Su-25 aircraft, after being upgraded to the SM3 standard, are capable of launching rockets and bombs at a great distance from the target in all weather conditions, even obscured by clouds.
Despite Being 40 Years Old, Sukhoi Su-25 Grach Still An Extremely Dangerous CAS Plane
The TASS news agency quoted the United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) as saying that businesses under this unit are undergoing overhaul, upgrades, extended use time and providing new combat capabilities for Su-25 attack aircraft.
This is the only Close Air Support aircraft of the Russian Air Force today. It was designed for the role of attacking ground targets, including fortifications, infantry, and even tanks and armored vehicles.
“The combat effectiveness of the Su-25SM3 upgraded version tripled (compared to not upgraded),” said the UAC representative.
The Su-25SM3 upgraded uses a modernized navigation system that can launch rockets or bombs at a large distance from the target even from behind the clouds. Pilots need only precise coordinates.
The Russian Defense Ministry also confirmed that the Su-25SM3 can attack the smallest mobile and immobile ground targets without having to see them day and night.
According to Jane’s magazine, the SU-25SM3 is equipped with a photoelectric sensor – the SOLT-25, which is integrated laser distance and target indicator, thermal imaging camera… it can track moving targets in all weather conditions away from 8km.
In addition, the Su-25SM3 is also equipped with the Vitebsk-25 defense system with integrated Zakhvat ultraviolet sensor for early warning of enemy missiles; warning system with L-150-16M irradiation radar; UV-26 50mm heat trap and can carry L-370-3S radar jamming pod hanging at the wing tip.
Currently the work of upgrading Su-25s to SM3 standard is assigned to the 121 overhaul factory in Kubinka, just outside Moscow. It is also undergoing overhaul of its Su-27 and MiG-29 engines.
The company started implementing the Su-25 overhaul contract in 1999 after the 301 overhaul factory in Tambov closed. In March 2002, the 121 began to upgrade the Su-25 to the Su-25SM standard, it is estimated that this factory has completed 80 units in the period 2005-2015.
Since 2015, the 121 factory has upgraded the Su-25 to the Su-25SM3 standard for the Russian Air Force. Note that this is considered the only place in Russia capable of upgrading the Su-25 to the Su-25SM or Su-25SM3.