The Su-27 Flanker is a Soviet/Russian single-seat fighter aircraft made by Sukhoi. It first flew in 20 May 1977, and was introduced in 23 August 1990. It was first made by the Soviet Union as a fighter, but now it is in the Russian Air Force. It can hold up to 10 guided Air-to-Air medium-range R-27E or short-range R-73 or unguided Air-to-Ground missiles, unguided bombs and a GSh-301 30mm cannon with 150 bullets.     It is equipped with two AL-31F turbofan engines, a multi-purpose onboard search and track radar, an optical infrared search and track station with a laser rangefinder linked to pilot's helmet-mounted target designator and with a wide-angle HUD. 
The Su-27 was made to pair with the MiG-29 Fulcrum, but in the Eritrean-Ethiopian War, Ethiopian Su-27s shot down 5 Eritrean MiG-29s . It was also supposed to fight American fighters like the F-15 Eagle and F-16 Fighting Falcon. There are the prototype versions T10 Flanker-A and T10S, the version S Flanker-B for the Russian Air Force, the interceptor version P Flanker-B without Air-to-Ground weapons for the Russian Air Force, the two-seat trainer version UB Flanker-C for the Russian Air Force, the export versions SK and UBK, the upgraded export versions SKM and UBM.   There are fighters similar to the Su-27, like the Su-33 Flanker-D and the Su-30 Flanker-C .
The Su-27 is still in service with the Russian Air Force and others. Russian Air Force has hundreds of aircraft. Half the fleet -about 100 fighters- has been modernized in the SM version from 2004 to 2012.     The SM version has improved avionics, guided Air-to-Ground missiles and guided bombs and a “glass” cockpit.  Russian Air Force received 12 newly built modernized SM3 aircraft in 2011. 
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References[change | edit source]
- http://www.sukhoi.org/eng/planes/military/su27sk/history/ http://www.sukhoi.org/eng/planes/military/su27sk/lth/
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