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    Su-17/20/22 attack aircrafts

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    KomissarBojanchev
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    Su-17/20/22 attack aircrafts

    Post  KomissarBojanchev on Sun Nov 02, 2014 12:57 am

    Many western "experts" are extremely biased against this mainstay of soviet close air support(and my favorite aircraft). In one forum a US fanboy(although highly respected because of ignorance) downright compared the Su-17M4 to be only comparable to a 1970s vintage F-4F in the CAS role, highlighting how the tornado had somehow 250% more payload and supposed inability to go supersonic at low altitude.

    I smell BS. The bulk of the soviet strike aircraft force couldn't've been so lousy. Unfortunately I don't know where to find reliable sources that prove this propaganda wrong. Does anyoneknow anything about the Su-22M4 and who had the Strike aircraft advantage during the cold war?

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    Re: Su-17/20/22 attack aircrafts

    Post  TR1 on Sun Nov 02, 2014 2:11 am

    You mean an aircraft that is a decade plus newer is better?

    My god! It's like technology moved foreward or something?

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    Re: Su-17/20/22 attack aircrafts

    Post  Werewolf on Sun Nov 02, 2014 2:25 am

    You really should compare technologies of the same time period not from two different generations.

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    Re: Su-17/20/22 attack aircrafts

    Post  GarryB on Sun Nov 02, 2014 2:26 am

    You are comparing a deep strike aircraft with short range fighter bomber.

    If you have to compare a Tornado with a Soviet aircraft it would be much fairer to compare with the Su-24 and now Su34.

    If you want to compare late model Fitters, or indeed MiG-27K with a western equivalent it would probably be the Jaguar or ground attack Harrier.

    To be honest the Su-20/17/22 is not really well understood or appreciated in the west.

    It is a bit like an A-10 in the sense that lots of people don't like it because they don't understand how well it is suited to its mission and can't really be replaced with a vanilla fourth gen fighter bomber like a MiG-29SMT or in the case of the A-10 the F-16.

    I remember before the Su-27 and MIG-29 were commonly seen at airshows when all the Soviet fighters seemed to be tubes with wings like the Su-22 and MiG-21/-15/-17/-19 etc and I thought Soviet fighters were a bit boring... now that we are used to the new sleek shapes, I am starting to appreciate the older designs more.

    I have seen lots of western docos about Soviet air power that often mistake the Fitter for a MiG-21,... the key is that the Fitter has cannon in its wing root.


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    Re: Su-17/20/22 attack aircrafts

    Post  Big_Gazza on Sun Nov 02, 2014 4:20 am

    I think that there is also some lingering ridicule over the Fitter half-way house swing wing design (with the swivel pivot being well outboard compared to a western arrangement at the time), which some Western "experts" held up as an example of alleged Russian technological crudity. In reality however the Fitter onversion avoided the worst of the COG shift problems and was cheap to produce, and provided a huge boost in terms of take-off weight (ie bomb-load), and substantially improved the combat performance of these tough strike planes.

    This was an example of the Soviets using new technolgies in a measured and considered way to leverage the most from pre-exisitng designs, yet Westeners who preach the private enterprise, brand-name, build-it-new-every-time philosophy either don't get or (more likely) choose to deliberately misrepresent in order to smear a competing manufacturing ideology.

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    Re: Su-17/20/22 attack aircrafts

    Post  GarryB on Sun Nov 02, 2014 5:18 am

    yet Westeners who preach the private enterprise, brand-name, build-it-new-every-time philosophy either don't get or (more likely) choose to deliberately misrepresent in order to smear a competing manufacturing ideology.

    Yes.... they can either copy the west or they get it wrong... there are not other alternatives.

    Just like tank gun launched missiles... the west dabbled and failed and then decided it couldn't be done effectively.

    Or indeed machine pistols... the Stechkin is constantly derided in the west but seems very popular with east European paramilitary forces...


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    Re: Su-17/20/22 attack aircrafts

    Post  KomissarBojanchev on Sun Nov 02, 2014 8:25 am

    Su-24 has 8000kg max load while tornado has 9000?!O.oWhile 15 years older F111 has 14000kg load?!

    Why didn't the soviets ever develop strike aicraft with bombloads the same as their western counterparts? Is because they lacked technology to do so?

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    Re: Su-17/20/22 attack aircrafts

    Post  KomissarBojanchev on Sun Nov 02, 2014 8:27 am

    Are there any disadvantages the tornado has over the Su-17 besides cost?

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    Re: Su-17/20/22 attack aircrafts

    Post  Giulio on Sun Nov 02, 2014 9:12 am

    The Su-17/22 is the Aircraft that I know less, but the Su-24, F-111 and Tornado aren't comparable with the Su-17. Moreover, all the last three airplanes charge more than what is written, this thanks to the in flight refueling.

