Russia’s views about the new F-22 flying display

Vladimir Karnozov, Flight’s Moscow-based correspondent, got the Russian perspective on the F-22 flying display on Monday. Excerpted below are quotes from the article appearing in next week’s magazine.

Going back to the Raptor, [Su-30MKi/MKA/MKM project manager Aleksandr] Barkovsky said that generallyspeaking the Su-30MKI performance is largely similar, “but we did it ten yearsago”.

The Su-35 with 16% more power and a bit less structural weight willperform somewhat better than the Raptor and the Su-30MKI. Touching on theRaptor’s flat spin recovery maneuver, Barkovsky said the F-22A made onlythree-third of the 360-degree arc before attempting recovery with vectoredthrust. “We demonstrated flat spin recovery after 2 – 3 circles. Besides, weused thrust vectoring to change direction of the spin rotation and thenrecovered. They are still to demonstrate that”.

Barkovsky also said that fromhis viewpoint the potential of the F-22A platform is not fully exploited yet,so that Lokcheed Martin has something to work on. Ultimately, the US maker shallbe able to offer air show visitors  a morespectacular demonstration when the Raptor potential is fully exploited by itsflight control system”.

The Russianfighters use round-shaped nozzles that are part of their engines, while on theRaptor’s flat nozzles are a part of the airframe. “Their design solution givethem more ability to fool infrared missiles”, the Su-30MKI chief designer said.

The Su-35 is classified as “transitional type” from fourthto fifth generation fighters, a bridge-gapping measure before Russia‘s  PAK FA fifth generation fighter becomesavailable. Russian air force commander Gen. Aleksandr Zelin expects itsprototype to fly in 2009 and pass trials in 2013. Zelin came to Farnborough towatch performance of the Raptor in the company of Sukhoi general directorMikhail Pogosyan. Zelin told the media on the eve of the show that “from whatwe have seen”, the F-22A does not exceed the Su-35 in maneuverable fightperformance.

In his turn Mikhail Pogosyan said the Su-35 is not a match for the F-22A,but the PAK FA shall match it. He added that the cycle of the fifth generationfighter development takes 7-10 years. “Not all of our customers will go for thefifth generation fighter due to its high complexity and costs. They may findthe Su-35 meeting their needs”. He predicts the market for more than 200 Su-35sin 2011-2020 time frame. He further said that production of the Su-35 can runin parallel with that of the PAK FA “for several years”.


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30 Responses to Russia’s views about the new F-22 flying display

  1. ELP 16 July, 2008 at 10:39 am #

    The air show of course can never show the F-22′s true worth. That is:

    -Super-cruise of Mach 1.7 @ 60,000-67,000 ft which gives the jet the ability to decide how and when to destroy 4th gen aircraft before they knew what hit them.

    Of course like the Super Hornet having the F-22 in its pipper photo showed ( even though it was an unsafe engagement inside the 1000′ bubble of the engagement rules) is that well anything that gets in close is at risk. And of course more so if HOBS (High-Off-Bore-Sight)/helmet cued heaters are used.

    So for the most part the F-22 should do BVR… and as already proven it will use 4th gen aircraft pawns on it’s own side, line abreast to oversea lock-ups of AMRAAMs.

    This is where the F-35 has some work to do. Stealth for stealths sake is a risk, especially with second gen IRSTs on new-gen big SUs. The F-35 does not have super-cruise and the higher altitude. LM is pushing it as a Mach 1.6 jet.

    The Flanker will be outmatched v an F-22. And of course the Flanker IS dangerous. However the F-35 because it doesn’t have the higher altitude, super-cruise, larger sensor footprint of the F-22′s AESA and more Cadillac like AN/ALR-94, will as the Buick-of-Stealth have some work to do.

  2. Stephen Trimble 16 July, 2008 at 3:19 pm #

    Funny you mention the super-cruise speed. Sukhoi says the Su-35 can “super-cruise” at M1.7, while Lockheed says here that the F-22 super-cruise is M1.6. I can’t vouch for the verity of the Sukhoi data, but just passing along.

  3. Lightndattic 16 July, 2008 at 3:36 pm #

    Does the Su-35 do that clean or with a comparable weapons load to the the F-22? I would think that the added drag of missiles and pylons would cut that down considerably.

  4. Stephen Trimble 16 July, 2008 at 3:40 pm #

    No clue. Can anybody help?

