Best Russian fighter jets – 4++ and 5th generations

One of the best air defense defenses in the world is Russian. But every military expert knows that in order to protect your territory you need to have, in addition to the best system on earth, its equivalent in the air.

Today we will look at the five best Russian fighters.

#5 – Su-27 fourth-generation domestic multi-purpose fighter jet

The Su-27 Fighter Jet Belonging to the Ethiopian Air Force Crashed
Photo credit: Wikipedia

The Su-27, or Flanker-B according to NATO classification, is a fourth-generation domestic multi-purpose fighter designed for air combat. The success of this combat air vehicle led to its massive purchases and operation abroad, as well as the appearance of many different modifications of the original design. Su-27 is the main military aircraft of the Russian Air Force.

Serial Su-27s are painted in standard “sky” camouflage for fighters from three shades of blue. The lower part of the aircraft is painted in a plain light blue. Wheel disks and chassis niches are painted in different shades of green, chassis racks are gray. Inside, the cabin also has a predominantly green and blue-green color.

Consider the main characteristics of the Su-27 fighter as an example of the modification of the Su-27P (S) – empty mass of the aircraft is 16300 kg, fuel mass: 9400 kg (maximum), 5240 kg (normal); maximum speed (at an altitude of 11 km): 2500 km / h; minimum speed: 200 km / h; range at full refueling: 3900 km; maximum flight height: 22500 m.

Thus, the Su-27 surpasses many fourth-generation models in its technical characteristics.

Su-27 is equipped with SDU-10S, which improves the aerodynamic properties of the airframe in flight, reduces the load and controls the flight. The control system has two operating modes and one emergency.

Automatic control is provided by the SAU-10 system, which stabilizes the angular position of the aircraft, its altitude, horizontal flight, weapon control, radio beacon landing approach and other functions.

In order to increase the reliability of control and protect the control of the aircraft from hacking, the CDS channels have different types of signals: longitudinal — four-channel, and roll and directional — three-channel. System health is controlled by quorums, and all control channels are synchronized with each other.

Engines are widely spaced relative to the body. If it gets into one engine, the probability of damage and failure of the second is significantly reduced. In addition, this design reduces the dependence of the influence of the fuselage on the air intakes and creates a fairly wide internal tunnel for weapons suspension.

The thrust vector is controlled by the nozzle and afterburner regulator RSF-31. Afterburner nozzles are automatically adjusted; they use motor fuel as a working fluid.

The combat weapon control system is different on different modifications of the Su-27. Most machines are equipped only with air-to-air weapons, but the Su-30 and Su-27SM modifications also have air-to-ground shells.

In air-to-air mode, airplanes can detect up to 10 targets, direct up to 2 missiles at one target, and fire at only one target. In the air-to-ground mode, airplanes mainly “lead” a target by mapping terrain and detecting objects.

In total, the aircraft is equipped with ten suspension units. The maximum combat load of the aircraft is 6 tons of ammunition, among which there may be missiles of various classes.

The main armament of the Su-27 is up to 6 R-27 air-to-air missiles. Also, the equipment provides for hanging up to 6 R73 melee missiles. The thirty-millimeter automatic gun GS-30-1 is installed in the right wing.

#4 – MiG-31 fourth-generation supersonic fighter-interceptor

Russia's MiG-31K interceptor jet carried out a test of the Kinjal hypersonic missile
Photo credit: Sputnik News

The MiG-31 is a 4-generation supersonic fighter-interceptor with a two-seat cockpit layout. A combat vehicle is capable of waging a battle at an altitude of 20,000 m and a speed of up to 3,000 km / h. Until the early 2000s, the MiG was considered the only aircraft on which a radar with a phased array was installed. This machine can use the same short-range air-to-air missiles as the American F-14.

The MiG-31 interceptor is based on a normal aerodynamic design, a highly located trapezoidal wing, a two-keel vertical and a fully rotated horizontal tail. Moreover, missile weapons are half drowned in the hull.

