounts to 1,115 kg. A pressurised cockpit offers an increase in the maximum combat altitude to 12,000 m from the baseline aircraft’s 7,000 m.

ARMAMENT: The Su-39 weaponry fixed on ten external wing hard-points includes 16 Vikhr (Vikhr-M) supersonic antitank missiles, Kh-29T air-to-surface TV homing missiles or Kh-25ML, Kh-29L and S- 25L laser homing missiles, as well as 500kg KAB-500Kr bombs. The ordnance includes Kh- 58E or Kh-31P anti-radiation missiles. The aircraft can also carry R-73E, R-27R1 and R-27ER1 air-to-air missiles; up to eight B-8M1 or B-13L rocket pods (with 20 S-8 rockets and five S-13 rockets each respectively); and up to eight S-24 or S-25 rockets. The free-fall ordnance includes bombs of 100-500kg calibre. Eight KMGU cluster bomb pods can be additionally fitted for use against area targets. The aircraft carries one built-in NPPU-8 mount with the 30mm GSh-30 gun (200-round ammunition).

VARIANTS: The twin-seat combat trainer Su-25UBK is designed for mastering piloting skills.

Basic specifications  
Length (with airspeed boom), m 15.33
Wingspan, m 14.52
Height, m 5.20
Max take-off weight, kg 19,500
Combat load, kg 4,000
Max air speed, km/h 950
Service ceiling, m 10,000
Ferry range, km 2,500
Take-off run (soil/concrete), m 750/680
Landing roll (soil/concrete), m 750/650
Powerplant 2 x R-195 turbojets
Crew 1