Sukhoi Su-30MKK


Sukhoi Su-30MKK

Infobox Aircraft
name=Su-30MKK


caption= Venezuelan Su-30MK2
type= Multirole Fighter, Strike fighter, Heavy class fighter
manufacturer=KnAAPO
designer=Sukhoi
first flight=
introduced=December 2000
retired=
status=Active service
primary user=People's Liberation Army Air Force
more users=People's Liberation Army Naval Air Force Venezuelan Air Force
produced=2000-present
number built=124
program cost=
unit cost=US$53 million for first 38
developed from=Sukhoi Su-27SK
variants with their own articles=

The Sukhoi Su-30MKK (with NATO reporting name as Flanker-G)MKK stands for Russian "Mnogofunktzionniy Kommercheskiy Kitayski" (Cyrillic: Многофунктзионний Коммерческий Китайски), "Multifunctional Commercial for China".] is a modification of the Su-27 SK manufactured since 1999 by KnAAPO, JSC. It is considered an upgraded version of Sukhoi Su-30. It is a heavy class, long-range, multi-role, air superiority fighter and strike fighter. The MKK is currently operated by the People's Republic of China, and very recently, the Venezuelan Air Force.cite web|url=http://knaapo.ru/eng/products/military/su30mk.wbp|title=The Su-30MK Multipurpose Double-seat Fighter|accessdate=2007-01-16|publisher=KNAAPO]

History

China and Russia began negotiations for the purchase of the Su-30MK multirole fighter in 1996 while the Su-30MK was still completing its final development. The initial deal of 38 aircraft valued at about US$2 billion was agreed upon in August 1999. On March 9, 1999, the first prototype named "Blue 501" made its maiden flight. On June 19, 1999, the second prototype named "Blue 502" made its maiden flight, and like the first prototype, this one was also used mainly for aerodynamic performance tests. No. 3 & No. 4 named respectively as "Blue 503" and "Blue 504" were built later that year and were mainly used for weaponry tests. All flight tests were conducted in Komsomolsk-on-Amur, with the second "K" of Su-30MKK representing Komsomolsk-on-Amur, instead of "Kitayski" for China. It was rumored that such security measure was performed under the Chinese request, and it was not until sometimes after August 15, 1999, after the Russian Air Force commander-in-chief had openly acknowledged to western reporters in public that China had ordered Su-30MKK, did the Russian changed their documentation to use the second "K" to indicate "Kitayski" for China. The variant specially configured according to the requirements of the People's Liberation Army Air Force was designated as the Su-30MKK.cite web|url=http://www.sinodefence.com/airforce/fighter/su30.asp|title=Su-30MKK Multirole Fighter Aircraft|accessdate=2007-01-16|date=2006-11-26|work=Sinodefence.com] The Chinese requirements mandated significant upgrades of the original Su-30MK, and Sukhoi Design Bureau utilized many new resources such as CAD / CAE / CAM to speed up the process. According to the Sukhoi Design Bureau, it only took 9 months from the time the design started to the completion of the first prototype named "Blue 501". In January 2003, the People's Liberation Army Naval Air Force ordered 24 Su-30MKK2s which are improved variants of the original MKKs.

Deliveries

;Su-30 MKK:The PLAAF's 3rd Aviation Division based at Wuhu AFB, Anhui Province received the first batch of 10 aircraft from KNAAPO in December 2000; the remaining 38 were delivered by the end of 2001. A second batch of 38 more aircraft was ordered in July 2001, with these aircraft delivered in 2003. These aircraft are operated by the PLAAF 18th Air Division which is based at Changsha AFB, Hunan Province.;Su-30 MK2:24 Su-30 MK2 were ordered by the PLANAF in January 2002, these were all reported to have been delivered by August 2004

:In September 2004, 24 Su-30MK2 were ordered by the Venezuelan Air Force. Four of them arrived in December 2006, and the rest are expected to arrive in 2007.:Indonesia received 5 SU-30MK2s during 2 different periods, 2 were received in 2003 while another 3 were shipped in 2006.

