New Russian Su-35 Jets Carry Out Drills Near Kuril Islands

Russian Military Technologies's photo.

October 15 – Russia’s new Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jets carried out military exercises near the Kuril Islands in the west Pacific Ocean to drill air action, Eastern Military District’s spokesman Alexander Gordeyev said.
Gordeyev emphasized in a statement that combat training was pre-planned and complied with international regulations.
“During training flights pilots performed several elements of advances aerobatics, piloting at maximum and minimum heights and drilled above-the-water air action,” said the military spokesman of the Eastern District based in the Khabarovsk region.
Gordeyev emphasized in a statement that combat training was pre-planned and complied with international regulations.
The Su-35 fighter jet was first introduced to a foreign audience at the Paris Air Show in 2013. It is an upgraded version of the Su-27 multirole fighter.


Lightning lacks shield against Flanker thunder


A new report by the US-based National Security Network confirms the F-35 stealth fighter is no match for Russia’s Su-27 series aircraft or even the much older MiG-29.
America’s F-35 Lightning II stealth fighter may end up becoming cannon fodder for Russian Sukhois, suggests an August 2015 report by the US-based National Security Network (NSN).

In ‘Thunder without Lightning: The High Costs and Limited Benefits of the F-35 Program’, the think tank’s policy analyst Bill French and researcher Daniel Edgren say the F-35 is likely to be “outmaneuvered” and “outgunned” by its “near peers” such as the Russian Su-27 series Flanker fighter jets.

The report backs what a number of independent aviation experts have been saying all along – the F-35 is a truly useless aircraft that will be a sitting duck if it comes up against a serious air force.

“The F-35’s performance characteristics compare unfavourably with already deployed foreign 4th Generation fighters such as the Russian designed MiG-29 Fulcrum and Su-27 Flanker in service with air forces around the world,” the report says.

“These are the kinds of aircraft the F-35 would most likely face in air-to-air engagements against a high-end opponent. Compared with both the Su-27 and MiG-29, the F-35 is grossly inferior in terms of wing loading (except for the F-35C), transonic acceleration, and thrust-to-weight. All F-35 variants also have significantly lower maximum speeds, Mach 1.6 for the F-35 compared to Mach 2.2 for the Su-27 and Mach 2.3 for the MiG-29.”

Air-to-air simulations paint a grimmer picture. “In 2009, US Air Force and Lockheed Martin analysts indicated the F-35 could be expected to achieve only a 3-to-1 kill ratio against the decades-old MiG-29 and Su-27 despite its advantages in stealth and avionics.”

The results of other simulations have been far worse. “In one simulation subcontracted by the RAND Corporation, the F-35 incurred a loss exchange ratio of 2.4-to-1 against (Chinese air force) Su-35s. That is, more than two F-35s were lost for eachSu-35 shot down.

“While these simulations take into account a host of other factors and include assumptions about the context in which the engagements take place, they nevertheless underscore the need for scepticism regarding the F-35’s air-to-air capabilities.”

Dogfight disadvantage

The report agrees with the philosophy of Russian air combat where pilots prepare for close-up dogfights rather than rely entirely on beyond visual range (BVR) air-to-air missiles to achieve kills. “To succeed in air-to-air roles, the F-35 will very likely have to defeat enemy aircraft in within-visual-range (WVR) engagements, i.e. dogfighting,” the report says. However, the F-35 will be severely handicapped in close quarters with enemy aircraft. Dogfighting requires agility and maneuverability.”

But the F-35 lacks these characteristics and in testing has demonstrated maneuverability inferior to that of American 4thGeneration fighter aircraft – such as the F-16, F-15 and F-18 – it will replace. “The available data indicate the F-35 will be less maneuverable than advanced foreign fighters as well. While the F-35 was designed with a preference for BVR combat, in which maneuverability is supposedly less significant, history shows dogfighting is a persistent feature of air-to-air combat. Despite the F-35’s designers’ preference for long-range combat, avoiding dogfights may prove difficult.”

The Indian military summed it up beautifully after an air combat exercise with English air force pilots in Waddington in 2007: According to India’s Ministry of Defence, because there are plenty of counter and counter-counter measures available to make “modern missiles with claims of inescapable parameters redundant by using ‘chaff’ and other active/passive measures, a ‘gun kill’ is invariably a most certain kill”.

