Forget the F-22 and F-35, this is a real Super Maneuverable Fighter plane: the Russian Su-35 Flanker-E

Jun 17 2013 - 112 Comments

The Su-35 (NATO designation Flanker E), Russia’s latest version of the famous super-maneuverable multirole fighter jet has demonstrated its stunning capabilities during the first day of the 50th Paris Air Show at Le Bourget.

During its display, the 4++ generation aircraft has showcased some almost impossible manoeuvres, demonstrating unbelievable low-speed handling authority.


Ok, it’s not stealth (even if some sources say it can detect stealth planes like the F-35 at a distance of over 90 kilometers), but once engaged in a WVR (Within Visual Range) air-to-air engagement, it can freely maneuver to point the nose and weapons in any direction, to achieve the proper position for a kill.

Some weeks ago, someone was impressed by a (quite normal) F-35’s High AOA test flight video.

Bill Flynn, Lockheed test pilot responsible for flight envelope expansion activities for the JSF recently said that all three variants of the Joint Strike Fighter will have better kinematic performance than any fourth-generation fighter plane with combat payload, including the Eurofighter Typhoon and the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet.

The F-35 maneuverability shown in the video seems far to be special. Unlike the Su-35’s impressive one.

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  • Ronnie Fairley

    I joined this web site for my love of aviation and by looking at this blog it seems no one knows about aircraft. The F-35 and F-22 are not the most maneuverable aircraft in the sky. You guys must never heard of the Su-35S or by its better designation SU-37 Terminator. The F-18 superhorney radar benchmark exceeds every other aircraft but guess what the are still firing araams which makes ther bvr equilant. dont let me start on the f-22 compared to the 35, 37 or even pak fa , let lleave it at this how many of you knew that the f22 internal bombay cant fire missiles when moving faster thatr the speed of sound

  • franciscoalmeida_br

    … mmm … do their “garbage machines” include these SU-35s?

    – and their rocket engines sold for Pentagon launches?
    – and their roadmobile highly maneuverable Mach21 Topol-M ICBMs?
    – and their Varshavyanka-class hyper-stealth nuclear submarines, dubbed by US as “black holes” as virtually undetectable?
    – and their hypersonic carrier-killer highly-maneuverable Club-K (Sizzler) missiles?
    – and the SS-N-12 Sandbox version of it? and its Yakohont version?
    – and the Mach-6 Brahmos II missiles they sold to India?
    – and also the Mach 10 DF-21D carrier-killer missile they sold to China?

    oh, I see what you mean …

    • Samuel Michalicek

      yet the US can match. we have everything russia has, and more. we can kick anybodies butt in war. once all of America is ready to support it, we are unstoppable. hello, we are the best military in the world

  • Ted E. Bear

    I guess I would ask the pilots on deck which one they wanted to drive to the OK Corral gunfight.

  • Bambang Setyawan

    SU-35 Superterminator untuk Indonesia saya perlukan sebanyak 48 buah saja dimana akan saya bagi dalam tiga skuadron. Skuandron Rusmin Nuryadin, Skuadron Iswayudi dan Skuadron Ujungpandang. Pada saat ini setelah hilangnya “kewiraan” sebagai cara pandang bangsa Indonesia dalam masalah wilayah diperlukan “deterence” yang seimbang dengan para tetangga kita! Daripada uang kita diberikan untuk keperluan partai poltik yg tidak ada tujuan yg jelas mending dibelikan buat ini saja!

  • Coolerheads

    The Su-35 is faster and more maneuverable, but the whole point of the F-22 is stealth. The Su-35 has a longer radar range, and it’s radar can lock on an object with a radar signature of only 3 square meters. This is a very good improvement over previous radars. However, the F-22s radar signature is only 0.002 square meters. That means the Su-35 will never see the F-22 except at visual range. It doesn’t matter how fast or agile you are if you’re deaf and blind. In a real war, the F-22 will launch its missiles long before the Su-35 even knows it’s there. Even if the Su-35 sees the F-22 at visual range, it’s missiles will never be able to achieve a radar lock. That’s what Euro fighter pilots reported from joint exercises. Even when they could see the F-22 right in front of them with their own eyes, they couldn’t ever get a radar lock to fire their missiles. The F-22 doesn’t just reflect radar, its skin absorbs it. So even from above, below, beside, or when turning, a radar lock isn’t going to happen. The only down side of the F-22 is that it is crazy expensive to operate. The skin has to be re-applied for every flight and it costs a fortune. That’s why the US doesn’t use the F-22s very often. The per-flight cost is ridiculous. They will probably only ever see real sustained action if we get into a war with a highly sophisticated adversary, like Russia or China. Let’s hope that never happens for all our sakes.

