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Russia is set to test upgraded Su-25SM

The Russian air force is set to begin state tests of three upgraded Sukhoi Su-25 ground-attack air­craft. The aircraft – two single-seat Su-25 strike aircraft and one two-seat Su-25UB trainer – are being modernised using company funds, with the enhancement also offered to potential export customers.

"Current plans provide for completing joint state tests of the upgraded Su-25SM in the third quarter of this year," says Shturmoviki Sukhogo director general Vladimir Babak.

"We are planning to upgrade an Su-25UB combat trainer to the Su-25UBM level using our own funds."

The Russian air force is expected to accelerate the modernisation of its Su-25 fleet following the trials programme, he says.

The upgraded Su-25SM/UBM will be equipped with a new high-speed computer for the Bars precision navigation system, a Pastel countermeasures suite and the SUO-39 fire-control system, which will enable the aircraft to deploy new weapons such as laser-guided bombs.

Flight tests of the Phazotron-NIIR Kopyo-25M airborne radar are also set to commence this month, Babak says.

The modernised radar features new computing and signal processing equipment and offers a 20% increase in detection range and enhanced ground surveillance capabilities. The upgraded Su-25 will be able to carry the improved Kopyo-M in an external pod.

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