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Su-30 Sukhoi
ASCC codename: Flanker
Multi-Role Fighter

Based on the two-seat Su-27UB trainer and originally known as the Su-27PU, the Sukhoi Su-30 is a long-range precision-attack fighter similar to the F-15E Eagle series. Although retaining the air-to-air interceptor capabilities of the Su-27, the early Su-30 and Su-30K models are optimized for long-endurance missions of 10 hours or so. These aircraft are also fitted with a radiolocation system allowing the positions of up to 10 to ve transmitted to four other aircraft simultaneously. This feature makes the Su-30 suitable as a tactical fighter leader designating targets to be attacked by other aircraft. These variants were later joined by the multi-role Su-30M that adds precision ground attack capability while carrying a range of advanced guided bombs and missiles.

Sukhoi has also actively marketed an export model, the Su-30MK, that has been purchased in large numbers by India (Su-30MKI) and China (Su-30MKK, Su-30MK2). India's aircraft are generally more capable than any other variant of the Su-30 and include canards as well as vectored thrust nozzles for improved maneuverability, a better radar, and more advanced avionics from Indian and Western sources. Current plans call for the Indian Air Force to acquire 280 units of Su-30MKI, and 140 of these are to be license built at Hindustan Aeronotics Limited within India.

Indonesia has also shown interest in the Su-30MK, but acquisition plans have been significantly curtailed due to the nation's political and economic turmoil. Other export sales have come from Asian and Middle Eastern countries like Malaysia, Vietnam, and Algeria while Syria has also expressed interest. Perhaps the most controversial customer is Venezuela that ordered the advanced fighter to spite the US over a lack of support for the Venezuelan F-16 fleet.

In Russian service, the Su-30 has supplemented and replaced many older MiG-31 and Su-27 intereceptors and remains the most advanced fighter in the Russian Air Force. Several upgrades to the existing fleet are planned to maintain the aircraft's capabilities against competing combat planes until a next-generation fighter becomes available by 2020.

Data below for Su-30M and Su-30MKI
Last modified 21 March 2011

First Flight 1989
Service Entry


CREW: two: pilot, weapons systems officer


$34 million

Wing Root unknown
Wing Tip


Length 71.92 ft (21.94 m)
Wingspan 48.17 ft (14.70 m)
Height 20.83 ft (6.36 m)
Wing Area 666 ft² (62.0 m²)
Canard Area

not applicable

Empty 32,020 lb (17,700 kg)
Normal Takeoff (Su-30M) 52,910 lb (24,000 kg)
(Su-30MKI) 56,590 lb (25,670 kg)
Max Takeoff (Su-30M) 73,855 lb (33,500 kg)
(Su-30MKI) 74,955 lb (34,000 kg)
Fuel Capacity 20,725 lb (9,400 kg)
Max Payload

17,640 lb (8,000 kg)

Powerplant two Saturn/ Lyul'ka AL-31F afterburning turbofans
Thrust 55,114 lb (245.16 kN)

Max Level Speed at altitude: 1,320 mph (2,125 km/h) at 32,780 ft (10,000 m), Mach 2.3
at sea level: unknown
cruise speed: 860 mph (1,380 km/h) at 32,780 ft (10,000 m)
Initial Climb Rate 45,235 ft (13,800 m) / min
Service Ceiling 57,360 ft (17,500 m)
Range typical: 1,620 nm (3,000 km)
ferry: 3,770 nm (6,990 km)
g-Limits +9

Gun one 30-mm GSh-301 cannon (149 rds)
Stations ten external hardpoints and two wingtip rails
Air-to-Air Missile R-33/AA-9 Amos, up to six R-27R/AA-10A Alamo, up to six R-27T/AA-10B Alamo, up to two R-27P/AA-10C Alamo, up to six R-73/AA-11 Archer, up to six R-77/AA-12
Air-to-Surface Missile up to six Kh-29/AS-14 Kedge, up to four Kh-31/AS-17 Krypton, up to two Kh-59/AS-18 Kazoo
Bomb up to six KAB-500KR laser-guided, up to three KAB-1500KR laser-guided, up to eight FAB-500 GP, up to 28 OFAB-250-270 GP, up to eight RBK-500 cluster
Other up to four S-8/S-13 rocket pods, APK-9 datalink pod
(Su-30MKI) EL/L-8222 radar jammer pod, LITENING laser targeting pod, High Accuracy Direction Finding (HADF) pod, flight refuelling pod

