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Can the Sukhoi Su-30 have the edge over U.S. fighters in aerial combat?
The Aviationist ^ | Jun 18 2014 | Dario Leone

Posted on 06/18/2014 7:22:53 AM PDT by sukhoi-30mki

Su-30s would beat F-15s every time. But…..

We recently explained how, 10 years ago, Exercise Cope India put the Indian Air Force Su-30 against U.S. Air Force F-15C jets with results that are still open to debate: since the drills took place during F-22 budget reviews, some analysts affirm the Air Force intentionally accepted the challenging ROE (Rules Of Engagement) to gain more Raptors. Others claim this version of the story was invented to try to save face after the Indians achieved an impressive 9:1 kill ratio.

Even if we might never know the truth, it’s undeniable that, at least on paper, the Sukhoi Su-27 Flanker has been one of the best Russian combat planes.

The Su-27 belongs to the same class of the U.S. F-14 and F-15, but unlike the American fighters it can fly at an angle of attack of 30 degrees and can also perform the “Pugachev Cobra”.

In a Cobra, the plane suddenly raises the nose to the veritical position (or beyond) before dropping it back to the normal flight, maintaining more or less the same altitude through the entire maneuver.

The Su-27 and its “Cobra” have been the highlight of many air shows from the end of the 1980s to the middle of the 1990s. But, since then, the Flanker maneuverability has been furtherly enhanced.

The improved multirole Su-30MK is a Flanker variant fitted with both canard forewings and thrust-vectoring nozzles which have improved its agility.

But how can this kind of maneuvers be used in combat?

A clear idea comes from an authoritative source: Aviation Week and Space Technology magazine.

In “Su-30MK Beats F-15C ‘Every Time’” published in 2002 on AW&ST, David A. Fulghum and Douglas Barrie reported that the Su-30 used its maneuverability to beat the F-15 in several engagements conducted in a complex of 360-deg. simulation domes at Boeing’s St. Louis facilities.

According to the article (that is often referenced by Indian media outlets to highlight the presumed Su-30 superiority on the American fighter jets) an anonymous USAF officer explained that in the case of a missed BVR missile (like the AA-12 Adder) shot by the Flanker, the Su-30 could turn into the clutter notch of the F-15′s radar, where the Eagle’s Doppler was ineffective.

As the AW&ST story explained in detail, this maneuver could be accomplished making a descending, right-angle turn to drop below the approaching F-15 while reducing the Su-30′s relative forward speed close to zero: even if this is a very old air combat tactic, the USAF officer said that the Sukhoi could perform effectively this maneuver thanks to its ability to reduce rapidly its speed and then quickly regain it.

If the Flanker driver performed correctly the maneuver, the Su-30 was invisible to the F-15’s radar until the Eagle was inside the AA-11 Archer IR missile range, since the F-15’s Doppler radar relied on movements of its targets.

As pointed out by the USAF officer, this tactic “works in the simulator every time,” however, only few countries have pilots with the required skills to fly those scenarios.

This happened about 10 years ago.

In the meanwhile, American pilots have received their F-22 Raptor stealth planes (facing also some serious problems).

But some unique features, such as the power of its engines and its superb aerodynamics, make the Flanker, in the right hands and in the proper scenario, a great dogfighter and a very tough enemy for every western jet WVR (Within Visual Range).

Moreover the Su-30 could carry the short range IR missile AA-11 Archer which in the ‘90s was the best short-range AAM in the world since it could be linked to the pilot’s helmet fire control system and was capable to be fired at targets until 45 degrees off the axis of the aircraft: both these capabilities were not possessed by the AIM-9M, the main western short range missile at the time (later replaced by the AIM-9X Sidewinder).

Image credit: Wiki


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; Russia
KEYWORDS: aerospace; su30; sukhoi

1 posted on 06/18/2014 7:22:53 AM PDT by sukhoi-30mki
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To: sukhoi-30mki

Ah... no, not buying. Just like the Ruskie subs are sooo much better than ours, BS.


2 posted on 06/18/2014 7:28:34 AM PDT by Resolute Conservative
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To: sukhoi-30mki

When was the last ‘dogfight’ between real combatants? Korea?
With long range radar and self guided missiles, a pilot might never even see his enemy.....................


3 posted on 06/18/2014 7:28:40 AM PDT by Red Badger (Soon there will be another American Civil War. Will make the first one seem like a Tea Party........)
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To: sukhoi-30mki

So the “author” of this piece ends it with talking about the F22 and then deftly sidesteps the effect or should I say, lack of effect the missiles would have on a F22.

How quaint...simulators are one thing and can be manipulated any number of ways...let’s put them up against each other in Red Flag, no holds barred...no rules, just fight.

