What the Chinese think about Russian Su-35S

Military aircraft - Post cold war aircraft, including for example B-2, Gripen, F-18E/F Super Hornet, Rafale, and Typhoon.
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hornetfinn

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Unread post04 Mar 2019, 11:49

disconnectedradical wrote:AIM-120 is obviously not going as far or high as R-33. All missiles design to go high and fast have big control surfaces, like R-33, R-37, AIM-54, etc. They're mainly for hitting big targets like bombers though.


This has been said here a lot, but it's actually not the case. Modern missiles designed to go fast and high nowadays don't have large control surfaces. Missiles like THAAD, SM-6, SM-3, Arrow and all S-300/300V/400 missiles have proportionally as small or smaller control surfaces than AMRAAM for example. All can engage targets at very high altitudes. Older missiles had very large control surfaces and especially wings (to provide lift) because they didn't have nearly as powerful actuators and guidance systems. Even old low altitude missiles had very large wings and control systems (like Seawolf, Rapier, Crotale) compared to more modern ones. Modern missiles have very fast and powerful actuators and guidance systems and smaller surfaces are enough even for high maneuverability. They are also generally much faster than older missiles and have superior aerodynamics which makes them better at maintaining high speed longer. So they get lift from being faster. Older and slower missiles needed the lift provided by the very large wings.

Besides, there is really small number of modern air-to-air missiles that are designed to go very high. Even RVV-BD has similar official altitude limits as RVV-AE, RVV-SD and R-27. Pretty much all other high-altitude missiles have been designed significantly earlier than AMRAAM. I'd bet AMRAAM has roughly similar high-altitude performance as RVV-AE or RVV-SD.
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milosh

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Unread post04 Mar 2019, 19:12

knowan wrote:Basically, even if they had equal performing rocket motors and fuels, AIM-120 would still come out ahead because it is has a higher length/diameter ratio and spends less volume on electronics.


I said it have smaller range I just don't think it is lot smaller then AIM-120B especially in BVR fighter vs fighter envelope.
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charlielima223

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Unread post04 Mar 2019, 20:11

:offtopic: :offtopic: :offtopic:

Gahd this has gone so off topic. First it was about the PLAAF's opinion of the Su-35... then it became something about Mig-25... now its about missiles. I can understand some amount of segue slightly off topic as to address something relating to but not directly and then coming back to the original topic but this is :-|

I like coming here but this seems to happen a lot.

Now that I got that off my chest back to the Chinese Su-35. I've always had the opinion that because China's industrial and technology base isn't that innovative; I've always had the belief that the Chinese military will reverse engineer certain parts of the Su-35 and will incorporate it into the J-20 and J-31.
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disconnectedradical

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Unread post05 Mar 2019, 11:31

hornetfinn wrote:
disconnectedradical wrote:AIM-120 is obviously not going as far or high as R-33. All missiles design to go high and fast have big control surfaces, like R-33, R-37, AIM-54, etc. They're mainly for hitting big targets like bombers though.


This has been said here a lot, but it's actually not the case. Modern missiles designed to go fast and high nowadays don't have large control surfaces. Missiles like THAAD, SM-6, SM-3, Arrow and all S-300/300V/400 missiles have proportionally as small or smaller control surfaces than AMRAAM for example. All can engage targets at very high altitudes.


What? SM-3 and SM-6 has big control surfaces and fins. SM-3 block 3 is for ABM so it use steering motors on the nose instead of fins because it's pretty much going into space. Also THAAD has steering motors on the nose so it doesn't need big fins.

hornetfinn wrote:Older missiles had very large control surfaces and especially wings (to provide lift) because they didn't have nearly as powerful actuators and guidance systems. Even old low altitude missiles had very large wings and control systems (like Seawolf, Rapier, Crotale) compared to more modern ones. Modern missiles have very fast and powerful actuators and guidance systems and smaller surfaces are enough even for high maneuverability. They are also generally much faster than older missiles and have superior aerodynamics which makes them better at maintaining high speed longer. So they get lift from being faster. Older and slower missiles needed the lift provided by the very large wings.

