New Russian Su-35S Super-Maneuverability Display Wows MAKS Crowds, Videos Go Viral

Jul 21 2017 - 103 Comments
By Tom Demerly

Following New F-35 Display at Paris, Moscow Wows with Sukhoi Su-35 Super-Maneuverability Display: But Does it Matter?

Video of Sukhoi’s Su-35 super-maneuverable aircraft flying an impressive new demonstration routine at the MAKS airshow in Russia this week has gone viral on social media.

This year’s updated Russian Sukhoi aerobatic demonstration, similar to previous Sukhoi and MiG demos, follows the first-ever aerobatic display of the American F-35A Lightning II at the Paris Air Show a month ago.

The Su-35S “Flanker E” is the 4++ generation variant of the Su-27 Flanker aircraft.

The multirole aircraft features thrust-vectoring, radar-absorbent paint, Irbis-E passive electronically scanned array radar, IRST (Infra-Red Search and Track) and the said ability to detect stealth planes like the F-35 at a distance of over 90 kilometers (…), the Khibiny radar jamming system along with the ability to use some interesting weapons, including the ultra-long range R-37M air-to-air missile that could target HVAA (High Value Air Assets) such as AWACS and tanker aircraft.

The aircraft were deployed to Hmeymim airbase, near Latakia, in February 2016 to undertake air superiority and escort missions over Syria.

Aviation analysts have long contended that displays of so-called “super maneuverability” at low speeds have little or no tactical value in the real world air combat environment. These displays do often lead to conversations comparing aircraft capabilities and re-open the never-ending debates about which aircraft design doctrine provides a real world tactical advantage.

Are such low speed maneuvers worthless to fight against the U.S. 5th Gen. stealth aircraft that would engage the Su-35S from BVR (Beyond Visual Range) exploiting their radar-evading capabilities?

Real world tactical merit aside, Sukhoi’s display is sensational. The aircraft seems to depart the conventional control regime as it flips, twists and tumbles. The Su-35’s most remarkable sequence is a low speed “Pugachev’s Cobra” transitioning to a tumbling back flip followed by a side-slip to an inverted spin and then a classic recovery gained by pointing the aircraft’s nose to the ground to regain lost energy in exchange for altitude. The entire sequence is flown at altitude that presumably lives little margin for error, making it even more thrilling.

The massive International Aviation and Space Salon MAKS Airshow is happening now at Zhukovsky International Airport outside Moscow, Russia. The show, that runs from July 18-23rd, is one of the most important international airshows in the world. Some estimates suggest 40,000 more aviation enthusiasts and business people attend MAKS than the famous Paris Air Show that took place in June.

“In 2015, MAKS welcomed 404,000 visitors – 52,000 more than attended the Paris Air Show held at Le Bourget in the same year.” According to Russian Aviation Insider.

The MAKS Airshow continues through this weekend. We will report on highlights from the show after it concludes next week.

Top image: The SU-35 wowed MAKS audiences with a new demonstration routine outside Moscow. (Photo: RT)


  • juretrn

    If the Russians dedicated as much time to developing decent avionics as they do to developing silly new maneuvers for airshow crowds…

    • Pacemaker4

      If USA didn’t bankrupt itself on F-35, V-22, LCS, and Ford class, then maybe they wouldn’t need to depend on Russians for their space program.
      hehe in the midst of sanctions on Russia, USA has… bought helicopters(500M), bought rocket engines (1bln+) Bought seats on Russian rockets for the usa cosmonauts.

      • FelixA9

        Damn, that’s some weapons grade idiocy right there.

      • JTWest

        I’m almost certain that the scrapped shuttle program had nothing to do with those programs and everything to do with the fact that seven astronauts were incinerated over the skies of Texas. That shattered confidence in the program and it was totally cancelled. The program was to be reset during the Obama administration but the primary purpose of the shuttle, building the ISS, had been completed. There was no real point. After the last flight of the space shuttle in 2011 work began on the Orion. Work is still ongoing with the Orion.

      • El Kabong

        When was the last time Russia deployed a BRAND NEW major weapon system?

        New fighter?
        New carrier?
        New destroyer?
        New bomber?

        Where’s the Russian shuttle?

  • leroy

    Well, it does seem Pitts has more competition.

  • Lasse

    When it comes to super manuverebility, the Russians know that, when the eletronic warfare suits are so good, you only can get close to get a kill, then you need all mauveribilty you can get.
    To put all your money on BWR, it is just plain stupid.

    • FelixA9

      How do the Russians plan to shoot something they can’t see? They going to just do a Cobra and pray it miracles up a kill for them?

