In the second of a three-part review of fighter aircraft in Russian service, Combat Aircraft turns to the Sukhois. The Su-27 reset the standard in Russian fighter aviation — arguably it is the most important single type in Russia’s contemporary aviation history.


‘Bort 51 Red’ is serial RF-93729, a Su-27SM3 of the 3rd Composite Aviation Regiment at Krymsk. It carries twin B-8 pods for 80mmm rockets under each wing during the ‘Aviadarts’ exercise.
Dmitriy Pichugin

CONCEIVED IN 1969 as Russia’s answer to the F-15 Eagle, the Su-27 ‘Flanker’ has become the benchmark for all fighter aircraft of the Russian Aerospace Forces (VKS). The basic Su-27 has given rise to various derivatives, notably the Su-30 and Su-35 multi-role fighters, the Su-33 carrier-based fighter and the Su-34 ‘Fullback’ tactical bomber.

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