tructure

Like its Indian counterpart, Su-30MKI (Flanker-H), Su-30MKK is also shares 85% compatibility with Su-35 in terms of hardware, but in terms of software, Su-30MKK differs from Su-35 (Flanker-E) on a much greater scale in comparison to Su-30MKI because the different mission requirements by China. The Flanker family aircraft has the problem of the reduction of maximum g-force level being decreased to 7g from the 9g at speed between 0.7 Mach to 0.9 Mach, and this problem was completely solved on Su-30MKK by adopting new measures. According the Sukhoi Design Bureau, Su-30MKK is the first of the Flanker family to achieve so after Su-35 / 37 (Flanker-E/F). Higher percentage of composite material is used for Su-30MKK in comparison to the original Su-30MK. In addition, new aluminum alloy were used to replaced the old type used on Su-30MK for weight reduction. The twin rudders mainly made of carbon fiber composite material were larger on Su-30MKK in comparison to that of the original Su-30MK, but contrary to what was once erronemously claimed by some western sources, Sukhoi Design Bureau revealed later that the increased space in the rudders were used for additional fuel tanks, instead of larger communication UHF antenna. The capacity of the fuel tanks in the wings is also increased. A twin nose landing gear of size 620 mm x 180 mm has replaced the single nose landing gear of size 680 mm x 260 mm used on Su-30MK to accommodate the increased weight. The maximum take-off weight and weapon load are increased to 38 tons and 12 tons respectively, but this extreme limit is often avoided by taking off at lighter weight. It was rumored that the Chinese pilots were not as experienced as Russian test pilots when operating at this extreme limits, which contributed to the crashes at least partially. The original K-36 ejection seat on Su-30MK is replaced by K-36M ejection seat for Su-30MKK.

Fuel capacity

In addition to the newly added fuel tanks in the rudders capacity totaling 280 kg, there are four main fuel tanks. No. 1 tank with capacity totaling 3,150 kg is in the front, No. 2 tank with capacity totaling 4,150 kg is in the middle, No. 3 tank with capacity totaling 1,053 kg is in the rear, and No. 4 tank with capacity totaling 1,552 kg is located in the wings. During aerial refueling, the maximum capacity of Su-30MKK is receiving up to 2,300 liters per minute. The altitude of refueling is limited to 2 km to 6 km, and the speed is limited to 450 to 550 km/h. Aerial refueling probe is located in front of cockpit on the left, and the design is capable of night refueling.

Engine

The main power plants are two AL-31F engines that provide great maneuverability and thrust. Range can be extended with the in flight refueling probe. Domestic Chinese resources have claimed that the Chinese engine WS-10 with higher mean time between overhaul can also be used, but this is yet to be confirmed by the official sources and sources outside China. Due to the intense flight training in Chinese hands, the average mean time between overhaul of AL-31F was only slightly above 500 hours, significantly lower than its western counterparts, the same problem reportedly encountered by Indian Air Force for its Su-30MKI fleet.

Avionics

According to Sukhoi Design Bureau, many of the new avionics and upgrades of current avionics were specially developed to meet the Chinese requirement, and subsequently used on other members of the Flanker family, including the more advanced versions that appeared later, and this was mainly due to the fact that the funding for Su-30MKK was readily available in comparison to others. The primary contractors / system integrator for Su-30MKK avionics was RPKB Instrumentation Design Bureau headquartered at Ramenskoye, and many new measures were adopted to meet the Chinese requirement, such as the open architecture software design. The development of avionics for the Su-30MKK was also assisted by 12 Ukrainian factories, based in Kiev. [cite web |url=http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/library/news/ukraine/2006/ukraine-060614-rianovosti03.htm |title=Obituary for Ukrainian defense industry |accessdate=2008-07-04 |work=RIA Novosti ]

Communications

The encrypted VHF/UHF communication radio of Su-30MKK has a maximum range in excess of 400 km, while the encrypted HF communication radio of Su-30MKK has a maximum range in excess of 1,500 km, and all can be used for both air-to-air or air-to-ground two-way communications. Su-30MKK is the first of Flanker family to be equipped with TKS-2 C3 system, which is capable of simultaneously commanding and controlling up to 15 aircraft with such system, and the air-to-air missiles launched by these aircraft. According to the developer of the system, Russkaya Avionika JSC, the encrypted two-way communication C3 system can be either commanded or controlled by ground stations, or act as the command/control center for other aircraft. The system is claimed by the Russian developer as a huge leap forward in comparison to the similar rudimentary system on Su-27, which is only capable of one way communication. The new system is also the first among Russian system that is capable of forming a local area network like similar system on American F-14 Tomcat.

