Fitters in the Middle East

Fitters in the Middle East

Sukhoi Su-7/17/20/22 in Service in Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Libya, Syria, and Yemen, 1967–2022

Tom Cooper, Milos Sipos

Since 1966, the backbone of the fighter-bomber fleet of the air forces of Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Libya, Syria, and Yemen was - and sometimes still is - formed by Sukhoi-designed fighter-bombers.
Date Published :
April 2023
Publisher :
Helion and Company
Series :
Middle East@War
Illustration :
90 b/w photos, 3 maps, 24 color profiles
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Paperback
ISBN : 9781804512296
Pages : 88
Dimensions : 11.7 X 8.3 inches
Stock Status : Not Yet Published. Available for Pre-Order


Frequently overshadowed by rival designs of the Mikoyan i Gurevich Design Bureau, the family of fighter-bombers of the aircraft design bureau headed by Pavel O. Sukhoi and developed in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s are far less-well-known in the West. Reestablished in the early 1950s, the Sukhoi Design Bureau initially followed the same path as its primary competitor and designed two fighters, one equipped with swept wing, and the other with delta-wing. In the West, they became known under the ASCC/NATO-codename ‘Fitter’.

Through the 1960s, and unlike MiG, Sukhoi continued developing its ‘Fitters’, resulting in an entire family of airframes, equipped with ever better avionics and more powerful engines. Its Su-7BMKs (ASCC/NATO-codename ‘Fitter-A’) entered service with Egypt in 1966, Syria and Iraq in 1967, followed by Algeria a year later. In 1972–1973, Su-17, and then Su-20 – the second generation of this design, and the first equipped with variable-sweep wing – entered service in Egypt, followed by Iraq and Syria. Finally, in 1978–1979, the third and final generation – including variants such as the Su-22, Su-22M, Su-22M-3, and Su-22M-4 (ASCC/NATO-codenames ‘Fitter F/G/J/K’, respectively) – entered service in Iraq, followed by Libya, Syria, and Yemen. Highly appreciated – and often outright beloved – by their pilots and ground crews alike, they formed the backbone of the fighter-bomber fleets of these six air forces, and saw action in about a dozen different wars.

Richly illustrated with a host of exclusive photographs and custom-drawn color profiles, Fitters of the Middle East is the first title ever offering a comprehensive and inclusive operational history of ‘Fitters’ with six major air forces. As such it is an indispensable single-point source of reference.

About The Author

Tom Cooper is an Austrian aerial warfare analyst and historian. Following a career in worldwide transportation business – during which he established a network of contacts in the Middle East and Africa – he moved into narrow-focus analysis and writing on small, little-known air forces and conflicts, about which he has collected extensive archives. This has resulted in specialization in such Middle Eastern air forces as of those of Egypt, Iran, Iraq, and Syria, plus various African and Asian air forces. Except for authoring and co-authoring more than 30 books - including about a dozen of titles for Helion’s @War series - and over 1000 articles, Cooper is a regular correspondent for multiple defense-related publications.

Milos Sipos is a Slovakian military historian. While pursuing a career in law, he has collected extensive documentation on inter-connected political, industrial, human resources and military-related affair in Iran, Iraq, and Syria. His core interest is a systematic approach to studies of their deep impacts upon combat efficiency and the general performance of local militaries. After more than 10 years of related work on the forum, he co-authored the much acclaimed book ‘Iraqi Mirages: The Dassault Mirage Family in Service with the Iraqi Air Force’. This is his second instalment for Helion.

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