The Su-37 is familiar to many, but most of the people familiar with this machine as a modification of the famous Su-27 fighter. But in this article will talk not about fighter who is known to many for its demonstrations at MAKS, but about the other Su-37, which is scheduled its creators had to be a continuation of the band tactical strike aircraft (gunship) Su-25. The aircraft designer V. Babak never appeared at MAKS, but in 1991 was presented once at the air show in Dubai. That was the first and last appearance of the Su-37 in public.
In 1989, during the execution of Council of Ministers of the USSR and the CPSU Central Committee at an engineering plant them. Dry process was initiated preliminary design functional fighter-bomber, which received initial designation Su-37. The aircraft was due to change in the composition of the Soviet Air Force, also of the Warsaw Pact Park tactical strike aircraft: Su-7, Su-17, Su-20, Su-22, Su-25 and MiG-21, MiG-23, MiG -27. Besides aircraft scheduled to deliver in Finland, China, India, Yugoslavia, North Korea and several other countries.
The new aircraft was designed for ground attack (also surface) mobile armored and unarmored targets, area and motionless small targets complex air defense systems, reconnaissance in normal and adverse weather conditions at any time of day. Besides the aircraft could be used to combat shock and transport aircraft of the enemy, he could successfully resist the army and tactical air forces of the enemy, including tactical combat aircraft and anti-tank helicopters.
Estimated highest level of performance features of the Su-37 has been the foundation of its survivability and effectiveness over the battlefield. Fairly large payload, so rather short takeoff and landing distances, based on the possibility of ground and warped WFP also allow sufficient flexibility to consider the Su-37 very successful and effective attack aircraft.
Cross-section of the fuselage of the Su-37 and its wing has been optimized for use at low altitudes. The highest speed of the car at low altitude was estimated at 1500 km / h Cruising speed and range to the target at low altitude should exceed similar characteristics in Russian fighters were armed, and related to the 4th generation. At the same time, low specific fuel consumption of the aircraft provided the large radius of the act without having to refuel the car in the air. With all of this possibility of this procedure has been provided. Estimated combat radius Su-37 combat loaded at 3 tons had to make — 1500 km. Calculated approach speed was 250-260 km / h and the speed of the aircraft at the moment of contact strip was estimated at 220 km / h
The basic version of the Su-37 for the needs of Russian Air Force had to be a strike aircraft, who succeeded to the Su-25. With an increase of 40% off weight new strike aircraft could carry 88% more payload than revocable Su-25. But because the Su-25 could still fit their own destiny and be successfully perform combat tasks, while the Soviet Union had already experienced significant economic difficulties, it was decided to hold such a substitution after 5-8 years.
Ultimately OKB. Sukhoi has not gained currency allocations to create prototype of the Su-37 because of limitations in the state budget of the USSR. Proceeding from this, the main focus has been chosen to promote the international aircraft market. The variant in which the creation of the Su-37 was provided in cooperation with the state, which owns the least developed aviation industry. This decision has permitted the partners would get comparable inexpensive specials, or multi-purpose aircraft, the Su-37.
Russian programm to create a new attack aircraft Su-37 seems to be anticipated a similar program from a South American JSF. The main purpose of the Su-37 was to be the destruction of ground very hard targets. To solve the puzzles of this Su-37 was planned to equip a wide range of weapons class «air-surface». The total mass of the payload, which could be placed on the 18 external hard points, should have been 8.5 tons. Immediately with this new aircraft had to able to solve puzzles and destructive, while maneuvering in the near and distant battle in comparable with the introduction of guided missiles. Ensured that its inclusion in the arms of SD «air-air» delnosti small and medium-range actions. Besides the Su-37 was planned to equip a rapid-automatic gun.
Pretty close Su-37 approached the JSF and its flight performance features. Both aircraft had to be able to provide supersonic flight, but with a moderate number of M (1.8 for the Su-37 and 1.6 for JSF) and without committing cruise at supersonic speed. Both aircraft had normal takeoff weight of 20 tons (18 tons for the Su-37 and 17 tons for the JSF) and equipped with one engine. When combat load at 4 tons calculated radii acts machines surpassed 1,000 km.
The only difference fundamentally 2-machines was their technical aspect. In aircraft was a different approach to ensure neporazhaemosti martial criteria. On the South American JSF highest neporazhaemost was provided through inclusive new technologies «stealth», while the Su-37 the issue was to be decided by the highest survivability of the entire machine as a whole. Accordingly, the bulk of funds that were supposed to provide combat survivability of the Su-37, reaching 1.3 tons (more than 7% of the total take-off weight).
