Manufacturer: Sukhoi

Model: Su-27

Name: "Flanker-Q" (NATO codename)

Type: Unmanned fighter

Date: 2013

Status: Operational service

Country: Russia

Service: Russian Air Force

Designation: Su-27RV


Below right is the photo of a standard Su-27 which was edited by erasing the cockpit and drawing a closed compartment in its place. This could be a way to change the aircraft from piloted to unpiloted by adding or removing a flight control module... or access to an enlarged bomb bay.

Actually "RV" looks like "PB" in Russian but it really is "RV". The text says: "tomorrow's war... today." I only did 6 months of Russian in 1985, so I use Google translator and hope it comes out right!

Viewers' comments:
  • Very beautiful lines, thanks! (Tophe)
  • Actually, I requested a UCAV Su-17, but the Su-27 UCAV looks awesome too!!! (Fulcrum)
  • Plenty of room for lipstick cameras, and other viewing sensors. (GTX)
  • I love the Su-27 UCAV. (Slerski)
  • The Su-27RV is beautiful! (lauhof52)
  • Freaky ! (crazyxav)
  • That's just scary looking, you should do one for the Su-47. (Commander-jao)
  • It kinda looks like an Su-27 with a COFFIN (Connection of Flight Interface) system (If you played Ace Combat 3 then you know what I mean).
  • A brilliant recreation, as ever you do. When in the near future automated air wars become the norm, aged Su-27 airframes can be finished as this one for training purposes. (CUTANGUS)

My comments:

The believability of a UCAV version lies not so much in the design itself (the removal of the cockpit doesn't change much to the aircraft's aerodynamics or general inflight behavior) as in the capacity to successfully operate it from the ground with the same efficiency in air-to-air combat as a piloted fighter... and although real-world UCAV fighter versions are probably in the works at the moment, that aspect still remains to be seen.

Also see the unmanned MiG-29RV "Fulcrum-Q".