      • OR

        And what makes them blind?) ..being Russians?).. but in the first place is at all that matters who shoots someone first? And yes they do have good bvr and other capabilities too.

        • FelixA9

          Ever heard of that “stealth” thing?

          • OR

            Ever heard of f-117 being shot down by a very old soviet air defence system? ..but again, I am not talking about whos stick is longer… its just going to be a waste of time.. look at this thing crafted by humans (Russians are humans, trust me on this) it is amazing! Btw if you load this thing with weapons it would not be as impressive as without, we see what we want to see, ..if you see my point.

            • El Kabong

              Ever read about the slack USAF tactics?

            • El Kabong

              Ever hear of those slack USAF tactics they used?

      • Z’ing Sui

        Probably planning on “seeing” then. The stated 90km detection against F-35 might be wishful thinking, but it’s not unreasonable to assume that detection and acquisition is very much possible. Never forget Russian planes have superb jamming and surprisingly effective countermeasures.

      • Black Eagle

        Irbis-E (radar used in Su-35S) can see stealth targets at distance up to 100 km (62 miles). In combination of EW systems like the Khibiny and long-range air-to-air missiles, there is quite big chance they would be able to shoot down everything.

        • Phil

          Black Eagle..but the detection of our newest stealth aircraft that give off a reflected signature the size of a Sparrow….

          • Black Eagle

            Yeah, those are official claims, but who knows whether it’s really like that. Manufacturer of Irbis-E also claims that its radar can detect stealth targets at distance up to 100 km (62 miles) and targets with RCS like F-22 is supposed to has (according to Lockheed Martin) at distance of 50 km (31 miles).

            • Uniform223

              and how much further do you think the F-22’s AN/APG-77v1 be able to detect the larger and UNSTEALTHY Su-35? No matter how you try and pretty it up or lie to yourself, the F-22 (and F-35) will ALWAYS SEE THE Su-35 FIRST.


              This is perhaps the best explanation I’ve seen on the interwebs…

              • Black Eagle

                That picture isn’t completely correct if we should stick to the official claims. Irbis-E should according to its developer see F-22 at distance at least 50 km (31 miles).
                Officially, F-22 should see Su-35S first but the these two aircraft doesn’t prove their capabilities against each other in any simulated dogfight yet, so no one probably knows real truth about which one is more superior. You can believe those stories of Lockheed Martin that F-22 has RCS like a golf ball, but you may be disappointed later.
                The fact is Su-35S is a true opponent for every 5th gen. fighter. Its development took place at the same time like development of PAK FA, what allowed to use many features of 5th gen. PAK FA and what makes Su-35S not just some ordinary 4th gen. fighter. Not just for fun it is designated as 4.5th generation.
                Between its main features belongs also lower RCS, it’s not pure stealth fighter but adjustments to the engine inlets and canopy, and the use of radar-absorbent material make it less observable than previous Flanker variants. Also don’t forget on advanced EW systems such as the Khibiny, capable of jamming enemy radars and deviate incoming radar guided missiles from the course.

                • El Kabong

                  Show us your credible sources.

              • JPH
                • Uniform223

                  Given the fact that RAAF Air Marshals have called the “assessments” of that website wrong (among other descriptive phrases), there was no other way I could respond to that…

                  At that point you might as well be quoting Pierre Sprey or using BF4C as your points of reference…

        • El Kabong

          “Irbis-E (radar used in Su-35S) can see stealth targets at distance up to 100 km (62 miles).”?

          Prove it.

  • mal

    “Aviation analysts have long contended that displays of so-called “super maneuverability” at low speeds have little or no tactical value in the real world air combat environment.”

    I think it’s more of a benefit to the pilots rather than anything else. If you want your fighter pilots to be glorified bus drives, you give them a bus with bombs that can only go straight. Though then a drone would probably be better and cheaper choice. But if you want your pilots to think and experiment in the air, you give them a machine that can put their thinking into practice. How relevant it will be is difficult to say.

    While it’s true that super maneuverability is like bringing a knife to a gun fight, it is very important to realize that it is perfectly fine to do so if you have guys with artillery backing you up. Then all you need is a knife. And at least in Russia’s case, they have plenty of artillery. Once all the air fuel tankers and radar planes are shot down (no such thing as stealth fuel tanker) and command and control centers are saturated with missiles, maybe pilots will wish they had a knife.

