1/72 Berkut SU-30MKM

Gallery Article by KT Goh on Aug 31 2003

  Malaysian National Day 2003 

 

In a deal valued at roughly $900 million, Malaysia will take delivery of 18 Sukhoi Su-30MKM two-seat combat aircraft beginning in mid-2006. The Su-30MKM will be produced by Irkut Corporation (previously known as the Irkutsk Aviation Production Association) and is based on the Su-30MKI currently in service with the Indian Air Force. 

The SU-30 MKI is one of the most advance aircraft in service today and is fitted with the NIIP N011M Bars passive electronically scanned-array radar. While details of the Malaysian aircraft configuration and weapons package have yet to be revealed, some Russian industry sources suggest the aircraft will retain all of the air-to-surface capability of the Indian version. 

Besides air-to-air and air-to-ground weaponry, the Royal Malaysian Air Force will likely look to equip the Su-30MKM with a maritime strike capability. Options may include the Kh-35 (AS-20 Kayak), or the Kh-31A (AS-17 Krypton). Malaysia also might seek to purchase the Indo-Russian Brahmos, now in the final stages of development. Brahmos is a version of the Russian 3M-55 Onyx (SS-N-26) rocket-ramjet powered anti-ship missile.  

 

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This hypothetical SU-30 MKM model was constructed OOB from Berkutís 1/72 scale SU Ė 30 kit. Contrary to the picture found behind the box, the kit does not come with canards.  As such, I used the canard taken from Italeriís 1/72 scale Sea Flanker. Work and the fact that I have to attend evening classes throughout the week meant that I had to build the kit OBB warts and all. A fair bit of putty as well as milliput was used to rectify the bad part fits but that was just about the extent of time I could spend on the kit.      

The plane was sprayed with Gunze H305 (similar scheme as used currently by the F-18D). Decals used were from the excellent sheet produced by F-4dable decals as well as from the kit itself. Many thanks to Vernon Law and especially Jason Cheah for their invaluable assistance in finishing the model.

KT Goh

      

Photos and text © by KT Goh