Marking a major improvement in the quality of Soviet fighters, the Su-27 is a long-range air superiority fighter comparable to the US F-15 in size and mission.
The Su-27 is equipped with an analog fly-by-wire control system, a powerful pulse-Doppler radar, and up to ten air-to-airmissiles giving it a potent look-down shoot-down capability.
The Flanker also features a rearward-facing radar at the end of a long boom placed between the engines allowing the Su-27 to fire at targets behind the aircraft.
The Su-27's high thrust-to-weight ratio and refined aerodynamics allow superb flight characteristics at high angles of attack. In addition, the Soviet Navy purchased an improved Su-27K design, later redesignated the Su-33, to operate off its first class of large aircraft carriers.
The Su-33 features canards for improved maneuverabilty as well as a strengthened airframe for carrier operations. An interesting feature of the Su-27 is its autopilot which is able to return the aircraft to right-side-up level flight at any altitude when the pilot presses a "panic-button." Besides the Su-33, the basic Su-27 airframe has also been developed into the Su-30, Su-35 and Su-37 fighters as well as the Su-34 bomber.
Data below for Su-27 'Flanker-B'
|First Flight||('Flanker-A') 20 May 1977|
|Service Entry||1984 |
|CREW: ||1 pilot |
|ESTIMATED COST:||unknown |
|Wing Root||unknown (5%) |
|Wing Tip||unknown (5%) |
|Length||71.92 ft (21.94 m) |
|Wingspan||48.17 ft (14.70 m) |
|Height||19.42 ft (5.92 m) |
|Wing Area||666 ft2 (62.0 m2)|
|Canard Area||not applicable |
|Empty||32,020 lb (17,700 kg) |
|Typical Load||49,600 lb (22,500 kg) |
|Max Takeoff||66,140 lb (30,000 kg) |
|Max Payload||17,640 lb (8,000 kg) |
|Powerplant||two Saturn/ Lyul'ka AL-31F afterburningturbofans |
|Thrust||55,114 lb (245.16 kN) |
|Max LevelSpeed ||at altitude: 1,555 mph (2,500 km/h)at 36,090 ft (11,000 m), Mach 2.35|
at sea level: unknown
|Initial ClimbRate ||unknown |
|ServiceCeiling ||59,055 ft (18,000 m) |
|Range||typical: 2,100 nm (3,900 km)|
810nm (1,500 km) with max payload
ferry: 2,160 nm (4,000 km)
|Gun||one 30-mm GSh-301 cannon (149 rds)|
|Stations||eight external hardpoints and two wingtiprails |
|Air-to-AirMissile ||R-60/AA-8 Aphid, R-27/AA-10 Alamo,R-73/AA-11 Archer, R-33/AA-9 Amos |
|Air-to-SurfaceMissile ||none |
|Bomb||free-fall, cluster bombs |
|Other||rocket pods, ECM pods |
|T-10 ||Original prototype, sufferedfrom excessive drag, weak structure, excessive weight, and flutter|
|T-10S ||Second redesigned prototype|
|Su-27 'Flanker-A'||Production model prototype; 15built |
|Su-27 'Flanker-B'||First production model withrefined aerodynamics and aft radar extension |
|Su-27UB 'Flanker-C'||Two-seat combat-capable trainerwith improved radar in a longer nose |
|Su-27K 'Flanker-D'||Prototype of the Su-33navalized fighter |
|Su-27KU or Su-27IB||Prototype of the Su-34bomber |
|Su-27M ||Prototype of the Su-35fighter |
|Su-27P ||Air defense interceptor todefend against nuclear bombers |
|Su-27PU ||Prototype of the Su-30fighter bomber |
|J-11 ||Chinese designation for theSu-27, perhaps up to 300 to be license built in China|
|KNOWN COMBATRECORD: ||none |
|KNOWN OPERATORS:||Russian AirForce|