American and Russian fighter jets are both highly advanced and capable aircrafts. Both countries have a long history of designing and building military aircraft, and both have developed a wide range of fighter jet models over the years.
In general, American fighter jets tend to be characterized by their stealth capabilities, advanced avionics, and powerful engines. The U.S. military operates a number of different fighter jet models, including the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor and F-35 Lightning II, the McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle and F-18 Hornet, and the Boeing F-16 Fighting Falcon.
Russian fighter jets, on the other hand, tend to be known for their maneuverability and powerful engines. Some of the most well-known Russian fighter jet models include the Sukhoi Su-27 and Su-35, the MiG-29 Fulcrum, and the more recent Sukhoi Su-57.
It’s also worth mentioning that Russia and USA, despite the Cold War being over, both still have a significant number of Military jets, that are still active and some of them being upgraded, with the most advanced avionics, air-to-air and air-to-ground weapons, and electronic warfare capabilities.
American F-35 Stealth Fighter
The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II is a single-engine, multirole stealth aircraft that was first developed for the United States military. The program began in the early 1990s and the first flight of the F-35 took place in December 2006.
The F-35 was originally developed as part of the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program, which aimed to develop a new generation of fighter aircraft for the U.S. military and its allies that would be less expensive and more versatile than existing aircraft.
The F-35 has three main models: the F-35A conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) variant, the F-35B short take-off and vertical-landing (STOVL) variant, and the F-35C carrier-based catapult-assisted take-off but arrested recovery (CATOBAR) variant.
The aircraft is designed to replace the aging fleet of F-16 Fighting Falcons and A-10 Thunderbolt, the F-35B is designed to replace the AV-8B Harrier, and the F-35C is designed to replace the F/A-18 Hornet and the retired F-14 Tomcat.
The F-35 has since been adopted by multiple countries and considered as one of the most advanced fighter jets in service with stealth, advanced avionics and sensors, high performance and networked information-sharing capabilities.
It is powered by a single Pratt & Whitney F135 turbofan engine. This engine is a derivative of the Pratt & Whitney F119 engine, which powers the F-22 Raptor.
The F135 is a high-performance engine that is designed to provide the F-35 with the thrust needed for supersonic flight, as well as the power needed to support the aircraft’s advanced avionics and stealth capabilities.
The F135 engine is capable of producing more than 40,000 pounds of thrust and have high thrust-to-weight ratio, which allows for excellent acceleration, high-speed performance, and superior maneuverability. The engine also has an advanced digital control system that allows for high reliability and maintainability.
The F135 engine uses a two-spool, low-bypass turbofan architecture and it has been designed to be highly fuel-efficient. It is also equipped with a unique Lift fan system which provides the F-35B STOVL variant with the ability to vertically takeoff and land. The LiftFan also allows for a more conventional and efficient flight in air.
The operating range of the F-35 Lightning II varies depending on the specific variant, the mission profile, and the aircraft’s payload (i.e. weapons, fuel, and equipment).
The F-35A conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) variant, which is the most common variant of the F-35, has a range of around 1,200 nautical miles (2,220 kilometers) when flying in an air-to-air configuration, and around 900 nautical miles (1,667 kilometers) when flying in an air-to-ground configuration. This range can be extended by the use of external fuel tanks or in-flight refueling.
The F-35B short take-off and vertical-landing (STOVL) variant, which is designed for operations from amphibious ships or expeditionary airfields, has a range of around 600 nautical miles (1,111 kilometers) when flying in an air-to-air configuration, and around 450 nautical miles (833 kilometers) when flying in an air-to-ground configuration.
The F-35C carrier-based catapult-assisted take-off but arrested recovery (CATOBAR) variant, which is designed for operation on aircraft carriers, has a range of around 1,200 nautical miles (2,220 kilometers) when flying in an air-to-air configuration, and around 900 nautical miles (1,667 kilometers) when flying in an air-to-ground configuration.
It’s important to note that these numbers are approximations and may vary depending on factors such as weather conditions, aircraft modifications, and pilot training. The range also can be extended by adding external fuel tanks, thus allowing for longer flight distances before needing to refuel.
The F-35, can carry a variety of internal and external weapons, including:
- Air-to-Air missiles, such as the AIM-120 AMRAAM and AIM-9 Sidewinder
- Air-to-Ground missiles, such as the AGM-158 JASSM and AGM-84E SLAM-ER
- A variety of bombs, such as the GBU-12 Paveway II and GBU-31 JDAM
- Internal and external gun pods, such as the GAU-22/A 25mm gun.