  • bridgebuilder78

    You don’t ‘drive’ an airplane, you pilot the plane, Mr. Dumbass.

    • Samuel Michalicek

      the definition of drive is to control a self mobile vehicle. piloting is just to separate it from different crafts

  • Hmmmmmmm

    2 years ago I witnessed with my own 2 eyes an F22 perform the same manuevers. Dont think they are that special. As for the Chinese, if their military weapons are made from the same grade metal as the shit they send to America, they are not a player. Sure the Russians are building some sweet aircraft, but lets consider how their past aircraft have faired against American Aircraft in middle east conflicts. Yeah–thats what I thought, Not good. How do we immediately establish
    air superiority–better aircraft, better electronics better pilots.

  • beefcake

    it could never even come close to a f22 raptor. the f22 has the same capabilities, and it has thrust vectoring. with a long range and a usual altitude of 60,000 feet, and it goes fast and leaves fast it could beat it. if you notice, it is slow when it does maneuvers, which means the f22 could come in and go out without the su35 noticing. the f22 is far better than the su35.

  • Samuel Michalicek

    a: you do realize that the f22 can easily fly at heights where it would be flying down at it right?
    b:even if it shows up on enemy radar, so what? the enemy is dead!
    c:what do you mean they have to activate their radar? the f22’s radar is always active, it is know in the U.S. as a puppeteer because it knows what is happening in battle.
    d: i would still love to see the su35 take on the f22, it has something called “flares” . the USAF wasn’t stupid, they know they need flared.
    e: what has the su35 actually proven lately? against chinese they lost, and the chinese said it was like clubbing seals!
    im sorry but it isn’t what you think it is

    • Nawaponrath Asavathanachart

      I don’t get your point flying high and untouchable its service ceiling is 50,000 ft so what any fighter can fly that high the SU35 has a max ceiling of 55,000 ft.

      Yes you’re right that I’ve just read that they have a new radar that is hard to detect when active.

      In a war situation normal fighters fly with there radars on passive mode to be undetected that is why European and Russian planes have extra IRIST for passive detection and it can detect any missiles being launched. Therefore, even if the F22 radar is hard to detect the missile launch will give it’s position away.

      Another factor to consider is that the missile tech of USA is lagging behind Europe and Russia

      • Samuel Michalicek

        the f22’s ceiling is much higher than 50,000 feet for functioning. it goes easily to 60,000 ft and still has full capabilities. and when a missile is fired, it launches and then is far away from the jet itself. so seeing a blip on radar from a missile that has good distance from the jet is really not that bad. and why do we need to worry about missile tech? we have missiles that work just fine thank you very much. even some of our air gaurd jets (f-16, f-22, and so on) have good radar systems. so a powerful missile isn’t worth anything without a just as powerful radar system

  • Samuel Michalicek

    you forget, again, that the f22’s radar is constantly on. it is what they use when they start training future pilots who they think will be good. the f22 flies up high, out of range, radar active, stop the enemy, and either strike, or alert allies to their location. also even if they are going at each other with speed, there are going to be other aircraft. i dont think planes fly into battles solo, this ins’t WW2.As for seeing things at 400km, yes the f22 is large, but it is up high, and far out. your precious su35 has a bunch of technology the USAF has already anticipated. oh yeah and if you do get a lock, the f22 has a lot, i mean A LOT of flares.

