Sukhoi Su-27SM Flanker-J1: A new Standard for the Masterpiece

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Sukhoi Su-27SM Flanker-J1: A new Standard for the Masterpiece

Hi and welcome to my 9th suggestion which is about the Su-27SM Flanker-J1 mid-life upgrade of the Su-27S Flanker-B suggested by @EpicBlitzkrieg87 :popcorn:

This suggestion was a bit more complex, due lack of information in European internet and confusing claimings by some sources. I will discribe both versions and give all needed information about them. The Su-27SM and especially the Su-27SM3 are in my eyes the best options for an russian equal to the american F-14B / D Tomcat (SM) and F-15C Eagle (SM3), as well as a better option compared to Su-30M2.

DISCLAIMER: This suggestions contains pictures of the Su-27SM, the Su-27SM3 has an seperate one HERE as both were refelcted together in the orginal suggestion. I will probebly switch the non-matching pictures in future.

First of all:

  • This is a suggestion for an Aircraft we could see in game at some point in the Future , that doesn´t mean next Patch or somewhere in the near Future
  • I don´t want to force Gaijin to rush Top-tier aviation in any way
  • Feel free to share more Data and / or correct me if something is wrong
  • Discuss respectfully, any aggressive kind or verbal abuse will be reported, the Forum rules also apply here
  • FOX-3 on all aircraft in game (when added) could be balanced by limit them to a max. of 2 - 4x missiles and making them not such strong as in RL or DCS (my opinion)

Basic Background:

Since the Su-27 Flanker first entered service in the Soviet Air Force in 1985, the platform has undergone multiple upgrades to allow it to better contest air superiority against more modern adversaries. The Su-27 was initially designed to engage and outperform the American F-15 Eagle - with both fourth generation air superiority platforms forming the elite of the Warsaw Pact and NATO Air fleets. With new and more advanced air superiority fighters having been developed since them, including the 4++ generation F-15E and Su-35S, Su-30SM and the fifth generation F-22 and Su-57, Russia has focused heavily on upgrading the original Flanker design and integrating next generation technologies to allow it to better contest air superiority on the modern battlefield.


The Su-27SM (Serial Modernization 1) is a mid-life upgrade of the already mass-produced Su-27S / P Flanker-B, as well as remaining Su-27SK, comparable to the F-16 and its “MLU” upgrade. The aim of this modernization was to bring the outdated Su-27s, which are still in the inventory of the Russian armed forces today, real multi-role capability and an overall service-life expandation. For this purpose, the old N001 radar was improved, through the use of the SUV-27ESh weapons control system and renamed to N001V, as well as N001VE for the export market. The new old radar enables the use of R-77 (“AA-12 Adder”), the Kh-31A / P anti-ship and anti-radiation missiles, ground mapping has been added as well, which makes it possible to detect ground targets .The cockpit has also been modernized. Two large MFDs and a smaller MFI, multi-function displays are now available to the pilot. The whole SM program increased the combat efficiency of the upgraded Flankers by 60%. First batch of Su-27SM were handed to the Russian Air Force in 2003.



The SM was not exported. However, there is the Su-27SKM, which is practical the Su-27SK but updated to higher standards. It received the N001VE (using SUV-27EP1), with that R-77, Kh-31A/P and ground-mapping. Pylons remained the same. Its prototype Su-27SKM ´gray 305´ was first shown in 2003.