That is where the truth lies...


4 posted on 06/18/2014 7:34:27 AM PDT by SZonian (Throwing our allegiances to political parties in the long run gave away our liberty.)
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To: sukhoi-30mki
The flying hardware is only one apect of the air battle. Two others are Command and Control and the skills of the pilots.

Command and Control is criticial in air combat. The pilot that sees the enemy first is usually the victor. CC is best used to position the pilots into that envelope.

IMO the most important factor is the pilot's skills and autonomous decision making. In that arena we have had a clear advantage after what we learned in Vietnam.

5 posted on 06/18/2014 8:14:09 AM PDT by pfflier
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To: Taxman

Frank, you say..........?


6 posted on 06/18/2014 8:17:19 AM PDT by B4Ranch (Name your illness, do a Google & YouTube search with "hydrogen peroxide". Do it and be surprised.)
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To: sukhoi-30mki

So, when do we start adding Trust Vectoring to our F-15’s?


7 posted on 06/18/2014 8:25:44 AM PDT by Kickass Conservative (THEY LIVE, and we're the only ones wearing the Sunglasses...)
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To: pfflier

And if an opponent only has one good maneuver in his bag of tricks... how long will it take to develop a counter to that? How long to set up a scene that entices the opponet to make his move, to his ultimate destruction?


8 posted on 06/18/2014 8:30:30 AM PDT by ThunderSleeps (Stop obarma now! Stop the hussein - insane agenda!)
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To: ThunderSleeps
The "cobra" is an airshow pleaser but giving up energy in air combat is a death sentence.

The historic gamechanger has been quantity over quality. The Russians have always claimed that "Quantity has a quality of it's own".

A puny number of F-22s against hundreds of inferior planes will still lose. It just takes time.

9 posted on 06/18/2014 8:40:41 AM PDT by pfflier
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To: sukhoi-30mki

Put it up against a Block 52 F-16.


10 posted on 06/18/2014 8:41:31 AM PDT by gura (If Allah is so great, why does he need fat sexually confused fanboys to do his dirty work? -iowahawk)
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To: SZonian
How quaint...simulators are one thing and can be manipulated any number of ways...let’s put them up against each other in Red Flag, no holds barred...no rules, just fight.

We did. In 2008. Here is one F-15C pilot's debrief of how the SU-30MKI fared: YouTube part 1 (10 minutes): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b2siH9W5P4E

YouTube part 2 (10 minutes): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QfXBoeV86Yo

11 posted on 06/18/2014 8:44:20 AM PDT by Yo-Yo (Is the /sarc tag really necessary?)
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To: ThunderSleeps

Concurring with your observation... are there not other modes available in the weapon system that allows the pilot to acquire the enemy target without being susceptible to the doppler related phenomenon referred to as clutter notch?


12 posted on 06/18/2014 8:46:20 AM PDT by Lurk-know-more (The administration is causing the battle lines to be formed. Defend the US Constitution.)
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To: sukhoi-30mki
First, read the parameters of that "infamous" exercise where the F-15s got wiped out. No AWACs, no BVR launches, and no jamming. What did they think would happen? If it was a shooting war there's a good chance the SU-30s don't even get off the ground as the airfields are going to get Tomahawked.

If you were a betting man, would you take 10 Su-30s with the Russian/Indian/Chinese electronic support or 4 F-22s with AWACs/JSTARs/F-18 Growlers? My money would be on most of the 10 SU-30s being shot down with no casualties to the F-22s.

13 posted on 06/18/2014 8:58:48 AM PDT by aegiscg47
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To: Lurk-know-more

I’m thinking a wingman with enough offset would have the opponent cold - not lost in a zero range rate bin.


14 posted on 06/18/2014 9:04:55 AM PDT by ThunderSleeps (Stop obarma now! Stop the hussein - insane agenda!)
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To: ThunderSleeps

Let’s hope so. Sounds realistic. Benefit would be to not have to change radar modes... Just take the opponent out.
Yet, there was a plane that had close combat modes as part of the system that did not use doppler mode. Pilot could switch instantly to it from other radar modes as well. Hope that F-15 has it.


15 posted on 06/18/2014 9:29:28 AM PDT by Lurk-know-more (The administration is causing the battle lines to be formed. Defend the US Constitution.)
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To: B4Ranch

I am not a fighter pilot, so I am not qualified to opine.

HST, I’d like to think that USAF, Navy and Marine Corps fighter pilots are the most highly motivated and best trained pilots in the world. AND, our C4I2 - Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, and Interoperability - capabilities are unsurpassed.

Given those factors, I think we win.

HST, the longer Ophonybama is in office, the weaker we will become.