Electronic warfare

Russian sources have claimed that the electronic warfare systems of Su-30MKK utilizes the latest technologies available in Russia and the radar warning receivers are so effective that the information provided by RWR along would be enough to provide targeting information for Kh-31P anti-radiation missile without using other detection systems on board, though information can also be provided by L-150 ELINT system, which can be used in conjunction with Kh-31P. The maximum range of the RWR is termed at several hundred kilometers, and based on the 200 km maximum range of the Kh-31P anti-radiation missile, the maximum should be at least that much. The threat information obtained from RWRs can be either provided on the LCD MFDs (showing the most dangerous four targets) for the pilot in the manual mode, or be used automatically. The active jamming pods are mounted on the wing tips, and the APP-50 decoy launcher is mounted near the tail cone with 96 decoys of different kinds. Domestic Chinese electronic warfare systems including BM/KG300G and KZ900 can also be carried after modification of onboard system, but such modification was neither part of the original deal nor the upgrade deal with Russians, instead, this was implemented indigenously by Chinese themselves during the incremental upgrades.

Flight control

The fly by wire (FBW) control with quadruple redundancy designed by Russkaya Avionika is the same system used for Su-30MKI. Russian sources have confirmed the claims of domestic Chinese sources that an indigenous Chinese system developed is near its completion and it will be used to replace the original Russian system. However, this has yet to be confirmed by western sources and official Chinese governmental sources, which only acknowledged in the 6th Zhuhai Airshow that domestic fly by wire (FBW) control with quadruple redundancy is developed to accommodate domestic engines, but nothing was mentioned about whether the domestic system and engines would be used on future Su-30MKK upgrades.

Flight instruments

The Su-30MKK features a glass cockpit of Russkaya Avionika JSC, with each pilot having two large multi-function displays, arranged in a rather unconventional way: one atop of the other. Two 178 × 127 mm (7 × 5 in) MFI-9 colour LCD MFDs are located in the front seat, a single MFI-9 and a 204 × 152 mm (8 × 6 in) MFI-10 color LCD MFDs are located in the rear seat. The head-up display is also developed by Russkaya Avonika JSC, designated as SILS-30.

Helmet mounted sight

The original ASP-PVD-21 series helmet mounted sight (HMS) with only limited field of view (FoV) was replaced by more advanced Sura-K HMS system, but Chinese have been replacing the Russian HMS with more advanced domestic system. Publicized photos and video clips from the official Chinese governmental sources such as CCTV-7 in 2007 and PLA pictorial magazine have confirmed the western claims of Chinese is replacing the original Russian helmet mounted sights (HMS) with more capable domestic ones.

Mission computer

The new mission computer was jointly developed by the Russian National Aeronautical System Science Research Academy and Russkaya Avionika JSC, designated as MVK, capable of performing ten billion operations per second. All avionics on board is built to MIL-STD-1553 standard. There are four computers based on Baguet-55 series processor, one for central avionics control, two for information display, and one for fire control.

Navigation

The integrated navigational system designated as PNS-10, incorporating the A737 subsystem. The system is capable of utilizing both the GPS and GLONASS, but it is rumored that Chinese is developing a similar system to add the capability to utilize domestic Chinese systems.

