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SU-35BM (Bolshaya Modernizatsiya - Big Modernization)

The Su-35BM is a new project, and not a Su-27M. The original Su-35 was produced in response to the requirements of the Soviet Air Force, with a preliminary series units being manufactured. Sukhoi assigned the designation Su-35 to the export version of the Su-27M (T-10M) in 1992. This fighter was fitted with canards and the N011 radar. The financial crisis in Russia after the collapse of the Soviet Union precluded the Russian Air Force from buying this model in significant numbers. Production of the Su-27M had started in Komsomolsk during the last days of the Soviet Union, and a total of 15 aircraft (including the prototypes) were ultimately manufactured. The Su-35 was offered without sucess to several countries including South Korea, UAE and Malaysia. This model was part of the FX competition for for the new multi-function fighter for Brazil, despite of the lack of tradition of use of Russian military material for Brazil.

But fifteen years later the financial circumstances have changed and the requirements for updating the fighter plane forces of the Russian Air Force are concrete and pressing.

The Su-35 fighter, powered by two 117S engines with thrust vectoring, combines high maneuverability and the capability to effectively engage several air targets simultaneously using both guided and unguided missiles and weapon systems. The aircraft features the new Irbis-E radar with a phased antenna array, which allows the pilot to detect and track up to 30 air targets, while simultaneously engaging up to eight targets. It is equipped with a 30-mm cannon with 150 rounds and can carry up to eight tons of combat payload on 12 external mounts.

The Sukhoi-35BM is designed on the base of the engineering solutions applied for creation of the fifth-generation aircraft taking into account the experience of operation of the Su-30MK2 (Su-27SM) multipurpose aircraft family. The Su-35 combines both characteristics necessary for a modern fighter, such as: supermaneuverability, sophisticated active and passive sensor systems, high supersonic flight speed, high flight range, possibility to arrange aircraft interaction; and characteristics of a good combat aircraft, namely: high combat load, wide range of the "air-to-surface" missiles, sophisticated multichannel electronic warfare system, reduced radar observability, air-defense break capability at a low level flight.

Principle design features include:

  • Aerodynamic cleanness, application of the integral aerodynamic layout with a lift fuselage
  • Multifunctionality and combat effectiveness: high-performance solution of a wide range of "air-to-air", "air-to-surface" tasks and reconnaissance
  • High agile capabilities supporting super-maneuverability implemented by a new-generation power plant with thrust-vector control and new flight control system
  • Reduced radar observability due to application of radar-absorbing materials and coating
  • Combat survivability - two spaced engines, onboard systems redundancy, fuel tanks explosion protection, sophisticated electronic attack systems
  • Target data distribution system (Air Force, Army and Navy network coordination)
  • Highly integrated onboard equipment with a centralized control from an open architecture information-management system providing pilot intelligent support, using a "dark cockpit' concept
  • Passive and active detection system with high range of action, monitoring of aerial, ground and surface space at a long distance from the main air base
  • Effective penetration of area and point air defense systems by implementation of modern electronic countermeasures and weapons systems
  • New approaches to the aircraft operation and maintenance system - auxiliary powerplant, onboard oxygen generator, built-in systems operability test facilities
  • Training aids including full mission simulator, special trainers, and PC-based training system

The Su-35BM (Bolshaya Modernizatsiya - Big Modernization), undertook alterations in its fuselage, weight, RCS, embarked avionics, radar and bombs. The Su-35 aircraft is designed by "Sukhoi Design Bureau", but its production is mastered at the Komsomolsk-on-Amur Aircraft Production Association named after Gagarin.

On the world fighter market Russia's Sukhoi is pinning its hopes, in the near future, on a substantially modernized Su-35 multi-role fighter. The model must be an interim type between today's Su-30MK in various configurations and a prospective fifth-generation fighter, whose deliveries may start after 2015. The Su-35 is a 4++ generation aircraft employing technologies of the fifth generation. Sukhoi claims they make it superior to all other 4th generation fighters now under development worldwide.




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