Why is the Russian Su-35 fighter jet a real threat to the US Air Force?

This post was published in Yandex Zen. The point of view expressed in this article is authorial and do not necessarily reflect BM`s editorial stance.


MOSCOW, (BM) – For much of the second half of the Cold War, American fighter jets largely had the edge. Su 27, which entered the army in 1988. significantly inferior in technical and combat characteristics to American counterparts.

Read more: Su-35 Flanker-E – Russian 4++ generation fighter jet [review]

However, the latest developments of Russian engineers have significantly improved the Su 27 and made it possible to create on its basis the latest aircraft with truly outstanding characteristics.

The Su-35S is the second version of the base model SU 27 from the Sukhoi Design Bureau.

It is the newest, ultra-maneuverable aircraft with one single crew member.

Twin vector-thrust turbojets provide the Su-35 with agility that can easily match or exceed the evasion technique of nearly all existing fourth-generation fighters, including the F-15 Eagle, F-18, and even the F-35 Lightning II.

  • The maximum speed of the aircraft is 2500 km / h
  • ceiling 18000 m.,

The Su-35’s armament includes a 30-mm GSh-30-1 automatic cannon with 150 rounds, as well as 17,630 kilograms of payload at twelve outer points.

It can carry a variety of air-to-air, air-to-ground missiles, anti-radar and anti-ship missiles, as well as a range of thermal imaging, laser and satellite guided bombs. In comparison, the new American F-22 has only four hard points on the wings and three on the internal weapon bays.

The real threat to the United States is that the Russian Air Force is not the only operator of this promising aircraft.

These aircraft are actively purchased by China, Indonesia and Turkey, which seriously upsets the unilateral balance of power in all US-planned theaters of operations. In simple terms, the presence of such aircraft poses a serious threat to US air supremacy, even in regions where they were out of competition.

Moreover, China purchased its first 4 aircraft back in 2016, and then another ten in 2017 under a contract for twenty-four aircraft, which costs $ 2.5 billion.

The Russia-China agreement also included auxiliary equipment and spare engines, with the contract due to be fully implemented this year.

After China became the first international customer for the Su-35, the United States imposed sanctions on the Asian country for violating the Sanctions Act (CAATSA), authorized by the US Congress.

Last fall, Turkey also began negotiations to buy thirty-six Su-35s from Russia. The move came after Turkey was kicked out of the F-35 program and irritated its NATO allies with the purchase of S-400 anti-aircraft missiles.

Several other countries were listed as potential operators of Russian aircraft, including Algeria, Egypt, India and the United Arab Emirates. Although the Su-35 was only an intermediate link for the Russian Air Force, it has already become a competitor to the American presence in various regions.


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