F-35 vs Su-30/35

The F-35 compared with other modern jets.
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boogieman

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Unread post01 May 2020, 02:53

So apparently Russia has started testing the R37M on the Su35 and officially announced it will be RVV-BD aka their ultra-long range missile of choice.

https://vk.com/milinfolive?w=wall-123538639_1406230

That is to say that a newer design appears to have been discarded, as have other candidates like KS-172. Looks like a capable but technologically less ambitious solution, albeit one that reaches a claimed peak speed of ~Mach 6. Interestingly it is about the same length as the Chinese PL15, but significantly wider. It also uses an Agat 9B-1388 MSA active seekerhead, which is a bit old fashioned given the emerging trend towards compact AESAs. That said, it's still bad news for anything other than a 5th gen aircraft. I suspect it's ASPJ + chaff + Brite Cloud + towed decoy + dive for the doppler notch or die :shock: :wink:

https://dfnc.ru/katalog-vooruzhenij/rak ... 37-rvv-bd/

Interesting that the range is often cited as 200km for launch from Su35 and 300km from the MiG31. I would have thought a fast and high launch from a Flanker or esp Foxhound ought to give the missile a huge kinematic boost, so in some ways I am surprised the stats are not even higher for what is a relatively enormous AAM. I think we may be looking at a missile that is leaning heavily on late 90's/early 2000s technology, rather than cutting edge JATM-style tech.

That said, I think a strong argument can be made for the development of an ultra-long range AAM in the West now that the PLAAF's fleet of large ISR aircraft has grown considerably. I floated the idea of basing it around AARGM-ER in another thread although I suspect some redesign work would be needed to make this feasible.
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Unread post01 May 2020, 10:57

In other news the Su-35 page in Wiki was updated
Particularly the empty weight was increased from 40,570 to 41,888
source was (Butowski Air International October 2019, p. 38.)
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Unread post01 May 2020, 15:04

spazsinbad wrote:Me Likee this Repeatee Quotee:
31 May 2013 “...For example, the F-35 can fly with one horizontal tail and one rudder missing....” http://www.aviationpros.com/article/109 ... ke-fighter


Would not wanna be the pilot testing that theory, LOL...

With respect to the SU-35 getting the R-37... OK. But making it it's BVR weapon of choice? That seems suspect to me, as these are BIG missiles that will create a whole 'lotta drag. Related, the SU-35 would only be able to carry perhaps half as many R-37's as say, R-77's. BTW, does this mean the R-77 is dead? If so, would seem to validate the negative things said about its reliability, performance etc..

Anyway, if its the R-37 I'd think that's a bad news/good news situation. Bad news being it's mighty fast and will put enemy aircraft on the defensive QUICKLY, and keep them there until the missile is defeated. Good news in that I suppose there could be more agile weapons aimed at you. Presumably, this was an AWACS/Tanker killer - not for fighter sized targets. But perhaps they made a breakthrough somewhere in end stage maneuverability.

I don't see this as being too big a problem for the F-35, VLO and all. But for the F-15EX and any other 4th generation fighter... this has to be concerning.
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Unread post01 May 2020, 21:00

The F-15 EX is going to the ANG and will be doing different missions. Also, one cannot rule out the AIM-260 integration on it eventually once stocks of that missile increase over time. Ultimately, what is more important here is going to be how good the EPAWSS is and how good our ability is to deny or severely degrade long range shots and their effectiveness against our fighters. Capacity also matters. As thing stands, the ANG is expected to field more new build F-15 EX's than the Russian Air Force will with the SU-35. 5th gen. F-35's and F-22's basically change the equation completely at a time when the Russian Air force doesn't have a 100 Su-35's (delivered or ordered) and continues to delay its PAKFA production ramp rate increase.
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Unread post01 May 2020, 23:38

mixelflick wrote:
spazsinbad wrote:Me Likee this Repeatee Quotee:
31 May 2013 “...For example, the F-35 can fly with one horizontal tail and one rudder missing....” http://www.aviationpros.com/article/109 ... ke-fighter


Would not wanna be the pilot testing that theory, LOL...

With respect to the SU-35 getting the R-37... OK. But making it it's BVR weapon of choice? That seems suspect to me, as these are BIG missiles that will create a whole 'lotta drag. Related, the SU-35 would only be able to carry perhaps half as many R-37's as say, R-77's. BTW, does this mean the R-77 is dead? If so, would seem to validate the negative things said about its reliability, performance etc..