    • Pepe Le Cox

      I can tell one thing, I’m a virtual fighter and fly a lot in the 104th server, mostly using SU-27S with the fly by wire off in occasions, when the BVR ends and begins the WVR combat at low level, through the mountains with short range IR missiles, the other guy is in completely disvantage, to the point that many F-15 players asked to the DCS developer to restrict the “cobra” in SU-27 and generate fuselage fatigue, due the rate of kiillings using the so-called “super maneuverability”. Make a try guys

      • Uniform223

        That whole comment to me was like airsofters looking like this…

        and saying they’re as good as this

        Also its funny that when Raptor pilots in REAL LIFE DACTs tried the cobra maneuver against eagles and and vipers in its early years of operation, they quickly learned to stop doing that. (Lots of sarcasm coming) Oh well, I guess your experience on a computer game means more then the experience of actual fighter pilots.

        • Pepe Le Cox

          I dont think this guys with airsoft guns, have learnt anything about aircrafts, including technical manuals, BFM, ACM, proper use of the radar, countermeasures and avionics, vulnerabilities, brevity codes, Combat tactics and maneuvering, and flight with real life pilots in the sim. Maybe you dont take seriously the hardcore simmers, but we do. At least, when we post something here we know what we are talking about.

          • Yeah, sorry,Pepe… but you not only came out as arrogant, but trying to compare real life with a software that needs actual people to insert numbers(with biased sources too) is just not gonna cut it!

          • Uniform223

            Analogy – A comparison between two things, typically for the purpose of explanation or clarification. A correspondence or partial similarity. A thing that is comparable to something else in significant respects.

  • Genesis

    Well there are people saying that modern air warfare has nothing to do with manouvreability.Its 1st look 1st kill.There are people saying that manouvreability is stil a thing…well im between these opinions.Stealth means higher survival ability,but so does manouverability.We saw a Su22 evading an AIMX9!Imagine a Su35 if can avoid an incoming missile.In my opinion its a combination of these two elements to make the ‘perfect’ aircraft.

    • franciwzm

      Supersonic manouvrability is very important as you can shoot bvr missiles and start turning back: you need good radar with very wide radian, (new typhoon aesa has 200 degrees coverage thanks to repositioning antenna), very good bvr missiles , better meteor then amraam. Su 35 has got just decent radar and very poor bvr missile and high speed manouvrability (both istantaneous and costant tun rate are vey poor in supersonic);

      • Rudeboy

        And the RCS of a large building…

        • Black Eagle

          Nice try, but your claim is far away from the truth.

          • Rudeboy

            Really. the whole world agrees that SU-27 derivatives have colossal RCS’.

            Just use your eyes…

            • Black Eagle

              Whole world? Not at all, just Western military fanboys. I agree the Su-27 has large RCS (15m2) but the Su-35S is a completely different story.

              • Rudeboy

                And what shaping or RCS reduction measures does the Su-35 enjoy that have reduced it’s RCS significantly?

                • Black Eagle

                  Many informations about the reduction of the Su-35S’s RCS can be found in this article.


                  A few citations.

                  “The improved radar stealth reduces the reflectance of the Su-35 in the X radio waveband and in the angle range of ±60°.”


                  “The main source of the Su-35’s head-on RCS is the inlets. The straight duct provides direct visibility for the entire face of the engine compressor. While this may be good aerodynamics, Bill Sweetman noted that “the inlet might have been designed to advertise the fighter’s presence at the greatest possible range.” Part of the solution was a high-performance, ferro-magnetic RAM for the compressor face and duct walls. This model was carried through a work of radar signature reduction of approximately of 25db with the application of a process developed in experimental way with the Berkut and later perfected in the turbines of the new version for the Su-35. This goes beyond the application of a new type of absorbent material of high performance with bigger capacity of durability when subjected to the high temperatures emitted by the turbines. The modified Su-35 also has a treated cockpit canopy which reflects radar waves, concealing the high RCS contribution from metal components in the cockpit. Beyond these changes, radar absorbent material of greater durability allied with the structural changes, mean that it is expected that the RCS of the aircraft will be equivalent of a F-16, that is, around 1m (Reduced RCS (b/w F-16 (about 1m^2).”


                  “Russian researchers have developed coatings and techniques in the stealth design that can reduce the head-on RCS of a Sukhoi Su-35 fighter aircraft by a factor of 10, thereby halving the radar range for the target detection. Moreover, the Su-35 aircraft consists of a treated cockpit canopy that reflects the impinging radar waves and conceals the RCS contribution from metallic components.”


    • JTWest

      Didn’t they report the AIM-9 was defeated by countermeasures and not by maneuver? While I’m sure the Sukhoi pilot preformed vigorous menuvers I believe it was stated that the AIM-9 chased after the Sukhoi’s flares. Hence, the follow up shot was with the ARH AIM-120 which resulted in a splash. Allegedly the 9X’s seeker didn’t recognize the older SU-22 countermeasures as such. Apparently for burning too”dirty” relative to modern flare dispensers. If true I’m sure Raytheon is hard at work to correct the issue.

