The aircraft we offer today for review is the Sukhoi Su-27 whose NATO designation is Flanker and is the Soviet origin fighter aircraft with twin-engine design and happens to be a super maneuverable aircraft which has been designed by the Sukhoi. The aircraft was developed by Sukhoi on demand of Russia to counter the 4th generation jet fighters like the F-4 Tomcat and the F-15 Eagle. This aircraft proved to be a valuable asset on meeting those demands with a range of nearly 3500 kilometers along with the ability to carry the heavy ordinance while having super maneuverable moments as well as the sophisticated avionics.
The primary mission role of the Sukhoi Su-27 was intended to be that of an air superiority fighter but alter variants of this aircraft proved themselves to be capable for almost any type of aerial combat mission and was design to compliment Russia’s fleet of the Mikoyan MiG-29.
The aircraft first entered the service of Soviet Air Force back in 1984 and played a great role for the Soviets during the defense of long-range mission types against American built SAC B-1B and the B-52G/H bomber aircraft. This aircraft also served as the escort fighter jet for Soviet bomber aircraft like the Tu-22M Backfire, Tu-160 Blackjack and the Tu-95 Bear.
The design of the Sukhoi Su-27 gave birth to design of many other emerging aircraft of the Russian Air Force such as the twin-seat multirole fighter with all-weather capability known to be as the Sukhoi Su-30. Chinese have actually been given the license to build the Sukhoi Su-27 and their Shenyang J-11 is the aircraft that they built upon that license and the design of the aircraft.
For our readers today, we present to you a few of the amazing facts about the Sukhoi Su-27; Russian air superiority jet fighter.
Upgraded as the Legacy Fighter
With West making evolution in the aerial warfare with the development of its 5th generation fighters such as the F-25 Lightning II and the F-22 Raptor, the aging fleet of the nimble fighter such as the Sukhoi Su-27 might prove to be of little use.
For the sake of keeping up with the modern times, this aircraft has undergone several heavy upgrades in its avionics to create the Su-27SM3. These aircraft tend to be used by the Russian Air Force as a means to extend the time for the new stealth fighter of the Russian Air Force; Sukhoi PAK FA.
4.5th Generation Fighter
In order to make a comparison of how well, the current version of the Sukhoi Su-27 can compete against the 5th generation fighters of the West, coder this. Back in January of 2014, DOD released their report that the F-25 was not able to keep up with the F-16C during their air-to-air combat simulation. This is proof that the current Sukhoi Su-27 can at least match to the 5th generation fighters of the West because it is miles ahead in capability against the F-16C.
Rival of the Sukhoi Su-27
Back in July of 2015, the USMC’s General Joseph F. Dunford Jr. made a statement in which he questioned the order for the F-35 Lightning II because of the threats that were soon emerging in the aerial warfare from other world nations and inability of the F-35 against these threats. This means that the F-35 tends to undergo a lot of improvements and upgrades before it is ready to take on the more modernized aviation threats. This also includes the lack in ability of the F-35 against Russian fighters like the Sukhoi Su-27 and the MiG-29.
With Russian Air Force building a 4.5 generation jet fighter like the Su-27SM3, they have gained time for the new 5th generation fighters of Russia to complete their development. Still, there is a rival from West for this Sukhoi Su-27 variant and that is the F-22 Raptor. This is a 5th generation multirole jet fighter with a speed only a little less than 1500 mph making it slightly slower as compared to the Sukhoi Su-27. Despite having only 187 of these F-22 Raptors, USAF considers them to be a force of air superiority for the United States until the F-25 Lightning II makes it service appearance.
The biggest problem for America is that it lacks the number of F-22 Raptors as Russia has a lot more of the newly designed Sukhoi Su-27SM3s. despite the F-25 being given the permission to enter the mass production, the fighter jet itself is far from being fully ready and to take on the primary air superiority fighter jet of the USAF.
Russian Air Force is building more and more of the Sukhoi Su-27SM3s while the mass production of both F-35 and F-22 Raptors is a big budget problem for America.
Looking at the possible combat scenario where the large number of the Sukhoi Su-27s are being pitted against a limited number of the F-22 Raptors, who is most likely to win when both these aircraft have equal specs? To answer this question, US procured a few of the Sukhoi Su-27 Flankers and then used these aircraft against their own jet fighters as well as to carry out the defense mission for their aircraft carriers. In one of these aircraft carrier tests, where the aircraft carrier known as the USS Kitty Hawk was defended by the F-22Rpator, Sukhoi Su-27 was still able to break through the defense.
Breaking the defense means the loss of the aircraft carrier as the Flanker is certainly capable of fulfilling the mission with the deployment of its air-to-ship missiles. Only one test was able to determine how much of a threat his aircraft is to US military’s assets. In other tests, Sukhoi Su-27 was able to repeatedly win against the F-15 Eagles.
A single one of the Sukhoi Su-27 is powered by 2 of the Saturn/Lyulka AL-31F turbofan engines and each of them is able to generate the dry thrust of nearly 16910 lb/ft while on afterburners, the thrust generated is about 27560 lb/ft. this gives the Saturn/Lyulka AL-31F turbofan a top speed of nearly 1550 mph while flying at a ceiling height of 62523 feet for a combat range of 3500 kilometers.