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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element1loop

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Unread post31 Jan 2019, 01:26

Thank you for that question, it made me check.

I have a few "time-varying" Wikipedia empty weights for the Su35

Su35
Feb 2015 Empty weight: 18,720 kg (41,274 lb)
Mar 2016 Empty weight: 18,400 kg (40,570 lb)
Feb 2019 Empty weight: 17,200 kg [citation needed] (37,920 lb)

It gets lighter with time (which is the opposite of what usually occurs as jets enter service and capability expands).

I used the value I already had in the spreadsheet which was the first one above. I would admit though that the present number is more likely to be correct, I just had not updated the sheet with it (and now have).

--

For the 'Su57' (T50 actually), a spreadsheet note shows that I used a guestimate (and operational jets generally get heavier, not lighter).

Su57
Feb 2015 Empty weight: 18,000 kg (39,680 lb)

However I questioned this rounded "18,000 kg" figure at the time, as it was clearly just a guess.

In the end I used this instead within the spreadsheet

Empty weight: 19,730 kg (43,500 lb)

There’s a note attached to the cell stating:

“Claimed empty weight, but unlikely to have a lower weight than an F-22A, given it's longer, wider and holds more fuel plus has an internal bay and a larger wing, so is likely to be heavier. I'm guessing about 43,500 lb.”

Current Wikipedia claimed weight is still:
Feb 2019 Empty weight: 18,000 kg (39,680 lb)

--

The main dimensions I considered were these:

(F-22A)
Length: 62 ft 1 in (18.92 m)
Wingspan: 44 ft 6 in (13.56 m)
Height: 16 ft 8 in (5.08 m)
Wing area: 840 ft² (78.04 m²)
Empty weight: 43,340 lb (19,700 kg)
Loaded weight: 64,840 lb (29,410 kg)
Max. takeoff weight: 83,500 lb (38,000 kg)
Fuel capacity: 18,000 lb (8,200 kg) internally

(Su-57)
Length: 19.8 m (65 ft)
Wingspan: 13.95 m (45 ft 10 in)
Height: 4.74 m (15 ft 7 in)
Wing area: 78.8 m² (848.1 ft²)
Empty weight: 18,000 kg (39,680 lb)
Loaded weight: 29,270 kg (64,530 lb) at full load
Max. takeoff weight: 35,000 kg (77,160 lb)
Fuel capacity: 10,300 kg (22,700 lb)

Personally I think it remarkable that so many figures there are similar, though the Su57 is generally a bit longer, a bit wider, slightly larger wing area, almost the same loaded weight, but claims significantly more fuel volume (i.e. "empty space weighs a lot"). It also has the added structural and skin weight of large separated inlet tunnels. But is still claimed to be 3,360 lb lighter than an F-22A when empty? How? So I decided a weight similar to the F-22A would be much closer to the truth than the unreasonably light empty weight being claimed (by what is clearly just a guessed at 18,000 kg), for an even larger jet.

If this were football, the Russian ‘specs’ seem to demand a lot of unwarranted ‘free kicks’ (as do their related propaganda themes).

And when I look at various online ‘specs’ regarding the 117’s thrust I see the same sorts of unwarranted exaggerations, whereas this interview above is saying the thrust increase is much less than claimed (could you imagine what the F-16 capability would be today if evolving engine tech and thrust had increased by only 13% in the past 40 years?).
Accel + Alt + VLO + DAS + MDF + Radial Distance = LIFE . . . Always choose Stealth
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charlielima223

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Unread post31 Jan 2019, 04:49

element1loop wrote:
Russian 'super-maneuverability' is a euphemism for 'dead-man'.


If you can die and look cool while doing it... why not?
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element1loop

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Unread post31 Jan 2019, 06:24

Better than Russian Roulette.
Accel + Alt + VLO + DAS + MDF + Radial Distance = LIFE . . . Always choose Stealth
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marsavian

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Unread post16 Feb 2019, 13:29

The Su-35 shows that the radar intercepts the target at 275 kilometers, which should be achieved in the normal mode.
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Unread post16 Feb 2019, 13:46

Impressive, but... what kind of target?

An airliner? Fighter sized target?? F-33/F-35???

Even if it can detect say, and F-15 at that range does it have the capability to engage? Unless we're giving them the benefit of the doubt (i.e. super long range 400 plus KM air to air weapon), I don't see how its relevant. If anything, all that PESA power is going to show up as a flashlight in the dark and put the SU-35 at risk.

20 years ago, the SU-35 and its PESA would have been a phenomenal accomplishment. Today, it's been passed over by AESA's of various sorts. A lot of power helps in burning through jamming, but the cons outweigh the pros IMO...
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knowan

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Unread post16 Feb 2019, 19:28

mixelflick wrote:20 years ago, the SU-35 and its PESA would have been a phenomenal accomplishment.


Closer to 30 years ago, I'd say.
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Unread post17 Feb 2019, 15:03

knowan wrote:
mixelflick wrote:20 years ago, the SU-35 and its PESA would have been a phenomenal accomplishment.


