Su-47 (S-37 Berkut) Golden Eagle Fighter

The Sukhoi Design Bureau of Moscow, Russia has developed the Su-47 (previously called the S-37 Berkut or Golden Eagle) fighter aircraft, which first flew in September 1997. Su-47 is in a forward-swept wing configuration and uses a highly unstable triplane (with three main lifting surfaces) aerodynamic configuration. The Su-47 was introduced in January 2000 and completed the first stage of flight trials in December 2001. The aircraft is operated by the Russian Air Force

Su-47 Berkut

Su-47 Berkut

In May 2002, Sukhoi was selected as prime contractor for the next-generation Russian PAK FA fighter programme. The PAK FA fighter aircraft is a development of the Su-47 but without the forward swept wings. The first flight test of the PAK FA fighter aircraft was completed on 29 January 2010.

The design of the very high manoeuvrability prototype is based on the avionics and aerodynamics technologies developed for the Su-27 upgrade programme.

Some of the systems and component designs from the Su-27, (the all weather supersonic fighter aircraft with Nato reporting name Flanker), have been used in the Su-47, for example the design of the canopy, landing gear, some of the avionics and the near-vertical tails.


The Su-47 has extremely high agility at subsonic speeds enabling the aircraft to alter its angle of attack and its flight path very quickly, and it also retains manoeuvrability in supersonic flight.The Su-47 aircraft has very high levels of manoeuvrability with maintained stability and controllability at all angles of attack.

Maximum turn rates and the upper and lower limits on air speed for weapon launch are important criteria in terms of combat superiority in close combat and also at medium and long range, when the mission may involve engaging consecutive targets in different sectors of the airspace. A high turn rate of the Su-47 allows the pilot to turn the fighter aircraft quickly towards the next target to initiate the weapon launch.

“The Su-47 has extremely high agility at subsonic speeds.”

The swept-forward wing, compared to a swept-back wing of the same area, provides a number of advantages: higher lift to drag ratio; higher capacity in dogfight manoeuvres; higher range at subsonic speed; improved stall resistance and anti-spin characteristics; improved stability at high angles of attack; a lower minimum flight speed; and a shorter take-off and landing distance.



Su-47 fuselage

The Su-47 fuselage is oval in cross section and the airframe is constructed mainly of aluminium and titanium alloys and 13% by weight of composite materials.

The nose radome is slightly flattened at the fore section and has a horizontal edge to optimise the aircraft’s anti-spin characteristics.

Forward-swept wings

The forward swept midwing gives the unusual and characteristic appearance of the Su-47. A substantial part of the lift generated by the forward-swept wing occurs at the inner portion of the wingspan. The lift is not restricted by wingtip stall. The ailerons – the wing’s control surfaces – remain effective at the highest angles of attack, and controllability of the aircraft is retained even in the event of airflow separating from the remainder of the wings’ surface.

The wing panels of the Su-47 are constructed of nearly 90% composites. The forward-swept midwing has a high aspect ratio, which contributes to long-range performance. The leading-edge root extensions blend smoothly to the wing panels, which are fitted with deflectable slats on the leading edge; flaps and ailerons on the trailing edge.

The all-moving and small-area trapezoidal canards are connected to the leading-edge root extensions.



The Su-47 experimental fighter aircraft features 14 hardpoints (2 wingtip, 6–8 underwing, 6-4 conformal underfuselage). The hardpoints are equipped with R-77, R-77PD, R-73, K-74 air to air missiles.

It is also fitted with air to surface missiles X-29T, X-29L, X-59M, X-31P, X-31A, KAB-500, KAB-1500.

Click to enlarge


The cockpit’s design has focused on maintaining a high degree of comfort for the pilot and also on the pilot being able to control the aircraft in extremely high g-load manoeuvres.

“The wing panels of the Su-47 are constructed of nearly 90% composites.”

The aircraft is equipped with a new ejection seat and life support system. The variable geometry adaptive ejection seat is inclined at an angle of 60°, which reduces the impact of high G forces on the pilot. The seat allows dogfight manoeuvres with significantly higher g loadings than can normally be tolerated by the pilot.

