The 4th++ generation Sukhoi Su-35 is the most advanced member of the manufacturer’s Su-27 family – but is it the end of the line for the Flanker? Piotr Butowski investigates
The Sukhoi Su-35 (NATO reporting name: Flanker-E) project was handled very differently to other Russian military aeroplanes. Usually, the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation (MO) determines what is needed, before presenting detailed requirements to aircraft designers. However, the Su-35 was conceived solely by the Sukhoi Design Bureau (OKB) with one intention – export. Unveiled in model form at the Dubai Air Show in 2013, the type now represents the pinnacle of super manoeuvrable fourth-generation fighter design.