The latest Su-30SM multi-role fighter performed the first aerial refueling at Lipetsk Combat Employment and Retraining Center of the Russian Ministry of Defense, ITAR-TASS reports with reference to official representative of the air forces, Colonel Igor Klimov.
"During the flights Su-30SM crews have performed refueling in the afternoon and at night. This type of flights is one of the most complex elements of the flight training: the pilot must approach a tanker at speeds of 500-600 km/h and altitudes of 2–5 km and stay 10-15 meters away from it. After that he should establish contact between its refueling boom and the tanker’s drogue and keep its position until the refueling is complete. At night the refueling is performed using additional lighting installed both on Il-78 and the aircraft to be refueled", - Klimov said.
According to him, the aerial refueling capability significantly increases the combat radius of Su-30SM allowing it to operate both in tactical depth and remote areas using all the air-to-air and air-to-surface weapons available.
The performance of air refueling is another stage of pilot training for Su-30SM fighters. We remind you that the bulk deliveries of the jets to the air forces were started in late 2013. "After mastering the refueling procedure the center’s flight instructors will qualify for training the pilots of air force units to perform the aerial refueling", - he added.
The two-seat super-maneuverable Su-30SM fighter is fitted with radar with the phased antenna array, engines with a thrust-vectoring nozzle and canard surfaces. Su-30SM is the modification of Su-30MKI aircraft.
The first contracts for delivery of Su-30SM fighters were signed by the Russian Ministry of Defense and Irkut Corporation in 2012. The first fighters of the type were delivered to the Ministry of Defense in December 2012.