Malaysia to receive brand-new Russian fighters

MOSCOW. (Yury Zaitsev for RIA Novosti) - Malaysia will receive the first 12 of its order of 18 Sukhoi Su-30-MKM Flanker fighters, the most advanced versions of the Su-27 warplane, before the year is out. The Su-30-MKM embodies the best achievements of the Russian aircraft industry and has the most advanced European avionics.

The Malaysian version is based on the Su-30-MKI, earmarked for India, but features different equipment and an electric remote control system.

Unlike the Indian version, the Su-30-MKM features a laser warning system and missile detectors. Two Russian-made active jamming systems are located inside wing-tip containers, and the fighter also has passive jamming systems featuring dipole reflectors and 98 decoys against heat-seeking missiles in the tail section.

The Malaysian version has more Russian-made components than the Su-30-MKI because Indian and Israeli systems have been removed from it. However, the Su-30-MKM features additional French-made systems.

Russia's Bars (Snow Leopard) phased-array radar can simultaneously track at least 15 aerial targets and directs fire against four of them at a time. Moreover, it can also effectively detect ground targets.

The Su-30-MKM features the same guided weapons as the Su-30-MKI.

Malaysia has become the second country to purchase these supersonic, super-agility fighters with vectored-thrust engines. The capabilities of this version may well exceed those of the Su-30 aircraft supplied to India.

Dato' Sri Aziran bin Ariffin, commander-in-chief of the Royal Malaysian Air Force, said the Su-30-MKM was now the best fourth-generation multi-role fighter in the world.

Yury Zaitsev is an academic adviser at the Russian Academy of Engineering Sciences.

The opinions expressed in this article are the author's and do not necessarily represent those of RIA Novosti.

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