Has the reputation of the Su-35 fighter been “unclean” after the accident?

In just one day, both countries using Su-35 fighters, Russia and China, had accidents; so whether the reputation of this fighter is “dirty”, or is this simply a coincidence.

On July 31, 2021, a Russian Su-35S fighter jet (under the NATO codename Flanker-E +) crashed in the Khabarovsk region, during a training flight over the Sea of ​​Okhotsk.

The Su-35 fighter jet took off from the Dzemgi airfield in Komsomolsk-on-Amur. According to some media, the engine suddenly failed after four minutes of flight, and according to other sources, the plane crashed 20 minutes after departure.

The pilot ejected safely; However, without waiting for the results of the investigation, some foreign media quickly accused the Su-35 fighter jet as unreliable and said that the Russian Air Force had many accidents, which is bad news for China (because China has many Russian fighters).

French broadcaster PressTV continues to add fuel to the fire, citing unverified information sources; that was the day before, less than 24 hours to be exact, before the Su-35 crash in the Sea of ​​Okhotsk, a PLA fighter plane crashed in Guangdong province, China. However, China declined to comment on this rumor.

As a rule, China does not hide such information, especially when it is related to Russian military equipment, so the news about the downing of the Chinese Su-35 plane could be fake. Moscow has admitted the truth about the loss of its top fighter, why should Beijing be silent about it?

However, experts note that, if the Su-35 really crashed not only in Russia but also in China, this could have a very negative effect on the Su-35’s reputation; especially when there are many countries interested in buying this type of aircraft.

According to the initial conclusion of the Russian Aviation Safety Committee, the Russian Air Force Su-35 crashed on July 31, completely unrelated to the aircraft’s technical fault, but entirely due to the owner’s fault. human organs, both pilots and ground commanders.

Because the Su-35 is set to launch decoy bullets in automatic mode, when taking off, the radar wave in the airport area is strong, causing the bait to be activated automatically, launching these bullets. From the bridge, the ground commander thought the plane had an engine fire.

The flight commander immediately ordered the pilot to parachute; The pilot immediately pressed the eject button of the ejection seat and parachuted safely. The pilot seemed to have handled the situation badly and lost his temper, immediately ejected the ejection seat, without checking the plane’s condition, along with the wrong ground command.

So the Su-35 crashed, completely the result of a series of mistakes, but due to human subjective factors, not at all due to a technical malfunction of the aircraft. , which is considered the safest.

The Su-35 fighter has a generally positive safety record. This was the first disaster since the fighter’s first flight in 1988 when it was being developed for the Soviet Air Force under the Su-27M program.

Defence view believes that the renaming of the Su-27M to Su-35 after the collapse of the Soviet Union was mainly for marketing reasons; This also marks a chaotic period of numbering of Russian weapons, after the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

In general, the Su-35 is appreciated for its reliability; According to Defence view, the Su-35’s twin-engine layout is simply to ensure against technical crashes.

Simply put, any type of 4th generation fighter, not just the Su-35, is a complex and high-risk machine, which means nothing supernatural happens. go out. Such incidents are not uncommon in the militaries of NATO countries.

However, the reliability, along with the combat ability of the Su-35 is so far one of the strongest points of this aircraft. If you look at Western fighters like the F-35, there are too many problems, the F-22 is too expensive; perhaps the most successful was the F-15. But these types of planes also often have accidents.

Su-35 is currently a rival of F-15, F-16 and F-35 in the export market; the reality is that Washington has disproportionately pressured some customers to abandon the Su-35 in favor of American fighter jets. Most recently, Indonesia and Egypt, had to give up buying Su-35s under US pressure.

It did not take Moscow long to investigate the Su-35 crash that occurred in the Sea of Okhotsk recently, but most importantly, maintain the reputation of the Su-35 as the world’s best fourth-generation aircraft. And the opponents that benefit from the Su-35’s discrediting are none other than France’s Rafale.

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