In the 1967 year, ten years after the start of production, export deliveries of the specialized Su-7B fighter-bomber began in an export version of the Su-7BMK.
The planes were delivered both to the Warsaw Pact allies and to the “developing countries of socialist orientation”. In terms of deliveries, the Su-7 was inferior only to the “aviation bestseller” MiG-21.
One of the first new attack aircraft was received by Egypt, whose president, Hero of the Soviet Union, Gamal Abdel Nasser, announced the construction of "Arab socialism" in his country.
The first batch of 14 aircraft that had just been launched was delivered by sea in April 1967. Soon a full-fledged air regiment was deployed at the Egyptian aerodrome Faida.
But the Egyptian pilots failed to properly master these vehicles, during the "six-day war" almost all of them were destroyed by the Israeli aviation, along with aircraft under Israeli bombs, many pilots died. Several surviving Egyptian Su-7BMKs made sorties to support their troops, however, without much success.
After the end of hostilities, an “air bridge” was organized to compensate for large-scale losses from the USSR. Aircraft taken from Soviet aircraft parts were transferred over the air by VTA aircraft. A year after the end of the “six-day war,” Egyptian aviation replenished its strength already totaled fifty Su-7B. In addition to Egypt, combat aircraft of this type were delivered to Algeria and Syria.
The machines did not stand idle at the airfields, and in the course of the ongoing Arab-Israeli confrontation, several Su-7Bs were lost. However, as the Arabs acquired combat experience, there was success.
20 July 1969, during the “war of attrition”, eight Egyptian Su-7BMKs attacked anti-aircraft artillery and radar positions in the Ismailia and Romal areas. The combat load included two FAB-500s each, the aircraft also carried PTB. In the afternoon, the blow was struck by each of the links in its target at the same time, the enemy managed to be taken by surprise, and he did not even have time to open the return fire. All planes bombed from the first approach, reaching direct hits, and successfully returned to the base. In total, from 20 July 1969 of the year to April 1970 of the year, Egyptian fighter-bombers performed more than 70 bombing attacks.
In 1973, with the beginning of the “Doomsday War”, the full power of the Arab coalition military aviation fell upon the Israelis. Fighter bombers delivered highly effective missile and bomb attacks from low altitudes. In some combat formations with the Su-7B, the newest Su-20 (the first export version of the Su-17) operated.
In addition to the Egyptian pilots, Su-7B piloted by Algerians, Libyans and Syrians.
In this war, Israel suffered very high losses, so only about 30% of combat aircraft remained combat-ready in the Air Force. Now the Americans had to build an “air bridge” in order to save their ally from defeat. Because of the loss of initiative, the Arabs failed to win, Israel survived by paying a very high price.
The Syrian fighter-bombers participating in the hostilities of 1973 showed themselves quite well. The main ammunition used for striking at troops and equipment was the OFAB-250-270 bombs and the OFAB-250Sh assault bombs, which made it possible to attack from low altitudes, as well as NAR types S-5 and S-24. The attacks were carried out from a horizontal flight or a gentle dive from a height of 100-200 m. Against tanks and other armored vehicles, very effective RBK-250 bomb cartridges were used with small-sized bombs of cumulative action PTAB-2,5 and S-3K and S-5K missiles.
Su-7BMK made a raid on Haifa, attacking the refinery with incendiary bombs ZAB-250-200 and high-explosive fragmentation bombs OFAB-250-270. The task was accomplished without losses, having passed the route at extremely low altitudes and, after executing the slide with a set of 200 meters, dropping bombs from horizontal flight.
Syrian aviation managed to do without losses for reasons of non-combat nature - errors in piloting technique, loss of orientation and abandonment of cars due to the complete development of fuel, which was a real scandal among the Egyptians, who had lost two dozen planes by their own miscalculations. The Syrian pilots were better prepared and had a higher motivation for the combat mission compared to the Egyptians. In general, Su-7BMK losses were significantly higher than those of the MiG-21. This is explained by the fact that it was the enemy air defense systems, interrogators and interceptors that were targeted against the attack machines.
Combat service "Su-seventh" in Indian aviation has become one of the most prominent pages in the biography of the aircraft. The interest of the Indian Air Force in updating the fleet and increasing its strike potential had a very reasonable explanation in view of the tense relations with neighboring Pakistan, which had continued to fester for two decades. In 1967, an agreement was concluded with the USSR on the delivery to 90 of Su-7BMK combat aircraft and Su-7UMK “sparks” to India.