Closer to 30 years ago, I'd say.


Going forward, rubles are going to be tight. I wonder what they'll put them into... upgrading the SU-35, or buying SU-57's? If the Russian press release was to be believed "no mass production of SU-57", it would appear as if the SU-35 will be their primary air superiority platform through 2030 - 2040.

Without upgrades, it will be showing its age soon...
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Unread post17 Feb 2019, 15:21

No doubt Su-35 will have an AESA front-end upgrade somewhere down the line. It's the Russian way, constant incremental evolution giving maximum bang for buck. Su-57 won't be mass produced until the new stealthier engine so it can be exported too. The aircraft currently coming off the line are Su-57 hybrids with Su-35 engines, their only real purpose is to keep the production line open and allow more testing.
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Unread post18 Feb 2019, 02:38

marsavian wrote:The aircraft currently coming off the line are Su-57 hybrids with Su-35 engines, their only real purpose is to keep the production line open and allow more testing.


They have 12 models for development and testing... why do they need to produce more for testing? From my understanding the PAKFA isn't a concurrent program. IMO the only reason to keep the production line open is more for national pride.
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Unread post18 Feb 2019, 02:51

@Marsavian. Agreed on delay intent. Right now production is only ~1 a year using the old engines. That's going to carry on for the next 2 years to allow time to complete the new engine development. Serial production contract has apparently been delayed until post 2020 and even then its at 2-3 a year with new engines kicking in midway.

http://tass.com/defense/1040167

They could use earlier batch Su-57s for training.
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Unread post18 Feb 2019, 03:04

mixelflick wrote:Impressive, but... what kind of target?

An airliner? Fighter sized target?? F-33/F-35???

Even if it can detect say, and F-15 at that range does it have the capability to engage? Unless we're giving them the benefit of the doubt (i.e. super long range 400 plus KM air to air weapon), I don't see how its relevant. If anything, all that PESA power is going to show up as a flashlight in the dark and put the SU-35 at risk.

20 years ago, the SU-35 and its PESA would have been a phenomenal accomplishment. Today, it's been passed over by AESA's of various sorts. A lot of power helps in burning through jamming, but the cons outweigh the pros IMO...

The Su-35 can detect a 3m^2 target at 170km, in look down mode. In look up mode it's closer to 190-200km. If it's detecting something at 275km, it's either bigger than 3m^2, or a cued search.
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Unread post18 Feb 2019, 03:45

What Sukhoi claims.

https://www.sukhoi.org/products/samolety/256/

БРЛС обеспечивает большую даль­ность обнаружения воздушных целей – до 350 км по цели с ЭПР 3 м2.


Translation: Up to 350km for target with RCS 3m2.
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Unread post18 Feb 2019, 05:13

weasel1962 wrote:What Sukhoi claims.

https://www.sukhoi.org/products/samolety/256/

БРЛС обеспечивает большую даль­ность обнаружения воздушных целей – до 350 км по цели с ЭПР 3 м2.


Translation: Up to 350km for target with RCS 3m2.

Cued search, yes (with a volume of 10 deg x 10 deg). Volume search 170km.
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Unread post18 Feb 2019, 15:26

An SU-35 with AESA is an intriguing bird. But without the weapons to engage that far out, it seems to me it'd be akin to a flashlight in a dark room. Meaning, this isn't going to be a low probability of intercept AESA, is it?

In the end it's real undoing will be its large radar signature. Or at least large enough to show up on an F-22's, F-35's or even F-15's radar screen. Concerning and AESA equipped SU-35 vs. F-15, I wonder who'd hold an edge?

I have to believe the Eagle's AESA beats the Flanker's hands down, as this will pretty much be their first foray into the AESA world, correct? From there, it all comes down to detection range and BVR missiles. Unfortunately, the F-15 is going to have a much larger RCS than the SU-35, so it may be the SU-35 gets first look. First shot and first kill is another matter though, as I don't have much confidence in their R-27 and not much is known about the R-77.

I'll take AIM-120D's or even C7's any day, which should have a much better PK..
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Unread post18 Feb 2019, 16:44

R-27
https://www.airforce-technology.com/pro ... r-missile/
The maximum operational g-loading of the missile is 8g.


Am I reading this correctly,
With a speed of Mach 4, 8Gs translates to around just 2 degrees per second.

The R-77 seems like a more viable threat. I'm not sure why it is generally considered inferior to the latest AMRAAM models besides the common belief that Russian electronics are considered behind those found in the US, Europe and even China, which is mostly true, don't get me wrong.

But do we have any other substantial evidence to support that the R-77 isn't to be feared the same way we respect the S-400.
China wasn't very impressed which could support that notion, or maybe China thinks to highly of their own capabilities, another possibility is that China's air to air missiles are really in the class they claim to be now.

They have a larger defense budget than any single European NATO member, so all that R&D should have resulted in some stunning technological breakthroughs by now
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