The SU-30 made its first flight in 1989. The collapse of the USSR made it difficult to update the SU-30 until the early 2000s. Russia also reduced its fleet of military aircrafts. As a result, they had to ensure their current fleet was capable of carrying out multiple functions. In 2010, the SU-30M2 was launched. Then, in 2012, the SU-30SM made its debut. If you want to understand threats–these two planes pose them in spades.
They can both deploy medium-range air-to-surface missiles, as well as satellite-guided bombs. In addition, the both come with the RVV-SD active radar homing missile. Many countries including China, India, Uganda, Vietnam and more purchased the SU-30 because they needed aircraft that could perform a wide range of actions and could not afford the USA’s F-15. Many of these countries perform joint exercises with their allies. It was soon discovered that the SU-30 often beat out western aircraft such as the F-15, F-16 and F/A-18 in air tests and fighter jet capabilities.
Although the SU-30 has not yet been pitted against the more modern F-22. It has the potential to overcome the F-22, as well. The SU-30 is leading the way for a new era of Russian military aviation. Why? Well, in the 1990s, there were a series of American military mergers that negatively affected development of our military aviation program. So, it remains to be seen how this further changes the dynamics of world power.