Su-24MK Fencer-D Export
From the appearance of the Su-24 there was great interest in the USSR's traditional Middle Eastern customers. Plans for its supplies to Libya and Syria (by the way, then still top secret) were discussed on the pages of the Western media in the late seventies. They got the name of Su-24MK (K - commercial) of EDO - T-6MK, as they were called at the plant).
These aircraft differed from the typical machine with changes in the navigation and communication equipment under the standard stipulated in the contract, and the lack of regular defense system (the defendant establishes a simplified) supply circuits, heating, control and launching a nuclear weapon. Aircraft transferred to the customer in a dark matte camouflage color with gray-blue, but not with highly reflective white bottom, which also indirectly indicated that they were not designed to deliver nuclear weapons. However, some Western media have claimed that the equipment on the aircraft was exported in violation of international norms as laid down in the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, signed and ratified by the Soviet Union.
The biggest changes were made in bomber avionics. It includes an additional computing device, allowing the use of unguided weapons with free maneuver. TV indicator allows the radar to ensure the issuance of the situation on the electronic card. It provides bessboynuyu record all the information from the on-board systems and system memory card. At the same time there is a possibility of failure of outdated ground data processing systems.
To determine the accuracy of navigation up to 25 m installed satellite navigation system GLONASS / GPS. System to counter radar detection replenished container Jammer KC-418E. Indicator appears direct vision on the windshield HUD-31, which extends the capabilities of information support of the pilot in solving problems of navigation and combat use. In addition, it facilitates the process of rapprochement with the tanker aircraft.
As a result of the modernization of the Su-24MK aircraft during installation named, as well as other equipment, the coefficient of the combat potential in operations on land and sea targets is increased by 25%. There is expansion of the area of combat use and reduces the need for bomber combat outfit to destroy enemy targets. On 30-40% increases combat survivability of the machine and the annual operating costs are reduced by 17%. Special mention should be noted that the modernized Su-24MK can use a much greater range of missiles and bombs than its predecessors.
Of particular concern in the West and especially in Israel, was the possible supply to Libya fifteen Su-24M. At the same time they are given the range to the territory of Israel, while they themselves in Libyan bases were almost beyond the reach of Israeli air (for the F-4 with the minimum load required at least two air refueling). They could attack the US Air Force base in Italy and Spain, as well as ships of the 6th Fleet in the Mediterranean. In addition, it meant giving Libya modern precision weapons, and rumors about the development in the country's own chemical weapons now sounded completely different. Officially, the delivery of Su-24 for export were only allowed in 1987. By that time, relations with Libya had changed, and the contract was slow, although aircraft production at the plant in Novosibirsk began on time.
Apparently, due to the fact that relations with Libya deteriorated somewhat, the Iraq received the first 24 new bombers. Deliveries of Su-24MK aircraft in Iraq began in 1988. After considering the various modes of transportation to the customer bomber version was adopted in the air transport of cargo aircraft An-22. The Novosibirsk branch of OKB designed and built a special truck, in which the Su-24MK with a turn of the fuselage detached wings placed in the cargo compartment of the Antheus; here also included the wings and a set of spare parts. At the beginning of June 1988 the first An-22 with special cargo landed on the airport of Al-Bakr. Unloading trucks with shrouded aircraft took no more than 30 minutes, which made a big impression on the Iraqis, as similar operations for the unloading of the aircraft MiG-25 previously lasted for half a day.
Once the first Su-24MK was unloaded, it started its assembly group of our specialists. After a few days the machine had been fully assembled, and, after various checks, was prepared for the first flight. It performed in the presence of the Minister of Defence of Iraq, our crew of pilot Eugene Rudakas and navigator Sergei Gruenko. The aircraft was delayed somewhat, and the Iraqis have begun to worry, when it suddenly appeared and flew over the stands at a height of 50 meters, and then performed a series of aerobatic maneuvers, unusual for this aircraft class. Upon successful completion of the first flight of the Su-24 in the skies of Iraq within the existing tradition there was stabbed a ritual sheep, whose blood was sprinkled on the plane.
