Russia announced it’s newest variant of the Sukhoi Su-30SM — the Su30SM1 — last month, which reportedly has enhanced weapons and electrical systems.
Nevertheless, the Su-30SM1 has yet to be mass produced, and there’s reportedly only one of them at the Irkutsk Aviation Plant where they’re being made, according to The National Interest. Therefore Russia’s most upgraded Su-30 on the market is still the Su-30SM.
The Su-30SM is a versatile or multirole fighter, able to perform air-to-air and air-to-ground attacks, and is often considered to be the F-15E Strike Eagle’s counterpart.
Here’s how the Su-30SM compares overall to the F-15E.
The Su-30SM was developed by IRKUT, the conglomerate that owns Sukhoi, and made it's first flight in 2012.
It's a derivative of the Su-30MKI, which Sukhoi made for India, and is the first Su-30 to have thrust vector control -- which makes the jet more agile and able to turn faster. The original Su-30 design is also based off the Su-27 Flanker.
The fighter also carries two crew members, just like the US' F-15E and F/A-18F Super Hornet, allowing it to better surveil a battlefield and find targets.
The Su-30SM carries a variety of bombs and air-to-air and air-to-surface missiles, and has a payload of 16,000 pounds.
The Flanker can hold 8 R-27, 10 R-77 or 6 R-73 heat-seeking and radar homing air-to-air missiles. It can also carry Kh-31 anti-ship missiles and a variety of other missiles and bombs.
The new Su-30SM1 reportedly has upgraded KAB-250 bombs and Х-59МК2 air-to-surface missiles.
The F-15E can be equipped with 8 air-to-air missiles at a time: either 4 sidewinders and 4 AMRAAMs or 8 AMRAAMs. They can also be armed with any air-to-surface bomb or missile.
The Su-30SM has a top speed of Mach 2, or roughly 1320 mph. Jets reach supersonic speeds after Mach 1.3.
The Flanker carries a 30mm machine gun with a 150 rounds, while the F-15E has a 20mm gun with 500 rounds.
Su-30SMs have flown multiple bombing and covering missions in Syria, where there were reportedly 16 stationed in December 2015. Moscow has long used Syria to showcase its military products to the global market.
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