Su-25 Attack Aircraft,Technical Specifications – USSR

Su-25 Attack Aircraft Technical Specifications

  • Crew – 1 person
  • Engine – 2 x R-195
  • Thrust – 1 x 4300 kgf
  • Wingspan-14.36 m
  • The wing area is 30.14 sq. m
  • Empty aircraft weight – 9,315 kg
  • Maximum take-off weight-17,600 kg
  • Maximum speed at altitude / near the ground-1000 / 975 km / h
  • Practical ceiling-10,000 m
  • Maximum flight range-650 km
  • Armament: 1×30-mm gun GSH-30-2; guided missiles X-25ML, X-29L, S-25L, R-60, R-3; suspended containers SPPU-22-01 with 23-mm guns GSH-23L; blocks UB-16-57, UB-32-57 with unguided missiles S-5; blocks B8M1 with unguided missiles S-8; unguided missiles S-24, S-25
  • Combat load – 4340 kg, including 100, 250 and 500 kg aerial bombs; single-use RBC-250 and RBC-500 bomb cartridges; containers of small-sized cargo of KSMU, KSMU-2.

Su-25 Attack Aircraft Details

After fundamental changes were made to the military doctrines of the USSR and the United States in the mid-1960s, the use of nuclear weapons became possible only as a last resort. Once again, the troops of the two countries were tasked with successfully conducting combat operations using conventional weapons. The main role was again assigned to army and front-line aviation, which was supposed to provide effective support for the ground forces, including in conditions of active counteraction to the air defense of a likely enemy. The MiG-19, MiG-21, Su-7B, and Yak-28 aircraft in service with the Soviet Air Force at that time did not meet the requirements for combat aircraft on the battlefield. Due to their low maneuverability and high flight speeds, these aircraft could not effectively hit small-sized ground targets, while at the same time, without booking critical units and the cockpit, they were very vulnerable to small-caliber artillery and small-caliber small arms fire. Soviet aviation needed a new aircraft of the battlefield – a ground attack aircraft.

In March 1969, a competition was held to develop a prototype attack aircraft. It was assumed that this aircraft, along with high combat survivability, would be easy to manufacture and unpretentious in maintenance, designed for operation by minimally trained flight and ground personnel, with autonomous basing on poorly equipped unpaved airfields. The competition was attended by the Design Bureaus of A. I. Mikoyan and A. S. Yakovlev (who proposed projects for modifications of the MiG-21 and Yak-28), S. V. Ilyushin and P. O. Sukhoi (with new projects-Il-102 and T-8). The victory was won by a completely new project of the T-8 aircraft developed by the Sukhoi Design Bureau. In September 1972, the defense of the preliminary design and layout of this attack aircraft took place, the construction of the prototype T8-1 aircraft was completed in November 1974, and its first flight took place on February 22, 1975. In 1976, it was decided to deploy the production of attack aircraft at the aircraft factory No. 31 in Tbilisi.

In 1978, state tests of this aircraft began. A distinctive feature of the new attack aircraft, designed for operations directly above the battlefield, in a zone saturated with air defense systems, was its increased combat survivability, which included protecting the pilot and the main units of the aircraft from projectiles of up to 20 mm caliber, as well as ensuring explosion-proof fuel tanks by filling them with polyurethane foam. Also, the new Sukhoi attack aircraft, which received the official designation “Su-25”, was equipped with a modified sighting and navigation system from the Su-17M3 fighter-bomber, which provided the use of the most modern guided weapons, including missiles with a laser guidance system, as well as a built-in 30-mm double-barreled gun GSH-30-2. The end of the first stage of state tests of the Su-25 in the winter of 1979/1980 was decided to combine with the verification of the aircraft in the conditions of the active army in Afghanistan. From April 16 to June 5, 1980, at the Shindand airfield in Afghanistan, a mixed group of test engineers from the Air Force Research Institute and representatives of the aviation industry provided 100 test flights, including 44 combat sorties. During these tests, the Su-25 showed a high level of combat performance. Its state tests were completed in December 1980, and in March 1981, the Su-25 was put into operation. However, due to the failure to comply with a number of points of the TTZ, the Su-25 attack aircraft was officially adopted by the USSR Air Force only in 1987.

The Su-25 is a single-seat armored subsonic attack aircraft designed to provide direct air support to troops during combat operations day and night with visual visibility of the target, as well as for round-the-clock destruction of objects with known coordinates in any meteorological conditions.

