Single-seat multirole fighter.
The Su-27SKM single-seat multi-role fighter is a derivative of the Su-27SK fighter.
The fighter is designed to destroy aerial targets in free air and against the background of land; and surface (ground and sea) targets with guided and unguided weapons at day and night under the all-weather conditions.
The main features of the Su-27SKM fighter are the following:
- an improved fire control system boasting enhanced surface-target capabilities;
- an advanced cockpit management system;
- an improved navigation and communications suite;
- more sophisticated self-defense electronic countermeasures (ECM) suite;
- an expanded air-to-air and air-to-surface weapons suite with the ordnance mounted externally on 10 hardpoints;
- an in-flight refueling system.
The fire control system of Su-27SKM provides for detection, tracking and hitting by onboard weapons aerial and surface targets round the clock and in any weather. The fire control system ensures the application of wider range (in comparison with the Su-27SK fighter) of weapon including the RVV-AE medium-range air-to-air active radar-homing missiles, and air-to-ground high-precision guided weapon with different types of guidance. The fire control system of Su-27SKM comprises two major subsystems: the first subsystem for air-to-air weapons and the second one for air-to-surface weapons.
The mainstays of the cockpit management system are two colour multifunction liquid crystal displays (LCD), colour multifunction display panel with push-buttons, and head up-display. These displays show all required digital and visual target designation, flight and navigation data as well as data on the aircraft systems status. Along with the multifunction LCDs, the instrument panel houses traditional electromechanical instruments, which act mostly as backups.
The radar used on Su-27SKM in the air-to-air engagement ensures the following:
- searching for aerial targets;
- detected targets identification;
- attacking the targets with medium- and short-range missiles featuring different guidance;
- searching for, locking on and tracking a visual target in dogfights.
In the air-to-surface mode the radar ensures the following:
- all-weather acquisition and positioning of radio-contrast surface targets;
- surface targets designation data supply to provide the Kh-31A air-to-ship missile application.
Optical location station (OLS) is a combination of an infrared search and track system (IRST) and a laser rangefinder/target designator. It is designed to track aerial targets by their IR radiation. It also can be used for the laser ranging of aerial and surface targets as well as for illuminating surface targets by the laser beam for air-to-surface semi-active laser-homing missiles application.
Helmet mounted target designation system feeds target designation data to the missiles' homing heads when the pilot turns his head towards the area where any target is expected to be detected.
The Su-27SKM weapon suite includes the built-in GSh-301 30-mm automatic single-barrel cannon, missiles, rockets and bombs mounted externally on 10 hardpoints under wings and fuselage.
The air-to-air weapon suite includes medium-range missiles of the R-27 type – R-27T1, R-27ET1 heat-seeking missiles, R-27R1, R-27ER1 semi-active radar-homing missiles; RVV-AE medium-range active radar-homing missiles; and R-73E short-range heat-seeking missiles.
The Su-27SKM fighter has wide range of guided and unguided weapons used to destroy surface targets.
The air-to-surface guided weapon of the Su-27SKM fighter consists of the Kh-31A medium-range high-speed anti-ship active radar-homing missiles, the Kh-31P medium-range antiradar passive radar-homing missiles, Kh-29T, Kh-29TE TV-homing missiles or Kh-29L semi-active laser-homing short-range missiles; and KAB-500Kr, KAB-500-OD, and one KAB-1500Kr TV-homing bombs.
The unguided air-to-surface weapons include bombs of 500-kg, 250-kg, and 100-kg caliber, cluster bombs, incendiary tanks, and S-8, S-13, and S-25-OFM rockets as well.
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