Sukhoi Su-35S Flanker-M: The Last Flanker
Hi and welcome to by 3rd suggestion, which is about the Su-35S Flanker-M, the last machine of its Series
After I already suggested other 4 / 4+ / 4++ gen Flankers, its time for the final 4th gen multi-role fighter by Sukhoi. I dont see it coming within the next 2 years, thats for shure, but try to stop me XD
First of all:
- This is a suggestion for an Aircraft we could see in game at some point in the Future , that doesn´t mean next Patch or somewhere in the near Future
- I don´t want to force Gaijin to rush Top-tier aviation in any way
- Feel free to share more Data and / or correct me if something is wrong
- Discuss respectfully, any aggressive kind or verbal abuse will be reported, the Forum rules also apply here
- FOX-3 on all aircraft in game (when added) could be balanced by limit them to a max. of 2 - 4x missiles and making them not such strong as in RL or DCS (my opinion)
Versions of the Su-27, such as the Su-27M (T-10M) modernized fighters designed and produced on order from the Russian Air Force in the 1980s, had been demonstrated at international air shows under the name Su-35 since 1992. These were equiped with the Bars-R PESA Radar, made for the Su-30MKI and later domestic Su-30SM, Canards as the Su-33 has, and the newer Saturn AL-31FM1 turbofan engines, with increased thrust. Mainly only prototypes of the Su-27M were built in series - only three serial Su-35 were actually built and put into service, these had the Serial-numbers Red 86, 87 and 88 - almost all the prototypes had different cockpit configurations, as well as slightly different tail fins. The Su-27M have following Serial-numbers: 701, 702, 703, 704, 705, 706, 707, 708, 709, 710, 712 - White 711 received 2D thrust vectoring Saturn AL-31FU and has been renamed to Su-37, which cashed 2002 after an engine failure - ´710´ served as the testbed for the Saturn AL-41F-1S. The three serial produced Su-35s as well as the Su-27M ´703´ and ´712´ were awarded to Russian Knights aerobatic team and painted in their colorsare. All other were scrapped or serve as exhibits today. The T-10M project extinguished in 1996.
At the turn of the century, a review of the national Air Force’s needs for the foreseeable future, as well as global aircraft market forecasts, identified the requirement for a more radical modernization of the Su-27, building on the foundation that had previously been laid. To make the airplane competitive compared to existing and future foreign fighters, it was required not only to significantly improve airborne equipment and weapons, but also to alter the airframe structure and power generation. As a result, the general concept of a new multi-purpose fighter – a thoroughly-modernized version of the Su-27 airplane – was generated by the middle of the first decade of the new century, retaining the name Su-35. Work on this project at Sukhoi Design Bureau was led by I. Demin.
The Su-35S is a “4++” generation airplane that uses fifth-generation fighter technology. In 2009 - 2015, this technology created an advantage for the Su-35S over the other fourth-generation multi-purpose fighters offered on the global market. The new Russian fighter was designed so that it could fly and fight in conditions where “classic” (4+ generation) fighters were unable to engage in combat. It was envisioned that this “major modernization” would fill the gap between the Su-27 airplanes built or modified with “minor modernizations” until the production launch of fifth-generation airplanes, expected to enter the market within a decade. The first Su-35BMs were Su-35-0, 901, 902 and 904, while Nr. 902 was part of the Chinese program, Nr. 35-0 was partially dismantled; is now an exhibit and Nr. 904 crashed, the remaining BMs are still in service, but mainly for demonstrating and future tests. The Su-35S are now in mass production.
The Su-35S is a multi-role fighter of the 4++ generation and a massive upgrade within the Su-27 family. In practical terms, everything has been revised. The cockpit, the airframe, the engines, avionics and more. Although it is a 4th gen airframe, it already uses 5th gen technology, such as the new N035 Irbis-E X-band radar and the Type 4283 AESA IFF system mounted in the wings. A newer RWR, the L150-35, as well as the laser warning system which is also installed in the Su-30SM. Whoever thinks that everything was wrong, the Su-35S has a reduced radar signature due to the use of RAM material. The CAS capacity was also increased and the number of R-77 missiles increased from 8 (Su-27SM3) to 12.
