F-35 Lightning II Vs SU-30 Flanker-C Comparison : Which one is Best

F-35 Lightning II Vs SU-30 Flanker-C : The F-35 Lightning II and the SU-30 Flanker-C are both cutting-edge fighter aircraft deployed by various nations worldwide. Despite their shared role in ensuring aerial dominance, these aircraft possess distinct capabilities and are tailored for different mission profiles.

The F-35 Lightning II, a fifth-generation stealth fighter developed by Lockheed Martin, serves as the cornerstone of the United States military and its allied forces. This multirole fighter boasts advanced sensor and avionics systems, rendering it highly proficient in both air-to-air and air-to-ground combat scenarios. Notably, the F-35 is celebrated for its exceptional stealth characteristics, permitting it to operate covertly without detection by enemy radar systems.

In contrast, the SU-30 Flanker-C represents a fourth-generation fighter aircraft designed by Russia’s Sukhoi Aviation Corporation. This versatile multirole fighter incorporates state-of-the-art avionics and weaponry, making it formidable in both air-to-air and air-to-ground combat roles. The SU-30’s claim to fame lies in its extraordinary maneuverability and agility, qualities that make it particularly potent in close-quarters dogfights.

F-35 Lightning II Vs SU-30 Flanker-C Comparison table

Here’s a detailed comparison table between the F-35 Lightning II and the SU-30 Flanker-C:

Aspect F-35 Lightning II SU-30 Flanker-C
Manufacturer Lockheed Martin Sukhoi Aviation Corporation (Russia)
Role Multirole Fighter Multirole Fighter
Generation 5th 4th
Crew 1 (Single-seat) 2 (Pilot and Co-pilot/Weapons Systems Officer)
Length 51.4 feet (15.67 meters) 72.1 feet (22 meters)
Wingspan 35.0 feet (10.7 meters) 48.0 feet (14.7 meters)
Height 14.2 feet (4.33 meters) 19.4 feet (5.9 meters)
Wing Area 460 sq ft (42.74 sq meters) 62.06 sq ft (5.77 sq meters)
Maximum Takeoff Weight Approx. 70,000 lbs (31,800 kg) 65,918 lbs (29,900 kg)
Engines 1 x Pratt & Whitney F135-PW-100 2 x Saturn/Lyulka AL-31FP
Thrust (per engine) 43,000 lbs (191 kN) (F-35A) 27,500 lbs (122 kN)
Maximum Speed Mach 1.6 (1,200 mph or 1,930 km/h) Mach 2
Range 1,200 nautical miles (2,220 km) Approx. 1,200 nautical miles (2,220 km)
Combat Radius (Air-to-Air) 669 nautical miles (770 mi) Varies with mission profile
Combat Radius (Air-to-Ground) Varies with mission profile Varies with mission profile
Stealth Capabilities High Limited (some versions)
Avionics and Sensors State-of-the-art sensor suite Advanced avionics and sensors
Weaponry and Payload Internal and external hardpoints for missiles, bombs, and other munitions Extensive range of air-to-air and air-to-ground munitions
Dogfight Rating 70% (Air-to-Air) 80% (Air-to-Air)

Please note that the specifications may vary between different variants of both aircraft.

Size comparison between the F-35 Lightning II and the Sukhoi Su-30

Here’s a size comparison between the F-35 Lightning II and the Sukhoi Su-30:

Category F-35 Lightning II Sukhoi Su-30
Length 15.6 meters (50.0 feet) 21.9 meters (72.9 feet)
Wingspan 10.7 meters (35 feet) 14.7 meters (48.2 feet)
Wing Area 42.0 square meters (460 sq ft) 62 square meters (667 sq ft)
Height 4.33 meters (14.2 feet) 6.36 meters (20.85 feet)
Weight 13,200 kilograms (30,200 pounds) 17,700 kilograms (39,021 pounds)
Power 1 x 190 kN (43,000 lbf) 2 x 123 kN (27,300 lbf)

These figures illustrate the significant size and weight differences between the F-35 and the Su-30, with the Su-30 being larger and heavier.

Here’s a comparison of dogfight (close to medium range) ratings between the F-35 Lightning II and the Sukhoi Su-30:

Category F-35 Lightning II Sukhoi Su-30
Cannon GAU-22/A GSh-30-1
Caliber (mm) 20 mm 30 mm
Rate of Fire (rpm) 4200 rpm 1800 rpm
Muzzle Velocity 1000 m/s 860 m/s
Size Point 10%-30% 20% 10%
Maneuverability 8.5 9.7
Thrust/Weight Ratio 1.07 1.05
AAM (first) AIM-9X AA-11 Archer
Operational Range 0.2 – 50 km 0.3 – 40 km
AAM (second) IRIS-T AA-8 Aphid
Operational Range 0.5 – 30 km 0.1 – 8 km
Dogfight Rating 70% 89%

These ratings provide an overview of their dogfighting capabilities, with the Sukhoi Su-30 having a higher dogfight rating, indicating its superior performance in close to medium-range air combat scenarios.

