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Su-30 (Su-27P)

Su-30 (Su-27P) is a two-seat long-range intercept fighter that first flew in December 1989, and that entered service with the Russian air forces in 1992. The Su-30 is made in Irkutsk. Largely based on the Su-27UB two-seat trainer, it has a new radiolocation system which can transmit the positions of 10 targets to four other fighters at the same time. The 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 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.

Subtypes intended for foreign sales include the Su-30MKI (India) and the Su-30MKK (China). The Su-30s cost approximately $34 million each - considerably more than the F-16. India, for example, has agreed to buy 40 Su-30MK two-seat fighters for $1.2 billion.

Indonesia's purchase of Russian fighters and helicopters was postponed owing to the country's economic crisis and the savage devaluation of the Rupiah. The Indonesia Department of Defence announced in 1997 that it would buy 12 Sukhoi Su-30K fighters in place of the F-16 Fighting Falcon fighters it originally planned to buy from the US. Indonesia already operated a squadron of 12 F-16s.

By June 2007 Russia's Irkut aircraft maker said it will export 242 multi-role Su-30 Flanker fighters, worth around $7 billion, by 2014. The Irkut Corporation, which is part of Russia's United Aircraft Building Corporation created in 2006, manufactures variants of the famed Su-30MK for India, Algeria, and Malaysia. "To date, contracts have been signed for 242 aircraft with a total value of about $7 billion," company president Oleg Demchenko said at Le Bourget international air show near Paris.

Demchenko said most of Su-30 aircraft would be delivered to India under previous and future contracts. "We have recently added another contract for 18 aircraft in addition to the one signed earlier," he said, adding that the company was in talks on delivery of 40 additional Su-30MKI fighters to India. "We will sign this contract in a few weeks," Demchenko said.

Contracts to deliver 18 Su-30MKM aircraft to Malaysia and 28 Su-30MKA fighters to Algeria are being implemented successfully. The Su-30MKM and Su-MKA are multi-role Flanker variants based on the Su-30MKI model and feature a customized avionics suite to meet Malaysian and Algerian specifications respectively. "We sent the first two Su-30MKMs to Malaysia on the first day of the Paris air show," Demchenko said. "The first six aircraft will be delivered to Algeria this year."

On 30 July 2007 the Jerusalem Post reported that Iran was negotiating with Russia to buy 250 Sukhoi Su-30 "Flanker" fighter-bombers. Israeli defense officials were investigating the potential Iran-Russia deal, in which Iran would pay $1 billion a dozen squadrons' worth of the jets. Iran would also buy 20 Ilyushin Il-78 Midas tankers that could extend the fighters' range as part of the deal. The move was seen as a response to the new American plans to sell billions of dollars' worth of weapons to potential Iranian adversaries in the Middle East - Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Israel. This report came soon after other deals to sell advanced Su-27 and Su-30 combat fighters to Indonesia, Malaysia and Venezuela.

The Su-30SM, a localized version of the Su-30MKI fighter currently exported to India, will serve as a second security blanket for the Russian Air Force. The Defense Ministry has 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.

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