New generation Su-30 unveiled
The brand new Su-30SM, the latest variant of the Su-30 series, developed by JSC Sukhoi Design Bureau and designed for the Russian Ministry of Defence, made its debut flight at the airfield of Irkutsk Aviation Plant in Russia. The Russian Air Force has ordered 30 Su30SMs (deal signed in March this year), now likely to enter service earlier than expected. The new variant is an evolution of the MK series of Flanker jets supplied to India as well. The variant has a new radar system, IFF and ejection seats, in addition to a list of other equipment stipulated in requirements drawn up by the Russian Air Force. According to an Irkuts statement, at the contract signing Anatoly Serdyukov, the Russian Defence Minister, noted that the upcoming entry of the modern two-seat supermanoeuvrable aircraft into the Russian armed forces significantly increases the combat power of the Russian Air Force. “Moreover, technical capabilities of the fighter allow achieving a higher level of pilot’s training, which is especially important due to the increasing procurement of new generation combat aircraft,” the statement said. The IAF is also in the process of evaluating an upgrade of its Su30MKI fleet. The Su-30SM debut flight was piloted by JSC Sukhoi Design Bureau test pilots Sergey Kostin and Pavel Malovechko. The flight lasted two hours and is said to have “passed flawlessly”.