sukhoi su 27 fighter jet

Sukhoi Su-27 “Flanker”

The Sukhoi Su-27 single-seat supersonic interceptor, popularly known as the Flanker in NATO, is a fourth-generation Soviet fighter that has been largely considered one of the greatest fighters of the 1990s. This multi-role fighter was powered by two puissant Lyulka AL-31F after-burning turbofan engines, and has a blended wing/body (BWB), where the wings and fuselage form a single lifting body. 

This front-line fighter aircraft designed by the Sukhoi Design Bureau was intended for numerous missions: the destruction of both enemy fighters in medium-range by air-to-air missiles AAMS and small ground targets within visual range with bombs, and unguided rockets; besides providing air cover for own troops.  

Su-27 “Flanker” Operational History

The Su-27 was developed as a study in the mid-1970s when the VVS (Soviet Air Force) and associated aviation research institutions such as the TSAGI (Central Aerodynamic and Hydrodynamic Institute) began to detect a trend in US fighters design (Grumman F-14 Tomcat) resulting in better maneuverability.

The project of the Su-27 was a collaborative effort between the State Research Institute of Aircraft Systems (GosNII AS), the Sukhoi Design Bureau (OKB), the OKB Engine Design Bureau, industrial organizations, and numerous other research, and engineering. As a result, it incorporated the most recent expertise acquired by the Soviet aerospace industry. 

Like the MIG-29, The Sukhoi Su-27 is classified as a supersonic all-weather counter-air fighter by the US Department of Defense (DoD). It possesses a look-down/shoot-down weapons system as well as BVR (Beyond Visual Range) air-to-air missiles. The Su-27 significantly outperforms prior Soviet fighters in terms of range, thrust-to-weight ratio, and maneuverability. It has formidable capabilities against cruise missiles and low-flying aircraft  thanks to its huge coherent-pulse Doppler radar and hefty weaponry.

The Sukhoi Su-27 has seen battle, but it has never fired a shot in anger. Aside from keeping Western surveillance planes at bay around the northern borders, The Soviet air force ordered the deployment of Su-27s in the last phases of the Afghan War. The Flankers provided top cover for strike aircraft near the Pakistani border but did not engage in battle with Pakistan Air Force fighters.

Later, during the civil conflict in Georgia in 1993, Russian peacekeeping troops utilized Su-27s, one of the aircraft fighters was shot down by Abkhazi insurgents. After one year, and at the start of the First Chechen War on December 21, 1994, two to six Flankers and MIG-31 interceptors patrolled the airspace around Chechnya, directed by an A-50 AWACS aircraft.

One other interception was when NATO held a naval drill in the Black Sea in the spring of 1997. The Russian Air Force replied by sending Su-27 interceptors to accompany Russian bombers and surveillance planes trailing NATO ships and generally keeping an eye on the situation.

Unfortunately, no aircraft type is immune to accident attrition, and several Su-27s have been lost in crashes. In some situations, hardware failure was the reason whether owing to manufacturing problems or other factors like bird strike, whilst in others, ATC (Air Traffic Control) or pilot mistakes. 

In February 1989, a Su-27 “Flanker” crashed. The port engine was on fire, according to a misleading signal in the master warning panel. The pilot immediately ejected, and the fighter crashed into a forested location. Despite the mishaps, the Su-27 remains a popular aircraft in the Russian Air Force, and its pilots hold it in high regard. There have been no tragic accidents with the type due to design or manufacturing flaws over the years. 

The Flanker has been in service for two decades and remains one of the most competent fighters in the world. The Su-27 appears to be the basis of the Russian Air Force’s heavy fighter component for the foreseeable future. Its powers have gained distinction not just in Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine, but also in several other countries like Kazakhstan, Vietnam, China, and India.

Sukhoi Su-27 “Flanker” Specs 

The Su-27 multi-role fighter contains many sophisticated technological features such as a multi-mode radar, an optoelectronic targeting system that includes an infrared search and track (IRST) unit, and a TV sighting subsystem comparable to the Hughes TISEO system (Target Identification System, Electro-Optical) as well as advanced weapons and with the ability to carry up to 10 AAMs (Air-to-Air missiles).

Sukhoi Su-27 Specs
Function:Multi-role fighter 
In-service year:1984
Ceiling:59,055 ft
Recognition Systems:Multi-mode radar
Target identification Systems:IRST unit, TV sighting subsystem
Onboard armament:Air-to-Air missiles AAMs, One GSh-30-1 30 mm cannon with 150 rounds, AGMs, bombs, rockets, drop tanks, and ECM pods carried on ten external points

Sukhoi Su-27 Production

The first design of the Sukhoi Su-27 “Flanker” soviet union’s most advanced fighter was optimized for air combat purposes began in the mid-1970s by the Russian Sukhoi OKB then it was quickly moved from prototype to production by the Sukhoi Company following its first flight in October 1977. This Russian fighter Costs around $41.2 million. 

Production Information
Official Name:Sukhoi Su-27 
Country of Origin:Soviet Union / Russia
First flight:20 May 1977
Cost:$41.2 million

Sukhoi Su-27 Performance 

The Su-27 is powered by Two Lyulka AL-31F after-burning turbofans, 27,557 lb thrust each. This type of engine gives the aircraft good combat thrust-to-weight ratio determining maneuverability, acceleration and speed in a dogfight (tactical air combat type). 

Each engine is equipped with a single-stage afterburner. The inlet is equipped with 23 variable guide vanes. There are four fan stages slotted into their respective discs. The by-pass ratio is estimated at .50. The overall compressor pressure ratio is 24; it consists of variable inlet guide vanes followed by a nine-stage high-pressure spool.

The engine is equipped with an annular-type combustion chamber with 24 downstream burners fed from the inner manifold. The turbine is a single-stage high-pressure unit with air-cooled blades. The low-pressure turbine is a two-stage type. The afterburner has two flame holder rings, and the afterburner exhaust nozzle assembly consists of interlinked primary and secondary units angled down approximately 5°.

Performance Details
Max. Speed1,550 mph (2 500 km/h; Mach 2.35)
Enginetwo Lyulka AL-31F turbofan engines
Range3 530 km

Sukhoi Su-27 Design 

The Sukhoi OKB’s preliminary design (PD) branch had evolved by the start of 1970. the fundamental design and aerodynamic characteristics of the highly maneuverable Su-27 as an air superiority fighter. The first ‘Flanker-A’ prototype is a blended wing/body design (BWB); this single lifting body is formed by airfoils with complex curvature. flew on May 20th, 1977, and went into service in 1984 as the “Flanker-B.” with the capacity of having onboard up to 2 pilots.

Design Details
Length71 ft. 11-1/2 in. (21.935 m)
Wingspan48 ft. 2-3/4 in. (14.7 m)
Height 5.93 m
Max. Weight30000 kg
Interiorvery large bubble canopy offering an excellent 360° view
Seating Capacity1 or 2 (depending on the version)

Sukhoi Su-27 Comparisons

Sukhoi Su-27 vs MIG-29

Both of the MIG-29 and Su-27 Russian fighter aircrafts, attempted to outperform Soviet state-of-the-art to catch, or better still, surpass, the level of performance reached by then-current western fighters. The Su-27 is considerably larger than the MiG 29 and is reportedly equipped with a more sophisticated fire-control system.

The lighter MiG-29, with reduced operational expenses, was meant for deployments closer to the frontlines and battle against lightweight F-16s and F-18s, but the heavier Su-27 was built to take on the heavyweight F-15 Eagle, the premier fighter equipped in any NATO air force.

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