Civil aircraft
Superjet 100
IL-96-300 IL-96-400
Military aircraft
Transport aircraft
IL-76MD-90A / IL-78M-90A
Strategic and special purpose aircraft


Maiden flight: 2008
Design by: Sukhoi Design Bureau
The design phase: Serial production

The Sukhoi Su-35 is a deep modernization of the Su–27 fighter in order to significantly increase engagement effectiveness against air, land and sea targets. The design of the Su-35 aircraft uses the most successful technical solutions previously proven on the Su-27/Su-30 family.

Versions of the Su-27, such as the Su-27M (T-10M) modernized fighters designed and produced on order from the Russian Air Force in the 1980s, had been demonstrated at international air shows under the name Su-35 since 1992. Their production was stopped due to a lack of financing in the 1990s. At the turn of the century, a review of the national Air Force’s needs for the foreseeable future, as well as global aircraft market forecasts, identified the requirement for a more radical modernization of the Su-27, building on the foundation that had previously been laid.

To make the airplane competitive compared to existing and future foreign fighters, it was required not only to significantly improve airborne equipment and weapons, but also to alter the airframe structure and power generation. As a result, the general concept of a new multi-purpose fighter – a thoroughly-modernized version of the Su-27 airplane – was generated by the middle of the first decade of the new century, retaining the name Su-35. Work on this project at Sukhoi Design Bureau was led by I. Demin. 

The Su-35 is a “4++” generation airplane that uses fifth-generation fighter technology. In 2009-2015, this technology created an advantage for the Su-35 over the other fourth-generation multi-purpose fighters offered on the global market. The new Russian fighter was designed so that it could fly and fight in conditions where "classic" (4+ generation) fighters were unable to engage in combat. It was envisioned that this “major modernization” would fill the gap between the Su-27 airplanes built or modified with “minor modernizations” until the production launch of fifth-generation airplanes, expected to enter the market within a decade.

The first flight model of the Su-35 airplane was assembled at the KnAAPO production site in August 2007. On the eve of the MAKS-2007 Moscow Air Show, it was transported on board an An-124 Ruslan heavy freighter to the Gromov airfield in Zhukovsky where, after its demonstration at the show, the final stage of ground tests continued prior to commencement of its flight testing stage. Tests of all five of the 117S-type engines from the test batch intended for installation on the Su-35 were completed successfully at a branch of NPO Saturn near Moscow in January 2008. Ground testing of airplane systems was completed by the middle of February.

The first flight of the new Russian fighter took place on February 19, 2008. The flight was piloted by Sergey Bogdan, Honored Test Pilot of the Russian Federation. The importance of the event was emphasized by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s and his then-future successor Dmitry Medvedev’s visit to the test site on February 20.

The key expected performance values were demonstrated and confirmed through flight tests. The second test item entered testing on October 2, 2008. Along with the new fighter’s entry into service and acceptance by the Russian Air Force, as well as its emergence on the global aircraft market, the aircraft continues to reinforce Russia’s position as one of the leading aviation powers of the 21st century.


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