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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eloise

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Unread post27 Jan 2019, 14:54

Very deep interview
https://mil.sina.cn/sd/2018-12-09/detai ... c7DTwlb24g
Google translate link
https://translate.googleusercontent.com ... yyHuHz5zFw
- The SU-35 serves as an excellent benchmark for the Chinese military to gauge the effectiveness of their own development vs international standards.

- Su-35 is very maneuverable, possibly the most maneuverable fighter in the PLAAF

- The N035E is an excellent PESA radar. It's pretty much the best PESA radar you can practically develop.

- However, it's substantially weaker than the current generation of Chinese AESAs.

- The N035E radar has some interesting features, for example it is capable of detecting a target at extended ranges (350km) if it's only required to scan a small area (about the size of the HUD). This is not particularly useful without AWACs cueing.

- ESM/ECM systems are not as good as the J-16s. If the J16 were to be rated a 10/10, the Su-35 would be an 8.5/10 on ESM and 8/10 on ECM performance.

- The IRST is also worse, due to the state of the Russian electronics/optics industry.

- The R-77 and R-73 can be used on China's older stock of Russian fighters (Su-27/Su-30MKKs).

- R-77/R-73 are unremarkable, and performance trails the Chinese PL-10 and PL-15 missiles. (Wouldn't the PL-8 and PL-12 be a better comparison?)

- The Su-35 has an interesting feature, the "БОСЭС" or "Duel" which, if programmed with the capability of the opposing fighter, can automatically track the enemy in real time and recommend optimized decisions. It presents a good look into the Russian understanding of air combat modeling - and China may seek to do something similar for their 5th generation fights. (Coupled with advances in Chinese AI technology).

- The 117S engine is very good. It has 13% more dry thrust than the older AL-31F, which is already superior to the domestic WS-10.

- The Su-35s have some form of datalink capability, and have some level of integration into Chinese air defense networks.

- The Su-35 is giving China lots of experience with a super maneuverable thrust vectoring aircraft, and is influencing Chinese decisions on where to go with fighter development.

- They've learned quite a bit via dissimilar air combat training exercises with the Su-35.

- "the 117S engine is also the key subsystem for the first time after the introduction of the Su-35" - I think this means that the engine is the primary reason the Su-35 was bought.

- The officer's dream heavy 4.5th generation fighter would be a J-16 with 117S engines.



- The N035E's look-up range is only slightly more than the J-16 radar's look-down range, and the former is not as effective as the latter in anti-surface mode

- The '8.5' and '8.0' scores refer to the Su-35's sensing and EW capabilities respectively assuming the J-16's are set at '10' for both

- The weapons package of the Su-35 is not particularly impressive

- The KS-172, even if imported, wouldn't compare favourably with China's own VLRAAM

- Strike munitions of the Su-35 deal are upgraded versions of the same munitions procured as part of the Su-30 deals almost twenty years ago and there is limited value in what can learnt from them

- A lot of the flaws on the PLA Su-35s cannot be attributed to Russian reluctance to export top technology but rather the Russians haven't encountered the issues on their own Su-35s

- This mirrors the situation of the early-2000s when PLA Su-30s were flown at a much higher intensity than their cash-strapped Russian counterparts in preparation for a Taiwan contingency, leading to the PLA giving the aircraft OEM much more information on the Su-30's flaws than Russian pilots who didn't get the chance to fly their aircraft as much nor in as diverse of scenarios

- The Su-35 has the S-108 datalink which allows up to sixteen aircraft to share fire-control data allowing one aircraft to guide the missiles fired by other aircraft similar to CEC

- The datalink capability was already available for the Su-30 but owing to the relatively weak performance of the N001VE radar, the capability wasn't very useful and the PLA declined to include it

- Real-war experience in Syria suggests the S-108's ECCM capability can be further explored (might've gotten jammed by Americans/Israelis?)

- The extraordinary manoeuvrability and the corresponding combat potential of the Su-35 can largely be attributed to the 117S engines; thus, mastery of 117S utilisation was priority no. 1 for the 6th Brigade to achieve combat-capability ASAP

- Upgrading Su-35s to use domestic systems is more difficult than upgrading Su-27s and Su-30s due to the former's integrated system architecture compared to the latter two's distributed system architecture -- changing one system on the Su-35 has ramifications for every other system

- Extensive Russian assistance is necessary to conduct upgrades of systems without screwing everything up, hence the Su-35 deal is called "Sino-Russo Su-35 Cooperation Project" -- it's not just a simple export-import deal

Aircraft no. 61271 began test flights at Zhukovsky Airfield after handover to the PLA, suggesting those were post-upgrade system integration tests

Su-35s are already compatible with Chinese AEW
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element1loop

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Unread post27 Jan 2019, 15:21

In addition, due to the Russian optical device industry level, its OLS-35 forward-looking photo-electric radar (IRST) performance is far less than that of the 歼[J]-16 similar equipment; both airborne electronic reconnaissance capabilities have their own advantages, but the Su-35 airborne electronic interference The equipment is lagging behind in architecture and technology. If the detection capability and electronic warfare capability of the J-16 are set to 10 points, then the Su-35 can play 8.5 points and 8 points.