The fuselage itself is 50% made of steel and 33% made of aluminum. The nose of the aircraft is made of aluminum alloys. It includes a compartment with REO, a cockpit, and another compartment with equipment following it. In the nose there is a radiolucent radome fairing.

The performance characteristics of the aircraft: crew – 2 people .; wing span – 13.46 m; sweep along the leading edge – 41 degrees; empty weight – 21 tons; fuel weight – 16.3 thousand kg; load weight – up to 5000 kg.

The MiG-31 has a tricycle landing gear. All racks have 2 wheels. The main racks are retracted forward, the steering rack, on the contrary, retracts. The wheels are equipped with metal-ceramic brake discs. The design of the chassis allows you to land the aircraft at the airfields of class 2.

The MiG-31 has 2 D-30F6 engines. The motor is seven-module. It has a low-pressure compressor (5-stage) and high pressure (10-stage), a combustion chamber (tube-ring), and 2-stage high and low pressure turbines. “Firepath” – a method of injecting fuel to start the afterburner. The mass of the motor is 2.4 thousand kg. It contains parts from alloys of titanium, steel and nickel.

Inside the fuselage are 7 fuel tanks. Additionally, the fuel is placed in four wing and two keel tanks. The fuel supply on board is 1630 kg. Refueling of all fuel tanks is carried out centrally. The aircraft can refuel in the sky from the Su-24 T or IL-78.

The basis of the MSA is a radar with the Barrier HEADLIGHTS. Detection distance of enemy objects – up to 180km. On the latest version of the MiG-31DM, this figure was increased to 320km. The combat vehicle takes 10 enemy objects for automatic tracking. The Argon-K equipment selects 4 targets that are simultaneously guided by 4 R-33 guided missiles. On the MiG-31BM version, the R-33C and R-37 missiles are capable of simultaneously hit 6 targets.

Discrete-continuous illumination, Doppler signal processing, tactical situation indicator, A-15A on-board computer were included in the equipment of the on-board armament control system (SUV). An auxiliary means of detecting objects is the 8TP heat direction finder. It is equipped with a radar for passive viewing and issuing directions to guided missiles R-40TD and R-60 with a thermal homing head (TGSN).

Navigation equipment: SAU-155MP, set KN-25 with IS-1-72A, digital computer “Maneuver”. Onboard the MiG-31, the Radical-NP, A-723 Kvitok-2 systems were installed. Long-range radio navigation includes the Tropic and Route systems. The aircraft has EW radar and infrared ranges.

Due to its technical characteristics, the interceptor fighter performs many tasks in cooperation with a ground-based ACS operating from remote radio guidance.

The MiG-31 armament consists of P-33 long-range guided missiles (120 km), placed in pairs on four slightly recessed external suspension nodes under the aircraft fuselage, from medium-range guided missiles with an R-40T targeting system and short-range missiles P-60, P-60M and P73 on four underwing suspension units.

Below under the fuselage of the aircraft is a 6-barrel 23 mm GSh gun (for 260 shells). The rate of fire of this setup is 8,000 rds / min. The MiG-31 has an 79M6 anti-satellite missile. The combat load of the aircraft is up to 5000–9000 kg. The fighter is still listed in the arsenal of Russia. The Air Force fleet has 400 MiG-31 units.

#3 – MiG-35 multi-functional fighter of the “4 ++” generation

The Russia's MiG-35 'downed' the French fighter Rafale from Indian market
Photo credit: Wikipedia

MiG-35 is a Russian multi-functional fighter of the “4 ++” generation. Designed to gain air supremacy and deliver effective attacks with precision-guided weapons at ground and surface targets, from outside the enemy’s air defense zone.

According to the external characteristics of the MiG-35 is quite typical. Its length is 17.32 m and its height reaches 4.44 m. The wing is extended by 12 m in scope and 42 m² in area. The normal take-off weight for the fighter was marked at 19,200 kg, while the maximum is limited to 24,500 kg. External payload can weigh up to 6500 kg, it is located at eight points of the suspension.

