Many thanks September donors. October donations open to all users. - Donate here
From Citizendium, the Citizens' Compendium
A Soviet-designed fighter, from the Sukhoi Design Bureau, the Su-27 (NATO designation FLANKER) both has a visual similarity, and a comparable role as a high-end air superiority aircraft, to the U.S. F-15 Eagle. It has exceptionally good flight performance, although less advanced avionics than comparable Western versions. The basic model cannot either be air refueled, or accept long-range conformal fuel tanks, limiting its range; these limitations were corrected in later variants.
Within its own series, the Su-27K has the unusual property of being an originally land-based fighter adapted to carrier operations; the Su-33 Flanker-D is an even more evolved carrier version.
As with the F-15, the original role was purely air superiority, but a multirole version capable of ground attack evolved, the Su-30 (fighter), comparable to the F-15E Strike Eagle. Su-30 aircraft were bought by Malaysia and Indonesia, while the Su-30MKI is co-produced by India.
The basic Su-27 characteristics, according to the Federation of American Scientiss, include: 
- Length 69 ft (21 m)
- Span 47 ft, 6 in (14.5 m)
- In-Flight Refueling No
- Internal Fuel 6350 kg
- Drop Tanks Drop tank with 1600kg for 126nm range
- Payload 6000kg
- Sensors FLASH DANCE (radar), IRST and TV sensors, radar warning receiver, Balistic bombsight
- Maximum speed Mach 2.35
- Maximum weight 30,000 kg
- Ceiling 15240-18,000 m
- 1,500 km combat radius [typical]
- 1,800 km cruise radius
- 4,000 km maximum range
- Engines Two 12,550 kg thrust Lyulka AL-31F
- ↑ Carlo Kopp, "Sukhoi Flankers: The Shifting Balance of Regional Air Power", Australia Airpower
- ↑ Su-27 FLANKER (SUKHOI), Federation of American Scientists