Sukhoi Upgraded Su-33 Flight Trials Begins

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

Themulti-role carrier-based fighters are being refurbished in the RussianFar Eastern city of Komsomolsk-on-Amur under a state defence order in2010, Sukhoi said.

The fourth generation warplanes withhorizontal takeoff and landing, and aerial refuelling capability, havebeen designed to defend naval ships from airborne attacks. The fightersfeature folding wings and horizontal tail for hanger storage.

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

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

A modernisedvariant of the original Su-27K ‘Flanker’, the Su-33 entered servicewith the Russian Navy in 1994. An air regiment comprising 24 suchfighters was formed to operate from Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier.
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