ZVD-7240 1/72 Sukhoi Su-35 Russian Fighter-Bomber model kitFormerly known as the Su-27M, the Sukhoi Su-35 is an advanced derivative of the Su-27 Flanker. The first Su-27M prototype was displayed at the 1992 Farnborough Air Show. The Su-35 is expected to enter service in 1995.
Changes from the Su-27 include a new radar, requiring a somewhat larger nose; foreplanes, as on the naval Su-33; more powerful engines (also originally developed for the Su-33); an enlarged and improved infrared search and track unit in front of the cockpit; an infrared missile-warning scanner on the fuselage spine; numerous internal electronic improvements; larger tail fins (required by aerodynamic changes imposed by the enlarged nose); and a large "spine" between the engines containing a rearward-facing air-to-air radar, allowing the use of rear-firing semi-active radar guided missiles. Not present on the prototype, but expected to be on the production version, are two-dimensional thrust-vectoring engine nozzles.
The interesting concept of rearward-firing missiles has apparently been tested on Su-27s, using modified R-73 missiles mounted on rotating pylons that can fire missiles in either direction. The production version apparently has a "nose cone" over the rocket engine (jettisoned on launch), and modified fins to prevent instability problems while briefly flying backwards after launch. The launch rails are fitted with gas cartridges to boost the missile backwards, so its own engine doesn't have to overcome the aircraft's full forward speed. It isn't clear whether the missiles will be mounted on fixed rearward facing rails, or rotating pylons similar to those used during development. How well any of this will work in practice remains to be seen.
Besides being a better fighter, the Su-35 also has greatly improved ground attack capability compared to the original Su-27, which was more specialised for the air-to-air role.
Technical data: length 21.96 m, span 14.70 m, empty weight 18400 kg, normal TO weight 25700 kg, max speed 2440 km/h (Mach 2.30), ferry range 3500 km; power plant: two 137.30 kN Lyulka AL-31MF augmented turbofans; armament: one GSh-30 30mm cannon, 14 hardpoints, max external load 8200 kg.