A Russian Su-27 fighter jet crashes and downs a United States MQ-9 Reaper spy drone over the Black Sea. Photo/Courtesy of US European Command/The Pentagon/Handout via REUTERS
WASHINGTON – Su-27 Flanker fighter jet Russia has made global headlines after bringing down the MQ-9 Reaper advanced spy drone United States of America (USA) over the Black Sea on March 14.
The Su-27 was introduced in the 1980s by the Soviet Union—Russia’s predecessor.
But the history of the manufacture of the Su-27 was colored in small ways, in which its manufacture was based on the blueprints of the F-15 fighter jet which were somehow obtained by Soviet intelligence agents at that time.
The Su-27 was, in part, based on American technology that led to the development of the United States Air Forces (USAF) F-15 fighter jet, which allowed the Flanker to seize the world record set by the Streak Eagle—a lighter version of the F-15.
Like most fighter aircraft of Soviet origin, the Su-27 is intended to match or outperform American fighter jets. In 1969, the Soviet Union discovered that the USAF was working on the “FX” program, eventually producing the F-15.
The Soviet leadership recognized the need to act quickly to counter the new threat from American combat aircraft and undertook a program to develop combat aircraft with good agility and advanced systems.
The aerodynamic design for the new aircraft was mainly carried out by the Central Aerohydrodynamic Institute (Tsentral’nyy Aerogidrodinamicheskiy Institut or TsAGI) in collaboration with the Sukhoi Design Bureau. The effort was further supported by secret American technology obtained by Soviet intelligence.
“In the early 1980s, our intelligence agents somehow got hold of the blueprints for the F-15 Eagle, designed by McDonnell Douglas, and presented them to the Sukhoi Design Bureau. Soviet engineers used it to manufacture the first prototypes of the new fighter,” TASS news agency military analyst Viktor Litovkin told Russia Beyond.
However, according to Litovkin, the intelligence data obtained was incomplete. As a result, the “F-15 model” lacked the aircraft’s true supersonic speed and aerodynamic performance.
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