Irkut has delivered 14 of the 18 Sukhoi Su-30MKM fighters ordered by Malaysia in 2003, and will shortly deliver the final four. (photo : Defense Aerospace)
Irkut Corporation is due to complete Su-30MKM deliveries to the Royal Malaysian Air Force. First two Su-30MKM from the last batch have been already handed over to the customer; the remaining four fighters are expected to arrive in …[date missing—Ed.]
The contract for 18 Su-30MKM multifunctional fighters for RMAF was signed during the official visit of Vladimir Putin, then President of Russia, to Malaysia in August 2003.
After thorough examination RMAF selected Su-30MKM thus preferring it to US F/A-18 Super Hornet fighter. According to local mass media the decision of Malaysian leadership was largely influenced by India’s successful operation of Su-30MKI.
Su-30МКМ («multi-role, commercial, Malaysian») is the latest version of the renowned super-maneuverable Su-30МКI fighter created for India. The aircraft has the same aerodynamically perfect airframe, state-of-the-art engine with the Thrust Vector Control (TVC) and the most advanced digital fly-by-wire system.
The MKM version differs from the MKI by the onboard avionics suite composition tailored to accommodate the customer’s needs.
The fighter is fitted with the modern phased antenna array radar which enables simultaneous tracking 15 targets and attacking 4 targets. Su-30MKM avionics suite includes electronic warfare (EW) system and optic-location system with the laser rangefinder supplied by Russia’s leading manufacturers. Also certain Western-made avionics were integrated onboard the fighter: Head-up display (HUD) navigational forward-looking IR system NAVFLIR, Laser Designation Pod (LDP Damocles) and some others.
Integration of all the avionics systems was carried out with active participation of Su-30MKM Project Team consisting of RMAF officers and based in Moscow.
Presentation of Su-30МКМ took place on the 24th May of 2007 at Irkutsk Aviation plant – Irkut Corporation key production facility. In his interview to Malaysian national agency Bernama Chief of RMAF Gen Datuk Seri Azizan Ariffin defined that day as a "historical date". According to Chief of RMAF, Malaysia acquired from Russia "the most sophisticated multi-role aircraft in Southeast Asia". In December 2007 two Su-30МКМ took part in display flights at the 8th International air and naval show LIMA (Langkawi) generating a lot of public interest.
Su-30MK multirole fighter is one of the most popular combat aircraft in the world. It’s the first serially produced combat aircraft to sport super-maneuverability and the first export fighter equipped with phased antenna array onboard radar.
Irkut Corporation successfully fulfills contracts for the delivery of Su-30MK-type fighters to India, Algeria and Malaysia, along with technical kits for Su-30MKI license production by India’s Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. All in all around 300 SU-30MK-type aircraft have been ordered with nearly 150 already delivered. There are certain perspectives to increase order-book. Overhauling Su-30MKI is being set up in India.
Negotiations on IAF’s Su-30MKIs upgrade are underway. In particular it is planned to equip them with BrahMos Indo-Russian anti-ship missiles to create unprecedented weapons suite in the world.