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Air Platforms

Russia reveals Su-30SME export 'Flanker' details

31 March 2017
A model of the Su-30SME seen at the recent LIMA exhibition in Malaysia. Source: Nikolai Novichkov

Russia has revealed new details of the Su-30SME export variant of the Sukhoi 'Flanker' fighter that it launched in early 2016.

Speaking at the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace (LIMA) exhibition in Malaysia, president of Irkut Corporation Oleg Demchenko revealed performance specifications for the twin-seat derivative of the Su-30SM that recently entered service with Russia and Kazakhstan (the Su-30SM is itself a development of the Su-30MKI sold to India).

The Su-30SME has a normal take-off weight of 26,090 kg, a maximum take-off weight of 34,000 kg, a speed of 1.75 Mach, and normal/maximum fuel weights of 5,270/9,300 kg respectively. It has operational range of 1,280 km at sea-level and at a speed of 800 km/h; of 3,000 km flying at a high altitude and at a speed of 900 km/h; and of 5,600 km with one air refuelling contact.

The Su-30SME is powered by two AL-31FP afterburner jet engines with thrust vectoring control. The powerplants have a combined thrust of 25,000 kg, and afford the fighter a combat payload of up to 8,000 kg mounted from its 12 hardpoints.

The avionics suite of the Su-30SME has been upgraded and the aircraft equipped for infrared and laser targeting pods for ground target acquisition and engagement. The new fire control radar can acquire and track 15 aerial targets simultaneously while being able to attack four at once. Other features include an integrated electro-optical targeting sensor coupled with a laser inertial navigation system, a helmet-mounted target designator, and satellite navigation system compatible with the GLONASS and NAVSTAR formats.

"The Su-30SME is an upgraded modern platform based on Russian equipment," Demchenko said. "As the basic Russian Su-30SM version develops, the capabilities of the export Su-30SME will also expand."

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