The Su-25 'Grach' (Rook), NATO call signed 'Frogfoot', is a dedicated strike attack
aircraft designed for the Close Air Support and Anti-Tank roles. The Su-25 is designed
to withstand heavy enemy fire relying on the heavily armoured airframe and cockpit,
separated engine bays and foamed internal fuel tanks. The design sacrificed speed
for low-level manoeuvrability, low-speed handling and weapons accuracy. A special
design feature are the wingtips which split at the rear to form airbrakes, this to
furthur improve low-speed handling. The nose houses a laser rangefinder which also
acts as target designator. Above the tailcone at the back of the aircraft is a Sirena-3
radar warning system located.
First production variant was the Su-25 (NATO Frogfoot-A), the Su-25K being the first
export variant of the type. While Warsaw Pact Su-25Ks resembled early Su-25 models
both externally and internally, the Su-25Ks exported to Iraq and North Korea had
downgraded avionics and fire control systems. The Su-25BM (Su-25BMK for export) is
a modified variant of the Su-25 (Frogfoot-A) capable of towing aerial targets for
air-to-air and ground-to-air gunnery training. The internal cannon was deleted.
The Su-25UB Frogfoot-B (Su-25UBK for export) is the two-seat trainer variant developed
as a combat transition trainer for the Russian Air Force. The Su-25UB/UBK is equipped
with the same avionics and systems as the Su-25 Frogfoot-A and is fully combat capable
and able to use the same ordnance. Again Su-25UBKs exported to non-Warsaw Pact countries
were equipped with downgraded avionics and fire control systems.
Development of the Su-25UB as an advanced trainer for the Russian Air Force led to
the unarmed Su-25UT two-seat trainer, which is also known as Su-28. The cannon, armour,
fire control systems, ECM systems and all other combat equipment was deleted, as
well as five of the hardpoints and the chaff/flare dispensers. Although intended
to replace the L-29 Delfin and L-39 Albatros trainers it never did.
The Su-25UTG is a navy version of the Su-25UT trainer which was used to familiarize
Navy pilots with carrier procedures. One Su-25UT was converted to Su-25UTG, the major
change being the braking parachute being replaced by the arrester hook. No more were
The Su-25TM, also known as Su-39, is improved version of the Frogfoot based on the
Su-25UB combat trainer. Avionics and systems were considerably upgraded, making the
aircraft capable of conducting missions at night and under all weather conditions.
The main role of this variant is the Anti-Tank role. The weapons systems also allow
the Su-25TM or Su-39 to be used in the Anti-Ship role and has a limited air-to-air
combat capability against helicopters and other low speed aerial targets. Survivability
is increased using additional armor, reduced infrared signature, chaff/flare dispensers,
IR jammer and more RWR antennas. System upgrades include auto pilot, better nav/attack
systems and sensors, Low Light Level Television/Forward Looking Infra Red (LLTV/FLIR)
pod, cockpit displays, wide-angle HUD. Production will depend on export orders. The
Su-25TK and Su-34 were proposed designations used for the export version of the Su-25TM.
The Su-34 designation was later re-used for the Su-27IB Flanker.
The Su-25SM is the designation used for upgraded standard production Su-25 single-seat
aircraft, and Su-25UBM the designation for a similar upgrade for the Su-25UB. The
upgrade is carried out by the 121 ARZ plant at Kubinka Air Base. In 2001, the first
Su-25SM was completed followed by a second aircraft in 2003. The test programme was
completed in 2005, and the 121 ARZ started series upgrade of the Russian Air Force
Su-25 fleet. The first six aircraft were completed in 2006 and handed over to the
Russian Air Force on December 28, 2006. They received new serials; side number 01
thru 06. Six more Su-25SMs are scheduled for delivery in 2007, and eight for 2008.
Two attack regiments will convert to the Su-25SM, starting with the 368th Attack
Aircraft Regiment at Budyonnovsk.
Main element of the Su-25SM upgrade is the new PrNK-25SM nav/attack system with satnav
receiver, colour multi-purpose LCD, and SUO-39 fire control system. The upgrade is
claimed to offer two to three times greater accuracy in weapons delivery and up to
ten times in navigation accuracy. The upgrade also replaced the obsolete RWR with
the L-150 electronic intelligence station and enables the use of R-73 advanced IR
guided air-to-air missiles and KAB-500Kr TV-guided bombs.
Work on the upgrade of the first Su-25UB two-seat combat trainer to Su-25UBM standard
in a similar upgrade started in May 2005 according to AFM, but recently it is reported
it is planned for 2007.
The Su-25KM 'Skorpion' is a Su-25K upgrade offered by the collaboration between Elbit
Systems and Georgia's TAM (Tbilisi Aerospace Manufacturing). Improvements include
Multi Function Color Displays, new HUD, Elbit Mission Computer, and an optional Helmet
Mounted Display. On 27 October 2004, the first Su-25KM Skorpion was delivered to
the Turkmenistan Air Force. This makes the Turkmenistan Air Force the first customer
for the new variant. Georgia had already overhauled 43 standard Su-25s for Turkmenistan
as a part payment for Georgian debts for the supply of gas, which is also believed
to be the payment for the Su-25KM delivery.
Five Iraqi Su-25K and two Su-25UBK Frogfoots fled to Iran during Operation Desert
Storm in 1991. Last year two of these Su-25Ks entered service with the Islamic Revolutionary
Guards Corps Air Force (IRGCAF), after having been refurbished with help from Georgian
technicians. The IRGCAF also has about 30 Su-25UBK two-seat combat trainers on order
from Russia's Ulan-Ude Aviation Plant, deliveries are expected to begin soon.
two 44.18 kN (9,921 lb st) Soyuz/Tumansky R-195 non-afterburning turbojets
length 15.53m (50 ft 1½ in); height 4.80m (15 ft 9 in); wing span 14.36m (47 ft 1½
empty 9.500 kg (20,950 lb); Max Take-Off Weight 17.600 kg (38,800 lb)
max level speed at sea level 975 km/h (606 mph); ceiling 10.000m (32,800 ft)
one AO-17A 30 mm twin-barrel gun with 250 rounds; up to 4400 kg (9,700 lb) of ordnance
including ASMs, laser guided bombs, rockets, cluster bombs, gun pods, AAMs and up
to four auxiliary fuel tanks carried on 10 or 11 external hardpoints.