The Sukhoi Su-30 fighter is considered to be one of the most successful Russian defence export programmes in the past two decades. The Su-30 is the backbone of the Indian Air Force, which operates around 250 Su-30MKI jets, a unique version specifically designed for India.
The Su-30 is in service with about 12 nations including China, Vietnam, Malaysia, Algeria and Venezuela.
The Russian Air Force also purchased a version of the Su-30 fighter, called the Su-30SM. The Su-30SM first flew in 2012 and the Russian military has ordered around 116 jets. Russia has already announced it plans to upgrade the Su-30SM fighter.
Izvestia, a Russian media outlet, reported this week the Su-30SM fighters will receive new “heavy” air-to-surface missiles. Izvestia reported the Russian military plans to modify the Su-30SM to carry the Kh-32 supersonic air-to-surface missile. The Kh-32 missile is believed to have a range of up to 1,000km and can be used against both ships and ground targets.