Komsomolsk-on-Amur, Russia – A new version of the Su-30SM, designated Su-30SMD, is being built in Russia. It will use state-of-the-art aircraft engines currently manufactured by the Russian military aviation industry.
“OKB Sukhoi started the experimental program under the name Su-30SMD. This modification will be equipped with AL-41F-1S engines which are part of the standard equipment of the Su-35 4++/4.5 gen fighter,” Internet portal Interfax cited sources from the Russian military industry.
Work on this aircraft is carried out in cooperation with Irkut Corporation, which produces Su-30SM series of fighter jets. The annual technical testing of the new modification with more powerful engines is planned for the next year. If everything goes well, it is expected that the new modification will be licensed to start production in series that will be equipped with the AL-41F-1S engines. In addition to the Su-35 aircraft, AL-41F-1S engines are also used by the first T-50 (Su-57) 5-gen fighter jets.
The high-torque twin-turbo jet engine AL-41F was initially engineered for the MiG-1.44, which was considered the first fifth-generation aircraft in the Soviet Union. After the collapse of the USSR and, consequently, of this project, the new engine developed for this aircraft still had all the characteristics of engines for the 21st century. It was light and economical in terms of mass, and it allowed the jet to supercruise (supersonic flight without using afterburners).
Apart from Russia, different variants of Su-30 jets are operated by Algeria, Angola, China, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Uganda, Venezuela, and Vietnam. Other countries currently awaiting deliveries of the jet are Armenia, Belarus, and Myanmar. KnAAPO (Komsomolsk-on-Amur Aircraft Plant), the manufacturer of the aircraft, is very likely to offer the modernization program to all of these countries, which will significantly improve their defense capabilities. This is of crucial importance, especially for countries such as Venezuela, which is currently trying to fight off a crawling US aggression.