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.
Between 2004 – 2009 54 Su-27S and P variants were upgraded to Su-27SM (serial modernization). The upgrade included a better fire control system; new radar with a phased array antenna that allowed for an air-to-surface mode and a larger assortment of armament. Three MFD (multi-function displays), a HUD; a new self-defense system along with satellite communications gave an extended life to the Su-27s but are now being replaced by the Su-35. As new Su-35s arrived at Dzemgi IAP the 12 Su-27SMs were transferred with Red 76 RF-95261 going to the Besovets IAP.