Sukhoi Su-33

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The Sukhoi Su-33 (Russian: Сухой Су-33; NATO reporting name: Flanker-D) is an all-weather carrier-based air defence fighter designed by Sukhoi and manufactured by KnAAPO. It is a derivative of the Su-27 "Flanker" and was initially known as the Su-27K. First used in operations in 1995 aboard the carrier Admiral Kuznetsov, the fighter officially entered service in August 1998, by which time the designation "Su-33" was used. Following the break-up of the Soviet Union and the subsequent downsizing of the Russian Navy, only seventy-two aircraft were produced. Attempted sales to China and India fell through.

Compared with the Su-27, the Su-33 has a strengthened undercarriage and structure, folding wings and stabilators, all for carrier operations. The wings are larger than on land-based aircraft for increased lift. The Su-33 has upgraded engines and a twin nose wheel, and is air refuelable. The aircraft's range and payload are greater than those of the rival MiG-29K, but the Mikoyan fighter has more advanced avionics and is capable of a wider range of missions, including strike operations. In 2009, the Russian Navy ordered the MiG-29K as a replacement for the Su-33.

In October 2010, the Su-33 began an upgrade program which included more powerful (132 kN, 29,800 lbf) AL-31-F-M1 engines, a larger weapons carriage, and upgrades to the radar and weapons.

Variants[edit | edit source]

  • Sukhoi Su-27K: Carrier-based version of the Su-27 designed for operations from the Project 11435 and Project 1160 aircraft carriers (heavy aircraft cruiser in Soviet designation).
  • Sukhoi Su-27KI: Project of a carrier-based version of the Su-27 designed for operations from the Project 1153 aircraft carriers (heavy aircraft cruiser in Soviet designation).
  • Sukhoi Su-27KPP: Project of a two-seat carrier-based electronic-warfare aircraft.
  • Sukhoi Su-27KRTS: Project of a two-seat carrier-based reconnaissance and target designation aircraft.
  • Sukhoi Su-27KT/KTZ: Project of a carrier-based tanker aircraft.
  • Sukhoi Su-27KU: Project of a two-seat carrier-based trainer.
  • Sukhoi Su-27KSH: Project of a carrier-based attack aircraft based on the Su-27.
  • Sukhoi Su-29K: Project of a carrier-based interceptor aircraft based on the Su-27 with a possibility to carry the long-range R-33 air-to-air missiles.
  • Sukhoi Su-33: Designation for the Su-27K after its introduction into service with the Russian Naval Aviation in 1998.
  • Sukhoi Su-33KUB/UB: Two-seat training-and-combat version based on the Su-27K and Su-27KU with side-by-side seating for crew of two. One prototype built.
  • Sukhoi Su-33K: Extensive upgrade of the Su-33 integrating more powerful engines and modern avionics, electronics and weapons from the Su-35.

Users[edit | edit source]

See Also[edit | edit source]

Related Development[edit | edit source]

Comparable Aircraft[edit | edit source]