Interesting claims.
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swiss

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Unread post27 Jan 2019, 21:14

Very interesting Interview eloise.

I think that's says a lot about the Sensors and Weapon quality from the Su-35. When they are even behind the J-16. And concur with the statements, that the Russians are at least 20 years behind the US in sensor technologie.
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knowan

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Unread post27 Jan 2019, 21:47

Honestly not that surprising; China has a robust electronics industry, and has been investing far more money on developing new missile weapons over the last few decades than Russia.

With Russia wasting money on pointless programs like Avangard and Poseidon, it's no wonder China has pulled ahead of them.
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Unread post28 Jan 2019, 14:27

Sounds like they're going to take what they learned, to upgrade their J-16's?

The PESA sounds absurdly powerful, but still a step behind our/Chinese AESA's. It also sounds like the sensors and weapons are a mismatch, meaning it can't take advantage of the PESA's max detection ranges. And it also sounds like the Russian's know that, thus the emphasis on super-maneuverability.

All of which is great news for the F-35. Its sensor suite is its real strong suite, along with its stealth. Which means even if the current weapons (AIM-120C-7's) aren't optimal, they'll still have a much higher PK. When it gets the 120-D, things will be even better. 9x integration is fast tracked, which makes any super-maneuverability advantage the SU-35 has null and void. Not going to out-maneuver that missile..
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vilters

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Unread post28 Jan 2019, 14:59

When the Chinese get their engines sorted out, they will be building great airplanes.

All in all, the Chinese are "on par" with their Russian friends, and will be taking over soon.

More devoted, dedicated, better industry with slightly less corruption.
And massive human and financial possibilities.
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mixelflick

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Unread post29 Jan 2019, 13:33

- A lot of the flaws on the PLA Su-35s cannot be attributed to Russian reluctance to export top technology but rather the Russians haven't encountered the issues on their own Su-35s

- This mirrors the situation of the early-2000s when PLA Su-30s were flown at a much higher intensity than their cash-strapped Russian counterparts in preparation for a Taiwan contingency, leading to the PLA giving the aircraft OEM much more information on the Su-30's flaws than Russian pilots who didn't get the chance to fly their aircraft as much nor in as diverse of scenarios

Somewhat hard to believe, given Russia deployed both the SU-30 and SU-35 to Syria to work the bugs out. But let's assume it's true... Does it logically follow that the Chinese have informed their Russian counterparts as to both aircraft's weaknesses?

I would think so, but don't want to assume. Whatever the case, this will probably be the last aircraft China imports from Russia, and that's bad news for the Russians. China was a HUGE buyer of Russian jets, possibly #1 (India has to be close). Given that, the Russians will have a lot less rubles floating around to fund their current projects (PAK FA, Hunter etc).

And it all happened so fast, didn't it? The Chinese started modernizing in the late 1990's and started pumping out purely domestically produced fighters like the J-10. Now we have the J-20 and JC/31, in addition to a rumored stealth bomber and other platforms in the works. Call it 20 years. In the grand scheme of things, that isn't very long. In another 20 years, we might see Russia buying fighters from China! Might. The Russians are awful proud people, and it's hard to imagine them swallowing their national pride, no matter how much sense it makes..
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madrat

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Unread post29 Jan 2019, 14:02

The Russians have infiltrated China for decades. Its impossible China could hold any such qualitative edge over Russia in secret. The Chinese rely on Russian sponsored education and those ties last a lifetime.
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milosh

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Unread post29 Jan 2019, 14:48

KS-172 doesn't exist it was export only project, it was offered to India and maybe China. India was interested but nothing happen.

Russia wasn't interested in KS-172 because they worked on R-37M. It is operational on MiG-31BM, Su-35 probable can carry it but what the point?

So I don't see why it is mentioned in text.

Also narrow scanning mode for Irbis-E isn't nothing special at least can't be nothing special in second decade of XXI century. If Chinese are impressed with that, then it look like their PESA/AESA radar don't have that capability :?
It look like Chinese didn't got L-band AFAR for their Su-35.

@mixflick

China ISN'T biggest buyer of Russian aircrafts. That is India. India will have ~270 Su-30MKI, China have only ~80 Su-30. Chinese also got around 100 Su-27 under licence deal for J-11, Sukhoi canceled deal when Chinese start modifying J-11 on their own and that was in early 2000.
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Unread post29 Jan 2019, 16:23

My take on this:

Positives:
-The Su-35 is very maneuverable and perhaps the most maneuverable fighter in the PLAAF, More than the J-20 which is good news.

-Even with their defense budget possibly half the size of China's, they still managed to come up with ESM and ECM suits that are close to China's best. Quite impressive if you ask me.

-Engine is better than anything the Chinese have. By a considerable margin judging by the number of times they went out of their way to praise it.

-The Duel mode seems like its a kind of A.I. that can suggest the best way to engage a certain type. I wonder if its the sort of system that will tell the pilot to go to the vertical against an F/A-18 or when will be the best time to go slow against an F-16.

