On December 29, the Russian Ministry of Defense released a video showing Su-35 aircraft in action, demonstrating the combat capabilities of the Russian Aerospace Forces’ Flanker-E multipurpose fighters in Ukraine.
According to the ministry, the Russian Aerospace Forces’ Su-35S fighters undertake air patrols, support the movements of attack planes and army helicopters, and perform airstrikes on the infrastructure and equipment utilized by the Ukrainian Armed Forces.
The ministry added that fighter planes operate with suspended missiles of several types. When an air target was spotted during one of the flights, the Su-35S crew identified it as an enemy aircraft and used a missile to bring it down.
In the video, a VKS Su-35S can be observed departing Belbek Air Base, Crimea. The aircraft appears equipped with four R-77-1 medium-range air-to-air missiles (AAMs) and a pair of R-73-series short-range AAMs.
The Su-35S is one of several such jets forward-deployed in Belbek Airbase. Furthermore, three Su-35Ss are visible in the footage. In one frame of the video, one of several forward-deployed Su-30SMs and MiG-31BMs can also be spotted.
Guy Plopsky, a defense analyst, noted, “A Su-35S mentioned above is shown taxiing, we get a glimpse of some of the other aircraft present at Belbek at the time of filming, including two of several Su-34s forward-deployed there (Russian MoD also recently released a clip on Su-34s there).”
Russian Su-35 fighter jets have played an important role in Russia’s actions in Ukraine. Russian fighter pilots have outperformed Ukrainian pilots in air combat and have even used Kh-31 anti-radar missiles to assault enemy air defense stations.
The missile’s incredible speed and ability to counterattack make it nearly resistant to opponent anti-aircraft systems, as previously reported by the EurAsian Times. The missile comes in two variants: the Kh-31A and the Kh-31P.
The Kh-31A (Active) is an anti-shipping cruise missile (ASCM) type that uses inertial navigation to locate its target area. The missile is capable of engaging ships displacing up to 4,500 tons.
The Kh-31P is an anti-radiation missile (ARM) variant designed to destroy active (radiating) adversary radars. It is intended to disable air operations control radars, early warning radars, and medium and long-range SAM systems.
Meanwhile, the Russian Defense Ministry claimed on December 29 that the country’s air force took down two Ukrainian Mi-8 helicopters and Ukrainian Su-25 and Su-24 aircraft.
“Fighter aircraft of the Russian Aerospace Forces in the areas of settlements Krasny Liman and Kramatorsk shot down Ukrainian Su-25 and Su-24 aircraft. In addition, in the areas of the settlements of Suvorov and Orlovka of the Donetsk People’s Republic, two Ukrainian Mi-8 helicopters were shot down,” the ministry said.
Su-35 Fighter Jet
The Sukhoi Su-35 is an advanced multipurpose air superiority fighter derived from the Su-27. The Sukhoi Su-35S is outfitted with a 30mm cannon and 12 hard points.
The fighter has a range of almost 3,500 kilometers without refueling. This formidable 4++ Generation fighter has enhanced engines, avionics, and radar.
The Sukhoi Su-35 jets have high-thrust engines, which sets them apart from their predecessors, the Su-27 family of fighters. The engines, known as 117S, were built by NPO Saturn, a UEC subsidiary.
Although the Su-35 radar system lacks an APAR (active phased array radar), it can track and engage up to eight airborne targets simultaneously and locate targets up to 400 kilometers away. The radar system was designed by the Tikhomirov Instrument Engineering Research Institute and is manufactured by the Ryazan State Instrument Factory.
The aircraft has friend-or-foe identification capability for aerial and maritime objects. It can also recognize the class and kind of airborne targets and capture aerial images of the ground.
The system is deployable in any weather and at any time of day. Despite interference from natural factors and hostile electronic warfare systems, it maintains its effectiveness.
The electronic warfare kit on the aircraft includes a chaff and flare dispenser, a missile approach warning system, a laser warner, a radar warning system, and a cooperative radar jamming system.