Su-27 (fighter)

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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.[1]

General characteristics

The basic Su-27 characteristics, according to the Federation of American Scientiss, include: [2]

  • Length 69 ft (21 m)
  • Span 47 ft, 6 in (14.5 m)
  • Armament
  • 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
  • Range
    • 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


  1. Carlo Kopp, "Sukhoi Flankers: The Shifting Balance of Regional Air Power", Australia Airpower
  2. Su-27 FLANKER (SUKHOI), Federation of American Scientists