Sukhoi Su-37 presentation video.The Sukhoi Su-37 (NATO designation: Flanker-F) is a Russian multi-role jet fighter aircraft.
The Su-37 is a single-seat, all-weather, fighter and ground attack prototype aircraft, derived from the Sukhoi Su-27. The Su-27 is a successful Soviet fourth generation jet aircraft that has been exported to several nations, including China. The Su-37 test aircraft made its maiden flight in April 1996 from the Zhukovsky flight testing center near Moscow.
The Su-37 included several updates over the Su-27, including all-weather multi-mode phased array radar with synthetic aperture, terrain avoidance, terrain mapping and a rear facing radar. The airframe includes a percentage of parts made from composites, unlike the all-metal Su-27. Additionally, the Su-37 incorporates the AL-37FU engines equipped with thrust vectoring. Thrust vectoring allows the Su-37 to direct the exhaust gases in 3 dimensions, substantially improving maneuverability, especially at low speeds. The Terminator, as it is sometimes called, is also the first Russian aircraft with Hands On Throttle and Stick, or HOTAS, system. The first ever aircraft with HOTAS was the Avro CF-105 Arrow (also known as the Avro Arrow). The first production fighter aircraft with this system was the McDonnell Douglas F-15C Eagle. The Su-37 also stores a radar in the tailcone of the plane that allows it to fire missiles behind the plane.
The engine not only incorporates TVC but also is tough and very resistant to surge even during classic, inverted and flat spins, giving great reliability and maneuverability, even when AOA is as high as 180 degrees.
The Su-37 can carry air-to-air and air-to-surface weapons on 12 stations. The number of missiles and bombs carried can be increased to 14 with the use of multi-payload racks.
Russia has not ordered Su-37s, but it might find customers abroad, a market that now constitutes a sizable share of Sukhoi's income. Several prototypes have been built, but the aircraft is not in production.
The most recent rumors regarding the development of the Su-37 is that the project was cancelled due to lack of funding. The two Su-37 prototypes were converted into Su-35 Flankers, another Sukhoi prototype fighter.
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