WASHINGTON, (BM) – The American edition of the National Interest published an extensive and detailed report on the capabilities of the Russian Su-35 fighter and its capabilities in a battle against the American F-22 or F-35, learned BulgarianMilitary.com.
We have repeatedly compared the ability of the Russian 4 ++ machine to face a direct battle against one of the two stealth fighters of the US Air Force, and we have repeatedly shared the view that American fighters have no chance in direct combat against this fighter. The National Interest publication also supports a similar thesis, but we still live in the era of modern technology and stealth fighters, so we should be interested in whether the Su-35 would win in modern military conditions, rather than direct collisions?
Logically, the American edition asks itself another question: how effective will stealth technology be if it faces an overly maneuverable Russian fighter? So far there is no answer, as both fighters [Su-35, F-35 – ed.] have not met in real combat.
The American edition does not spare its praise for the Russian machine. “The Sukhoi Su-35 Flanker-E is the top Russian air-superiority fighter in service today and represents the pinnacle of fourth-generation jet fighter design. It will remain so until Russia succeeds in bringing its fifth-generation PAK-FA stealth fighter into production,” writes the author of the article, Sebastien Roblin.
Sebastien also says that the Russian Su-35 currently has technologies that are significantly closer to modern Western technologies in the field of military aircraft construction. He even compares the Russian fighter as an analogue of the American F-15 Eagle.
The Su-35 is the successor to the Su-27. The Su-27 is not an accidental fighter, on the contrary – it is an aircraft that continues to impress Western experts to this day. As Sebastien writes, no military expert, pilot or visitor to the Paris Air Show in 1989 would forget the “Pugachev cobra” that the Su-27 performed – “the fighter rears its nose up to 120-degree vertical — but continues to soar forward along the plane’s original attitude.”
Sebastien gives a more detailed explanation of why the Russian Su-35 is an ultra-maneuverable fighter. The answer, according to the author, lies in the possibility that the nozzles of the turbo fans can be directed simultaneously in opposite directions, which allows for controlled maneuvers – something that is impossible for regular aerodynamic mechanisms. The Su-35 has another advantage, which makes it even more dangerous, the author believes, and that is the high angle of attack, or to put it very simply – the plane can move in one direction and the nose of the plane is directed in another direction.
This is the advantage of the Su-35 in a direct “dog fight” with other fighters of its or higher class. Also, this maneuverability of the fighter could be useful when it has to avoid missiles that hit him and aimed at him.
Sebastien believes that it is the su-maneuverability of the Su-35 and its ability to perform complex flying activities in the air that is its weak point. This is because when the fighter is performing these super maneuverable figures it loads the engines significantly, which weakens its energy state. The Su-35 is faster than the F-22, F-35 and F-16 and has excellent acceleration, but when the engines are loaded during direct combat and the use of its over-maneuverability, at one point the power weakens and at the next a fighter will not be able to reach the speed that sets it apart from the rest.
The author recalls the fact that the Su-35 also has radio-absorbing material, but this does not make it stealth, which means that other aircraft would detect it from a considerable distance. But the Su-35 has an electronic countermeasures system little known to the general public, and especially to highly specialized military engineers in the field of military aircraft design. This is the L175M Khibiny system, which can distort radar waves and misdirect the enemy missile. A fact that shows that shooting down a Su-35 is quite complicated and requires luck, in addition to excellent combat capabilities.
One of the disadvantages of the Su-35, at least at the moment, is the use of PESA radar. There are two main problems with it: the feedback returns to one point on the radar grid, which leads to overheating of the information infrastructure and the objects using PESA radars are easier to detect, track and jam.
Su-35 against stealth technology
Sebastien confirms the point of view of many military experts, as well as ours – Su-35 is the best fighter at the moment of the 4 ++ generation in the world. The question that remains is how good it is against the F-35 fighter and some other fifth generation stealth fighter. Sebastien claims that the Russian fighter can handle a fifth-generation fighter. Its over-maneuverability will allow it to defeat any fighter in the air, be it a fifth-generation fighter.
But to get an answer in the equation of the question we need to add a certain quantity – time. Ie the time of military strategies now, in this moment.
Stealth technology was created for three reasons – to save the life of the pilot, to detect and hit the target from a long distance and to keep the equipment intact. This can be a serious problem for the Su-35 and it may not be as good in today’s combat conditions. Because today the battle is fought from a distance, and stealth has the advantage. A stealth fighter would detect a Su-35 from afar, and at least 100 miles away it could afford to launch a “rain” of missiles at it. Something that the Su-35 will not immediately understand, and if it does, it will require incredible piloting skills to perform a series of super maneuvers in the air.
Even if the Russian pilot copes with the first attack by the stealth fighter, a second one will follow, and we already know that at this moment the Russian fighter has significantly less energy capacity and it is impossible to repeat the previous super maneuvers. And while dealing with the repulse of the second air attack, the Russian pilot or the radar of the Russian fighter will still not detect the stealth fighter attacking it.
Both countries [USA and Russia – ed.] claim that their plane is the best. This cannot be otherwise, because this is a policy, not a technological comparison. But we have to disregard the political nonsense and accept two main facts – first, the Su-35 can be defeated by the F-35 and second, this statement is only on paper. We will understand the truth only when the two fighters face each other in the air.
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