Su-30SM multirole fighter

Sukhoi Design Bureau has conducted the maiden test flight of the first Su-30SM fighter jet, developed for the Russian Air Force, at the Irkutsk Aviation Plant airfield in Irkutsk, Russia.

Piloted by Sukhoi test-pilots, the multi-role fighter aircraft performed flawlessly during the test flight, which lasted for about two hours.

A total of 30 fighters were ordered by the Russian Defence Ministry from Sukhoi under a potential $3.3bn deal in March 2012, to help enhance the combat effectiveness of the air force.

The contract has been awarded as part of the state arms programme for 2011-2020, which aims to replace the air force’s existing Sukhoi Su-24 frontline bomber aircraft fleet.

Designed by Sukhoi as a further development of the thrust-vectoring Su-30MK combat aircraft family, the Su-30SM is a multirole fighter jet which features an enhanced radar system, a radio, and friend-or-foe systems.

The super-manoeuvrable aircraft is also equipped with two ejection seats and modified weaponry configuration.

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The Su-30SM will be capable of carrying the Onix supersonic anti-ship and land attack missile, which is an all-Russian variant of the BrahMos cruise missile being developed in collaboration with India, reports Flight Global.

Russian Defence minister Anatoly Serdyukov said that the aircraft’s technical capabilities will enable the air force to attain a higher level of pilot training.

The Su-34 is an advanced fourth generation aircraft designed to conduct air-to-air and air-to-surface deep interdiction missions in all weather conditions and during any visibility levels.

Deliveries under contract are scheduled to start in late 2012.

Image: The Su-30SM multirole fighter is an enhanced variant of the Su-30MK combat aircraft family. Photo: courtesy of IRKUT Corporation, 2004 ©.