Kitty Hawk 1/48 Su-17/22UM-3K

KIT #: KH 80147
DECALS: Four options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken


The Sukhoi Su-22 (NATO reporting name: Fitter) is a Soviet variable-sweep wing fighter-bomber developed from the Sukhoi Su-7. It enjoyed a long career in Soviet, later Russian, service and was widely exported to Eastern Bloc, Arab air forces, Angola and Peru as the Su-20 and Su-22. It is the first variable-sweep wing of Russian/Soviet origin. The Su-17 set a number of world records. The Su-20 and Su-22 had the same airframe as the Soviet Su-17, but had degraded avionics and weapons capabilities, typical of export Soviet aircraft.

The Su-17/22UM-3K is the newest version of the two seat trainer. Basically it has the upgraded avionics and capabilities of the Su-17/22 M3/4 variant so that new pilots will have no issues when moving up to the latest operational versions. It also has the latest variant of engine.

The aircraft is still in service with a handful of nations.

Kitty Hawk has completed their Su-17/22 series by providing the two seat operational trainer. As is usual with most modern jets, a two seat conversion trainer is pretty much a requirement so that pilots new to the type can see how it flies with a trained instructor.

This most recent release contains a number of the same sprues as the previous boxings. For instance the two weapons sprues are the same as are the sections with the landing gear and aft fuselage. However, there are new sprues as well to deal with the two seat cockpit of the UM. To provide a bit of refresher, here is what is in the kit. 

Kitty Hawk likes to provide the builder with a lot of detail and so there are features you will not find on most other kits. For one thing, you get a full engine, complete with accessory section. In fact, if one wants, they could probably build the kit undergoing maintenance with the rear fuselage section removed. A nicely done cockpit is included and it is here that some of the photo etch is used for a seat harness. The cockpit side consoles and instrument panel are nicely detailed and Kitty Hawk provides decals as well. Other uses for the photo etch fret is for detailing on the fuselage mounted chaff/flare dispensers and as brackets for attaching weapons mounts to the pylons.

As you have guessed, the fuselage is in forward and rear sections. This will be quite useful for Kitty Hawk when doing the two seater. Upper fuselage fairings are also separate. This allows one to use the forward fin insert of choice. Russian Tumansky powered jets are known for lots of scoops in the rear and so it is with this one. The four speed brakes can also be posed open if one wishes.

Since this is a swing wing aircraft, one builds up the inner and outer wing sections separately. There is no mechanism so it is your choice how it will be modeled. The outer wing includes separate flaps and slats while the inner section contains the main landing gear. The gear wells are built up of separate inner walls. If you have built other Kitty Hawk kits, this is pretty much standard fare.

You would expect a big, hulking Russian fighter bomber to have a lot of weapons and pylons and here the kit does not disappoint. A wide range bombs, missiles and rockets and rocket pods are included in the kit. There is also a KKR-17 centerline pod which I believe is a recce pod. The instructions provide a load-out diagram, which is quite helpful.

Instructions are very nicely drawn and provide Gunze paint references. Six markings options are provided that cover most of the European nations that have flown the aircraft. Perhaps other nations will be used in a different boxing. We'll have to see. You get the very involved tiger scheme from the Polish air force as shown on the box art. No painting required as the largest sheet is dedicated to these markings. You also get markings for unified Germany, the Czech Republic, Ukraine, Russia and Hungary. Note that hidden behind the insignia sheet is a full set of data markings for the mass of weapons that the trainer could carry. I'm not really sure if all these weapons are ones actually carried by the trainer, so you may want to confer with other sources to get a proper load-out.


Those who like Soviet and Russian aircraft will really like this one. The detailing is excellent and while I'm sure it is not a slammer, careful building will result in an outstanding model. Having all those markings options is a real bonus as well. I should also mention that while no nose weight was indicated, there is room for it and I'd add some just to be sure.


January 2018

Copyright All rights reserved.

Thanks to Kitty Hawk for the preview kit. You can find this kit at your favorite hobby shop or on-line retailer

If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly, please contact the editor or see other details in the Note to Contributors.

Back to the Main Page            Back to the Review Index Page           Back to the Previews Index Page