At the beginning of the article, the British newspaper said that the US-made F-16 fighter is a popular fighter and deserves the highest ranking in the ranking. In this ranking, there are four Russian-made fighters.
Day after the F-16 is the fighter Su-27 and versions of the Su-30. Currently, these Russian aircraft have about 1,057 aircraft in operation worldwide, accounting for 7% of the global fighter force.
In addition, maintaining its combat capabilities and modernizing Russian-made aircraft is much more expensive than American planes, spending between $ 185 and $ 210 million per aircraft over its 35-year lifespan. them.Meanwhile, this figure of the F-16 amounted to 2,267 units, accounting for 15% of the global market share. The more modest figure is that the MiG-29 has about 817 units. According to the Flight International, along with the impressive number, the combat ability of the F-16 is also rated better than the Su-30.
According to the source, another point of the fighter made in Russia is the AL-31FP engine, which will require a total of 6 engines in the entire life cycle of the Su-30SM (two of them are installed and the payment at the time of purchase).
This situation in Flight International is explained by the fact that Soviet (Russian) aircraft engines have traditionally inferior to the West not only in terms of fuel efficiency, but also in relation to repair and transportation costs. life cycle.
The British newspaper gave an example in the Polish Air Force: “Poland simultaneously operates a two-engine Soviet MiG-29 fighter jet and an American single-engine F-16. 35 years with only the engine initially installed.
Unfortunately, this does not happen with the MiG-29 as the eight engines will have to be replaced at the same time, “explained the analyst. not with the Su-30SM.
Meanwhile, the Russian side confirmed that the Su-30SM is a super-maneuverable two-seater fighter, equipped with two jet engines with 2-way thrust vector control (2D TVC) AL-31FP. The fighter has a range of 1,500 km and a flight time of 3.5 hours without refueling.
Compared with the F-16, this Russian fighter is nearly a generation more than a generation and carries a much larger amount of weapons. While the F-16 carries a maximum of 6 tons of weapons of all kinds, this number of Su-30SM is up to 8 tons.