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    Home未分类The Su-37 Terminator: Remembering Russia's Air Dominance Aspirant of 2002

    The Su-37 Terminator: Remembering Russia’s Air Dominance Aspirant of 2002

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    The Sukhoi Su-37 Terminator represented a significant leap in Russian aviation technology. Developed with thrust-vectoring nozzles, advanced radar, and upgraded avionics, the Su-37 showcased remarkable maneuverability and air combat capabilities.

    Despite being a highly agile dogfighter, it required skilled pilots and faced challenges in handling. This aircraft not only wowed audiences with its agility at airshows but also promised a new era of air superiority.

    In 2002, the Su-37 prototype crashed due to software malfunction, while its horizontal stabilizer broke off in flight, likely due to exceeding g-limits multiple times throughout its life.

    The Su-37 was initially equipped with two experimental Lyulka-Saturn AL-31FP engines – a derivative of the AL-31F turbofan of the Su-27 – until the newer AL-37FU engines were available.

    In 2001, the prototype was fitted with AL-37FU engines, updated avionics, and a fly-by-wire control system. Pilots interfaced with the craft’s advanced systems using four full-color LCD multi-function displays, a significant improvement over its predecessor’s capabilities. The radar system alone, the N011M Bars, was a marvel that could lock onto and track twenty targets concurrently, surpassing the Su-27’s older radar.

    The Su-37 also boasted an impressive armament potential, equipped with 12 hardpoints and capable of carrying up to 8,000 kg of missiles, including a mix of short-range R-73E and R-77 missiles for air combat, and various missiles suitable for ground attack roles.

    Its flying performances were nothing short of spectacular, demonstrated at prestigious events like the Farnborough Airshow in September 1996, where it performed the “Super Cobra” maneuver—a testament to the aircraft’s exceptional agility and the skill of its pilots.

    The crash brought an end to the Su-37 program. Yet, Sukhoi later introduced several modernizations of the Su-27, notably the Su-30MKI and Su-35BM and each made use of the technology developed for the Su-37, including the thrust vectoring engines, improved radar systems, and avionics.

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