Malaysia Receives First 2 SU-30MKMs
On May 24/07, a rollout and demonstration ceremony was held for the first 2 serially produced Su-30MKM fighter aircraft for the Royal Malaysan Airforce (RMAF) at the Irkutsk Aviation plant.
Malaysia flies the F/A-18 C/D Hornet, and was offered Boeing's F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet, but chose the SU-30MKM instead. Their fighter fleet will now consist of F/A-18 Hornets, MiG-29 Fulcrums, and SU-30 MKMs. The results from their internal training air combat exercises would be interesting, to say the least.
The original contract was signed with Irkut Cortp. in August 2003 and involves 18 SU-30MKMs. Canards, stabalisers and fins will be manufactured by India's HAL Nasik under a $25-30 million value subcontract. According to the contracts in place, Irkut will deliver to the RMAF the bulk of the SU-30MKMs in 2007, with the balance to be delivered in 2008.
The SU-30MKM is an advanced variant, whose performance involves considerable improvements over SU-30MK/MKK fighters...
The SU-30MKM (Modernizirovannyi Kommercheskiy Malaysia - Modernised Export Malaysia) is strongly similar to India's SU-30MKI. Like its Indian counterpart, the SU-30MKM is a substantial advance upon the original SU-30K export version, maintaining much of basic airframe but incorporating a number of advances from the SU-35/SU-37 project.
The SU-30MKI/M can legitimately claim super-maneuverability via digital fly-by-wire, canards, and 2 thrust vectoring Lyulka AL-31FP engines producing 27,500 lb thrust each with afterburners. SU-27/30s have become somewhat famous at international airshows for their unique maneuvers, and the MKI/MKM's additions take that capability to new levels. Sukhoi's former general designer Mikhail Simonov has reportedly said that:
"We even made a corkscrew spin a controllable manoeuvre - the pilot can leave it at any moment by a single motion of the stick that engages thrust-vectoring and aerodynamic surfaces."
The SU-30 MKM also bears the NIIP N011M phased array radar system, and can carry large (up to 8,000 kg/ 17,650 lb) and diverse weapon loads over a very good unrefueled radius (more than 700 nm).
Many observers consider the SU-30MKI/M to be superior to all US aircraft except the F-22A Raptor; this would include the Boeing Super Hornet it beat for the Malaysian order, as well as the new F-15SGs bought recently by neighboring Singapore.
The main difference between the MKI and MKM versions is the replacement of Indian and Israeli avionics, ECM, and LITENING pods with Russian, French and South African equipment (Original Russian equipment, Thales HUD, NAVFLIR, and Damocles surveillance and targeting pod; Avitronics South Africa missile approach warning sensors and laser warning sensors).
India's SU-30MKI Mk3 will also be equipped with an on-board health-and-usage monitoring system (HUMS) from South Africa's Aerospace Monitoring And Systems (Pty) Ltd (AMS), to provide hands-off monitoring of its various components. There is no word on whether the Malaysian SU-30MKMs will be equipped with a similar system.
The Malaysia Deal: Offsets
As is often the case in these deals, there were offsets involved. Some are industrial, but one offset was especially interesting. According to Victor Komardin, Deputy Director General of FSUE Rosoboronexport:
"...the offset clause of the Contract with Malaysia envisages the on-site setup of the Service center for the Russian-made aircraft as well as the assistance in promoting the Malaysian national space program. In autumn 2007 the first Malaysian cosmonaut is due to visit the International Space Station as a member of the 16th space crew."
Source: Defense Industry Daily
Posted : May 30, 2007
Photo : Malaysia Receives First 2 SU-30MKMs