US F-35 vs Russian Su-35 Fighter Jet – Which Would Win? – Military Comparison


The USA’s global military dominance is unquestionable,
partially owing to the fact that it outspends other countries by a long shot. As we saw in our recent episode, “Top 10
Most Powerful Militaries in the World,” America has a staggering $639 billion defense
budget, which is around 10 times larger than the defense budget of second-placed Russia. That isn’t to say, however, that Russia
doesn’t own some of the world’s most devastating military technology. Even though Russia also comes in second with
regard to world’s most advanced air force, it is, nonetheless, the owner of one of the
most feared and respected flying machines ever made: The Sukhoi Su-35. We thought it would be fun to see how well
that machine would fare if it were pitted against America’s pride and joy of the skies,
in this episode of The Infographics Show, Dogfight: America’s F-35 Fighter Jet vs
Russia’s Su-35. Don’t forget to subscribe, and be sure to
click the bell button so that you can be part of our Notification Squad. Let’s start by looking at the Su-35. The aircraft is a vastly upgraded version
of the Sukhoi Su-27, which makes-up most of Russia’s 3,547 fleet. The single-seat, twin-engine, multirole fighter
had its maiden flight as a prototype in 1998, and has since been modernized. The Russian Military of Defence has boasted
that it has the most advanced aircraft ever created, hoping other countries might bite
and import some of its Su-35s. A handful of countries such as India, Indonesia,
and Brazil have expressed interested in purchasing a number of these fighter jets, but only China
so far has showed the money, reportedly spending $2 billion on a 24-strong fleet. The first batch of four jets became property
of the Chinese late in 2016; the second batch of 10 was delivered in February this year,
and the rest will arrive in China in 2018. Earlier this year Russian Defense Minister
Sergey Shoigu said cooperation between the two countries in terms of defense was “at
an all-time high.” In light of this ever-expanding and sometimes
confounding arms race, we’ll introduce America’s newest weapon of choice in the air, the Lockheed
Martin F-35 Lightning II. Currently the F-35 comes in three models,
each with a varying capacity for different types of warfare. The F-35A is for conventional takeoff and
landing; the F-35B is for short takeoff and vertical-landing, and the F-35C is for Catapult
Assisted Take-Off Barrier Arrested Recovery for use on an aircraft carrier. The single-seat, single-engine, multirole
stealth fighters’ first iteration flew its maiden flight in 2006. In 2015 and 2016, the F-35B and F-35A respectively
were said to be ready to be deployed. The USA is set to buy 2,457 of these aircraft
from aerospace company Lockheed Martin. U.S allies, including the U.K., Canada, Australia,
the Netherlands, and other countries, have helped shoulder some of the burden of the
cost of developing this supreme flying machine, contributing somewhere in the region of $4.375
billion. Development costs are expected to be around
the $40 billion mark, although the purchase of 2,457 jets will be an estimated $200 billion. If the aircraft is delivered as promised,
it will make the F-35 one of the world’s most numerous fighter jets. Interestingly, despite U.S. allies investing
heavily in the development of the F-35, the U.S. military has said that no one but itself
will have access to the software codes required for the fighter to function. A number of allies have expressed dissatisfaction
at this, believing it to be a rebuff from the U.S. The secret to the F-35’s magic is in the
code, as we will see. One thing experts seem to agree on is that
a dogfight between these two mighty machines is a highly unlikely scenario. If a dogfight did occur, one air combat researcher
said in 2016 that the F-35 would not beat the Su-35 in a million years. It was also reported, somewhat controversially,
that the F-35 came out the loser in simulated dogfights when it came up against its aged
predecessor, the F-16. So why then is America’s newest aircraft
called the most advanced fighter jet the U.S., or anyone for that matter, has ever created? The reason is simply because it was designed