  • Samuel Michalicek

    to reply with you, i can’t see a war russia has won on its own, or china, or any military superpower. we have strength in allies, and we have helped allies who were losing. i wouldn’t go to war in europe without any allies next to me. and, we are a democracy. so that means our troops have rules, but have lots of free will. and on that island what were the weather conditions, and what military personal were there? new kids who were scared and didn’t know what was happening with adrenaline pumping through their veins, or seasoned marines and/or army vets?

    • biofreak96


  • Samuel Michalicek

    what the heck are you rambling about?

  • Ryan Defoort

    Does it really matter? We have ten times the amount of fighters compared to the second largest airforce. If we lose a few, oh well

  • Ken Morgan

    Russian inferior junk, to heavy, huge heat signature non stealth makes a great target for
    f-15 silent eagle, no match for 5 th generation killers, they would have grounded there air force
    then go up against u.s air force

  • Biofreak96

    Actual facts from the vietnam war that for every 5 air to air kills,4 of them came from dogfights or close quarter battles.The remaining kill is from BVR. So for every Sukhoi the F35 shoots down,4 f35 will be shot by Sukhoi’s

    Not so sure if F22 is any good at dogfights, but if any russian Flankers manages to merge with an F22,it could be taken out.Just like the Germans who did it with their Eurofighter Typhoons in red flag ,they outmaneuvered the raptors.

  • vegass04 .

    SU-35 is the BEST FIGHTER JET IN THE WORLD – for Paris show and acrobatics teams. Post stall speed loss would be the death of those planes. Raptor would punch holes in these puppies before they knew anything is in their vicinity. Only thing that worries me is the lack of investment in next generation of air-to-air missiles for Raptors and F-35. Since US is to proud to buy systems form their allies i doubt it will consider Meteor missile witch is by far the most capable BVRAAM in existance and in projected future. I also doubt anything new will come to replace the AMRAMMs any time soon in these budget situation. You have a great platform with payload that lacks a generation or two behind it. So sad…

  • James FT

    The real laugh would be if you really believe Russia has the money and/or capabilities to innovate a radical new airframe from scratch in such a short period of time since they haven’t done so for decades. Especially a stealth design when they have little such experience in such designs. If anyone studies the PAKFA fuselage from front to rear, one can see the structure layout is the same. The tail end is the dead give-away. Exact same layout of the Engine nacelles. The canopy is not even a stealth design but is, by fact, an actual Su-35 canopy. What Russia can’t afford to design a canopy that is actually stealthy? Designing new wings and tail stabilizers doesn’t change or disprove my point. Skin shaping to match the similarities of the F-22 doesn’t disprove my point. Sure the PAKFA looks new and different.
    Rip off the wings and skin, and you’ll see a fuselage airframe looking very much like an SU-35.

    It doesn’t take an engineer to spot the obvious and even aviation engineers have pointed this out.

    • Lomunac

      If that is what you think, that T-50 is a cosmetic fixup of SU-35, and that Russia can’t produce an aircraft by itself, from 2004-2015, like it never did before (!?), then you’re not even a layman, that would be a compliment for you…

  • James T

    Oh you want to play? OK!

    1# Russia is the largest landmass in the world with rich resources and only 3 trillion in GDP???(The Chinese are at 8 trillion). It should be at 10 trillion at least.

    2# Russian corruption is king of any global economy!

    3# Russia spends a fraction of the US in military research!

    4# Russia lost many of its scientist and innovative inventors after the collapse of the Soviet Union and many still move to other countries taking jobs with higher benefits.

    5# Russia’s combined Aviation industry doesn’t develop nor gross profit at any level of one US or one European aviation company!

    6# Russia is 20 years behind in manufacturing infrastructure tech and has to import high tech infrastructure technologies from France, Germany, Taiwan and the USA just so it can make precision parts for the PAKFA and SU-35.

    7# Russia can’t innovate its own high-tech components so it has to purchase and import its technology from Isreal, Europe and the USA. So all that fancy electronics inside the Suhkois avionics or the S-300 guidance systems are imported.

    8# Russian aviation has not produced one radically new airframe in over 30 years. The Su-35 is a redesign of the Su30 with is a redesign of the Su 27 which is a redesign of the MIG 29. That supercomputer Russia has? Run on US intel processor chips!

