Su -27 Flanker

The Su-27 (NATO designation Flanker) is the front line fighter aircraft designed by the Sukhoi Design Bureau. The export version is the Su-27SK.

The aircraft is equipped to operate autonomously in combat over hostile territory, in escort of deep penetration strike aircraft and in the suppression of enemy airfields. The aircraft provides general air defence in cooperation with ground and airborne control stations.

Su-27 is in service with Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Vietnam, and is built under license in China and is designated the F-11.


The aircraft is equipped with a 30 mm gun and a range of missiles, rockets and bombs mounted externally on ten hardpoints.

The aircraft's infra-red search and track system, laser rangefinder, radar and helmet mounted target designator provide detection, tracking and attack capability.


The range of air-to-air missiles carried by the Su-27K aircraft includes:
R-27R1, all aspect medium range missile with semi-active homing
R-27T1 all aspect medium range missile with infra-red passive homing
R-73E all aspect close combat air-to-air missile with infra-red passive homing
The R-27R1 (NATO designation AA-10A Alamo-A) and the R-27T1 (AA-10B Alamo-B) has a range from 0.5 to 60 kilometres, with the aircraft flying from 20,000 to 27,000 m altitude and speeds up to 3,500 km/hour.


The R-73E (NATO designation AA-11 Archer) provides all-aspect target engagement in close, high manoeuvrability combat with load factor up to 12g. The range is from 0.3 to 20 kilometres.


Ordnance for air-to-ground missions include:
free fall and retarded aerial bombs 100, 250, and 500 kg
incendiary devices, 500 kg
RBK cluster bombs, 25 and 500 kg
unguided aerial missiles C-8, C-13 and C-25


The Su-27SK is equipped with a coherent pulse Doppler radar, Phazotron N001 Zhuk, with track-while-scan and look-down/shoot-down capability. The range of the radar against targets size 3 square metres is over 100 km in the forward hemisphere and 40 kilometres in the rear hemisphere. The radar has the capacity to search, detect and track up to 10 targets with automatic threat assessment and proritisation.


The aircraft has an OEPS-27 electro-optic saystem which includes an infra-red search and track (IRST) sensor collimated with a laser rangefinder. The range of the electro-optical system against a reheated target is from 40 to 100 kilometres depending on the aspect angle presented by the target.



The Su-27SK is equipped with a new electronic countermeasures suite for individual aircraft, and for mutual and group protection in the forward and rear hemispheres. The countermeasures system includes a pilot illumination radar warning receiver, chaff and infra-red decoy dispensers, and an active multimode jammer located in the wing-tip pods.


The Su-27SK is powered by two AL-31F turbofan engines designed by the Lyulka Engine Design Bureau (NPO Saturn). Each engine has two air intakes, a primary wedge intake and a louvred auxiliary air intake. The twin-shaft turbo-fan engine has after-turbine flow mixing, a common afterburner, an all mode variable area jet exhaust nozzle, an independent start and a main electronic control and a reserve hydromechanical engine mode control system. The engine nacelles have a semimonocoque configuration. The high temperature sections of the engines are made of titanium alloy.


The cockpit is equipped with a single zero/zero ejection seat type Zvesda K-36MD. The pilot is equipped with a helmet mounted target designator.


The fly-by-wire system in the Su-27SK uses quadruple redundancy of transducers, units and interfaces of the vital control channels to perform the following functions:
longitudinal control
provision of stability and controllability for longitudinal, lateral and yaw control
control of the aircraft configuration in manoeuvres
restriction of parameters to keep within g-load and angle of attack limitations
decrease of aerodynamic loading to conform to limitations of aircraft structure


The automatic flight control is linked to the navigation system, weapon control and command guidance equipment. The automatic flight control carries out:

stabilisation of the aircraft angular position and flight altitude
return of the aircraft to a straight and level flight path from any altitude
programmed flight altitude, climb and descent
control from ground and air direction posts
self-guidance interface to the weapon control systems
en-route flight, return to home airfield and landing approach by radio beacon.


The radio communications suite provides:
voice and data, VHF/UHF radio communications between aircraft and ground control stations within sight range
voice radio communication with ground control stations and between aircraft up to a range of 1,500 km
an encrypted data link for combat information exchange between aircraft
command guidance from ground control stations using automatic interception mode.


The Su-27SK is a highly integrated twin-finned aircraft. The airframe is constructed of titanium and high strength aluminium alloys. The engine nacelles are fitted with trouser fairings to provide a continuous streamlined profile between the engine nacelles and the tail beams. The fins and horizontal tail consoles are attached to tail beams. The central beam section between the engine nacelles consists of the equipment compartment, fuel tank and the brake parachute container.

The fuselage head is of semimonocoque construction and includes the cockpit, radar compartments and the avionics bay. The glove, i.e. the leading section of the wing root, on the starboard side houses a 30 mm GSh-301 gun with 150 rounds of ammunition.


All info and pictures in this site appear courtesy of the following web sites.

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Last updated : Wednesday, March 21, 2001

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