"Latvia" Former Soviet Union Military Bases
Vaiņode Former Soviet Union Aerodrome Army Air Force Base Aircraft –
Aircraft that could have been found at Vaiņode Former Soviet Union Aerodrome Army Air Force Base 
Lat: N56.41104, Lon: E021.89177 
Vaiņodes muiža 7, Vaiņode, Latvia
Sukhoi Su-27 Aircraft Interceptors’
Sukhoi Su-27 Specifications
Sukhoi Design Bureau "JSC"
Sukhoi Aviation Holding Company "JSC"
The Sukhoi Su-27 "Russian: Сухой Су-27" [NATO] reporting name: "Flanker" is a twin-engine super-maneuverable fighter aircraft designed by Sukhoi. It was intended as a direct competitor for the large United States fourth generation fighters, with 3,530-kilometre "1,910nmi" range, heavy armament, sophisticated avionics and high maneuverability. The Su-27 most often flies air superiority missions, but is able to perform almost all combat operations. Complementing the smaller MiG-29, the Su-27's closest US counterpart is the F-15 Eagle.
There are several related developments of the Su-27 design. The Su-30 is a two-seat, dual-role fighter for all-weather, air-to-air and air-to-surface deep interdiction missions. The Su-33 ‘Flanker-D’ is a navy fleet defense interceptor for use on aircraft carriers. Further versions include the side-by-side 2-seat Su-34 ‘Fullback’ strike variant and the Su-35 ‘Flanker-E’ improved air defense fighter.
In 1969, the Soviet Union learned of the U.S. Air Force's "F-X" program, which resulted in the F-15 Eagle. The Soviet leadership soon realized that the new American fighter would represent a serious technological advantage over existing Soviet fighters. What was needed was a better-balanced fighter with both good agility and sophisticated systems. In response, the Soviet General Staff issued a requirement for a Perspektivnyy Frontovoy Istrebitel "PFI, literally "Prospective Frontline Fighter", roughly "Advanced Frontline Fighter".  Specifications were extremely ambitious, calling for long range, good short-field performance "including the ability to use austere runways", excellent agility, Mach 2+ speed, and heavy armament. The aerodynamic design for the new aircraft was largely carried out by TsAGI in collaboration with the Sukhoi design bureau. 
When the specification proved too challenging and costly for a single aircraft in the number needed, the PFI specification was split into two: the LPFI "Lyogkyi PFI, Lightweight PFI" and the TPFI "Tyazholyi PFI, Heavy PFI". The LPFI program resulted in the Mikoyan MiG-29, a relatively short-range tactical fighter, while the TPFI program was assigned to Sukhoi OKB, [See Appendix I] which eventually produced the Su-27 and its various derivatives. The TPFI program is similar to the American F-X program, which resulted in the F-15 Eagle, while the LPFI program is similar to the Lightweight Fighter program, which spawned the F-16 Fighting Falcon and the Northrop YF-17, which itself led to the F/A-18 Hornet.
Design Phase
The Sukhoi design, which was altered progressively to reflect Soviet awareness of the F-15's specifications, emerged as the T-10 "Sukhoi's 10th delta wing design", which first flew on 20 May 1977. The aircraft had a large delta wing, clipped, with two separate podded engines and a twin tail. The ‘tunnel’ between the two engines, as on the F-14 Tomcat, acts both as an additional lifting surface and hides armament from radar. While being developed, it was spotted by a spy satellite at the Zhukovsky flight test center near the town of Ramenskoye, resulting in the temporary codename of 'Ram-K'. It was believed that the Ram-K was being developed in two versions: a swing-wing fighter similar in function
to the Grumman F-14 and a two-seat fixed wing interceptor aircraft which in fact turned out to be the unrelated Mikoyan MiG-31. 
The T-10 was spotted by Western observers and assigned the [NATO] reporting name "Flanker-A". The development of the T-10 was marked by considerable problems, leading to a fatal crash on 7 May 1978. Extensive redesigns followed, and a heavily revised version, the T-10S, made its first flight on 20 April 1981. This, too, had considerable developmental problems, leading to another fatal crash on 23 December 1981.