The pilot uses a side-mounted, low-travel control stick and a tensometric throttle control.


Landing gear

The aircraft uses a retractable tricycle-type landing gear with a single wheel at each unit. The smaller nose wheel retracts towards the rear and the two mainwheels retract forward into the wing roots.



The Su-47 fighter aircraft is powered by two Perm Aviadvigatel D-30F6 turboshaft engines. Around 83.4kN of dry thurst can be produced by each engine. The engine is principally used in short-haul airplanes for passenger transport.

The length and fantip diameter of the engine are 3.98m and 1.05m respectively, while the dry weight and delivery weight of the engine are 1,550kg and 1,712kg respectively. The engine also features a thrust reverser and a low pressure compressor.

Su-47 performance

The Su-47 fighter aircraft can climb at a rate of 233m/s. The cruise speed is 1,800km/h. The range and service ceiling of the aircraft are 1,782nm (3,300km) and 18,000m respectively.

The maximum take-off weight of the aircraft is 34,000kg. The wing loading and maximum g-force of the Su-47 are 360kg/m² and 9g respectively.


source: Sukhoi and

Ukraine received back two Su-27 and two MiG-29 after overhauling

Ukraine has returned into service two Su-27 and two MiG-29 which were under overhauling, announced by president office on 5th January.

Ceremony of returning back two Fulcrums and pair of Flankers was at Ozerne Airbase, and president Petro Porosenko was attended to ceremony.

Together with 4 fighter jets, around 150 vehicles and other weapon systems were back to army hands after overhauling.


When situation with Russia started, early 2014., Ukraine has returned scores of aircraft to service that would otherwise have become non airworthy due to a lack of investment in the country’s armed forces. These have included MiG-29s and Su-27s, as well as Sukhoi Su-24 Fencer and Su-25 Frogfoot strike aircraft, and Antonov An-26 Curl transport aircraft.


Ukrainian Air Force, or lets say whole Ukrainian army suffered because of non investing for years, and in the moment when Russian forces entered Crimea, had instant disadvantage.

On 21st March 2014. elite Russian Brigade Spetsnaz  took / overrun Air base Belbek and Ukraininan Air Force lost 45 jets, including MiG-29 Fulcrum and L-39 trainer/light strike jet.

Fact is that yearly non investing showed results during conflict in eastern part of Ukraine. Poorly maintained combat jets and outdated, as well as poorly trained pilots.

So many transports, fighters and helicopters were shot down in last year, at least about 20 of them. Air Force suffered high loss during 2014. Now are trying to catch the last train, with overhauling of present equipment.

On paper, Ukraine AF have very strong Air Force but real situation is very bad if you compare with paper.

After SSSR breaking up, 1992. Ukraine AF had very powerful aviation. They have inherited from SSSR:

– strategic bombers Tu-160 (about 20) + Tu-95 Bear (about 27)

– Tu-16, Tu-22 i Tu-22M

– Su-24,Su-25,Su-17(Su-22), MiG-23, MiG-25

– on that time very modern fighters jets MiG-29 (217 aircrafts) and Su-27(65 aircrafts)

– lot of transport helicopters and aircrafts + combat helicopters Mil Mi-24

On paper they have now about 170 combat aircrafts and many of them are not flyable. If they are on 50% of paper possibilities, they are good. Situation is very bad. Overhauling plants in Ukraine had and have possibilities to do overhauling, modernizing, maintenance servicing, but non-investing for years has taken its toll.

MiGs-29 which were on Belbek and overtaken by Spetsnaz are returned to Ukraine later, but most of them were non flyable. Maybe about 20 of all MiGs are flyable. Situation with Su-27 is not much better, or almost the same, about 20 are flyable.

Source: IHS Janes



“Libyan National Army claims to have received four new Sukhoi jet fighters“???

“Libya Herald“ (the Independent Libya online daily)  yesterday published information that Libyan National Army received 4 (four) NEW Sukhoi jet. They wrote that Libyan National Army (LNA), i.e. Air Force, representing the House of Representatives (HoR)/ Abdullah Thinni government based in eastern Libya, claimed yesterday that it has received four new Sukhoi SU-27 fighter jets.