Western pilots who do not hone their close combat skills are in for a nasty surprise if they face a capable air force such as those of Russia, India or China.

Payload problems

The F-35 is a large aircraft but most of its internal space is taken up for fuel. This is a double whammy for the Lightning. First up, there’s precious little internal space for carrying bombs and missiles. Secondly, if the missiles are carried on external hard points, it nullifies whatever little claimed stealth it has.

“In addition to lacking maneuverability, the F-35 is hampered by limited space for storing weapons in its internal bays. A deficient weapons capacity has significant consequences for the aircraft’s ability to conduct missions against air and surface targets. In air-to-air engagements, the F-35 will be outgunned by foreign fighters that can carry greater numbers of missiles and cannon rounds.

“Nor can the aircraft carry enough long-range missiles to ensure it can fight effectively and reliably in BVR engagements. In engagements against surface targets, the F-35’s small internal payload means it will be able to destroy fewer targets per sortie if maintaining a stealthy configuration. This problem will be exacerbated by the F-35’s limited ability to generate sorties, i.e., fly missions, to repeatedly deliver its weapons to targets over the duration of a campaign.”

On the other hand, Russian Flankers have 10 external hard points to carry air-to-air missiles or other ordinance. Some like the Su-35 Super Flanker have 12 external hard points. This is a huge advantage for Flanker pilots because they can fire repeated salvos to achieve an air-to-air kill.

Compared with the armoury of short-, medium- and long-range missiles that Flankers are known to carry, the F-35 has been virtually disarmed. French and Edgren quote Major Richard Koch, chief of the US Air Force Air Combat Command advanced air dominance branch, “I wake up in a cold sweat at the thought of the F-35 going in with only two air-dominance weapons.” But the aircraft is still sizeably outgunned even when carrying the maximum four missiles.

Missiles that miss

According to French and Edgren, the American plan to use the F-35 as a long-range combat platform – using BVR missiles – is fatally flawed because US air-to-air missiles do not have a splendid record in war. “During the Cold War, radar-guided missiles achieved a 6.6 per cent probability of kill in BVR engagements. Of the conflicts featuring BVR engagements, the highest probability of kill was achieved by Israel in the 1982 Lebanon War, yielding a 20 per cent kill rate. In the post-Cold War era, the effectiveness of BVR missiles improved. Through 2008, the US achieved a 46 per cent probability of kill with the AIM-120AMRAAM (the mainstay of the US BVR missile inventory), though these results are based on a tiny sample size of 6 engagements.”

However, the report warns, the above gains in missile effectiveness should not be expected to apply to conflict against “near-peer competitors”, which presumably include Russia, China and India as well as countries flying advanced Russian warplanes. “According to analysis by RAND, the US AIM-120 record is weighted heavily by circumstances that favour the shooter: none of the kills was achieved against adversaries that themselves had similar BVR missiles; the downed pilots did not employ electronic countermeasures, in some cases were fleeing, non-maneuvering, or lacked radar; and one case (out of a total of six) was an instance of friendly fire. US aircraft also enjoyed quantitative parity or superiority in all cases.”

The above circumstances should not be expected to characterize BVR engagements between the US and an advanced adversary. “For example, the presence of electronic countermeasures alone would probably result in a drastically lower probability of kill as Russian and Chinese fighter aircraft presently employ electronic countermeasures that use digital radio frequency memory (DRFM) jamming reported to significantly hinder radar-guided missile effectiveness.

“We, the US, haven’t been pursuing appropriate methods to counter electronic attack for years,” a senior US Air Force official with extensive experience on the F-22 (the US’s most expensive stealth fighter) told The Daily Beast. “So, while we are stealthy, we will have a hard time working our way through the electronic attack to target (aircraft such as Russian-built) Su-35s and our missiles will have a hard time killing them.”

DRFM jammers in Russian and Chinese aircraft are reported to “effectively memorise an incoming radar signal and repeat it back to the sender, seriously (hampering) the performance of friendly radars. Worse, these new jammers essentially blind the small radars found onboard air-to-air missiles like the Raytheon AIM-120 AMRAAM, which is the primary long-range weapon for all US and most allied fighter planes”.


