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Sukhoi Su-37 Flanker-E

Multi-role fighter


The Su-37 is fitted with thrust vectoring engine and had unsurpassed maneuverability

Entered service -
Crew 1 men
Dimensions and weight
Length 21.93 m
Wing span 14.7 m
Height 5.93 m
Weight (empty) 18.5 t
Weight (maximum take off) 35 t
Engines and performance
Engines 2 x Lyulka-Saturn AL-37FU turbofans
Traction (dry / with afterburning) 2 x 74.5 / 145 kN
Maximum speed 2 870 km/h
Service ceiling 18 km
Range 3 300 km
Cannon 30-mm cannon with 150 rounds
Missiles 12 x air-to-air and air-to-ground missiles


   The Sukhoi Su-37 (NATO designation Flanker-E) multi-role fighter is a further development of the Su-35. This aircraft is sometimes nicknamed the Terminator. Developers had a goal to increase performance and maneuverability of the Su-35 aircraft and update its systems. 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. The Su-37 was demonstrated at numerous air shows around the world. It was actively proposed for the Russian Air Force as well as export customers. However this aircraft received no production orders.

   This aircraft had two turbofan engines with thrust vectoring. It is worth noting, that Sukhoi Design Bureau began thrust-vectoring technology research back in 1983. Initially the first Su-37 aircraft was fitted with two experimental Lyulka-Saturn AL-31FP engines with thrust vectoring. This engine was a derivative of the AL-31F turbofan of the Su-27. These engines are fully interchangeable. It was an interim measure until newer AL-37FU engines were available. In 2001 the first aircraft was fitted with AL-37FU engines, updated avionics and fly-by-wire control system. It is claimed that this aircraft had virtually no angle-of-attack limitations. The Su-37 was an agile dogfighter. Due to its maneuverability it could also evade enemy missile attacks. The thrust vectoring nozzles could be deflected both synchronously and differentially depending on a performed maneuver. Aircraft could perform aerobatics at speeds nearing zero. The Su-37 made a number of demonstration flights at various air shows, where it amazed spectators with its unsurpassed maneuverability.

   The Su-37 had secondary air-to-ground capability, however its primary role was air superiority. It had 12 wing and fuselage hardpoints and could carry missiles with a maximum weight of 8 000 kg. This fighter aircraft could carry a mix of short-range R-73E and R-77 missiles for air combat and various IR and radar homing missiles for ground attack role. This fighter aircraft was also fitted with GSh-301 30-mm cannon, with 150 rounds.

   The Su-37 had improved fire control system, comparing with that of the contemporary Su-35. Its phased-array radar could track up to 20 air targets and simultaneously guide 8 air-to-air missiles.

   In 2002 the first aircraft crashed due to software malfunction, bringing an end to the Su-37 programme. 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.






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