Sukhoi prepares Su-35 fighter jet for MAKS-2007 air show

According to the designers the company plans to demonstrate the multipurpose fighter Su-35 at Moscow International Air Show MAKS-2007 due to the beginning of the marketing program set up specially for this aircraft to promote it in the international market. As of today this is the most advanced Sukhoi’s air complex, the last stage of the combat aircraft before reaching the 5th generation level, PAK FA.

With the same aerodynamic shape, typical for the Su-27/30 family, Su-35 (sometimes called Su-27M) is a qualitatively new complex. It has new radar (Irbis), more powerful engines (14 tons thrust) and the latest complexes of communication and radio-electronic equipment, horizontal canards, refilling system, new sensors, new avionics and extended range of arms. Interesting improvement took place in the thrust vectoring. This system will be controlled not by the engine control, but by the aircraft control, all digital. All in all Su-35, according to its designers, will have a lot of characteristics of the PAK FA. KnAAPO, based in Komsomolsk-on-Amur, is finishing the assembly of the first experimental aircraft of this series. Several more are at different stages of construction. Flight tests should begin this summer, a couple of months before MAKS.

Sukhoi demonstrated the model of the aircraft and its parts at MAKS-2005. Last year the aircraft concept was presented at AirShow China - 2006. According to the representatives of Sukhoi the company participates in the tenders with the aircraft being created. Su-35, in particular, is easily modified for the customers’ needs, thus Sukhoi is able to tender flexibly. Although this aircraft is being promoted in many countries, Sukhoi counts on delivering Su-35 to Russian AF. The head of Sukhoi, Michail Pogosyan, is sure that Su-35, the last step before PAK FA, will have time to take its market niche with the Russian AF and in the international market. In 2009-2010 along with upgrading the existing fleet of Su-27 Russian AF is to buy new aircraft.

In China deputy general director of Sukhoi Sergey Sergeev said that the newly established representation of Sukhoi in China has serious potential for the development. The next step is service centers. (In the near future Sukhoi will open representations in India and Vietnam). Media rumors that Venezuela will be the first to buy Su-35. On the other hand it is not principally important who will be the first. Su-35 is likely to take over the market success of its predecessors, Su-27/30 which regularly beat the US made matches in the contest fights from time to time organized by the Indian and Malaysian AFs, operating both types of the aircraft.

Yuri Seleznyov

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Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov