Irkut Delivers First Su-30SM Fighters to Russian Air Force
MOSCOW, November 22 (RIA Novosti) - Aircraft maker Irkut delivered the first two Sukhoi Su-30SM fighter aircraft to the Russian Air Force on Thursday, the company said.
Flight testing of the multirole fighter jet began around two months ago, following the first flight of the Su-30SM on September 21, Irkut said.
"It is significant that the aircraft is in series production, and will enter air force service not in ones and twos but in squadrons," said Maj. Gen. Alexander Karchevsky, commander of the air force's Gagarin and Zhukovsky training academy, who was present at the handover.
The Su-30SM is the latest development of the twin-seat Su-30 jet fighter family, itself a derivative of the long-serving single-seat Sukhoi Su-27, one of the air force's most important warplanes.
The new aircraft has an improved radar, communications and identification-friend-or-foe system, new ejection seat and new weapons. It also has thrust-vectoring engine nozzles and canard foreplanes, providing supermaneuverability at low airspeeds.
The contract between the Defense Ministry and Irkut for 30 of the new jets by 2015 was signed in March.
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