The Su-25 attack aircraft was designed according to a normal aerodynamic scheme with a highly positioned wing, which ensured optimal flight characteristics at subsonic flight speeds; increased flight safety at large subcritical angles of attack; high maneuverability when attacking ground targets; acceptable longitudinal stability and controllability in all flight modes.

The prefabricated riveted fuselage of the Su-25 with side unregulated air intakes was made according to the semi-monocoque scheme. The Su-25 had a free-bearing highly mechanized trapezoidal wing of large elongation with a 20-degree sweep. The installation of containers (nacelles) at the wing ends, in the tail parts of which there were brake splitting shields, made it possible to increase their efficiency by 60%. On each wing console, there were five weapon suspension points, of which four were internal interchangeable BDZ-25s (which provided the use of all types of bomber, rocket and artillery weapons, and suspended fuel tanks), and one external pylon holder was intended for installing the APU-60 launcher for R-60 air-to-air guided missiles. The horizontal tail of the Su-25 consisted of two stabilizer and center section consoles, which formed a single unit, and the vertical one consisted of a keel, rudder and yaw damper. Special attention was paid to the protection of critical elements and components of the aircraft-the cockpit and fuel system. In the Su-25, the pilot was almost completely protected from fire from any small arms of up to 12.7 mm caliber, as well as from fragments of rockets and shells, and in the most dangerous areas – from barrel weapons of up to 30 mm caliber. Its cabin was welded from sheets of aviation titanium armor (ABVT-20) 10 – 24 mm thick, and the front glazing of the cabin, which provided the pilot with bulletproof protection, was a transparent glass block TSK-137 made of triplex 65 mm thick. From behind, the pilot was protected by a 10 mm thick steel armor plate and a 6 mm thick armored headrest. In addition, all vital systems of the aircraft were shielded by less important systems and duplicated, and to ensure explosion-proof fuel tanks in the fuselage, wing, center section and suspension tanks, their internal volumes were filled with fast-swelling porous polyurethane foam.

The pilot’s cockpit light consisted of a fixed front and a folding part. The K-36L ejection seat was mounted on the Su-25, which provided rescue of the pilot at speeds up to 1000 km / h in the entire range of flight heights, including during takeoff and landing. The Su-25 chassis was made according to a three-support scheme with a nose wheel. To reduce the flight path of the aircraft during landing and aborted takeoff, a parachute braking system with a PTK-25 double-dome braking parachute was mounted on it.

Initially, the Su-25 powerplant consisted of two interchangeable afterburnerless R-95SH turbojet engines with a thrust of 4100 kgf each, mounted in special engine nacelles on both sides of the fuselage with unregulated side air intakes. Later, the attack aircraft received more advanced R-195 engines-with thrust increased to 4,300 kgf and with reduced thermal visibility.

Su-25 attack aircraft equipped with R-95SH and R-195 engines showed high combat survivability and stability in cases of serious damage, and the engines were recognized as the most reliable in their class. So, if one engine failed, the plane could continue to fly on the other. Fuel was stored in five fuel tanks: two in the fuselage, one in the center section and one in each wing console. Two more outboard fuel tanks could be installed under the wing consoles. On-board radio-electronic equipment of the Su-25 included: sighting equipment (ASP-17BTS-8 rifle and bomber sight); flight and navigation equipment (KN-23-1 complex, consisting of: Klen – PS laser range finder; DUA-3M angle of attack and glide sensor; RV-5M radio altimeter; Doppler speed and drift meter DISS-7); radio equipment (VHF radio stations R-862 and R-828) and means of aircraft defense and electronic suppression (equipment for detecting working radars; active radio interference stations; automatic detection of passive infrared interference and dipole reflectors).

The Su-25 attack aircraft had 10 external suspension units for additional weapons, as well as cargo (5 suspension points under each wing), so it was equipped with a powerful complex of guided and unguided weapons and could carry up to 32 different types of weapons. Its weapons system ensured the defeat of ground and air targets from an onboard cannon; bombing from horizontal flight, dive and cabriolet; hitting ground targets with rocket weapons in simple weather conditions. The attack aircraft was equipped with a built-in 30-mm double-barreled gun GSH-30-2. In addition, it was possible to additionally install four SPPU-22-1 suspended gun containers on the aircraft, each of which was equipped with a double-barreled 23-mm GSH-23 gun. All other weapons were installed on the attack aircraft, depending on the tasks they were solving. The maximum combat load of the attack aircraft was 4,400 kg.

