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Russia's legendary Su-27 jet fighter marks the 40th anniversary of its first flight

May 24, 17:19 UTC+3

40 years ago the prototype of Russia's Su-27 fourth generation fighter aircraft, Т-10, made its first flight

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Su-27 is a twin-engine supermaneuverable fighter aircraft designed by Sukhoi. Photo: Su-27 fighter jet, 1989
Su-27 is a twin-engine supermaneuverable fighter aircraft designed by Sukhoi. Photo: Su-27 fighter jet, 1989
Su-27 is a twin-engine supermaneuverable fighter aircraft designed by Sukhoi. Photo: Su-27 fighter jet, 1989
© Roman Denisov, Vladimir Yatsina/TASS
The prototype of the Su-27, factory code T-10, was finished by September 1971. Photo: Su-27 fighters preparing to demonstration flight in USA, 1990
The prototype of the Su-27, factory code T-10, was finished by September 1971. Photo: Su-27 fighters preparing to demonstration flight in USA, 1990
The prototype of the Su-27, factory code T-10, was finished by September 1971. Photo: Su-27 fighters preparing to demonstration flight in USA, 1990
© Vladimir Yatsina/TASS

T-10 (Sukhoi's 10th design) first flew on May 20, 1977. Photo: The soldier installes the air-to-air missiles at Su-27, 1993

T-10 (Sukhoi's 10th design) first flew on May 20, 1977. Photo: The soldier installes the air-to-air missiles at Su-27, 1993
T-10 (Sukhoi's 10th design) first flew on May 20, 1977. Photo: The soldier installes the air-to-air missiles at Su-27, 1993
© Alexander Kosinets/TASS
Su-27 fighter jets of the Russkiye Vityazi (Russian Knights) aerobatic team
Su-27 fighter jets of the Russkiye Vityazi (Russian Knights) aerobatic team
Su-27 fighter jets of the Russkiye Vityazi (Russian Knights) aerobatic team
© Marina Lystseva/TASS
After several serious redesigns the T-10 evolved into the definitive Su-27 configuration
After several serious redesigns the T-10 evolved into the definitive Su-27 configuration
After several serious redesigns the T-10 evolved into the definitive Su-27 configuration
© Yuri Smityuk/TASS
It entered service with the Soviet Air Forces in 1985
It entered service with the Soviet Air Forces in 1985
It entered service with the Soviet Air Forces in 1985
© Yuri Smityuk/TASS
Sukhoi Su-27 fighter aircraft at the Army-2016 international military-technical forum
Sukhoi Su-27 fighter aircraft at the Army-2016 international military-technical forum
Sukhoi Su-27 fighter aircraft at the Army-2016 international military-technical forum
© Sergei Bobylev/Russian Defence Ministry Press Office/TASS
In 1991, the production facilities developed export variants of the Su-27: the Su-27SK and Su-27UBK, which were exported to China, Vietnam, Ethiopia and Indonesia. Photo: A pilot on a Su-27 fighter jet, 2013
In 1991, the production facilities developed export variants of the Su-27: the Su-27SK and Su-27UBK, which were exported to China, Vietnam, Ethiopia and Indonesia. Photo: A pilot on a Su-27 fighter jet, 2013
In 1991, the production facilities developed export variants of the Su-27: the Su-27SK and Su-27UBK, which were exported to China, Vietnam, Ethiopia and Indonesia. Photo: A pilot on a Su-27 fighter jet, 2013
© Yuri Smityuk/TASS
Later Russia started development of advanced variants of the Su-27 including the Su-30, Su-33, Su-34, Su-35, and Su-37
Later Russia started development of advanced variants of the Su-27 including the Su-30, Su-33, Su-34, Su-35, and Su-37
Later Russia started development of advanced variants of the Su-27 including the Su-30, Su-33, Su-34, Su-35, and Su-37
© Sergei Konkov/TASS
Since 1998 the export Su-27SK has been produced as the Shenyang J-11 in China under licence
Since 1998 the export Su-27SK has been produced as the Shenyang J-11 in China under licence
Since 1998 the export Su-27SK has been produced as the Shenyang J-11 in China under licence
© Marina Lystseva/TASS
Starting in 2004, the Russian Air Force began a major update of the original Soviet Su-27 fleet. The upgraded variants were designated Su-27SM, which belong to the 4+ generation
Starting in 2004, the Russian Air Force began a major update of the original Soviet Su-27 fleet. The upgraded variants were designated Su-27SM, which belong to the 4+ generation
Starting in 2004, the Russian Air Force began a major update of the original Soviet Su-27 fleet. The upgraded variants were designated Su-27SM, which belong to the 4+ generation
© Marina Lystseva/TASS
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Su-27 is a twin-engine supermaneuverable fighter aircraft designed by Sukhoi. Photo: Su-27 fighter jet, 1989
© Roman Denisov, Vladimir Yatsina/TASS
The prototype of the Su-27, factory code T-10, was finished by September 1971. Photo: Su-27 fighters preparing to demonstration flight in USA, 1990
© Vladimir Yatsina/TASS
T-10 (Sukhoi's 10th design) first flew on May 20, 1977. Photo: The soldier installes the air-to-air missiles at Su-27, 1993
© Alexander Kosinets/TASS
Su-27 fighter jets of the Russkiye Vityazi (Russian Knights) aerobatic team
© Marina Lystseva/TASS
After several serious redesigns the T-10 evolved into the definitive Su-27 configuration
© Yuri Smityuk/TASS
It entered service with the Soviet Air Forces in 1985
© Yuri Smityuk/TASS
Sukhoi Su-27 fighter aircraft at the Army-2016 international military-technical forum
© Sergei Bobylev/Russian Defence Ministry Press Office/TASS
In 1991, the production facilities developed export variants of the Su-27: the Su-27SK and Su-27UBK, which were exported to China, Vietnam, Ethiopia and Indonesia. Photo: A pilot on a Su-27 fighter jet, 2013
© Yuri Smityuk/TASS
Later Russia started development of advanced variants of the Su-27 including the Su-30, Su-33, Su-34, Su-35, and Su-37
© Sergei Konkov/TASS
Since 1998 the export Su-27SK has been produced as the Shenyang J-11 in China under licence
© Marina Lystseva/TASS
Starting in 2004, the Russian Air Force began a major update of the original Soviet Su-27 fleet. The upgraded variants were designated Su-27SM, which belong to the 4+ generation
© Marina Lystseva/TASS

The prototype of Russia's legendary Su-27 fighter jet, T-10 (Sukhoi's 10th design) first flew in May 1977. After serious redesigns the T-10 evolved into the definitive Su-27 configuration, which entered service with the Soviet Air Forces in 1985. Starting in 2004, the Russian Air Force began a major update of the original Soviet Su-27 fleet. The upgraded variants were designated Su-27SM, which belong to the 4+ generation. See the images of Russia's iconic fighter jet in this photo gallery.

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