The Su-30SM is the latest development of the twin-seat Su-30 jet fighter family, a derivative of the long-serving single-seat Sukhoi Su-27, one of the air force's most important warplanes.
 The new aircraft has better radar and communications capabilities, an improved friend-or-foe system, a new ejection seat and new weapons. It also has thrust-vectoring engine nozzles, providing super-maneuverability at low airspeeds.
The first contract between the Defense Ministry and Irkut Corporation for 30 Su-30SMs was signed in March last year. The Russian Air Force received the first two Su-30SM aircraft in November. In mid-December, a new contract was signed for an additional 30 jets by 2016.
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