  5. MrSatyre 16 July, 2008 at 9:27 pm #

    Doing full performance demonstrations in limited airspace and over crowds of civilians is always a bad idea. When the Thunderbirds (F-16s) or F-15 demonstration teams fly at air shows, they never perform to their max capabilities. The USAF is too conservative to allow that. I’ve witnessed some pretty insane stunts on the part of Soviet and Russian pilots at air shows which would never be permitted by Western air forces. It’s just reckless. As for flat spin recovery, the US has been doing this for around 10 years as well in a variety of military and civilian test aircraft, so implying the non-production (as of this moment) Su-35 is tops in that arena is just chest beating.

  6. Stephen Trimble 17 July, 2008 at 8:34 am #

    I think you hit the nail on the head here. The Sukhoi Su-35 exists, at this moment, for air show displays purposes only, and the F-22′s arrival at Farnborough really brings an end to that era.

  7. ELP 17 July, 2008 at 11:35 am #

    “Today I flew the Raptor at speeds exceeding (Mach 1.7) without afterburners,” General Jumper said. “To be able to go that fast without afterburners means that nobody can get you in their sights or get a lock-on. The aircraft’s impressive stealth capability, combined with its super cruise (capability), will give any adversary a very hard time.”


    “The Russians never got out of the fighter-building business. They are delivering aircraft to nations around the world that outperform anything else we have — except the Raptor,”

    -General Jumper-

    William Powell, General Jumper qualifies in F/A-22 Raptor,, January 13, 2005

  8. rude 17 July, 2008 at 4:21 pm #

    let’s see….180 or so combat ready F22s vs 15 or so prototype Su35s. seems like a no-brainer, no matter how many brain cells you’ve lost in flat spins

  9. steve hill 17 July, 2008 at 8:45 pm #

    Would be a no-brainer, except for the fact that USAF combat rules specify visual confirmation before weapon release. Russian rules don’t. So until USAF accepts bvr engagements, the red-hats win.

  10. skeptical 17 July, 2008 at 11:17 pm #

    Since when do USAF ROE require visual confirmation of target ID? That hasn’t been the case since Vietnam. If it were true, US F-15′s would not have shot down two US blackhawk helicopters in the Iraq no-fly zone on April 14, 1994 in a BVR engagement. If you look into US kills since 1991 I would be comfortable wagering that >90% of them were BVR

    Also, what are the chances 1000 PAK-FA’s are going to be fielded? Russia is having trouble funding 30 SU-35′s

  11. momento 18 July, 2008 at 3:35 am #

    Are we supposed to build fighters for air shows ? lol

    USA+EU got 10 times as many fighters than Russia.

  12. Chockblock 18 July, 2008 at 4:07 am #

    Very interesting. Ruskies always said that they could “do better” until we blast them out of the skies. I am a 14E (Patriot fire control operator). I am impressed with Russian fighter designs. They look cool. But wait till I press the engage button and send a PAC-3 up your tailpipe Ivan. Then we’ll see who can outperform who.

  13. Tomcat604 18 July, 2008 at 2:54 pm #

    What are you smoking? USAF fighters have been shooting BVR in the last 3 campaigns. Even in the 1st Gulf war the majority (I believe) of kills were BVR
    Also what’s the kill ratio of Russian aircraft against western types in the last 25 years????
    USAF – Largest MiG parts distributor on planet earth!

  14. RSF 18 July, 2008 at 3:59 pm #

    Considering that at least 50% of the performance capabilities of the F-22 remain secret, it is doubtful that a air show routine done safely really shows its total performance envelope. The complete combination of engine,airframe,radar/sensor fusion/thrust vectoring is at least 10 years ahead of any other aircraft. It is one thing to talk about building a fifth generation fighter, it is another to really do it. Can our Russian friends do it? Yes! But it’s going to take time, and we will not be seeing 1000 PAK FA’s anytime soon.

  15. Bob 18 July, 2008 at 10:30 pm #

    this ox is apain in te ass

  16. Scott Ferrin 18 July, 2008 at 11:06 pm #

    So how has the USAF got all their night kills if they require visual confirmation? Also why would anybody in their right mind spend tens of billions on stealth technology and then throw it all in the trashcan by requiring closing to visual range? Sounds like someone is misinformed.

