Su-35 fighter with two failed deals, no influence in Ukraine

PANAGYURISHTE ($1=1.95 Bulgarian Levs) — The supposed “best of the best” Su-35 fighter jet fails continuously. Algeria and Indonesia, the only two countries that were willing to buy it, withdrew.

Iran buys 24 Sukhoi Su-35 Flanker-E fighters produced for Egypt
Photo credit: UAC

Technical problems denied Algeria. At least that’s what the Algerians claim, although the truth may be different. For example, fear of US economic sanctions. Therefore, they refused to pay for the delivery of the fighters already produced for them. This is surely the reason why Indonesia backed out of the deal with the Russians. Therefore, Jakarta chooses “neutral” between Rafale and F-15EX.

Most likely, it will be difficult to find a foreign customer for the Su-35 [other than Iran]. Ukraine will be the reason for this. The Su-35 was expected to tear up Ukrainian skies and establish air dominance. On paper, it might do it, but in actual combat conditions, it proved to be a failure.

Ukraine claims that at least 24 Su-35 fighter jets were shot down. However, the evidence so far points to only two. But what brought down the Su-35 for the last six and a half months of war? It shot down only one obsolete Su-25 from the 1980s and two helicopters. Again – at least there is evidence for that much.

4.5-Gen Su-35 on SEAD mission was shot down over Ukraine by SAM
Photo credit: Twitter

However, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s highly touted Su-35 does have problems. Very strange problems for its class – 4th generation fighters. For example, the radar – the Su-35 is the only 4th generation fighter in the world equipped with a passive electronically scanned array [PESA] radar. All fighters in its class have an active electronically scanned array [AESA] radar. I.e. information is distributed throughout the array, avoiding overheating of it and the avionics. PESA radars concentrate the information on one point.

AESA radar is more resistant to jamming. Su-35 also has another problem in the radar device – sensor fusion. Again – the only one in its class with such a solution.

Only Iran at the moment has officially announced that it will start negotiating with Russia for the acquisition of the Su-35. Tehran even expressed a desire to acquire the 14 units refused by Algeria. But the Iranian Air Force’s inventory is so poor at the moment that an eventual acquisition of the Su-35 would be considered a major upgrade.

su-35 pesa radar
Photo credit: Military Watch Magazine

The war in Ukraine showed that the Su-35 is not a Russian fighter, but an upgraded Soviet Su-27. Realistically, this is because the original story is that Moscow created the Su-35 from two models of the Su-27. But the performance of the Su-35 in real combat conditions against an army that does not actually have modern air defense systems and also uses outdated Soviet air defense systems is terrible. Su-35 has no influence in the war in Ukraine. It just has episodic missile attacks.


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