The Russian Defense Ministry has released a video showcasing their Sukhoi Su-30SM multipurpose fighter jet performing aerobatics and deploying weapons. Although the video is new, the maiden flight of the Su-30SM took place in September 2012.
The Sukhoi Su-30SM is a two-seat, twin-engine aircraft suitable for all-weather, air-to-air and air-to-surface combat missions. It is based on the SU-30MKI jet that was made for the Indian Air Force and is also in service with the Algerian Air Force, Indonesian Air Force, People’s Liberation Army Air Force, Royal Malaysian Air Force, Ugandan Air Force, Venezuelan Air Force and Vietnam People’s Air Force. It is comparable to the US F-15E Strike Eagle fighter jet, manufactured by McDonnell Douglas (now Boeing) and in service since 1988.
The Su-30SM is the first Su-30 jet to feature thrust vector control, which allows the jet to change the direction of thrust from the engine, providing more agility and the ability to control angular velocity. The Su-30SM has a payload of 16,000 lb. and can carry bombs, air-to-air and air-to-surface missiles. The F-15E has a payload of 24,500 lb. and can also carry bombs, as well as air-to-air and air-surface missiles. The SU-30SM can achieve speeds of 1,320 mph (Mach 2) with its twin Saturn AL-31 engines while the F-15E can outrun its Russian counterpart with top speeds of 1,875 mph (Mach 2).
Russia has announced plans for an upgraded version, dubbed the SU-30SM1, although mass production has not yet begun.