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)
Well, it does seem Pitts has more competition.
If the Russians dedicated as much time to developing decent avionics as they do to developing silly new maneuvers for airshow crowds…
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.
Damn, that’s some weapons grade idiocy right there.
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.
When was the last time Russia deployed a BRAND NEW major weapon system?
Where’s the Russian shuttle?
So 4th gen, so beatable. No, I’m not impressed.
So wrong, so jealous. No one even tried to impress you.
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.
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?
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.
Ever heard of that “stealth” thing?
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.
Ever read about the slack USAF tactics?
Ever hear of those slack USAF tactics they used?
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.
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 http://www.deagel.com/Protection-Systems/Khibiny_a002981001.aspx and long-range air-to-air missiles, there is quite big chance they would be able to shoot down everything.
Black Eagle..but the detection of our newest stealth aircraft that give off a reflected signature the size of a Sparrow….
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).
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…
That picture isn’t completely correct if we should stick to the official claims, because Su-35S’s Irbis-E can (according to its developers) see F-22 at distance at least 50 km (31 miles).
Officially, F-22 should see Su-35S first but 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 later you may be disappointed as well.
The fact remains that Su-35S is a true opponent for every 5th gen. fighter jet currently in service. 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 gen. fighter jet.
To its main features belong 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 that is capable of jamming enemy radars and deviate incoming radar guided missiles from the course.
Show us your credible sources.
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…
“Irbis-E (radar used in Su-35S) can see stealth targets at distance up to 100 km (62 miles).”?
It is meant for targets with RCS 0.01m2.
when people on the interwebs use ausiairpower (aka airpower australia… APA) as a point of reference when it comes to comparing Russian and Chinese platforms and or systems with Western platforms and or systems…
If you wouldn’t be so ignorant then maybe you would notice those references down below the article that indicate, the article was created with regard to the various Russian claims, including official ones.
However, official statements clearly say the maximum detection range of the Irbis-E is 350-400km (217-248mi) for targets with RCS 3m2 so I don’t know why are you still complaining.
Here are another Russian references that claim pretty the same.
Amatuer website… *snicker*
NO mention of RCS detection size….
Claims in the article are based on various Russian sources, including official ones. See the reference list down bellow the article.
Another Russian sources that are mentioning also the RCS detection size.
“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 drivers, 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.
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
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.
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!
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.