Editor’s Note: The Eurofighter EF2000 is one of the world’s most formidable multirole fighter aircraft. The result of the work of a consortium of companies–British Aerospace, Alenia Aermacchi, Airbus Group, and Eurofighter Jagdflugzeug GmbH, the Eurofighter is really starting to hit its stride. In the same breath, the Sukhoi Su-35, Russia’s front-line air superiority fighter, is also very agile, lethal, and capable. How do the two stack up head to head?
Outside the Western world, Russia’s ultra-agile Su-35 is the most potent fighter in operational service. We asked Justin Bronk from the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) think-tank his thoughts on the Su-35’s combat effectiveness against the Typhoon the backbone of NATO’s fighter force. We also look at how the Su-35 would fare against the US’ F-15, F-16 and F-22.
HK: What is the current status of the Russian Su-35 fleet?
JB: Russia has 48 Su-35S in service with another 48 scheduled for production. They appear to offer a greater average serviceability rate than previous iterations of the Su-27/30 family, as well as the MiG-29, mainly due to the success of the new Saturn 117S thrust vectoring engines which have so far avoided many of the reliability issues of previous models.
However, as with many other aspects of the Russian military, the fact that the production and service numbers of the Su-35 are quite low and exist within a huge mix of various MiG-29 and Su-27/30 derivations which do not share many key components means that running costs are high and logistics remain complex.
This drives down serviceability to significantly below US, British and French fighter fleets, except in the case of small forward deployments such as Syria where the entire logistics chain can be concentrated on keeping a small portion of the force at high readiness.
Please go check out the full analysis over here at HushKit and let us know your thoughts!
(Featured photo courtesy of The Fiscal Times)