2. Russian Su-30 Multirole Fighter Aircraft
Price tag – US$37.5 million per unit as of 2012
The Sukhoi Su-30, (reporting name: Flanker-C) is a multirole fighter. It has a two-seat cockpit with an airbrake behind the canopy. equipped with a twin-engine. A super maneuverable fighter aircraft developed by Russia’s Sukhoi Aviation Corporation. It is a multirole fighter for all-weather, air-to-air and air-to-surface deep interdiction missions.
The multi-role Su-30SM can be deployed in counter-air strikes, counter-land and counter-sea missions. It can conduct electronic counter-countermeasures and early warning tasks. The aircraft also acts as a command-and-control platform within a fleet of combat aircraft performing joint missions.
The airframe of Su-30SM is made of titanium and high-strength aluminum alloys. It is based on the Su-30MKI aircraft developed jointly by IRKUT and JSC Sukhoi Design Bureau, for the Indian Air Force (IAF).
The fuselage head houses cockpit, radar sections, and avionics bay. High maneuverability was achieved through the integral aerodynamic form combined with thrust vectoring feature.
Cockpit and avionics
The glass cockpit accommodates two pilots in tandem configuration. The crews are provided with ejection seats. The cockpit incorporates an advanced avionics suit integrating a head-up display and liquid crystal multifunction displays.
The Su-30SM features identification friend-or-foe equipment, a global positioning system, and an inertial navigation system. The open architecture design allows the integration of modern avionics, including a new radar system, radio and recognition system, and other support systems.
Su-30SM weapon systems
The Su-30SM is capable of carrying an advanced weapons payload weighing up to 8t. The aircraft can be armed with a machine gun, bombs, air-to-air missiles, and Oniks (Yakhont) supersonic anti-ship and land attack missiles. Developed by NPO Mashinostroyeniya, Oniks served as a basis for the BrahMos supersonic missile. Oniks has an operational range of 120km to 300km depending on altitude.
The aircraft can engage aerial threats, ground, and naval surface targets by deploying onboard air-to-air and air-to-surface guided/unguided weapons. It can be fitted with anti-surface weaponry such as rockets and rocket pods for conducting land attack operations.
The Su-30SM is powered by two AL-31FP by-pass turbojet reheated engines. The engines generate a total after-burning thrust of 25,000kgf. The power plant provides a horizontal flight speed of Mach 2.
The maximum unrefueled flight range of Su-30SM is about 3,000km. The aircraft is also equipped with a flight refueling probe and refueling system.
Su-30SM landing gear
The Su-30SM features hydraulically retractable tricycle-type landing gear. The main landing gear units are fitted with single wheels. Each unit reverses through 90° to retract frontward into the bay in the wing-root.
The main landing gear has hydraulically functioned carbon disc brakes equipped with an electric brake cooling fan and an anti-skid mechanism. The forward retractable single nose-wheel is hydraulically steerable. The tail-cone at the stern of the fuselage integrates a brake parachute compartment.