Chinese navy's Su-30MKK2 fighters in attack training
Recently, Su-30MKK2 fighters belonging to the fighter-bomber force under the Navy of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) participate in an attack training.
The Sukhoi Su-30MKK (NATO codename: Flanker) is the two-seat, twin-engine multirole fighter aircraft developed from the Su-27 fighter.
The aircraft was developed by Russian Sukhoi Design Bureau and built by KnAAPO in Komsomolsk-na-Amur. The PLA Air Force (PLAAF) acquired two batches totalling 76 Su-30MKKs between 2000 and 2003. The third batch, which consisted of 24 examples of the upgraded Su-30MKK2 variant, was delivered to the PLA Naval Air Force (PLANAF) in August 2004. The Su-30MKK series is the most capable combat aircraft in service with the PLA.
Development of the latest Su-30MK2 began around early 2002. Compared to the MKK version in service with the PLAAF, the Su-30MK2 features an improved precision-attack capability and an entirely new C4ISTAR (command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance) role not previously hinted at. The aircraft’s new N001VEP fire-control radar is specifically modified to launch the Kh-31 (NATO codename: Kh-17A Krypton-A) long-range supersonic anti-ship missile.
In January 2003, the PRC signed the contract with the Russian state-owned trading company Rosoboronexport for the purchase of the third batch of 24 (other reports suggested 28~30) Su-30MKK2 fighters. Specially tailored to meet the requirements of the PLA Naval Aviation, the aircraft features enhanced anti-ship strike capability. The first batch of 12 examples were delivered in February~March 2004, followed by the second batch of 12 examples in August 2004. These aircraft are deployed by the PLA Naval Aviation 4th Division / 10th Fighter Regiment based at Feidong AB, Zhejiang Province.
The Su-30MKK is PLA’s first ‘true’ multirole fighter with both ‘beyond-visual-range’ air-to-air and precision strike capabilities. The aircraft can deliver a range of precision-guided munitions such as the Kh-29 and Kh-59 air-to-surface missiles, Kh-31P anti-radiation missile, and the TV-guided bombs. For air-to-air combat, the aircraft is equipped with Russia’s latest Vympel R-77 (NATO codename: AA-12 Adder) active radar-homing medium-range air-to-air missile (MRAAM). Additionally, the aircraft is also fitted with sophisticated electronic countermeasures (ECM) and C4ISR suites for target acquisitions and weapon guidance.
The Su-30MKK inherited the superior aerodynamic performance from its ancestor Su-27, outperforming most of Western designed fighter aircraft in close-in air combat. The aircraft is powered by two AL-31F turbofan engines designed by the Lyulka Engine Design Bureau (NPO Saturn), each rated at 17,857lb st (79.43kN) dry and 27,557lb st (122.58kN) with afterburning. According to Russian sources, the PLAAF has requested the Su-30MKK with structure reinforced to enable the maximum take-off weight to be increased to 34.5t, comparing to 30.5t for the original version Su-30 and 33.5t for the Su-30MKI of the Indian Air Force. The PLAAF has reportedly asked for a limited number of the planes to have the capability of further increasing take-off weight to 38.8t. The plane will then be capable of transporting 8t of weapons and supplementary fuel tanks in operations. If also combined with AWACS aircraft, the Su-30MKK approaches the U.S. F-15E Strike Eagle in terms of performance and capability.
The Su-30MKK has an impressive combat radius of 1,600km without refuelling. The Su-30MKK and MKK2 equipped by the PLA are all fitted with a retractable aerial refuelling probe, enabling them to be refuelled by the Russian IL-78 tanker. The aircraft’s combat radius is extended to 2,600km with one refuelling, or 3,500km with another. With multiple in-flight refuelling, the Su-30MKK taking-off from inland airbases in China conceivably could conduct air strikes as far away as Guam, Australia, or the Indian Ocean, or be able to loiter for significant periods over contested areas of the South China Sea.
Source: (english.people.com.cn) News - 20 March 2013
Photo: The Chinese navy's Su-30MKK2 fighters in attack training (Photo by China Military Online/Zhao Haitao, Chen Huizhon)