Already at first second world, it became clear that the main enemies attack aircraft and fighter jets are small-caliber anti-aircraft artillery. And if the enemy fighters can tie their fighters fight, then without entering a zone offense MZA do is very difficult.
This problem is hanging over the stormtroopers so far. That the Russian Su-25, the South American A-10 Thunderbolt II at risk of being shot down over the target exactly. In particular, the risk is great when used barreled weapons, and at the same A-10, for example, the gun is the main anti-tank gun. In turn, the use of bombs and attack forces approached quite close to the target.
Russian combat experience in Afghanistan has shown that the main threat to attack aircraft in today's war is not barreled armament, but MANPADS. Similar conclusions were drawn and the Americans after the "Desert Storm" and confirmed them in the following conflicts in Asia.
In 2006, the U.S. decided to armament the latest modification of the own aircraft — A-10C. He has the ability to carry a controlled armament. First, it was made in order to plane could "work" on the target, not falling under the covering of its anti-aircraft systems — MANPADS and machine guns / cannons. In the coming years, the Pentagon wants to convert to this modification all the A-10. The financial side of the question — "only" 420 million dollars. But the all-weather "Thunderbolt" add and I got nothing.
What did we have? We also around this time, work began on the modernization Sou-25. By the end of the 90s, a draft, and in 2000 began testing experimental aircraft. Modification with the title of the Su-25SM received new aiming equipment — a set PrNK-25SM "Leopard", the latest equipment cabins, including true HUD instead of an old "normal" sight. Also, "Rook" in the version of "SM" is a built-25SM radar RLPK and apparatus for operating the system GLONASS. The aim of all these updates avionics — the ability of the use of controlled guns, including in complex criteria. Namely, it can be guided missiles "air-to-surface" of the family X-29 with a range of acts than 8-10 km. Yes, and uncontrolled gun remains in the arsenal of attack aircraft — from time to time is simply not appropriate for the purpose of wasting expensive "smart" missile instead of a cheap unmanaged C-5 or C-8. Of course, if the situation allows. In this case, thanks to newcomer sighting and navigation system Sou-25SM has great accuracy introduction of rockets.
As for the bomb armament, it allows you to create brand-new avionics bombing and in adverse weather conditions, and the NIGHT MODE. Moreover, sighting equipment "sharpened" under such tasks. Another innovation, the impact of equipment — and the opportunity to accompany storm is coming off two goals in a single pass.
For self-defense Sou-25SM can carry and use not only conventional rocket is "air-air" short-range R-60, and medium-range missiles R-27R, RVV-AE.
In September, the chief of the General Staff Nikolai Makarov stated that the purchase of controlled weapons for the Air Force will increase. In light of the modernization of the "Rooks" the statement looks logical and timely. Well, the producers of this very guided weapons, certainly not against new orders. Then Makarov has mentioned and the fact that not all the aircraft can be operated with a "smart" tool.
Now on the amount of future upgrades. At the current time in the Russian Air Force has about two hundred Su-25 of various modifications. More about weave is in storage. Recent re-equip is not planned. In addition, four 10-ka aircraft have already been brought to the version of "CM" in the years 2007-10. Then it was engaged 121st Aircraft Repair Plant in ancient city (Metropolitan Region). Price of work for the conversion of the 1st plane in 2007 was about 50 million. Since then, the financial situation has changed and prices have gone up — for the moment such works are estimated at 110-120 million. All the same, and such price upgrade is profitable. The fact that the aircraft will certainly need to dignify and construction of the new Su-25SM will cost 400 million redundant. Another reason in favor of aircraft modernization of old times — by necessity. Re able to hold and 121st RHA, with which he has perfectly mastered, and for the construction of new aircraft come in handy to lure the Ulan-Ude Aviation Plant, which is already pretty loaded.
Apart from installing the latest equipment in the modernization process will be a complete overhaul of aircraft, which should increment resource "Rooks" of 15-20 years. So Makar, with timely updates, avionics, Su-25SM will be able to remain in the army until the end of the 20s.