Friday, October 17, 2008

T-10/Su-27/30/33/35/37 Sukhoi Flanker



The Su-27SKM is a second generation variant of the baseline Su-27S Flanker B, incorporating smart weapons interfaces for a wide range of air to air and air to surface munitions (KnAAPO photo)

Sukhoi's T-10 Flanker family of combat aircraft is without doubt the outstanding design in the final generation of Soviet Cold War era systems. Since the fall of the USSR, the Flanker has continued to evolve and is now by far the leading Russian military technology export.  The Flanker has been exported globally, and the Asia-Pacific now boasts the world's largest inventory of these versatile and highly capabie combat aircraft. China, India, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia now operate or have ordered variants of the Flanker.

Reacting to the proliferation of the Flanker, Japan is seeking to acquire the F-22A Raptor. South Korean public debate shows an increasing interest in acquiring the F-22A, for the same reasons Japan seeks it. Australia is however pursuing the opposite path in its planning for the future region, acquiring 'interim' F/A-18F Super Hornets, and seeking the Joint Strike Fighter long term, neither of which are competitive against advanced Flanker variants.

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