Secure Sky: Belarus to Purchase Russian Sukhoi Su-30SM Jet Fighters in 2017

© Sputnik / Mikhail Voskresenskiy / Go to the mediabankSu-30SM fighter
Su-30SM fighter - Sputnik International
Minsk plans to purchase a number of Russian Sukhoi Su-30SM (Flanker C) multirole fighter jets this year, Belarusian Deputy Minister of Defense for Armament, Chief of Armament Igor Lotenkov said on Saturday.

MINSK (Sputnik) — In November 2016, Belarusian Air Force and Air Defense Commander Maj. Gen. Oleg Dvigalyov stated that the country planned to buy at least a squadron of Russia’s new generation Su-30SM aircraft by 2020.

"In 2017, the purchase of Su-30SM airplanes is planned," Lotenkov said in the interview with the Belarusian Military Newspaper.

The Su-30SM, commissioned in 2013-2014, is a two-seat derivative of the Su-27UB jet which is capable of air-to-air and air-to-ground strikes. It can be equipped with a wide variety of precision-guided munitions.

"In the last year, over 250 new types of weapons and military hardware have been purchased for the needs of the Armed Forces — Yakovlev Yak-130 combat training aircraft, transport and combat Mil Mi-8 helicopters, radio monitoring systems, a Polonaise Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS), Protivnik GE radar, Vostok D radar, a Tor-M2 missile system, a Rosa-RB MLRS, a P-270 Moskit and so on," Lotenkov stressed.

He added that the purchase of radio monitoring systems, 120-mm caliber 2B23 NONA-M1 mortars, unmanned aircraft systems, and the modernization of the BTR-70MB1 were planned for 2017.

The deputy minister noted that Mil Mi-24 and Mil Mi-8 helicopters, the Ilyushin Il-76 airlifter, as well as T-72 and BMP-2 tanks were to be repaired and T-72BM1 tanks were due to undergo further modernization. Joint work is also expected to be conducted with the economy's defense sector, in order to transfer different types of multiple rocket launchers to Belarusian-produced chassis.

Watch the Su-30SM's speed test and its gun in action.

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