Bindiya Thomas
09:25 AM, September 10, 2013
India's Super Sukhoi Vs China's Su-35: Which Will Be The Better Aircraft?
The Super Sukhoi MKI

Following Russia's announcement of potential Su-35 sale to China, compares India's Super Sukhois with the expected Chinese Su-35.


The Super Sukhoi, which India plans to procure, has a fly by wire (FBW) with quadruple redundancy while displays include a highly customized version of the Israeli Elbit Su 967 head-up display along with bi-cubic phase conjugated holographic displays and seven liquid crystal multifunction displays. 


The Super Sukhoi also includes a forward-facing NIIP N011M Bars (Panther); a powerful integrated passive electronically scanned array radar that can function in air-to-air and air-to-land/sea mode simultaneously while being tied into a high-precision laser-inertial or GPS navigation system. 


It is equipped with a modern digital weapons control system as well as anti-jamming features. N011M has a 400 km search range and a maximum 200km tracking range, and 60km in the rear hemisphere. The radar can track 15 air targets and engage 4 simultaneously. These targets can even include cruise missiles and motionless helicopters, according to the company website. 


Its satellite navigation system that allows it to make flights in all weather, day and night conditions. 


The aircraft is fitted with Israeli-made LITENING targeting pod that is used to target laser guided munitions. Litening incorporates in a single pod all the targeting features required by a modern strike fighter.  

The IAF currently has five operational Sukhoi 30MKI squadrons numbering around 100 aircraft. It will ultimately have over 230 Sukhoi-30MKIs or 13 squadrons in its fleet.

The fleet is under licenced production at the Bangalore-based Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and the entire fleet will be upgraded to the 'Super Sukhoi' configuration.

Meanwhile, China first expressed interest in procuring the upgraded Su-35 in 2006 but the deal reportedly fell through. 


The Su-35, aerodynamically similar to the Su-27, has a new and improved airframe that will “dramatically increase its service life to 6,000 hours, 30 years of operation,” according to the Sukhoi Company. 


And unlike the Su-30MKI it will not feature canard fins. All the three channels will have electrically signaled control without mechanical cabling. The use of a new integrated control system (developed by MNPK Avionika Moscow-based Research and Production Association) simultaneously performing functions of several systems – remote control, automatic control, limiting signals system, air signals system, chassis wheels braking system – will enhance the fighter’s handling capability and maneuverability,  the website explains. 


The aircraft's chassis has been reinforced to increase the takeoff and landing weight of the aircraft and bears two wheels in addition for the same purpose. Its improved radar stealth reduces the reflectance of the Su-35 in the X radio waveband and in the angle range of 60 degrees. 


The engines are the upgraded AL-31F production engines employing fifth-generation technologies. They use a new fan, new high and low pressure turbines, and a new digital control system. The modernization has increased the engine special mode thrust by 16%, up to 14,500 kgf. 


The aircraft features include a suite of new on-board equipments including the information management system (IMS), which integrates functional, logical, informational and software subsystems into a single complex that ensures the interaction between the crew and equipment. The IMS includes two central digital computers, commutation and information devices and an indication system built on the “all-glass cockpit” concept.  


Irbis-E radar control system detects and tracks up to 30 air targets, retaining continuity of space observation and engaging up to eight targets. The system detects, chooses and tracks up to four ground targets in several map-making modes with various resolution at a range of up to 400 km, without stopping to monitor the airspace. 


China has reportedly signed a deal to procure 24 Su-35s but neither has officially confirmed the purchase.


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