Built-in armament comprised two 1.18 in (30 mm) cannon, external stores load was 8,818 lb (4,000 kg) of bombs and attack or self-defense missiles, including Vympel R-60 or R-73 close range air-to-air missiles. First delivered in 1978, the Afghan war led in 1981 to retrofit two pairs ASO-series ECM dispensers above the fuselage, which reduced maximum speed from (2,494 kmh) to (2,088 kmh).
Introduced in series production on the Su-17M (OKB designation S-32) "Fitter-C" in 1972, the Su-17M-4 had also a variable-geometric wing. Mid-span pivot points were introduced so that the (4.5 m) outer wing panels could be swept back from 30° to 63° positions.
After the death of Pavel Osipovich Sukhoi in 1975 (at the age of 80) the program was first led by N. G. Zyrin, later by A. A. Slezev. The export version of the the Su-17M-4 was the Su-22M-4 (OKB designation S-54K), deliveries started in 1983, and the type was used by Poland, Czechoslovakia, and East Germany.
The Su-17M-4 and Su-22M-4 were powered by a Lyul'ka AL-21F-3 fourteen-stage compressor turbojet, which was produced by NPO (Nauchno-Proizvodstvennoye Obyedinyenye, scientific production unit) Saturn at Rybinsk, Yaroslavl region, Russia. It delivered 17,196 lb (7,800 kg) s.t and 24,802 lb (11,250 kg) with full afterburner.
Span (30°): 44 ft 10.6 in (13.68 m)
Span (63°): 33 ft 9.5 in (10.03 m)
Length: 63 ft 3.8 in (19.03 m)
Length (excl probes): 56 ft 10.7 in (17.34 m)
Height: 15 ft 11.3 in (4.86 m)
Wing area (30°): 414.30 sq.ft (38.49 sq.m)
Wing area (63°): 370.82 sq.ft (34.45 sq.m)
Empty weight: 23,517 lb (10,667 kg)
Max weight: 42,836 lb (19,430 kg)
Max speed (clean): 870 mph (1,400 kmh) at sea level
Max speed (clean): 1,156 mph (1,860 kmh) at 36,089 ft (11,000 m)
Landing speed: 177 mph (285 kmh)
Climb: ft (13,500 m)/min
Service ceiling: 49,869 ft (15,200 m)
Combat radius: 308 mls (495 km)
Ferry range: 1,553 mls (2,500 km)