Airborne radar

Airborne radar on board Su-30MKK has been continuously upgraded and a total of three were confirmed so far, all of which are controlled by RLPK-27VE integrated radar targeting system, developed from the RLPK-27 system of single seat Su-27. Both systems are designed by the famous designer Professor Viktor Konstantinovitch Gerishin of the Tikhomirov Scientific Research Institute of Instrument Design (NIIP), and is compatible with various radar and weaponry systems.
*N001VEP radar: The first 20 Su-30MKK have an N001VEP fire-control radar designed by the Chief designer Professor Viktor Konstantinovitch Gerishin of the Tikhomirov Scientific Research Institute of Instrument Design (NIIP) with a range up to 100 km, able to concurrently track 10 targets, and engage four air targets or two ground targets of the 10 tracked. The N001VEP is developed from the earlier N001VE radar designed by the same designer, which was used on J-11A. The original Baguet series processor of N001VE radar is replaced by its successor Baguet-55 series. Like its predecessor, the new radar has incorporated the moving target indication (MTI) and mapping capabilities, and capability to detect low flying / hovering helicopters. The scan sector of N001VEP is 120 degrees while the elevation is 110 degrees.
*Zhuk-MS radar: From the 21st Su-30MKK on, the N001VEP radar is replaced by Zhuk-MS (Beetle-MS) fire control radar of Tikhomirov (NIIP)'s competitor, Phazotron (NIIR), which also adopts a slotted planar array antenna like N001VEP radar. The new radar has longer range coverage (up to 150 km) and able to guide a greater variety of weapons systems. The number of targets that can be engaged is identical to that of N001VEP radar, but the number of targets that can be simultaneously tracked has been doubled to 20. Zhuk (Beetle)-MS radar is an improvement of the earlier Zhuk (Beetle) radar designed for Su-27 and MiG-29 upgrades, and incomparison to the original Zhuk radar, Zhuk-MS has the following improvements in addition to increased range and number of targets tracked/engaged:
** The diameter of antenna is increased to 960 mm from the original 680 mm of Zhuk (Beetle) radar
** The peak power is increased to 6 kW from the original 5 kW of Zhuk (Beetle) radar
** The average power is increased to 1.5 kW from the original 1 kW of Zhuk (Beetle) radar
** Contrary to many erroneous claims, Zhuk-MS is not a phased array radar, but instead, with a slotted planar array antenna.
*Zhuk-MSE radar: Zhuk-MS has been replaced by its successor, Zhuk-MSE in the incremental upgrades of Su-30MKK, and previous Zhuk-MS are being upgraded to the Zhuk-MSE level. In comparison to Zhuk-MS radar, most performance parameter remain the same, but the number of ground targets that can be simultaneously engaged is increased to four from the original two. Like Zhuk-MS, this radar has also been erroneously reported to be a phased array radar when in fact, it utilizes a slotted planar array antenna. Phazotron the designer has claimed the new radar has better ECCM capabilities than earlier radars.

At 6th Zhuhai Airshow held in 2006, Russian designers at news conference revealed to Chinese journalists that they had been working with Chinese to develop a passive electronically scanned array radar to upgrade Su-27SK and Su-30MKKs, but stop short of releasing any additional information. It is worth noting that these Russian radar designers were in fact Phazotron employees, not Tikhomirov, the usual radar supplier for the Flanker family. Some domestic Chinese media have claimed the phased array radar is Zhuk-MSF, but this is yet to be confirmed.It is also possible that the Chinese may use the same radar used on its newest J-11B's radar which will significantly increase Su-30MKK's performance, because J-11B's radar will enable the Su-30MKK's radar's range up to 350 km, and allow it to engage up to four air to air targets and four ground targets.

