The Su-30MK’s aerodynamic configuration is an unstable-in-longitude triplane hence canards are installed to enhance maneuverability
Su-30MK is a standard Su-30 with the air-to-ground missiles which can carry twice the armament (8 tons) compared to the baseline Su-27. This multirole aircraft is adequately fitted for the entire spectrum of tactical and operational combat employment scenarios, varying from counter-air tasks to counter-land and counter-sea ones (suppression of hostile air defence, air interdiction and close air support). Due to duplicated flight control system, it can be also employed for realistic flight and combat training.
The Su-30MK aerodynamic configuration is an unstable-in-longitude triplane. To increase lifting effectiveness and enhance maneuverability of the aircraft, the canards are installed. They are deflected automatically to ensure flight at high angle-of-attack.The canard increases the aircraft lifting ability and deflects automatically to allow high angle-of-attack (AoA) flights allowing it to perform Pugachev’s Cobra.
The integrated aerodynamic configuration, combined with the thrust vectoring control capability, results in unprecedented maneuverability and unique take-off and landing characteristics. Equipped with a digital “fly-by-wire” system, Su-30MK is capable of performing a number of feat manoeuvrings to counter missile threats and to dominate in dogfight. They include well-known “cobra” and “bell”, as well as new ones, which cannot be performed by any other aircraft. The while performing a “somersault” manoeuvrings, the aircraft makes 360-deg turn in pitch plane without any loss of altitude.
In “controlled flat spin” manoeuvrings, the aircraft performs several full turns in horizontal plane, with zero forward speed, virtually on the spot. The canard that is installed in the Su-30 MK notably assists in controlling the aircraft at large angles-of-attack and bringing it to a level flight condition and hence enhancing maneuverability.