Legendary Soviet Su-27 Flanker Still ‘Packs One Heck of a Punch’

Su-27 fighter aircraft of the aerobatic display team Russkye Vityazi (Russian Knights) during the Air Force Day celebration in Lipetsk.


The best plane in the Soviet arsenal, the Sukhoi Su-27 Flanker entered service in 1985, but it is still a formidable and versatile fourth-generation fighter aircraft that has turned into an export bestseller, defense analyst Robert Farley wrote for the National Interest, adding that despite its age the plane has a bright future ahead of it.

The last of the major fourth-generation fighters to enter service, the Su-27 “has proven an exceedingly successful design,” the analyst noted. “Big enough and powerful enough to sustain a number of modifications and improvements, the Flanker should continue to see service (and even production) for quite some time.”

The Su-27 is a twin-engine supermaneuverable fighter aircraft with “formidable” capabilities, boasting a maximum speed of Mach 2.35 and a range exceeding 3,500 km (2,190 miles). The plane is capable of reaching a maximum altitude of 19,000 meters (62,523 feet) with a maximum takeoff weight of 30,450 kg (67,100 lb).

“It can carry up to eight air-to-air missiles (generally of short to medium range; other variants specialize in Beyond Visual Range combat) or an array of bombs and missiles. In the hands of an experienced pilot, the Su-27 can carry out a bewildering array of maneuvers, many of which have delighted air show audiences across Russia and Europe,” the analyst detailed.The aircraft, designed and manufactured by the Sukhoi Company, made its maiden flight in 1977. It was meant to compete with fourth-generation US fighters, the Grumman F-14 Tomcat and F-15 Eagle. A total of 809 Su-27s has been produced since the 1980s.

“Intended both to defeat US fighters over central Europe in a NATO-Warsaw Pact conflict and to patrol the airspace of the Soviet Union against US bomber incursions, the Su-27 survived the end of the Cold War to become one of the world’s premier export fighters,” the senior lecturer at the Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce at the University of Kentucky explained.

The fighter aircraft has been in service in Angola, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and Vietnam. China has produced a derivative of the Su-27, known as Shenyang J-11, since 1998.

The Military Factory website referred to the Sukhoi Su-27 Flanker as a “true classic” and “one of the best fighter aircraft of its generation.” In fact, it is so good that the best plane in the US arsenal will have a hard time defeating it.

The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II “could be expected to achieve only a 3-to-1 kill ratio” against the Mikoyan MiG-29 and Su-27 “despite its advantages in stealth,” a National Security Network (NSN) report released in August 2015 stated, citing a study conducted by the US Air Force and Lockheed Martin in 2009.

Russia, Indonesia can further develop military-technical cooperation — diplomat

Russian Military Technologies's photo.


June 29 – The Indonesian leadership highly values the performance characteristics of Russian military products, Russia’s Ambassador to Indonesia Mikhail Galuzin told on Tuesday.
“Indonesia, like any other state caring about the protection of its sovereignty and territorial integrity, is interested in maintaining and strengthening its defense capability and for this purpose modern and well-equipped armed forces are needed,” the Russian diplomat said.
“As the Russian ambassador, I can say that I’m very glad and very proud that today the Indonesian armed forces operate advanced examples of Russian military hardware. For example, these are Su-30 and Su-27 multirole fighter jets or BMP-3F infantry fighting vehicles intended for the Indonesian marine corps,” the ambassador said.
The Indonesian political and defense leadership “highly values the performance characteristics of Russian military products,” the ambassador said.
“We have seen together with you a lot of public statements by representatives of the Indonesian Defense Ministry about their interest in buying particular types of Russian military hardware, in particular, Su-35 fighter jets,” the Russian ambassador said.
“We, as the diplomats, will continue doing everything possible to ensure that military and technical cooperation between Russia and Indonesia should develop further to the mutual benefit of both sides. I can say that there are pre-requisites for this,” the Russian ambassador said.
The sphere of ensuring security, both regional and global, “is a very promising sphere of Russian-Indonesian relations,” he added.
“We’re actively interacting in the sphere of anti-terror, including the training of representatives of the corresponding departments from Indonesia and other ASEAN countries in Russia with the help of our specialized agencies. This also involves information exchange and corresponding consultations,” the Russian ambassador said.

Russian MoD Denies Allegations of ‘Dangerous’ Su-27 Baltic Fly-By

The Baltic Fleet Su-27 fighter squadron


The Russian Defense Ministry has denied media allegations that one of its Su-27s made a ‘dangerous’ fly-by of a US reconnaissance aircraft, Igor Konashenkov stated.

The ministry’s spokesman added that on the April 14 the US reconnaissance jet was approaching the Russian border. After a visual contact with the Russian Su-27 it changed its course.

“Western media’s allegations of a ‘dangerous’ fly-by of a Russian Su-27 jet and an American RC-135 in the Baltics are false,” the spokesman assured.

Igor Konashenkov also said that Su-27’s flight was conducted in accordance with internationl safety standards.

On Thursday, Russia’s military detected an unknown aerial target that was heading for the Russian border on a high speed, he noted.

“To identify the target, one of the Su-27s of the Baltic Fleet aviation forces on duty was sent. It has performed its [the target’s] flyby and identified the object as a reconnaissance plane RC-135U of the US Air Force,” Konashenkov explained.

After the visual contact with the Russian Su-27, the US reconnaissance plane changed its course to the opposite, the spokesman added.

Earlier on April 11 and 12, the USS Donald Cook guided missile destroyer experienced several ‘close interactions’ with Russian Su-24 bomber jets on the Baltic Sea, with Pentagon officials calling the jets maneuvers ‘aggressive‘, ‘unsafe and unprofessional’.

The US considers the incident so serious that Secretary of State John Kerry vowed to raise the issue with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.