Home' Asia Pacific Defence Reporter : APDR February 2016 Contents Asia Pacific Defence Reporter FEB 2016 37
and a resolution of 1400x1050 dpi. The LCD is part
of the MFD-35 multifunctional display. The HUD is an
OKSh-1M with a 20x30 degree field of view.
The Su-35S comes with the KSU-35 comprehensive
digital flight control system from MNPK Avionika. It
replaces several less complex systems aboard the
Su-27 and, additionally, provides for “active safety” and
Technologies to reduce radar effective cross section
(ECS) are applied to reduce visibility to radars operating
in cm wavelength typical for fighters. Admittedly,
reduction in radar signature is not on the same scale as
the F-22A or F-35A.
N-035 IRBIS-E RADAR
The N-035 Irbis-E multifunctional radar is developed
by Tikhomirov’s NIIP. This all-weather, multifunctional,
wideband, multipurpose system can detect, identify and
track aerial, ground and sea-going targets, illuminate
them and provide cueing for guided missiles. In ground
mapping mode with the real beam, synthesized aperture
the device takes detailed pictures with resolution down
to one meter.
Work on the N-035 commenced in 2004, and by
September 2008 five units had been assembled for
testing. Technologically, the Irbis-E represents the next
step in the development of NIIP’s airborne phase-array
radars after the N-011M Bars on the Su-30MKI and the
Zaslon on the MiG-31.
According to NIIP general director Yuri Belyi, the
mean emitting power for the N-035 averages 5 kW,
while the maximum emitting power peaks at 20 kW.
This is a record figure for fighter radars, and allows
for a maximum detection range for fighter-sized target
(ECS 3 square meters) of “about 400 kilometers” (216
nm). Big sea-going targets, such as aircraft carriers, are
detected at the same distance.
The Irbis can track up to 30 aerial targets while
continuing to search for new ones. It can direct missiles
with active radar guidance (such as the R-77 or RVV-AE)
at eight aerial or four ground targets simultaneously
while continuing to scan airspace. In target illumination
mode the mean emission power at a selected waveband
can be as high as 2kW.
Unlike the latest U.S . and European airborne fire
control radars with active electronically scanned arrays
(AESAs), the N-035 has passive e-scan. “I believe
that, despite the rapid development of active array
technologies, the passive array still has a market niche.
The active array is costly and not affordable for some
customers,” said Belyi. In a head-on scenario, the high-
power N-035 enables the Su-35S to detect the F-22A
Raptor at a greater distance, and consequently, shoot
first, he believes.
Passive e-scan has a relatively narrow body angle.
This shortcoming has been tackled by the introduction
of a tilting system that moves the antenna mechanically.
The antenna - measuring 900mm in diameter and
complete with 1772 solid-state transceivers - can
be tilted vertically and horizontally by a two-stage
electrohydraulic mechanism. In the horizontal plane, this
solution doubles the search angle to 240 degrees
As well as radar, the Su-35’s Weapons Control
System (WCS) contains electro optics. There are
six conformal sensors placed around the airframe
(for a spherical all-round view on MFDs in the pilot’s
cockpit) and two detectors for laser illumination. The
podded optics locator OLS-NTs is for surveillance of
land surface. Observation of the forward hemisphere
is done by an OLS-VT optics locator placed in front of
the canopy. The latter’s field of view in azimuth is -/+90
degree, and elevation -15/+50 degree. A Su-27-sized
target can be detected at a distance of 90 km in the
rear hemisphere and 35km in the forward hemisphere.
COMPARING TO RAPTOR
Development of the Su-35 in its current form began in
2005, the same year the Raptor was officially accepted
into service with USAF. The Russian designers wanted
the Su-35S to “withstand” the Raptor in a number of
typical combat situations.
By the time the Su-35S took to the air for the first
time, 112 deliverable F-22As had been assembled.
Shipments to the USAF (195 aircraft including eight
for tests and 187 operational) were completed in
2011. As such, the development of the Su-35S is more
influenced by recent events and experiences. Some of
its systems are more modern even though the plane is
formally a generation behind its U.S . rival.
The Su-35S and F-22A are close in size (length
21.9m against 18.92, wingspan 14.75m versus 13.56)
and weight (MTOW 38.8 tons vs 38 tons, OEW 19
tons vs 19.7 tons). The Su-35 has a larger internal fuel
capacity, but lacks inner weapons bays.
Each aircraft has its strong and weak points, which
makes them worth comparing. In our view, these should
be conducted at airshows than air battles.
Technologically, the Irbis-E represents the next step in the
development of NIIP’s airborne phase-array radars after the N-011M
Bars on the Su-30MKI and the Zaslon on the MiG-31.
Irbis-E radar. Credit: V Karnozov
29/01/2016 4:08 PM
Links Archive APDR Dec15/Jan16 APDR March 2016 Navigation Previous Page Next Page