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  • Writer's pictureMalcolm Lu

LIMA 2023:Russian Knights’ SU-35S Flanker-M

Updated: Sep 16, 2023


Considered as the stepping stone towards the Su-57 Felon, the SU-35S Flanker-M is the JSC Sukhoi Company’s latest, modernised variant of the iconic Flanker line. Much like her predecessors before, the SU-35S is a super maneuverable multirole fighter, featuring a large sleek wing design that blends into the fuselage at the leading edges, creating a swept wing - delta wing hybrid, giving the Flanker-M an almost organic design aesthetic.

As part of the modernisation program, the SU-35S was given new an upgraded avionics suite, thrust-vectoring engine nozzles for increased manoeuvrability, and the N035 Irbis-E ("Snow Leopard") passive electronically scanned array radar system.

In combat, the SU-35S is capable of both air interceptions and air to ground attacks, providing versatility to mission operations requirements. It’s 12 hard points, distributed between the wings and fuselage, provides the SU-35S ample capacity to carry up to 8000kgs of ordnance, making the aircraft a true deadly opponent both in the skies and on the ground.

The SU-35S Flanker-M of Russia’s iconic Russian Knights (Russkie Vityazi) aerobatic team made their debut appearance at the LIMA2023 airshow, along with their predecessor SU-30SM fighter jet. Being their 7th appearance at the LIMA Airshow, the Russian Knights’ presence at the event marks Russia’s continued support of Malaysia in light of their previous purchases of Russian made MIG-29s and SU-30MKMs.


General characteristics

  • Crew: 1

  • Length: 21.9 m

  • Wingspan: 15.3 m

  • Height: 5.9 m

  • Wing area: 62 m2

  • Gross weight: 25,300 kg with 50% internal fuel

  • Max takeoff weight: 34,500 kg

  • Fuel capacity: 11,500 kg internal

  • Powerplant: 2 × Saturn AL-41F1S afterburning turbofan


  • Maximum speed: 2,400 km/h (1,500 mph, 1,300 kn) / M2.25 at altitude. 1,400 km/h (870 mph; 760 kn) / M1.13 at sea level

  • Cruise speed: 1,170 km/h (730 mph, 630 kn) / M1.1+ supercruise at medium altitude[218]

  • Range: 3,600 km (2,200 mi, 1,900 nmi) at altitude. 1,580 km (982 mi) at sea level

  • Combat range: 1,600 km (990 mi, 860 nmi) approx[219]

  • Ferry range: 4,500 km (2,800 mi, 2,400 nmi) with 2 external fuel tanks

  • Service ceiling: 18,000 m (59,000 ft)

  • G-limits: +9

  • Rate of climb: 280 m/s (55,000 ft/min) +


  • Guns: 1 × internal 30 mm Gryazev-Shipunov GSh-30-1 autocannon with 150 rounds

  • Hardpoints: 12 hardpoints, consisting of 2 wingtip rails, and 10 wing and fuselage stations with a capacity of 8,000 kg (17,630 lb) of ordnance


  • Irbis-E passive electronically scanned array radar

  • OLS-35 infra-red search and track system

• L175M Khibiny-M electronic countermeasures system

All images by Bryan Wong.



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