    9# There are no radical society changing innovations that have emerge from Russia since the Soviet Union. There is no Apple, Google, Microsoft, Sony, Samsung, BAE, Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Rolls Royce, GE, INTEL!, etc, etc.

    10# India invested 10 billion in a Russian Stealth program? Yes a Stealth program from a aviation sector that is 15-20 years behind the west. 10 billion is chunk change if you are going to catch up enough just to have a chance at making an F-22 equivalent.

    11# All airframes crack during usage! So we can establish you know nothing about aviation development.

    12# All developmental aircraft do not fly in rain or thunderstorms…I don’t see the PAKFA flying in the rain either.

    13# Having large reserves in gold means nothing if it doesn’t translate into innovative action!

    14# Burning its own tail? Mild problem with engine plume that most development aircraft go through. Hey! Didn’t the PAKFA burn up last year? And not even reached 5,000 test flight hours? The F-35 did 15,000 flight hours with no safety risk to pilot or machine.

    15# Have no idea what you are getting at with the Gun. If anything is cracking badly, its your english. However, the F-35A is 9G rated and can dogfight.

    16# 360 billion development investment gets you a fighter Russia will never be able to get close too without getting shot down.

    • Lomunac

      Boy, you really DON’T know your facts!!!
      1. It has 143 million people, so it has 40% of BDP of a country with 900% more BDP providers!!!!
      2. A lie, there are lists made on corruption and on neither of those is Russia “a king”, aka #1!!!
      3. Russian reaserch COSTS a fraction of that of the US’s, a simple comparison, both F-35 and SU-50 have been in development for 11 years, the US and it’s alies spent $360 000 000 000 so far, Russia and India $10 000 000 000!!!
      4. Yes they did, only to Israel they lost almost a million people, of which 37000 with PHD’s and 109000 with MD’s… And yet here they are just in this decade starting productions of a stealth plane, worlds MOST advanced subs, clasical attack (Yasen) and tactical nuclear (Borei), S-500 worlds MOST advanced SAM capable of Mach 10,2, worlds MOST advanced tank Armata, etc…
      5. A lie, KNAAPO produces more planes (SU-3x for Vietnam, Venezuela, Russia…) than French produce mirages, or Svedes produce Gryphones…
      6. Hahaha… What a lie, here they are over a year under sanctions and YET they started production of Armata ALL with domestic hi-tech equipment of the worlds most advanced tank, they are starting production of PAK FA within months (late 2015-early 2016.) with ALL domestic hi-tech equipment, etc…
      7. Mostly a lie, and for that’s not who cares if S-300 had western electronics or Sukhoi radar uses Toyotas Galvanium Nitride electronics when the S-500 is ALL domestic and S-300 will be sold out abroad anyway…
      8. Hahaha… What a lie!!! First Mig-29 has NOTHING to do with SU-27/3x, second so what if they didn’t produce anything new since the 90’s when NOW they have PAK FA, and SU-27 is different in 1000+ parts then SU-3x’s!!! And what new airframes did you produce apart from F-22 which is on par with PAK FA, maybe Super Hornet? NOUP, same shit as FA-18 just with bigger wings and more fuel!? Maybe a Strike Eagle? NOUP, same shit as regular eagle just with AESA radar, you’re the ones to talk!!! Also, they have excelent microchips and processors, and they used them in military equipment where reliability and working in +50/-50C enviroments is the key!!
      9. That YOU heard of, and that means shit since those things you mentioned are all IT stuff, which are products of only 3-4 high tech nations, what about other 200+ nations, they’re worth shit, countries like Spain, Italy, UK, France… 50 000 000+ and didn’t have communism to impede their development, so where’s French Intel, UK Apple, Italian LG, Spanish Samsung… ?
      10. Aaaahahahaha… WHAT A BUNCH OF LIES!!! They spent 4,5 million since the first 50:50 split wasn’t to their liking and they took on themselves to produce avionics, radar and engines in Hindustan Aeronautics!!!
      10-15 years behind the west??? Hahaha, PAK FA will only have greater radar signature, but still a miniscule one as a golf ball, but will have better engines, higher speed, better manouverability, equivalent or better radar, longer range, longer missile range, bigger payload, DOESN’T poisson its pilots nor burn its own tail nor buble the stealth coat arround it, CAN fly in the rain and thunderstorms won’t fry its electronics like the F-22 CAN NOT!!! And there will be 500 of them, divided between Russia and India, and there are only 186 F-22’s…
      11. If that is what you BELIEVE, and btw isn’t trjlue and especialy isn’t true after only 40 flight hours with it, then we can establish that YOU DON’T KNOW SH…T!!! A brand new airplane is cracking itself appart after few test launches from a carrier and that’s OK cause I don’t know it should be that way, it’s normal and easily relairable, with a bit of duct tape, you just need to pull it all appart to get to the crack…
      12. F-22 is NOT an “in development aircraft” and still its 3 main vulnerabilities pilots MUST avoid are small arms fire to the fuselage, rain on the fuselage, and thunderstorm 30miles from the airplane!!!
      13. Ha, having large reserves of gold, surplanted only by JOINT reserves in Fort Knox (of the US and several EU countries) means a lot, it means their money has BACKING!! It isn’t just printed without having a value in gold to support its own, and now when Russia and other BRICS countries, and Iran, are leaving petrodolar, you’ll soon realize why is it good!!
      14. NO, it’s not a minor problem when a huge tail pipe is damaging crucial parts for airplanes steering, and radar absorbing paint is bubbling and chiping arround it, that can fuck up steering, disable supercruise (which is lousy anyway, barely Mach 1,3, as is range, as is payload, as is engine ratio…) and make it more visible!!
      NO, it didn’t burn up, it’s engine caught fire, it’s a brand new AL-41 Saturn with 1,7:1 ratio, all 6 planes are still present and finishing final test, upon which 4 will join the first unit as they are service ready…
      15. Hahaha, MY English is cracking badly, it’s better then yours wise ass and It’s been learned in high school 15 years ago in 1 class a week, and a gun is a gun, like the 30mm 160 bullet gun SU-27/3x and T-50 have/will have!!
      16. Hahahaha… It gets you a peace of sh…t that can’t outmanouver, can’t carry more fuel, can’t carry more missiles, can’t come even close to 1,7:1 engine/weight ratio, can’t even come close in range, doesn’t even remotely have the missile range and diversity, has similar or even worse radar signature, similar radar strength but shorter range, and a 101 problem with engine (marine version needs a new VSTOL turbine after every 80 landings), skin, electronics, oxygen converter, software, airframe…

