SUKHOI IS continuing to test two Su-30MKM prototypes which, earlier this year, were derived from two Su-30MKI pre-production aircraft bearing side numbers 05 and 04. These were built at the Irkustk plant in 2000 and 2001 respectively. Under the S0.9 billion contract, signed in August 2003, the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) will receive a total of 18 Su-30MKM twin-seat super-manoeuvrable multi-role fighters in 2007-08.
The airframe, powerplant and major aircraft systems of the Su-30MKM will be the same as those for the Su-30MKIs in service with the Indian Air Force. However, avionics will feature a number of significant modifications, primarily pertaining to replacing Israeli-produced systems. For instance, the electronic countermeasures (ECM) suite, fitted on the Su-30MKM, will comprise Russian- and South African-manufactured systems. These systems are now being tested on the above-mentioned Su-30MKM prototypes. They include the MAW-300 missile approach warning system (the RMAF’s Flanker will carry six MAW-300 sensors), the LWS-310 laser illumination warning system (four sensors), and the EWC electronic warfare controller developed by the South African SAAB Avitronics, operating as part of the Swedish SAAB Group.
The other Su-30MKM’s ECM components (electronic intelligence system, jammer and chaff/flare dispensers) would be of Russian manufacture. Mock-ups of Saab Avitronics systems were transferred to Sukhoi in 2005 to place them onboard the Su-30MKM prototypes, while the deliveries of the operational versions to the Russian contractor took place later in 2006. It is worth mentioning that until now not a single Su-27/Su-30 family aircraft has been equipped with similar ultraviolet and laser equipment.
Irkut Corporation is now producing the first batch of Su-30MKMs for delivery to the RMAF in 2007. All deliveries should be complete in 2008.