Besides, there is really small number of modern air-to-air missiles that are designed to go very high. Even RVV-BD has similar official altitude limits as RVV-AE, RVV-SD and R-27. Pretty much all other high-altitude missiles have been designed significantly earlier than AMRAAM. I'd bet AMRAAM has roughly similar high-altitude performance as RVV-AE or RVV-SD.


Look at how long and big ESSM and SM-2 fins along the body are. With wings you get better aspect ratio and lower induced drag, using only body for lift create more drag when turning. Also look at PAC-3 missiles, the surfaces are also proportionally bigger than AMRAAM. AMRAAM is not bad but I bet next AAM configuration will be different.
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hornetfinn

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Unread post05 Mar 2019, 12:46

disconnectedradical wrote:Look at how long and big ESSM and SM-2 fins along the body are. With wings you get better aspect ratio and lower induced drag, using only body for lift create more drag when turning. Also look at PAC-3 missiles, the surfaces are also proportionally bigger than AMRAAM. AMRAAM is not bad but I bet next AAM configuration will be different.


Yes, but in all these modern missiles strakes (very low aspect wings) are not for high-altitude performance but for overall performance. Performance can increase in all altitudes and speeds due to them for the reasons you mention. Sure future MRAAM or LRAAM will have different aerodynamics to AMRAAM as it's 30 year old design. But they will definitely not look anything like R-40, AIM-54 or R-33 either. Those huge wings and fins are not necessary or even wanted any more as missile tech has improved tremendously.

Interestingly Chinese MRAAMs look a lot more like AMRAAM instead of Russian missiles. They seem to not have that high opinion about Russian missiles. I wonder if they have tried to buy Russian latest missiles, other than RVV-AE missiles they got?
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charlielima223

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Unread post05 Mar 2019, 20:32

So are we going to start talking about the Su-35 anytime soon or is this going to be more about missiles? :-? :shrug:
Missiles is still an interesting topic but can we segue this BACK TO THE Su-35?
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hornetfinn

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Unread post06 Mar 2019, 07:37

charlielima223 wrote:So are we going to start talking about the Su-35 anytime soon or is this going to be more about missiles? :-? :shrug:
Missiles is still an interesting topic but can we segue this BACK TO THE Su-35?


Actually missiles were quite significant part of the original post by eloise, even though the topic says just Su-35S. I agree that the discussion has gone somewhat off topic even regarding missiles as some of the discussion is not about either Russian or Chinese missiles.

When it comes to missiles, it seems like Chinese think their missiles are better than equivalent Russian missiles. This might well be the case as they have much larger and more advanced electronics and software industry. So they might have better seekers, guidance electronics and software in their missiles as these are the most important parts of missiles. They have also wide array and long experience with all kinds of missiles, so unlike jet engines I doubt Russia has any real advantages in this area compared to China.
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weasel1962

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Unread post06 Mar 2019, 08:00

China probably has better access to missile tech since 90s. They got the python from the Israelis with licensed production, Aspide from the Italian, Crotale SAMs from the French, probably quite a fair bit of US missile tech from the Pakistanis (no proof) and then the whole host of Russian missiles (where the Ukrainians were more than happy to share the schematics for e.g. for CJ-10). They may even have gotten some from the Taiwanese (all those patriot "tech transfers" - no wonder the US refuse to sell them F-35s)...Add to that, the country's access to commercial computing, semiconductors and electronics which probably has dual use....

No surprise if their missile tech is more advanced than the Russkis. Can only say Thank goodness that many countries still prefer Russki than Chinese...maybe because the chinese aircraft (those that are on sale) still look like Soviet era skodas,
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hornetfinn

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Unread post06 Mar 2019, 10:17

Good points weasel1962!
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knowan

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Unread post06 Mar 2019, 11:07

Interestingly, the JF-17 uses the PL-5 and PL-12, and Pakistan claims it saw action against Indian MiG-21s recently. Although India is claiming Pakistan was using F-16s armed with AIM-120Cs in that engagement, so it is hard to tell exactly what the truth is.
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fidgetspinner

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Unread post07 Mar 2019, 01:17

"When it comes to missiles, it seems like Chinese think their missiles are better than equivalent Russian missiles. This might well be the case as they have much larger and more advanced electronics and software industry. So they might have better seekers, guidance electronics and software in their missiles as these are the most important parts of missiles. They have also wide array and long experience with all kinds of missiles, so unlike jet engines I doubt Russia has any real advantages in this area compared to China."