In the heavily modernized cockpit there are now two extra-large MFD-35 LCD 230 x 305 mm screens, two smaller displays, as well as the wide-angle HUD IKSh-1M, with a 20 x 30 degree fell of view. The new IRST, OLS-35, goes one better than the older OLS-27M / OLS-30, for example the laser range finder range has been increased from 10 to 20 km, it also received a TV-camera and be used for detecting any kind of targets (air, ground, vessel).
As if that wasn’t all, the new AL-41F-1S engines are added. Also known as the AL-31F izdl. 117S, these offer 16% more thrust than the standard AL-31F of the Flanker family. In addition, there is the 3D thrust vectoring, which we can also find in the Flanker-H (Su-30SM(2) / MKI / MKA / MKM / SME), this entices and higher AOA capabilities and allows us to do some clear maneuvers in aerobatics. According to Sukhoi, the new engines should also make the machine super-cruise capable, which means that we can achieve Mach 1 without an afterburner.
But the Su-35S has one weakness, the new avionics, engines, etc. take up a lot of space. So where should you make space? Since BVR was meant to avoid the "merge"and the new engines required changes to the airframe, the old decoy dispensers, APP-50, have been replaced by six new OV-50s, but these have “only” 14 cigars per module, which leads to 84 decoys in total. Not good prerequisites for dogfights, but at least they are 50mm decoys, through which we at least have to launch less to prevent a missile hit. Four of the six dispensers are located at the top between the two engines, as usual, but the other two are located on the tail, near the rear one of the L-150-35 RWR modules - I don´t why, but on some machines these were mounted on top of the tail, but on other machines on the bottom of the tail.
In the game I was equating the Su-35S with, for example, late F-15C, F-15E, F/A-18C / E, Eurofighter, Gripen E and Dassault Rafale, but it is also able to measure the F-35, but for the F-22 I see the Su-57 as much more comparable which will I suggest when the time is right in my eyes.
The Su-35 has not been succesfully exported. Only China, Russia and Iran are known operators of the Su-35 Flanker-M. Which can also be due to the high production costs of the machine. For most nations, a mid-life upgrade of the existing Flankers is more likely to be an option.
Unlike other Flankers, the Su-35S has full access to the maximum possible loadout options, for any combat situation.
Guns: 1x GSh-30-1 (30 x 165mm, 150 rounds) 1500 – 1800 rpm muzzle velocity of 870 m/s (1800m range) AAM, up to (12 Pylons): 8x R-27ER 8x R-27EA 4x R-27ET 4x R-27EP 6x R-73 RMD-1 / M 6x R-74M 12x R-77 / -1 4x R-37M 3x KS-172 Bombs / guided Bombs, up to: 8x KAB-250 8x KAB 500Kr / -S 3x KAB-1500Kr / -L / -S 10x FAB-500 32x OFAB-250-270 8x UPAB-500 3x UPAB-1500 Air-to-Ground Missiles, up to: 6x Kh-29T / TE / L 6x Kh-31AD (upgraded Anti-Ship missile) 6x Kh-31PD (upgraded Anti-Radiation missile) 5x Kh-59ME / MK (requires APK-9 Datalink pod) 6x S-25L (2x twin pod, 2x single) 5 x Kh-58UShKE 5 x Kh-38ME Unguided Rockets (in total), up to: 120x S-8 (6 pods) 30x S-13 (6 pods) 6x S-25 (2x twin pod, 2x single) Other: T220 Targeting pod APK-9 Datalink pod
As already mentioned, the Su-35S is equipped with the N035. But first of all; the “N012 rear-facing Radar” is a myth, there is nothing about it and nothing behind it, it simply doesn´t exist.