Su-27PU Original designation of the Su-30
Su-30 'Flanker-C' Two-seat long-range, long-endurance interceptor based on the Su-27UB
Su-30K Improved Su-30 with in-flight refueling capability, strengthened structure, and greater range
Su-30KI Conflicting descriptions exist, but the most likely appears to be a single-seat Su-30K model for Indonesia with several features of the Su-30MK; cancelled
Su-30KN Upgrade available for the Su-30 and Su-30K
Su-30M Upgraded two-seat multi-role variant of the Su-30 with ground attack capability and able to carry a wide range of air-to-ground weapons
Su-30MK Export version of the Su-30M
Su-30M2 Upgraded version of the Su-30MK equipped with canards and thrust vectoring nozzles
Su-30MKA Su-30M export model for Algeria
Su-30MKK 'Flanker-G' Su-30M export model for the Chinese Air Force with improved avionics; approximately 150 built in Russia or license built in China with another 170 planned
Su-30MK2 Model similar to the Su-30MKK but optimized for maritime patrol and armed with anti-ship missiles; 24 built for the Chinese Navy and 11 for Indonesia
Su-30MK2V Export variant of the Su-30M for Vietnam based on the Su-30MK2; 4 built
Su-30MK3 Chinese model similar to the Su-30MK2 but equipped with the Zhuk MSE radar for use with the Kh-59MK anti-ship missile; may have been cancelled
Su-30MKI 'Flanker-H' Su-30M export model for India with improved avionics and enhanced multi-role capabilities, all to be upgraded with canards and thrust vectoring nozzles; 230 to be built in Russia or license built in India
Su-30MKM Su-30M export model for Malaysia with the same airframe, thrust vectoring, and canards as the Su-30MKI but different avionics; 18 ordered
Su-30MKV Su-30M export model for Venezuela based on the Su-30MK2


KNOWN OPERATORS: Algeria, Al Quwwat al Jawwawiya al Jaza'eriya (Algerian Air Force)
China, Zhongkuo Shenmin Taifang Tsunputai (People's Liberation Army Air Force)
China (People's Liberation Army Navy)
India, Bharatiya Vayu Sena (Indian Air Force)
Indonesia, Tentara Nasional Indonesia - Angkatan Udara (Indonesian Air Force)
Malaysia, Tentera Udara Diraja Malaysia (Royal Malaysian Air Force)
Russia, Voyenno Vozdushniye Sili (Russian Air Force)
Venezuela, Fuerza Aérea Venezolana (Venezuelan Air Force)
Vietnam, Khong Quan Nhan Dan Viet Nam (Vietnam People's Army Air Force)



  • Donald, David, ed. The Complete Encyclopedia of World Aircraft. NY: Barnes & Noble, 1997, p. 868, Sukhoi Su-27 and derivatives.
  • Donald, David and Lake, Jon, ed. The Encyclopedia of World Military Aircraft. NY: Barnes & Noble, 2000, p. 414-415, Sukhoi Su-27P/PU/Su-30.
  • Gunston, Bill, ed. The Encyclopedia of Modern Warplanes. NY: Barnes & Noble, 1995, p. 268, Sukhoi Su-27 'Flanker'.
  • Gunston, Bill, ed. The Osprey Encyclopedia of Russian Aircraft. Oxford, UK: Osprey Publishing, 1995, p. 367, Su-30.
  • Müller, Claudio. Aircraft of the World. NY: Muddle Puddle Books, 2004, p. 306-307, Sukhoi Su-30MKK/MKI.
  • Paul Nann's Military Aviation Photo Gallery
  • Rendall, David. Jane's Aircraft Recognition Guide, 2nd ed. London: Harper Collins Publishers, 1999, p. 103.
  • Taylor, Michael. Brassey's World Aircraft & Systems Directory 1996/1997. London: Brassey's, 1996, p. 92-93, Sukhoi Su-30 (NATO name Flanker).
  • Taylor, Michael J. H. Brassey's World Aircraft & Systems Directory 1999/2000. London: Brassey's, 1999, p. 72-73, Sukhoi Su-30 (NATO name Flanker).

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