Moscow, October 5. Sukhoi aircraft holding has begun ground and flight
trials of the modernized fourth generation Su-33 naval fighter.
Modernization works and trials are being carried out at the KnAAPO aircraft
plant in Komsomolsk-on-Amur under a state defense order in 2010.
Su-33 (Su-27K) is a multi-role carrier-based fighter with horizontal takeoff
and landing, and aerial refuelling capability. The fighter features folding
wings and horizontal tail for hanger storage. It was designed to defend
naval ships from airborne attacks.
Production of the first two prototypes of the warplane was completed in
The first flight of the Su-27K prototype by the design bureau's test pilot
V.G. Pugachov on August 17, 1987. In the course of the plane's flight
development tests, on November 1, 1989, he performed the USSR’s first
conventional (non-V/STOL) landing on the deck of the USSR Admiral of the
Fleet Kuznetsov aircraft carrier. In 1989, the Komsomolsk-on-Amur plant
started production of a Su-27K development batch, the first production plane
being flight-tested at the plant in February 1990. Official testing of the
Su-27K took place in 1991-1994.
In April 1993, the KnAAPO plant delivered the first ship-based fighters to
the pilots of the aviation wing of the Russian Northern Fleet to be put into
service at the 279th ship-based fighter aircraft regiment (SFAR). By August
1994, the regiment had received as many as 24 production aircraft. In
1993-95, combat pilots of the 279th SFAR gained experience on the aircraft;
following that, between December 1995 and March 1996, the USSR Admiral of
the Fleet Kuznetsov aircraft carrier put to sea for its maiden long-distance
training voyage. The 31st August 1998 decree of the President of the Russian
Federation put the Su-27K into service under the name of the Su-33.