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Su-35

Multi-role fighter

Su-35

The Su-35 multi-role fighter poses great threat to Western fighter aircraft

 
 
Entered service 2012
Crew 1 men
Dimensions and weight
Length 21.9 m
Wing span 15.3 m
Height 5.9 m
Weight (empty) 18.4 t
Weight (maximum take off) 34.5 t
Engines and performance
Engines 2 x Saturn 117S (AL-41F1S)
Traction (dry / with afterburning) 2 x 86.3 / 142 kN
Maximum speed 2 390 km/h
Service ceiling 18 km
Range 3 600 km
Ferry range 4 500 km
Armament
Cannon 1 x 30 mm cannon with 150 rounds
Missiles R-27ER, E-27ET, R-73, Kh-29T, Kh-31P, Kh-59M
Bombs various free-fall bombs

 

   The Su-35 is a significantly developed version of the Su-27. Development began in the early 1980s. The aircraft first flew in 1988 and was originally known as Su-27M. It was proposed as a super agile Su-27 primarily for air superiority missions, but also with a greatly expanded air-to-ground capability. It had a number of improvements in engines, aerodynamics, avionics and construction methods. Later this aircraft was redesignated as the Su-35. It is referred in the West as Flanker-E. Sometimes it is also referred as the Super Flanker. It is being proposed as a replacement for Su-27 and MiG-29 fighters. Is is in service with the Russian Air Force. Some sources report that as of 2015 Russian Air Force operated 36 of these aircraft. In 2015 it was announced that China ordered 24 of these fighters, becoming the first foreign customer.

   Developers refer the Su-35 as 4++ generation fighter. Even though it is basically an upgraded version of the Su-27 that made its first flight back in 1977. The Su-35 is a very fast highly maneuverable fighter with very long range, high altitude capability and heavy armament. It poses great threat to Western 4+ generation fighters, such as Eurofighter Typhoon, Dassault Rafale, F-15C or F/A-18E Super Hornet. However it is no match for American F-22 Raptor due to the stealthiness.

   The Su-35 is built on a proven Su-27 airframe. Its large and powerful engines give it ability to supercruise for a long time. Also its engines allow to reach supersonic speeds without using an afterburner. Engines have a three-dimensional thrust vectoring and make this aircraft very maneuverable. Currently it is the only production fighter to use a two-plane thrust vectoring nozzles. Other thrust-vectoring aircraft, such as F-22 Raptor and Su-30MKI have nozzles that vector only in one plane.

   This aircraft can carry 11.5 t of fuel. Long range of the Su-35 allows it to escort Su-24 interdictors.

   The multi-role fighter is fitted with advanced avionics, including a passive phased array radar. It also has infrared search and track capability.

   The Su-35 is primarily an air superiority fighter. However it has secondary air-to-ground capability. This aircraft can carry enormous amount of weapons. It has 12 wing and fuselage hardpoints and can carry ordnance with a maximum weight of up to 8 000 kg. This fighter can carry a mix of short-range R-73E and medium-range R-77 missiles for air combat and various IR and radar homing missiles for ground attack role. If required it can carry bombs or pods with unoperated rockets. This fighter aircraft was also fitted with GSh-301 30-mm cannon, with 150 rounds.

   The Su-35 can carry an electronic warfare pod, that gives it a powerful jamming capability. It has been reported that its advanced jammers can reduce performance of enemy radars. It can blind onboard radars found on missiles, such as AIM-120 AMRAAM.

 

Variants

 

   Su-27M initial version, produced between 1988 and 1995. A total of 12 aircraft were built. Later it was redesignated as the Su-35;

   Su-37 (Western designation Flanker-E). It is a further development of the Su-35. It was fitted with experimental engines with trust vectoring. This aircraft had increased performance and maneuverability. Also avionics and systems of this aircraft were and updated. It was fitted with fly-by-wire control system and improved fire control system. The Su-37 made its maiden flight in 1996. Only two pre-production technology demonstrators were built due to limited funding and lack of orders. This aircraft was actively proposed for the Russian Air Force as well as export customers. However it received no production orders. In 2002 the first aircraft crashed due to software malfunction, bringing an end to the Su-37 program. Development of this aircraft was stopped. Later Sukhoi introduced several modernizations of the Su-27 - the Su-30MKI and Su-35BM. Both of these aircraft use the Su-37 technology, such as the thrust vectoring engines, improved radar systems and avionics.

   Su-35BM. It used some technology of the cancelled Su-37. It was fitted with thrust vectoring engines, upgraded avionics and radar systems. Some modifications were made to the airframe;

   Su-35UB two-seat trainer. It retains full combat capability. A single aircraft was built in the late 1990s. It strongly resembles the Su-30MK fighters;

   Su-35S, an improved production version of the Su-35BM for the Russian Air Force. It made its first flight in 2008. In 2012 Russian Air Force ordered a total of 48 Su-35S aircraft. At least 4 of these were delivered since 2012. Some sources report that a total of 34 aircraft were delivered.

 

Video of the Su-35 multi-role fighter

 
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