Yesterday in Krasnoyarsk, the lesser known of Russia's three jet fighter display teams surprised crowds by showing up in six of most advanced variations of the Sukhoi Flanker series jets in the world, the super maneuverable SU-30SM.
You can see some fantastic photos from yesterday's display here and a video is posted below as well:
The SU-30SM is roughly analogous mission-wise to something in between the F/A-18F (without the carrier capability of course) and the F-15E. It is a two place multi-role fighter and attack aircraft that features the powerful passive electronically scanned array (PESA) BARS radar, glass cockpits, some advanced French avionics, full fly-by-wire flight controls, updated electronic countermeasures as well as forward canards and thrust vectoring for super maneuverability.
The SU-30SM is one of a plethora of Flanker derivatives that largely make up a somewhat chaotic vision of a modernized Russian tactical aviation arm.
Setting up the relatively young (est. 2006) Russian Falcons display team with one of Russia's most advanced fighters seems to be just another in a series of planned moves to showcase Russia's growing military might to the world and to spur nationalistic sentiment at home. At the same time, aviation aficionados should be excited as this new enhanced Flanker six ship display will undoubtedly become more dynamic as the team continues to become accustomed with their new hardware and hones their routine.
By the time of the gigantic MAKS air show in 2015, the Russian Falcons could very well be ready put on the best large scale aerial demonstration of all time, as they certainly have the equipment to do it.
One incredible perspective view of SU-30SM:
Tyler Rogoway is a defense journalist and photographer who maintains the website Foxtrot Alpha for Jalopnik.com You can reach Tyler with story ideas or direct comments regarding this or any other defense topic via the email address Tyler@Jalopnik.com