Procurement: U.S. Firm Selling Su-27s To Civilians


October 12, 2009: An American company is offering two Su-27 fighters, for the bargain price of $5 million each. The aircraft are demilitarized, but recently refurbished. Since the refurbishment, the aircraft have been in the air only 16 hours, and the engines only have 19 hours of use. The aircraft were purchased, from Ukraine, last year by an American firm (Tac Air), to assist the U.S. Air Force is determining how the Su-27 performs. This work is apparently done, and now the Su-27s are no longer needed. The electronics are up to date, and qualified maintenance services are available, in Nevada (where Tac Air is located).

The two-seat  aircraft was refurbished in Ukraine last year, and received further upgrades and modification in the United States earlier this year. There are dozens of flyable demilitarized jet fighters owned by American collectors, and the two Su-27s are expected to sell.

Russia's Sukhoi aircraft company has sold over a billion dollars worth of these aircraft (plus components and technical services for them) a year for the last few years. Sukhoi mainly supplies Su-27/30 jet fighters to India, China, Malaysia, Venezuela and Algeria. The 33 ton Su-27 is similar to the U.S. F-15, but costs over a third less.

Developed near the end of the Cold War, the aircraft is one of the best fighters Russia has ever produced. The government helped keep Sukhoi alive during the 1990s, and even supplied money for development of an improved version of the Su-27, which was called the Su-30. This proved to be an outstanding aircraft, and is the main one Sukhoi produces. There are now several Su-30 variants, and major upgrades. While only about 700 Su-27s were produced (mostly between 1984, when it entered service, and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991), add Su-30 production and you have over 1,000 aircraft (including license built ones in China and India).



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