Su-35 Flanker-E at MAKS Air Show 2015
In 2003, Sukhoi embarked on a second modernization of the Su-27 to produce what the company calls a 4++ generation fighter that would bridge the gap between legacy fighters and the upcoming fifth generation Sukhoi PAK FA.The Russian Air Force has ordered 48 production units, designated Su-35S, of the newly revamped Su-35. Both Su-35 models are marketed to many countries, including Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, and South Korea.
The Su-35 is a 4++ generation aircraft employing technologies of the fifth generation. They make it superior to all other 4th generation fighters now under development worldwide. In 2009-2015, thanks to these technologies, the Su-35 will dominate the world market, outperforming other proposed multi-role fighters.
In September 2015, Indonesia's Ministry of Defence selected the Su-35 to replace the Indonesian Air Force's aging F-5E Tiger II fleet.Indonesian Air Force plans to buy 16 Su-35S fighters from Russia.
On 9 September 2015, it was reported that Pakistan and Russia are in talks over the purchase of Su-35S fighters along with additional multi-role Mi-35M attack helicopters.
The “heart” of the aircraft:-
Another important difference of the Su-35 from predecessors from the Su-27 family is the use, in its power plant, of new engines with an increased thrust. Those engines, known as 117S, have been developed by NPO Saturn Research and Production Association.
In terms of engineering, the engines are substantially modified AL-31F production engines employing fifth-generation technologies. They use a new fan, new high and low pressure turbines, and a new digital control system. A provision is made for using a vectored thrust nozzle. The modernization has increased the engine special mode thrust by 16%, up to 14,500 kgf. In the maximum burner-free mode it reaches 8,800 kgf. Compared to today’s AL-31F engines, their capabilities will grow substantially, by 2 to 2.7 times. For instance, the between-repair period will grow from 500 to 1,000 hours (the operating period before the first overhaul is 1,500 hours). The designed period will vary between 1,500 and 4,000 hours.
The 117S engines will be co-produced by Ufa-based Motor Building Association and Rybinsk-based NPO Saturn Research and Production Association. The first production 117S engines were delivered to KnAAPO in early 2007 for testing on the first experimental Su-35 aircraft.
Eyes and ears:-
The core of the Su-35 armament is a new radar control system with a phased antenna array (Irbis-E). It features unique capabilities in terms of the target detection range.In design, this is an X-waveband multi-role radar.Irbis-E radar control system detects and tracks up to 30 air targets, retaining continuity of space observation and engaging up to eight targets. The system detects, chooses and tracks up to four ground targets in several map-making modes with various resolution at a range of up to 400 km, without stopping to monitor the airspace.
Irbis-E radar detects air targets with an absolute cross section of 3 m2 on a head-on course at a range of up to 400 km.
Being an improvement on radars with a PAA, Irbis has much better capabilities: expanded (by more than twice) operating frequency band, increased from 70о to 120о target detection and tracking zone in azimuth, substantially (by 2-2.5 times) increased effective range, improved anti-jamming capability, etc.
In this aspect, Irbis is comparable to the best foreign counterparts, outperforming most of the US- and Wes-European-made radars with passive and active PAA.
Among other new onboard systems of the Su-35 is modern navigation and radio communication equipment, systems maintaining fighters operation in a formation and a highly efficient electronic countermeasures suite. The component package of the latter and its complementation with specific jamming devices can be determined by the customer.
In addition to the armaments onboard the modern Su-30MK, it is planned to additionally arm the Su-35 with new types of air-to-air and air-to-surface guided missiles, including long-range types. The maximum ordnance load of the Su-35 is 8,000 kg. This is placed in 12 weapon stations.
- Single-seat fighter.
- Two-seat trainer. Features taller vertical stabilizers and a forward fuselage similar to the Su-30.
- Single-seat fighter with upgraded avionics and various modifications to the airframe. Su-35BM is informal name.
- Thrust-vectoring demonstrator.
- Designation of production Su-35BM version for the Russian Air Force.