Have a potential enemy warplanes is always a unique opportunity to find out their real abilities and find the degree of possible danger that these planes can do in open armed conflict. It is logical that many countries seek to obtain such technology in different ways. In the end, what plane enemy falls into the wrong research centers are almost always in a serious secret and often quasi-legal channels. One of the least recognized of these cases is the acquisition of the middle 80's German Luftwaffe 2-fighter-bombers Su-20 (NATO designation for «Fitter C").
In May 1984, a group of the most experienced pilots of the German Democratic Republic was focused in the Soviet Union for training in connection with the proposed inclusion of the LSK / LV (Luftstreitkräften / Luftverteidigung — Air Force and Air Defense of the GDR) of new fighter-bombers Su-22. First delivery of new aircraft in East Germany began in autumn 1984, and by the end of March 1985 in the GDR Air Force was delivered a total of 36 military vehicles. Although the operation of the commissioning of a new kind of GDR Air Force fighter jets carried out with the utmost secrecy, it did not go unnoticed by the West German intelligence services. They produced a collection of various disk imaging on new aircraft GDR.
Meanwhile, all of a sudden, in Germany the opportunity to get a very similar machine from … Egypt, which in the late 70's, after a busy period of cooperation with the Russian Union turned around toward the West.
After a series of intergovernmental negotiations, the Egyptian authorities agreed in 1984 to realize the first two Germans aircraft fighter-bomber Su-20 (in Egypt, there were a total of about fifty difficulties).
After the required standard of training of two selected were dismantled and Egyptian spices, along with a set of tools and accessories, as well as the documentation required for the upcoming use of aircraft, packed into containers. It came out in November 1984. Planes were sent by sea to one of the ports of the West, where they were taken to Manching in Bavaria. Here planes had to put vseobyatnomu analysis by professionals from a special unit Erprobungsstelle 61 (in 1987 renamed Wehrtechnische Dienststelle Luftfahrzeuge für Bundeswehr, which is now known to all WTD 61).
Although both the Su-20 after arriving at Manching were pulled back by German spices in advance, it was clear that flying is the only one. 2nd plane from the very beginning has been identified as a ground test platform and a warehouse of spare parts. Both aircraft were painted over a unique Egyptian markings — including numbers and symbols of state property — and bears the marks of Germany. First aircraft (serial number 72412) was a tactical number 98 +61, and the second (serial No. 72410) was given the hull number 98 62.
For the tests in the air was selected Su-20, which was in the best condition, BN 98 +61.
After much testing airframe, engines (AL-21F-3) and the reliability of the systems on board each aircraft, at the end of 1984 were held the first ground-based tests. First flight over the German land Sou-20 BN 98 +61, made only six months — June 26, 1985. The tests took place in the air in the general difficulties of more than 4 months and was completed by October 21 of the same year. During this period, the last Egyptian Sou-20, 26 made of flights in the main been used for collecting data on the corresponding structure, and the aerodynamic ability of this type of aircraft.
The last parameter is particularly interest the military, on which depended the rapid development of effective attacks against tactical combat aircraft Sukhoi. German engineers had full awareness and ability to assess the potential of these combat aircraft, as Germany had acquired full of weapons. Although raised in Germany, the Su-20 was equipped with 2-inserted 30-mm NR-30 cannon mounted in the wings for some reason this weapon tests have never been conducted.
The acquired data were compared with the combat capabilities of fighter-bombers, Panavia Tornado, who have just started to arrive in a number of air units from NATO (including in Germany). The Su-20 was tested in flight in the main NIGHT MODE, which allowed for some time to keep secret the information about this type of aircraft owned by the Luftwaffe. But at the end of 1985, thanks to a West German journalist, sanctuary was uncovered. The journalist managed to take a picture of the German Su-20 BN 98 +61.
Made photos soon appeared in the press, after which it did not make sense to hide the fact testing Russian aircraft in Manching. In this regard, the Ministry of Defence of Germany a little statement confirmed the test Russian aircraft, but with all this, did not disclose any other details, except that the aircraft came out of Egypt.
During a certain time after the investigation of former Egyptian Su-20, they were kept in the middle of Manching other aircraft that have been studied there.
In 2001, the Su-20 tactical number 98 +61, appeared in the exhibition Luftwaffenmuseum at the airport Berlin-Gatow, where you can look at it now.
2nd German acquired Su-20 (98 +62 BN) repainted in Soviet tactical disguise, and with the number 56 on the front of the case at the present time is on the Dutch Air Force Base in Leeuwarden, where he serves as … the monument.