Russia is currently serially producing five types of fighters that meet the individual requirements of the current state rearmament plan. These include the three heavy vehicles Su-57, Su-35 and Su-30SM, a specialized attack fighter [sic] Su-34 and a medium-weight platform MiG-35. However, in the near future, this picture may change significantly.
Too many types
As noted by Military Watch (USA), all of these aircraft will remain in serial production until the end of the current defense program in 2027. However, experts believe that after this date, the stake will be made on the production of the Su-57 fighter and the MiG-41 interceptor. Therefore, a reasonable question arises: what will happen after 2027 to the production lines responsible for supply aviation platforms of generation "4+" and "4 ++" derived from the Su-27 - Su-30, Su-35 and Su-34?
According to the author of the publication, against the backdrop of the future increase in purchases of the Su-57, we should expect the continued demand for the improvement of 4th generation products, "which are much cheaper both to build and operate, and which have the potential for modernization." At the same time, it is very likely that the production of the Su-30 and Su-35 will be localized on one joint line [currently the Su-35 is produced by KnAAZ, the Su-30 by the Irkutsk aircraft plant].
At the same time, the unification of these types will grow, since their sizes are “fundamentally the same”. Now the difference is in the equipment of the machines: the Su-35 is a more expensive model, which has more modern and powerful AL-41 engines, a much smaller radar cross-section due to a more advanced airframe design, a set of more powerful equipment, the aircraft contains a large proportion of composite materials, which increase the strength and lightness of its construction.
These two fighters can be combined into a single class, which will have both single and double modifications.
- considers Military Watch.
According to him, at the first stage, the Su-30 will be gradually improved to the level of the Su-35: aircraft of this type will receive AL-41 engines and the Irbis-E radar. At the same time, the opposite process will take place: changes in the equipment and design of the Su-35 will allow it to carry weapons systems that the Su-30 specializes in, such as the Kh-32 anti-ship missile system.
These two platforms can really merge into one
- the newspaper writes, believing that the older machines - the Su-27, whose production has long been discontinued - will also change: they will receive similar power plants.
Military Watch believes that at the second stage of the formation of a single platform, it will receive new electronic warfare equipment, new composite materials, artificial intelligence, possibly even laser weapons and AFAR with the Su-57.
Passive scan radars likely to be obsolete after 2027
- considers the publication.
Ultimately, it is unlikely that Russia will continue to produce two separate Flankers with such similar designs for similar missions, especially since they are becoming more and more similar to each other.
- concludes Military Watch, discussing the transformation of the Su-30 and Su-35 into a single "Superflanker".