I would not go as far as saying they got better seekers than the Russians do.


PL-12
The PL-12 [Pili = Thunderbolt, or Pen Lung = Air Dragon] SD-10 (PL-12) active radar-guided medium-range air-to-air missile program is now in the test phase. This air-to-air missile program, also called Project 129 or R129, was previously thought to be associated with the purchase or possible license-production of the Russian R-77 (AA-12 Adder) medium-range radar-guided air-to-air missile.
While Project 129 will use technologies from the Vympel R-77, it will have a Chinese developed airframe and a Chinese propulsion unit. The missile is thought to correspond to the PL-12 designation, which is also associated with the SD-10 designation, possibly for export purposes. Like the basic R-77, Project 129 appears to have a body diameter of 200 mm., with a length of around 3.7 meters (12.1 ft.). Unlike the R-77, which has narrow-span mid-body wings and rectangular lattice control fins at the rear, the Project 129 airframe configuration is more orthodox. It has four triangular mid-body wings and four triangular fins at the rear.

PL-12 is based off the R-77. https://www.iiss.org/-/media/.../the-mi ... ement.ashx pg2 references the active radar range as 40kms for the PL-XX missile. This missiles host radar range is comparable to the 40km range on the R-37 missiles range on page 4 http://www.ausairpower.net/SP/DT-Missil ... May-05.pdf. So if the Chinese think they are better than Russian missiles in terms of missile seeker technology I would just tell them to quit comparing their missiles to soviet designs. K-77M, JNAAMs and LREW missile radar seeker ranges are my next curiosity.
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knowan

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Unread post08 Mar 2019, 06:16

You're comparing the seeker in a 200mm diameter to one in a 380mm diameter missile. If China can match the performance of a vastly larger seeker with their PL-12, then it is a damning indictment of how poor Russian seekers are.
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hornetfinn

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Unread post08 Mar 2019, 10:42

fidgetspinner wrote:I would not go as far as saying they got better seekers than the Russians do.


I agree that we can't say for sure that they have any better seekers than Russians do. But that's the area where they well might be ahead nowadays like what the Chinese stated in the original post of this thread. They have more money available and far larger and more advanced electronics industry. They also have a lot of experience in developing their own missiles and seekers along with having many Russian missiles at their disposal. Of course Russia could well have better missile seekers in their latest versions and I don't think China has these missiles.
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Unread post08 Mar 2019, 15:30

So getting back to the SU-35... :)

It's my understanding China isn't buying many. The figure I found was 24. Other than the obvious engine interest, what does this buy of 24 get them?

Thrust vectoring? Think they already have it in their later Flanker derivatives, and J-10C. Fly by wire control system/software? Possibly. Radar? Doubtful, as the SU-35 uses a PESA and they're further along in producing AESA's than Russia is. It's not weapons (as has been discussed here).

Is it possible the RCS reduction measures alleged in the SU-35 are of interest? Here again, I thought they were further along in LO/VLO technology than the Russians. After they get done tearing it apart to learn its secrets, they'll be barely enough for a few squadrons, perhaps only one.

So the engine tech will help them, that's all I can see. And if the SU-57 continues to flounder, it looks like this will be the last fighter type China buys from Russia. It'll be off to the races with the J-20/J-31.

Is it possible they'll just use what they learned to up-rate their fleet of Flankers???
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milosh

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Unread post08 Mar 2019, 15:42

knowan wrote:You're comparing the seeker in a 200mm diameter to one in a 380mm diameter missile. If China can match the performance of a vastly larger seeker with their PL-12, then it is a damning indictment of how poor Russian seekers are.


Nope it is comparison of 200mm aesa seeker for PL-XX for which there aren't any real info expect Chinese fanboys claims. So how they conculded 40km is real?

40km against 5m2 for missile seeker is VERY hard to achieved especially in small volume.
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