F-22 Raptor Vs. Sukhoi SU-35 Comparison : Unveiling the Titans of the Skies

F-22 Raptor Vs. Sukhoi SU-35 : In the realm of modern aerial combat, two giants stand tall: the F-22 Raptor, a masterpiece of American engineering, and the Sukhoi Su-35, an exemplar of Russian aerospace innovation. This detailed comparison unravels the intricacies of these formidable fighters across various facets, revealing their unique attributes and contributions to the ever-evolving landscape of air warfare.

F-22 Raptor Vs. Sukhoi SU-35 Comparison

Design and Development

The F-22 Raptor, developed by Lockheed Martin for the United States Air Force, epitomizes fifth-generation fighter technology. Born from the Advanced Tactical Fighter program in the late 1980s, its design incorporates cutting-edge features such as a delta-wing configuration, advanced avionics, and the ability to cruise at supersonic speeds without afterburners, a capability known as supercruise. The F-22’s development prioritized stealth and low observability, ensuring it remains elusive to enemy radar.

Conversely, the Sukhoi Su-35, designed by Russia’s Sukhoi Corporation, belongs to the fourth generation of fighter aircraft. It evolved from the Su-27 family and features a highly maneuverable airframe, improved engines, and advanced avionics. While it lacks the F-22’s fifth-generation stealth technology, it compensates with agility, robust systems, and exceptional adaptability.

Stealth and Low Observability

Stealth is the F-22’s hallmark. Its radar-absorbent materials, streamlined design, and internal weapons bays minimize radar reflection, rendering it nearly invisible to enemy sensors. This capability allows the F-22 to enter hostile airspace undetected, striking with precision before adversaries can respond.

In contrast, the Su-35, designed before the prominence of stealth, does not prioritize low observability. Its radar cross-section is substantially larger than the F-22’s, making it more susceptible to detection by advanced radar systems. However, the Su-35 compensates with electronic countermeasures and agile maneuverability to evade threats.

Performance and Speed

The F-22 Raptor is renowned for its exceptional speed and maneuverability. It can reach speeds exceeding Mach 2 (1,500 mph or 2,410 km/h) and boasts thrust-vectoring nozzles that enable acrobatic aerial maneuvers. Its combination of speed and agility grants it dominance in air-to-air engagements.

The Su-35 is no slouch either, with a top speed of Mach 2.25 (1,500 mph or 2,410 km/h). Its thrust-vectoring engines provide unmatched maneuverability, allowing it to execute complex dogfighting maneuvers and evade enemy missiles. In terms of raw agility, the Su-35 is a formidable adversary.


The F-22’s combat radius is approximately 600 nautical miles (1,100 km) on internal fuel. With external fuel tanks, it can extend its range. However, its primary focus is on air superiority within a certain radius, with limited ground attack capabilities.

Conversely, the Su-35 boasts a combat radius of approximately 930 nautical miles (1,723 km) on internal fuel. Its larger fuel capacity grants it greater range and endurance for both air-to-air and air-to-ground missions.

Weapons and Armament

The F-22 carries an array of air-to-air missiles, including the AIM-120 AMRAAM and AIM-9 Sidewinder. It also features internal bays for precision-guided munitions like the JDAM. While primarily an air superiority fighter, its multi-role capabilities enable it to engage ground targets when necessary.

The Su-35 is equipped with a diverse range of air-to-air missiles, such as the R-27, R-73, and the advanced R-77. Additionally, it carries a variety of air-to-ground munitions, including unguided bombs and precision-guided missiles. This versatility allows the Su-35 to excel in a multi-role capacity.

Avionics and Sensors

The F-22 boasts a formidable suite of avionics, including the AN/APG-77 AESA radar, which offers exceptional situational awareness and target tracking capabilities. It also features advanced electronic warfare systems and sensor fusion technology, enabling the pilot to process vast amounts of data in real-time.

The Su-35’s avionics include the Irbis-E PESA radar, which provides robust tracking and targeting capabilities. It also features an integrated electronic warfare suite, enhancing its survivability in contested airspace.

Role in Air Operations

The F-22 Raptor’s primary role is air superiority, where it excels in intercepting and neutralizing enemy aircraft. Its ability to dominate the skies has a profound impact on shaping the outcome of aerial engagements, ensuring air dominance for allied forces.

The Su-35 plays a multi-role role in air operations. It can engage enemy aircraft, carry out ground attack missions, and provide air defense. Its versatility makes it a valuable asset for a range of combat scenarios.

Impact on Modern Warfare

The F-22 Raptor has revolutionized modern air warfare with its unmatched stealth, speed, and agility. Its ability to penetrate enemy airspace undetected and secure air superiority has redefined the dynamics of conflict.

