Since 1977, with the entry into service of the Flanker, that these fantastic aircraft didn´t stop evolving,from one model emerged several others: Su-27 SK, Su-27SKM, Su-30 MK, Su-30MK2, Su -30 MKM, Su-30MKV, Su-30 MKI, Su-33, Su-34/32, Su-35, Su-37…
Unfortunately this long lineage will end, but will end up in great style with a plane of 4++ generation that will fill the gap between the Su-30MK and the PAK-FA, a plane of the 4 h generation which has 5th generation technologies and that can only be overcome by the F-22.
This plane is the Su-35 BM that will become the backbone of the Russian Air Force until the PAK-FA is produced in sufficient numbers and will dominate the market between 2009 and 2015.
The Su-35BM derives, probably, from the Su-27SM (is something uncertain) and applies everything Sukhoi learned over the years with planes like the Su-30 in its various variants.
Among the things Sukhoi learned is the fact that a large RCS and the use of heavy materials in the airframe do not contribute to the performance of the aircraft, as such, Sukhoi substantially improved the basic structure of the plane.
In the new structure were used composite materials, which reduced the weight by 20%. The lines of the plane have been refined in order to reduce the radar energy reflected in the X band, the intakes of the engines are larger to allow a better flow of air, flaperons are large, it does not have canards * and the tail sting is smaller, moreover, it does not have the dorsal aerodynamic brake, its functions are now performed by active rudder . The fuselage has better aerodynamics and lifting ability in general.
As mentioned earlier, Sukhoi learned that a large RCS does not help the plane, as such, to the refinement of the lines, Sukhoi allied other Stealth measures:
_ Use of RAM layers throughout the structure.
_ Treatment of the air inlets with a RAM layer with a thickness between 0.7 and 1.4 mm.
_ Treatment of the face of the engine with RAM material
_Treatment of the canopy with electro conductive materials that prevent reflection of radar waves.
These measures mean a RCS between 0.7 and 1 m2.
In terms of the thermal signature Sukhoi should have used ceramic materials in parts that reach higher temperatures, such as in the exhaust of the engine.
The cockpit of the Su-35BM is one of the most advanced in the world.
The cockpit has two large LCD with 22.5 by 30 cm and a resolution of 1400 by 1050 pixels, as well as a multi-functions backup LCD .
The LCD functions are to receive, process, and transmit data in various ways, whether these are graphics, numbers, TV images, etc.. They also produce and send video signals in digital format to the video recording unit.
The HUD has a control panel and a viewing angle of 30 ° by 20º, and its the IKSh-1M.
The control column of the engine and the control stick have HOTAS capability.
The helmet has a built in sight (HMS) and a small display.
The plane has satellite navigation systems and radio systems, digital map system, optical and electronic system for reconnaissance missions in a pod and digital communication systems.
The plane has 2 UHF radios and two VHF radios, voice and radio coding systems and Link-16 system to exchange data.
All these elements as well as data from radar, IRST and pods are controlled by 2 modern computers that enable the processing and transmission of data to the pilot at crucial moments, easing its workload.
The plane has sensory fusion.
One of the radar systems that the Su-35BM can use is the Phazotron NIIR NO31 Zhuk-MSFE, however, the main choice is the Tikhomirov NIIP NO35E Irbis.
The Irbis is a multi functional radar that operates in the X wave band, and its a PESA (Passive Electronic Scanning Array) radar.
Due to the hydraulic systems in which the radar is mounted, it may deflect up to 120 ° horizontally in relation to the central axis of the plane, and up to 60 º upright in relation to the central axis of the plane, value that can be increased up to 120º using the electronic control and mechanical additional turn of the antenna.
The Irbis has the phenomenal power of 20Kw, giving the plane the ability to detect air targets with a RCS of 3m2 up to 400Km and 0.01m2 up to 90 km.
Ground targets are detected at a distance around 200 km.
The Irbis monitors and pursues up to 30 air targets at the same time and enables the shooting of up to 8 active air-to-air missiles simultaneously and up to 2 air-to-air semi-active missiles simultaneously **.
The Irbis monitors and pursues up to 4 ground targets and attacks 2 simultaneously , being able to map targets through pulse Doppler and SAR modes.