After a year and a half, the Indian Air Force had six squadrons of modern supersonic fighter-bombers in service, significantly increasing their strike potential. The purpose of the Su-7BMK was determined by direct aviation support, actions in the operational-tactical depth behind the front line, the fight against enemy aircraft and tactical reconnaissance. According to our instructors, Indian pilots were considered to be one of the best professional pilots in the developing countries of Asia and Africa. The level of training was quite high. Indian pilots managed very well to master their cars to the beginning of the next Indo - Pakistani war 1971 of the year.
3 December 1971, the Indian Su-7BMK, first attacked airfields in Western Pakistan during a night flight. During several raids, 14 Pakistani combat aircraft were destroyed on the ground, with the loss of one Su-7BMK.
Charging guns HP-30 on the Su-7BMK Air Force India
During this conflict, the Indian pilots have demonstrated that the drums “dry” may well stand up for themselves in air combat, having conducted several fights with the Pakistani “Sabra” and F-6.
Later, with strikes on Su-7BMK airfields, they were reoriented to provide support to ground forces, having achieved quite good results. In addition to strikes against accumulations of troops, armored vehicles and artillery, a significant part of the sorties were made to disrupt communications, as well as to conduct tactical photo reconnaissance in the interests of high command. In accordance with the tasks, high-explosive bombs of caliber 500 kg were widely used here. Very effectively on the Su-7BMK used large-caliber missiles C-24, suspended by two on the plane. They attacked railroad trains and hydraulic structures.
Two weeks of fighting ended in the crushing defeat of the Pakistani army. Indian Su-7BMK destroyed about 150 tanks, 70 trains, a lot of watercraft of a different class, bombed railway junctions, objects of oil industry and energy. In general, at least 90% of tanks lost by the Pakistani army were destroyed by Indian aircraft. Losses Su-7BMK accounted for 19 aircraft. After the war, the Su-7 remained among the main strike machines of the Indian Air Force.
By the time Soviet troops entered Afghanistan, there was an 24 Su-7BMK at the Bagram air base. As the situation in the country worsened, these aircraft began to be attracted to attack the Mujahideen detachments. However, Afghan pilots were not too eager to fight, often dropping bombs anywhere.
At the same time, they flew out of habit without any maps, without particularly troubling themselves with navigation and navigator calculations and being visually guided by their signs of the terrain. During one of the sorties at the beginning of November 1979, the target outlined for the Su-7BMK pair lay in the northern areas of Badakhshan. Having missed, they mistakenly worked on Soviet territory, carrying out a bomb attack on a Tajik village near Khorog. In the village bombs destroyed several houses, killing civilians. During the trial, the pilots talked about a misunderstanding and justified themselves by getting lost on a long-distance route.
With the start of deliveries of Su-22M fighter-bombers, they replaced the former Su-7BMK fighters in Bagram, which were withdrawn to Shindand as part of the 335-th mixed aviation regiment, which also included the IL-28 and MiG-21.
The level of flight training at a new place did not become higher, the aircraft often got into flight accidents. Combat missions and targets were usually specified in advance from Kabul, direct air support on call was not practiced, and the general rule was to assign targets at a distance from their troops in order to avoid their covering during missiles, which happened more than once.
When preparing for the flight, they didn’t bother themselves with tactical constructions, at best, assessing the situation from photographs and intelligence and almost paying no attention to the meteorological forecast and radio communications and navigation aids. The success of the case with the characteristic fatalism was considered not very dependent on the efforts made - “as it pleases Allah!”
As aircraft was lost, mostly damaged in flight accidents, replenishment was made from the USSR. Since Su-7BMK was no longer there, the cars of other modifications were transmitted to the Afghans, the least worn out, mostly looking more or less “fresh”, X-NUMX-7's Su-1971BLK. In all, 72 Su-79B type aircraft were transferred to Afghanistan.
Su-Xnumb in Shindand
After the withdrawal of Soviet troops from the country, these aircraft continued to be exploited, took part in several insurrections and rose into the air, at least until 1992, joining the Air Force of the Islamic State of Afghanistan.
