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Su-30 Flanker-C Exports

On 17 February 2016 Russia unveiled the export version of the Sukhoi Su-30SME (NATO reporting name: Flanker-C) multipurpose fighter jet at the Singapore Airshow 2016, a source in the defense and industrial sector said. "The Su-30SME aircraft [the export version of the Su-30SM fighter jet] has been shown on the international market for the first time," the source said. "Its development aims to offer foreign customers a fighter jet equipped with a Russian-made avionics suite," the source added.

Unlike the Su-30MKI fighter jet, the avionics suite mounted on the Su-30SME aircraft’s version lacks French-made components, the source said. Russian-made components for the Su-30SME fighter jet’s avionics suite have allowed enhancing the aircraft’s capabilities. According to the source, Southeast Asian, Middle East and North African countries have already shown interest in the new fighter jet.

Four Su-30SM batch-produced fighters (Russian Air Force modification) were supplied for Kazakh Air Force in 2015.

Other subtypes intended for foreign sales include the Su-30MKI (India) and the Su-30MKK (China). The Su-30s cost approximately $34 million each - considerably more than the F-16. India, for example, agreed to buy 40 Su-30MK two-seat fighters for $1.2 billion.

Indonesia's purchase of Russian fighters and helicopters was postponed owing to the country's economic crisis and the savage devaluation of the Rupiah. The Indonesia Department of Defence announced in 1997 that it would buy 12 Sukhoi Su-30K fighters in place of the F-16 Fighting Falcon fighters it originally planned to buy from the US. Indonesia already operated a squadron of 12 F-16s.

By June 2007 Russia's Irkut aircraft maker said it will export 242 multi-role Su-30 Flanker fighters, worth around $7 billion, by 2014. The Irkut Corporation, which is part of Russia's United Aircraft Building Corporation created in 2006, manufactures variants of the famed Su-30MK for India, Algeria, and Malaysia. "To date, contracts have been signed for 242 aircraft with a total value of about $7 billion," company president Oleg Demchenko said at Le Bourget international air show near Paris.

Demchenko said most of Su-30 aircraft would be delivered to India under previous and future contracts. "We have recently added another contract for 18 aircraft in addition to the one signed earlier," he said, adding that the company was in talks on delivery of 40 additional Su-30MKI fighters to India. "We will sign this contract in a few weeks," Demchenko said.

Contracts to deliver 18 Su-30MKM aircraft to Malaysia and 28 Su-30MKA fighters to Algeria are being implemented successfully. The Su-30MKM and Su-MKA are multi-role Flanker variants based on the Su-30MKI model and feature a customized avionics suite to meet Malaysian and Algerian specifications respectively. "We sent the first two Su-30MKMs to Malaysia on the first day of the Paris air show," Demchenko said. "The first six aircraft will be delivered to Algeria this year."

On 30 July 2007 the Jerusalem Post reported that Iran was negotiating with Russia to buy 250 Sukhoi Su-30 "Flanker" fighter-bombers. Israeli defense officials were investigating the potential Iran-Russia deal, in which Iran would pay $1 billion a dozen squadrons' worth of the jets. Iran would also buy 20 Ilyushin Il-78 Midas tankers that could extend the fighters' range as part of the deal. The move was seen as a response to the new American plans to sell billions of dollars' worth of weapons to potential Iranian adversaries in the Middle East - Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Israel. This report came soon after other deals to sell advanced Su-27 and Su-30 combat fighters to Indonesia, Malaysia and Venezuela.

Attempts by Russia to sell Su-30 aircraft to Iran may run afoul of the US, which could block any such sale in the UN Security Council. Tehran was eager to update and modernize its weaponry since the lifting of sanctions in January 2016. But US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, Thomas Shannon, told the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee on 06 April 2016 that "We would block the approval of fighter aircraft," noting that any sale needed to be approved by the Security Council.

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Page last modified: 14-02-2022 18:18:50 ZULU