Sukhoi's Su-49 has been selected by the Russian air force to provide flight screening initial training and maintain frontline pilots' skills. It was selected over the Yakovlev Yak-154.

The two-seat Su-49 was developed from the Su-29KS aerobatic aircraft. It has a 1,400kg (3,100lb) take-off weight and is fitted with a 420hp (315kW) Vedeneyev M-9F nine-cylinder radial piston engine. The airframe uses composite materials.

The Su-49 cockpit is equipped with liquid-crystal head-down displays, a head-up display and Zvezda SKS-94M-49 ejection seats to simulate the cockpits of the Sukhoi Su-27/30. It is intended to provide navigation, night/all-weather, high-g and weapons instruction.

Design bureau Sukhoi has proposed that the Novosibirsk aircraft production association (NAPO) - its sister company within the Sukhoi holding company - build the Su-49.

NAPO has just delivered 10 Sukhoi Su-24MK Fencer strike aircraft to the Algerian air force. Algeria will receive another 12 next year. All 22 Su-24s have come from the Russian fleet. NAPO has renovated and upgraded the Su-24s and it will overhaul and upgrade the Su-20 Fitters delivered to Algeria from the late 1980s.

The upgrade includes improved navigation and weapon systems allowing precision night strikes with guided and unguided weapons, and the ability to hit several targets with guided munitions in a single pass.

State trials of the Su-34/Su-27IB strike aircraft - which will replace the Su-24 in Russian service - continue. NAPO deputy general director Eugeny Elgayev says trials should be completed in 2003. The Russian air force should receive the first batch of full-capability Su-34s in 2005-6.

The Su-34 is believed to have started weapons firing trials at the air force's Akhtubinsk flight test centre in the third quarter of this year.

Eight Su-34s have been built and Sukhoi says five with Leninets phased-array radars will be handed over by the end of the year.

Source: Flight International