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Su-15 Sukhoi
ASCC codename: Flagon

Developed to replace the Su-11 interceptor during the 1960s, the Sukhoi Su-15 first appeared as a scaled-up version of the Su-9/Su-11 family but powered by two engines and utilizing twin side inlets. These design changes freed up space in the new solid nose for a large radar, and powerful engines were installed to ensure the Su-15 would fly considerably faster than any known Western aircraft of the time.

The first production 'Flagon-A' models featured a mid-mounted cropped delta wing, swept tail surfaces, and a large bubble canopy placed well aft of the conical nose. Later models introduced a "kinked-delta" wing planform of greater span and a more aerodynamic ogival nose. In addition, the electronics, engines, and armaments were continually upgraded so that the Su-15 remained a formidable high-speed interceptor through the 1980s. Some later models have been reported as the Su-21, but apparently this designation was never applied to any members of the Su-15 family.

The Su-15 guarded Soviet airspace throughout much of the Cold War, though it was never exported to Soviet allies. Surely the most notable, albeit infamous, event the aircraft was involved in occurred in 1983 when an Su-15TM 'Flagon-F' shot down a Korean Air Lines Boeing 747 mistaking it for a reconnaissance aircraft.

About 700 Su-15s remained in service by the mid-1980s, but these were gradually retired and replaced by the MiG-31 and Su-27 by about 1993.

Data below for Su-15TM 'Flagon-F'
Last modified 07 October 2010

First Flight 30 May 1962
Service Entry


CREW: one: pilot



Wing Root TsAGI S7s-12
Wing Tip

TsAGI S7s-12

Length 70.25 ft (21.41 m)
Wingspan ('Flagon-A') 28.24 ft (8.62 m)
('Flagon-F') 30.67 ft (9.34 m)
Height 16.50 ft (5.00 m)
Wing Area 394 ft (36.6 m)
Canard Area

not applicable

Empty ('Flagon-A') approx. 25,000 lb (11,340 kg)
('Flagon-F') approx. 27,000 lb (12,245 kg)
Normal Takeoff unknown
Max Takeoff ('Flagon-A') approx. 35,275 lb (16,000 kg)
('Flagon-F') approx. 40,000 lb (18,145 kg)
Fuel Capacity internal: unknown
external: unknown
Max Payload


Powerplant two Tumanskii R-13F2-300 afterburning turbojets
Thrust 31,460 lb (139.95 kN)
Max Level Speed at altitude: 1,385 mph (2,230 km/h) at 36,090 ft (11,000 m), Mach 2.1
at sea level: unknown
Initial Climb Rate 45,000 ft (13,730 m) / min
Service Ceiling 60,700 ft (18,500 m)
Range typical: 780 nm (1,450 km)
ferry: 1,080 nm (2,000 km)
g-Limits unknown

Gun none
Stations six external hardpoints
Air-to-Air Missile typically two R-98M/AA-3 Anab and two R-60/AA-8 Aphid
Air-to-Surface Missile none
Bomb none
Other 23-mm GSh-23L twin-barrel gun pods

T-58 Sukhoi prototypes later delivered to the Soviet Air Force for trials and redesignated Su-15-98
Su-15 'Flagon-A' Initial production model powered by R11F2S-300 turbojets and armed with R-8M missiles
T-58L or T-58D 'Flagon-B' Prototypes incoporating three Kolosev lift-jets in the center fuselage to test vertical/short takeoff and landing (V/STOL) capabilities, may also have been known as the Su-15VD or Su-15DPD
Su-15F 'Flagon-D'
Su-15MF 'Flagon-D'
First major production model similar to 'Flagon-A' but with increased wingspan and armed with R-98 missiles
Su-15T 'Flagon-E'
Su-15TM 'Flagon-E'
Improved version of the 'Flagon-D' introducing a new larger radar, more powerful engines, increased fuel capacity, and strengthened landing gear; production limited due to failure of new radar
Su-15U 'Flagon-C'
Su-15UT 'Flagon-C'
Two-seat combat-capable trainer based on 'Flagon-D' and 'Flagon-E' featuring a separate canopy for each seat and a periscope for the rear seat to improve the forward view of the instructor
Su-15TM 'Flagon-F' Most successful model equipped with a new radar housed in a more aerodynamic ogival nose radome, improved engines, and improved R-98M missiles
Su-15UM 'Flagon-G'

Two-seat combat-capable trainer similar to 'Flagon-C' but based on the 'Flagon-F'




Georgia (Georgian Air Force)
Russia, Voyenno Vozdushniye Sili (Russian Air Force)
Ukraine, Viys'kovo-Povitriani Syly Ukrayiny (Ukraine Military Air Forces)
Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, Voyenno Vozdushniye Sili (Soviet Air Force)



  • Bishop, Chris, ed. The Encyclopedia of Modern Military Weapons: The Comprehensive Guide to Over 1,000 Weapon Systems from 1945 to the Present Day. NY: Barnes & Noble, 1999, p. 249, 256, 301-302.
  • Donald, David, ed. The Complete Encyclopedia of World Aircraft. NY: Barnes & Noble, 1997, p. 632.
  • Gunston, Bill, ed. The Encyclopedia of Modern Warplanes. NY: Barnes & Noble, 1995, p. 186-187.
  • Gunston, Bill and Spick, Mike. Modern Air Combat: The Aircraft, Tactics and Weapons Employed in Aerial Combat Today. NY: Crescent Books, 1983, p. 128-129.
  • Paul Nann's Military Aviation Photo Gallery
  • Winchester, Jim. Military Aircraft of the Cold War. San Diego, CA: Thunder Bay Press, 2006, p. 220-221, Sukhoi Su-15 'Flagon'.

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