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    Re: Su-17/20/22 attack aircrafts

    Post  medo on Sun Nov 02, 2014 10:37 am

    Tornado IDS is comparable with Su-24M. They are similar deep strike fighter bombers and you could join F-111 and maybe JH-7 in this club too. Su-34 is in the same level as F-15E, which have better air to air capabilities than Tornado IDS or Su-24 and could do a job of fighters with medium and long range AAMs.

    Su-17, Mig-23BN, Mig-27 and Jaguar are a class between true CAS planes like A-10 or Su-25 and fighter bombers like Tornado, F-111 and Su-24M. They are not meant for deep strikes, but for CAS and attacks on near behind of front lines. Non of them is equipped with radar, but with laser range finder and target designator. They are meant for quick and precise attacks with laser guided missiles on armor units and artillery behind them. Their job was to quickly come to battlefield, launch missiles on the most dangerous targets and than to quickly go out of dangerous zone. They were made for Cold war times and strategy of that time. Today no new planes in this class are in production.

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    Re: Su-17/20/22 attack aircrafts

    Post  KomissarBojanchev on Sun Nov 02, 2014 11:03 am

    Did the USSR have any fighter bombers in the 80s that could carry as much as the F111(14tons)?

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    Re: Su-17/20/22 attack aircrafts

    Post  Giulio on Sun Nov 02, 2014 8:22 pm

    I think yes: the Su-24, but they aren't fighter-bombers.

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    Re: Su-17/20/22 attack aircrafts

    Post  TR1 on Sun Nov 02, 2014 8:44 pm

    KomissarBojanchev wrote:Did the USSR have any fighter bombers in the 80s that could carry as much as the F111(14tons)?
    Su-24 carried less, Tu-22M carried more.

    Not everyone operates exact equivalents.

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    Re: Su-17/20/22 attack aircrafts

    Post  medo on Sun Nov 02, 2014 10:15 pm

    Su-24 is smaller and carry smaller load (8t). But still they are fighter bombers build for similar purpose and have similar equipment.

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    Re: Su-17/20/22 attack aircrafts

    Post  Giulio on Sun Nov 02, 2014 10:51 pm

    And, like the Su-7 and Su-17, they were build in large number, higher than that of NATO airplanes. Only for the Su-7/Su-17 approximately 4.000 aircraft. As far as i know the philosophy was different between NATO and USSR. A direct comparison is hard for me.
    1.400 Su-24 against 550 F-111. The USSR immediately obtained the numerical superiority in Europe, in order to reduce the chances of a NATO attack.
    Afaik the Su-7 and Su-17 were excellent aircrafts, with almost a Mig-21 dimensions, but with 4.000 Kg of armaments: a powerful "A-1 Skyraider", but supersonic and in large number. In the NATO there was not a direct equivalent.

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    Re: Su-17/20/22 attack aircrafts

    Post  GarryB on Mon Nov 03, 2014 10:39 am

    Su-24 has 8000kg max load while tornado has 9000?!O.oWhile 15 years older F111 has 14000kg load?!

    Ha ha ha ha... the F-111 has a 14 ton payload just like it can fly at mach 2.5.

    It has never carried 14 tons into battle on a combat mission and has never flown at mach 2.5... these are theoretical limits.

    Why didn't the soviets ever develop strike aicraft with bombloads the same as their western counterparts? Is because they lacked technology to do so?

    Because the Soviets weren't 12 years old and fixated with max bomb load.
    (not a shot at you, it is just that in real combat an F-111 with a 14 ton payload would fly like a dog and if the target is a radar then what is the aircraft going to do with those other 13.5 tons of bombs?
    Having a max payload means burning more fuel and greatly reducing range)

    they designed the Su-24 for very specific missions and its normal payload for most combat missions would likely include two fuel tanks a couple of guided bombs or guided missiles, and some self defence AAMs like R-60MKs.

    If they wanted to drop 14 tons of bombs on a target they would not send an Su-24, they would send either a Tu-22M3 or a Tu-16.

    A better question would be that with modern capable guided munitions why does the F-111 need a 14 ton payload?

    Are there any disadvantages the tornado has over the Su-17 besides cost?

    Size, weight, complexity. The Su-17 is a relatively cheap simple aircraft, that was able to deliver guided air to ground weapons.

    Like I said, you are comparing a light single seat fighter bomber with a two seat medium strike aircraft.

    Comparing the Sepecat Jaguar with the Su-24 would be just as unfair.  Different roles.

    The Su-17M4 was the Sukhoi version of the MiG-27K, but was cheaper and simpler.

    They were made for Cold war times and strategy of that time. Today no new planes in this class are in production.

