Russia creates a wide range supersonic stealth Su-30MK fighter

The United Aircraft Corporation [UAC] from Russia has successfully patented its latest technology – a two-seater stealth fighter with supersonic and subsonic capabilities. The “new fighter” was revealed in a press release, which was brought to light by the Russian state news agency TASS

Russia revealed what tasks the Su-30SM performs in Ukraine
Photo credit: 5Mods

TASS analysts, despite not providing the exact patent documents, suggest that this innovative combat aircraft from UAC bears a significant resemblance to the Su-30MK family fighters. They revealed that the yet-to-be-named new stealth fighter has “several common features and corresponding characteristics” with them. 

According to UAC’s official statement, this cutting-edge stealth fighter is crafted to identify and take down air, surface, and ground targets effectively. 

10+ Russian Su-30s began tactical rehearsals over Kaliningrad - Su-30SM
Photo credit: Twitter

Known details

The press document elaborates, “The invention pertains to the aviation sector, specifically to multi-functional, two-seater tactical stealth aircraft. Besides swiftly detecting and eliminating air, surface, and ground targets at varying flight speeds and altitude ranges, this fighter also serves as an airborne command center for coordinating the actions of mixed aircraft groups within a network-oriented setting.”

You should know that this aircraft, as detailed in its patent document, is designed to carry both guided and unguided weapons. What’s more, it even can serve as an air control point, coordinating operations between other aircraft and military units on the ground, and controlling unmanned aerial vehicles. This craftsmanship fulfills several roles all in a single machine. 

Striking about this invention is the increased flying range and prolonged flight duration. This is achieved by expanding the fuel tanks by 10% compared to the original design. The design cleverly incorporates these enlarged tanks into the changed geometric contours of the hull while accommodating a second crew member, and also making use of the cargo compartments of the aircraft. Performance is prioritized without compromising operational efficiency. 

However, the ‘newness’ of this aircraft has raised eyebrows from some quarters. Some Russian experts argue that this isn’t a totally new stealth fighter, like a Su-30MK derivative. Rather, they see it as a two-seater version of the Su-75 Checkmate. 

10+ Russian Su-30s began tactical rehearsals over Kaliningrad - Su-30SM2
Photo credit: Soldar

Su-75 Checkmate?

They back up their claim with a few reasons: Firstly, a prototype already exists. Secondly, on November 13, 2023, the declaration by Denis Manturov, head of the Ministry of Industry and Trade, projected the emergence of the Su-75 prototype before the end of 2025. Thirdly, there are currently only two stealth fighters known to be Russian-made, namely the mass-produced Su-57, and the prospective Su-75. 

Despite their skepticism, these experts don’t completely dismiss the possibility of Russian engineers designing, or indeed building, a completely new fighter with an innovative design. 

Russian Su-75 Checkmate will never enter serial production
Photo credit: Sandboxx

In a similar vein, the world experienced quite a surprise just two years ago. Russia announced the creation of a new stealth fighter – a single-engine one, no less. The introduction of the Su-75 Checkmate genuinely caught international observers off guard. Whether the future of the Su-75 Checkmate is secure and what that future might look like remains a separate discussion.

Sukhoi Su-30MK family

The Su-30MK [Flanker-H] is a commercially marketed version of the original Su-30M aircraft, unveiled for the first time in 1993. In 2003, Indonesia bought two Su-30MK units, which were later modernized to the Su-30MK2 version. 

Dozen of the 'most modern in history' Su-30s were sold to India
Photo credit: Reddit

Among the diversely designed Su-30 models, the Su-30MKI [Flanker-H] stands out as an India-dedicated export variant, crafted in partnership with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited [HAL]. This aircraft marked its status as the inaugural member of the Su-30 series to integrate both canard design and thrust vectoring control [TVC]. Its avionics system blends technologies from India, Russia, France, and Israel. 

The Su-30MKA signifies a specific Su-30MKI variant sold to Algeria. All Israeli elements, such as the head-up display and digital map generator, have been substituted by Indian solutions. 

Distinctly crafted for the Royal Malaysian Air Force, the Su-30MKM is a specialized offshoot of the Russian-Indian Su-30MKI. This aircraft incorporates canards and thrust vectoring control like its predecessors but introduces diverse avionics components. Comprising the navigational forward-looking IR system [NAVFLIR], head-up displays [HUD], and Damocles Laser Designation pod [LDP] from France’s Thales Group, it’s truly multinational.

Additional equipment, such as the MAW-300 missile approach warning sensor [MAWS], RWS-50 RWR, and laser warning sensor [LWS] comes from South Africa’s SAAB AVITRONICS. Russian technology is equally present with features like the NIIP N011M Bars Passive electronically scanned array radar, electronic warfare [EW] system, an optical-location system [OLS], and a glass cockpit.

Sukgoi Su-SM

The Su-30SM is a custom-built version of the vector-thrust Su-30MKI, designed specifically for the Russian Aerospace Forces by the Irkut Corporation. Recognized by NATO as Flanker-H, it’s considered a 4+ generation fighter jet. This aircraft underwent upgrades in adherence to Russian military standards, inclusive of improvements to radar, radio communication systems, ejection seats, identification of friend or foe systems, weaponry, and a host of other integral features. 

10+ Russian Su-30s began tactical rehearsals over Kaliningrad - Su-30
Photo credit: Irkut Press Office

The aircraft features a maximum detection range of 400km [search range of 200km]. Su-30SM is fortified with the technologically advanced N011M Bars radar system. Also, Su-30SM has a cutting-edge phased array antenna. It’s designed with frontal horizontal fins and steerable thrusters, contributing to its supermaneuverability. Further enhancing its capability is a wide-angle HUD. 

Envisioned to dominate air combat as well as engage ground targets, it’s equipped to carry a comprehensive selection of weapons. This includes air-to-air and air-to-surface missiles, along with guided and unguided bombs, the total weight of which can reach up to 8,000 kg. Additionally, it houses a single-barrel, 30 mm GSh-30-1 autocannon. An in-flight refueling [IFR] feature makes it perfectly suited for missions stationed far from an airfield. 

As a measure of electronic warfare defense, it can be fitted with two SAP-518 jamming pods on its wing tips. The SAP-518 works to protect the aircraft from various types of air-to-air and surface-to-air missiles. It accomplishes this by generating false targets, disrupting missile guidance, enemy aircraft radars, or ground and seaborne air defense systems.

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