The Sukhoi Su-35 (Russian: Сухой Су-35; NATO reporting name: Flanker-E is a designation for two separate, heavily upgraded derivatives of the Su-27 aircraft. They are single-seat, twin-engine, supermaneuverable multirole fighters, designed by Sukhoi and built by Komsomolsk-on-Amur Aircraft Production Association (KnAAPO).
This video of a Su-35 at the 2013 Paris Air Show demonstrates its remarkable maneuverability.Such maneuvers may be useful for evading missiles or dogfighting at close ranges—though they leave any aircraft in a low-energy state.
The Flanker family of aircraft is supermaneuverable—meaning it is engineered to perform controlled maneuvers that are impossible through regular aerodynamic mechanisms. In the Su-35, this is in part achieved through use of thrust-vectoring engines: the nozzles of its Saturn AL-41F1S turbofans can independently point in different directions in flight to assist the aircraft in rolling and yawing.
The first Su-35 prototype, converted from a Su-27, made its maiden flight in June 1988. More than a dozen of these were built, some of which were used by the Russian Knights aerobatic demonstration team. The first Su-35 design was later modified into the Su-37, which possessed thrust vectoring engines and was used as a technology demonstrator. A sole Su-35UB two-seat trainer was built in the late 1990s that strongly resembled the Su-30MK family.
In May 2006, it was reported that Venezuela planned to purchase dozens of Su-30 and Su-35 fighters, and as many as 100 T-90 tanks. There were unconfirmed reports in October 2008 that the Venezuela government had ordered 24 Su-35s for the Venezuelan Air Force.In July 2012, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez repeated his interest in acquiring the Su-35 fighters.
In January 2015, North Korea has expressed interest in the fighter. But due to the international sanctions imposed on North Korea the delivery of fighters is unlikely in the near future.This to me poses a great threat to the USA as well.
Only one operational Western fighter, the F-22 Raptor, has similar technology.This also allows the Su-35 to achieve very high angles-of-attack—in other words, the plane can be moving in one direction while its nose is pointed in another. A high angle of attack allows an aircraft to more easily train its weapons on an evading target and execute tight maneuvers.
The Flanker-E can achieve a maximum speed of Mach 2.25 at high altitude equal to the F-22 and faster than the F-35 or F-16 and has excellent acceleration. However, contrary to initial reports, it appears it may not be able to supercruise—perform sustained supersonic flight without using afterburners—while loaded for combat.
Its service ceiling is sixty thousand feet, on par with F-15s and F-22s, and ten thousand feet higher than Super Hornets, Rafales and F-35s.The Su-35 has expanded fuel capacity, giving it a range of 2,200 miles on internal fuel, or 2,800 miles with two external fuel tanks.
Both the lighter titanium airframe and the engines have significantly longer life expectancies than their predecessors, at six thousand and 4,500 flight hours, respectively. For comparison, the F-22 and F-35 are rated at eight thousand hours.The Russian Air Force has ordered 98 production units, designated Su-35S, of the newly revamped Su-35.
Both Su-35 models were marketed to many countries, including Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, and South Korea; only China has so far ordered the Su-35, placing an order for 24 in late 2015. Indonesia expressed an intent to buy between 8-10 Su-35s in 2015, but has yet to sign a final purchase contract. Other countries have since either purchased other aircraft or lost interest in the Su-35.