The Russian air force has deployed a dozen of the slow, low-altitude flying tanks to its base in Latakia. But it’s not clear which version of the jet Russia has sent to Syria, however it’s probable that these are the latest Su-25SM version of the aircraft.
The Sukhoi Su-25 (NATO reporting name: "Frogfoot") is a single-seat, twin-engine jet aircraft developed in the Soviet Union by the Sukhoi Design Bureau. It first flew in 1975. Early variants included the Su-25UB two-seat trainer, the Su-25BM for target-towing, and the Su-25K for export customers. Some aircraft were being upgraded to Su-25SM standard in 2012. The Su-25, and the Su-34, were the only armoured, fixed-wing aircraft in production in 2007
There are some similarities between the Su-25 and the A-10. For example, the Su-25 also utilises a dual redundant hydraulic control system and its cockpit is also placed in a ‘tub’ of titanium armour. Both aircraft are very suitable for unprepared, rough airfields close to the combat area. However, if an A-10 could be compared with a modern BMW X5, the Su-25 would be a classic Land Rover with a tyre on its bonnet and a spade tied to one of its doors.
A-10 vs Su-25Direct comparison
* The Su-25 is quite a bit smaller than the A-10, but has a top speed of 527 kts – that is over 140 kts faster than the A-10.
* Both aircraft can carry an array of bombs, rockets, missiles, pods and fuel tanks under their wings, but the A-10 can take off with almost 3 000 kg more weapons than its Russian equivalent.
* The 30 mm cannon on the Grach is considerably less impressive than the Avenger on the A-10, but it still packs a punch that would intimidate most tank crews.
* the A-10 is definitely more solid and survivable aircraft. The Su-25 is a very tough aircraft,
* Su-25s are smaller and faster, making them more difficult targets.
* the A-10’s Avenger cannon is simply magnificent.
* the Fairchild A-10 Thunderbolt II is the safest and most feared and respected close air support