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Sukhoi SU-11 Fishpot C

The Sukhoi Su-11 first went into service in 1962 as a replacement for the ageing Su-7 and Su-9, and benefited from its predecessors' extensive combat history in other Warsaw Pact countries. The Su-11 all-weather interceptor was a refinement of the Su-9 with a new engine, new radar and improved missile armament. These aircraft were the fastest and highest-flying Soviet interceptors of the 1960s. Generally speaking, the Su-11 was in a sense transitional machine between the Su-9, on which the OKB had to "do" interceptors, and soon followed by the "classical" Su-15. The flying characteristics of the Su-11 certainly deteriorated compared to the original Su-9, but the possibility of a new and more powerful radar homing missiles R-8M more than offset this weakness.

Phazotron-NIIR Corporation and Sukhoi Design Bureau are bound by a long-term fruitful co-operation. The first fully independent development of the airborne radar under the name Oryol [Eagle] has been started in 1957 by OKB-339, (so the Phazotron was called at that time), under the leadership of G.M.Kunyavsky, former designer-in-chief. The Oryol radar was adopted for service with the Air Force as a part of the Su-11 fighter-interceptor airborne equipment.

A more refined version with a more powerful Oryol radar emerged in 1959 as the T-47, known as the Su-11. Under the designation T-47 the Sukhoi Design Bureau began work to employ the powerful "Almaz" radar. Aircraft designers were able to find a compromise with the developers of the radar a single station, after squeezing under the fairing, which was large bell, both antennas of the radar. For this it was necessary to considerably increase the nose cone and to make in its sides radio-transparent inserts in order to ensure the acceptable pattern of the radar scanning antenna. In this case, naturally, the bulging nose worsened the characteristics of air duct and view from the cabin of pilot. To offset the increased aerodynamic drag, the Su-11 utilized a modified engine AL-7F-2 which provided more power. And the RS-2US rockets were changed to the R-8.

At that time the country sharply needed more or less suitable high-altitude interceptor, and situation required making immediate decisions by its armament. Joint action of the Ministry of Aviation Industry and the Air Force on 18 December 1957, factory # 153 was given the task of building the first 10 T-47 aircraft in 1958 with the Almaz radar, placed in the united mobile cone, and by cannon armament.

The first flight of the T-47 plane took place in 1958 (by E.K. Kukusev). The first series production machine rose into the air in July 1962. The combat units of the Su-7B and Su-9 faced considerable difficulty due to the low reliability of AL-7F engines type. For the first year and a half years in flight incidents 23 machines were lost, more than half because of engine failure. On 27 November 1961 the Government Decree direted Sukhoi to complete production of the Su-9 in 1962, drastically reduce production Su-11, and in return for the Novosibirsk factory No. 153 launch the Yak-28P. Thus, the Sukhoi Design Bureau saw the prospect of the collapse of interceptor production.

Only in mid-1964 was the first production Su-11 finally transferred to an operatonal regiment, based at Astrakhan. By the end of the summer the whole Regiment had Su-11s, and in September it began military tests of the aeroplane. Program production Su-11 was the end of production aircraft in 1964, but really the last machines were produced in early 1965, for a total of 108 aircraft, almost an order of magnitude smaller than the Su-9. In addition to the Astrakhan Regiment, the Su-11 interceptors were deployed with two more armed combat units of the Moscow PVO.

The tactics of application Su-11 in practice did not differ from that accepted for Su-9. At the same time, the zone of interception along the height was somewhat was enlarged, due to the new radar and rockets. It is interesting to note that design for Su-11 provided for the application of rockets R-8[m] on the ground (at sea) targets. Obviously, thus servicemen attempted to compensate deficiency in the class of air-surface missiles.

A set of revisions, embedded on the Su-11 and engine AL-7F-2, clearly benefited the machine: compared to the Su-9 and its powerhouse AL-7F-1, it significantly improved its performance, that eventually led to a much less painful process. Su-11 were in service until the end of the seventies of the last century, after which they were replaced by interceptor MiG-23ML/p and MiG-25pd. The Sukhoi FISHPOT was withdrawn from Soviet service around 1980.




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