Iraqi Su-7B in the amount of 40 units. took an active part in the Iran-Iraq war. By that time, the Iraqi Air Force already had more advanced machines. "Su-seventh" were usually attracted for the direct aviation support of troops and strikes on the enemy’s rear lines.
Su-7B Iraqi Air Force at the US Air Force Base Nellis
Some of them survived until the American invasion of Iraq in 2003, hitting the American air museum as trophies.
In 70-80-s, Soviet fighter bombers embodied all the best of the Soviet aircraft industry. They had a good price-quality ratio, were able to use the widest range of weapons, flight performance met international standards. Not surprisingly, Soviet aircraft of this class enjoyed success in the global arms market.
The first modification of the Su-17, delivered to a foreign customer and who took part in the hostilities was the Su-20. In accordance with the then existing practice, the car had a “degraded” composition of avionics.
In 1973, deliveries of the Su-20 to Egypt and Syria began. Later, Egypt, "having quarreled" with the USSR, sold part of its fighter-bombers of the PRC and the USA, where they were studied as weapon potential adversary. At the end of 70, Egypt applied its Su-20 in a border conflict with Libya.
For the first time, Su-20 fighter-bombers were used in combat conditions in 1973 during the Arab-Israeli war. By the beginning of the military operations, the Syrian air forces had 15 aircraft of this type. Already on the first day of the conflict, 6 of October, 12 Syrian Su-20 under the cover of eight MiG-21 attacked the control center of Israeli aircraft "Hebron". Later, 6 and 7 of October, Su-20 operated groups of 6-12 aircraft, hitting targets deep in the defense of the Israelis. The aircraft reached the targets at extremely low altitudes, using anti-aircraft maneuvers in height, course and speed. In connection with the increasing opposition of the enemy’s air defense, aviation control centers and radar posts were increasingly chosen as targets for strikes. The main weapon of the Su-20 for defeating the strongholds of the Israelis were the free-falling bombs FAB-500 and FAB-250. Troops and military equipment were hit, as a rule, by the OFAB-250 and RBC-250 high-explosive fragmentation bombs with PTAB-2,5, as well as NAR C-24 and C-5к. The greatest losses fighter-bombers carried during the departure from the target, as well as in repeated visits to the bombing, when the aircraft rose to a height of more than 200 m. During the war, the Syrian Su-20 performed 98 sorties, losing eight aircraft (50% of the original composition). All of them were shot down by anti-aircraft artillery or air defense missiles. Syrian Su-20 did not enter air battles. However, as the experience of combat use in 1967g. An earlier fighter-bomber Su-7B, when meeting with the Israeli "Supermister" or "Phantom" certain chances of success were available. The first Su-20 exceeded in speed, and the second was not inferior in horizontal maneuverability. When meeting with the Mirage pilots were advised not to engage in combat, and to carry out a low-speed speed gap.
The export version of the Su-17М2, received the designation Su-22. At the request of the Ministry of Aviation Industry, it was installed TRD R-29Б-300, used also on the MiG-23BN and MiG-27 aircraft. This ensured the unification of the power plant with the MiGs already present in the air force of many of the allied countries of the USSR. In addition, this engine had a simpler design and, consequently, a lower cost, and also had a greater burden.
The X-22, X-25Л and Р-29 missiles were excluded from the Su-60 armament. The UR X-23 was saved, and the fighter-bomber was equipped with a K-13 rocket for air combat. Provision was made for the possibility of suspending the KKR integrated reconnaissance container (in this case, the aircraft received the Su-22Р index).
Afghanistan has become a serious test for the Su-17. Su-17 was the only Soviet combat aircraft that participated in the Afghan war from beginning to end. The main modifications were Su-17М3 fighter-bomber and Su-17М3Р reconnaissance aircraft. In the first year of the war, early Su-17 and Su-17М were used, and in 1988, Su-17М4 appeared in Afghanistan. The aircraft were used very widely, although in the second half of the war they were somewhat crowded out by the Su-25 attack aircraft.
Based on the experience of the combat use of the aircraft in 1987, a number of improvements were carried out aimed at improving the combat survivability. In particular, 12 launching devices for ASO-2В IR traps were installed on the lower and upper surfaces of the fuselage tail section, and armored plates were mounted in the lower part of the fuselage. At the first stage of the Su-17 combat operations, OFAB-250 bombs, NAR C-5 bombs (they were hit by poorly-defended open targets), as well as more powerful C-24 missiles, which they "worked" on fortified targets.
