Su-25, or ”Rook”, or ”flying tank” (Topic)

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Su-25, or ”Rook”, or ”flying tank”


The Su-25 assault aircraft made its first test flight in the mid-70s and several years later officially joined the ranks of the army weapons, continuing to remain there to this day. The vehicle was designed to survive and perform special military tasks associated with the risk and danger of being hit by ground and air shells. For this reason, the aircraft, nicknamed "Rook" and "flying tank", has become a unique owner of a variety of protective mechanisms.

Forewarned is forearmed

Even at the design stage, the designers calculated how to maximally protect the future attack aircraft from possible attacks by various types of weapons. The search for a solution was carried out both by mathematical calculations and with the help of prototypes, which were used in tests using military weapons and missiles. After all the tests at the exit, the engineers came up with a unique security complex, including booking and more.

In order to detect a possible threat in time and then evade or prevent an attack, the Su-25 Rook received a number of special defense mechanisms. One of them was a detection station, which was able to recognize the radiation of radar devices of anti-aircraft complexes or fighters, giving timely warning of possible danger.


To interfere with the operation of enemy radar devices, starting from the very first modifications, a station was provided on the plane that caught the signal of an unfriendly radar, processed it and then sent it in the opposite direction, supplementing it with interference modulation.

There is never too much armor

The all-welded cockpit structure made of titanium panels became the basic protection of the aircraft. In addition, the Su-25 attack aircraft received armored glass in the frontal part as another security element. In general, the cab arrangement was thought out taking into account the location of the main parts of the machine. As a result, both the plating and various parts also began to serve as additional safety for the pilot, providing him with protection from all angles, including from the shells of large-caliber machine guns.

Towards the end of the 80s, the internal components of the Rook were also additionally covered with armored plates. They began to be placed between the engines and the supply tank, next to the oil tank of the right engine, in the tail section to cover the fuel lines. The armored part under the keel served as a protective shield for some controls. A little later, armored protection elements were added to the protection of the Su-25 aiming and navigation mechanisms.


The first versions of the attack aircraft received about 750 kg of additional weight due to the armored protection of the main elements, the mass of which gradually increased with the appearance of later versions of the aircraft, equipped with new parts. Since 1988, a complete set of armored, steel and aluminum elements has reached a weight of over 1 ton.

The aircraft's survival in dangerous conditions, along with the special layout of the Rook, was facilitated by various engineering solutions. One of them was the increase in the distance between the engines, which was to reduce the possibility of their simultaneous damage. Additionally, the designers took measures to increase the stability of the control complex, elements of the fuel system and other important mechanisms.


Additionally, the Su-25 is equipped with a fire extinguishing system. Its original version consisted of two fire extinguishers, an alarm and spray manifolds for supplying the extinguishing mixture to the engines. Then the fire extinguishing system was supplemented with two more fire extinguishers and new collectors, which began to spread their effect to the nearby compartments. The system was controlled by one button, the activation of which cut off the fuel supply to the engine and activated the fire extinguisher.

Since the appearance of the first aircraft, the Su-25 family has been replenished with several modifications. Their differences from the first aircraft were mainly associated with elements of onboard equipment. At the same time, the security means remained the same, since they did not require fundamental restructuring and proved to be good. In addition to replacing individual components, the general principle of ensuring aircraft protection remained unchanged.

The Topic of Article: Su-25, or ”Rook”, or ”flying tank”.
Author: Jake Pinkman