In various combinations, the Su-25 could be equipped with: 4 X – 25ML air-to-ground guided missiles; X-25MTP; S-25L (LD); 2 X – 29L air-to-ground guided missiles;. 2 short – range R-60 and R-60M air – to-air guided missiles with infrared homing heads, as well as 8 blocks of S-5, S-8 or S-13 unguided aircraft missiles; 8 S-24 and S-25 unguided aircraft missiles; 8 RBC-250 or RBC-500 containers; 8 500, 250, 100 kg air bombs for various purposes, or 32 100 kg bombs mounted on MBD2-67U beam holders; 8 KSMU-2 containers for mining operations; 8 bomb cartridges RBC-250, RBC-500.

Along with the basic single-seat version, the Su-25 attack aircraft was produced in several modifications, including:

– Su-25UB is a two-seat combat training aircraft for training and training pilots, which, however, could also be used to perform combat tasks in full. The airframe of the aircraft was slightly changed – a second cabin was installed and the vertical tail was increased. The Su-25UB had a high degree of unification with the basic attack aircraft. In 1987, the aircraft factory No. 99 in Ulan-Ude mastered its serial production;

– Su-25UT (Su-28) – two-seat training aircraft-lightweight version of the Su-25UB;

– The Su-25UTG is a two-seat shipboard training aircraft with a hook for ground and deck finishers, designed to train Navy pilots in piloting and flying skills in difficult weather conditions, take-off and landing techniques on the deck. The Su-25UTG was created on the basis of the Su-25UB combat training aircraft. In 1989-1990, 10 Su-25UTG aircraft were built at aircraft Factory No. 99 in Ulan-Ude;

– Su-25BM (target towing aircraft) – a standard attack aircraft equipped with the TL-70 air target towing system (under the left console). On the wing pylons, the aircraft could also carry powder target missiles. Su-25BM attack aircraft were equipped with the RSDN-10 long-range navigation system;

– Su-25SM-upgraded version of the Su-25 attack aircraft;

– Su-25T-an anti-tank attack aircraft, the most significant modernization of the Su-25UB combat training aircraft. The beginning of work on this aircraft began in 1980, by 1991 10 aircraft had been built. An increase in the capabilities of the attack aircraft was achieved through the installation of a new round-the-clock flight and navigation complex; a modern electronic warfare complex; improved combat survivability and an expanded range of high-precision weapons.;

– Su-25TM ( Su-39)-an upgraded Su-25T attack aircraft, created in 1993. Its first flight was carried out in 1996. The Su-25TM has acquired the characteristics of a multifunctional all-weather tactical strike aircraft by being equipped with a new weapons control system with a container onboard radar, optoelectronic systems and an expanded weapons system.

In the USSR Air Force, Su-25 aircraft entered service with individual assault air regiments (OSHAP) of district (army) subordination. In May 1981, the first batch of 12 serial Su-25s entered service with the 200th separate attack aviation squadron stationed at the Sital-Chai airfield (Transcaucasian Military District), which was sent to the 40th Army in the DRA in Shindand in June of the same year. Later, during 8 years of combat use (from 1981 to 1989), the Su-25 attack aircraft confirmed its high combat effectiveness and survivability, being the main means of air support for troops on the battlefield.

In Afghanistan, the Su-25 earned its nickname “Rook”, becoming the most famous aircraft of this war. According to the Sukhoi Design Bureau, during the war in Afghanistan, about 60,000 combat sorties were carried out on Su-25 aircraft; 139 X-25ML and X-29L guided missiles with an air-to – ground laser guidance system were fired at the enemy, of which 137 hit targets.

Combat losses during this war amounted to 23 aircraft, with an average flight time of 2,800 hours for each of them, which was significantly higher than for any other Soviet combat aircraft used in Afghanistan. The downed Su-25 had, on average, 80-90 combat damage, and there were cases of aircraft returning to their airfield with 150 holes. In 1994-1996, the Su-25 became the main combat aircraft during the first Chechen War. At the very beginning of the fighting in Chechnya, Su-25s destroyed all Chechen aircraft on the ground. The Su-25 operated most intensively in the winter and spring of 1995, later it was used sporadically, their combat losses amounted to only 4 aircraft. During the second Chechen War, the Su-25 was actively used for direct air support of ground units and conducting free hunting. By mid-2001, 6 attack aircraft were lost. Su-25 attack aircraft were also actively used in a large number of other military conflicts, including during the fighting in August 2008 on the territory of South Ossetia. Currently, the Su-25 continues to be in service with the Russian Air Force.

In total, in 1981 – 1992, aviation factories in Tbilisi and Ulan-Ude produced more than 1,320 Su-25 aircraft of all modifications, including approximately 350 Su – 25 UB.

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