Photos Devil Child's Focus: Sukhoi Su-15 "Flagon" variants, & derivatives

Devil Child

Cosmic Wierdo
Staff member
Super Moderator
Apr 14, 2019
***05/19/19: Updated with new pics***

My next thread! Behold the Sukhoi Su-15, known by NATO reporting name Flagon, noble mainstay interceptor of the Soviet Air Defence forces. This is another aircraft that I have been enamored with for a long time so would appreciate any additional info or discussion you folks may be able to contribute. Cold War birds are the best.


The Sukhoi Su-15 (NATO reporting name: Flagon) is a twinjet supersonic interceptor aircraft developed by the Soviet Union. It entered service in 1965 and remained one of the front-line designs into the 1990s. The Su-15 was designed to replace the Sukhoi Su-11 and Sukhoi Su-9, which were becoming obsolete as NATO introduced newer and more capable strategic bombers.

  • T-58: Prototype of Su-15.
  • Su-15 (Flagon-A): First production version.
  • T-58VD (Flagon-B): One-off prototype using three Kolesov lift-jets in the centre fuselage to provide STOL capability. Not mass-produced.
  • Su-15UT (Flagon-C): Trainer version without radar and combat capability, in use since 1970.
  • Su-15 (Flagon-D): Version with extended wingtips built since 1969.
  • Su-15T (Flagon-E): Version equipped with Volkov Taifun radar.
  • Su-15TM (Flagon-F): Improved Su-15T version equipped with Taifun-M radar and additional aerodynamic modifications, in use since 1971. New radome design for improving radar performances.
  • Su-15UM (Flagon-G): Trainer version of Su-15TM without radar but with combat capability, built between 1976 and 1979.
  • U-58UM: Prototype of Su-15UM with Taifun-M radar, not entered serial production.
  • Su-15Sh: Proposed supersonic ground-attack aircraft, offered in 1969. Not built.
  • Su-15-30: Proposed version sharing the radar and missiles of the MiG-25; not built.
  • Su-15bis: Converted Su-15TM with R-25-300 engines of 69.9 kN (15,652 lb) afterburning thrust for improved performance; approved for series production, but not built because of a shortage of the engines.
  • Su-19 (T-58PS): Proposed advanced version with Tumansky R-25-300 engines, ogival wing, and additional pylons for missiles. Not built.
General characteristics:
  • Crew: 1
  • Length: 19.56 m (72 ft 3 in)
  • Wingspan: 9.43 m (30 ft 11 in)
  • Height: 4.84 m (15 ft 10 in)
  • Wing area: 36.6 m² (394 ft²)
  • Empty weight: 10,760 kg (23,720 lb)
  • Loaded weight: 17,200 kg (37,920 lb)
  • Max. takeoff weight: 17,900 kg (39,460 lb)
  • Powerplant: 2 × Tumansky R-13-300 turbojets
  • Dry thrust: 40.21 kN (9,040 lbf) each
  • Thrust with afterburner: 70.0 kN (15,730 lbf) each
  • Maximum speed: Mach 1.81 (2,230 km/h; 1,386 mph) with 2 × K-8 or 2 × R-60 air-to-air missiles at an altitude of 12,000 m (39,370 ft)
  • Combat radius: 725 km (450 mi; 390 nmi)
  • Combat range: 1,380 km (860 mi; 745 nmi)
  • Ferry range: 1,700 km (1,060 mi; 920 nmi)
  • Service ceiling: 18,100 m (59,380 ft)
  • Rate of climb: 228 m/s (45,000 ft/min)
  • Wing loading: 102.4 lb/ft² (555 kg/m²)
  • Maximum g-load: 6.5 g
  • Guns: 2 × UPK-23 gun pods with 2 × 23 mm Gryazev-Shipunov GSh-23L autocannons each on fuselage pylons
  • Hardpoints: 6 hardpoints with a capacity of up to 1,500 kg (3,300 lb) and provisions to carry combinations of:
  • Rockets: UB-16 rocket pods for S-5 rockets
  • Missiles:
  • 4 × K-8 air-to-air missiles
  • 2 × R-60 AAMs
  • Bombs: FAB-500 general-purpose bomb
  • Radar: «Taifun-M»
  • Detection range:
  • high-flying targets: 70 km
  • low-flying targets: 15 km
  • Lock range:
  • high-flying targets: 45 km
  • low-flying targets: 10 km
  • Angular range:
  • vertical: +30°/-10°
  • horizontal: +/- 70°
Former operators:
  • Soviet Union: Soviet Air Defence Forces
  • Russia: Russian Air Force retired all from front line duty in 1994, but some may remain in the emergency war reserve storage.
  • Ukraine: Ukrainian Air Force retired in 1996.

