According to the report, Irkut—United Aircraft Corporation subsidiary that builds the Su-30SM1—has built several examples of the new variant of the jet. However, defense industry sources tell The National Interest that there is only one plane currently at the plant in Irkutsk.
The Su-30SM1 is likely features an upgraded stores management system and carries an expanded range of Russian precision-guided weapons including the KAB-250 and the Х-59МК2 air-to-surface missile according to the Izvestiareport.
The KAB-250 is Russia’s answer to the Pentagon’s 250-pound Small Diameter Bomb.
The Russian weapon is modular and can use GPS/GLONASS-corrected inertial guidance or it can be guided by laser. Meanwhile, the Х-59МК2 is a new version of the original X-59 anti-ship missile that is optimized to attack land targets. The new X-59MK2 gains the ability to strike at preprogrammed stationary land-based targets, but it is not clear if it retains the ability to warships at sea.
It is not clear what other upgrades are onboard the Su-30SM1.
The Izvestia article notes that the aircraft has a host of avionic upgrades, but the details of the exact nature of those modifications are not clear. Presumably, the aircraft has received upgrades to its sensor suite and communications hardware, which are usually continuously tweaked.
It is not particularly surprising that the Russians are upgrading the Su-30SM. The Russian Air Force has learned a lot of operational lessons from their Syrian operations that are now being applied to its combat aircraft fleet.
The Russians have been modifying other aircraft including the Su-35 Flanker-E and Su-34 Fullback bomber to correct issues they have discovered operating in Syria.
The Russians are expected to take delivery of some 17 Su-30SMs this year. Together with the Su-35S and the Su-34 Fullback bomber, the potent multirole fighter will form the backbone of the Russian Air Force even after advanced aircraft such as the Sukhoi T-50 PAK-FA enters service.
An undated image of Hoda Muthana provided by her attorney, Hassan Shibly. (Associated Press)
Attorneys for the Constitutional Law Center for Muslims in America have filed a lawsuit against Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Attorney General William Barr and President Donald Trump asking the court to recognize the citizenship of an Alabama woman who left the U.S. to join ISIS and allow she and her young son to return to the United States.
U.S. soldiers surveil the area during a combined joint patrol in Manbij, Syria, November 1, 2018. Picture taken November 1, 2018. (U.S. Army/Zoe Garbarino/Handout via Reuters)
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Construction crews staged material needed for the Santa Teresa Border Wall Replacement project near the Santa Teresa Port of Entry. (U.S. Customs and Border Patrol/Mani Albrecht)
With a legal fight challenge mounting from state governments over the Trump administration's use of a national emergency to construct at the U.S.-Mexico border, the president has kicked his push for the barrier into high gear.
On Wednesday, President Trump tweeted a time-lapse video of wall construction in New Mexico; the next day, he proclaimed that "THE WALL IS UNDER CONSTRUCTION RIGHT NOW"
But there's a big problem: The footage, which was filmed more than five months ago on Sep. 18, 2018, isn't really new wall construction at all, and certainly not part of the ongoing construction of "the wall" that Trump has been haggling with Congress over.
(From left to right) Chris Osman, Chris McKinley, Kent Kroeker, and Talon Burton
A group comprised of former U.S. military veterans and security contractors who were detained in Haiti on weapons charges has been brought back to the United States and arrested upon landing, The Miami-Herald reported.
The men — five Americans, two Serbs, and one Haitian — were stopped at a Port-au-Prince police checkpoint on Sunday while riding in two vehicles without license plates, according to police. When questioned, the heavily-armed men allegedly told police they were on a "government mission" before being taken into custody.
Army Sgt. Jeremy Seals died on Oct. 31, 2018, following a protracted battle with stomach cancer. His widow, Cheryl Seals is mounting a lawsuit alleging that military care providers missed her husband's cancer. Task & Purpose photo illustration by Aaron Provost
The widow of a soldier whose stomach cancer was allegedly overlooked by Army doctors for four years is mounting a medical malpractice lawsuit against the military, but due to a decades-old legal rule known as the Feres Doctrine, her case will likely be dismissed before it ever goes to trial.