The Russian Aerospace Forces will receive upgraded Su-30SM1 aerial fighters. The Defense Ministry has already placed an order with manufacturers for the first lot of upgraded multirole fighters. The aircraft has been updated taking into account the results of the first years of its operation and the experience gained in the Syria mission. The Su-30SM1 got new engines and radars, which enhances its agility and combat efficiency. The Aerospace Forces will receive the first machines before the end of next year. Large-scale deliveries will start in 2021. Over time, all the Su-30SM aircraft will be updated to the SM1 standard, the "Isvestia" newspaper reports.

Russian Aerospace Forces to receive upgraded Su 30SM1 fighters Sukhoi Su-30SM inflight (Picture source: Alex Beltyukov)

The first two Su-30SM1s that will be delivered to the troops are supposed to be used for tests and pilot training, the newspaper’s sources specified. As early as 2021, one squadron of the Aerospace Forces will be armed with the latest fighters.

The upgraded fighters are powered by new AL-41F1S engines, the same as on Su-35S fighters. This engine has an enhanced thrust while its adjustable vector enables the aircraft to perform the most sophisticated aerobatic figures. In addition, the AL-41F1S’s service life is 4 times longer at significantly smaller fuel consumption.

Another innovation is the powerful N035 Irbis radar with a phased antenna array. This is believed to be the most powerful radar in the world.

"The upgraded aircraft has a higher cruising speed, lower fuel consumption and an increased flight range. But, most importantly, the aircraft has become standardized with the Su-35, which simplifies repair and reduces its cost," said expert Anton Lavrov. "The new radar increases the Su-30SM1 efficiency in all operational conditions."

In the course of modernization the Su-30SM1 munitions suite obtained new types of weapons. Now the fighter can carry KAB-250 guided aerial bombs and Kh-59MK2 air-to-surface missiles.

KAB-250 has a modular design and can be fitted with high-precision satellite- and laser-aided guidance. The product has been created to counter the USA’s aerial guided bombs, SDBs (Small Diameter Bombs) used for arming the fifth generation F-22 and F-35 fighters. The KAB-250 with a laser seeker and HEF warhead is designed for engaging unarmored materiel, railway junctions, depots and other facilities. The aerial bomb can be used singly or in a salvo from an aircraft equipped with onboard laser target designators and with an external target illumination from the ground.

The Kh-59MK2 is a follow-on to the Kh-59. The missile belongs to the high-precision weapon systems operating on the "fire-and-forget" principle. The Su-30SM fighter is the latest model of Russia’s most widely used series-built Su-30 multirole fighter. The machine obtained super-maneuverability due to the highly efficient integrated aerodynamic airframe layout, AL-31FP engine with thrust vector control and the horizontal canard surface. The aircraft can use the complete spectrum of modern and future high-precision air-to-air and air-to-surface weapons. It can fly 3,000 km without refueling, the newspaper "Izvestia" reports.

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