Russia Orders 30 Sukhoi Su-30SM Aircrafts
The Russian Defense Ministry has recently reported that Russia has decided to place an order for thirty Sukhoi Su-30SM multirole fighter aircrafts. This order was placed with Irkut Corporation, the Russian aircraft manufacturer which is best known for their production of the Sukhoi Su-30 family of interceptor and ground attack aircrafts. The Sukhoi Su-30 fighter aircraft was developed by Russia’s Sukhoi Aviation Corporation, and is a multirole fighter for all weather, air-to-surface and air-to-air deep interdiction missions. These new fighter aircrafts are anticipated to enter into service with the Russian Aerospace Forces towards the end of 2018.
“The Russian Defense Ministry and the Irkut Corporation have signed a contract to supply multipurpose Su-30SM fighters to the Russian Aerospace Forces,” states a press release by the Russian Defense Ministry from April 3. “According to the terms of the contract, over 30 multipurpose Su-30SM fighters will be delivered [to the Russian Aerospace Forces] by the end of 2018.”
The contract for the purchase of 30 multipurpose Su-30SM fighter aircrafts was signed by Oleg Demchenko, the president of Irkut Corporation, as well as Yuri Borisov, the Russian Deputy Defense Minister. There are currently around 40 Sukhoi Su-30SM fighter aircrafts in service with the Russian military. In addition to the air force, these aircrafts are also used by the Russian Naval Aviation. The Russian fleet size of Sukhoi Su-30SM fighter aircrafts is planned to increase to 60 by the end of the year.
In March of 2012, the Russian Defense Ministry had announced that they would like to acquire around 60 Su-30SMs towards the end of 2016. With this order for 30 additional aircrafts, the Su-30SM has evolved into Russian’s primary air combat fighter. There are currently three to four Su-30SMs that are in combat operations in Syria under the Russian Aerospace Forces. They are using these aircrafts to conduct bombing missions as well as for escort services.
The Sukhoi Su-30SM is derived from the Su-30 MKI export variant, which is an aircraft that was developed for the Indian Air Force by Russia with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. The Su-30SM utilizes the same airframe from the MKI and is made of high-strength aluminum alloys and titanium. The airframe is also equipped with the MKI’s AL-37FP thrust-vectoring engines.