Sources, links, etc...

Write-up on a less glamorous and very tragic incident in the history of the Su-15. This is the shootdown of Korean Air Lines KAL 707 by a Soviet Su-15.

Full Gallery
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Russia's Su-15 Fighter Made History in One Very Tragic Way

Dubbing the Soviet Sukhoi-15 interceptor the “Boeing Killer” should have been a compliment. The name evokes an image of a little fighter jet taking on America’s giant Boeing B-52 bomber.

But actually, the name “Boeing Killer” refers to a rather dubious accomplishment of the Su-15: shooting down two Boeing civilian airliners, including Korean Air Lines Flight 007 in 1983. It’s the title of the 2015 book Sukhoi Su-15: The Boeing Killer by Yefim Gordon, perhaps the most prolific historian of Soviet military aircraft.

The Su-15, NATO code name “Flagon,” began life in the early 1960s, when the Sukhoi design bureau was in trouble. The engines of its single-engine Su-9 “Fishpot” and Su-11 “Fishpot-C” air-defense interceptors had proven unreliable. The Soviet air defense command (PVO) wanted twin-engined interceptors such as the Yakovlev-28 “Firebar"and Tupolev-128 “Fiddler,” which were thought to be more reliable. At the same time, the United States was deploying the high-altitude B-52 Stratofortress and the (never-built) Mach 3 B-70 Valkyrie.

Write-up on a less glamorous and very tragic incident in the history of the Su-15. This is the shootdown of Korean Air Lines KAL Boeing 707 by a Soviet Su-15.
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Sukhoi Su-15TM Flagon-F armed to the teeth with 2x UPK-23 gun pods containing 2 × 23 mm Gryazev-Shipunov GSh-23L autocannons each on fuselage pylons, K-8 air-to-air missile, and R-60 air-to-air missile(repost from user @Drone_pilot)

Sukhoi Su-15TM Flagon-F armed with 2x UPK-23 gun pods containing 2 × 23 mm Gryazev-Shipunov GSh-23L autocannons each on fuselage pylons and 2 K-8 air-to-air missile.
Glad you like it @tomthounaojam. I...uhh... may have a couple Trumpeter Su-15s in the pile of soviet kits I mentioned in the other thread.
Interview with Soviet air force Su-15 ‘Flagon’ fighter pilot: Defending the USSR

...My first impression of the type was the elegance of its extremely swept wing and tail.The plane was very beautiful and extremely graceful. The Su-15 was a typical fighter of its time, we climbed into the cockpit using the ladder. The cabin was comfortable and relatively spacious. Even in winter time with fur jacket and boots (‘mukliks’) on I didn’t feel any discomfort inside the cockpit. Take-off was not difficult, but landing was. Its high approach speed required precision landing and the timely release of the braking parachute.

It was a good plane and exceptionally reliable. I always said that I loved it like a woman. And when you turned on the afterburner on take-off, you got a hefty push in the back from the ferocious power of two engines. The relatively long fuselage and delta wings allowed you to make a large number of barrel rolls with any rotation speed. What I like most about Su–15 was its ability to perform complex aerobatics at full power.

Great read and brand new interview with an Su-15 Flagon pilot!
Sunday evening Su-15 update. Enjoy!


Sukhoi Su-15TM "Flagon-F" on runway.


Sukhoi Su-15TM "Flagon-F" with R-98M1 "AA-3 Advanced Anab" missile


Sukhoi Su-15TM "Flagon-F"


Ukrainian Su-15TM with R-98M1 "AA-3 Advanced Anab" medium range air-to-air missile.
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