Sukhoi Su-24MK were delivered to Iraq bomber and guided missile weapons, except the Iraqis used high-explosive bombs caliber 3000 kg of its own design, which were suspended on pylons under center. Su-24MK Iraq could carry suspended refueling aggregate ORM-A, in addition, in this country in the tanker aircraft Su-24MK for (and only for them - the modernized MiG-27 equipped with the French topping bars with other locks) was converted into one Il-76MD mounted one ORM. All this indicated that Iraq was preparing for active offensive operations on distant borders.
Operation of the Su-24 in a hot dry climate (summer temperatures in the shade up to 46 C), and particulate air pollution has shown high reliability of the power plant and all aircraft systems. Iraqi pilots and technicians trained in Krasnodar, quickly mastered the new aircraft, helped by the high level of responsibility and discipline. They gave much appreciated the aircraft at the same time they have a number of comments and suggestions before finalizing the design.
They noted in particular the number of types of the delivered arms, unnecessary duplication of a number of systems, lack of effectiveness of the air conditioning system. Among the suggestions on the proposed revision was to strengthen the defense system of the aircraft by installing additional devices release heat flares and chaff. After returning from Iraq, the Soviet experts at OKB began study of some of the proposals. Furthermore, considering the establishment of an export modification of the spy plane, called Su-24MRK.
It is interesting to consider the panic cries of the Israeli press about the irreparable damage caused to the military balance in the Middle East. Few people paid attention - Iraq was at war with Iran, which is considered much more dangerous. But the war with Iran was over, and the Su-24MK had not engaged in battle, for which, most likely, and were not intended. It was foreordained another opponent.
Peace in the Middle East did not last long. In the summer of 1990, Iraqi forces suddenly came to Kuwait and Iraqi President Saddam Hussein declared the reunification of territories formerly united country. The powerful army, which took a severe school of a decade of war, as well as rumors that the Iraqi Su-24 has in its arsenal, several types of chemical and bacteriological weapons, almost six months hindered the Western countries from taking action. But when it became clear that Hussein was not willing to go down to the end, and a new Arab coalition against Israel and the United States did not take place, the West took all its strength, the basis of which the armed forces of NATO and especially the US.
Even when was at stake the very existence of the regime, Hussein did not dare to use the Su-24, knowing that in the overwhelming air superiority of enemy aircraft he would just lose them. It was officially announced that the country's air force had only one crew Su-24MK, the last fully trained to use missiles and they cherish it for the coming decisive battle.
When the victory of the Multinational coalition air forces became apparent, the Iraqi leader last and decisive battle would prefer to bring the most valuable part of the aircraft on the territory of its yesterday's enemy - Iran. The Su-24 did not suffer a single loss - and this despite the undereducated crews and other types of modern aircraft, including MiG-29 pilots, who suffered significant losses during flight. But after the war, the enemy refused to return them to Iraq.
In 1989 the USSR started to supply Su-24MK in Libya and Syria, which primarily feared Israel and the West. Of particular concern, Libya has caused, which is constantly exposed to charges of international terrorism on a national scale. Because of the rapid implementation of the contract Libya could only get 1 out of 15 ordered aircraft until such time as entered into force on UN sanctions.
Probably, in the same 1989 timeframe 10 Su-24MK were received by Algeria. Syria bought 20 aircraft, and thus, the main US ally in the Middle East came under crossfire.
In 1991, the Su-24 was first presented at an arms fair in Dubai - until then the plane was shown openly in the USSR, and now it was first exposed to the international arms market as a commodity. Moscow's policy had changed, and it was announced that from now on in the case of arms exports will not be considered the ideological factor - any solution to the supply of special equipment abroad will receive anyone who will pay its real price.
However, the expected growth in orders, alas, did not follow. An existing contract with India was canceled, and the planes scattered among regiments parade Soviet Air Force. In particular, several of these machines with technical inscriptions in English came to the 7th BAP, located in Ukraine in the city of Khmelnitsky Starokostiantyniv region. India intended Su-24MK were in a standard gray color with white coating on the bottom edges of the planes. Maybe it's just a conniving indifference of the manufacturer or the customer, usually demanded to put specially designed tropical camouflage on airplanes bought in the USSR, but reports that India in 1973 tested its first nuclear device, conjured up disturbing thoughts.
Purchase of Su-24MK aircraft interested in a number of countries, including Iran and China. But first, apparently decided to be satisfied with aircraft, has flown out of Iraq, and the second (like India) decided on purchases of more modern Su-27 strike modifications have already started their advance into the world market.
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