to do a lot more than meet in a head-to-head battle in the sky. Experts have said comparing the F-35 to older
jets is like comparing an iPhone to a wall-mounted telephone. “We don’t even know 50-80% of what this
airplane can do,” one former F-35 commander was quoted as saying. We do know its stealth attributes, mind-boggling
computational power, and complex use of data are designed to make it neither seen nor heard. At the same time, it sees everything, able
to detect an aircraft such as the Su-35 from a very long distance. The F-35’s active electronically scanned
array radar system is said to be able to spot another aircraft from as far as 186 miles
(300 km), which is far superior to the 30 miles (50km) range of the Su-35’s infrared
search and track system. The electronic warfare suite of the F-35 makes
it a flying hacker like no other, being able to jam another aircraft’s radio frequencies
better than previous technology has been able to do. It’s also said to have an unprecedented
situational awareness, meaning it’s one step ahead of its foes at all times. One U.S. air force commander put it like this:
“The pilot sees a beautiful God’s eye view of what’s going on, and it’s a stunning amount
of information.” What would an F-35 do if it came close to
an Su-35? It would probably head-off in another direction,
is the consensus from experts. The Su-35’s supermaneuverability is way
ahead of the F-35, which has an inferior thrust-to-weight ratio. In terms of dogfighting, it’s just not as
nimble as the Su-35. The F-35’s main strength is to know how
to avoid ever being in a position in which it would have to engage with an Su-35, thanks
to its game-changing computational power. This brings us to some head-to-head facts
about the two fighter jets. Note there are slight differences between
the F-35 A, B and C. Speed: The F-35 can reach up to speeds of
1,200 miles per hour, whereas the Su-35 has a maximum speed of 1,726 miles per hour. Likewise, the Su-35 has a superior rate of
climb at 280 meters per second, to the F-35’s 230 meters per second. This is why one outspoken researcher said
the F-35 “can’t turn, can’t climb, can’t run”. The U.S. military’s rejoinder to this criticism
is that it doesn’t have to. Range: The F-35 can fly 1,200 nautical miles
between take-off and landing, while the Su-35 has a 1,940 mile range. The service ceiling, which means how high
the aircraft can reach using its full potential, favors the F-35 at 65 thousand feet. The Su-35’s service ceiling is 55 thousand
feet. As for offense, the aircrafts are quite different. The F-35 is said to have superiority at long
distance with its MBDA Meteor Beyond Visual Range missile. The Su-35’s AA-12 Adder missile has received
good reviews, but is said to be slightly inferior. The F-35 also packs an IRIS-T infrared homing
air-to-air missile, an AIM-9X short range missile and an AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range
Air-to-Air Missile. It carries 7 types of Air-to-surface missiles
and two types of anti-ship missiles. Similarly, the Su-35 carries an assortment
of short, medium and long range missiles. In terms of bombs the F-35 carries a larger
selection, including a B61 nuclear bomb. As for pricing the F-35 costs somewhere between
95-121 million dollars per unit, while the Su-35 is less than half that at 40-65 million
dollars. Some critics have said the F-35 is almost
too big to lose, in terms of cost. Adding to budget woes is the fact that its
futuristic design has resulted in developmental pains and costly defects. Who would win in a dogfight between these
two kings of the sky has become a somewhat divided matter between those who’ve been
following the development of fighter jets. Luckily for everyone the fight is purely hypothetical
at the moment, but given what you know now, which machine would you put your money on?! The fast-moving, aerial grappler, or the patient
super-brain pegged by some as a quantum leap in aircraft technology? Let us know in the comments! And if you want to see more American and Russian
comparisons, check out the episode entitled “A Tale of Two Tanks.” As always, thanks for watching, and don’t
forget to like, share, and subscribe. Also, please consider heading over to our
Patreon; we are currently raising money to hire more writers so that we can continue
bringing you this bi-weekly show!