    Actually I would say their role has been absorbed by light multirole fighters like the F-16 and MiG-29SMT, which combine the role of the fighters and fighter bombers.

    The MiG-29SMT or MiG-35 will be the MiG-21, MiG-23, and MiG-27 all rolled into one.

    Did the USSR have any fighter bombers in the 80s that could carry as much as the F111(14tons)?

    No. And they didn't need one.

    Afaik the Su-7 and Su-17 were excellent aircrafts, with almost a Mig-21 dimensions, but with 4.000 Kg of armaments: a powerful "A-1 Skyraider", but supersonic and in large number. In the NATO there was not a direct equivalent.

    The Sepecat Jaguar is similar...[/quote]


    Last edited by GarryB on Wed Nov 05, 2014 5:56 am; edited 1 time in total


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    Re: Su-17/20/22 attack aircrafts

    Post  Giulio on Tue Nov 04, 2014 3:11 pm

    KomissarBojanchev wrote:Su-24 has 8000kg max load while tornado has 9000?!O.oWhile 15 years older F111 has 14000kg load?!

    Why didn't the soviets ever develop strike aicraft with  bombloads the same as their western counterparts? Is because they lacked technology to do so?

    As I already wrote,  AFAIK all these aircrafts can exceed widely the numbers written on Wiki: thanks to the in flight refueling. If an F-111 has an empty weight (with all the equipments and devices) of 22.400 Kg and a maximum takeoff weight (mtow) of 45.300, the difference is 22.900 kg.
    Those 22.900 kg must be divided between fuel and weapons load. The "payload" applies only to the weapons, not to the fuel. The fuel isn't a payload. So, afaik, the payload is the difference: mtow - (empty weight + fuel).
    By playing between fuel and payload theoretically you can calculate a weapon load up to 20.000-22.000 Kg. Each hardpoint of an F-111 afaik can carry 2.300 Kg (5 X Mk83 bombs). Since there are eight hardpoints, theoretically an F-111 could carry 40 Mk-83: 18.400 Kg of payload and would remain even 4.500 Kg for the fuel (actually a little bit ...). Once in flight, he goes to the first in flight refueling, because an aircraft can not exceed its mtow, except during the taxiing on the ground, where there is a weight higher than the mtow, (because it includes also the fuel needed to move on the runways and connections, but this fuel should definitely be burned fuel BEFORE the take-off).
    Obviously, such overloaded aircraft will suffer severe limitations in altitude, speed, number of G, etc ...
    (And, afaik, the perfrmance numbers, like a 2,5 Mach speed at 20.000 m. always refer to a new aircraft with no loads).
    A similar thing for the Tornado. During Desert Storm Tornadoes took off also with 13.000 Kg of weapons and then go to the in flight refueling.

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    Re: Su-17/20/22 attack aircrafts

    Post  Werewolf on Tue Nov 04, 2014 3:36 pm

    Giulio wrote:
    KomissarBojanchev wrote:Su-24 has 8000kg max load while tornado has 9000?!O.oWhile 15 years older F111 has 14000kg load?!

    Why didn't the soviets ever develop strike aicraft with  bombloads the same as their western counterparts? Is because they lacked technology to do so?

    As I already wrote,  AFAIK all these aircrafts can exceed widely the numbers written on Wiki: thanks to the in flight refueling. If an F-111 has an empty weight (with all the equipments and devices) of 22.400 Kg and a maximum takeoff weight (mtow) of 45.300, the difference is 22.900 kg.
    Those 22.900 kg must be divided between fuel and weapons load. The "payload" applies only to the weapons, not to the fuel. The fuel isn't a payload. So, afaik, the payload is the difference: mtow - (empty weight + fuel).
    By playing between fuel and payload theoretically you can calculate a weapon load up to 20.000-22.000 Kg. Each hardpoint of an F-111 afaik can carry 2.300 Kg (5 X Mk83 bombs). Since there are eight hardpoints, theoretically an F-111 could carry 40 Mk-83: 18.400 Kg of payload and would remain even 4.500 Kg for the fuel (actually a little bit ...). Once in flight, he goes to the first in flight refueling, because an aircraft can not exceed its mtow, except during the taxiing on the ground, where there is a weight higher than the mtow, (because it includes also the fuel needed to move on the runways and connections, but this fuel should definitely be burned fuel BEFORE the take-off).
    Obviously, such overloaded aircraft will suffer severe limitations in altitude, speed, number of G, etc ...
    (And, afaik, the perfrmance numbers, like a 2,5 Mach speed at 20.000 m. always refer to a new aircraft with no loads).
    A similar thing for the Tornado. During Desert Storm Tornadoes took off also with 13.000 Kg of weapons and then go to the in flight refueling.

