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Know Thy Enemy: Flanker

Posted by MyLaowai on Sunday, July 1, 2007

Say what you want about the Russians, Winters thought,
they do build ’em pretty.

– Tom Clancy, Red Storm Rising.

The Flanker, here in a few of it’s various flavours: The Su-30MK (multirole two-seater, export model), Su-27SK (multirole single-seat, export model), Su-30MKK (Chinese export variant), Su-32 (Two-seat dedicated long-range strike variant with side-by-side seating), Su-33 Naval (Carrier) Variant, Su-47 (Advanced Fighter Demonstrator)

The Su-27 (NATO designation Flanker), one of the world’s most agile aircraft, is a front line fighter aircraft designed by the Sukhoi Design Bureau. The aircraft is equipped to operate autonomously in combat over hostile territory, in escort of deep-penetration strike aircraft and in the suppression of enemy airfields. The aircraft provides general air defence in cooperation with ground and airborne control stations. A naval variant with folding wings exists.

China received 26 in 1991 and a further 22 in 1995 before signing an agreement in 1998 for licensed manufacture of 200 as the Shenyang J-11 (about 90~100 had been built by 2004). In 2006, China also purchased 78 Sukhoi Su-30MKK for the PLAAF (Air Force) and 48 Sukhoi Su-33 for the PLANAF’s (Navy’s) future carrier fighter.

Maximum speed: 2,500 km/h at altitude (1,550 mph Mach 2.35)
Range: 1,340km combat mission at sea level 3,530 km combat mission at high altitude (800 mi at sea level / 2070 mi at high altitude)
Service ceiling: 18,500 m (60,700 ft)
Rate of climb: 325 m/s (64,000 ft/min)
Wing loading: 371 kg/m² (76 lb/ft²’)
Thrust/weight: 1.085

1x 30 mm GSh-30-1 cannon with 150 rounds
8,000 kg (17,600 lb) on 10 external pylons
– Up to 6 medium-range AA missiles R-27, 4 short-range heat-seeking AA missiles R-73
+ Upgraded Su-27SM is capable of using R-77 instead of R-27
– Su-27IB can be used to launch X-31 anti-radiation missiles, air-to-ground missiles X-29L/T (laser/TV guidance, which may be projected to helmet), KAB-150 and UAB-500 bombs with laser, TV, or IR guidance

Currently, the Chinese Air Force has seven divisions equipped with the J-11:

1st Air Division based in Anshan, Liaoning, equipped with the J-11
2nd Air Division based in Suxi, Guangdong, equipped with the Su-27SK, Su-27UBK, and J-11
6th Air Division based in Yinchuan, Ningxia, equipped with the J-11
7th Air Division based in Zhangjiakou, Hebei, equipped with the J-11
14th Air Division based in Zhangshu, Jiangxi, equipped with the J-11
19th Air Division based in Zhengzhou, Henan, equipped with the Su-27SK, Su-27UBK, and J-11
33rd Air Division based in Baishiyi, Chongqing, equipped with the Su-27UBK

(Sources: Air Force Technology, Wikipedia)



7 Responses to “Know Thy Enemy: Flanker”

  1. Stranded Mariner said

    I have seen the 27’s in action at the Zhuhai flight show a few years ago, and their performance was awesome. Of course they were flown by Russians.

  2. Peter said

    I’ve always been a sucker for the Mig 29 Fulcrum. Damn pretty airplane, even though the Russians built it.

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