Sukhoi Su-25 Frogfoot Book Review
|Date of Review||October 2013||Title||Sukhoi Su-25 Frogfoot|
|Author||Alexander Mladenov||Publisher||Osprey Publishing|
|Format||64 pages, softbound||MSRP (USD)||$18.95|
I distinctly recall my first encounters with Su-25s: the cryptic "Ram-J" label, grainy satellite shots and, later, indistinct images from Afghanistan.
Decades on, the Frogfoot ranks among the world's most familiar warplanes. And Sukhoi's "shturmovik" remains a tough, capable weapons platform of global significance.
Now it dominates the ninth installment in Osprey's fast-growing "Air Vanguard" series.
Alexander Mladenov tells the total tale in just 64 pages. And his solid story deftly wends from design through development to deployment – and beyond.
After a useful introduction outlining concept, competitor and construction issues, Mladenov summarizes technical specifications. That useful chart on "combat survivability features" proved especially illuminating. In fact, Osprey reveals, self-protection components comprise 11.5% of the aircraft's normal takeoff weight.
Text then turns to Frogfoot versions, modifications and projects – including export, naval and all-weather variants. Here, Mladenov's summary of "never-built", upgrade and project plans underscores the cost-effective Frogfoot's still-robust design potential. Israel's westernized "Scorpion" variant and ongoing international use, for instance, confirm its continued global appeal.
A compact "Operational History" follows. This begins with early Soviet combat use in Afghanistan – and continues through service in the Middle East, Africa and Latin America.
Photos, a cut-away drawing, extended captions, sidebars and tables augment Mladenov's account. Color profiles provide plenty of modeling inspiration. And a selected bibliography and index conclude contents.
A couple concerns cloud Osprey's effort. The aspect ratio of some side views looks wrong. And an acronym list might help novices more efficiently fathom technical text and terms.
Still, this is a great introduction. Sure, more extensive – and expensive – Frogfoot monographs exist. But Osprey's terrific little tome offers an excellent, affordable précis of Su-25 history and operations.
My sincere thanks to Osprey Publishing for this review sample!