Armament of Su-27SM

Guns: 1x GSh-30-1 (30 x 165mm, 150 rounds)
    1500 – 1800 rpm
    muzzle velocity of 870 m/s (1800m range)
AAM, up to ( 10 Pylons):
    6 x R-27ER
    2x R-27ET
    6x R-73 RMD-1 / M
    6 x R-77 
Bombs / guided Bombs, up to:
    4 x KAB 500Kr / L
    1 x KAB-1500Kr / L
    28x OFAB-250-270
    32x FAB-100-120
Air-to-Ground Missiles, up to:
    4 x Kh-29T / TE / L
    4 x Kh-31A
    4 x Kh-31P
    2x Kh-59ME* / MK (*requires APK-9ME Datalink pod)
    4x S-25L
Unguided Rockets (in total), up to:
    80x S-8 (4 pods)
    20x S-13 (4 pods)
    4x S-25OFM (2x twin pod)


The N001V is the upgraded version of the base N001 “Merch” radar used by the early Su-27 / 30 Family. It features Ground-Mapping, thank to the new SUV-27ESh weapon-constrol-system, Kh-31A / P anti-radation / -ship missile and R-77 FOX-3 missile. LD/SD capability was sightly improved and minor fixes / improvements were made. The N001VP used on the Su-27SM3 has updated FCS and is able to use the more advanted R-77-1 missile, as well as Kh-31AD / PD variants

Its also known as N001VE(P) in the export market and used by (afaik) Su-27SKM, J-11A, Su-30M2, Su-30MK2 and Su-30MKK.


Specifications and Internal:

Green: Su-27SM
Gray: Both

General characteristics

Crew: 1
Length: 21.93 m
Wingspan: 14.70 m
Height: 6.36 m
Wing area: 62.4 m2
Empty weight: 16,870 kg (?)
Loaded weight: 23,700 kg (?)
Max. takeoff weight: 33,000 kg (?)
Powerplant: 2 × AL-31F                                        
    (static) Dry thrust: 74,5kN each
    (static) Thrust with afterburner: 122,58kN each  


Maximum speeds:
    1450km/h at sea level
    2284km/h at altitude
Operation celling: 18.500 m
Service ceiling: 17.750 m
Rate of climb: 300 - 330 m/s
Wing loading:
    min.  264kg/m2
    max. 491kg/m2
Thrust/weight (with afterburner):
    empty:          1.52
    loaded:         1.17
    max. takeoff: 0.88
Maximum g-load: +9g / -3g

    APP-50A and APP 50MA give the Su-27SM / SM3 a total 98 Flares / Chaffs, or 196 Flares or Chaffs, of caliber 50mm
    L005 ECM jammer pods (mounted on wing tips, wing tip pylons for R-73 cant be used while having the ECM pods)

    OEPS-27M / OLS-30 (izdeliye 52Sh)
        120° FOV
        Azimuth: +/- 60°
        Elevation: 60° / -15°
        Big search field: 60° x 10°
        Small search field: 20° x 5°
        Close combat mode: 3° x 3° (vertical)
        Detection Range: min. 90km rear-aspect and min. 30km all-aspect
        Laser range: up to 8km
        Rangefinder: 0.3 - 10km
    L-150 RWR 
    Helmet mounted sight

Thanks for your time, hope you liked it :salute:

[Will add more if there are some (more) important / declassified things]

[PM or comment if a Link or Picture isn´t working]



Su-27SM/SM3 – Su-27 Flanker Family

SU-27 SM/SKM/UBM – Comparison – BVR – Dogfightсу-27см/

Уголок неба ¦ Сухой Су-27СМ

After the burn

Su-27 fighter family variants - Military and Aviation - ED Forums

«Тихомировские» радары / Взлёт 2007 08-09

Engine al 31f working blade TVD. Fnpts "mmpp "salyut"


Su-27 family cockpits – Su-27 Flanker Family

О визуальных различиях истребителей семейства Су-27 | Пикабу

IN-DEPTH: Russia's declining Su-27/30 Flanker fleet

Су-34 с 2011 г. могут оснащаться двигателями АЛ-31ФМ1 // АвиаПорт.Новости


Books (sorted by priority):

-Sukhoi Su-27 - Yefim Gordon - Midland Publishing 2007

-Su-27 The History of the Fighter - Andrei Fomin - Publishing 2004

-Sukhoi Su-27SM(3) / SKM: Multifunctional Strike Fighter From Amur - Hugh Karkins - Publishing 2016

