The Defense Ministry of Belarus reported on Wednesday reported that the Belarusian and Russian pilots flying Su-30SM multirole fighters conducted their first joint air patrol of the Union State’s borders this year. The pilots spent 120 minutes in the air, covering a distance of over 1,150 km during their patrol. The Union State also referred to as the Union State of Russia and Belarus is an organization consisting of Russia and Belarus that was formed on 8 December 1999. The Union State was originally aimed at uniting both countries, and as such, the Union State in its planned final form would be structured similarly to confederations of political unions.
The Sukhoi Su-30SM is a multirole fighter aircraft developed by JSC Sukhoi Design Bureau for the Russian Air Force. It is an advanced derivative of the Su-30MK combat aircraft family. The Sukhoi Su-30SM fighter was designed by the requirements of the Russian Air Force. It is being manufactured by IRKUT, a company based in Russia. The first Su-30SM fighter designed for the Russian Ministry of Defence (MoD) performed its maiden flight in September 2012. The multirole Su-30SM can be deployed in counter-air strikes, counter-land, and counter-sea missions. It can conduct electronic counter-countermeasures and early warning tasks.
The airframe of Su-30SM is made of titanium and high-strength aluminum alloys. It is based on the Su-30MKI aircraft developed jointly by IRKUT and JSC Sukhoi Design Bureau for the Indian Air Force. The fuselage head has a cockpit, radar sections, and avionics bay. High maneuverability was achieved through the integral aerodynamic form combined with a thrust vectoring feature. The Su-30SM is capable of carrying an advanced weapons payload, weighing up to 8t. The aircraft can be armed with a machine gun, bombs, air-to-air missiles, and Oniks (Yakhont) supersonic anti-ship and land-attack missiles.
IRKUT and the Russian MoD signed a contract for 30 Su-30SM multirole fighters in March 2012. The MoD plans to replace the Su-24 fleet with Su-30SM fighters. The Russian Air Force received four Su-30SM aircraft in February 2016 and Russian Knights, an aerobatic demonstration team of the Russian Air Force, received eight units in the year. The company handed over the first batch of Su-30SM multirole fighters to the Kazakhstan Air Force in April 2015. The first batch of Su-30SM fighter aircraft was delivered to Belarusian Air Force in November 2019. Belarus is expected to receive a total of 12 aircraft.