The Su-35, full name Sukhoi Su-35 is a twin-engine, single-seat, multi-role, supermaneuverable, air superiority fighter jet. Nato called it the “Flanker-E”. It is a 4++ generation fighter aircraft.
The Su-35 stole the Le Bourget 2013 Paris air-show in a 12-minute flight with seemingly impossible maneuvers. Engineer Kunovski said, “I have been in the industry for 22 years, I have seen a lot, but this flight was simply incredible. This is not a fighter jet, this is a UFO”. Article published in Rostec news website.
This was the 1st public demonstration of a Russian fighter jet at the Paris air show since the 1999 crash of an older model flanker.
Let’s have a closer look at the capabilities of the fighter jet.
Design & Origin:
The Su-35 designed by Sukhoi Company (founded in Soviet-era by Pavel Sukhoi in 1939), also named as Sukhoi Design Bureau. The aircraft was manufactured by Komsomolsk-on-Amur, the largest aircraft manufacturing company in Russia. The Su-35 is the improved version of Soviet origin Su-27 air-defense fighter jet.
Missions & Operations:
The Sukhoi Su-35 takes its first flight in February 2008. The Sukhoi delivered 1st Su-35 aircraft in 2011 to the military for testing. And the fighter jet was inducted into the Russian Air Force in 2014 after the testing phase was completed.
The Su-35 can perform operations against the ground, air, and naval targets. Potential users of the fighter jet are China, Indonesia, and Egypt.
In January 2016 Russian military first time deployed the Su-35 in the combat zone in Syria to test its capabilities. Until now it has successfully intercepted the Turkish F-16s (in southern Idlib, in August 2019) and several Israeli fighter jets in Syrian air-space.
The Su-35 has 12 hardpoints. It has 1 internal 30mm Gryazev-Shipunov GSH-30-1 auto-cannon. It can carry up to 8000 kg of ordnance. The weapon system it can carry includes;
Air-to-air missiles (R27ER, R40, R60, R73E, R77M/P/T, R74)
Air-to-surface missiles (KH-25ML, KH-29L, 3M-4AE).
Anti-ship missiles (3M-54AE, KH-31A, KH-35U, KH-59MK, Yakhont).
Anti-radiation missiles (KH-25MP, KH-31P, KH-58USHE).
(KAB-500KR & 1500 KR, GBU-500T & 1000T TV-Guided Bombs,
KAB-500L & 1500L, GBU 500 & 1000 Laser-Guided Bombs,
KAB-500S-E Satellite-Guided Bombs).l
The Su-35 avionics includes Irbis-E passive electronically scanned array radar. OLS-35 search and track the infra-red system. And L-175M Khibiny-M electronic countermeasure system.
The Su-35 has a maximum speed of Mach 2.2 (2400 km/h). Max service ceiling is 59000 ft. G limit is +9.
The Flanker-E has a maximum range of 3600 km. Combat range is 1600 km. The rate of climb is 55000 ft/minute.
The Irbis-E Passive Electronically Scanned Array Radar (PESA) can track up to 30 targets and can engage 8 airborne and 4 ground targets at once. The radar can track its targets of up to 400 km. PESA radar used in the Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jet, with an output of 20 KW is one of the most powerful radar systems in the world.
The Sukhoi Su-35s Irbis-E PESA is a state-of-the-art and competitive radar as compared to most USA and the European active and passive phased array radars.
Engineers also designed a new BINS-SP-2 strap-down Inertial Navigation System for the fighter jet. Using this system fighter jet can identify its position without satellite or ground-based communication systems. This system is also used in state-of-the-art 5th generation fighter jets.
The Su-35 with its advanced avionics, weapon systems, and extreme maneuverability makes it better than many of the European and US fighter jets.
The 4++ generation of Su-35 surpasses the 4 and 4+ generation jets and have a close resemblance with 5th generation fighter jets in terms of characteristics.
After analyzing the Su-35 characteristics, performance, and weapon systems, we can say that the 4++ generation of Su-35 can outclass any fighter jet of its category in the world due to its advanced avionics, latest armaments, and super agility and maneuverability.
- Article in Wikipedia
- Article published in Rostech News Website
- Information provided by Sukhoi Official Website
- Article in Rosoboronexport website