The maximum speed at the ground is 1400 km / h, but when climbing to a great height, the aircraft can accelerate to 2100 km / h. The practical ceiling is limited to 17,500 m. The MiG-35 flight range reaches 3,500 km if suspended tanks are installed on it. With a standard combat load, it will fly up to 1000 km. Duration is limited to 2.2 hours. TTX may vary, depending on the modifications that will be released in the future.

The aircraft uses improved radar “Beetle” (can be presented in two variations). Both of them are responsible for the possibility of fighting in bad weather conditions, the detection of the enemy and the creation of radio interference to enemy radar systems. The pilot can detect the presence of other fighters at a distance of up to 200 km. Special installations also allow for high-resolution mapping of the area.

MiG-35 can detect and track up to 30 targets simultaneously. In this case, you can visit and strike at once on four ground targets or six aircraft. And when launching enemy air-to-air missiles, the airborne equipment will give a warning at a distance of up to 30 km, and when attacking from the ground, the radius increases to 50 km.

The power plant of the fighter consists of two improved RD-33MK engines, whose power is 12% higher than the base version. Afterburner traction of each is 9000 kgf, and standard – 5400 kgf. Both are equipped with electronic systems and a smokeless combustion chamber. They are distinguished by a high resource and good reliability, due to which they can work at least 4000 hours.

Weapon control on the MiG-35 is carried out using the HOTAS system, which increases the convenience of pointing and carrying out attacks. The aircraft is equipped with a large number of weapons. For close combat, the automatic gun GS-30-1 with an increased rate of fire is used. It uses 30 mm caliber cartridges. Ammunition includes 100 units. And the increased wing area, allowed to raise the number of hanging weapons from six to eight pieces.

The basic configuration involves the installation of medium-range missiles designed to destroy air targets. They have homing heads that allow you to follow the selected enemy machine. Melee missiles are sometimes used. Also, weapons can be replaced by unguided weapons or bombs weighing up to 500 kg.

#2 – Su-35 fourth-generation fighter jet

China Already Has 24 Russian Su-35 Fighters. Indonesia Is Expecting Its Su-35 This Year
Photo credit: Wikipedia

Su-35BM is one of the most effective fighters not only among the Russian Air Force, but also among the world military aviation. It belongs to the 4 ++ generation, although its technical characteristics actually allow us to call it the advanced aircraft of the new generation. Foreign military media rightfully call this machine one of the most serious opponents in the airspace. Further, about how the Su-35 was awarded such fame.

Su-35 is a multi-purpose super-maneuverable fighter. It can equally effectively fire both on other aircraft, and on ships or on ground targets. In addition, the equipment of the aircraft is designed for reconnaissance, “tracking” targets and gaining air superiority.

The latest news about the practical use of the Su-35 came from Syria: there they were on combat duty, covering up bombers who were carrying out a combat mission to destroy terrorist bases.

Technical characteristics of the Su-35 look impressive for the 4th generation, but still not enough for the 5th. The list of the main parameters of the aircraft: maximum speed: 2.25 Mach, afterburning: 1.1 Mach; maximum flight range: 3600 km (without PTB); ceiling: 20 km.

The cruising speed of the Su-35 is considered to be a speed within 800–950 km / h. Aircraft dimensions: length: 21.9 m; wing span: 14.75 m; sweep: 42 °.

The Su-35 engine is more powerful and modern than the previous version. There are two AL-41F1S engines on this plane, which are structurally distinguished by multi-plane thrust vector control. Compared with the previous AL-41F1 model, these engines are characterized by a simplified design, increased traction and the use of EMC control.

These engines are actually fifth generation engines. These mechanisms allow the aircraft to develop supersonic speed without using afterburner, but the electro-mechanical control system on them uses an old model.

In the cockpit of the Su-35 there are 3 displays for working in multi-screen mode, as well as a holographic indicator on the windshield. The aircraft is equipped with an advanced information-control system and the N035 Irbis radar with effective EPR capable of detecting targets at a distance of up to 400 km.