  17. RTLM 19 July, 2008 at 7:56 am #

    By steve hill on July 17, 2008 8:45 PM

    Would be a no-brainer, except for the fact that USAF combat rules specify visual confirmation before weapon release. Russian rules don’t. So until USAF accepts bvr engagements, the red-hats win.Would be a no-brainer, except for the fact that USAF combat rules specify visual confirmation before weapon release. Russian rules don’t. So until USAF accepts bvr engagements, the red-hats win.

    /Better toss that “BVR” acronym then.

    (beyond visual range)

  18. Obamanite 19 July, 2008 at 4:27 pm #

    To ELP:

    “Super-cruise of Mach 1.7 @ 60,000-67,000 ft which gives the jet the ability to decide how and when to destroy 4th gen aircraft before they knew what hit them.”

    Tell me when the USAF has figured out a way to safely fly above 60,000 ft without a pressure suit. The Raptor CANNOT currently fly, operationally, at the altitude you cite.

    “The Flanker will be outmatched v an F-22. And of course the Flanker IS dangerous. However the F-35 because it doesn’t have the higher altitude, super-cruise, larger sensor footprint of the F-22′s AESA and more Cadillac like AN/ALR-94, will as the Buick-of-Stealth have some work to do.”

    You cannot possibly know the F-35′s VLO characteristics unless you have access to classified data, which you do not. Further, I have seen it claimed that the F-35′s frontal RCS is actually less than that of the Raptor, a claim as unverifiable as your own. Moreover, it is generally accepted, even by LM, that the F-35′s integrated sensors are a generation ahead and more comprehensive than the Raptor’s, including its EOTS, which acts as an IRST, which the Raptor does not have. Finally, considering the magnitude of the F-35′s VLO superiority over the Su-35, it won’t matter whether the F-35 flies at 50 or 50,000 ft or at 100 or 1,000 knots, the F-35 will see and kill the Su-35 long before it itself is seen.

  19. Obamanite 19 July, 2008 at 4:32 pm #


    ELP is correct about the F-22′s supercruise speed of M 1.7, as per Jumper’s assertion and that of several Raptor pilots. Indeed, many believe that figure is closer to M 2.0, and backed up by statements, since literally buried under the carpet, by a certain notorious Raptor pilot in a public forum. Further, Sukhoi’s claim that the Su-35 can supercruise at equivalent speed is highly doubtful while it is brisling with its 12 or so AAMs.

  20. Obamanite 19 July, 2008 at 4:35 pm #

    Steve Hill:

    “Would be a no-brainer, except for the fact that USAF combat rules specify visual confirmation before weapon release. Russian rules don’t. So until USAF accepts bvr engagements, the red-hats win.”

    Did you fall asleep during the Vietnam War and wake up yesterday? The majority of air-to-air engagements during Operation Desert Storm were BVR, as were those during the Bosnia/Kosovo conflict (in fact, in the latter, I do not believe any was WVR). Read up on NCTR, AIFF and AWACS coverage.

  21. Obamanite 19 July, 2008 at 4:41 pm #

    Regarding Barkovsky’s statements, I fully agree with him. There is nothing particularly impressive about the Raptor’s display, at least not after the Su-30MKI or Mig-29OVT. It displays perhaps greater power and controlability, but I am disappointed at the slowness of its transitions. It is, particularly, very slow on the roll. Compare the Raptor display to that of the EF – of which I am no big fan – and the latter is far more dynamic. So are the Superbug and Viper, for that matter. The F-22 will wreak its particular brand of havoc BVR, where it is genuinely unique, and certaintly not close-in, where it’s one among many “supermaneuverable” fighters and likely to be outclassed by future Su-35s and Mig-29s.

  22. Aaron Rumfallo 19 July, 2008 at 7:34 pm #

    Notice the one (maybe even the most impressive) aspect about the Raptor the “Russkies” don’t talk about is its BVR & stealth capability… They wouldn’t even know it was a Raptor that shot down their prized super maneuverable jets!

    And BTW Mr. Hill, with all due respect…do you honestly believe the USAF would spend the BILLIONS of dollars it has on the Raptor to not use it to it’s fullest of capabilities? I happen to think NOT.

