The Sukhoi Su-35 (Russian: Сухой Су-35; NATO reporting name: Flanker-E) is the designation for two separate, heavily-upgraded derivatives of the Su-27 air-defence fighter. They are single-seat, twin-engine, highly-maneuverable aircraft, designed by the Sukhoi Design Bureau and built by the Komsomolsk-on-Amur Aircraft Production Association.
The first variant was designed during the 1980s as an upgrade of the Su-27, and was initially known as the Su-27M. This derivative incorporated canards and a multi-function radar that transformed the aircraft into a multi-role aircraft, and was structurally reinforced to support its heavier weight. The first prototype made its maiden flight in June 1988. As the aircraft was not mass produced due to the collapse of the Soviet Union, Sukhoi re-designated the aircraft as Su-35 to attract export orders. At the same time, the fourteen aircraft produced were used for tests and demonstrations; one example had thrust-vectoring engines installed, and the resultant Su-37 was used as a technology demonstrator. A sole Su-35UB two-seat trainer was also built in the late 1990s that strongly resembled the Su-30MK family.
In 2003, Sukhoi embarked on a second modernization of the Su-27 to serve as an interim aircraft awaiting the development of the Sukhoi PAK FA (Su-57) program. Also known as Su-35, this derivative has a redesigned cockpit and weapons-control system compared to the Su-27M, and features thrust-vectoring engines in place of the omitted canards. The type made its first flight in February 2008. Although the aircraft was designed for export, the Russian Air Force in 2009 became the launch customer of the aircraft with the production version designated Su-35S. China’s People’s Liberation Army Air Force and the Indonesian Air Force have also ordered the aircraft.
The PJSC United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) is a Russian aerospace and defense corporation. With a majority stake belonging to the Russian Government, it consolidates Russian private and state-owned aircraft manufacturing companies and assets engaged in the manufacture, design and sale of military, civilian, transport, and unmanned aircraft. Its headquarters are in Krasnoselsky District, Central Administrative Okrug, Moscow. The Sukhoi Su-35S, the UAC’s second military aircraft, is designed by the Sukhoi Design Bureau, a branch of the UAC. The aircraft is to serve as the interim for the Sukhoi PAK FA, Russia’s first fifth-generation jet fighter. Sukhoi expected to export more than 160 units of the Su-35S, but sales were halted due to updated versions of the Su-30, another jet fighter made by Sukhoi.