SU-27SKM Flanker-B Single-seat multirole fighter
The Su-27SKM single-seat multi-role fighter is the export version of Su27SM fighter. It is a modernized variant of Su-27SK with improvements as in Su-37SM. Produced in Komsomolsk-on-Amur, the prototype of Su-27SKM began testing in early 2003. The fighter is designed to destroy aerial targets in free air and against the background of land; and surface (ground and sea) targets with guided and unguided weapons at day and night under the all-weather conditions. Su-27SKM can be supplemented by an in flight fuel reloading system .
Russia's updated Su-27SKM fighter made the first demonstration flights at Air Show China - 2004 on 01 November 2004. During the first ten-minute flight, the Russian pilot made several stunts. Vadim Razumovsky, Deputy General Director of the Sukhoi aircraft maker, said it was the first time the Russian best fighter's export version was demonstrated abroad. "It is no secret that Sukhoi's major business interests lie with Southeast Asia and the Far East. Therefore, it was not fortuitous that the SU-27SKM made its first demonstration flight at the show in Zhuhai," said Alexander Klementyev, Sukhoi Deputy General Director for marketing. Mr Klementyev said the fighter was first shown at the Dubai airspace show last December. However, it was not ready for sales at the time. At the Zhuhai show the aircraft is featuring as a complete commercial product.
The multipurpose fighter Su-27SKM stood out in the Russian exhibition at the 46th international airshow, opening at Le Bourget near Paris on 13 June 2005. "The renowned Sukhoi family will be represented above all by the life-size copy of the multipurpose fighter of the 4+ generation, Su-27SKM," a representative of the Rosoboronexport told RIA Novosti.
Under a $300 million contract, signed in 2007, Russia completed the delivery of three Su-30MK2 and three Su-27SKM fighters to Indonesia by the end of 2010 in addition to two Su-27SK and two Su-30MK fighters purchased in 2003. The fighters formed a part of the 11th Squadron of the Indonesian Air Force, which will have five single-seater Su-27SKM planes and 11 double-seater Su-30MK2 planes at its command.
The Su-27 features standard aerodynamic design and has an integral configuration. It has mid-mounted tapered wings with leading-edge root extensions that blend into the fuselage forming a single all-body. The Su-27 is fitted with two AL-31F turbofans. The engine nacelles are fitted with trouser fairings to provide a continuous streamlined profile between the nacelles and the tail beams. The fins and horizontal tail consoles are attached to tail beams. The airframe is constructed of titanium and high-strength aluminium alloys. The fuselage head is of semi-monocoque construction. The cockpit is fitted with an ejection seat designed to rescue a pilot in an emergency at any altitude or speed. The aircraft is based on the “electronic sustainability” concept and employs a fly-by-wire system instead of traditional mechanical control links. It is fitted with a retractable tricycle landing gear (one wheel per an undercarriage leg). It has an in-flight refueling system.
The main features of the Su-27SKM fighter are the following:
- an improved fire control system boasting enhanced surface-target capabilities;
- an advanced cockpit management system;
- an improved navigation and communications suite;
- more sophisticated self-defense electronic countermeasures (ECM) suite;
- an expanded air-to-air and air-to-surface weapons suite with the ordnance mounted externally on 10 hardpoints;
- an in-flight refueling system.
The fire control system of Su-27SKM provides for detection, tracking and hitting by onboard weapons aerial and surface targets round the clock and in any weather. The fire control system ensures the application of wider range (in comparison with the Su-27SK fighter) of weapon including the RVV-AE medium-range air-to-air active radar-homing missiles, and air-to-ground high-precision guided weapon with different types of guidance. The fire control system of Su-27SKM comprises two major subsystems: the first subsystem for air-to-air weapons and the second one for air-to-surface weapons.
The mainstays of the cockpit management system are two colour multifunction liquid crystal displays (LCD), colour multifunction display panel with push-buttons, and head up-display. These displays show all required digital and visual target designation, flight and navigation data as well as data on the aircraft systems status. Along with the multifunction LCDs, the instrument panel houses traditional electromechanical instruments, which act mostly as backups.
The radar used on Su-27SKM in the air-to-air engagement ensures the following:
- searching for aerial targets;
- detected targets identification;
- attacking the targets with medium- and short-range missiles featuring different guidance;
- searching for, locking on and tracking a visual target in dogfights.
In the air-to-surface mode the radar ensures the following:
- all-weather acquisition and positioning of radio-contrast surface targets;
- surface targets designation data supply to provide the Kh-31A air-to-ship missile application.
Optical location station (OLS) is a combination of an infrared search and track system (IRST) and a laser rangefinder/target designator. It is designed to track aerial targets by their IR radiation. It also can be used for the laser ranging of aerial and surface targets as well as for illuminating surface targets by the laser beam for air-to-surface semi-active laser-homing missiles application.
The mainstays of the cockpit management system are two colour multifunction liquid crystal displays (LCD) with push-buttons, and head up-display. These displays show all required digital and visual target designation, flight and navigation data as well as data on the aircraft systems status. Along with the multifunction LCDs, the instrument panel houses traditional electromechanical instruments, which act mostly as backups. Helmet mounted target designation system feeds target designation data to the missiles' homing heads when the pilot turns his head towards the area where any target is expected to be detected.
The Su-27SKM weapon suite includes the built-in GSh-301 30-mm automatic single-barrel cannon, missiles, rockets and bombs mounted externally on 10 hardpoints under wings and fuselage. The air-to-air weapon suite includes medium-range missiles of the R-27 type – R-27T1, R-27ET1 heat-seeking missiles, R-27R1, R-27ER1 semi-active radar-homing missiles; RVV-AE medium-range active radar-homing missiles; and R-73E short-range heat-seeking missiles.
The Su-27SKM fighter has wide range of guided and unguided weapons used to destroy surface targets. The air-to-surface guided weapon of the Su-27SKM fighter consists of the Kh-31A medium-range high-speed anti-ship active radar-homing missiles, the Kh-31P medium-range antiradar passive radar-homing missiles, Kh-29T, Kh-29TE TV-homing missiles or Kh-29L semi-active laser-homing short-range missiles; and KAB-500Kr, KAB-500-OD, and one KAB-1500Kr TV-homing bombs. The unguided air-to-surface weapons include bombs of 500-kg, 250-kg, and 100-kg caliber, cluster bombs, incendiary tanks, and S-8, S-13, and S-25-OFM rockets as well.
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