Fire control system

The fire control system on board integrates the radar, optronics, helmet-mounted sight, electronic warfare gears including radar warning receivers, and data links. The system is consisted of two subsystems: the SUV-VEP air-to-air subsystem and the SUV-P air-to-ground subsystem.
*SUV-VEP: this air-to-air subsystem is capable of controlling six air-to-air missiles, which is greater than the maximum number of targets the airborne radar on board Su-30MKK can simultaneously engage, thus leaving rooms for radar improvement, which would be later exploited when the new passive electronically scanned array radars have been installed on Su-30MK2. The SUV-VEP subsystem is also capable of controlling air-to-sea missions, and interestingly enough, the fire control of Kh-31A and Kh-35 anti-ship missiles are usually provided by SUV-VEP air-to-air subsystem instead of SUV-P air-to-ground subsystem. The subsystem of SUV-VEP system includes four major portions:
**SEI-31-10 Integrated Display system: Used to control LCD MFDs.
**OEPS-30 optronic (electro-optical) detection system: Chinese call this system optronic radar system, and it is consisted of two major components:
***OLS-30 (52Sh) optronic system weighing 200 kg includes laser and IR sensors. In comparison to its predecessor OLS-27 (Izdeliye 36Sh) on Su-27, the IR detection range nearly doubled to > 90 km from the original 50 km. The range of laser range finder is increased to > 10 km from the original 6 km.
***Sura-K helmet mounted system (HMS): The field of view (FoV) is greatly increased to +/- 60 degrees in comparison to the +/- 8 degrees of the ASP-PVD-21 HMS originally used on Su-27.
**IFF and airborne radar are also controlled by SUV-VEP system.
*SUV-P: this air-to-ground subsystem utilizes identical hardware of SUV-VEP air-to-air subsystem, but with a different processing requirement. This subsystem is mainly used for air-to-surface missiles such as Kh-59, and acts as an interface between the system on board the aircraft and the designated targeting pods of the air-to-surface missiles that can not be controlled directly by the onboard avionics. The primary subsystem of SUV-P system is SUO-30PK subsystem and A737 satellite navigational subsystem.
**SUO-30PK weaponry control subsystem: though Kh-31 is often controlled by SUV-VEP air-to-air system, it can also be controlled via SUV-P system via SUO-30PK subsystem, which can also control L-150 ELINT system. SUO-30PK system also controls other missiles such as Kh-59, an air-to-ground missiles that is controlled via Tekon targeting system in the APK-9E pod. Other SUO-30PK subsystem is developed by Aviation Automation Design bureau at Kursk, and it can be used to control unguided air-to-ground weaponry.
**A737 satellite navigational subsystem: thoough part of the PNS-10 integrated navigational system, the A737 satellite navigational subsystem can also be controlled by SUO-30PK weaponry control subsystem when used for attack ground targets.Both the SUV-VEP and SUV-P systems were adopted to upgrade the single seat Su-27SK in Chinese inventory, and a joint team of Tikhomirov Scientific Research Institute of Instrument Design (NIIP) and State Instrumentation Plant at Ryazan was named as the primary contractor. The modified SUV-VEP system adopted to upgrade Chinese Su-27SK was designated as SUV-VE, while the modified SUV-P system adopted to upgrade Chinese Su-27SK was designated as SUV-PE. The original analog dial indicator on flight dashboard of Su-27SK were replaced by two 6 in x 6 in MFI-10-6M and a MFIP-6 LCD MFDs. According to Russian claim, over 60 Chinese Su-27SK have been upgraded by the end of 2006.

u-30MK2

With its improved avionics, the MK2 was designed for more dedicated use as a maritime strike aircraft, thus these aircraft ordered by China are currently being operated by the Naval Air Force. The MK2 also features a better C4ISTAR (command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance) abilities than the MKKs.

Mission computer

The original MVK mission computer is replaced by its successor MVK-RL, with greater capability.

Flight instruments

The two 178 × 127 mm (7 × 5 in) MFI-9 colour LCD MFDs in the front cockpit and the MFI-9 and the 204 × 152 mm (8 × 6 in) MFI-10 color LCD MFDs in the rear cockpit are replaced with four 158 mm x 211 mm MFI-10-5 LCD MFDs. The configuration of the new displays remains the same as that of Su-30MKK, but the new displays are more reliable.

