Cleaner layout and improved propulsion system thought to offer supercruise performance

Sukhoi expects to conduct the first flight of its all-new Su-35-1 single-seat multirole fighter within the near future, having unveiled the KnAAPO-built design at August's Moscow air show.

Launched in 2003, the Su-35-1 lacks the integral triplane configuration employed by India's Su-30MKIs, and its cleaner layout and improved propulsion system are believed to offer supercruise performance.

The new fighter has a lighter airframe than the legacy Su-27, due to its extensive use of aluminium, titanium and composite structures.

It also has a fully digital flight-control system incorporating engine and thrust vectoring control.

The Su-35-1 can carry over 2t more fuel than the Su-27 and has a ferry range of 4.500km (2,430nm) with external fuel tanks. Airframe life is quoted as 6,000 flight hours or 30 years, and Sukhoi general director Mikhail Pogosyan says the aircraft will be available for export delivery from 2010.

The Russian air force is expected to order several of the aircraft, which will also be promoted to nations such as China.

The aircraft was displayed with new weapons including NPO Machinostoyenia Yakhont and BrahMos PJ-11 supersonic missiles. The type is also believed to be equipped with a new air-to-air missile with a range of up to 200km.

The Su-35-1 is powered by two NPO Saturn Item 117S engines, developed from the Su-27's AL-31F under a joint project with Ufa MPO.

The new design uses a fully digital control system, swivel nozzle, enlarged fan and engine inlet for higher airflow, a redesigned turbine with improved cooling and has a design life of 4,000 flight hours.

The aircraft is also equipped with a Tikhomirov NIIP Irbis radar with an electronically scanned passive array antenna. A further development of the Su-30MKI's N-011M Bars sensor, with a more powerful transmitter and higher-speed processing, the design has a claimed detection range of more than 300km against airborne threats.

Sukhoi Su-35-1
©Vladimir Karnozov 
 The new fighter has a lighter airframe than the legacy Su-27

Source: Flight International