Sukhoi Su-25 Frogfoot

Sukhoi Su-25 Frogfoot

The Sukhoi Su-25 Frogfoot bi-turbojet attack fighter was created by the Sukhoi design bureau in 1968 to provide close air support for ground troops (CAS), following the failure of other Soviet fighters of the time, such as the MiG-21 and MiG-23, to perform CAS missions and to fill the Soviet Air Force’s need for a quick, attack aircraft with a short response time and an appropriate payload for short-distance battles. 

The Frogfoot first flew in 1975 and could fly across short-range and low-level battlefields with advanced targeting systems. Since then, the dependable Frogfoot has seen action in several wars throughout the world, becoming the most cost-effective fighter deployed for ground attacks. 

Operational History

The Su-25 saw operational use in several conflicts. During the Soviet-Afghan war in 1981, the Su-25 was tasked with conducting air attacks on mountain military positions; 21 to 23 Su-25s were destroyed during this involvement.

The Iraqi Air Force also used the Frogfoot during the Iran-Iraq conflict (1980–1988) and the Gulf War (1991). During the Iran-Iraq conflict, one Su-25 was shot down by a surface-to-air missile, and two Su-25s were shot down by F-15C US aircraft.

The Su-25 was widely used during the first and second Chechen wars (1994–1995 and 1999–2000), with over 9,000 combat sorties flown. 

By the early 2000s, the Su-25 saw action in several global territories. Starting with the Ethiopian-Eritrean war on May 15, 2000, the conflicts between the Republic of Macedonia and Albanian separatists in 2001, the war in Darfur, and the Ivorian Civil War in 2004.

During the August 2008 battle, both combatant countries, Russia and Georgia, used the Frogfoot. It also took part in Russia’s military operation in Syria in 2015 and was used in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022.

Sukhoi Su-25 Specs

The Su-25 displayed high performance and good targeting precision starting with the trial operation. It was equipped with two aids to navigation systems and a proven targeting system. The RSDN-10 long-range navigation system was used for accurate positioning, and a new A-325 aid to navigation was used for tactical navigation.

Ten underwing hardpoints were used to carry the Su-25 armament so that the inboard hardpoints of each wing could carry four BD-3-25 pylons or MBD-2-67U multiple ejector racks from which all sorts of bombs, rockets, and gun pods could be deployed. The outboard hardpoints had a PD-62-8 pylon to house the R-60 or R-60M air-to-air missile. One RN-28 adjustable-yield nuclear bomb was added to arm the Soviet forces’ Sukhoi Su-25 versions.

Sukhoi Su-25 Specs 
Function:Close Air Support Attack Fighter
First flight:1975
Ceiling:7,000 m
Avionics:RSDN-10 long-range aid to navigation, A-325 tactical aid to navigation
Onboard armament:Guided missiles: R-60 air-to-air missile.S-8 Rocket Weapon Systems.BETAB-500 Bomb Weapon Systems.

Sukhoi Su-25 Production

The base variant of the Su-25 was produced between 1978 and 1989 to meet the needs of the Soviet air force for a ground-support aircraft. The definitive Su-25 had a longer fuselage, wider wings, and a taller fin. By the early 1990s, enhanced versions of the Soviet fighter Su-25 had been manufactured. Significant variants included the Su-25UB, SU-25BM, and Su-25T. 

Production Information
Official Name:Su-25
Country of Origin:Russia
Cost:$11 million 

Sukhoi Su-25 Performance

The Su-25 was powered by two Tumansky R-95sh twin-spool turbojet engines produced by the Ufa engine-building plant to run on all known varieties of kerosene and even diesel fuel. 

Both engines were separated by a 5mm thick firewall nacelle in the wing root. The R95sh had three low-pressure stage and five high-pressure stage compressors, an axial turbine, and a non-variable nozzle. Each engine gearbox houses generators, as well as hydraulic, oil, and fuel pumps. 

Performance Details
SpeedSpeed maximum low level: 970 km/h
Engine2 Tumansky R-95
Range1,250 km / 777 miles

Sukhoi Su-25 Design

The Soviet fighter Sukhoi Su-25 was designed by the Sukhoi design bureau for the close air support (CAS) role. The Frogfoot fuselage was semi-monocoque, riveted, and slab-sided, with an all-welded titanium-armored cockpit, monolith panels creating integrated fuselage tanks, and multiple armor plates covering all critical equipment aboard.

Performance Details
Length15.53 m
Wingspan14.36 m
Height4.80 m
WeightWeight empty: 9,500 kgMaximum takeoff: 17,600 kg 
Seating Capacity1

Sukhoi Su-25 Comparisons

During the 1980s, the “Frogfoot” remained the backbone of the Soviet Union’s attack capabilities, and it was instrumental in the development of close-air attack fighters. 

Sukhoi Su-25 Variants

  • Su-25: The basic single-seat version of the aircraft, it was produced between 1978 and 1989.
  • Su-25K: A Su-25 variant used for commercial export. 
  • Su-25UB: A combat trainer with two seats was developed for training flights of soviet pilots. 
  • Su-25UBK: A Su-25UB trainer variant designed for export to nations that already have the Su-25K.
  • Su-25UBP: It is a Su-25UB variant used as a naval trainer aircraft.
  • Su-25UT:  Primary unarmed trainer (sometimes referred to as Su-28) 
  • Su-25UTG:  Su-25UT-based naval trainer
  • Su-25BM: An improved Su-25 model for ground assault operations featuring a long-range navigation system and two R-195 engines.
  • Su-25T: This variant is capable of all-weather and night attacks, has improved sensors, and advanced avionics systems, and can use the KAB-500Kr TV-guided bomb.  

Similar fighters to the Sukhoi Su-25

Sukhoi Su-25 Vs A-10 Thunderbolt II: The Su-25 and the A-10 were both designed for close-air support missions. The Frogfoot had a faster cruising speed than the A-10 and could run on any kerosene or diesel fuel. It could also take off from close range. The A-10, on the other hand, can be refueled in flight and has a greater range and flight time than its Russian counterpart.

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