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Sukhoi 27 family.


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Hi All - I'm sitting here considering the differences between a SU 27 two seater and a SU 30 as flown by Venezuela. I know Trumpeter offer kits for both but what would one have to do to modify the standard SU 27UB kit into a version as flown by the Venezuelan Air Force? Does anyone offer decals in 32nd scale for a Venezuelan variant?


I await your responses.



Steve S.

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Interesting to know about the Su-30:


(Taken from http://www.ausairpower.net/APA-Flanker.html by Carlo Knopp)


The baseline Su-27 airframe resulted in two nearly identical variants for the PVO and FA, the Su-27 and Su-27S Flanker B, with a common dual trainer in the Su-27UB Flanker C. The single seat Su-27/Su-27S was manufactured by the KNAAPO plant at Komsomolsk-on-Amur and the dual Su-27UB was manufactured by the IAPO plant at Irkutsk, with design authority remaining at the Sukhoi bureau. The principal distinction in the Frontal Aviation Su-27S was a capability to deliver dumb bombs and rockets - not unlike the F-15A/B/C/D models. Both types were to carry the large pulse Doppler Myech air intercept radar, which was to use a mechanically steered planar array antenna with electronic vertical beam steering, but production aircraft with the NIIP N001 used a simple mechanically steered cassegrain antenna.

Several early derivatives of the Su-27 are of much interest since they paved the way for the production Su-30 subtypes new seen in the Asian export market.

The navalised Su-27K Flanker D, K  for 'Korabl'ny',  was developed for the Project 1143.5 55,000 tonne class aircraft carrier, of which four were to have been built. The Su-27K had beefed up undercarriage with twin nosewheels, upgraded hydraulics, a tailhook, enlarged flaperons, a modified ejection seat angle, folding outer wings and stabs, upgraded FBW, modified LERX (Leading Edge Root Extensions) with canards, enlarged leading edge slats and a deployable aerial refuelling probe.

The refuelling probe modification included a pair of deployable floodlights in the nose, used to illuminate the tanker aircraft, here intended to be either an Il-78 Midas or another Su-27 buddy tanker carrying a centreline UPAZ hose-drogue pod. The probe permits a fuel transfer rate into the fighter of up to 4,000 lb/min. Another notable Su-27K feature to migrate to later variants was the right offset IR Search and Track housing, this improving the pilot's downward view over the aircraft's nose. Production Su-27Ks operated by the Russian Navy are often designated the 'Su-33'. Perhaps the most important feature of the Su-27K/Su-33 are the enlarged LERX/canards which increase the available body lift of the aircraft, and the centre of pressure forward thus enhancing achievable pitch rates. The Su-27 series shares with the F-14 series a large body lift capacity resulting from the wide fuselage tunnel - as a result the aircraft's effective wing loading is much lower than that of aircraft with different configurations. This is reflected in superb high alpha handling and sustained turn rates.

While the navalised Sukhois spawned key aerodynamic design innovations in the series, the land based variants accounted for most of the avionic and propulsion improvements. The most important early derivative was the dual role single seat Su-27M strike fighter, frequently labelled as the Su-35. Initiated in 1982, the baseline Su-35 best compares to the F-15C in basic capabilities. It was to be the initial platform for the then new Vympel R-77 "AMRAAM-ski" active radar guided AAM. The Su-35 was to carry a complete EWSP package, a cockpit wide angle Head Up Display (HUD), triple MFDs, an improved RSLU-27/N011 fire control radar package using a new slotted planar array antenna rather than the N001 design, an N012 tail warning radar, an improved OLS-27K Infra-Red Search/Track (IRST), the Schchel-3UM Helmet Mounted Sight (HMS), ShO-13A Doppler nav, an inertial nav package, air/air and air/ground GCI (Ground Control Intercept) datalinks, two additional inboard wing hardpoints to permit up to 12 external stores, and the aerial refuelling probe.

Structural changes were required to the forward fuselage to accommodate the larger radar aperture, relocated IRST, aerial refuelling probe and revised avionics. The additional 3,000 lb of empty weight required strengthened undercarriage, dual nosewheels, detail structural changes, and the Su-33's canards were later incorporated. To offset the loss of combat radius due to additional weight the wet portion of the wing was extended to the 13th rib, from the 9th, and a 360 litre tank was added to each vertical tail thus providing a total internal capacity of 22,630 lb (10,250 kg). The dual combat trainer variant designed by KNAAPO is designated the Su-35UB. Twelve pre-production Su-35s were built, and tail number 711 became the Su-37 demonstrator.

The Su-37 was to incorporate two important advancements over the Su-27M/35. These were thrust vectoring nozzles and the new NIIP N011M passive shifter technology ESA (Electronically Steered Array - phased array). The all important Flight Control System (FCS) in the Su-27 family evolved incrementally, with the first generation hybrid analog system running in parallel with the conventional hydro-mechanical design. The Su-37 introduced a genuine redundant digital system, similar in concept to its contemporary Western designs.


