Here’s a stunning video (including cockpit footage) of the awesome Sukhoi Su-30SM

You don’t happen to see the Su-30SM that close too often.

The Su-30SM is a special variant of the thrust-vectoring Su-30MKI and MKM produced by the Irkut Corporation for the Russian Air Force (that should operate 60 jets of this type by 2016).

It’s a 4+ Generation twin-engine, two seat supermanuverable multi-role aircraft equipped with improved avionics, the Bars-R radar and a wide-angle HUD (Head Up Display).

And, no matter how it is effective in a WVR (Within Visual Range) or BVR (Beyond Visual Range) scenario, it’s quite cool.

H/T Lasse Holmstrom for the heads-up


About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.


  1. people might disagree with there performance compared to western jets. but my god these are good looking and can maneuver like nothing else.

  2. Had the pleasurable opportunity to watch an F-22 display a month ago at Seafair in Seattle; this video shows us their aircraft pulling off nearly all the same tricks. Granted its radar signature is gonna be massive in comparison, but I’d be more than a bit worried for anyone driving an F-16 or any other 4th gen for that matter if the fight got in close…

    • nearly all the same tricks.

      Ha, no. The F-22 is easily outmaneuvered by nearly any Sukhoi thrust-vectoring variant, as far as airshow demos go. The latter’s aerobatics repertoire makes the F-22 look like a joke.

  3. Don’t believe to Russian propaganda. Russia is ALWAYS lying. 60 planes?! Maybe they have 4. And only one pilot really capable of flying them. Russia has GREAT shortage of trained pilots, ancient avionics, and most of their planes requires permanent-going repair. I lived there for nearly 40 years. I know what Russia is.

    • You are Ukrainian, that’s says a lot about your objectivity.
      They don’t need a single airplane, as long as they have 1000+ ICBM, I don’t think anyone would dare to mess with them. Anyway the machine in a video is most impressive, an opinion coming from a Gripen pilot.

  4. I agree with this post. Russia still builds jets for purist armchair pilots, kind of like how GM still builds manual transmission Vettes & Camaros despite DCTs, etc. having been ultimately superior for a while now.

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