It culminated in 1983, when an Su-15TM shot down a Korean Air Boeing 707, killing 269 passengers.

This event brought about serious diplomatic crises. The US contended that the Soviet Union had deliberately shot down the passenger plane, while the Soviet Union denied the allegations. It was not until recently that it was discovered that the Su-15 mistakenly shot this passenger plane when it got lost in Soviet airspace. The Su-15 thought it was an American spy plane. After all attempts to communicate with the aircraft failed, they fired two missiles at the Boeing 707.

Sukhoi Su-15 (NATO designation: Flagon) was developed in the 1950s, in response to the US B-52 threat. It was born to replace the main Soviet interceptor fighter at that time, the Su-11 Fishpot-C. The Sukhoi Su-15 made its first flight in 1962, and entered service in 1965, with a total of more than 1,200 built. Like other national treasures, they were not exported.

Sukhoi Su-15
Sukhoi Su-15

The Su-15 inherited many similarities with the earlier Su-9 and Su-11. The single-seat interceptor was 19.56 m (64 ft 2 in) long, wingspan was 9.43 m (30 ft 11 in), height was 4.84 m (15 ft 11 in), empty weight was 10.76 tons (23,722 lb), and the maximum take-off weight was 17.9 tons (39,463 lb).

Powering the Su-15 were two Tumansky R-13F-300 afterburning turbojet engines, with 40.21 kN of dry thrust each, and 70 kN with afterburner. The Su-15 could reach a maximum speed of Mach 2.1, a range of 1,380 km, a combat range of 725 km, a service ceiling of 18,100 meters, and a rate of clime of 228 m/s.

As for weapons, the Su-15 was armed with two UPK-23 gun pods with 2 × 23 mm Gryazev-Shipunov GSh-23L autocannons. It was equipped with 6 hardpoints, with a payload of up to 1.5 tons, including: UB-16 rocket pods for S-5 rockets, K-8 air-to-air missiles, R-60 AAMs, and FAB-500 general-purpose bomb.

1 COMMENT

  1. Pensé que contaría la historia detrás del derribo del KAL-007. Es bien sabido que hubo una operación deliberada de EE. UU. detrás de un desvío del avión de pasajeros para esconder un RC-135 y por los menos un EF-111 que terminó derribado. No está claro hasta el momento si el KAL-007 fue derribado por un SU-15 confundido con el RC-135 o derribado por “fuego amigo”. Kamchatka era un lugar bien vigilado, los EEUU lo sabían y el KAL-007 pagó el precio. Saludos.

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