Russian Air Force Su-30SM aircraft launch missiles and drop bombs during drills in Southern Military District. Su-30SM is a specialised version of the thrust-vectoring Su-30MKI and MKM variants for the Russian military, produced by the Irkut Corporation. Russia’s Defence Ministry was impressed with the MKI’s performance envelope and ordered 30 Su-30SMs, a localised version of Su-30MKI, for the Russian Air Force. The Su-30SM (SM for Serial, Modernized) (Flanker-H by NATO classification) is considered a 4+ generation fighter jet. On 12 January 2018, the Su-30SM was officially accepted into service with the Russian Aerospace Forces by a resolution of the Russian president.
The aircraft has been upgraded according to Russian military requirements for radar, radio communications systems, friend-or-foe identification system, ejection seats, weapons, and other aircraft systems. It is equipped with the N011M Bars radar with a maximum detection range 400 km, search range 200 km using a phased array antenna, frontal horizontal fins and steerable thrusters for supermaneuverability as well as with wide-angle HUD. The aircraft can be used to gain air supremacy same as for targeting adversary on the ground using wide range of weapons including air-to-air, air-to-surface and guided and unguided bombs with total weapons weight up to 8000 kg.
The Su-30SM carry a host of a new weapons systems, including the KAB-250 guided bomb and the air-to-surface Kh-59MK2 cruise missile. The 256-kilogram KAB-250, an aerial bomb that can be laser-guided or satellite guided, is the Russian equivalent to the American Small Diameter Bomb (SDB), a precision-guided glide bomb. The Kh-59MK2 is the stealth, standoff land-attack variant of the Kh-59 Ovod, a Russian TV-guided cruise missile, originally developed to strike naval targets. The Kh-59MK2, with a purported maximum range of 550 kilometers, is specifically designed to destroy stationary land targets with no radar or infrared signature.
It is also equipped with the one barrel, 30 mm GSh-30-1 autocannon. To ensure operations at major distances from airfield, the ability of in-flight refueling (IFR) is included. Besides that, for electronic warfare purposes two SAP-518 jamming pods can be fitted on the wing tips. The SAP-518 is designed to protect the aircraft from various air-to-air and surface-to-air missiles by creating false targets, jamming missile’s guidance, enemy aircraft radars or ground and seaborne air defence. The first contract for 60 aircraft was signed in March 2012 with delivery to be completed by 2016. On 21 September 2012, the Su-30SM performed its maiden flight.