Similarity between F-35 Lightning II vs SU-30 Flanker-C

The F-35 Lightning II and the SU-30 Flanker-C, while different in many aspects, do share some similarities:

  1. Multirole Capability: Both aircraft are designed to perform multiple roles, including air-to-air combat and air-to-ground attack missions. They are versatile and can adapt to various combat scenarios.
  2. Advanced Avionics: Both the F-35 and SU-30 are equipped with advanced avionics and sensor systems that provide pilots with situational awareness and the ability to engage targets effectively.
  3. Modern Design: While the SU-30 is a fourth-generation fighter and the F-35 is a fifth-generation fighter, both feature modern and streamlined designs that enhance their aerodynamic performance.
  4. Exported to Multiple Countries: Both aircraft have been exported to various countries around the world, showcasing their global appeal and interoperability with different air forces.
  5. External Hardpoints: Both aircraft can carry external stores on their wings and fuselage, allowing them to carry a wide range of weapons and fuel tanks as needed for specific missions.
  6. Maneuverability: While the F-35 is designed with stealth in mind and may not excel in close dogfights, the SU-30 is known for its exceptional maneuverability, making it a formidable opponent in close combat situations.
  7. Operational Range: Both aircraft have a substantial operational range, allowing them to cover long distances during missions and engage targets at various ranges.
  8. Advanced Weaponry: They can carry advanced air-to-air and air-to-ground munitions, enhancing their combat capabilities.

Despite these similarities, it’s important to note that they also have significant differences in terms of design philosophy, technology, and performance, which make them unique and suitable for different operational requirements.

Final Words F-35 Lightning II Vs SU-30 Flanker-C

In conclusion, the F-35 Lightning II and the SU-30 Flanker-C are remarkable fighter aircraft, each with its own strengths and capabilities. The F-35, developed by Lockheed Martin, represents the pinnacle of fifth-generation stealth technology and offers a wide range of multirole capabilities. Its advanced sensors, avionics, and stealth features make it a formidable force in modern air warfare.

On the other hand, the SU-30 Flanker-C, designed by Russia’s Sukhoi Aviation Corporation, is a fourth-generation fighter known for its exceptional maneuverability and agility. It excels in air-to-air combat and has been a trusted platform for various countries, including Russia, India, and China.

When comparing these two aircraft, it’s essential to consider the specific requirements of the operators. The F-35’s stealth capabilities and advanced sensor fusion make it well-suited for missions where survivability and situational awareness are crucial. In contrast, the SU-30’s dogfighting prowess and adaptability are valuable in scenarios that involve close-range engagements and versatile mission profiles.

Ultimately, the choice between the F-35 and the SU-30 depends on the operational needs, budget, and strategic objectives of the countries employing these aircraft. Both have their roles to play in modern air forces, and they contribute to the evolving landscape of military aviation.

FAQs About F-35 Lightning II VS the SU-30 Flanker-C

1. Which countries operate the F-35 Lightning II and the SU-30 Flanker-C?

The F-35 Lightning II is operated by several countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Israel, Australia, Japan, and several NATO allies. The SU-30 Flanker-C is primarily operated by countries such as Russia, India, China, and various other nations that have acquired the aircraft.

2. How do the F-35 and SU-30 differ in terms of stealth capabilities?

The F-35 is designed with advanced stealth capabilities, making it difficult for enemy radar systems to detect. In contrast, the SU-30 does not have the same level of stealth features and relies more on its electronic countermeasures for survivability.

3. Which aircraft is known for its dogfighting abilities?

The SU-30 Flanker-C is renowned for its exceptional maneuverability and dogfighting capabilities, thanks to its thrust-vectoring engines and aerodynamic design. The F-35, while capable, is not primarily designed for close-range dogfights.

4. Can these aircraft carry air-to-air and air-to-ground munitions?

Both the F-35 and SU-30 are multirole aircraft capable of carrying a wide range of air-to-air and air-to-ground munitions, including missiles, bombs, and precision-guided munitions.

5. How do the F-35 and SU-30 differ in terms of operational roles?

The F-35 is designed for a wide range of roles, including air superiority, ground attack, reconnaissance, electronic warfare, and more. The SU-30 is primarily an air superiority fighter but can also perform ground attack and maritime strike missions.

6. What is the maximum speed of these aircraft?

The F-35 has a maximum speed of approximately Mach 1.6, while the SU-30 can reach speeds of up to Mach 2.

7. Which aircraft has a higher operational ceiling?

The F-35 has a service ceiling of 50,000 feet, whereas the SU-30 can operate at altitudes above 52,000 feet.

8. Are there any notable differences in their avionics and sensor systems?

Yes, there are significant differences in avionics and sensors. The F-35 features advanced sensor fusion and situational awareness capabilities, while the SU-30 relies on its own suite of avionics, including radar and electronic countermeasures.

9. What is the typical combat range of these aircraft on internal fuel?

The F-35 has a combat radius of over 600 nautical miles on internal fuel, while the SU-30 has a combat range of approximately 505 nautical miles on internal fuel.

10. Are there any plans for future upgrades to these aircraft?

Both aircraft have continuous improvement and upgrade programs. The F-35 program, in particular, includes plans for software and hardware upgrades to enhance its capabilities over time. The SU-30 may also receive upgrades depending on the specific variant and the country operating it.

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