Russia is developing a modernized version of its super-manoeuvrable Sukhoi Su-30SM fighter jet with upgraded avionics and is capable of using latest high-precision ammunitions.
Designated as Su-30SM1, Russian-language newspaper Izvestia reports that this latest modernization is based on Russia’s combat experience in the ongoing Syrian conflict.
According to the report, Su-30SM1 has upgraded on-board radio electronic equipment, as well as an expanded range of precision munitions. Irkut—United Aircraft Corporation subsidiary that builds the Su-30SM1 says the modernization is underway at its plant but declined to comment on the number of planes undergoing the upgrade.
The Su-30SM1 will likely feature an upgraded stores management system and carries an expanded range of Russian precision-guided weapons including the KAB-250 and the Х-59МК2 air-to-surface missile, the newspaper reports.
The KAB-250 is modular and can use GPS/GLONASS-corrected inertial guidance or it can be guided by laser. Meanwhile, the Х-59МК2 is a new version of the original X-59 anti-ship missile that is optimized to attack land targets. The new X-59MK2 gains the ability to strike at pre-programmed stationary land-based targets, but it is not clear if it retains the ability to warships at sea.
It is not clear what other upgrades are onboard the Su-30SM1.
During a recent visit to the Irkutsk Aviation Plant (IAZ), Deputy Defense Minister Yury Borisov had said that the delivery of 17 new Su-30SM fighters is expected this year.