After actively gathering information from the wreckage of the fighter plane shot down on Ukrainian land, Washington, the US may have had access to Russia’s ultra-modern Su-35 fighter’s secrets.
Military leaders in Moscow are particularly concerned right now, and their anxiety is not unjustified given the possibility of the Su-35 surreptitiously ending up in US hands. When a Su-35 fighter was shot down on the war in Eastern Ukraine by ground anti-aircraft fire in April 2022, Western intelligence got a perfect opportunity to test Russia’s Su-35 fighter.
The wreckage of this Su-35 was then gathered and transported to the UK’s Defense Science and Technology Laboratory. Engineers from the United Kingdom and the United States spent days studying bits of the downed Su-35. Following preliminary examination in the United Kingdom, the wreckage got packed and flown to Nevada, where the Americans will examine the specifics of Russia’s most modern fighter aircraft today. With such advanced science and technology, the Su-35’s secret is likely to be tough to retain.
The Sukhoi Su-35 Flanker, which debuted in 2014, is a modified and enhanced version of the Su-27. The Su-35 is a versatile fighter that can also serve as an air defence fighter. It saw extensive use during the Russia-Ukraine conflict. Although built on the Su-27, the Su-35 looks different from its predecessor due to small lifting surfaces situated at the front of the wings and redesigned wing edges that divert air flow and overcome the problem of shaking that the Su-27 experienced at high angles of attack.
The improvements also allow the Su-35 to survive 10G overloads. The enhanced control surface, along with the “fly by wire” control system, has enabled the Su-35 to outmanoeuvre the basic Su-27. The improved Su-35 also boasts a new weapon control system, with a focus on the N035 Irbis – a passively scanned phased array radar with Doppler pulse tracking, letting the Su-35 to detect targets below the road.
The N035 Irbis radar is a considerable improvement over the Su-27’s N001 Myech radar. While the NO01 can only track 10 targets and fire two missiles at the same time, the N035 can track 15 targets and fire six missiles at the same time. Two Saturn AL 41F1S turbofan engines, comparable to those found on US fifth-generation fighters, are used to power the Su-35. These engines have thrust vectoring control nozzles.
The Su-35’s engine nozzles enable extremely agile flight characteristics, including after-decommissioning manoeuvres like the renowned Pugachev’s Cobra acrobatics. With a peak speed of Mach 2.25, the Saturn’s engine produces more than 13,600 kgf of thrust. In just over a minute, the Su-35 can ascend to its maximum flight ceiling of 18 km. The Su-35 has a range of around 3,000 kilometres while travelling at a high altitude.
Su-35 is outfitted with many potent weaponry. A 150-round 30 mm Gryazev-Shipunov GSh 30-1 automatic gun is located inside the jet’s fuselage. The Su-35 has 12 hardpoints that can hold 8 tonnes of armaments, including air-to-air, air-to-surface, air-to-ground, anti-ship, anti-radiation, and several types of bombs.
The Su-35 has several tactical elements that are hidden; by carefully analysing the wreckage of downed aircraft, it is conceivable that the US will discover the Su-35’s hidden capabilities. The aforementioned are only fundamental parameters.