Optronics

One of the important avionic upgrades of Su-30MK2 is the incorporation of several electro-optical (optronic) pods, a capability that is added to earlier Su-30MKK during upgrades. Two types of Russian optronic pods are sold to China for Su-30MK2, but the open architecture and other advanced designs enabled the aircraft to carry domestic optronic pods as well. This capability of Su-30MK2 has been added to the original Su-30MKKs during the incremental upgrades. The Russian optronic pods included:
*Sapsan-E targeting pod: Sapsan (Peregrine Falcon)-E targeting pod developed by the Ural Optical Machinery Plant weighs 250 kg, with length of 3 metres and diameter of 0.39 metre. Field of view is from +10 degrees to -15 degrees, and the system includes TV camera and laser designators. This system is designed to supplement the OEPS-30MK-E optronic system mounted in the nose of the aircraft.
*M400 reconnaissance pod: M400 reconnaissance pod developed by the Canopy Design Bureau is a large pod mounted between two engines. In comparison to Sapsan-E targeting pod, there is different equipment in the M400 reconnaissance pod: TV/IR cameras, optical camera and side-looking radar. The side-looking radar has a maximum range in excess of 100 km with resolution of 2 metres, while the maximum range for both IR and TV cameras are in excess of 70 km. The resolution of the TV/IR camera is 0.3 metre and 0.4 metre for the optical camera. The system can also be used to detect the blind spot behind the aircraft to provide targeting information for rearward-firing air-to-air missiles, but this capability has not been utilized by the Chinese yet. The system is also capable of locking on sea targets.
*Domestic Chinese optronics including FILAT and Blue Sky navigation pod can also be carried after modification of onboard system. Just like the incorporation of domestic Chinese electronic warfare pods such as BM/KG300G and KZ900 to Su-30MKK, such modification was neither part of the original deal nor the upgrade deal with Russians, instead, this was implemented indigenously by Chinese themselves during the incremental upgrades. According to Chinese claims, the domestic upgrade of Su-30MKK/MK2 were much smoother and easier than that of earlier Su-27SK, thanks to the western MIL-STD-1553 standard Russian adopted for Su-30MKK series.

Airborne radar

In 2000, China placed an order of passive electronically scanned array radar named Sokol (Falcon), designed by Phazotron, while the radar was still under development, it is reported that China had either partially funded or joined the development, but this can not be confirmed. All twenty units were delivered in 2004 after the development completed at the end of 2003, and the radars are installed on the Su-30MK2. The maximum range, average and peak power of Sokol radar remain the same as that of Zhuk-MSE radar on Su-30MKK, but the maximum number of targets it can simultaneously track actually decreased by 40%, from the original 20 to 12. However, the number of targets it can simultaneously engage is increased to six from the original four, thus fully utilizing the capability of the SUV-VEP subsystem of the onboard fire control system. The diameter of the antenna array is increased to 980 mm from the 960 mm of Zhuk-MS/MSE. The scan sector of the radar is 170 degrees and the elevation of the scan is from −40 degrees to +56 degrees. The radar has three receivers and a gain of 37 dB. When used against surface targets like a destroyer, the maximum range is doubled to 300 km, same as that of American AN/APG-68. There is not any confirmation for any follow-on orders of Sokol radar and unlike the capability optronic pod, this radar capability is not known to be added to the earlier Su-30MKKs during the incremental upgrades.

In early 2000s, Russia had authorized the export of Pero passive electronically scanned array radar designed by Tikhomirov, to China. The Pero antenna can be easily integrated into the existing N001VEP radar system with no significant modification by simply replacing the original slotted planar array, and thus results in increased performance. The Pero upgrade, lets the radar simultaneously engage 6 aerial targets, or 4 ground targets. The radar with Pero antenna is named as Panda radar. China, however, did not accept the offer when Russia offered the Pero upgrade package because Tikhomirov's competitor Phazotron offered China a brand new phased array radar that supposedly performed better, rumored to be Zhuk-MSF. In addition to the easy of integration, the advantage of Pero passive electronically scanned array equipped Panda radar was its weight. All other radars offered for Su-30MK2 upgrade increase weight significantly that the center of the gravity of the aircraft is altered, resulting in the need to modify the airframe and redesign the flight control system. Such problems does not exist if Panda radar is adopted because it only increases the weight by a mere 20 kg, which will be compensated by the redesign of SILS-30 head-up display to reduce its weight by 20 kg, thus balancing out the weight increase of the radar. This claim of Timkhomirov design bureau is confirmed by both the Sukhoi design bureau and Russkaya Avionika bureau, which claimed to media reporters at 2006 Zhuhai Airshow in China that such modification had already been successfully completed. China, however, had not made final decision yet as of end of 2007, and many Russia and Chinese sources have claimed that domestic Chinese head-up displays of western origin perform better and weigh much less, and China thus planned to adopt their own avionics in the next incremental upgrade, but such claims have yet to be confirmed by western sources and official sources of Chinese and Russian governments.

