F/A-18E/F Super Hornet vs. Sukhoi Flanker

Discussion in 'Pakistan Air Force' started by Nav, Jul 1, 2011.

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  1. Nav
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    Nav FULL MEMBER

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    In assessing the Flanker against the Super Hornet it isclear from the outset that theadvantage in firepower, speed, raw agility, range andmanoeuvre performance goes to the Flanker. Given that operational Flankers span variants from B throughH, and type designations from Su-27S, through Su-30sto Su-35s, there are a wide range of configurations possible.
    This has been further complicated by the Russian propensity to customise configurations for clients, and perform ongoing technology upgrades to operational variants. Anotherbyproduct of Russian marketing is that the label Su-30 spans an upgraded Su-27SKM (Su-30KI) up to theIndian Su-30MKI, which uses extensive ly features demonstrated in the Su-37.
    In terms of aerodynamic performance the Flanker sits broadly in the class of the F-15 family, with similar thrust / weight ratios at similar weights. The empty weight of Flanker variants ranges between 37,240 - 40,800 lb and internal fuel capacities between 20,750 - 22,600 lb .
    At this time all production Flankers are flying with variants of the Saturn/SalyutAl-31F, which deliver static sea level thrust ratings in the 27 klb to 32 klb class, depending on the variant. This engine is comparable to the latest P&W F100 and GE F110 series engines, outperforming the smaller F404 series. In terms of supersonic speed, supersonic and subsonic acceleration and climb performance, the Super Hornet cannot compete with any Flanker variant.
    High speed turning performance, where thrust limited, also goes to the Flanker, as does supersonic manoeuvre performance. TheSuper Hornet is severely handicapped by its lower combat thrust/weight ratio, and hybrid wing planform. It isworth observing that high alpha trim drag and pitch rates of the canard equippedFlanker variants, such as the Su-33 and Su-30MKI, will be superior to the versions without canards.
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  2. Nav
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    Nav FULL MEMBER

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    Where the Super Hornet is apt to be more competitive against the Flanker is in the near stall low speed high alpha flight regimes, where the Super Hornet's strakes and wing work well and advanced flight controls perform superbly. This is however not a regime favoured by combat pilots and thus not of significance in an assessment of combat potential.
    The big gain in coming years for the Flanker in relative performance come with the new Al-41F engine, Russia's F119, now in Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP). The Al-41F delivers up to 40 klb class sea level static thrust, and high altitude dry thrust ratings to power the defunct supercruising MFI (Multi-Role Fighter).
    The Russians have been flying derated 33 klb Al-41Fsin a Su-27S since 2004. With Al-41F engines installed the Flanker's robust margin in kinematic performance against the Super Hornet grows considerably in all regimes of flight ¨C it provides the Flanker with 'F-22-like' raw agility and performance. With wing sweep, planform, forebody shaping and inlets built for Mach 2 dash, a clean Flanker with Al-41Fs should supercruise effectively. A supercruising Flanker with TVC nozzles, ie AL-41FU, canuse downward TVC to offset supersonic trim drag and thus achieve lower fuel burn in this regime.
    However, its supersonic energy bleed performance may not measure up to the refined design of the newer supercruise optimised designs, such as the F-22 orMFI. The bigger issue for the Flanker in supercruise is the drag of external stores, which will compromise it decisively against an optimsied design in supersonic combat.
    The fix for this limitation is a centreline tunnel conformal weapons pod for the R-74 and R-77 family AAMs. If and when reports of such a design emerge, we can be certain that Sukhoi are planning to play the supercruise game in earnest.
    In terms of combat radius performance the Flanker outperforms the Super Hornet, even with the latter carrying external tanks. There is no substitute for clean internal fuel. The Flanker's radar aperture is twice the size of the Hornet family apertures, due to the larger nose cross section.
    The APG-79 provides comparable range performance to the JSF APG-81, making it inferior to the F-22A's APG-77, but better than in service Flanker radars.
    The most capable radar in anoperational Flanker is the NIIP N-011M BARS, a hybrid passive ESA design using a backplane feed and a range of transmitter tubes with varying peak power ratings. The hybird design provides equally good receiver sensitivity to Western AESA designs (Irkut).
  3. Nav
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    Nav FULL MEMBER

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    The space feed passive array presents an opportunity for Flanker users to gain AESA like power and agility using legacy transmitter technology(Author)
    In terms of radar capabilities,existing Flankers are equipped mostly with variants of N-001, comparable to early F-15 APG-63s. The Su-35 carries the N-011, closer to a late model APG-63/70, and the Su-30MKI the NIIP N-011M BARS which is a hybrid phased array closest in technology to the much smaller RBE2 in the Rafale. The BARS can be supplied with a range of Travelling Wave Tube (TWT) power ratings, but cannot compete with the Super Hornet's liquidcooled APG-79 AESA.
    The new Pero N-001 antennaupgrade package, using a space feed reflective passive phased array, is aptto have much better peak power handling potential to the BARS, in a much cheaper design, but is yet to enter production. The PLA is reported to have been evaluating one fo two prototypes. A major concern is that a low loss waveguide feed suitable for very high peak and average power levels is easily integrated in a space feed arrangement of this type, and thus a peak power rating exceeding that of the APG-79 is not that difficult to effect, TWT performance permitting. Cooling is not an issue in an airframe the size of the Flanker.
    NIIP and Phazotron are known to have been working on an AESA design, and given the aperture size of the Flanker, an AESA radar inthe power-aperture rating class of the F-22's APG-77 isa distinct possibility for a post 2010 Flanker. The only issue for the Russian radar houses will be the availabilityof Gallium Arsenide HEMT (High Electron Mobility Transistor) transistors for the radar modules. Compared to the Super Hornet's APG-79, a Flanker sized AESA even with inferior radarmodule performance can match the power-aperture rating and thus range of the APG-79.
  4. Storm Force
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    Storm Force SENIOR MEMBER

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    su30mki is rated the best operational flanker in the world.

    Only russian fighter to use western style avionics and jammers from israel & france.

    Only fighter in the world to use TVC engine BAR the F22

    ITS ABSOLUTELY LETHAL

    [​IMG]
  5. SomeGuy
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    SomeGuy FULL MEMBER

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    Su-35 flanker is already "operational" in Russian Airforce.
    It beats the MKI in all cardinal parameters; higher speed, longer range, faster climb rate, higher service ceiling, high T/W ration, better radar.

    Su-35 has TVC, so does Malaysian flankers.
    Harriers also use thrust vectoring.
  6. nightcrawler
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    nightcrawler FULL MEMBER

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    The only thing keeping Russian birds handicapped is their avionics aspect; but recently Russian domestic industry has shown some good IRST & DIRCM gadgets; hope they fill this gap
  7. Nav
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    Nav FULL MEMBER

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    We know that indian's make it perfect with the help from russia and israel, but yet to be tested in real war scenario.