Anyway, if its the R-37 I'd think that's a bad news/good news situation. Bad news being it's mighty fast and will put enemy aircraft on the defensive QUICKLY, and keep them there until the missile is defeated. Good news in that I suppose there could be more agile weapons aimed at you. Presumably, this was an AWACS/Tanker killer - not for fighter sized targets. But perhaps they made a breakthrough somewhere in end stage maneuverability.

I don't see this as being too big a problem for the F-35, VLO and all. But for the F-15EX and any other 4th generation fighter... this has to be concerning.


Well, the opponents of a country with stealth aircraft pretty much know they can't control the stealth aircrafts. By eliminating, or keeping tankers at a long distance, and a good idea about the range of both the F-22 and the F-35, they know where they can't be, so perhaps that is a way to concentrate one's resources of hunting invisible intruders.
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boogieman

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Unread post01 May 2020, 23:53

mixelflick wrote:
spazsinbad wrote:Me Likee this Repeatee Quotee:
31 May 2013 “...For example, the F-35 can fly with one horizontal tail and one rudder missing....” http://www.aviationpros.com/article/109 ... ke-fighter


Would not wanna be the pilot testing that theory, LOL...

With respect to the SU-35 getting the R-37... OK. But making it it's BVR weapon of choice? That seems suspect to me, as these are BIG missiles that will create a whole 'lotta drag. Related, the SU-35 would only be able to carry perhaps half as many R-37's as say, R-77's. BTW, does this mean the R-77 is dead? If so, would seem to validate the negative things said about its reliability, performance etc..

Anyway, if its the R-37 I'd think that's a bad news/good news situation. Bad news being it's mighty fast and will put enemy aircraft on the defensive QUICKLY, and keep them there until the missile is defeated. Good news in that I suppose there could be more agile weapons aimed at you. Presumably, this was an AWACS/Tanker killer - not for fighter sized targets. But perhaps they made a breakthrough somewhere in end stage maneuverability.

I don't see this as being too big a problem for the F-35, VLO and all. But for the F-15EX and any other 4th generation fighter... this has to be concerning.

Oh no R77 is still going to be the mainstay BVR weapon, R37M will just be the uber long range one. Perhaps not a huge problem for 5th gens but it is yet another bit of kit the Russians could use in an attempt to deny every other aircraft access to a theatre like the Baltics and/or to destroy our HVAA directly.
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Unread post02 May 2020, 01:04

boogieman wrote:


Oh no R77 is still going to be the mainstay BVR weapon, R37M will just be the uber long range one. Perhaps not a huge problem for 5th gens but it is yet another bit of kit the Russians could use in an attempt to deny every other aircraft access to a theatre like the Baltics and/or to destroy our HVAA directly.

I agree. It's doubtful that Flankers will routinely fly with R-37s, and when they do it'll probably be 2 R-37s along with a mix of R-27/77, and R-74s.
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Unread post02 May 2020, 01:58

wrightwing wrote:
boogieman wrote:


Oh no R77 is still going to be the mainstay BVR weapon, R37M will just be the uber long range one. Perhaps not a huge problem for 5th gens but it is yet another bit of kit the Russians could use in an attempt to deny every other aircraft access to a theatre like the Baltics and/or to destroy our HVAA directly.

I agree. It's doubtful that Flankers will routinely fly with R-37s, and when they do it'll probably be 2 R-37s along with a mix of R-27/77, and R-74s.

Yes, any Flanker fully loaded with R37s would be a very cumbersome jet. I think you'll see the R27 steadily phased out from now on - relegated to the older Su27/30 and Fulcrum units and then outright replaced with R77-1 and R77M when it eventually materialises.

As for the newest Archer, the Russians claim it is capable of firing into the rear hemisphere, which would imply a LOAL capability. I find this curious as I am not aware of it being fitted with the needed datalink to make this possible. Doesn't mean it doesn't have one, it's just that the details are not in the public domain.

https://dfnc.ru/katalog-vooruzhenij/rak ... 73-rvv-md/

Also interesting is that RVV-MD (the latest Archer variant to be deployed - not sure if it is called R73M+ or R74) still seems to use a non-imaging two band seeker. This ought to be fairly old (AIM9L/M era) tech by today's standards, but alas that's what they seem to be using. I also don't know how they intend to cue the weapon to a target behind the wingline, since most of their jets don't have a sensor to cover the rear hemisphere AFAIK. I think Su34 has a rearward facing radar and MiG35 has OLS-K (which is confined to targets below the aircraft) but that's about it.
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Unread post02 May 2020, 15:36