In response, Tikhomirov subsequently offered China its N-011M Bars passive electronically scanned array radar, the most powerful Russian airborne radar on any of its exported aircraft, but China once again rejected the offer. Many claimed that the reason for the rejection was that Chinese discovered the same problem India had during the evaluation of the radar: although the N-011M Bars passive electronically scanned array radar offered longer range and better resistance to jamming, it had problem of accurately and correct identifying targets at long range, while others claims China simply did not want the same system used by India. However, both claims contradict with the official explanation of the Chinese government: the new radar weighs more than 650 kg and caused the center of gravity of the aircraft to alter significantly, thus greatly degraded the aerodynamic performance and weapon payload arrangement of the Su-30MKK, which is far less adaptable to the new heavy radar than Su-30MKI, because the two were based on two totally different airframes, a fact that is confirmed by Jane's all the World's Aircraft. If the new radar was to be adopted, canards must be added and flight control software must be also modified for Su-30MKK just to remain the same level of performance as before, and thus, in addition of paying for the more expensive new radars, a huge amount of money must also be spent in upgrade the aircraft as well, a feat that was considered not economical and simply not affordable by China. The Russian confirmation of Chinese renewed interest in Panda radar only seems to confirm such claims.

u-30MK3

The MKK3 was to possibly feature either the Phazotron Zhuk-MSF phased array radar, or a new "Panda" radar developed by Tikhomirov, which is based on Pero passive phased array radar, both were rumored to be under Chinese evaluation. Either radar would significantly improve the Su-30s air target detection range to 190km and surface detection range at 300 km. It is uncertain whether the PLAN or PLAAF would order any of these aircraft, despite their significant advantages with their advanced radars. Therefore, if these radars passed Chinese tests, they will likely to be retrofitted to earlier MKK and MKK2 and even possibly Shenyang J-11 due to uncertain status of MKK3 project.

In January 2007, Russia confirmed that the newest Irbis-E (Snow leopard-E) phased array radar in Russia's inventory, developed by Tikhomirov, was offered to China. However, it is highly unlikely that China will adopt this newest Russian airborne radar because all models of the Su-30 series can only provide half of the power required for the 5 kW rated radar, and currently, only Sukhoi Su-35 and Sukhoi Su-37 have enough power to support this newest Russian airborne radar. Purchasing Irbis-E phased array radar would lock China into yet another deal with Russia to upgrade its Su-30MKK fleet that would greatly increase the cost, because China currently lacks the ability to do so by itself, or is forced to pay even higher prices to buy the Su-35 or Su-37.

Assessment of Su-30MKK/MK2

The Su-30MKK has allowed China's military forces to possess an aircraft in the same class as the US F-15E, and at least comparable if not superior to most regional 4th generation fighters. Its vast array of Russian munitions enable Chinese Su-30s to engage land or ship targets at long ranges with high precision. Chinese Su-30s in air combat are just as potent, being the first Chinese combat fighter to be armed with the R-77E Active Radar Homing AAM (though this missile will be progressively arming other Chinese Flankers).

At least three have been lost in accidents so far, but this is to be expected by intensive training and early usage of the aircraft. Chinese Su-30s have been seen exercising frequently, indicating the PLAAF and PLANAF are actively training these elite units and giving them more flying experience.

Su-30MKKs and especially the MK2, with their long range radars and Russian made weapons would undoubtedly be a great threat to US Navy ships operating near the Chinese coasts. The KH-31A for instance has a long range and its ramjet engine provide a high attack speed (around Mach 2.5) that could penetrate current air defenses of ships (even the sophisticated AEGIS). Chinese Su-30s will undoubtedly replace some of the old and vulnerable H-6 "Badger" bombers from strike or anti-ship roles, as these new fighter-bombers can deliver munitions more accurately while possessing just as much range and weapons load as these old bombers.

