Sukhoi Su-25

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Su-25

The Su-25 (NATO reporting name 'Frogfoot') is a battlefield attack, close air support, and anti-tank aircraft designed by the Soviet Union. It remains in service with Russia and the CIS, as well as a variety of export customers.

Contents

Development

The Su-25 was designed by Sukhoi as a result of studies in the late 1960s on an aircraft to fill the Shturmovik ground attack role (so-named after the famous Ilyushin Il-2 of World War II renown). The Frogfoot is heavily armed, with a Gryazev-Shipunov GSh-30-2 30mm cannon and various air-to-ground munitions; it can carry more than 4,000 kg of weaponry in the ground-attack role. It is comparable to the A-10 Thunderbolt II, although it more closely resembles the Northrop YA-9, which lost the USAF competition that produced the A-10. (The same requirement led to the development of fighter bomber versions of the Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-23, culminating in the definitive MiG-27, although those aircraft share nothing with the Su-25 in design.)

The first prototype, with the bureau designation T-8-1, made its first flight on 22 February 1975. Development problems delayed its service entry until April 1981.

The Su-25, which is called Grach (rook) in CIS service, was heavily used by the Soviet Union during its operations in Afghanistan in the 1980s. Many were lost to shoulder-launched SAMs in combat.

Some two-seat Su-25UB trainers were built, including a small number for the AVMF designated Su-25UTG. They had strengthened airframes and an arresting hook for practicing aircraft carrier landings. The first Su-25UTG flew in September 1988, and about ten were produced. About half remain in Russian service, used with Russia's sole carrier, the Admiral Kuznetsov. The Russian navy ordered ten more Su-25UBP aircraft, much like the earlier Su-25UTG, but with a retractable aerial refueling probe.

More advanced attack variants, the Su-25T (alternatively, Su-34, although the OKB appears to have given that designation to the 'Flanker' derivative) and later Su-25TM (Su-39), were developed with an improved nav/attack system, better survivability, and capability of carrying new precision-guided weapons. Only a handful of each version has been produced.

The Su-25 is no longer in production, but it is still flown by the air forces of Afghanistan, Angola, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Ethiopia, Georgia, Iran, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Republic of Macedonia, North Korea, Peru, Russia, Slovakia, and Ukraine. Until recently, Cte d'Ivoire's air force owned 2 Su-25s before they were destroyed in a French neutralisation of the threats towards peacekeepers there.

Specifications (Su-25 late production)

General characteristics

  • Crew: one
  • Length: 15.53 m (51 ft) including probe
  • Wingspan: 14.36 m (47 ft 1 in)
  • Height: 4.80 m (15 ft 9 in)
  • Wing area: 30.1 m² (324 ft²)
  • Empty: 9,185 kg (20,250 lb)
  • Loaded: 14,600 kg (32,190 lb)
  • Maximum takeoff: 17,600 kg (38,800 lb)
  • Powerplant: 2x Tumansky R-195 turbojets, each 44.18 kN (9,932 lbf) thrust

Performance

  • Maximum speed: 975 km/h (606 mph)
  • Combat radius: 375 km (235 mi) with maximum ordnance
  • Ferry range: 1,950 km (1,215 mi)
  • Service ceiling: 10,000 m (32,800 ft)
  • Rate of climb: m/min ( ft/min)
  • Wing loading: 584 kg/m² (119 lb/ft²)
  • Thrust-to-weight ratio: 0.51:1

Armament

Related content

Related development:

Comparable aircraft: Northrop YA-9

Designation sequence: Su-21 - Su-22 - Su-24 - Su-25 - Su-26 - Su-27 - Su-30 - Su-32 - Su-34 - Su-35 - Su-37 - Su-39


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