The report concludes: “Despite plans for the F-35 to replace most of America’s fighter and attack aircraft, the platform is ill-suited to cost-effectively counter near-peer foreign militaries. The aircraft lacks the maneuverability, payload, likely ability to generate sorties, and range to effectively compete with near-peer competitors despite its lifetime costs of $1.4 trillion.

“The aircraft’s survivability depends largely upon stealth characteristics that are already at risk for obsolescence against adversaries who over the next 50 years will only continue to upgrade their radar and infrared detection systems….Given the critical failings of the F-35 programme and its exorbitant costs, the aircraft should be regarded as a bad bet. As such, proceeding with the full programme buy of nearly 2,500 units – or any large-scale buy that approaches that number – should be avoided.”

The think tank’s findings portend grave implications for American security. “By staying fully committed to the F-35 programme, the United States is investing unprecedented resources in the wrong aircraft, at the wrong time, for the wrong reasons,” it says.

If the US still proceeds with full scale production, slated for 2019, the F-35 could turn out to be the biggest dud in military history, putting at risk American, and allied, lives in danger.

China’s J-11D Fighter Copied From Russian Su-27 Jet Makes Maiden Flight

J-11 fighter jet

China’s high-end J-11D fighter aircraft, a copy of the Russian Sukhoi Su-27 jet, made a maiden flight.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — China’s high-end J-11D fighter aircraft, a copy of the Russian Sukhoi Su-27 jet, has made a maiden flight, local media reported Thursday.


Photos uploaded to the Internet on Wednesday show the latest modification of China’s domestically-constructed J-11B aircraft, initially designed as a copy of the Soviet-made Su-27, the news portal said.Unlike its predecessor, the J-11D model reportedly has phased-array radar and an air refueling system, and carries PL-10 air-to-air missiles.

The aircraft is produced by the Shenyang Aircraft Corporation. China purchased the Su-27 manufacturing license from Russia in the 1990s and has been building new versions using domestic parts.


Su-27 Intercepts US Spy Plane Heading Into Russian Airspace

Su-27 fighter jet has intercepted US spy plane over the Baltic sea

The US RC-135U reconnaissance plane was flying towards the Russian border with its transponder switched off, a Defense Ministry spokesman said in Moscow Saturday.

Maj.-General Igor Konashenkov said that an unidentified airborne target was spotted over the Baltic Sea by Russian air defenders on April 7 flying directly towards the Russian border.


A Su-27 fighter jet was scrambled to inspect the target. Moving up to the unidentified aircraft the Russian pilot flew around it several times, made sure it was a US RC-135U reconnaissance plane and reported its tail number to ground control.“I want to emphasize that the RC-135U was moving towards the Russian border with its transponder switched off… As to the professional qualities of our pilots, this is something for the Russian military command to evaluate. Moreover, US reconnaissance planes  are supposed to fly along US borders only and nowhere else,” Konashenkov said, adding that no “emergency situations” were registered during Tuesday’s mid-air encounter.

A Pentagon spokesman said on Saturday that a Russian Su-27 jet fighter on Tuesday flew dangerously close to and nearly collided with a US reconnaissance plane over the Baltic Sea.

Russia Plans to Deliver New Aircraft to Belarus Air Base: Defense Minister

Su-27 fighter jets

Russian Defense Minister said Tuesday that the country is going to increase the number of airplanes and helicopters at its planned airbase in Belarus scheduled to be opened in 2016.


MOSCOW, December 23 (Sputnik) – Russia will increase the number of airplanes and helicopters at its base to be opened in Belarus, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Tuesday during a meeting with his Belarusian counterpart Andrei Ravkov.“I’m ready to continue our discussion of cooperation on a practical basis today. This is in regard to the S-300 [anti-aircraft missile system], as well as the creation and basing of [our] aviation in Belarus by increasing the number of airplanes and helicopters. This should provide for the security of our common airspace,” Shoigu said.


The Russian airbase is to be opened near the city of Bobruisk in 2016. Neither defense minister specified the amount of hardware to be based there.In October, a highly-ranked Air Force official said Su-27 (Flanker) fighter aircraft would be based at the new complex.

