Sukhoi Su-33 SK
The Sukhoi Su-33 (NATO reporting name: Flanker-D) is an all-weather carrier-based air defence fighter designed by Sukhoi and manufactured by KnAAPO. It is a derivative of the Su-27 'Flanker' and was initially known as the Su-27K. The Su-33 entered service in 1995, aboard the aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov.[N 1] The aircraft officially entered service in August 1998, by which time the designation "Su-33" was used. With the downsizing of the Russian Navy following the break-up of the USSR, only 24 examples were produced. There were negotiations with both the People's Republic of China and India regarding purchase, but these did not lead to sales. Compared with the Su-27, the Su-33 has a strengthened undercarriage and structure, folding wings and stabilators for carrier operations. The wings are enlarged over land-based variants for increased lift. The Su-33 has upgraded engines, twin nose-wheel and is air refuelable. In terms of range and payload, the aircraft is superior to its rival Mikoyan counterpart, the MiG-29K, however the MiG-29 is a multirole platform with more advanced avionics, making it capable of a wider range of missions. In 2009, the Russian Navy ordered the MiG-29K as a replacement for the Su-33.