                                Soviet Su-27 in-flight
The production Su-27 "sometimes Su-27S, [NATO] designation "Flanker-B" began to enter VVS operational service around 1984, although manufacturing difficulties kept it from appearing in strength until 1986. The Su-27 served with both the V-PVO and Frontal Aviation. In V-PVO service it was primarily an interceptor aircraft, supplanting older aircraft like the Sukhoi Su-15. Although the Su-27 has some capacity to carry air-to-ground weapons, in Frontal Aviation it was primarily tasked with fighting its way past enemy lines to destroy tanker and AWACS aircraft. The Su-27 retains that role in CIS service, with later marks capable of carrying long-range "AWACS killer" missiles such as the Vympel R-37 and, potentially, the Novator K-100 when it enters production.
From 1986 a special Su-27 designated P-42, rebuilt from the prototype T-10S-3 aircraft and stripped to minimum weight, began to set the first in a series of performance records for rate of climb and altitude, the aircraft setting 27 new class records between 1986 and 1988.
                                                                                     Sketch of Su-27 performing Pugachev's Cobra maneuver
The Su-27's basic design is aerodynamically similar to the MiG-29, but it is substantially larger. It is a very large aircraft, and to minimize its weight its structure has a high percentage of titanium "about 30%, more than any of its contemporaries". No composite materials were used. The swept wing blends into the fuselage at the leading edge extensions and is essentially a cropped delta "the delta wing with tips cropped for missile rails or ECM pods". The Su-27 is also an example of a tailed delta wing configuration, retaining conventional horizontal tail planes, though it is not a true delta. It has two vertical tailfins outboard of the engines, supplemented by two ventral fins that fold down for additional lateral stability.
The Su-27’s Lyulka AL-31F turbofan engines are widely spaced, both for safety reasons and to ensure uninterrupted airflow through the intakes. The space between the engines also provides additional lift, reducing wing loading. Movable guide vanes in the intakes allow Mach 2+ speeds, and help to maintain engine airflow at high alpha. A mesh screen over each intake prevents debris from being drawn into the engines during take-off. 
The Su-27 had the Soviet Union’s first operational fly-by-wire control system, developed based on Sukhoi OKB’s [See Appendix I] experience in the Sukhoi T-4 bomber project. Combined with relatively low wing loading and powerful basic flight controls, it makes for an exceptionally agile aircraft, controllable even at very low speeds and high angles of attack. In air shows the aircraft has demonstrated its maneuverability with a Cobra "Pugachev’s Cobra" or dynamic deceleration – briefly sustained level flight at a 120° angle of attack. Thrust vectoring has also been tested "and is incorporated on later Su-30MK and Su-37 models", allowing the fighter to perform hard turns with almost no radius, incorporate vertical somersaults into level motion and limited nose-up hovering. 
The naval version of the "Flanker", the Su-27K or Su-33, incorporates canards for additional lift, reducing take-off distances "important because the aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov has no catapults".  These canards have also been  incorporated in some Su-30s, the Su-35, and the Su-37.
In addition to its considerable agility, the Su-27 uses its substantial internal volume for a large internal fuel capacity. In an overload configuration for maximum range, it can carry 9,400kg "20,700 pounds" of internal fuel, although its maneuverability with that load is limited, and normal load is 5,270kg "11,620 pounds". 
                        Su-27 carrying R-27 missiles
The Su-27 is armed with a single 30mm Gryazev-Shipunov GSh-301 Cannon [See Appendix XX] in the starboard wingroot, and has up to 10 hardpoints for missiles and other weapons. Its standard missile armament for air-to-air combat is a mixture of Vympel R-73 "AA-11 Archer", Vympel R-27 "AA-10 "Alamo" weapons, the latter including extended range and IR guided models. More advanced Flanker variants "such as Su-30, −35, −37" may also carry Vympel R-77 "AA-12 Adder" missiles.