  23. glen towler 20 July, 2008 at 9:55 am #

    I think the Russians are just talking themselves up this is a country who still fly bear bombers which can be tracked from hundreds of miles from any possible targets easier to shoot down than a B52.Does the SU 35 have stealth bet it doesn’t and really how good are there AAM’s

  24. Russki 7 August, 2008 at 5:51 pm #

    Modern warfare is nothing like what it used to be. One thing is fighting a low intensity conflict where you have complete or near complete air superiority (iraq, chechnya, serbia, etc.) and another thing is fighting a modern full scale war for air superiority. There are many factors that you would need to consider in a conflict of that magnitude. It is all about tactics and training. These comparisons a la F-22/35 vs SU-3x are just pointless. Who can tell the exact outcome of SU + MIGs + AWACS vs Raptors + F15s + AWACS over enemy territory with active air defense components.
    It plays into Sukhois hands when analysts even compare Su-35 to F-22. What makes Su-35 stand out among the 4th gen fighters is not even its maneuverability. It is its Irbis-E radar. And if production Su-35 will be outfitted with Zhuk-ASE radars in the future then the F-22 vs Su-35 outcome is not so apparent. And last but not least don’t forget that Su will be considerably cheaper than f22. Russians always make emphasis on higher production levels. In WWII Germans had the best tanks but in the battle of Kurk it was the cheaper T34s in large numbers + effective new tactics (buring tanks in fields creating fortified posiotions) that helped defeat the Germans.

  25. Sgt13Echo 1 October, 2008 at 8:19 pm #

    Well Russki,

    It was Kursk not “Kurk” and if you remember the battle the Germans held the field and their smaller number of higher quality tanks won. If you are regarding to the Russian Counterattack days after the Germans withdrew then you might have a point.

    My point is, Look at Israel and what they have been able to do against Russian junk, Saudi Pilots in Gulf I, and US pilots over Serbia and the loss of Mig 29”s, also did I mention the loss of Iraqi’s fighters by US pilots in Gulf War I and II.

    I will try and not remind you of the Korean or Vietnam Wars either where Russian pilots were downed rather easily secretly flying Migs.

    You can try to fight your war with us, but remember NATO………. add another 1,000 fighters…….. Cheers mate!!

  26. dave scott 1 December, 2008 at 5:05 am #

    Ok – couldn’t resist this: (off topic but ..)

    By FighterFan on July 19, 2008 3:09 AM
    “Mach 1.7″?
    The latest issue (Aug 08) of Air Forces Monthly has a good writeup on the Raptor with apparently authoritative sources: they interviewed 1st FW personnel. The performance specs quoted are: max supercruise speed – M1.82; max speed (afterburner) – M2.25; max speed at sea level – M1.4.
    For a fixed geometry inlet jet to achieve that speed, that’s remarkable


    F8U-3 Crusader III – the “mother of all fixed inlets” :-) s

    ” The lower lip of the chin-mounted intake was raked forward in order to achieve Mach 2+ performance. The intake was of fixed geometry, with no mechanically-complex moving parts”

    “First flight of the XF8U-3 was June 2, 1958. During subsequent flights, the XF8U-3 achieved a speed of Mach 2.39 (approximately 1,601 mph) and was still accelerating at 0.1 Mach every 17 seconds. This was extraordinary even when compared to the performance of today’s aircraft. The reason for not flying faster was the heat limitations on the plexiglas windshield, which was approaching an external temperature of 325 degrees F.

    A design for a laminated glass windshield was under way during the flight test program. This would have allowed the aircraft to achieve its maximum speed potential. It was the opinion of all the test pilots, from the technical data available, that the aircraft could attain a speed close to Mach 2.9 at 35,000 feet (1,950 mph)and there is little doubt that this speed could have been attained. This would have easily made the F8U-3 the fastest jet-propelled fighter– interceptor in the world”

    Interesting – wonder by today’s definition if it qualifies as “super cruise” capable

    Anywya – enough trolling :-)

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  30. 22 35? try 37 7 April, 2013 at 10:14 pm #

    Just an opinion, but there’s a misconception in this thread. The upcoming SU-35 will fill a stealth gap for Russians, esp. if they can build a lighter weight radar array. More to the point, the present SU-37, refitted with titanium nozzles, possesses at least an 80-mile reach with different classes of missiles. The hard to lock-on F-22 is surely tough to hit from long distance with infrared and many radar-guided missiles. But it seems to have two major flaws. It is way too sluggish to outmaneuver a decent anti-rad missile from any distance. And in-close, it will fall to the 37 or even sukhoi’s 30MK1 with its newest engine. Both of these commie Flankers are better “dogfight” planes than the upcoming su-35 or, certainly, the F-22.

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