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The Su-27S (NATO reporting name – Flanker) is a single-seat highly-maneuverable
fighter aircraft built by Sukhoi Design Bureau as the Soviet response to the U.S. F-14
and F-15 and entered service in 1985. The primary role of the Su-27 was to provide
defense against American bombers, USN ships and provide Soviet bomber escorts.
There have been many improvements over the years resulting in numerous variants of
the Su-27. The export variant, the Su-27SK was sold to China and eventually developed
into the license-built Shenyang J-11.
On September 13, 1987 Su-27 Flanker B (early Type) Red 36 from the 941st IAP V-
PVO piloted by Senior Lieutenant Vassily Tsimbal intercepted the Norwegian P-3 Orion
“602” flown by Lt. Salvesen and 9 crewmembers off the Kola Peninsula. Red 36 made
three passes, each one bringing the two aircraft closer until the third encounter caused
the Su-27’s vertical stabilizer to hit the P-3 propeller tearing the Su-27 stabilizer tip off
and sending a piece of the P-3 propeller into “602” causing decompression. Remarkably
both aircraft safely returned to their bases.