Source: DTN News - - This article compiled by Roger Smith from reliable sources RIA Novosti
(NSI News Source Info) TORONTO, Canada - February 21, 2012: The deliveries of new close air support aircraft to the Russian Air Force will start by 2020, Air Force spokesman Col. Vladimir Drik said.
“The Air Force units will start receiving this aircraft by 2020,” Drik said on Monday. “It will gradually replace highly-reliable Su-25SM Frogfoot attack planes.”
According to Drik, the new aircraft will meet the demands of modern warfare and feature elements of “stealth” technology, the whole range of tactical weaponry, modern radar and navigation equipment.
Meanwhile, Russia will continue to upgrade its outdated Su-25 attack aircraft to Su-25SM version, which has a significantly better survivability and combat effectiveness.
The Russian Air Force currently has over 30 Su-25SM planes in service and plans to modernize about 80 Su-25s by 2020, Drik said.
The Su-25SM is the designation used for upgraded standard production Su-25 single-seat aircraft, and Su-25UBM the designation for a similar upgrade for the Su-25UB. The upgrade is carried out by the 121 ARZ plant at Kubinka Air Base. In 2001, the first Su-25SM was completed followed by a second aircraft in 2003. The test programme was completed in 2005, and the 121 ARZ started series upgrade of the Russian Air Force Su-25 fleet. The first six aircraft were completed in 2006 and handed over to the Russian Air Force on December 28, 2006. They received new serials; side number 01 thru 06. Six more Su-25SMs are scheduled for delivery in 2007, and eight for 2008. Two attack regiments will convert to the Su-25SM, starting with the 368th Attack Aircraft Regiment at Budyonnovsk.
Main element of the Su-25SM upgrade is the new PrNK-25SM nav/attack system with satnav receiver, colour multi-purpose LCD, and SUO-39 fire control system. The upgrade is claimed to offer two to three times greater accuracy in weapons delivery and up to ten times in navigation accuracy. The upgrade also replaced the obsolete RWR with the L-150 electronic intelligence station and enables the use of R-73 advanced IR guided air-to-air missiles and KAB-500Kr TV-guided bombs.
Work on the upgrade of the first Su-25UB two-seat combat trainer to Su-25UBM standard in a similar upgrade started in May 2005 according to AFM, but recently it is reported it is planned for 2007.
The Su-25KM 'Skorpion' is a Su-25K upgrade offered by the collaboration between Elbit Systems and Georgia's TAM (Tbilisi Aerospace Manufacturing). Improvements include Multi Function Color Displays, new HUD, Elbit Mission Computer, and an optional Helmet Mounted Display. On 27 October 2004, the first Su-25KM Skorpion was delivered to the Turkmenistan Air Force. This makes the Turkmenistan Air Force the first customer for the new variant. Georgia had already overhauled 43 standard Su-25s for Turkmenistan as a part payment for Georgian debts for the supply of gas, which is also believed to be the payment for the Su-25KM delivery.
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