-Sukhoi Su-30MKK / MK2 / M2: Russo-Kitayshiy Striker From Amur - Hugh Harkins - Publishing 2015

-Sukhoi Su-30 Super-Manoeuvrable Family: Su-30MKI / MKM / MKI (A) / SM - Hugh Harkins - Publishing 2016

-Soviel Cold War Fighters - Alexander Mladenov - Publishing 2015


AL-31F Technical Manual (Declassified)

PDF Document (Russian, used for Radar and OEPS / IRST)

PDF Document - The Military Balance 2021

PDF Document - Russian and Chinese Combat Air Trends


I believe Gaijin may skip the Su-27S initial production variant and go straight for this one. Especially since we already have the MiG-29SMT/F-16C blk 50, with Fox 3 missiles like the AMRAAM and R-77 basically confirmed for coming later this year.

Wouldn’t make much sense to have the early Su-27S be “stuck” with R-73 and R-27 when active radar missiles are flying around at top tier.



What are the R-73 variants? RMD-1 is the basic one, but what is the R-73M? Is that the 2012 R-74M? Would the initial 2004 batch be equipped with standard R-73s?

This year about to end in few days

Devs postponed till first/second patch of 2024

I believe the Su-27SM might also be able to receive the DAMOCLES/SAPSAN-E Targeting pod (I’m not sure if this is an SM or SM3 so forgive me if its the latter)


Looks like we are getting it this update


Indeed 👀


I believe this one is indeed the Su-27SM after some reverse image searches.

if they dont add the pods/laser ordinance for su27SM or at least SMT imma flipout, the report has been sitting there acknowledged for like 9months


They won’t, because to be frank, it doesn’t have any

Russian planes with targeting pods are really limited to the later models of Su-27s (SM3, Su-30 and Su-35) and MiG-29s (MiG-29M2 and MiG-35)

the laser thing is more or less tied to the targeting pod issue too tbh

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It’s an Su-27SM3, forgot to come back and edit it, forgive me for the confusion

and yeah its SAPSAN-E aka licensed DAMOCLES

(from SMT guidance pod thread)

As far as i have read the SAPSAN was designed to be compatible with the more modern su27series (M/SM/SM3), su30 series and mig35/29M derivatives (such as SMT). Yeah all the laser weapons are mainly tied to the pod issue (though i have heard they can actually use the their IRST system for this at closer range anyway, ofc only for laser atgm tho)

That photo earlier in the thread looks like an early mockup of SAPSAN to me, but i imagine they could mount the Damocles too since it was tested alongside sapsan as far as im aware.

Well yeah it can say that, the issue is SAPSAN-E was a rug pull, meaning there isn’t many pics of it on things outside of expos.

It also just wasn’t shown off with SM or SMT 9.19 so it’s not like we can claim it “was going to be fitted” or something like that besides that one thing saying otherwise.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’d love to see SAPSAN-E in game because it’d be incredibly nice to have a gen 3 TGP that doesn’t have restrictive angles like what SOLT-25 has.

But I’m just trying to say that it’s not exactly required to be added nor would it be really historical for these two vehicles.

(Btw, the whole “comparability” thing doesn’t really mean much, Magic IIs if I recall are compatible with certain sidewinder pylons, doesn’t mean things with those pylons should get Magic II, at least that’s how I see it)

Supposedly, The pic I sent above is actually an Su-27SM, and supposedly it’s the one in the devblog

Looks like SAPSAN-E might be back on the menu boys

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Nice with 6 R-77

Sapsan never existed

Maybe, but if not it should definitely receive Damocles.

Nor does a Yak-41 or Mirage 4000 in game with how they’re currently modeled? It exists enough that I think gaijin would be fine adding it if they felt like it.

There is an official response (signed and sealed document) from the Russian Ministry of Defense that the Sapsan existed