US, WASHINGTON (NEWS OBSERVATORY) — Many people know the Su-35 fighter, but they are not familiar with the Su-37 fighter. It may even be mixed with the Su-47 “Golden Eagle” fighter. After all, the Su-47 “Golden Eagle” fighter was once called S -37 Fighter. In fact, the S-37 and Su-37 are not the same fighter at all.
However, the relationship between Su-37 and Su-35 is very close. In fact, Su-37 was modified with a prototype of Su-35. It should be noted that the Su-35 mentioned here is not a Su-35S fighter equipped with Russia and China today. Although both are called Su-35, they are not the same model at all, and there are big differences. Generally speaking, the Su-35 related to Su-37 should be called the old Su-35.
In the 1990s, Sukhoi decided to make a reborn transformation of Su-27, so that it has a stronger performance to meet the operational requirements of the new era. The improved Su-27 is called Su-27M. The main improvement of Su-27M is the installation of a pair of duck wings, which is similar to Su-33’s three-wing aerodynamic layout, strengthening the body structure, replacing new high-thrust engines, upgrading radar, fire control and other avionics systems. … Later, in order to highlight the magnitude of the upgrade, Sukhoi renamed the Su-27M to Su-35, indicating that it was a brand new fighter. In order to distinguish it from today’s Su-35S, today it is often referred to as the old Su-35.
The new Su-35 fighter currently equipped with the Russian army, NATO code-named “Super Flanker”, is a deeply improved single-seater double-engine, super-maneuverable, developed by the Sukhoi Design Bureau on the basis of the Su-27 fighter. Use heavy fighter. The Russian military claims that the Su-35 belongs to the fourth-generation fighter aircraft, which widely uses many industrial technologies of the fifth-generation fighter aircraft to ensure that it can also lead in the first three decades of the 21st century.
The Russian army’s preciousness to this aircraft can be seen from the presence of Russian President Medvedev and Prime Minister Putin when they first flew on February 19, 2008. Su-35 was initially named Su-27БМ, which is an abbreviation for Russian большая модернизация, meaning a major improvement or a major change. After the first flight, Su-27БМ was later given an independent model, which is now Su-35.
The Su-37 was developed on the basis of the old Su-35. Sukhoi developed the only Su-37 with a prototype of the old Su-35. It was assembled in 1993 and completed in 1996. The first flight was completed on April 2. The main improvement of Su-37 is the replacement of a more advanced thrust vector engine, which uses a large number of newly developed aluminum-lithium alloys and composite materials. And plans to be equipped with the latest avionics system, equipped with a new generation of airborne missiles, has more powerful paper combat performance.
Coupled with Sukhoi ’s announcement that the Su-37 will be equipped with many of the most advanced avionics and airborne weapons, the Su-37 has become more eye-catching and once became Russia’s most advanced fighter. At the time, even though the advanced American F-22A stealth fighter had made its first flight, the Russian Su-37 still looked quite amazing.
Su-37 has a total of 12 plug-in points, can carry a total weight of up to 8 tons of auxiliary fuel tanks, detection pods and weapon systems. In addition, the aircraft is also equipped with an air refueling system, which can accept air refueling. Su-37 is equipped with two AL-31FP (FU) double-ducted vector thrust jet engines. The total thrust of the two engines is 28 tons during afterburner flight, and the maximum flight speed is 2500 km / h. It is these two powerful engines that give Su-37 unparalleled super maneuverability.
Su-37 can complete super-circular maneuvering, that is, a high angle of attack “cobra” action followed by a low-speed circular vertical rotation, so that the horizontal attitude of the aircraft quickly merges with the 360-degree small radius of the bucket. The pendulum is maneuvering, that is, it decelerates from the vertical climb to zero speed at the apex, and maintains this position for 2 to 4 seconds, then tilts backward, falls vertically, and rolls to another plane.
Subsequently, Su-37 participated in the international air show with a high profile. With the addition of the thrust vector engine, Su-37 made “Frolov Falun”, “hook”, “pendulum” and “super cobra” at the air show. “Super maneuvering movements, some military experts exclaimed: Su-37 has the ability to turn in the “situ.” These super-mobiles have conquered countless military fans.
Russian military experts once claimed in 2013 that the Su-37 is a modern fourth-generation +++ fighter, capable of shooting down the “clumsy” F-35 “Fat Power” fighter without difficulty, and even capable of rivaling the US Air Force. F-22A “Raptor” fighter jet and J-20 of the Chinese Air Force.
However, “Golden Jade is outside, it’s defeated”, Su-37 does look very good in appearance and paper data, but in fact many of its supporting subsystems are far from mature in place. At the beginning, Sukhoi was eager to put it on the air show stage early on, just to find international buyers for it and obtain capital investment to gradually develop and perfect the aircraft.
It is a pity that until the end, Su-37 didn’t meet its coveted head of injustice, and in the end it could only be a sad ending. Its predecessor, the old Su-35, was also not further developed for various reasons. Today, the old Su-35 and Su-37, which used to be famous all over the world, have become obscured, which is quite disappointing.
However, the old Su-35 and Su-37 have not completely died, at least they still have some “shadows”. Sukhoi has accumulated a lot of valuable improvement experience on the old Su-35 and Su-37. Today’s Su-35S and Su-30SM are obviously related to the old Su-35 and Su-37.
The Su-35 actually deployed troops and realized exports. Compared with the Su-37, it has been in the technical verification stage, and only one (No. 711) was produced. This aircraft finally crashed. Therefore, the design of Su-35 is more successful and the performance is better. It is the ultimate model of Su-27.
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Article is written and prepared by our foreign editors from different countries around the world – material edited and published by News Observatory staff in our US newsroom.