The Su-30 series is not directly evolved from the Su-27M line, but has incorporated many design features demonstrated in the Su-27M/35/37 line. The origins of the Su-30 lie in the last years of the Soviet era, when the PVO sought a combat capable derivative of the existing Su-27UB conversion trainer. The dual variant was to be equipped for aerial refuelling and used as a long range / long endurance interceptor and combat command and control fighter to lead long range CAPs. The aircraft was initially designated the Su-27PU (Perekhvatchik - Uchebnoy) and later relabelled the Su-30. The Su-30 was developed in part by the Irkutsk plant, responsible for manufacturing the Su-27UB. The export variant of the Su-30 was designated Su-30MK and unveiled in 1993 - as a multirole strike fighter rather than interceptor.

The hard sell by the Irkut (formerly IAPO) and Sukhoi paid off in late 1996 when the Indian Air Force signed for an advanced derivative of the baseline Su-30, the Su-30MKI (M-Improved, K-Export, I-India) Flanker H. In a complex deal which saw initial deliveries of basic Su-30K and progressive development and later delivery of full configured and licence build Su-30MKI, India negotiated a deal which will see around 180 of these aircraft deployed with IAF squadrons.

The Su-30MKI is a fusion of technology from the Su-37 demonstrator and Su-30 program, with additional Indian designed and built processor hardware in the Mission Computers, Radar Data Processor provide under the Vetrivale (Lance) industry program, and some items of Israeli and EU hardware. The aircraft has a Sextant Avionique HUD and RLG (Ring Laser Gyro) INS/GPS, glass cockpits, NIIP N011M phased array, AL-31FP TVC engines, enlarged rudders, Su-33/35/37 canards and aerial refuelling probe, and an improved OLS-30 IRST package. The Indian developed Tarang RWR is used in the EWSP suite. The TVC system in the Su-30MKI has evolved beyond the Su-37 system, which deflected only in the vertical plane. The Su-30MKI variant has a 32 degree canted TVC plane to introduce a lateral and vertical vectored force component, and is driven by the engine's fuel system rather than main aircraft hydraulic loop.


India's buy of the Su-30MKI triggered a response in Beijing - the PLA-AF ordered around 50 Su-30MKK Flanker G fighters from KNAAPO. The KNAAPO Su-30MKK is not the same as the Irkut Su-30MKI in configuration, despite the shared Su-30MK designation. The baseline Su-30MKK the Su-35/37 vertical tail design, no canards, no TVC capability, Russian avionics and a variant of the Phazotron Zhuk planar array radar. An improved OEPS-31E-MK IRST package is fitted. There are reports the aircraft has an increased maximum takeoff weight against the Su-30/Su-30MKI, requiring structural changes. Like the PLA-AF Su-27SK the Su-30MKK uses the original analogue FCS. The Su-30MKK is a KNAAPO development which is closest in concept to a dual seat Su-35 without the canards added to the production Su-35. It is like the Su-35 a dual role fighter, occupying the same niche as the F-15E but less accurate and less capable in the air-air role as the Su-30MKI.

The PLA-N Air Arm was evidently not satisfied with the domestically built JH-7 Flying Leopard strike fighter, and opted to expand its fleet by acquiring the Su-30MK2, a derivative of the Su-30MKK, with a rated maximum takeoff weight of 85,000 lb. The Su-30MK2 has an enhanced weapon system optimized for maritime strike, built around the N-001VEP radar. The radar will target the Kh-31A ramjet supersonic anti-shipping missile, and a radar seeker equipped variant of the Kh-59, designated the Kh-59MK2.  A radar guided derivative of the Kh-59M, the Kh-59Mk, was also developed for the PLA-N Flanker G. Chinese sources claim that 36 Su-30MK2 aircraft were ordered, with deployment as yet undisclosed. Venezuela is acquiring this variant.


Edited by Erik B.
included writer and source
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Hi Eric - you've certainly pulled out all the stops for me on this one!!

So correct if I'm wrong, but essentially, the SU 30 differs from the SU27UB by way of its weaponology and cockpit set up - externally there appears to be little or no difference?

Venezuelan decals seem to be as rare as 'rocking horse ****' so I'll have to try and find someone to produce them for me.

Thanks again.


Steve S.

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That's what I understood, indeed. The Su-30MKK looks very much like a Su-30MK2 and doesn't have canards. The Indian Su-30MKI does have canards and a completely glass cockpit, as far as I understood.


I plan on doing the Su-27UB as a Ukrainian Legacy-Flanker. Their splinter scheme is far out!

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Thanks for that Eric. I'm still wanting to do a Venezuelan and if I can their '5th. year of flying the SU30' specially marked one. I've managed to track down their colours but of course they have Russian refs!! In the back of my mind I seem to recall a trader in the UK who offers sets of Russian colours - if only I could remember who he was!!  Hey ho, who ever said modelling was a relaxing pastime!

The Ukrainian birds have very striking schemes and I recall their recent visit to Fairford - even looked stunning in the pouring rain! I wish you well with that project.



Steve S.

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