      • Милош Павловић

        and even those gold reserves in fort knox you’ve mentioned ( that by the way belong to other countries ) are probably soled out by now :))).

        i don’t know for others but germans will probably get pissed off once they find out that their gold has been used for a ” greater good “

    • Милош Павловић

      boy ,are you pissed off with russians.these are your ” facts “?there are some pretty brutal lies and some intended misinterpretations of facts here.

      all wrapped into a cold war anti soviet propaganda mixed up with some general unwillingness to understand and get to know your opponent because of fear that you might like him and understand his point of view.

      you should listen to some soviet music :))

      here ,ill give you a link

      listen to it,it’s awesome :)).it’s just hypnotic.

      the first one it the most boring one since it’s an anthem,but all others are just amazing.


  • Милош Павловић

    su-35 is not stealth but it’s covered with radarabsorbing coatings and therefore it has reduced RCS.

    i’ve find some info that su-35 has around 2m of RCS ,wich is far better than his predecessor su-27 with his 12m RCS.

    big deal here is thet this significant reduction is obtained without sacrifices in aerodynamics and maneuverability,moreover composite materials reduced weight of airframe.

    this might mean that BVR combat won’t be that distant after all ( in a scenario where it has to fight other stealthy/LO aircraft ) since both aircrafts are featuring stealthy characteristics,distances of detection will probably be reduced and fight will get lot more interesting

  • JS353535

    Pilot skill, avionics, machine. In that order. Given those three factors, the F-22 is still at the very top of the food chain. Period.