“A Russian Air Force Base in Belarus will be opened in 2016 and Su-27 fighters will be based there,” Col.-Gen. Viktor Bondarev said.

In October Shoigu stated that the two countries will expand their military drills program in 2015 due to the changing situation on the borders and in the world as a whole. The Minister spoke of “new threats” to the Union State [a supranational entity of Russia and Belarus] as a reason for such expansion.

Following Crimea’s reunification with Russia in March, NATO increased its military presence in Poland and the Baltic States. Russia has repeatedly expressed concern over the increased military presence of the alliance in bordering countries.

Russian jets and jets of Belarus Air Force ensure security of Union State

Russian jets and jets of Belarus Air Force ensure security of Union State

MOSCOW, March 13. /ITAR-TASS/. The air crews of the Russian jets which arrived on the territory of Belarus on Thursday will be on combat duty jointly with their colleagues from the Air Force of Belarus, the press service of the Russian Defense Ministry told Itar-Tass on Thursday.

“The air crews of the Russian jets will be on combat duty with their Belarusian colleagues for purposes of air reconnaissance and ensuring defense of the air space of the Union State,” the Defense ministry’s spokesman said.

He has confirmed the transfer of the six Russian jets Su-27 and three transport planes with the military-technical personnel of the Russian Western Military District on board to a military aerodrome Bobruisk of the Belarus Air Force, based in the Mogilyov region, which was carried out in accordance with an Agreement signed by Russia and Belarus on joint defense of the external border of the Union State.

Earlier, the press service of the Defense Ministry of Belarus told Itar-Tass that the Russian planes had been transferred to Belarus for purposes of the inspection of the troops’ readiness to fulfill the tasks set forth to the Joint regional air defense forces with the involvement of the Russian component, as envisaged in the agreements signed in the framework of the Union State.

NATO strengthens reconnaissance activities along border with Belarus
“In the event of further accumulation of troops formations in the states adjoining Belarus it will take adequate measures of response on its territory,” the Belarusian Defense Ministry said.

At a meeting of the Security Council of Belarus held on March 12 President Alexander Lukashenko suggested that Russia should deploy up to 15 planes in Belarus in connection with the growing NATO activity near the Belarusian border.

The growing NATO activity near the Belarusian border did not go unnoticed. Chief of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) Nikolai Bordyuzha declared at the State Duma on Thursday that “CSTO has not remained indifferent to a group of NATO aviation being stationed near the Belarusian border. We have spotted reconnaissance activity near that region. Nonetheless, we think that planning any measures today is premature,” Bordyuzha said.

Russia Sends 6 Fighter Jets to Belarus

Russia Sends 6 Fighter Jets to Belarus

MINSK, March 13 (RIA Novosti) – Six Russian Su-27 fighter jets and three military transport planes with ground support personnel arrived Thursday at an airbase in Belarus to boost the airspace defenses of the two countries’ Union State, the Russian Defense Ministry said.

The ministry said the aircraft from the Western military district have been deployed to the Babruysk airbase in line with a bilateral agreement on the joint protection of the Union State’s airspace.

The planes will reinforce the four Russian Su-27 Flanker fighter jets already at the nearby Baranovichi airbase.

The Su-27 Flanker is a highly-maneuverable, all-weather fighter jet that could be used in a variety of combat missions, including reconnaissance and the interception of enemy aircraft.

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko had said earlier that Belarus would ask Russia to deploy up to 15 combat aircraft on its territory in response to increased NATO military activity along the country’s borders.

NATO has begun military exercises in Poland near the borders with Belarus and Ukraine amid the current political standoff between Russia and the West over the fate of Ukraine’s Crimea region.


The US Air Force has dispatched at least 12 F-16 falcon fighter jets from its airbase in Italy to take part in the exercises, while two NATO AWACS command and control planes have started reconnaissance flights over Poland and Romania in order to help monitor the crisis in Ukraine.

The Belarusian Defense Ministry said earlier on Thursday that further expansion of foreign military activity close to Belarusian borders would “prompt an adequate response.”

In addition to its ally Russia, Belarus borders crisis-hit Ukraine and NATO members Poland, Lithuania and Latvia.