    Only the inner hardpoints can carry a big load for big bombs or cruise missile sized weapons, the further the hardpoints go outwards the less they can carry, it is just simple physics, that the far out hardpoint is physically impossible to carry 2300kg not to mention how much weight that would be under simple Gforce pulls like 4G, the wing would rip apart under such load.

    Also the Payload usually not specified if it is only weapon or total payload, some use it for specific weapon payload some for total payload. It is unsual to fuel it to maximum when there is a necessity for max weapon payload for whatever reasons. Usually under the MTOW the Aircraft do not fuel more than 70% of fuel. There is a specific weight (MTOW) threshold set by the manufactor to not decrease to much of flight performance and lifespan of the airframe. For example total possible weight of Mi-24 exceeds 14tones if completley loaded up but it will have such pathetic flight characteristics (but still able to fly-take off) that it not only reduces lifespan of fuselage and engines, but also endangers helicopter and crew for any combat situation.

    So 20t weapon payload for such aircrafts is highly unlikely, they most probably can exceed the 8-9t weaponpayload but would need to sacrifize flight characteristics, lower lifespan of engines and fuselage and bring pilots under danger due pathetic flight performance under such overloaded aircraft.

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    Re: Su-17/20/22 attack aircrafts

    Post  Giulio on Wed Nov 05, 2014 11:02 pm

    It was to say that it is not always easy to determine the payload of an aircraft.
    However, in general aviation the payload is the payload, ie the load that pays: weapons, if military, or passengers if it is in the civil aviation.
    The fuel does not pay, but it must be paid, so it is not the payload.
    In any case, to compare Su-17 with F-4 Phantom-2 or Tornado, or the F-111 is a nonsense.
    The Su-7/Su-17 was a powerful attack aircraft, like Jaguar, or A-4 Skyhawk, or an A-7. The interdiction missions were not required for this aircraft, because it requires long range in flight refueling and an advanced night-and-day, all-weather avionics for the low level flight. All things non required on a Su-7/Su-17.
    For an attack, the attacker should have an absolute numerical superiority: several times the troops of the defender. Afaik, by getting the numerical superiority in Europe, the Soviet Union first deprived the NATO of the opportunity of a sudden aggression. The USSR attack aircrafts should have to support a mass attack of the Soviet forces as a response to an aggression: if you notice, aircrafts like Harriers and Jaguars, G-91 and Alphajets were able to operate from unpaved runways. The NATO indeed provided for the possibility of losing the bases and airports, during a gradual retreat, because of a mass tank and artillery attack from a numerically superior enemy. In this view, an high number of Su-7/Su-17 and other attack aircrafts would have to heavily support the Soviet ground forces, by hitting the key points immediately behind the enemy, but not into deep, miles and miles into enemy territory, as an F-111 or a Tornado or a Su-24.
    In addition, the F-111 is a special aircraft that could replace also the B-58 and B-52 in the SAC, with the FB-111 version: from here originates the heavy payload capacity of an F-111. How to compare it with a Su-17 or an A-7?

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    Re: Su-17/20/22 attack aircrafts

    Post  KomissarBojanchev on Wed Nov 12, 2014 2:18 pm

    I'm curious: could the Su-17M4 when in soviet service use KAB-500L LGBs?

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    Re: Su-17/20/22 attack aircrafts

    Post  Giulio on Thu Nov 13, 2014 10:34 am

    I think yes, the Su-17 could carry a large variety of pods and weapons, The M-4 afaik had a laser rangefinder and a laser seeker in the nose cone (Klyon-54?). But a guided bomb is a precision weapon for dramatically reduce the number of missions for a single target: I don't think was this the Su-17 primary mission. I think that the primary mission of the Su-17 looks like that of the German Ju-87 Stuka, or Ju-88.
    Moreover a laser bomb could track the laser of another operator, like ground forces, or another aircraft with targeting pod: one illuminates the target, another one shoots, but it is a complication because you have two aircafts for a single target ...

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    Re: Su-17/20/22 attack aircrafts

    Post  GarryB on Sat Nov 15, 2014 2:47 am

    Moreover a laser bomb could track the laser of another operator, like ground forces, or another aircraft with targeting pod: one illuminates the target, another one shoots, but it is a complication because you have two aircafts for a single target ...

    Quite normal for aircraft to support each other using such equipment... it means the aircraft carrying the guided bomb can perform a lofting manouver to maximise the bombs range, while the aircraft lasing the target can operate on a more stable flight profile marking the target.

    According to my info the Su-17M3 and M4 and the Su-22M3 and M4 could use the Kh-25ML laser guided missile, the Kh-25MP anti radiation missile, the Kh-58 long range ARMs.


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