The commander of the Royal Air Force claimed that British warplanes and pilots work together with partners to get an edge in dogfights, indicating that the country is preparing its F-35s and Eurofighter Typhoons to take on Su-35 and other highly developed Russian fighter jets.
The RAF, according to Wigston, prepares for this specific need. He claims that having trained, competent, and experienced pilots who can handle any circumstance, whether it requires firing a missile or engaging in a close-quarters duel, is what it truly comes down to.
In Fairford, Gloucestershire, he was giving a speech at the Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT), the biggest military air show in the world.
“This week, 67 air force and space force chiefs have assembled here at RIAT. They are both our partners and allies. We train and work with these guys constantly, and that is what gives us the combat advantage we need to win dogfights, he continued.
The Ministry of Defense revealed that it would spend $2.8 billion (£2.35 billion) to upgrade the radar on its Typhoon fighter jets.
The British Typhoon fighter jets engaged in “unusual and immensely useful” one-on-one Dissimilar Air Combat Training, popularly known as dogfighting, alongside French Rafale fighters, the Royal Air Force (RAF) said on July 13.
Operating out of facilities in the Eastern Mediterranean, Typhoons have been practicing combat air maneuvers with French Air and Space Force Rafale fighter fighters.
The operation “sends a strong strategic message that we remain in the Eastern Mediterranean as a valuable member of both the counter-Daesh mission and other NATO operations, ready and able to work seamlessly with our many partners in the region, in addition to some very valuable flying,” according to a statement from the RAF.
Typhoon Vs. Flankers
Many European nations, including Spain, Germany, Italy, and the United Kingdom, choose the Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft. The Typhoon is a fighter that was first created with the goal of having absolute air superiority.
In the event of a confrontation, the Eurofighter Typhoon is anticipated to engage late-generation Flanker variants such the Sukhoi Su-35. Both aeroplanes include some of the most advanced features and are equivalent in terms of overall performance.
The Su-35 has a length of 21.9 metres, a height of 5.9 metres, and a wingspan of 15.3 metres, according to aerospace and defence analyst Girish Linganna, speaking to EurAsian Times. The height and length of the Eurofighter are 5.29 metres and 15.9 metres, respectively. Its wingspan is 10.9 metres. Usually, a smaller size translates to a reduced radar-cross section for the aircraft (RCS). The object becomes more elusive on enemy radars due to a decreased RCS.
Both the Typhoon and the Su-35 Flanker are capable of flying beyond visual range, however neither aircraft has an operational electronically scanned array radar at this time. Irbis-E Passive Electronically Scanned Array (PESA) radar on the Su-35 has extraordinarily high power levels, according to Linganna.
It has made progress in detecting low-observable threats like stealth planes and allows target detection at distances of up to 300 kilometres. Irbis-E becomes incredibly trackable and detectable in this scenario since it needs to use high power levels to attain this performance, which is a contradictory disadvantage, he said.
The Irbis-E radar on the Su-35 competes head-to-head with the CAPTOR-M radar on the Eurofighter for long-range tracking and detection in active scanning mode. However, it might be less successful in detecting low-observable hazards.
However, Linganna said, the Typhoon has a distinct advantage in passive tracking thanks to Leonardo’s Praetorian Defensive Aids Sub-System. Additionally, the installation of an E-Scan AESA radar as part of Tranche 4 modifications has improved the typhoon radar.
Moreover, typhoons can be equipped with the Meteor missile, which is frequently referred to as a “game changer.” The most effective beyond visual range air-to-air missile is reportedly the long-range MBDA Meteor ramjet-powered weapon. It performs well in the final stages and could be the Typhoon pilots’ strongest suit.
The Su-35 has previously been shot down in aerial combat, by both older MiG-29s and Ukrainian SAMs, according to Christian D. Orr, a retired USAF officer and defence editor at 19FortyFive. Although it has not yet engaged in battle with crewed enemy aircraft, the Eurofighter has also not yet been brought down by aerial defence systems.
The maximum airspeed of the Su-35 is Mach 2.25 as opposed to the Typhoon’s Mach 2.0. The Sukhoi has a superior combat range of 1,600 km (990 mi), compared to the Eurofighter’s 1,389 km (863 mi), and is more manoeuvrable, according to the former USAF officer.
“It’s a tough call, but I’d give a’very’ slight edge to the Typhoon based on real combat performance, plus Western fighter pilot tactics & training over those of the Russkies,” Orr said in his conclusion.
In a similar vein, Linganna claimed that the success of a battle between a Su-35 and a Typhoon would depend heavily on both technical and non-technical factors, like pilot skill, teamwork, etc.