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June 19, 2006

Sukhoi Highlight Reel

As far as I know, the Russians are famous for two aerial manuevers: "ramming" and the "cobra." Ramming is pretty self explanatory. It's what Russian pilots did in WWII when they didn't have any ammo. The cobra is a modern tactic, and if you've ever wondered what it looks like in practice, there's a textbook example by an Su-35 pilot in this Sukhoi highlight video (at 4:15).

There's also a cool shot of an Su-27's 30mm cannon firing (at 3:24).

And that Su-47 is a freaky lookin thing. It looks straight out of a Japanese monster movie.

Although the cobra manuever looks like something you'd use in a dogfight, it's real purpose is to confuse AWACS radars. The idea was for a group of four planes to fly towards the AWACS plane, with two in the front and two hidden closely behind the leaders. Then when the American radars got a lock, the two Russian planes in the lead would pull up into a cobra. In theory, this would confuse the radar long enough for the two lead planes to hit the deck, and when the radar regained its lock, the radar operators would think that the two trailing planes were the ones that they had been looking at originally. Then the two planes that had escaped the radar could attack from below.

If you ask me, it doesn't sound plausible, but that's what I read.

Update: More ultramaneuverability here, from what I think is an Su-37.

Posted by annika, Jun. 19, 2006 | TrackBack (0)
Rubric: Science & Technology


Don't you hate when you get to work in the morning, and realize that you're still a little drunk from the night before? I got down to the condom ad before I realized that I'm not at C&S. It's going to be a very long day.

Posted by: Casca on Jun. 19, 2006

Regarding the Su-37 vid:

That was pretty cool. Love the maneuverability. Although, I wonder how much real-world use that has. Anyone know? From what I find on the net, the majority opinion seems to be that those sorts of moves are pretty much useless against AA missiles (comments range from over-my-head talks about relative Gs (missiles can pull a lot, obviously, many many more than a human pilot), intercept speed, etc. to dumb braggart statements like "I'd AMRAAM that f***in' dancer!" providing no analysis). I honestly don't know, although the more erudite posts elsewhere seem to favor that argument.

But the other hand? The other hand is that it's all internet opinion. No way to verify the authority of the posters. Let alone the fact that most internet opinion is butkis.

Did love this comment I found regarding SU-37 vs. the American F22 in a fight:

"Considering that the only Su-37's that ever flew were prototypes that didn't have any weapons, I will put my money on the F-22."

Hehe... worse than bringing a knife to a gunfight is bringing a big, fat, chunk o' nothin' to a dogfight.

Posted by: elmondohummus on Jun. 19, 2006

Post soviet Russian air power is hollow. Some great tech, but not enough money to practice, or even to keep their airfields in good shape.

Our boys are still the best trained, best equipped in the universe. Who would be second? Probably the Israelis, maybe the Chinese.

Posted by: annika on Jun. 21, 2006