      • Rudeboy

        The ‘burning too dirty’ is from Soviet flares captured in Afghanistan in the 1980’s that were brought to the US for trials against AIM-9L.AIM-9X uses an entirely different seeker that works totally differently. The truth is we don’t know the reason, nor will we ever. What was apparent was the range of the shot. It was very close, probably too close. That and a failure are the more likely reasons for the failure.

    • You saw a Su-22 Fitter evading an AiM-9X Sidewinder missile? News article? video? Source please.

  • leroy

    So 4th gen, so beatable. No, I’m not impressed.

    • Black Eagle

      So wrong, so jealous. No one even tried to impress you.

  • The Dude

    it’s impressive like after that incredibly maneuvers SU-35 has power to maintain nose up and gain altitude

    • FelixA9

      Like the F-15, -16, -35, -22, and numerous others?

      • Black Eagle

        Only the F-22 can perform similar maneuvers like the Su-35S or PAK FA. Other fighter jets don’t have the thrust vectoring, which would give them the ability of supermaneuverability.

        • Phil

          Black haven’t seen the test videos from Edwards AFB where the F-22 performs the SU35S famed “Cobra?” It can, and it DOES :o) Plus it can stay “guns locked on” in incredible tight turns.

          • Black Eagle

            Did I say F-22 can’t perform such maneuvers? I’m well aware that it can, but still Su-35S/PAK FA are better in maneuverability because they use 3D TVC nozzles and F-22 use 2D TVC.

            • El Kabong

              STILL nonsense ACM tactics…

              • Black Eagle

                Explain it.

                • El Kabong

                  My tutoring rate is $90/hr.

                  Or you can try reading some credible sources/books.

                  Here’s a hint.

                  Read up on the last 25 years of air combat.

                  • Black Eagle

                    When you obviously can’t explain/prove anything, then don’t spam the discussion with useless posts.

                    • El Kabong

                      When you can’t read readily available facts, I can’t fix that level of ignorance…

                    • Black Eagle

                      Where did you leave your references again? Oh I forgot, except your wrong assumptions, you have nothing else.

        • El Kabong


          • Black Eagle

            Show me any other Western fighter jet (except F-22) performing maneuvers like these down bellow, you won’t find any.

            • Uniform223

              If you’re using an aerobatic display as a measurement for capability then this bi-plane and the pilot flying it is the deadliest thing in the sky…

              • Black Eagle

                Yes, but with an exception that it is a pure aerobatic aircraft with only one advantage, the maneuverability. The supermaneuverability of the Su-35S is just an addition to the whole set of advanced features that the Su-35S possess, and if there is a possibility to have such a thing, then why not. Still it’s just an advantage compared to the other less maneuverable fighter jets.
                Like some military pilots use to say, the supermaneuverability is like a knife, and in a fight is always good to have a knife.

            • El Kabong

              Useless airshow display acts?


              But here, for you amateur airshow fans…

              • Black Eagle

                You obviously overlooked the part “except F-22”. Next time, try to read more carefully.

      • Phil

        Felix A9 you’re right, Felix..even our aged F-15 eagles set a record for time-to-climb (ground level to high altitude).

    • Phil

      The’s all in the power-to-weight ratio. Our newer aircraft, and even the F-16 have more power than weight. Even the F-35 is capable of “Supercruise” which is supersonic speed without using afterburner.

      • The Dude

        I referred to the monouvers with high angle of attack that others planes in the world can’t do

        • Phil

          Yes, so was I referring to the high angle of attack, while staying on target in climbs, and even turns, or cross-passes in front of our aircraft. Our latest 4th and 5th Generation fighters can do the “Cobra” manouever as well, without the angled exhaust nozzles. part of testing at Edwards AFB proved that.

          • Black Eagle

            Only known aircraft in USAF inventory that proved to be able to perform real Cobra maneuver is the F-22, because it use the 2D TVC nozzles.

            There were also attempts to perform Cobra with F/A-18 but it didn’t look like too much as real Cobra maneuver when you will compare it with Cobra maneuvers performed by Sukhois and F-22s.

            Here are also some videos that show Su-27/Su-33 executing Cobra maneuver without use of the angled exhaust nozzles.

            And even MiG-29.

  • Uniform223

    F-22 and F-35 pilots look at the display and are entertained but they point at it and say, “hey look, another target”.

