Sukhoi Upgraded Su-33 Flight Trials Begins

Sukhoi has begun ground and flight trials of Russia’s modernised Su-33 naval fighter aircraft.

The multi-role carrier-based fighters are being refurbished in the Russian Far Eastern city of Komsomolsk-on-Amur under a state defence order in 2010, Sukhoi said.

The fourth generation warplanes with horizontal takeoff and landing, and aerial refuelling capability, have been designed to defend naval ships from airborne attacks. The fighters feature folding wings and horizontal tail for hanger storage.

The Su-33s are armed with guided missiles such as the Kh-25MP, Kh-31 and Kh-41. The fighters can be used in both night and day operations at sea.

   Sukhoi began producing the Su-33 fighters in the 1980s. Production of the first two prototypes of the warplane was completed in 1986-87. During the factory flight tests on Nov. 1, 1989, the first Su-33 landed on the deck of aircraft carrier ‘Admiral Kuznetsov’.

A modernised variant of the original Su-27K ‘Flanker’, the Su-33 entered service with the Russian Navy in 1994. An air regiment comprising 24 such fighters was formed to operate from Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier.

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