100 Responses

  1. Shabbir Beig

    August 12, 2019 5:09 pm

    F35 is for people who just want to cowardly boomb other, where as u want su35 when really want to fight.

  2. David S

    August 14, 2019 12:54 am

    This is an incorrect analysis. It should be an F-22 against the SU-35. Although the F-35 can fight, it is more of a hybrid of a fighter and attack aircraft like the now retired A6 Intruder which had no air-to-air capability. This F-35 has it.

  3. Carol Duff

    August 19, 2019 3:27 am

    Anyone suspect that the capabilities of the SU35 are grossly misrepresented in a fluff piece intended to make excuses for the "flying dumptruck"

  4. likith Singh

    August 20, 2019 6:51 am

    one correction you have said that Su 35 has a 30 Km detection range for its infra red search and tracking system but are you going to make us believe that Su 35 has no Radar which claims to have 400kms detection range and a jammer which will try to jam the Radar of f 35.

    The point is when making a video please say that even Su-35 has radars and other electronically scanning and jamming equipment just it is that F 35s are claimed to be better. But showing that Su 35 is flying with the technology of Mig 15 is really bad

  5. Alexfirestone1

    August 22, 2019 1:34 pm

    You sound so chipper Sir because spending money on murdering people is so much more fun than actually taking care of them lol

  6. Samuel T. Steiner

    August 23, 2019 5:47 am

    I know who wins after a small EMP blast. 😉 You can only use electronics if they work. WW3 will be won by the power least relying on them.

  7. midgetydeath

    August 24, 2019 6:20 am

    Well, considering the Su-35 is meant to shoot down aircraft and the F-35 is meant to shoot ground targets….how about comparing same-role aircraft? Like the Su-35 and the F-22 Raptor or F-16.

  8. M PW

    August 25, 2019 11:06 am

    Isn’t it like comparing apples to aliens? Both aircraft are built for different purposes. Both fly very different missions. Both have extremely different group roles as well. F-35 flying as it is designed (in packs) is very difficult to overcome.

  9. Kyle P

    August 26, 2019 7:12 am


  10. charles

    August 27, 2019 2:57 pm

    Additional point – F35 way more expensive, way shorter and more difficult maintenance cycle. Can the VTOL variant carry this sort of weapon load?


    August 27, 2019 3:14 pm

    Pretty obvious that the US figther wins just by looking at the cost and the fact that su35 is an improvement of su27 and a 4th gen while the f35 is a 5th gen with the most expensive program ever

  12. Alex Timms

    August 28, 2019 11:15 pm

    We out spend, out train, out educate, and out military our military. But the F-35 isn't a fair comparison try to F-22 then compare it to the Sukhoi SU. Sukhoi SU will be outclassed in every imaginable way. Furthermore the F-35 would destroy the SU before it knows what happened to it.

  13. euphemist

    August 29, 2019 11:45 pm

    I would buy two SU 35 with the same price of F35. So two SU 35 is way stronger one F35. 😆 no need to discuss.

  14. mick morey

    August 30, 2019 9:04 am

    I luv Russia and would like to have a friendship with Russian .. drop your mail in comments Luv from India

  15. Sali Mall

    August 30, 2019 3:05 pm

    for F35 is superflier that is until … you suddenly see… "access denied" , the flight ceiling of F35 exceeding SU-35 by 10,000 ft is a clear advantage and F*35 can hide from view and make surprise attack .. twin engine vs single engine … is a tough one.. two engines that need to operate to be able to use fighter's full capability requires better pilotting skills and more maintenance…on the other hand can you risk access denied… it comes down to that.

  16. domnikoli

    August 31, 2019 3:56 am

    the f35 takes a fat dump on anything russia makes but russias are wayyyyyyyyy more realistically priced and laid out to manuver much better, and they can field twice as many if not more.

  17. Rudi Zimmerer

    September 3, 2019 6:12 pm

    the su35 can detect any stealth fighter … or Putin said every airplane can be detected… As usual, the USA is selling dreams and delivering for big money B. S. We have worked on radar detecting… Don't kid me… the USA is cheating for any proclaimed unvisible aircraft!!! It is not possible until you use any metal!!!!

  18. SA66

    September 4, 2019 3:08 am

    Stealth is still dream.
    See on radar screen and shut down is still dream.
    One more bad news is that enamy plains have
    jamming and anti jamming systems on.
    If the plane changes angels of attack rapidly and fast enough it desapears from radar screen thats why russians dos not bleave in stealth.

  19. Apache Sakai

    September 4, 2019 8:18 am

    If Dog fight 100% Su-35 will win over f-35. But if Coward fight 100% F35 will win at the moment, Unless Su-35 have special future equipment to detect F-35. F-35 will be end up in museum, F-35 is not for Dog fight at all

  20. Tobias Martini

    September 6, 2019 3:10 pm

    In a dogfight the su35 would easily win but the point of the f35 is that it wobt get into a dogfight in the first place
    It has longer range weaponry meaning it can take out the su35 before it is even visible

  21. tfs2O3

    September 10, 2019 4:31 am

    FYI, our pride and joy in the Air Force or anyother branch for that matter,is NOT the F-35! IDK why the world thinks this? Maybe because it's our newest,IDK? But the best currently are the F-22 Raptor and the ever updated F-15 Eagle,still a great top tier fighter that can be adopted for many roles such as attack and interceptor duties.
    Russia does produce some great planes though,its their avionics and air to air missiles that seem to fall behind sometimes. Eventhough their new short range,heat seeker is rarely fooled by flairs today. Great missile!

