Expensive costs and export restrictions have made the US F-15 Eagle heavy fighter inferior to the Su-30.
Since the mid-1990s, Russia has been actively promoting the Su-30 Flanker twin-engine heavy fighter aircraft to military forces around the world, attracting customers on four continents as a is the most exported fighter in the Flanker family of aircraft.
Su-30 is designed based on the chassis of the Su-27 fighter, is a type of jet aircraft put into service by the Soviet Union and competed with the American rival F-15 Eagle in 1985. Su- 27 was designed to perform interception missions against long-range aircraft for the Soviet Air Defense Forces. The plane is equipped with 2 seats to serve long distance flights.
The Su-30 began to receive the attention of air forces from many countries when they were upgraded to be able to perform many new roles.
Specifically, the Su-30 has been upgraded to become a multi-role fighter with very high durability, along with advanced electronic warfare and sensor systems. The aircraft was also equipped with an anti-ship weapon system while retaining the excellent air-to-air performance of the original Flanker airframe.
The air-to-air performance of the Su-30 was also significantly improved in versions produced and sold to India in the 1990s.
In this version, the Su-30 is integrated with the technologies of the Su-35 and Su-37 fighter aircraft, including wing and propulsion engines that significantly improve maneuverability. Improvements in versions of the Su-30 sold to India (Su-30MKI), became the basis for most future Su-30 aircraft.
The American F-15 Eagle is comparable in capabilities to the Su-30 in some respects. The F-15 Eagle is faster than the Su-30 but lacks the maneuverability, infrared tracking system as well as the F-15’s weapon load capacity is also inferior to the Flanker of Russia.
The key point that makes the Su-30 surpass the F-15 Eagle to become the world’s most popular fighter model is the fact that the Su-30 is less than half the price of the competition and Russia is willing to sell the model. This fighter flies to almost every country in the world, from Uganda and Angola to China, Indonesia and India.
In contrast, the F-15 for the first 25 years exported to only three of America’s closest defense partners – and although this restriction has since been eased, the export of F- after all 15 is still much more tightened by the US than the Russian Su-30. US allies such as Egypt and Iraq are only allowed to import the single-engine light fighter, the F-16 Fighting Falcon, instead of the F-15 Eagle.
The US tends to restrict arms sales to certain countries based on changes in their political relationships, Iran since the 1980s, Indonesia and Pakistan in the 1990s and Egypt since 2013 being one of them. few examples.
Indonesia and Egypt are prime examples, as both stopped ordering US fighter jets even after relations were restored. Restrictions on the export of US aircraft have put the F-15 at a disadvantage to the Su-30, which is widely exported by Russia.
Russia’s permission to export high-end ‘4+ generation’ heavy fighters using air-superiority airframes at a much lower cost than the F-16 single-engine light fighter of the United States has made the Su-30 a very popular fighter.
The addition of precision strike missiles and anti-ship missiles to improve combat versatility further increase the appeal of the Su-30.
The availability of several variants to suit the budgets and requirements of different countries – from the premium MKM, MKI and MKA variants sold to Malaysia, India and Algeria to the cheaper MK2 sold to Venezuela, Angola and Vietnam – is also a big plus of the Su-30.
After the Taiwan Strait Crisis in the 1990s, when the US Navy sent an aircraft carrier strike group through the strait 100km off the coast of China – China responded by commissioning and developing Su-30MKK/MK2 variant to suit the maritime strike role, posing a threat to US warships.
The PLA’s Su-30MKK squadron is equipped with advanced Chinese-made weapons that play an important role in air superiority and anti-shipping missions.
While the Su-30 is still in mass production and is considered a cheap alternative to the Su-35, the cost of the F-15 has increased significantly. The price of the F-15 even surpasses that of the stealthy F-35A, making it America’s most expensive fighter jet.
The F-15SG, F-15SA and F-15Q variants, developed for Singapore, Saudi Arabia and Qatar respectively, all incorporate advanced active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, which here is an outstanding point of the F-15 compared to the Su-30. However, the F-15 is 3 times more expensive than the Russian Flanker (about 100 million USD).
Not stopping there, the cost of US-made aircraft weapons is also much more expensive than similar Russian weapons.
These costs make the latest F-15 variants more expensive than most fifth-generation fighters, including the Russian Su-57 air superiority fighter as well as the F-35A. With its inherent advantages plus the limitations of the F-15, the Su-30 automatically becomes the most popular fighter model in the world.