    • jo6pac

      Only in their dreams

      • El Kabong


        Wakey wakey….. What is the air-to-air kill record for the last 25 or so years for western and Russian fighters?

        • Black Eagle

          In how many wars in which Russian fighter jets would have a chance to shoot down enemy aircrafts were Russians involved in last 25+ years?
          Maybe just in Georgia, but except UAVs there weren’t any other aerial targets.

    • Black Eagle

      Where? In Hollywood movies?

      • El Kabong

        What’s the air-to-air kill record for your Russian fighters in the last 25 years?

  • humphrey9

    Amazing ! Certainly a pilot dream, an engineer dream and what a show !
    Why discuss military value ? It’s pure pleasure !

  • Haris

    Which Western fighter jet can perform such manoeuvres?
    Some say they are just for air shows… May be it’s true. But those who have watched the Top Gun movie know they are for a reason

    • Rudeboy

      F-22 can. The Typhoon probably can. But why would they? No-one go’s slow in a dogfight. everything is speed and energy and has been since 1941.

      • JPH

        No they can’t. It simple physics. Only with widely spaced fully vectoring exhaust such displays are possible. Without vectoring the engine exhaust an airplane is completely dependent on airflow passing wings to maneuver. The F22 both exhaust are only able to move up and down in tandem. The SU35 can exert a moment around the length axis so a roll force and in addition a yaw force at any air speed. The F22 simply can’t. The F22 vectoring can only exert force in pitch.

    • benzobak3
  • Mixelflick

    Absolutely incredible. If BVR kills don’t manifest as the USAF believes, the F-35 is going to have its hands full….

  • The Dude

    When US built first phantom F4 series they did not install a machingun….after years they must install gun and open Topgun school….dog fight still alive

    • FelixA9

      Last time I checked it wasn’t 1960.

  • Elrat Aglyamov

    So what would Pierre Sprey have to say about high-tech, high-end jobs like F-35 and BVR fights?

    • Rudeboy

      The same nonsense he spouted about the F-15…..and he wasn’t the designer of the F-16 either. He was an analyst, and he got it wrong. His dream fighter was the F-5….

  • Mongee Phase

    WOW. I’ve never seen an airplane do that. Unreal

  • Rusty Shackleford

    Pugachev’s Cobra or as American pilots call it “The sitting duck.”

  • Tomas Rodriguez

    Aviation “analysts” should read history. The knife simil works the opposite of what they claim. It was created by an American real expert who, during the Vietnam war, blasted the US decision to remove guns from fighters and rely solely on air-to-air long range missiles. He said:
    “The fight between a long-range missile-equipped fighter and a cannon-equipped one resembles the fight between a guy with a shot gun and one with a knife inside a telephone booth.”

    He was so right that the Pentagon rushed to install gun-pods on Phantoms that were suffering losses against less sophisticated MiG-17s. Fortunately for the anti-communist forces, the Soviets had copied the same doctrine, and one of the first series of supersonic fighters that they supplied to N. Vietnam, the MiG-21PF, had no gun and carried only two K-13 ( Sidewinder copies). Air combat became a hit and run affair. It did not take long for a gun pod to be also appended to the MiGs. That lesson was never forgotten. Today all self-respecting fighters carry a properly integrated gun. The rationale for the gunless Phantoms and MiGs was that both were created not as dogfighters, but as interceptors. Both ended tangling in the bushes.

    Which brings back to today’s BVR mantra. Remember the old wisdom? Those who ignore history……..
    Well, say the stealth fans ( short for fanatics), I will shoot him before he knows I am there. Perhaps true. But what will happen if two perfectly stealthy guys occupy the same area? They will end so close that only the old Mark I Eyeball detector will work! That means,

    Supermaneouverabiliy allows you to do things that your opponent cannot. Therefore, you have some advantage and that allows you to rewrite the air combat book.

    It is amazing that the only western media who got it right is not aviationist like the rest of us. The Italian newspaper IL GIORNALE wrote:
    “spinta vettoriale consente elevati angoli d’attacco: il caccia può così inquadrare facilmente un bersaglio, eseguendo manovre strette”
    “Thrust vectoring allows high angles of attack: this way the fighter can easily frame an adversary by performing tight maneouvres”
    David, please check my Italian. :-)

    This awesomely simple sentence brilliantly summarizes the whole philosophy behind supermaneoverability better than any Russian, American or Namibian expert blurbs ever written.
    And, if it is so useless, why did the “bestest” fighter in history, the F-22, spend so many taxpayer millions adopting it? Go figure!

