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Su-30 (Su-27P)

The Su-30 (Su-27P) is a dual-seat full-system Su-27 interceptor with refueling probe, provisions for external fuel tanks, beefed up structure, improved ECM, and a slightly modified comm/oxygen interface block with the RD-36 ejection seat. The laser-optical locator system is advertised to include a day and night FLIR capability and is used in conjunction with the Helmet mounted sighting system. The onboard countermeasures suite includes an illumination warning system, an active jamming station, and passive dispensers for chaff and flares.

The baseline PVO Su-30 was a beefed up dual-seat Su-27UB trainer which then was designated the Su-27PU after modifications to accommodate an actual mission-qualified pilot were put in the back-seat for extended range PVO missions. Largely based on the Su-27UB two-seat trainer, the Su-30 has a new radiolocation system which can transmit the positions of 10 targets to four other fighters at the same time.

A modified and beefed-up dual-seat Su-27PU was tested on long range flights, one of which went from Moscow to Komsomolsk in 15 hours and 31 minutes with air refueling. This evidently became the Su-30. Sukhoi proposed the Su-30 to the Russian Air Force as a dual-seat "command post fighter" that would designate targets for accompanying aircraft, a clear add-on or replacement for the MiG-31 Foxhound fleet that was having serious maintainability problems.

The Su-30 two-seat long-range intercept fighter first flew in December 1989, and that entered service with the Russian air forces in 1992. The Su-30 was reported as early as January 1993 as being "in service" with the Russian Air Force and in series production at the Irkutsk Factory. The tandem seat Su-30 was first seen at Farnborough in 1996. The Su-30 is made in Irkutsk. In the early 1990's, the Su-30 supposedly found itself in competition with the Su-27IB side-by-side configured Flanker prototype, but there may have been a bit of misinformation in these claims.

The so-called Su-30 series of aircraft began with the Su-27M - in effect a concept demonstrator renamed the Su-35 - the Flanker has evolved into the Su-30 multirole fighter, the Su-32/34 tactical bomber, and the Su-33 naval variant. The leading visual difference between the Su-30K and the Su-30MK are canards just below & slightly behind the rear cockpit, TVC nozzles and a twin wheel nose landing gear. The Russian domestic PVO variant is related to the multi-role or "MKI" export variants being sold around the world.

Su-30 is capable of performing all tactical tasks of the Su-24 "Fencer" deep interdiction tactical bomber and the Su-27 "Flanker A/B/C" air superiority fighter while having around twice the combat range and 2.5 times the combat effectiveness (Sukhoi numbers).

The Su-30 compares favorably with Su-27UB in respect to the distribution of functions between the crewmen. The main difference is that the workstations in the Su-30 are more similar to each other which clearly distinguishes this fighter from conventional two-seat trainers. Now the rear-seat pilot/operator is able to quickly input the coordinates of the new navigation points into the navigation system and airborne weapons system that is used to intercept targets in a long-range rocket engagement.

On the 8 September 2006 at 15.42 pm Moscow time, a fighter jet Su-30 piloted by the crew of the Hero of Russia, a distinguished test pilot of the USSR Anatoliy Kvochur, landed on the airfield Ramenskoe (Zhukovskiy). The plane took off from Ramenskoe at night - 2.35 am, reached the isle of Chkalov in the Far East and made it back. The flight was performed in commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the legendary flight by Valery Chkalov of 1936 within the framework of the project "Still higher, and higher, and higher" by the Exposition holding MVK.

The Su-30SM (SM standing for serial-produced, upgraded) multipurpose fighter jet is designed both to gain air supremacy and attack ground and surface targets. The fighter jet has canards and engines with a controlled thrust vector, which makes the aircraft supermaneuverable. The Su-30SM fighter jet is equipped with the Bars multipurpose control radar.

The fighter jets ammunition load comprises a wide range of munitions, including air-to-air missiles and air-to-surface precision guided weapons. The Su-30SM fighter jet can be used to train pilots for future single-seat fighter jets. The Su-30SM fighter jet has been manufactured for the Russian Air Force since 2012.

The Su-30SM, a localized version of the Su-30MKI fighter exported to India, will serve as a second security blanket for the Russian Air Force. The Defense Ministry commissioned 30 such aircraft. First Deputy Defense Minister Alexander Sukhorukov told the press in August 2012 that an additional contract for the supply of these all-purpose fighters was very likely.

In April 2016 the Defense Ministry and the manufacturer inked a contract on the delivery of more than 30 multipurpose Su-30SM jets to the Russian Aerospace Forces. The aircraft is capable of air-to-air and air-to-ground missions with a wide variety of precision-guided munitions, and features thrust-vectoring engines to enhance maneuverability. The Russian Armed forces are undergoing a massive rearmament program and the Su-30SM is going to gradually replace its predecessor the Su-27.

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