Of the jets in production that promise to take military fighters deep into the 21st century and beyond, the
U.S. F-35, the Chinese J-20, and the Russian Sukhoi T-50 PAK FA are at the top of the heap. Unfortunately, there are problems with all three 5th generation planes and the F-35 in particular is having global buyers back away much faster than it would like.
Russia is solidly looking to fill this gap with a known and dependable jet, the Su-35, to which it added cutting edge avionics and amenities for the 21st century.
Dewline reports that a pilot who took the Su-35 for a spin was blown away by the jet’s abilities and it’s low fuel consumption even at speeds faster than the speed of sound.
It’s not a 5th generation plane like the F-35, with all the attendant problems. It is a 4++ generation plane with all the tried and true basics overlaid with cutting edge avionics and navigation equipment.
Hard to tell which is the better jet, but one of them has no problem flying and that’s an issue the F-35 can’t seem to shake.
Military jets are divided into generations and the aircraft of the immediate future is the 5th, but none have yet made it into combat despite years in development.
The only 5th generation fighter currently in non-combat operation is the F-22, with the F-35 struggling to catch upo, but the Russians are beefing up their Su-35s into 4++ generation fighters to compete.
The Su-35s employs the known technology of 4th generation fighters with additions at the 5th generation level that, could in fact make them an all around better jet.
The Russian jet holds as much fuel as an older American F-14 but goes through it far more slowly, and allowed massively expanded flights past the speed of sound.
The Su-35 tops out at mach 2.5 with a range of 1,900 miles, compared to F-35's 1200 mph and 1,380 mile range.
Both jets can slip into thickly defended aground targets, ad could be equally as efficient at taking them out.
The Su-35 has a new avionics suite that can rival anything inside a 5th generation jet, with the known reliability of the 4th generation frame.
Russia hoped to capture a third of 5th generation stealth fighter market with its T-50, but it may be able to do that with its upgraded Su-35 and avionics packages.
The F-35 has several abilities the Su-35 lacks, but the plane has a long way to go before it's ready for real time combat operations.
The US F-35 program is still getting off the ground — but the Su-35 is already up for sale to countries looking ata more reliable and deadly alternative to American 5th generation jets that have yet to make a single combat mission.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.