  22. Hurlock alpha the Anti-Globalist

    September 10, 2019 5:42 pm

    I would choose the Su-35. It's cheaper, faster and more maneuverable. "We got more advanced systems" is not enough for me.

  23. Erik Lysne

    September 10, 2019 9:16 pm

    i thought the F-35 was the best by far but the russians are doing better for half the price. Where's the budget going america.

  24. PseudologiaFantastica

    September 12, 2019 5:00 am

    One thing great about being a Russian arms buyer, is that you get both air and ground equipment for half the price. Arguably not the best, but ultimately, there is something to be said about quantity over quality.

  25. PseudologiaFantastica

    September 12, 2019 5:07 am

    Look at the tiny nation of Singapore, currently the only nation in s.e.a to have 4 f35 with 8 more to be delivered by 2020. But U.S. Won't sell them patriots, but outdated I hawks instead. But if you're buying Russian arms, the su35 comes with a pkg deal with s400 as a weapons system.

  26. Pa'rth Kshkz

    September 13, 2019 3:04 pm

    Russia has developed it's own stealthy aircraft su-57 … So now, the stealth advantage is also not with US … I believe, sukhoi is the defacto world leader in fighter aircraft manufacturing

  27. [D]arth

    September 13, 2019 3:14 pm

    Americans bragged about how their f117 night hawk is invisible and the best stealth plane, undetectable, etc.. and it was downed by Soviet rockets from the 60s.

  28. Anatolich Ъ

    September 13, 2019 11:26 pm

    You are very wrong! On su-35, there are radars H035 Irbis:
    Target detection range: with an EPR of 0.01 m² at the opposite angles of 100 km; with an ESR of 0.1 m² in the opposite angles of 160 km; with an ESR of 1 m² at the opposite angles of 270 km;
    With an ESR of 3 m² at the opposite angles of 350-400 km, for catch-ups of up to 150 km.

  29. Daniel Osdinia

    September 14, 2019 3:26 am

    The American have based their strategy in this field upon stealth capabilities and the Russian on maneuverability. up until the first real dog fight, we are not gonna find out who is right.

  30. Ed Hughes

    September 14, 2019 6:37 am

    Nations today just can not afford military war machines and in the future that limited money will dry up. What nation would ever want to drive / fly a VW Beetle (F35) when they can drive / fly a Lamborghini Huracan (Su35). Next is the cost to drive / fly 1 hour flight time in a VW Beetle (F35a) costs $44,000 where the Lamborghini Huracan (Su35) is much much lower. This is the crazy thing why would any nation want to buy VW Beetle (F35) that cost 300% more than a Lamborghini Huracan (Su35). Now the Electronics are better in the VW Beetle (F35). So What does a VW Beetle (F35) do when it sees a Lamborghini Huracan (Su35) run away as fast as it can.

  31. Ron McDon

    September 14, 2019 6:44 pm

    the F16 beat the F35 in a dog fight, but the F35 does WAY more. Its like an F16, but then giving it Harriet and A10 powers. thats what slows it down for dog fights. but its CAPABILITIES are very fast. the dog fighting is for the F22s, so the F35 doesnt need to fight, if the situation happens, the F22s will be called into action.

  32. Dead Shots

    September 14, 2019 8:05 pm

    I don't get this, it's like…

    America:We built the most advanced fighter.

    Also America:But only if you don't see us.

  33. Stephen Kong

    September 15, 2019 6:51 pm

    These two jets are designed to fight a different kind of battle. Whoever have the capability to put their ideal battle conditions for their own jets to fight within won.

  34. Bashar Zainal

    September 16, 2019 6:36 pm

    first the russaina will win in a dog fight but the goverment still doesnt give the full informatoing on what it CAN do misles that go undetected because a f35 would not get detected if the misle can go undetected the russains are going to die

  35. 04 GHOST

    September 20, 2019 9:23 am

    su 35 is a heavy weight+ faster jet,F35 is like a hacker…both are different qualities…bt head to head fight,fighting with F series with migs or like bringing a knife in a gunfight..


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