    • OR

      Thanks for writing this.. just want to add that this goes for everything, ..why we ignore history all the time, well I know why.. the more you read it the more evident the reason is, but it does have tremendous value and we better do not ignore it

    • Phil

      Thomas Rodriguez…our missiles have advanced immeasurably since the Viet Nam war, so no real comparison. Back then, our F-4’s relied on the Sparrow missile, which was large, and not that manueverable. To use a Sidewainder, you had to get close-in to get a “lock on” and with the F-4 only having speed on its side we suffered losses. Today’s missiles lock beyond visual range, and beyond enemy radar capability. In a fight..stand-off is better than dog-fighting, and altitude is bliss.

      • Tomas Rodriguez

        True for us now; but the decision makers of that time had exactly the same high confidence in their missiles as you have in today’s. Actually, they had even more confidence, since they were facing a tiny “Third World air force considered by some analysts to be made up of peasants”. (Airpower History, Winter 1995, Vol.42, #4, pg.58), and were fielding everything in their inventory, even aircraft resurrected from Davis-Monthan down to the venerable C-47.

        Everybody knows that the new wunder weapons are almost infallible. That includes the potential opponents. And that is why the new anti-missile defences are also almost infallible. So if the missiles are 100% effective and the defences are only 80% effective, the wunder missiles have only a 20% chance of success. Sounds like dejavu, eh? These numbers are made up just to illustrate the point that we should not repeat the same mistakes and expect a different result.

        The Aviation Anal.ists that enlighten us imagine that stealth will make air combat like the proverbial fight between a lion and a monkey tied to a tree. That sounds comfortable ; but it may kill valuable young patriots who, believing them, overestimate their possibilities and underestimate the other side. The opposition is not sleeping.

      • Tomas Rodriguez

        Phil, you are right; but so have advanced the anti-missile defences. If missiles achieve 100% effectivity, and the defences a low 80%, that results in a 20% success rate for the missiles. Not much to brag about. I made these numbers up just to illustrate the point that repeating the same mistake and expecting different results is not a sign of wisdom.

        The Vietnam era experts were convinced of the infallibility of their wunder missiles against a tiny Third World Air Force considered by some analysts to be made up of peasants. They learned a bitter lesson (Airpower History, Winter 1995, Vol 42, #4, pag. 58)

        It is unwise to overestimate ourselves and underestimate the opposition. Objective assessments save lives. Avoiding war saves even more.

      • Tomas Rodriguez

        So have the anti-missile defences.

  • Cool2HatE

    Perfect aircraft for Turkey’s aegean operations. Turkey and Greece have narrow gap between airports so when they just come up dogfight very high possiblity. Then if you have this kind of plane it would be so easier to silent them all.

  • Z’ing Sui

    Lots of talk about how it’s going to be all about BVR, but hey, realistic scenarios are not all that. After all, that Su-22 engagement over Syria was short-range, wasn’t it? I’m thinking something similar in 20 years, might well be an F-35 on a Su-35 engagement. And what if it’s the other way around?

    Dogfight is a possibility, and stealth isn’t all there is to it. There’s jamming too at least

  • Black Eagle

    “So what would be accurate according to you? Claims made by self-proclaimed interweb “experts” or claims made by Russian officials? ”

    Actually, it’s far away to be just a claim made by some “proclaimed interweb experts” when those are claims made by Tikhomirov NIIP (developer of Irbis-E) and by Sukhoi Design Bureau itself.
    According to their data the maximum detection range of Irbis-E is up to 400 km for targets with RCS 3m2 and up to 90 km for stealthier targets with RCS 0.01m2, so the estimated detection range of F-22 can be calculated of this.
    As long as you don’t have any problem to believe officials of one side it shouldn’t be problem for you to believe also officials of other side. Even if it would be just a theory, but still with same informational value as all those (not combat proven) claims about superior U.S. stealth technology that Westerners mostly use for arguing.

    “We do however get an idea just how stealthy the F-22 and F-35 are…”

    Just ideas acquired during exercises like the Red Flag, that tries to imitate real aerial engagements but still it CAN’T predecit anything, may not be enough.

    Well, when it come to the claims of pilots then let’s mention when Russian pilots claimed how they beat couple of F-15s during simulated dogfight after their visit of Grand Forks AFB in early 90’s. Although, it has nothing to do with 5th generation fighter jets, what I’m trying to point out is that many Westerners feel so upset about it until nowadays and are not able to accept (I don’t even expect that you will agree with those claims, but that’s doesn’t matter) that is likely that such event could took a place. But yeah, let’s rather believe in far less likely and still not proven claims about how F-22/35 would undetectable penetrate through any modern air defense system in the world, splash everything out of the sky and return back with minimal losses or without any losses.

