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Su-27 FLANKER Variants

As a baseline design, Su-27 had a high reconfiguration potential, which allowed the Design Bureau to start work on enhanced versions. The original Su-27 is a very capable aircraft with an excellent design. Part of this excellence is that it has a lot of room to expand it's capabilities through the addition of extra avionics, fuel etc. The robust Su-27 platform has served as the basis for a number of improved variants for a diverse range of missions and users. It was the forerunner of an entire family of planes, including the Su-33 ship-based fighter, the Su-37 multi-mission plane and the Su-32FN two-seat specialised plane.

Aircraft variants are assigned one designator as prototypes, and another when they enter service. Thus, the Su-30 prototype entered service as the Su-27P. Mikhail Simonov, Sukhoi's General Designer, has allocated designation numbers to prototypes that follow no recognisable pattern, and have evidently re-numbered some of the variants, so trying to keep pace with Sukhoi OKB is something of a challenge.

The Russian military normally restricts aircraft designations to a single type-number, to which is added a mission or variant designation suffix. Thus, the Su-27UB is a combat Trainer, the Su-27IB is a fighter-bomber and the multi-role "Super-Flanker" is Su-27M. However, Sukhoi has allocated completely new numbers to many design variants, and applied the same designation to completely unrelated aircraft [such as the Su-35 and the Su-35BM]

  • B = Bolshaya - big
  • B = Bombardirovschik - Bomber
  • D = Dozapravka
  • I = Indiski - India
  • IB = Istrebitel Bombardirovschik - Fighter Bomber
  • K = Kommercial/Kommercheskij - commercial export
  • K = Korabelnyj - Ship-Borne
  • K = Kitei - China
  • M = Modifkatsi - modified
  • M = Moderniziroval / Modernizirovannyj - modernized
  • MF = Mnogofunktsionalniy - Multi-role
  • R = rekornostsirovka - reconnaissance
  • RV = Russkije Vitjazi acrobatic team
  • S = Serial - production
  • UB = Uchebno Boevoy - Combat Trainer

The NATO uses "Reporting Names" when referring to Soviet, Russian and Chinese aircraft. Reporting names for aircraft are selected by the Air and Space Interoperability Council [ASIC], renamed in 2005 from Air Standardization Coordinating Committee [ASCC], composed of representatives from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, UK and USA. The NATO reporting name taxonomy does not always closely correspond to the taxonomy of the manufacturers of aircraft.

  • Flanker-A - T-10 - prototype
  • Flanker-B - Su-27S / Su-27SK - serial production models
  • Flanker-C - Su-27UB / Su-27UBK / Su-30 - 2-seat interceptor and trainer
  • Flanker-D - Su-27KUB / Su-33 / Su-33UB - navalised variants
  • Flanker-E - SU-27M / SU-35 / Su-37? / Su-35BM
  • Flanker-F - Su-37
  • Flanker-G - Su-30MKK / Su-30MK2
  • Flanker-H - Su-30MKI - Substantially improved Su-30MK for India
  • Flanker-I - not assigned as of 2007
  • Flanker-J - not assigned as of 2007




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