Additionally, The F-35 can carry various sensors and reconnaissance equipment like EOTS (Electro-Optical Targeting System) and EOIR (Electro-Optical Infrared) sensors, and communication and navigation equipment. It’s important to note that these payloads can be customized based on the mission requirement and the country that is operating the aircraft, which allows for a greater flexibility in the type of mission it can perform.
Russian Sukhoi Su-35
The Sukhoi Su-35 (NATO reporting name: Flanker-E) is a Russian fourth-generation, twin-engine, supermaneuverable multirole fighter aircraft. It is an upgraded version of the Su-27, which is a Cold War-era fighter jet that was first introduced in the late 1970s.
The development of the Su-35 began in the late 1980s and early 1990s, with the first prototype aircraft making its maiden flight in 1988. The Su-35 was intended to be an advanced version of the Su-27, incorporating improved avionics, a reinforced airframe, and more powerful engines.
The Su-35 entered service with the Russian Air Force in 2008, and since then it has been considered as one of the most advanced fighter jets in the Russian military. It was designed to be able to perform air-to-air and air-to-ground missions. The aircraft’s advanced avionics include an integrated digital information-control system (IDICS), a new infrared search and track system, and an advanced radar system.
The Su-35 has been actively promoted to international customers and has been exported to countries like China, Indonesia, and Egypt. Despite its advanced capabilities, it has not been as widely adopted as other fighters such as the US F-35 and F-22, because of its high cost and the economic sanctions applied to Russia.
The Russian military operates the Su-35 in their Airforce and it has been used in combat in Syria. The Su-35 has been continually upgraded and improved with new technologies and capabilities to maintain its operational relevance and to enhance its performance capabilities.
The aircraft is powered by two Saturn 117S turbofan engines, which is a derivative of the AL-31F engine, which powers the Su-27.
The 117S is a highly powerful and reliable engine, capable of producing more than 34,000 pounds of thrust each. The engine has been designed to be highly fuel-efficient and offers a high thrust-to-weight ratio, which allows the Su-35 to achieve excellent acceleration, high-speed performance, and superior maneuverability.
The engine is equipped with a Full Authority Digital Engine Control (FADEC) system that provides increased reliability, maintainability and allows for better control of the engine performance.
It features a 3D Thrust Vectoring technology which helps in maintaining the aircraft’s super maneuverability, allowing it to perform advanced maneuvers such as the Cobra and Bell.
The Su-35’s engines have been thoroughly tested and evaluated before being approved for operational use, and have been continuously upgraded to improve their performance and to ensure their operational relevance. This allows the Su-35 to maintain its position as one of the most advanced fighter jets in the Russian military.
With internal fuel, the Su-35 has an approximate maximum range of around 3,600 kilometers (1,943 nautical miles), which allows it to cover a long range while performing its mission. With external fuel tanks, the aircraft’s range can be extended to over 4,500 kilometers (2,485 nautical miles). This allows the Su-35 to fly longer distances and perform missions that require more air-time.
The Su-35 has a total of 12 hardpoints, which allows it to carry a wide variety of weapons.
It can carry a variety of air-to-air missiles, such as the R-27 (AA-10 Alamo), R-77 (AA-12 Adder), and R-73 (AA-11 Archer), as well as air-to-ground missiles, such as the Kh-31A, Kh-59M, and Kh-29T.
It can also carry a variety of bombs, such as the KAB-500S and KAB-1500S, as well as a 30mm internal cannon and a variety of sensors and reconnaissance equipment such as the NIIP Tikhomirov NIIP Irbis-E passive electronically scanned array radar and the OLS-35 infrared search and track system.
F-35 vs Su-35: Conclusion
The F-35 Lightning II and the Su-35 Flanker-E are both advanced fighter jets with many capabilities and have been designed to perform a wide range of mission.
The F-35 is considered a fifth-generation fighter jet and it’s considered one of the most advanced aircraft in the world. It’s designed to be stealthy, fast, highly maneuverable.
The Su-35, on the other hand, is considered a fourth-generation fighter jet, it has been designed to be highly maneuverable and able to carry a wide range of weapons and sensors.
In comparison of F-35 vs Su-35, the F-35 is generally considered to be more advanced than the Su-35, thanks to its stealth capabilities, advanced avionics, and a more powerful and efficient engine. However, the Su-35 is still a formidable aircraft, with a high thrust-to-weight ratio and advanced maneuverability systems.