The Su-35’s two engines, a variant of the NPO Saturn AL-41 and similar to the version that power the PAK FA, feature thrust vectoring nozzles that will give it exceptional maneuvering qualities in a dogfight. The airframe is now in partly made of titanium, saving weight while strengthening the design. Radar absorbent materials are used in key areas on the airframe.
The Su-35 can carry an enormous variety and number of weapons. The plane features a whopping fourteen hard points for carrying weapons, jammers, fuel tanks and added sensors. Just two examples of the weapons it can carry are the K-77ME, a ramjet-powered version of the K-77 air-to-air missile and the Kh-59, a land attack cruise missile.
Russia has ordered forty-eight Su-35 fighters.
Kyle Mizokami is a writer based in San Francisco who has appeared in The Diplomat, Foreign Policy, War is Boring and The Daily Beast. In 2009 he cofounded the defense and security blog Japan Security Watch. You can follow him on Twitter: @KyleMizokami.
Image: Wikimedia Commons/Alex Beltyukov/CC by-sa 3.0