The Irbis does all this without ever leaving to monitor the airspace, this means, it is able to monitor and track air and ground targets previously identified while looking for new targets at the same time. The system EKVS-E BTsVM SOLO 35 is responsible for the fire control.
The Su-35 BM also has a radar in the tail, and for this function there are available the Phazotron NO12 and NO15 and Leninets VOO5 used in the Su-34.
The Su-35 has a system for detecting targets passively through their thermal signature, the OLS-35.
The OLS-35 detects aerial targets by their thermal signature at distances of up to 50km head-on and 90km in the rear quadrant ***.
The system also measures the distance to air targets up to 20km and ground targets up to 30km , it can monitor and follow up to 4 different air targets and can designate targets for laser guided missiles.
The Su-35 BM uses the KNIRTI L175M Khibiny-M for this function.
This system is similar to the one in the F-18 G and operates on 3 modes:
_ Individual protection
_ Escort protection
_ Attack group protection
It is able to identify, coordinate and jam enemy threats, in addition it designates targets for anti-radiation missiles such as the Kh-31P.
The system has an individual display in the cockpit and works together with the radar, sending energy to the threats and to the disposable counter-measures , increasing the chance to evade enemy missiles.
It also has a MAWS to detect missiles at approach, a RWR , disposable counter-measures such as chaff, flares and in the future towed counter-measures such as the ones in the Eurofighter Typhoon.
The engines of the Su-35 BM will be the AL-41F with capacity of super-cruise and about 15.000 kg of thrust, however, will only be available in future versions.
Currently the Su-35 is equipped with the AL-41A, also called 117S, which are an AL-31 with new turbines of high and low pressure, new digital control system , new fans, and TVC.
These engines have 14.500kg of thrust, are more efficient, have an APU, and fire extinguishing system and a lifespan that can reach 6000 hours.
As a multifunction fighter the Su-35BM has a wide range of weapons that allow it to perform multiple tasks, even in severely defended environments either by weapons or jamming devices ****:
_ Internal cannon GSH-30 of 30mm.
_R-77 ADDER in its various variants, with range up to 160km and the ability to maneuver at 12G.
_KS-172 for destruction of airborne strategic enemy (AWACS, refueling planes, etc.). With a range up to 400km and the ability to maneuver up to 12G *****.
_R-37, which is a missile that competes with the KS-172 but which should be used only with AWACS, etc.. It has a range up to 300km and can handle up to 9G.
_R-27 Alamo in its various variants with a range up to 120km and the ability to handle up to 8G.
_R-73 and R-74 for close combat with up to 30km range and ability to maneuver up to 12G ******.
_Kh-59 with range of 115km.
_Kh-31 in its variants with a range up to 200km.
_Kh-35 with a range up to 250km.
_Kh-41 with a range up to 300km.
_Kh-15 with a range up to 150km
_Several types of guided and non-guided bombs.
Performance and specifications:
Length - 21.9m
_ Max - 34.500Kg
_ With 2 RVV-AE + 2 R-73E - 25.300Kg
_ Number - 2
_ Unit power - 14.500Kg
_ Internal fuel-11.500Kg
_ Sea level-1.580km
_ In-altitude 3.600km
_ With two external tanks PTB-2000-4.500km
Thrust to weight ratio:
_ Maximum Load-0.84:1
_ Normal Load-1.14:1
_ 600Km / h to 1100Km/h- 13.8 seconds
_1000Km / h to 1300Km/h- 8 seconds
Climb speed at 1000m:
_ Greater or equal to 280 m / s
_ Maximum - Mach 2.25
_ Super-cruise with the AL-41F- ? Mach 1.6?
_ Sea Level - 1400Km / h
Takeoff / landing distance:
_ 400-450 m
*- It depends on the customer.
**- New on the market.
***- Without use of afterburner.
****- The Irbis is resistant to electronic warfare.
*****- Fighters maneuver at a maximum of 9G, therefore, the KS-172 is fast enough to be used against fighters.
******- This missile is widely considered superior to the Sidewinder in its traditional version and R-74M2 should be equal or even superior to the Iris-T missiles and Sidewinder X.
Copyright of the videos and images:
-Air Power Australia
-Revista Take-off, Edição de Junho de 2007
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