Sukhoi , the major Russian Aircraft manufacturer known for its combat aircrafts was founded by Pavel Sukhoi in 1939 and it was called, The Sukhoi Design Bureau.
Presently it is known as Sukhoi Corporation and its company headquarters is located in Moscow , Russia. The Sukhoi Corporation has a strong market hold in defense and aerospace industry in Russia. Over 29,000 people are employed by them and about half of Russia’s current tactical air power is due to contributions of Sukhoi.
Sukhoi has been responsible in developing state-of-the-art weapons systems and combat aircrafts which are globally renowned and it also forms the backbone of frontline aviation of Russia.
Going back in history, The Sukhoi known as Sukhoi Design Bureau was less known in the West, reason being the Soviet Union kept the Sukhoi aircraft for their own use, only selling Mig’s to the Warsaw Pact and other friendly countries. Slava Kondratiev a brilliant designer in those days for Sukhoi designed the aerobatic aircrafts, The Yak-55 and 55M.
The origin of Sukhoi Design Bureau dates back to team No 4 of CAHI’s, the team having been taken over by P.O. Sukhoi in October 1930. P.O. Sukhoi was the winner of Stalin Prize of the 1st Level.
In November 1949, the government’s resolution scrapped the Design Bureau, and was resurrected in 1953, when it was set up with new production facilities. The Design Bureau got a new lease on life with the advent of supersonic jet aviation.
The design team’s major projects at the initial stage were the supersonic fighters S-1 and T-3. The experimental T-3 became the platform for the first Soviet target interception air launched missile system Su-9-51 and the subsequent Su-11-8M and Su-15-98(M) systems.There was a project launched in 1962 to produce a long-range strike/recon aircraft, the T-4.
In 1969 there was a maiden flight of the first Soviet all-weather strike aircraft , The Su-24 bomber which was known for its variable sweep wing.
The Design Bureau started development of a fourth-generation fighter in 1969 and in 1977,and the prototype Su-27 fighter made its first flight.The armored Su-25 combat aircraft designed for destruction of battlefield targets made its maiden flight in 1975.
The aerobatic airplanes built by the design team- the Su-26, Su-29, and Su-31 helped the national aerobatics team of the USSR win a total of 330 medals at the World and European Championships.
The Sukhoi Aircrafts that are in service with the Russian Air Force and Navy include the Su-24, Su-25, Su-27, Su-30, Su-34, and ship borne Su-33.
Mikhail Pogosyan has projected a market for 1000 Sukhoi PAK FA over the next four decades and they will be produced in a joint venture with India. The manufactured units will meet requirements by distributing two hundred each for Russia and India and six hundred for other countries. The Indian contribution would be in the form of joint work under the current agreement rather than as a joint venture, he added.
Venezuela in July 2006 signed contracts for the purchase of 30 Su-30 fighter jets.
However Sukhoi has had unhealthy experiences with the US for a couple of reasons. On August 4, 2006 , the US State Department imposed sanctions on Sukhoi for allegedly supplying Iran in violation of the United States Iran Non-proliferation Act of 2000. Sukhoi was prohibited from doing business with the United States Federal Government. In November 2006, the US State Department reversed its sanctions against Sukhoi.
Russia had launched its first modern commercial regional airliner—the Superjet 100, av 78 to 98 seater, built by Sukhoi in 2007. It was unveiled at Komsomolsk-on-Amur.
Sukhoi is also working on Russia’s fifth-generation stealth fighter, the Sukhoi PAK FA. The maiden flight of this stealth fighter took place on the 29th of Jan 2010 and lasted for 47 minutes.
In recent years Sukhoi has emerged as the leader of Russian aircraft manufacturer and has strengthened its position in the global market. Sukhoi has been enjoying higher profit margins from direct deliveries of spare parts and maintenance of the aeroplanes that it has delivered previously. As per the ratings of 100 leading defence contractors compiled by the Defense News daily, the Company is placed in the 28th position globally.
Productions of Sukhoi:
- Su-2 – light bomber aircraft
- Su-7 “Fitter” and “Moujik” – ground-attack aircraft
- Su-9 “Fishpot” and “Maiden” – interceptor fighter aircraft
- Su-11 “Fishpot-C” – interceptor fighter aircraft
- Su-15 “Flagon” – 1967, interceptor fighter aircraft
- Su-17/Su-20/Su-22 “Fitter” – ground-attack aircraft
- Su-24 “Fencer’ – 1974, jet bomber, attack aircraft
- Su-25 ‘Frogfoot” – ground attack aircraft
- Su-26 – single seat aerobatic aircraft (civil)
- Su-27 “Flanker” – 1984 – air superiority fighter
- Su-28/Su-25UB – Trainer and Demonstrator
- Su-29 – double seat aerobatic aircraft (civil)
- Su-30 – 1996, multi-role strike fighter aircraft
- Su-30MKI “Flanker-H” – multi-role fighter aircraft
- Su-30MK-2 “Flanker-G” – multi-role fighter aircraft
- Su-30MKK “Flanker-G” – strike-fighter aircraft
- Su-31 – single seat aerobatic aircraft (civil)
- Su-33 “Flanker-D” – 1994, carrier-based multi-role fighter aircraft
- Su-34/Su-32 “Fullback” – 2006, “Platypus”, Strike-fighter aircraft
- Su-27M/Su-35 “Flanker-E” – 1995, air superiority fighter aircraft
- Su-35BM – 4++ generation multirole fighter aircraft
- Su-25TM/Su-39 – ground attack aircraft, optimised for anti-tank use
- Su-80 – a twin-turboprop STOL transport aircraft
- Superjet 100 – regional jet
- Irkut MS-21 – narrow-body jet airliner
In addition to these Sukhoi has produced few experimental aircaraft such as:
- .Su-1 – high-altitude fighter
- Su-5 – jet-propeller fighteSu-5 – jet-propeller fighter
- Su-6 – ground attack aircraft
- .Su-8 – ground attack aircraft
- Su-9 – jet fighter
- Su-10 – jet bomber
- Su-12 – observation plane
- Su-15 – interceptor fighter
- Su-17 – fighter
- Sukhoi-Gulfstream S-21 – a supersonic business jet design.
- Sukhoi KR-860 – Doubledeck Superjumbo jet.
- Su-37 (“Terminator”), an improved Su-35
- Su-38 light agricultural aircraft
- S-32/37 – multirole fighter (was marketed for a time under the designation Su-47
- Su-47 – experimental aircraft
- P-1 – interceptor fighter
- T-3 – fighter
- T-4 – supersonic bomber.
- T-60S – intermediate range bomber.
- Sukhoi PAK FA/T-50 – 5th generation fighter. Future basic aircraft of Russian Frontline Aviation. Had its maiden flight on January 29th 2010.