Ukrainian selling their flyable Flankers?


On the other side, there is no confirmation for this, but that “informed military sources in the LNA confirmed on monday that 4 new Sukhoi fighter jets effectively joined the squadrons of the Libyan Air Force“. These information they received from official pro HoR LANA news Agency.

Some of the words from their text we are forwarding here in origin:

-These jets would strengthen the capabilities of the LNA in the war it is waging against the ”extremist and terrorist militias” in any place in Libya, the source added .

– The report said that the source informed that the SU-27 has a 150 round G-301 gun and a number of rockets including medium range radar directed R-27R1 and R-27T1 rockets and air-to-ground munitions with weights of 100, 250 and 500 kg.

– The new Sukhoi jet fighters, the source claimed, are capable of remaining in the air for longer periods and can ‘’maneuver and re-attack once, twice, three times’’, the source concluded.

– The new Sukhoi jet fighters, the source claimed, are capable of remaining in the air for longer periods and can ‘’maneuver and re-attack once, twice, three times’’, the source concluded.

– The statement about the Sukhois claims that they are ‘’new’’, but did not clarify if they were brand new purchases or a new addition of renovated old jets to the existing Air Force squadrons. It is not clear if these are brand new Sukhois or old Sukhoi’s repaired or loaned to Libya from neighboring states or allies.

– Libya is not listed as an official purchaser of the Russian made Sukhoi SU-27. And nor is Egypt or the UAE. However, the Ukraine is, and at an official price tag of US$ 30 million each, it is being speculated that Libya is more likely to have purchased second hand or renovated Sukhois. There is no confirmation of this, however.

If this report of the arrival of new fighter jets to one of the Libyan rivals in Libya’s bloody and destructive conflict is accurate, this could possibly mark a watershed point in the escalation of the Libyan conflict. Monday’s scheduled UN sponsored talks between the two sides were postponed ostensibly because there could not be an agreement on where to hold the talks.

Yesterday, HoR President, Ageela Salah, told the media that he did not see a military solution to Libya’s current problems and that he welcomed dialogue. Today, the General National Council (GNC) released a statement on its version of LANA saying much the same.

What is clear is that the pro-HoR LNA is seeking to achieve an aerial advantage to make up for its ground disadvantage in western Libya. LNA fighter jets have carried out numerous air raids at the foot of the Nefusa Mountains, near Zwara and Abu Kamash, in Maetiga airport and in Misrata.

At the time that both sides are saying that they are interested in dialogue, they have both been simultaneously ratcheting up the fighting.

Meanwhile, in a further development, the LNA Air Force yesterday threatened to shoot down any Sudanese or Turkish aircraft, military or civilian, that enters Libyan airspace. Turkish airline flights to Libya have been, and are still suspended until further notice. The Sudanese airlines has not been flying to Libya.

Libya Herald, 6.January 2015.


Our conclusion for this text from Libyan Herald is: first – that there is no such NEW Sukhois Su-27. Su-27 are not in production line for many many years already.

Second:There is a chance that Ukrainian offered them some used Flankers, but think its not a good moment for themselves because of situation in their local conflict and situation with Russia. So, are they ready to sell some useful fighter jets in this situation? We think no, but cant bet on that.

Third: they need trained pilots for Su-27 Flanker fighter jets, which need more than few weeks. Libyan Air Force had at the moment just few fighter jets: Mirage F1, MiG-21 and MiG-23, not more than 10. So, no Sukhoi Su-27 experience. Maybe will fly some pilots from country they bought (if they) Sukhois for start and in meantime will training new Libyan pilots….cant say yes or no but its possible. But at least one Su-27 need to be in version UB (training two seater ).

I cant see any of countries which have Su-27 in flyable condition to offer them jets except Ukraine.

And at the end, what they can do with 4 fighter jets Su-27 against terrorists on ground? For that job they have already MiG-23Well trained pilots on Migs they have now can do a job against terrorist in the air at any time.

Libya already showed interest to buy some western made jets, Rafale and Eurofighter Typhoons and other equipment, so why they now search for Sukhois?

Not sure this is true information, but lets see…maybe we receive some confirmation about Libyan Sukhois in meantime.


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