The final decision on the project attack aircraft Su-37 was adopted in 1990. By the time all the necessary documentation for the new aircraft was sent to the production plant. The belief that «the process has begun,» became the basis for the fact that in 1991 international air show in Dubai was demonstrated reduced model of the Su-37.
But a new single-engine marketing company also completed the aircraft quickly as it had begun. Initially, even the action in August 1991 were not accepted in the workplace, as relevant to the fate of the project. So convinced were the creators in their own offspring. But still the disintegration of the USSR, the cessation of funding operations, liquidation Minaviaproma and other actions of the early 90-ies made their dark matter. Development of an attack aircraft Su-37 was not just suspended, it was forgotten.
The design of the Su-37
By his own design Su-37 was performed on the aerodynamic configuration «duck» and had a delta wing with a break on the front edge. Close to the wing housed frontal horizontal tail machine. Selected OKB. Dry aerodynamic design of the new aircraft was close to applied on modern European fighter «Gripen», «Rafale», «Eurofighter». With all of this in a wind machine assembly felt perceptible impact interceptor Su-27, which was reflected in the strong integration of the middle part of the fuselage of the aircraft with its pretty developed wing.
Most takeoff weight machine was 25 000 kg, including 8,000 kg. payload. Airframe could withstand operational overload +9 /-3g. With subsonic aircraft can maneuver during overload up to 8g. Frontal horizontal tail (CHR) has the control surface that could deviate at angles of +10 to -70 degrees. Wing aircraft was supplied with slats and ailerons.
Almost everything in the design of an attack aircraft Su-37 was performed for the growth of its vitality. First, it concerned lowering the tail IR signature of the motor, as partial implementation of technology «stealth». Use in aircraft design of new technologies, the availability of guns defensive systems, hindered enemy detection machine. To enhance the passive protection of aircraft cockpit was armored, armor were also covered important fundamental components and structural elements of the engine, fuel system, the airframe. Aircraft fuel tanks were protected polymer foam plastic, which prevents burning and explosion in contact with combustible or projectile fragments. The total weight of only parts of passive protection superior to 0.8 tons. Ability to store the Su-37 is comparable to small venues (folded wing span was 8.1 m), and use of a car with unpaved runways could also significantly increment strike aircraft survivability in combat criteria.
Systems and equipment
Aircraft planned to equip wire control. The composition of navigating complex aircraft was supposed to be brand new radar, which was to ensure the car even in tough criteria for electronic warfare:
— strafe ground and surface targets;
— pursuit immediately for 10 different purposes;
— flyby mode obstacles transonic speed at low altitudes;
— detection, tracking and following settlement of low-flying targets across the full spectrum of flight speeds, as liquidation hanging motionless helicopters, which are quite hard to find.
Optoelectronic system used on the Su-37, was to ensure the implementation of the machine at any time of a day or night and also the launch of missiles equipped with thermal imaging and laser guidance systems, including anti-tank. Multichannel infrared system (like the western development FLIR), could be installed in a special container and allowed the implement to hit targets with missiles with IR control at a distance of 10-15 km. In the hinged containers could also be mounted equipment for IR, TV and photographic reconnaissance.
Attack aircraft Su-37 was planned to equip the engine development OKB. Tumanskiy owning sea level thrust of 18,500 kgf. Besides addressed the issue of equipping the fighter-bomber with 2 engines. Vozduhopoglotiteli engines are under the burly front edge of the wing, which terminate at the forward fuselage under the cockpit.
Aircraft planned to equip 18 points outer suspension, which allowed him to carry 8500 kg. payload. According to this indicator Russian plane surpassed South American A-10 attack aircraft. This combat load and today it is more than impressive. Besides the 30-mm automatic gun aircraft could be equipped with a very wide range of weapons:
— SD-class «air-surface», also anti-radar missiles
— SD-class «air-to-air» and medium-range actions
— ATGM to combat enemy armor
— NUR caliber 85-370 mm.
— All types svobodnopadayuschih and corrected bombs weighing up to 1500 kg.
Aircraft performance properties of the Su-37:
Dimensions: Wingspan — 12.08 m (folded — 8.1 m), the length of the fighter — 17,65 m, height — 5.74 m
Wing Area — 50.0 m. m
Normal takeoff weight of the aircraft — 18 000 kg., Maximum take-off — 25 000 kg.
Supplies of fuel — 8300 l.
Engine type — 1 turbofans, thrust — 18,500 kgs.
The highest rate of the land — 1500 km / h at an altitude — 1900 km / h
Operational range — 1500 km. (3000 lbs. Load)
Service ceiling — 17,000 m
Crew — 1 person.
Armament: 18 suspension points, the largest combat load — 8500 kg.