    “+Russian and Syrian pilots are “interested” in the F-22, and may have tried maneuvering close by to see how the jet operates, but “because of our sophisticated avionics and … stealth and … supercruise and maneuverability,” there’s “not a time where we allow Syrians or Russians to see us or influence us in any way without us choosing for them to do that”

    Nice joke. Interestingly, somehow the very first engagement between F-22s and Russian Sukhois didn’t take place in Syrian air space (as you claim) or somewhere near Russian borders but near Alaska. Guess why.

    “Although we have no confirmed reports of “close encounters” between the F-22 and the Flanker in the skies over Syria…”

    “In 2013 an F-22 pulling up beside an Iranian F-4… undetected by the F-4 crew and (I’ll make an assumption) Iranian ground radars that area…”

    Because intercepting of aircraft that is 2 generation behind and is comparable with MiG-21/23 could be ever difficult for an aircraft such as the F-22, right? Anyway, nothing surprising here. It is well known that during whole U.S. presence in the Middle East, U.S. pilots dared to intercept mostly just decades old enemy aircraft and they continue with it also in nowadays.
    For example, when Su-22 is bombing possitions of U.S-backed groups, U.S. send fighter jets to shot it down. But when Su-34s are bombing possitions of U.S.-backed groups, U.S. dares to do nothing.

    “So if you agree, what are you protesting about?”

    Did I say I fully agree? Neither you seem to fully agree with Russian official claims.

    “You’re the one constantly implying the supposed superiority of the Su-35 over the F-22 (and even F-35).”

    Where I exactly suggested seperiority of the Su-35S over the F-22? What I claim is just that the Su-35S is no way to be some significantly inferior to the F-22 regarding to BWR/WVR capabilities, sensors, avionics, etc.

    “The golf ball were early assessments of the F-35’s RCS… the F-22 was quoted to be a marble.”

    “Given what is being experienced… no I am rather impressed just how stealthy the F-22 and F-35 are.”

    Experienced where? Only in excersises that may be far away from how real aerial engagements could look like if it ever comes to the worst? Not that I’m trying to somehow deny F-22’s or F-35’s low RCS, but what’s funny is that people are mostly forgetting that the “stealth” doesn’t makes any aircraft trully invisible or unbeatable. Sure that stealth can increase survivability of the aircraft at distance of hundreds kilometers but it has also its limitations.

    “Is that an actual agreeable fact by experts or your personal opinion?”

    Not just my personal opinion, but also an opinion of various military analysis that see the Su-35S as the most likely rival to the F-22/35 considering the specs and capabilities that the Su-35S has.

    “Meanwhile, The National Interest reported that US defense officials were quite impressed with this latest Flanker variant. “It’s a great airplane and very dangerous, especially if they make a lot of them,” the international affairs magazine cited a senior US military official with extensive experience on fifth-generation fighters as saying.

    The US military official compared the Su-35 to the F-15 and F/A-18E/F warplanes, which “would both have their hands full” when encountering Russia’s advanced fighter jet.”

    “The Su’s ability to go high and fast is a big concern, including for F-35,” an Air Force official with experience on the Joint Strike Fighter program told The National Interest.

    “What features are those? Obviously the Su-35 isn’t stealthy so that wouldn’t qualify it.”

    As I said before, lower RCS is one of the main features. The original RCS of the Su-27 is about 15m2 but the adjustments made in the Su-35S allowed significantly reduced it. So now the Su-35S’s RCS should be not more than 2m2, some sources claim even lower RCS, 0.5m2.

    Another thing regarding to the stealth that worth to mention is using of ionized plasma gas that may decrease RCS of any aircraft. Russians were/are experimenting with use of plasma technology in military aircraft at least since 90’s and is believed they tested it for the first time on the Su-27 around 2002. Anyway, what can be said for sure is a fact that studying this kind of technology allowed to create and implement the plasma ignition system to the AL-41F1S and AL-41F1, jet engines used in Su-35S and PAK FA (Su-57).
    I didn’t hear about anything similar used in the Western counterparts.

    Newly designed infrared search and track sensor in another feature of the Su-35S. According to Russian officials, in ideal weather conditions it is capable to detect and track also stealth aircraft even due to their lower heat emissions.

    “A portion of the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet development took time around the same time as F-22, does that mean that the Super Hornet is close to 5th generation aircraft?”

    The Super Hornet is also considered to be 4.5 generation fighter jet, so yes it is close to the 5th generation in some aspects, for example in use of AESA radar, enhanced avionic, etc.