16 posted on 06/18/2014 10:08:59 AM PDT by Taxman
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To: Red Badger

Vietnam. And Gulf War I.

That thing is a strafe-rag at low energy when doing it’s ‘stop in mid-air’ or cobra thing. . .fighter pilots would be more at risk from laughing at that ‘shoot me now’ maneuver than anything else.

Sheesh. . .people that should know better are constantly oo’ing and ah’ing over some silly airshow maneuver. Only thing that maneuver demonstrates is the russian’s finally overcame their high-AOA low-speed tendency to generate compressor stalls under those conditions.


17 posted on 06/18/2014 10:57:42 AM PDT by Hulka
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To: Yo-Yo

Outstanding de-brief video.

Bookmarked.

Thanks.


18 posted on 06/18/2014 11:02:33 AM PDT by Hulka
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To: Kickass Conservative
So, when do we start adding Trust Vectoring to our F-15’s?

F-15s are falling apart from age and use, do you really think Hussein would spend a dime to upgrade them?

19 posted on 06/18/2014 11:08:54 AM PDT by doorgunner69
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To: Red Badger
When was the last ‘dogfight’ between real combatants? Korea? With long range radar and self guided missiles, a pilot might never even see his enemy.....................

The F4 Phantom in Vietnam had radar and missiles that could take out a plane from beyond visual range. And no guns.

Then they were given rules of engagement which prohibited them from firing unless they had visual confirmation of what they were shooting at.

Never underestimate how badly the rules of engagement that your own government imposes on you can cripple your combat effectiveness. Look at Afghanistan.

20 posted on 06/18/2014 11:31:46 AM PDT by PapaBear3625 (You don't notice it's a police state until the police come for you.)
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To: Yo-Yo

Thanks, enjoyed his take on things and his presentation methods.


21 posted on 06/18/2014 11:55:40 AM PDT by SZonian (Throwing our allegiances to political parties in the long run gave away our liberty.)
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To: Red Badger
When was the last ‘dogfight’ between real combatants? Korea? With long range radar and self guided missiles, a pilot might never even see his enemy.....................

Wrong.
The last dogfights were between Russian pilots flying Egyptian and Syrian marked Russian planes.

In he 60s to 80s.

22 posted on 06/18/2014 2:24:41 PM PDT by publius911 ( Politicians come and go... but the (union) bureaucracy lives and grows forever.)
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To: doorgunner69

>So, when do we start adding Trust Vectoring to our F-15’s?<

>>F-15s are falling apart from age and use, do you really think Hussein would spend a dime to upgrade them?<<

I just realized I misspelled THRUST in my original Post, though I trust that it could be done.

Would probably be cheaper if we built more F-22’s anyway, like that’s ever going to happen.

Heck, the Idiots are canceling the A-10. Imagine what those would have done to the ISIS Terrorists when they were wide open in the middle of the Iraqi Desert.

It would have been like the Iraqi Retreat from Kuwait all over again and I’m sure Colin Powell, the AA fake Republican Ex General, would have cried like a baby.

It’s hard to imagine how far and fast the USA has fallen.


23 posted on 06/18/2014 6:39:11 PM PDT by Kickass Conservative (Proud Antiobamunist since 2008...)
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To: aegiscg47
would you take 10 Su-30s with the Russian/Indian/Chinese electronic support

The Indians have Israeli and French avionics.Their AWACS is the Israeli Phalcon system mounted on the IL-78/Beriev A-50.

24 posted on 06/18/2014 10:14:08 PM PDT by IndianChief
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To: Red Badger

Dog fighting in Vietnam. The USAF claimed 137 air kills in Vietnam,40 were by gun fire. USN/USMC claim 60 shoot downs, 8 by gunfire. One of the Navy’s kills was scored by a Douglas A-1 Skyraider against a Mig 17. One of the AFs kills was by a B52 tail gunner against a Mig 19.
Early in the war F4s lacked guns. This was corrected with a pod mounted gun system.
During the air war in Vietnam we fired 612 sparrow missiles shooting down 56 enemy aircraft, sidewinders got 81 kills out of 454 fired.


25 posted on 06/19/2014 5:35:27 AM PDT by X Fretensis
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To: sukhoi-30mki

After the unification Germany get into the possession of several MiG 29 and AA-11 Archer missiles.

Soon after that Germany started the IRIS-T missile. One of the main features is lock-on after launch. That feature is used to fire this type of missile through a torpedo tube to kill searching helicopters (IDAS).


26 posted on 06/19/2014 2:16:17 PM PDT by MHalblaub ("Easy my friends, when it comes to the point it is only a drawing made by a non believing Dane...")
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