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Fighter SU-30

W. (tons):

24,8- 30,4

Speed (km/h):


Dimensions (m):

14,7 x 21,9 x 5,9

Alt. (m):


Range (km):



2 DTRD- AL31-F2, 2 x 12'500 kgs





AA R-27R1/27T1 AA R-73E total: 10


30 mm DP GSh-301



According to all local and foreign specialists, the Su-30K fighter of the fourth generation aircraft, is one of the best combat fighters in the world. Developed at Sukhoy Design Bureau, the aircraft is intended to defeat cruise missile carrier aircraft at stand-off ranges and other air targets, as well as bomb ground targets day and night, in VFR and IFR weather conditions, under active and passive jamming conditions, operating singly and as part of the group and may be used as a trainer aircraft. Owing to integral aerodynamic layout, powerful mechanization combined with high engine thrust-to-weight ratio, the Su-30K fighter features high maneuverability, short turning radius and time, and wide speed envelope, ensuring the effective performance of close maneuvering combat and also timely initial line approach for launching an attack to intercept high-altitude/high-speed targets.
      The in-flight refueling capability considerably increases the air patrol time and aircraft operational range.
      The division of weapon control and aircraft piloting functions decreases the load on the crew and consequently ensures the reliable performance of the combat mission.
      The aircraft on-board equipment comprises a fire-control and surveillance radar system and optronic fire control complex integrated into the weapons control system to detect targets and guide air-to-air missiles and simultaneously track up to ten air targets at a range of up to 100 km and engage two targets at a range of up to 65 km;
      - flight-control and navigation system, ensuring air navigation at all stages of flight, in VFR and IFR weather conditions, at any time and season, over land and sea, in any geographical latitudes;
      - ECM equipment comprises an illumination warning system, an active jamming station and a passive jamming device (a chaff/flare dispenser);
      - monitoring system to check working parameters of the aircraft and outside operational situation. 
     The Su-30K fighter is provided with a wide range of airborne weapons, carried on ten suspension points:
      - 50 to 500-kg aerial bombs; 
     - air-to-air missiles, type R-27R1, R-27T1, R-73E. 
     The aircraft is also armed with a 30mm built-in automatic rapid-firing gun GSh-301 with an ammunition load of 150 rounds. 
     The high flight/technical aircraft performance, its capability to engage in air fighting and destroy ground and sea targets, as well as increased maneuverability and load carrying capacity, mounting of new local and foreign equipment and armament determine the high effectiveness of the Su-30K fighter and present good sales opportunities on the international markets of aircraft materiel.


   Export contracts for armaments and military hardware are almost invariably subject to fierce competition among manufacturers from various countries. The Sukhoi Su-30MK contract for India is one such example. Some Western publications have recently featured biased reviews which criticized the combat capabilities of Russian tactical aircraft and highly rated those of modern European fighters.

We present here the Su-30MK fighter and its major competitor on the Asian armament market, the Mirage 2000, and analyze their combat capabilities from a purely technical point of view.

Also, we seek to identify the connection between aircraft flight performance and technical characteristics, on the one hand, and aircraft tactical capabilities, on the other.

Aircraft technical characteristics, its flight performance and tactical capabilities are primarily determined by a design concept which develops from specified aircraft roles, tasks and mission environment. One can see here the principal difference between the Su-30MK and Mirage 2000.

The Su-30MK concept envisaged the maximum retention of features of its forefather – the Su-27 air-superiority fighter – with a focus on the significant build-up of multirole capabilities. This aircraft belongs to the so-called heavy-class fighters. Its main feature is a capability for autonomous employment, i.e. the execution of interception or ground attack missions, including deep-penetration strike missions, without targeting information from ground-based control systems. 

The Mirage 2000C is a light-class fighter intended mostly for air defense missions with the use of information delivered mainly from ground-based control systems. The latest Mirage 2000-5, a more potent version compared to the basic design, is now aggressively being marketed internationally. These French aircraft considerably yield to the Su-30MK when performing combat actions at long ranges from home airfields due to relatively low capabilities of onboard systems for autonomous missions.


Consequently, the comparative analysis of these two fighters is basically theoretical, as they conceptually belong to different classes and have their own preferential areas of tactical employment. The latter factor is specifically considered by potential buyers choosing aircraft to meet their requirements. However, there are a number of objective factors which can be used to compare these aircraft and rate their technological perfection: aircraft performances, and the characteristics of avionics and armament suites.

The Su-30MK's high performances are attributable to its structural and aerodynamic configuration. It is a triplane (a combination of normal configuration with foreplanes) with lifting fuselage and developed wingroot extensions. The interaction of the foreplanes and wingroot extensions creates a controlled vortex effect similar to that of an adaptive wing. In terms of the aerodynamic efficiency, the Su-30MK, like all other Su-27-family aircraft, has no rivals.

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