The N035 Irbis-E - “Snow Leopard” - Airborne Radar is used at all stages of combat application while interacting with on-board equipment complex, as well as with complexes of on-board equipment within a group of aircraft under close and long-range air combat modes, during group and single operations day-and-night, under simple and heavy weather, over its own and the enemy territory in the presence of natural noise and jamming. The N035, like the Bars-R on which it is based on, is able to detect stealth jets and lock on at a distance of up to 80 km, but this only works when a smaller scan area is used and has improved all its capabilities such as increasing ECCM, Range and the maximum of tracked targets at once.
Crew: 1 Length: 21.93 m Wingspan: 14.70 m Height: 5.9 m Wing area: 62.4 m2 Empty weight: 16,870 kg Loaded weight: 25,300 kg Max. takeoff weight: 34,500 kg Fuel capacity: 11.500 kg (internally) Powerplant; AL-41F-1S (static) dry thrust: 86,3kN (static) afterburner thrust: 137kN (static) full afterburner thurst: 142,2kN
Maximum speed, Mach 2.25: 1450km/h at sea level 2284km/h at altitude Operation celling: 18.500 m Service ceiling: 17.750 m Rate of climb: >280 m/s Wing loading: min. 408 kg/m2 max. 500.8 kg/m2 Thrust/weight (with afterburner): max.: 1.53 mid.: 1.15 (50% fuel) min.: 0.92 Maximum g-load: +9g / -3g Countermessures: 6x OV-50 decoy dispenders, 14 x 50mm decoys of claiber 50mm each 2x L175M Khibiny-M ECM jammer pods (mounted on wing tips, wing tip pylons for R-73 cant be used while having the ECM pods) 2x L265M10-02 Khibiny-M ECM jammer pods (mounted on wing tips, wing tip pylons for R-73 cant be used while having the ECM pods) Other: OLS-35 120° FOV Instand FOV: 10 x 7.5° Azimuth: +/- 90° Elevation: 60° / -15° Big search field: 60° x 10° Small search field: 20° x 5° Close combat mode: 3° x 3° (vertical) Detection Range: min. 90 km rear-aspect and min. 35 km all-aspect Laser Range measurement: Airborne targets: < 20km Ground targets: < 30km L-150-35 RWR Helmet mounted sight for R-73 T220 Targeting Pod IKSh-1M HUD UAR sensors; continuous spherical review of the environment; detection of objects representing a threat, determination of their angular coordinates; formation of signs of threat. OLO sensors continuous spherical review of the environment; automatic detection of laser radiation sources (OR); formation of signs of threat.
The AL-41F-1S feature thrust vectoring control in pitch only with deflection angles up to ±15°. Production standard engines centrainly feature thrust vector controll in pitch and yaw. The axisymmetric thrust rotary nozzles have a diiferntial defelction of up to ±15°; the axis of the rotation of each nozzle being arranged at an angle of 32° respective to each other, facilitating the employment of thrust vectorcontrol in both pitch and yaw axis. JSC Corporation Irkut states: “Depending on the upcomming manouevre, the nozzles may vary in synchronism with horizontal tail assambly or sepreatly from it.”
The nozzle angling can apparently generate what is termed a “side force” when differantial defelction is selected, futher increasing low speed manoeuvrebility.
Thanks for your time, hope you liked it
I know its a beautiful looking machine, here is a whole gallery: click me
[Will add more if there are some (more) important / declassified things]
[PM or comment if a Link or Picture isn´t working]
PDF Document - The Military Balance 2021
PDF Document - Interview with Yuri Bely
PDF Document - Russian and Chinese Combat Air Trends
Books (sorted by priority):
-Sukhoi Su-27 - Yefim Gordon - Midland Publishing 2007
-Su-27 The History of the Fighter - Andrei Fomin - Publishing 2004
-Sukhoi Su-35 Flanker-E - Russia´s 4th ++ Generation Super-Manouverbility Fighter - Hugh Harkins - Publishing 2015
-Su-57 Felon (Modern Military Aircraft Series 2) - Piotr Butowski - Publishing 2022