Su-27 strike capabilities are superior to those of the US F-16

MOSCOW, RUSSIA — Comparisons between the Soviet/Russian Su-27 fighter jet and the US Lockheed F-16 Fighter Falcon continue. The reason is clear – information has appeared again that Ukraine may receive F-16 fighters. Although such a possibility continues to be denied by official Washington, Ukrainian pilots have begun training on F-16 trainers, sources say.

Yankees land in Taiwan to upgrade local 140 F-16A/B fighters
Photo credit: Pixabay

Mr. Sergey Khatilev is currently a Russian military expert. Previously, he was the head of the anti-aircraft missile forces, in the command of the special forces of the Russian Air Force [VKS]. According to Mr. Khataliev, the Su-27 outperforms the F-16 in terms of thrust-to-weight ratio. The expert also emphasizes that the Russian aircraft has much better strike capabilities than its American competitor. Mr. Khatilev also claimed that the flight and fire tactics of the F-16 and Su-27 were equal, but gave the Russian aircraft an advantage.

“But we cannot deny the fact that the F-16 aircraft is one of the models of military weapons that can withstand the Su-27 today. Used skillfully, it’s a great weapon,” says the pilot.

Another Russian expert, Mr. Andrei Krasnoperov, says that the superiority of the Russian twin-engine fighter was also noted by American engineers involved in the development of the F-16. Mr. Krasnoperov is a military pilot instructor of the Russian Aerospace Forces [VKS] and a Russian master of sports in aerobatics.

Unwittingly, Mr. Krasnoperov reveals a fairly well-known fact about Russian weapons system design. Not always what is planned to be developed is developed as expected. “They wanted to make a front-line bomber, but it turned out to be a fighter with flight data [talking about the Su-27 – ed.]. A chic center section, two engines. After that, they started making various modifications,” says the expert..

Downed Ukrainian Su-27 may be the first S-400 SAM combat use
Photo credit: Best HD Wallpapers recalls that a comparison between the Su-27 and the F-16 was made some time ago by the Ukrainian pilot Lieutenant Colonel Fischer Dmitry Vilhelmovich. He admits that he flew in the early days of the F-16 and was satisfied with the American Falcon. However, he confirms the words of Russian experts, saying that the F-16 has inferior characteristics to those of “its Su-27”.

The Ukrainian pilot discussed comparing Su-27 and F-16 in terms of maneuverability and close combat. His opinion is that, first of all, no one beats Russian fighters in terms of maneuverability, and as for close combat, the Su-27 will be superior to the American F-16. It is the maneuverability that even distinguishes the Su-27 from all Soviet/Russian fighters. Many local [Russian] experts perceive the Su-27 as the most maneuverable fighter in the air.

The comparison between Su-27 and F-16 is as logical as it is illogical. According to many military air experts, the Su-27 should not be compared with the F-16, but with another American flagship – the F-15. But the fact that the closest to the MiG-29 – the competitor of the F-16 in the same class, is the Su-27, that’s why this comparison is currently being made.

If we decide to compare the dry data of the two fighters, they also differ in some directions. The twin engines of the Su-27 may provide greater maneuverability, but an hour’s flight in this fighter costs almost twice [$22,000] as much as the F-16 [$12,000].

Su-27 slightly higher BVR rating – of 80% compared to F-16’s 78%. One of the advantages of the Russian fighter is its armament with the R77 Vympel missile. Unlike the AIM-120 AMRAAM which is under the wings of the F-16 and has a maximum operational range of 150 km, the R77 Vympel can engage targets at a distance of 193 km. It is this missile that gives the Russian fighter better BVR performance.

Su-27 Flanker fighter jet
Photo credit: Creative Commons

The R77 Vympel gives another advantage to the Su-27. If the missile is in a certain configuration and modification, the maximum flight speed reaches Mach 5. While the base missile and the AIM-120 AMRAAM fly at the same speed – Mach 4.

However, the avionics of the F-16 is more advanced than that of the Russian fighter. Especially since in recent years the US has invested significant funds to modernize this segment of the aircraft’s capabilities. The latest F-16s can even compare their avionics with that of Russia’s most advanced stealth fighter, the F-35. Both fighters, Su-27 and F-16 fly at the same approximate maximum speed – Mach 2.


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