The Su-27 family is a long-running series of aircraft manufactured by the Russian aircraft manufacturer Sukhoi. Starting with the Su-27 Flanker in 1977, it is arguably the most famous Russian aircraft family in existence.
- Main article: Su-27 Flanker
The Su-27 Flanker is the first aircraft of the Flanker line. Its development began in 1969 when the Soviet government learnt of the existence of the American F-15C Eagle, prompting them to issue a request for a "Perspective Frontline Fighter". Design pecifications called for long operational range, Mach 2 speeds, heavy weaponry & high maneuverability, which proved to be too costly for Sukhoi. The first Su-27 prototype, named "T-10 Flanker-A" made its maiden flight in March 20, 1977 manned by Vladimir Ilyushin.
Su-34 Fullback/Su-32 Strike FlankerEdit
- Main article: Su-32 Strike Flanker
The Su-32 Strike Flanker/Su-34 Fullback (export) is a dual-seat fighter-bomber variant of the Su-27. It was originally conceived in the 1980s to replace the aging Su-24 line; thanks to its payload and range, the bureau in charge chose the Su-27 as unlike most aircraft of its type, the Fullback is unique in that it is outfitted with several commodities for its crew, such as a small bathroom and a kitchen.
- Main article: Su-33 Flanker-D
The Su-33 Flanker-D is a carrier-based Su-27 Flanker model. Only twenty-four models of the Flanker-D were ever built, all in service with the Admiral Kuznetsov. The aircraft is planned to be replaced by the MiG-29K Fulcrum. However, Sukhoi has developed a modernized version of the aircraft which will include a phased-array radar, thrust-vectoring nozzles, and long-range anti-ship missiles.
Su-35 Super Flanker/Su-35BMEdit
- Main article: Su-35 Super Flanker
The Su-35 Super Flanker is an upgraded Su-27 Flanker model, primarily developed as an export variant. It eventually gave birth to the Su-37 Terminator prototype.A variant of the Su-35, the Su-35 Flanker-E or Su-35BM is an upgraded variant of the standard Super Flanker, which includes numerous improvements such as a redesigned airframe with additional titanium alloys, a reduced frontal radar signature, rear-facing radar and digital fly-by-wire. The new PAK FA fighter, scheduled to enter active service in 2015, is planned to slowly replace the entire Flanker line, thus giving the -BM the nickname of "the last Flanker."
- Main article: Su-37 Terminator
During a test flight, the Su-37 serial number "711" was lost after crashing, most likely cementing the ultimate fate of the Terminator, which failed to reach mass-production. The Su-37 was developed during the 1990s, when Russia's economy was not very good. As a result, the project was scrapped
Su-37 Super FlankerEdit
- Main article: Su-37 Super Flanker
The Su-37 Super Flanker is a fictional Flanker variant featured in Ace Combat 3: Electrosphere. Based on the Su-37 Terminator, it is a high-end fighter operated by the Universal Peace Enforcement Organization. Not unlike other aircraft of its time, it has been outfitted with the Connection for Flight Interface (COFFIN) system. In performance terms, it is a meaneuverable and quick aircraft designed for medium-light combat, however its armor is relatively low.
A particular Super Flanker, known as the "Su-37R" has been specially customized for Rena Hirose, the UPEO's prodigy pilot. Differences with the "vainilla" Su-37 include an upgrade to the version 4 COFFIN, an structural reinforcement and the Opto-Neuron-Synapse-Interface system, which allows the pilot to directly link their brain to the plane itself.