-The Super-maneuverability of the Su-35 has opened new doors or tactical options for the PLAAF that it is now "influencing" their designs moving forward.

Negatives
-I can make an argument that the F-22 is more maneuverable than the Su-35. Lower wing loading, lift loading, more TVC deflection, higher T/W ratio, better thrust to drag ratio and we're not even getting into maneuverability at combat loads yet. So the F-22 will have a considerable maneuvering advantage over anything the PLAAF has.

-A lot of the reasons Sukhoi fans give to argue why BVR will fail and why the Sukhoi will get a chance to use it's much vaunted Super-maneuverability up close is because recent wars have never involved the most advanced ESM and ECM systems they have. Well it looks like the Chinese weren't very impressed with the ECM suits as well.

-Radar Stealth is "useless" because of the advanced IR sensors the Sukhoi has. The Chinese don't seem too impressed as well.
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milosh

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Unread post29 Jan 2019, 20:20

If Chinese are so impressed with AL-41 what would they say on AL-51 or what number new Su-57 engine have.
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knowan

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Unread post29 Jan 2019, 20:27

milosh wrote:If Chinese are so impressed with AL-41 what would they say on AL-51 or what number new Su-57 engine have.


Or for that matter, F-119 and F-135.
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element1loop

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Unread post30 Jan 2019, 01:48

knowan wrote:
milosh wrote:If Chinese are so impressed with AL-41 what would they say on AL-51 or what number new Su-57 engine have.


Or for that matter, F-119 and F-135.


If the Su35’s 117 engine is only making 13% more go than an AL-31F ... it looks like this:

Su35
Fuel Load 25,400 lb
Empty Weight 41,274 lb
Weapon Weight = EMPTY
Full fuel Weight 66,674 lb
Under MTOW 9,386 lb … (less than half the payload potential of an F-35A)
Dry Thrust 38,217 lb … (19,108 lb)
A/B Thrust 62,602 lb … (31,301 lb)
Dry Thrust 100% fuel = 0.573
HP: lb Ratio 100% fuel = 0.939
Dry Thrust 50% fuel = 0.708
HP: lb Ratio 50% fuel = 1.160

Su57
Fuel Load 22,700 lb
Empty Weight 43,500 lb
Weapon Weight = EMPTY
Full fuel Weight 66,200 lb
Under MTOW 10,960 lb … (half the payload potential of an F-35A)
Dry Thrust 38,217 lb … (19,108 lb)
A/B Thrust 62,602 lb … (31,301 lb)
Dry Thrust 100% fuel = 0.577
HP: lb Ratio 100% fuel = 0.946
Dry Thrust 50% fuel = 0.697
HP: lb Ratio 50% fuel = 1.141

No weapons and the engines are still hanging out in the breeze.
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element1loop

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Unread post30 Jan 2019, 04:21

zero-one wrote:-A lot of the reasons Sukhoi fans give to argue why BVR will fail and why the Sukhoi will get a chance to use it's much vaunted Super-maneuverability


Russian 'super-maneuverability' is a euphemism for 'dead-man'.
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Unread post30 Jan 2019, 23:47

element1loop wrote:
knowan wrote:
milosh wrote:If Chinese are so impressed with AL-41 what would they say on AL-51 or what number new Su-57 engine have.


Or for that matter, F-119 and F-135.


If the Su35’s 117 engine is only making 13% more go than an AL-31F ... it looks like this:

Su35
Fuel Load 25,400 lb
Empty Weight 41,274 lb
Weapon Weight = EMPTY
Full fuel Weight 66,674 lb
Under MTOW 9,386 lb … (less than half the payload potential of an F-35A)
Dry Thrust 38,217 lb … (19,108 lb)
A/B Thrust 62,602 lb … (31,301 lb)
Dry Thrust 100% fuel = 0.573
HP: lb Ratio 100% fuel = 0.939
Dry Thrust 50% fuel = 0.708
HP: lb Ratio 50% fuel = 1.160


Something isn't right.

If Su-35 empty weight is ~18.6tons as you wrote then it is heavier then old Su-35:
http://www.aerospaceweb.org/aircraft/fi ... u35_02.jpg

new Su-35:
https://nationalinterest.org/sites/defa ... k=O3-Rm78O

If you check avionics new Su-35 is lighter, N035 weight noticeable less then N011 and new one doesn't have sting radar (N012 which old one have).

Materials and construction? Well:
Therefore, designers removed the canards (and the dorsal air brake) found on the Su-27M; the size of the vertical tails, aft-cockpit hump and tail boom were also reduced.[41] With such changes, as well as the increased use of aluminium and titanium alloys and composites, designers had reduced the empty weight of the aircraft, while maintaining a similar maximum take-off weight to the Su-27M.


Also Chinese are impressed with Su-35 TWR, it is noticeable better then J-11, 18.6tons empty Su-35 with would have worse TWR compared to J-11 (WS-10A have ~7% more thrust then AL-31F) and similar TWR as J-11 with old AL-31F.

element1loop wrote:Su57
Fuel Load 22,700 lb
Empty Weight 43,500 lb.


Were did you get Su-57 weight?
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