                    Undercarriage of Su-27SK
The Su-27 has a high-contrast tunable HUD and a Helmet mounted display capability.
Radar and Sensors
The Su-27 is equipped with a Phazotron N001 Zhuk coherent pulse-Doppler radar with track-while-scan and look-down / shoot-down capability. The fighter also has an OLS-27 infrared search and track "IRST" system in the nose just forward of the cockpit with a 80–100 km range, which also incorporates a laser rangefinder. This system can be slaved to the radar, or used independently for "stealthy" attacks with infrared missiles "such as the R-73 and R-27T/ET". It also controls the cannon, providing greater accuracy than a radar sighting mode. 
The radar proved to be a major developmental problem for the Su-27. The original Soviet requirement was very ambitious, demanding a multi-target engagement capability and 200km range against "bombers" "16m² RCS to match a Tu-16".
To achieve this at a reasonable weight, the design team came up with a radar using electronic scanning for elevation and mechanical scanning for azimuth. Unfortunately, it proved too much for the Soviet microelectronics industry in the 1970s to achieve, and by 1982, the original Myesch program had to be abandoned and a less capable alternative array was selected. To make up the lost time, many matured technologies from the N019 Topaz radar, including an enlarged version of the twist-cassegraine array, on the MiG-29 was used, and as a result, the resulting N001 radar shared the same TS100 signal processor used on N019 Topaz radar, while N001V, the successor of N001, shared the same TS101M signal processor with N019M, the successor of N019. The radar only achieved a 140km detection range versus the Tu-16, and could only engage a single target. Even then, the radar was initially beset by reliability problems and this caused the N001 to be accepted for service in 1991, half a decade after the Su-27 first entered service in 1986. 
The first of the N001 series radar, the Tikhomirov "NIIR" N001 [NATO] "Slot Back", is a pulse-Doppler set with track-while-scan capability, but its processor is relatively primitive, making it vulnerable to false alarms and blind spots, as well as being more difficult to use. Over the years, under the chief designer of N001 radar, Professor Viktor Konstantinovitch Grishin, the N001 radar has been upgraded many times, resulting in derivatives including N001V, N001VE, N001VEP, all of which are in service, including those exported Flankers. 
                    Su-27UB Cockpit showing IRST System
While the Su-27 and its immediate descendants "Su-35 and −37" have outstanding maneuverability and performance, the airframe design lacks stealth features, so the radar cross section "RCS" is large. To reduce the RCS, a process called "plasma stealth" has been proposed which would create a charged plasma cloud which would be hard for radar to penetrate. This process is theoretically possible but very difficult to do so in practice. A Russian plasma stealth device had been tested on a Su-27IB by June 2002.
Operational History
The Su-27 has seen limited action since it first entered service. These aircraft were used by the Russian Air Force during the 1992–1993 war in Abkhazia against Georgian forces. One fighter was reported shot down by an S-75 Dvina on 19 March 1993. 
In the 2008 South Ossetia War, Russia used Su-27s to gain airspace control over Tskhinvali, the capital city of South Ossetia.
Russia plans to replace the Su-27 along with the Mikoyan MiG-29 eventually by the Sukhoi PAK FA stealth fifth-generation multi-role twin-engine fighter.
                                                               Left side scheme of a Sukhoi Su-27 Flanker B, first production series
                                    Su-27 Red 27
  • T10S: Improved prototype configuration, more similar to production spec.
  • P-42: Special version built to beat climb time records. The aircraft had all armament, radar and paint removed, which reduced weight to 14,100kg. It also had improved engines.
  • Su-27 Pre-production series built in small numbers with AL-31 engine
  • Su-27S "Su-27 / "Flanker-B": Initial production single-seater with improved AL-31F engine. The "T10P"
  • Su-27P "Su-27 / "Flanker-B": Standard version but without air-to-ground weapons control system and wiring and assigned to Soviet Air Defense Forces units. Often designated Su-27 without -P. 
