SU-25 Frogfoot: Russia’s Tank-Buster Equivalent to the A-10 Warthog

Su-25 is no longer a cutting-edge aircraft – but for close air support, it is still a lethal aircraft.
Sukhoi Su-25 of the Russian Air Force

The Su-25 is one of the cores of the Russian air force… and with its powerful cannon, it has been terrifying ground troops for decades.

It has already been successfully deployed in Afghanistan, Georgia, Chechnya, and now in Ukraine – always creating a great deal of devastation on troops and light armored vehicles.

The reliable Russian Su-25 Frogfoot

Su-25 Frogfoot aircraft in-flight
Su-25 Frogfoot aircraft in-flight by nara.getarchive.net. Public Domain

The Russian Su-25 Frogfoot is a single-seat, twin-engine jet aircraft designed to provide close air support (CAS) to ground forces. 

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It entered service with the Soviet Air Force in 1981, and is still in use today by various militaries around the world, including Algeria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Cambodia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Peru, Vietnam, and Russia, among others.

This aircraft is highly maneuverable and capable of flying at low altitudes. The Frogfoot’s rugged design and simple controls make it easy to fly and maintain, even in harsh conditions.

Su-25 performance at war

Sukhoi Su-25 of Ukrainian Air Force
Sukhoi Su-25 of Ukrainian Air Force by Skywarrior. Licensed under CC by 4.0

The veteran Russian fighter jet has seen action in a number of conflicts including the Soviet war in Afghanistan, the Gulf War, the Russo-Georgian War and of course, the ongoing war in Ukraine.

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It has proven to be a rugged and reliable workhorse, able to take on tough targets and carry a heavy payload. It is reported that one Su-25 even managed to land safely after being hit by an anti-aircraft missile.

However, it has also been shot down, especially during the Gulf War, when they were completely outperformed by F-15C.

Iraqi Su-25 - Gulf War 1991
Iraqi Su-25 – Gulf War 1991 by Staff Sgt. Dean Wagner. Public Domain

In recent years, the Russian Air Force has upgraded its fleet of Su-25s, adding new weapons and sensors. As a result, the Frogfoot remains one of the most feared ground-attack aircraft in the world.

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However, the Frogfoot is not without its drawbacks. It is relatively slow and unmaneuverable when compared to newer fighter jets like the F-22 Raptor. It also lacks the advanced avionics and sensors of its more modern counterparts.

In any case, it works very well for fighting insurgent groups and weaker air forces.

The Russian Su-25 Frogfoot versus the American A-10 Warthog

military aircraft
military aircraft by pxhere.com. Public Domain.

Both planes were designed for close air support, and both have seen action in various conflicts. 

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So, how do these two aircraft stacks up against each other? The A-10 is larger and heavier than the Su-25 and is armed with a 30mm GAU-8/A Avenger rotary cannon. 

The Su-25, on the other hand, is faster and more maneuverable than the A-10. It is also armed with a 30mm cannon, but in terms of air-to-air combat, the A-10 is no match for the Russia CAS plane.

Ultimately, both planes have their own strengths and weaknesses, and it is up to the pilots to use them to achieve victory.

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Specs

Sukhoi Su-25
Sukhoi Su-25 by George Chernilevsky. Licensed under CC by 3.0

  • Crew: 1
  • Length: 15.53 meters (50 feet 11 inches) 
  • Wingspan: 14.36 meters (47 feet 1 inches)
  • Height: 4.8 meters (15 feet 9 inches)
  • Empty weight: 9,800 kilograms (21,605 pounds)
  • Max takeoff weight: 19,300 kilograms (42,549 pounds)
  • Maximum speed: Mach 0.79 (975 km/h or 606 mph)
  • Range: 1,000 kilometers (620 miles)
  • Combat range: 750 kilometers (470 miles) 
  • Service ceiling: 7,000 meters (23,000 feet)

Also, the Frogfoot is powered by 2 Tumansky R-195 engines and is armed with a 30 mm GSh-30-2 autocannon. The Su-25 can also carry a variety of bombs and missiles, including unguided bombs, laser-guided bombs, and anti-tank missiles.

Despite its age, this aircraft remains an effective CAS platform

This aircraft is quite vulnerable today but used with caution on low-hazard missions; it can be an invaluable support to troops on the ground.

With its ability to operate in hostile environments and deliver a variety of weapons, the Frogfoot will continue to be a valuable asset for militaries worldwide.

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Featured image credit: Sukhoi Su-25 of the Russian Air Force by Fedor Leukhin. Licensed under CC by 2.0