Baltic Su-30SM Flankers

On December 13, 2016, the second Russian Naval Aviation (RNA) squadron took delivery of its first Su-30SM Flanker multi-role fighter at the 72nd Naval Air Base at Tchernyakhovsk in the Kaliningrad enclave on the Baltic Sea coast.

Su-30SM side number 70 Blue (c/n 10MK41406) flew to Tchernyakhovsk from Khotilovo airfield north of Moscow. During the transit over the Baltic Sea, off the coastline of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, the new fighter was escorted by a pair of Su-27 Flankers.

On December 28, another two Su- 30SMs were delivered to the 279th Independent Shipborne Fighter Aviation Regiment (OKIAP), a unit assigned to the 45th Air and Air Defence Army of the North Sea Fleet, stationed at Severmorsk-3 airfield near Murmansk.

New Su-30SMs are now equipping the 279th OKIAP’s newly established third squadron. In the future, Su-30SMs will be moved to a new naval aviation regiment, which is likely to be tasked with the naval strike role, mainly using the Kh-31 anti-ship missile.

As of January 1, 2017, the RNA operates a fleet of 15 Su-30SMs, 12 of which are assigned to an attack squadron within the 43rd Independent Naval Attack Air Regiment stationed at Saki Air Base on the Crimea Peninsula and part of the Black Sea Fleet. Seven Su-30SMs were delivered in 2016.

Current orders for the Su-30SM stand at 116, 28 for the RNA and 88 for the Russian Air and Space Force, 66 of which are reported to have been delivered.