The air base of Southern Military District (SMD) located in Krasnodar Territory took delivery of the first 10 Su-25SM3 aircraft, Lenta.ru reports. The new vehicles have been delivered in the network of the state defense order. At the same time SMD is carrying out retraining of the flying personnel: 60% of the personnel have already passed the retraining.
The first planned flights of Su-25SM3 aircraft are scheduled for the second half of February 2013. At present all the delivered jets are undergoing maintenance. According to a representative of SMD, Su-25SM3 is the upgraded version of Su-25. It is able to destroy small-sized maneuvering and immobile ground targets under any lighting conditions.
The new aircraft is equipped with GLONASS satellite navigation system, which allows programming the target point within the accuracy of 10 meters. The system will also help pilots act independently of the ground services. The cockpit is equipped with a multi-role display. According to some experts, the combat effectiveness of the upgraded Su-25SM3 has increased three times.
The serial production of the upgraded Su-25 strike-fighter was launched in Russia in late 2012. Andsoitshouldhavereceivedanewi
It was reported that the strike-fighter with a new designation will be equipped with the advanced tactical EW suite “Vitebsk-25, the weapon-aiming system allowing usage of Kh-29 air-to-surface guided missiles, KAB-KR corrected bombs with television guidance and corrected bombs with GLONASS guidance. In addition, the jet should be fitted with the latest secure communication system having a range of 1000 km.
The upgraded Su-25 should also be fitted with a new electro-optical thermal imagery camera backing up the existing optical and radio-electronic search and guidance systems. The upgrading of the jet will allow destroying the enemy’s fortified objects outside the range of its air defense system.
Meanwhile, on February 17th 2013 the Russian Ministry of Defense intended to select the design of the future strike-fighter, which should replace all the existing Su-25s. It is expected that the new aircraft will be developed on the basis of Su-25UB. However, the seat intended for the co-pilot will be replaced with an additional fuel tank. The advanced strike-fighter will have a combat radius of 1000 km. Thejet’soperatingceilingwillbe 11 km.
According to some assessments, the new aircraft will be equipped with optical, laser and infra-red guidance system SOLT-25, which allows destroying at least 4 targets at once. The new strike-fighter will have a weight-lift ability of about 6 tons. It also should be fitted with active phased antenna array radar. It is planned to launch the production of the advanced strike-fighter not later than 2020.