  • Su-27UB "Flanker-C": Initial production two-seat operational conversion trainer.
  • Su-27SK: Export Su-27 single-seater.
  • Su-27UBK: Export Su-27UB two-seater.
  • Su-27K "Su-33 / "Flanker-D": Carrier-based single-seater with folding wings, high-lift devices, and arresting gear, built in small numbers. They followed the "T10K" prototypes and demonstrators.
  • Su-27M "Su-35/Su-37, Flanker-E/F": Improved demonstrators for an advanced single-seat multi-role Su-27S derivative. These also included a two-seat "Su-35UB" demonstrator.
Post-Soviet era
  • Su-27PD: Single-seat demonstrator with improvements such as in-flight refueling probe.
  • Su-27PU "Su-30": Two-seat limited production machine with improvements such as in-flight refueling probe, fighter direction avionics, new flight control system, and so on.
  • Su-30M / Su-30MK: Next-generation multi-role two-seater. A few Su-30Ms were built for Russian evaluation in the mid-1990s, though little came of the effort. The Su-30MK export variant was embodied as a series of two demonstrators 
  • of different levels of capability. Versions include Su-30MKA for Algeria, Su-30MKI for India, Su-30MKK for the People's Republic of China, and Su-30MKM for Malaysia.
  • J-11: Version of Su-27 built under license in China.
  • Su-27SM "Flanker-B Mod. 1": Mid-life upgraded Russian Su-27S, featuring technology evaluated in the Su-27M demonstrators.
  • Su-27SKM: Single-seat multi-role fighter for export. It is a derivative of the Su-27SK but includes upgrades such as advanced cockpit, more sophisticated self-defense electronic countermeasures "ECM" and an in-flight refueling system. 
  • Su-27UBM: Comparable upgraded Su-27UB two-seater.
  • Su-27SM2: 4.5-gen block upgrade for Russian Su-27, featuring some technology of the Su-35BM; it includes Irbis-E radar, and upgraded engines and avionics.
  • Su-27SM3: The same as the Su-27SM but in contrast is newly-built rather than a mid-life upgrade. 
  • Su-32 "Su-27IB": Two-seater dedicated long-range strike variant with side-by-side seating in "platypus" nose. Prototype of Su-32FN and Su-34 'Fullback'.
  • Su-27KUB: Essentially an Su-27K carrier-based single-seater with a side-by-side cockpit, for use as a naval carrier trainer or multi-role aircraft.
  • Su-35BM/Su-35S: Also dubbed the "Last Flanker" is latest development from Sukhoi Flanker family. It features newer avionics and new radar.
                                                              Operators of the Su-27
"Su-27S" Specifications
General Characteristics
  • Crew: 1
  • Length: 21.9m "72 feet"
  • Wingspan: 14.7m "48 feet 3 inches"
  • Height: 5.92m "19 feet 6 inches"
  • Wing area: 62m² "667 feet²"
  • Empty weight: 16,380kg "36,100 pounds"
  • Loaded weight: 23,430kg "51,650 pounds"
  • Max. takeoff weight: 30,450kg "67,100 pounds"
  • Powerplant: 2 × Saturn/Lyulka AL-31F turbofans
  • Dry thrust: 7,670kgf "75.22kN, 16,910lbf" each
  • Thrust with afterburner: 12,500kgf "122.6kN, 27,560lbf" each
  • Leading edge sweep: 42°
  • Maximum speed: Mach 2.35 "2,500km/h, 1,550mph" at altitude
  • Range: 3,530km "2,070 miles" at altitude; "1,340km / 800 miles at sea level"
  • Service ceiling: 19,000m "62,523 feet"
  • Rate of climb: 300m/s "54,000 ft/min"
  • Wing loading: 371kg/m² "76 lb/ft²"
  • Thrust/weight: 1.07
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Revised: 01/29/2013 – 22:40:31