    “(b) 4.5 Generation Fighter Aircraft Defined.–In this section, the
    term “4.5 generation fighter aircraft” means current fighter aircraft,
    including the F-15, F-16, and F-18, that–
    (1) have advanced capabilities, including–
    (A) AESA radar;
    (B) high capacity data-link; and
    (C) enhanced avionics; and
    (2) have the ability to deploy current and reasonably
    foreseeable advanced armaments.”

    “Fun fact… Its still in the category as…”

    Did I claim the Su-35S is in category of 5th generation fighter jets?

    “So in that aspect its (trying to be) in the same league as the Super Hornet or Rafale.”

    It’s not just trying to be, but it already is there pretty long time. I even dare to say the Su-35S is on top of this league.

    “so at 1sqm that would mean the AN/APG-77 in search mode would be able to detect the Su-35 out to 120-150mi (200-240km).”

    Let’s say it can detect the Su-35S at such distance, but what the F-22 could do at this point? Probably nothing, firstly the F-22 would have to go more closer, at least at distance of 150-160km (93-99mi) to be able to fire the AIM-120D against the Su-35S. Even if something like this would occur, don’t forget the Su-35S has the abilities to deal with such situations. After the AIM-120D would be fired, possition of the F-22 would be revealed so there would be possibility to estimate a location where the F-22 currently is. What would happening next is that electronic warfare suite of the Su-35S (Khibiny-M), that main part consists of two L-265M10-02 jamming containers, would be automaticaly activated in order do disrupt the missiles’s guidance and make the missile deviate from the course.

    Some High-G maneuvers are likely to be performed as well, thanks to the Su-35S’s 3D thrust vector control and supermaneuverability, what could help to avoid the incoming missile yet more effectively.

    Sergey Bogdan, Sukhoi chief test pilot and reserve colonel of Russia noted during Paris air show in 2013:

    “The classical air combat starts at high speed, but if you miss on the first shot—and the probability is there because there are maneuvers to avoid missiles—the combat will be more prolonged.”

    “After maneuvering, the aircraft will be at a lower speed, but both aircraft may be in a position where they cannot shoot. But supermaneuverability allows an aircraft to turn within three seconds and take another shot.”

    “Bogdan repeats a claim made when the Su-27 first performed the cobra maneuver: The rapid change in velocity can cause a Doppler fire-control radar to break lock. The maneuver is more useful on the Su-35S because the pilot can fly the aircraft out in any direction.”

    “In others words, if a stealth aircraft need a 10 kW jammer , a conventional asset will need jammer with power of 10Mw or more.”

    “If the jamming power is keeping the same then burn-through range is reduced by 10 times, which mean stealth assets( RCS =0.001m2 ) can get 10 times closer the threat compared to conventional aircraft ( RCS=0.1m2).”

    The effective range of EW countermeasures of Russian fighter jets is classified, logically. So we can just speculate at what distance could stealth targets be safe. Even if your claims would be true, then realize that jamming aircraft’s sensors is just one of many other options EW of the Su-35S is capable to do, according to the KRET (developer of electronic countermeasures for Russian military aircraft).

    A citatitation from official website:

    “The multifunctional anti-missile complex “Khibiny” developed by KRET provides individual defense of aircraft from missile attacks by enemy fighters and ground-based air defense systems. This complex creates a protective radioelectronic field around the aircraft, as a result, guided missiles lose their purpose. Thus, our fighters become invisible to the enemy.”

    No doubts that Russians are aware of BWR capabilities of U.S. stealth fighter jets, and because of this reason those EW countermeasures were created and are currently in active use on almost every fighter/bomber that RuAF has in its inventory.

    Take a look at the wing-tips.

    Just for imagination, here is a video of similar countermeasure intended primarily for Russian military helicopters, that can deviate incoming missiles from the course as well.

  • El Kabong

    Answer the question…


    • Black Eagle

      Firstly, you should make it clear what are you talking about, because you are asking wrong questions.
      No Russian (Post-Cold War) made aircraft nor aircraft belonging to the Russian Air Force were involved in those wars, only aircraft that the USSR supplied to those countries decades ago.
      And secondly, it has no sense to use air-to-air kills of the F-14/15 against obsolete 3rd generation fighters such as the MiG-21/23 or military helicopters and transport aircraft (which make the biggest part of the F-14/15s kill ratios), as a proof of air superiority of the Western fighters.
      If you want to comparing air-to-air kills between Soviet and American fighter jets so much, then let’s compare kill ratios of the F-4/5 and the MiG-21/23, that are counterparts to each other. You will see there’s not much difference.