The armament of the Su-35 includes 12 suspension units. The aircraft is capable of carrying up to 8 tons of shells of various types and purposes. The Su-35 is equipped with guided air-to-air missiles (up to 12 medium-range or 6 short-range), or air-to-ground (one anti-ship long-range missile, or up to 6 medium). In addition, it supports armament with high-precision ammunition (for example, up to 8 KAB-500KR (OD) missiles). Su-35 is also capable of carrying up to 6 unguided missiles (S-25 or S-8). Cannon armament is represented by the GSh-30-1 aviation cannon for 150 shells.

#1 – Su-57 fifth generation stealth fighter jet

Russia’s Rostec Ready to Discuss Su-57 Deliveries to India
Photo credit: Russian Defence Ministry

The PAK FA project, dedicated to the development and creation of the fifth-generation stealth Russian fighter, soon promises to establish supplies of the latest Su-57 aircraft both to the Russian army and to foreign customers. Despite some skepticism about this project, delays and interruptions in funding, it remains very promising due to its unique characteristics.

The characteristics of the Su-57 can be judged very conditionally, since there is no data on models with updated engines of the second stage. It is known that the aircraft has a length of 19.4 m and a wingspan of 14 m. In addition, the sweep angle is increased compared to its predecessors: 48 °.

The empty mass is estimated at 18.5 tons, the maximum take-off weight is 35.5 tons. With 63% of the fuel (normal loading), the aircraft is capable of flying 2700 km at cruising speed and 1200 km at supersonic afterburner. The maximum speed of the Su-57 at an altitude reaches Mach 2.45, the maximum afterburning – Mach 2. The ceiling height is 20 km.

The PAK FA drawing is currently strictly classified. One can judge the properties of the new military machine only from open sources. It is known that the Su-57 belongs to the class of heavy fighters, is multifunctional, has high maneuverability and supersonic cruising speed. Also, a new domestic aircraft is hardly noticeable thanks to the Stealth and EW technologies.

The PAK FA glider is made according to the normal aerodynamic scheme and has an integral type. The shape of the airframe is largely determined by the technology of reducing visibility, which is necessary for the fifth generation fighter. The mass of the hull was reduced due to the use of composites: a quarter of the weight of an empty aircraft and 70% of its surface are composites. In addition, the Su-57 has 4 times less parts compared to the Su-27, which reduces the time and laboriousness of the assembly of the product.

On the first samples of the Su-57, its prototype, as well as previous models, AL-41F1 engines were installed, allowing you to go into supersonic without the help of afterburner. This engine had improved flow characteristics, a fully digital control system, and increased traction.

However, in the future it is planned to install a new engine for the Su-57, which is currently called the “Product 30”, and in the future will receive the “AL” index. This is a completely new engine, with a new fan, control system and a “hot” part. According to the representative of the developers, this engine has no analogues in the world and can not only improve the flight characteristics of the car, but also reduce its visibility.

According to the Director General of NIIP, the PAK FA electronic system will fundamentally differ from similar systems in the usual sense. The innovative effect will be achieved through a network of active and passive radio and optical radar installations that make up the “smart skin” of the aircraft.

It is planned to install an optical-location system on the serial Su-57, which will allow you to effectively detect the enemy in both the front and rear hemispheres relative to the aircraft, protect the machine from solar erosion, and also reduce the effective dispersion area (EPR), which will reduce the visibility of the aircraft.

The armament of the Su-57 allows us to call the PAK FA fighter a universal fighter, capable of hitting both ground and air targets. The maximum combat load of the fifth-generation Russian fighter is 10 tons. The shells are located at 16 points of the suspension: eight internal and eight external. For air combat, air-to-air missiles can be located in the main weapon compartments: up to 6 medium ranges; up to 4 short range.

The following weapons are provided against ground targets: up to 4 KAB-500, adjustable bombs; up to 4 X-38, high-precision missiles; up to 2 X-58, anti-radar missiles.


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