I see the long range missile on a flanker as a primary threat to high value force multipliers. Good thing that we don't have a brand new, clean sheet AWACS or JSTARS replacement program. As far as tankers, I'd assume that some of this can be mitigated via EW both as a dedicated escort or as self-defense. We're considering kinetic options as well but ultimately those Flankers would have to get through an F-22, and F-35 screen. At the rate their modernization is going, it is likely that we bring 200 NGAD's into service before they field as many SU-57's (leave aside them trying to get numerical parity with the F-22 this side of 2035.. I would worry more about what the Chinese are doing in this regard given the fewer air-basing options in that theater and the ranges involved. If Boeing hadn't run up a $5 billion charge on the KC-46, perhaps it could have self funded an unmanned LO tanker prototype.
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Unread post02 May 2020, 16:07

Well it seems that the Sukhoi interview done by Butowski at MAKS 2019 confirms that Su-35 is 1000 lbs heavier than previous estimation.

This 19 ton class jet weights almost the same as Raptor, but it does not have F119.

Its "zero fuel" wing loading and T/W are very similar to F-35 :mrgreen:

Its "full fuel" wing loading is also close to that of F-35 (about 500kg / m^2)

Can I call Su-35 "can't climb, can't turn, can't run"? :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
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Unread post02 May 2020, 16:48

gta4 wrote:Well it seems that the Sukhoi interview done by Butowski at MAKS 2019 confirms that Su-35 is 1000 lbs heavier than previous estimation.

This 19 ton class jet weights almost the same as Raptor, but it does not have F119.

Its "zero fuel" wing loading and T/W are very similar to F-35 :mrgreen:

Its "full fuel" wing loading is also close to that of F-35 (about 500kg / m^2)

Can I call Su-35 "can't climb, can't turn, can't run"? :mrgreen: :mrgreen:


Isn't this due though (in both cases) to the extreme amount of internal fuel carried by both? The Flanker (SU-35 in particular) carries mongo amounts of gas - 25,353 lbs! The F-35 is even more impressive for its size anyway, carrying 18,000 for the A, 13,500 for the B and a whopping 19.000lbs for the C. When I first saw these figures, I thought they might be a mis-print! Tiny airframe packed with that much gas, unreal.

But unlike the Flanker which can't "super-maneuver" with more than 60% internal fuel, the F-35A can hit mach 1.6 and pull 9g's with all that, PLUS 5,000lbs of internal weapons. THAT's what makes it so impressive IMO. And as it burns down more and more fuel, it just gets even better.

Assuming full tanks, the SU-35 has to burn off more than 10,000lbs of fuel to get to 60%. That's a lot of fuel, well in excess of what the F-16 carries (7,000lbs). Makes you wonder if they can jettison that much if necessary, say prior to merging with enemy jets. The fact you DON'T need to do that in the F-35... is impressive. :)
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Unread post04 May 2020, 03:01

mixelflick wrote:But unlike the Flanker which can't "super-maneuver" with more than 60% internal fuel, the F-35A can hit mach 1.6 and pull 9g's with all that, PLUS 5,000lbs of internal weapons. THAT's what makes it so impressive IMO. And as it burns down more and more fuel, it just gets even better.

Assuming full tanks, the SU-35 has to burn off more than 10,000lbs of fuel to get to 60%. That's a lot of fuel, well in excess of what the F-16 carries (7,000lbs). Makes you wonder if they can jettison that much if necessary, say prior to merging with enemy jets. The fact you DON'T need to do that in the F-35... is impressive. :)

Yes, plus I believe the Flanker has G-limits at heavy weapons loads to avoid damaging the wings or ripping them off(!). Does anyone know of any solid sources to verify this? I haven't been able to find much but it is something that has been discussed quite a lot in the DCS community and is modelled in the sim. IIRC the evolution of the jet to Su35 standard involved some reinforcement of the wings so perhaps the Super-Flanker is not as handicapped in this way.

On an unrelated note, it does look like the future Russian AAM inventory will consist of :
R73M aka RVV-MD (aka R74 for export?)
R77-1 aka RVV-SD (to be eventually superseded by R77M aka izdeliye 180)
R37M aka RVV-BD

One thing that I find particularly noteworthy is that the Russians are apparently only now working on putting an imaging IR seeker onto a future R73 variant. I find this remarkable since the existing Archer derivatives ought to be fairly easy to spot for the IR MAWS on F35 and F22 (old, smokey engines) and to subsequently defeat with IRCM (old two-band seekers). Perhaps there simply isn't the cash for a clean sheet design:
Along with developing a more capable medium-to-long range missile, Russian defence industry is trying to fill a further long-standing gap in the country’s AAM offering – a dogfight missile fitted with an imaging infrared (IIR) seeker. The Moscow-based Duks company, also part of KTRV, used Armiya 2019 to reveal that it is developing an IIR seeker, initially for an upgrade of the R-73/74 (AA-11A/B Archer).

According to Duks, its development is being funded internally and there is as yet no order. How far development on the seeker has progressed is unknown. Previous Russian efforts to develop an IIR dogfight missile – the K-30 – were shelved in favour of upgrading the R-73.

The lack of IIR-guided missile will, if unaddressed, increasingly handicap Russia in its struggle to retain its position in the export market built on the success of the R-73. Indeed, Indian interest in integrating MBDA’s ASRAAM on its Russian-designed Su-30MKI Flanker is likely to have been prompted in part because the R-73 lacks an IIR seeker. It uses an older generation of infrared seeker that is more vulnerable to countermeasures and cannot offer targeting techniques such as aim-point selection. The higher IIR seeker sensitivity also means a target can be acquired at greater ranges.

The Duks IIR-seeker design includes a target image library that enables the missile to recognise at least the class of target being engaged. It is also much more capable of rejecting flare-based decoys. The R-73’s warhead may also be replaced with a new directed warhead that will use information on the type of target and the geometry of the intercept to focus the explosive blast.

In addition, Duks has considered the inclusion of inertial guidance that would allow the missile to be used in a lock-after-launch mode. The present R-73 generation requires that the seeker lock on to the target prior to launch. Lock after launch allows for a larger engagement envelope, with high off-bore-sight shots outside the seeker’s acquisition angle.

Both the Duks IIR project and the K-77M development reflect renewed emphasis on and, in the case of the latter at least, investment in air-to-air weaponry on the part of the Russian defence ministry. This is being driven in part by the Russian Air Force’s requirement to keep pace with developments in the West and in part by the export arena, where Russia needs to remain competitive.

https://www.iiss.org/blogs/military-bal ... le-upgrade
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Unread post04 May 2020, 17:13

Given what they're working with, I find their engineers dowright ingenious in certain areas.

Their air to air weapons have at times, leapfrogged our own (Archer, for example). But by continuing to develop and refine the Flanker family, they are shooting themselves in the foot. Every day that ticks by, more F-35's are showing up in parts of the globe... and that's bad news for users of the SU-27/30/34/35.

Very bad news...
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Unread post04 May 2020, 17:32

mixelflick wrote:Given what they're working with, I find their engineers dowright ingenious in certain areas.

Their air to air weapons have at times, leapfrogged our own (Archer, for example). But by continuing to develop and refine the Flanker family, they are shooting themselves in the foot. Every day that ticks by, more F-35's are showing up in parts of the globe... and that's bad news for users of the SU-27/30/34/35.

Very bad news...

Of course, but what can they do? The Su-57 so far has been a flop. unless they team up with Turkey, India or China, Russia will most likely not be able to field a 5. gen fighter for a very long time. The COVID-19 situation makes it even harder. They are hit both directly by the pandemic (like most other countries) but in addition the oil price is extremely low and this hits Russia hard since oil is by far their main source of income.
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Unread post04 May 2020, 18:01

mixelflick wrote:Given what they're working with, I find their engineers dowright ingenious in certain areas.

Their air to air weapons have at times, leapfrogged our own (Archer, for example). But by continuing to develop and refine the Flanker family, they are shooting themselves in the foot. Every day that ticks by, more F-35's are showing up in parts of the globe... and that's bad news for users of the SU-27/30/34/35.

Very bad news...


They are coming to grips with reality. The Russian economy has taken a severe beating over the years and the PAKFA program has lost its only partner that could have brought in a fresh stream of cash to finance the next phase of the program. Fleet modernization demands that they recapitalize and replace older aircraft and the Flanker is in production and can do that now. Plus they have an infrastructure to absorb it straight into operational units. I don't think the Russian Air Force can afford more than a 100 operational SU-57's over the next decade.

In fact, they would be lucky to get to even that within that time-frame. But within their limited budget growth, they continue to modernize with the best alternatives they have. A brand new Su-30, or Su-35 is still light years ahead of an outgoing legacy Su-27. Meanwhile they'll continue to tinker around with the SU-57 stage 1, stage 2 or whatever else they wish to call it. Till such time their economy improves, or operational demands change, they are unlikely to put it into high rate production. It could stay in LRIP through the entire decade. Given their force structure, they'd continue to go crazy hard at fielding modern Air Defense units when money is tight.That's probably better ROI for them as far as their conventional capability is concerned.
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