China has since made two other advanced attack aircraft available. The JH-7A is a much more advanced version of the basic Xian JH-7. This design has entered service with the PLAAF and PLANAF. One advantage of the JH-7A is its economical price compared to the more expensive Su-30. Unlike the Su-30, the JH-7A is compatible with both Russian and Chinese munitions, making it much more flexible. One disadvantage of the JH-7A of course is its lack of effective air combat ability that makes it more vulnerable than the Su-30. Another is the low payload ability of the JH-7A, which limits the amount of weapons and fuel that can be carried into combat.cite web|url=http://www.sinodefence.com/airforce/groundattack/jh7.asp|title=JH-7/A (FBC-1) Fighter-bomber|accessdate=2007-01-16|date=2006-04-13|work=Sinodefence.com|d]

The second Chinese-designed, indigenous fighter aircraft is the J-11B. The original Shenyang J-11 had traditionally been the redesigned, indigenous, and upgraded variant of the Russian Su-27SK, but recently the Chinese have delivered their own J-11s that feature more indigenous parts, Chinese-design, and avionics.cite web|url=http://www.sinodefence.com/airforce/fighter/j11.asp|title=J-11 Fighter Aircraft|accessdate=2007-01-16|date=2006-12-30|work=Sinodefence.com] The J-11B will have high agility, exceptionally high air combat abilities, heavy payload, advanced radar, and is, as with the JH-7A, compatible with Chinese and Russian munitions.

Operators

;CHN
*People's Liberation Army Air Force - 76 MKKs
*People's Liberation Army Naval Air Force - 24 MK2s;VEN
*Venezuelan Air Force - purchased 24 Su-30MK2 in a deal worth US$1.5 billion, all delivered [In the summary of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/
] [cite news|url=http://globovision.com/news.php?nid=32827|title= Ministro Maniglia dijo que los Sukhoi son aviones para la defensa|date=July 13, 2006] ;MYS
Royal Malaysian Air Force - 18 MKM;IDN
*Republic of Indonesia Air Force - 3 MK2s On Order with a possible follow up of another 16;VNM
*Vietnam People's Air Force - 4 MK2Vs

pecifications (Su-30MKK)

aircraft specifications

plane or copter?=plane
jet or prop?=jet

ref=KNAAPO
crew=2
length main=21.9 m
length alt=71 ft 10 in
span main=14.7 m
span alt=45 ft 11 in
height main=6.4 m
height alt=21 ft 0 in
area main= m²
area alt= ft²
airfoil=
empty weight main= kg
empty weight alt= lb
loaded weight main=24,900 kg
loaded weight alt=54,900 lb
useful load main=
useful load alt=
max takeoff weight main=34,500 kg
max takeoff weight alt=76,100 lb
more general=
engine (jet)=Lyulka AL-31F
type of jet=turbofans
number of jets=2
thrust main=123 kN
thrust alt=27,600 lbf
thrust original= [Originally measured as 12,500 kgf.]
max speed main=2,120 km/h
max speed alt=1,140 knots, 1,320 mph
max speed more=at altitude
cruise speed main=
cruise speed alt=
stall speed main=
stall speed alt=
never exceed speed main=Mach 2.0
never exceed speed alt=
range main=3,000 km
range alt=1,600 nm, 1,900 mi
ceiling main=17,300 m
ceiling alt=56,800 ft
climb rate main=
climb rate alt=
loading main=
loading alt=
thrust/weight=1.00
more performance=
* Takeoff run: 550 m (1,800 ft)
missiles=
** Air-to-surface missiles:
*** Kh-31P anti-radiation missiles
*** Kh-29T and Kh-59ME TV guided missiles
** Air-to-air missiles:
*** R-73 short-range infrared-guided missiles
*** R-27 medium-ranged semi-active radar- and infrared-guided missiles
*** R-77E active radar-guided missiles
bombs=
** KAB-500L laser-guided bombs
** KAB-1500L laser guided bombs
** Various unguided bombs
rockets=Various unguided rockets
avionics=
* 1× NIIP N001VEP fire-control radar
* Sorbtsiya ECM pods

ee also

aircontent
related=
* Sukhoi Su-27
* Sukhoi Su-30
* Sukhoi Su-30MKI
* Sukhoi Su-33
* Sukhoi Su-34
* Sukhoi Su-35
* Sukhoi Su-37
similar aircraft=
* Sukhoi Su-34
* F-15E Strike Eagle
* Eurofighter Typhoon
* Dassault Rafale

lists=
* List of fighter aircraft
see also=

References


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