Kazakhstan is contemplating an acquisition of a batch of Sukhoi Su-30SM (NATO reporting name: Flanker-H) multirole fighters in Russia, a source in Russia’s defense industry told journalists on Tuesday, December 22, 2015. The future contract’s value is estimated at over $140 million. Kazakhstan can buy up to 24 aircraft, and, as far as the source is aware, a contract for seven fighters can be signed before year-end.
The first four aircraft of the type were delivered to Kazakhstan in April 2015. Their delivery had been preceded by a flight demonstration of the Su-30SM at the KADEX arms show in the nation’s capital, Astana, in May 2014.
According to Russian official arms exporter Rosoboronexport, Kazakhstan was very interested in the fighter’s demonstration then.
The Su-30SM (SM standing for ‘production-standard, upgraded’ in Russian) multirole fighter is designed for gaining air superiority and attacking surface targets. Its design includes the canards and swiveling-nozzle engines that afforded it supermaneuverability. The Su-30SM carries the Bars multifunction fire control radar and a wide array of weapons, including air-to-air missiles and air-to-surface precision-guided weapons. The aircraft can be used for training pilots in flying future single-seat fighters. The production of the type for the Russian Air Force has been in progress since 2012.