The reconnaissance Su-17MZ-R and Su-17М4-Р with KKR-1 containers in various configurations were widely used. Aircraft conducted aerial photography in day and night conditions, carried out infrared and radio reconnaissance (identification of enemy radio stations). Subsequently, the scouts began to use the newest thermal imaging complex “Zima”, which has high accuracy and allows detecting such targets as the trail of a passing car or a recently extinguished fire by thermal radiation.
In 1980, the enemy’s air defense capabilities increased markedly. 12,7 and 14,5-mm machine guns appeared in large numbers at the "spirits", which required improvement of tactics of fighter-bomber aircraft, as well as improvement of tactical training of pilots.
In 1981, the scale of the fighting increased further. Instead of insufficiently powerful NAR C-5, more effective C-8, capable of hitting targets from the zone beyond the reach of enemy enemy anti-aircraft machine guns, have become more widely used. Aircraft Su-17 began to be attracted to create debris in the mountains, on enemy caravan tracks (this was done using salvo dumping FAB-250 or FAB-500), as well as “free hunting” for caravans (in this case, the aircraft was usually equipped with two PTB with a capacity of 800 l, two blocks UB-32 or B-8M, two RBC or four NAR C-24). In general, Su-17 showed sufficiently high efficiency and survivability, and the losses that still suffered "Dry", were largely due to errors in the tactics of using fighter-bombers (for example, in 1984, near Kandahar, one of the Su-17 was shot down after the sixth call on the target).
In 1983, the "dushmans" had a new weapon - portable anti-aircraft missile systems (MANPADS) - first our "Strela-2", then the American "Red Ay" and the British "Bloupep" and, finally, the most modern American "Stingers", able to hit the target in the front and rear hemisphere. This made it necessary to raise the combat use of the Su-17, which made the strikes less accurate and increased the consumption of ammunition. Applied technical "news" and the Soviet side, began the use of volume-detonating ammunition (ODAB). They found the use and adjustable bombs with laser-guided, as well as SD X-25L and X-29L.
The Su-20 and Su-22 were operated by the Afghan pilots of the 355 air regiment based in Bagram. However, the aircraft of this division flew not very actively, “from time to time,” despite the fact that its pilots had fairly good training. Two Afghan Su-22s were shot down in 1988 by Pakistani F-16A fighters near the Afghan-Pakistan border, several more aircraft of this type were destroyed by anti-aircraft machine-gun fire and MANPADS. However, almost the main losses of the Afghan regiment suffered not in the air, but on the ground: a group of “mojaheds”, 13 June 1985, bribed guards, penetrated the parking lot and blew up 13 aircraft, including six Su-22М.
Su-22M Air Force DRA
At the end of the 70, the beginning of the 80, Libya received a hundred and fifty fighter jets, MiG-23BN, Su-22 and Su-22М fighter planes.
Libyan aircraft were used in the 1980-ies during the fighting in Chad. Subsequently, they acted there against the French contingent, several aircraft were destroyed by anti-aircraft artillery fire and the Hok air defense system.
19 August 1981 The two Su-22M Libyan air forces were shot down by American F-14A carrier-based fighters over the Mediterranean. According to the Americans, "Tomkaty" were attacked by Libyan aircraft that used the K-13 UR, in response to that, dodging rockets, struck the impudent Libyans with the impact of the Sidewinders. According to one of the Libyan pilots who took part in this “battle,” Su-22M, who did not intend to attack anyone at all, but who made the usual training flight, were suddenly attacked by the Americans. In general, the idea of attacking F-14 interceptors with the help of fighter-bombers, created entirely for other tasks, looks very ridiculous. If Muammar Kadaffi had really decided to “punish” Americans, he would have chosen a more suitable technique for this — the MiG-21bis, MiG-23, MiG-25P or F.XNNX Mirage fighters, specially designed to fight air targets, having for this purpose the necessary armament and avionics, as well as crews, "trained", primarily on the air, and not on the ground enemy.
Subsequently, almost all Libyan aviation was destroyed on the ground during the civil war.