Moscow: Russia's Sukhoi design bureau has said that it has conducted another test flight of its new state-of-the-art Su-35 Flanker multi-role air superiority/strike fighter. A company spokesman said the aircraft was flown for over two hours to test the operation of its engines and control system. These, he said, performed admirably.
The Su-35 is considered to be a close cousin of the Su-30MKI, a customised version developed for India. The MKI variant is a much more advanced fighter jet than the basic K and MK variants and is considered to be a 4.5 generation aircraft. Both versions share similar features and components.
Sukhoi had said last month that the new aircraft, which uses fifth-generation technology, would enter service with the Russian Air Force over the next two or three years.
The Su-35 is powered by two AL-37F or Saturn 117S engines and combines high manoeuvrability with the capability to effectively engage air targets using both guided and unguided missiles and weapon systems.
The Su-35 prototype made its maiden flight on 18 February this year and according to reports in the Russian media another two are being constructed at an aircraft manufacturing plant in Russia's Far East.
According to specialist sources, the Su-35 has larger wings and more powerful engines than the Su-30. Other changes include a larger nose, the greater use of carbon fibre and aluminium-lithium alloy in the airframe, along with larger, "square-off" tail fins.
It also boasts of an improved passive electronically scanned array radar as well as many other upgrades to its avionics and electronic systems, including digital fly-by-wire and a rear-looking radar for firing semi-active radar missiles.
A two-dimensional asymmetric thrust vectoring engine, the 117S, has been developed and replaces the current AL-35 or AL-31F.
Meanwhile, Sukhoi has said that it plans to export over 40 combat aircraft in 2008. In 2007, it exported about 50 Su-30MK2, Su-30MKM and Su-30MKI aircraft to countries such as Algeria, India, Malaysia, Indonesia and Venezuela.
The company also announced that its 2007 sales had grossed over 50 billion rubles or $2 billion.
The Sukhoi design bureau is now part of Russia's United Aircraft Corporation.