Fitter Paul Fiddian

Sukhoi Su-22M Fitter

The Sukhoi Su-22 is an export version of the Sukhoi Su-17 family, all of which carry the NATO reporting name of Fitter. First flying during August 1966, the Su-17 was the first variable sweep wing equipped aircraft to enter Soviet service and was utilised as a fighter-bomber. The final version produced, the Su-17M4 (Su-22M4 for export) included more advanced avionics and a powerful laser rangefinder in the nose cone. The Su-22M4 was capable of Mach 1.75 and could be equipped with a target designator pod that allowed it to target and engage enemy radar sites using a variety of different anti-radar missiles.

Poland previously operated a fleet of 120 Su-22M4/UM3K Fitters together with a fleet of 27 earlier Su-20 Fitters whilst they formed part of the Soviet Union. Today, Poland continues to operated 12 Su-22M4 and 6 Su-22UM3K Fitters as a ground attack aircraft, the entire fleet is flown by the 40th Aviation Squadron based at Świdin.

The Polish Air Force will be providing one of their Su-22M4 Fitters for static display at this year's Air Tattoo. This could be the last time a Soviet era Fitter attends RIAT, Poland are the final operator of the type in Europe and have ordered the Korean FA-50 to replace the type, the first of which should be delivered to Poland this November.

Photo Credit: Paul Fiddian

On display