The Su-35, while not possessing fifth-generation stealth, underscores the importance of maneuverability and adaptability in combat. Its robust design and multi-role capabilities demonstrate that fourth-generation fighters continue to play a significant role in modern warfare.

Comprission between F-22 Raptor vs Sukhoi SU-35

Here’s a comparison table between the F-22 Raptor and the Sukhoi Su-35:

Category F-22 Raptor Sukhoi Su-35
Manufacturer Lockheed Martin Sukhoi
Role Air Superiority Fighter Multi-role Fighter
First Flight 1997 1988
Introduction 2005 2007
Unit Cost (Approximate) US$150 million (as of 2009) US$85-90 million (estimated)
Maximum Speed Mach 2.25 (1,500 mph) Mach 2.25 (1,500 mph)
Range 1,600 nautical miles 2,220 km (1,380 miles)
Service Ceiling 65,000 feet (20,000 meters) 59,055 feet (18,000 meters)
Engines 2 × Pratt & Whitney F119-PW-100 2 × Saturn AL-41F1S
Thrust 35,000 lbf (each engine) 31,900 lbf (each engine)
Stealth and Low Observability Very High Limited
Air-to-Air Missiles AIM-120 AMRAAM, AIM-9 Sidewinder R-77, R-73, and others
Air-to-Ground Missiles AGM-158 JASSM, AGM-88 HARM Kh-59M, Kh-58, and others
Avionics and Sensors Advanced AESA radar, sensor fusion Irbis-E AESA radar
Role in Air Operations Air Superiority Air Superiority and Multi-role
Impact on Modern Warfare Dominance in contested airspace, Enhanced multi-role capabilities,
network-centric warfare. regional deterrence.

Here’s a revised comparison of the size and dimensions between the F-22 Raptor and the Sukhoi Su-35:

Category F-22 Raptor Sukhoi Su-35
Length 18.9 meters (62.0 ft) 21.9 meters (72.9 ft)
Wingspan 13.6 meters (45 ft 0 in) 15.3 meters (50.2 ft)
Wing Area 78.0 square meters (840 sq ft) 62 square meters (667 sq ft)
Height 5.08 meters (16.8 ft) 5.90 meters (19.4 ft)
Weight 19,700 kilograms (43,500 lb) 18,400 kilograms (40,570 lb)
Power 2 x 153 kN (35,000 lbf) 2 x 142 kN (31,400 lbf)

These figures represent the size and dimensions of the two aircraft, highlighting their differences in length, wingspan, height, weight, and engine power. Please note that these specifications are based on available data and may vary depending on specific configurations and variants of the aircraft.

Here’s a revised comparison of the dogfight capabilities between the F-22 Raptor and the Sukhoi Su-35:

Category F-22 Raptor Sukhoi Su-35
Cannon GAU-22/A 20 mm GSh-30-1 30 mm
Caliber (mm) 20 mm 30 mm
Rate of Fire (rpm) 4,200 rpm 1,800 rpm
Muzzle Velocity 1,000 m/s 860 m/s
Size Point 10%-30% 20% 10%
Maneuverability 9.4 9.9
Thrust/Weight Ratio 1.26 1.21
AAM (first) AIM-9X AA-11 Archer
Operational range 0.2 – 50 km 0.3 – 40 km
AAM (second) AIM-9X AA-8 Aphid
Operational range 0.2 – 50 km 0.1 – 8 km
Dogfight Rating 86% 95%

These ratings provide an overview of the dogfight capabilities of the two aircraft, including their cannon caliber, rate of fire, maneuverability, thrust-to-weight ratio, and the operational range of their air-to-air missiles (AAMs). The Sukhoi Su-35 demonstrates slightly higher ratings in several categories, indicating its formidable performance in close to medium-range dogfights.

Similarity between F-22 Raptor Vs. Sukhoi SU-35

While the F-22 Raptor and the Sukhoi Su-35 are distinct aircraft with different design philosophies, roles, and capabilities, there are some similarities between them:

  1. Maneuverability: Both the F-22 and Su-35 are renowned for their exceptional maneuverability. They can execute high-g maneuvers, including post-stall maneuvers, which allow them to outmaneuver adversaries in dogfights.
  2. Supersonic Speed: Both aircraft are capable of flying at supersonic speeds, with the F-22 reaching Mach 2.25 and the Su-35 reaching Mach 2. This high speed allows for quick engagement and disengagement in combat scenarios.
  3. Multi-Role Capabilities: While the F-22 is primarily an air superiority fighter, it has some multi-role capabilities, including air-to-ground missions. Similarly, the Su-35 is a multi-role fighter designed for both air-to-air and air-to-ground combat.
  4. Advanced Avionics: Both aircraft are equipped with advanced avionics, radar systems, and electronic warfare suites that enhance situational awareness and survivability in complex and contested airspace.
  5. Advanced Engines: Both the F-22 and Su-35 feature powerful engines that provide high thrust-to-weight ratios, enabling them to accelerate rapidly and maintain high levels of energy during maneuvers.
  6. In-Flight Refueling: Both aircraft can be refueled in-flight, extending their operational range and endurance during missions.
  7. Countermeasures: Both aircraft are equipped with countermeasures systems to defend against enemy missiles and threats, enhancing their survivability in hostile environments.

It’s important to note that despite these similarities, each aircraft has its unique strengths and capabilities that make them suitable for different operational scenarios and roles. The F-22’s fifth-generation stealth and emphasis on air superiority contrast with the Su-35’s maneuverability and multi-role versatility. These distinctions are crucial in determining their respective roles in modern air forces.

Conclusion Between F-22 Raptor and the Sukhoi Su-35

In conclusion, the F-22 Raptor and the Sukhoi Su-35 represent two distinct paradigms in contemporary fighter aircraft. While the F-22 excels in stealth, speed, and air superiority, the Su-35 counters with exceptional maneuverability and multi-role versatility. The choice between them depends on the strategic goals and operational requirements of the nations employing these formidable aircraft.

FAQs about F-22 Raptor and the Sukhoi Su-35

Q1: Which aircraft is more maneuverable, the F-22 Raptor or the Sukhoi Su-35?

A1: Both the F-22 Raptor and the Sukhoi Su-35 are highly maneuverable aircraft, but the Su-35 is often praised for its exceptional aerobatic capabilities and thrust-vectoring nozzles, which enable it to perform complex post-stall maneuvers. The F-22, on the other hand, is designed for high-speed, high-altitude maneuvers and has a unique combination of stealth and agility.

Q2: What is the primary role of the F-22 Raptor?

A2: The primary role of the F-22 Raptor is air superiority. It is designed to establish and maintain control of the airspace by defeating enemy aircraft. It can also perform air-to-ground missions, electronic warfare, and signals intelligence roles.

Q3: Is the Sukhoi Su-35 used for air-to-ground missions?

A3: Yes, the Sukhoi Su-35 is a multi-role fighter aircraft that can perform both air-to-air and air-to-ground missions. It is equipped with a variety of precision-guided munitions, making it capable of engaging ground targets effectively.

Q4: How does the stealth of the F-22 compare to the Sukhoi Su-35?

A4: The F-22 Raptor is a fifth-generation stealth aircraft designed with a focus on low observability. It has advanced radar-absorbing materials and shaping to reduce its radar cross-section significantly. The Sukhoi Su-35, while highly maneuverable, does not have the same level of stealth features as the F-22.

Q5: Which aircraft has a longer combat radius, the F-22 or the Su-35?

A5: The F-22 Raptor has a longer combat radius compared to the Su-35. The F-22’s longer operational range allows it to stay on station for extended periods, making it suitable for air superiority missions.

Q6: How do the avionics and sensors of these aircraft compare?

A6: Both the F-22 and Su-35 are equipped with advanced avionics and sensor suites, including radars, electronic warfare systems, and targeting systems. The F-22’s avionics are integrated into its stealth design, providing a high level of situational awareness and network connectivity.

Q7: Are there export restrictions on the F-22 and Su-35?

A7: Yes, there are export restrictions on both aircraft. The F-22 Raptor has stringent export controls, and it has not been made available for export to other countries. The Su-35 has been exported to several nations, but the export versions may have limitations on certain technologies.

Q8: How do these aircraft contribute to modern air forces?

A8: The F-22 Raptor contributes to modern air forces by providing air superiority and advanced capabilities for combat in contested environments. The Su-35 enhances air forces by offering a versatile multi-role platform capable of both air-to-air and air-to-ground missions.

Q9: What is the cost difference between the F-22 and Su-35?

A9: The F-22 Raptor is known to be more expensive than the Su-35. The exact cost can vary depending on factors like configuration and quantities ordered, but the F-22’s advanced technology and limited production contribute to its higher cost.

Q10: Which aircraft is currently in service with more air forces around the world?

A10: The Sukhoi Su-35 is in service with several air forces around the world, including Russia, China, and other nations. The F-22 Raptor, on the other hand, is primarily operated by the United States Air Force and has not been exported to other countries, limiting its global presence.

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