The Sukhoi Su-30MKM (NATO reporting name: Flanker-H) is a variant of the Su-30 series specifically developed for RMAF
Despite the financial challenges, the Royal Malaysian Air Force has taken measures to enhance its capabilities. The core of the Malaysian Air Force is currently the Su-30MKM fighters, which are currently undergoing a major refurbishment program domestically to extend their operational lifespan. Currently, the Malaysian Air Force is operating two squadrons of multi-role fighters, one is Russian-made Su-30MKM fighters and the other includes the US F/A-18D Super Hornet.
The Sukhoi Su-30MKM (NATO reporting name: Flanker-H) is a variant of the Su-30 series specifically developed for RMAF featuring many significant improvements over the original Su-30MK export version. Developed by Sukhoi Design Bureau, the Su-30MKM is based on Su-30MKI operated by the Indian Air Force. The first two aircraft were handed over to the RMAF on May 2007 at Irkut’s aircraft manufacturing facility at Irkutsk, Russia. The two aircraft were later delivered to RMAF on June 2007. By December 2007, seven months after the delivery of the first two aircraft, the RMAF had taken delivery of six Su-30MKMs. The eighteenth and last aircraft arrived at RMAF on August 2009.
Malaysian Su-30MKM and Indian Su-30MKI both have common airframe, thrust vectoring engines and digital fly-by-wire system, however the MKM version differs from the MKI mainly in the composition of the onboard avionics. At the time of delivery the Su-30MKMs were the most advanced and heavy fighters in Southeast Asia.
Su-30MKM inherits the super maneuverability of the Sukhoi family via digital fly-by-wire, canards, and two Saturn AL-31FP engines with thrust vectoring, producing 27,500 lb thrust each with afterburners. This gives them an edge in close-in dogfights, allowing the pilot to rapidly point the plane at potential targets to draw them within the AA-11/R-73 Archer’s wide infrared seeker cone, then launch and quickly change energy state and direction.