Aircraft Comparison By

Sukhoi Su-27 vs Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor

The Sukhoi Su-27 is a Russian fighter aircraft that was built for air superiority. The F-22 Raptor is an American fighter aircraft that was also built with the same intention. These two planes are very different in many ways, but they have one major similarity: they were both designed to be able to take off and land on short runways with no support from ground crew. This article will go into detail about how these two aircraft compare and contrast so you can decide which plane would best suit your needs as an aviation enthusiast!

Aircraft: Sukhoi Su-27 “Flanker” Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor
Sukhoi Su 27SKM
Lockheed Martin F 22A Block 35 Raptor.
Country: Russia United States
Manufactured: from: 1985 to: Present from: 2005 to: 2011
ICAO: SU27 F22
Price: $37 million $139 million
Avionics: Sukhoi Search and Track Radar / Fire Control, OEPS-27 IRST, OEPS-27 electro-optical targeting system Lockheed F/A-22 Integrated avionics, AN/AAR-56 Missile Launch Detector (MLD)
Engine: 2x 2 × Saturn/Lyulka AL-31F turbofans 2x Pratt & Whitney F119-PW-100
Engine Type: Turbofan Turbofan
Power: 27,600 pound-force 35,000 pound-force
Max Cruise Speed: 1546 knots
2,863 Km/h
1963 knots
3,635 Km/h
Approach Speed (Vref): 129 knots -
Travel Range: 1,906 Nautical Miles
3,530 Kilometers
1,600 Nautical Miles
2,963 Kilometers
Fuel Economy: 0.62 nautical mile / gallon
0.303 kilometres / litre
1.1 nautical mile / gallon
0.538 kilometres / litre
Service Ceiling: 62,000 feet 65,000 feet
Rate of Climb: 54000 feet / minute
274.32metre / second
68897 feet / minute
350.00metre / second
Take Off Distance: 450 metre
1,476.36 feet
480 metre
1,574.78 feet
Landing Distance: 620 metre
2,034.10 feet
200 metre
656.16 feet
Max Take Off Weight: 30,450 Kg
67,130 lbs
38,000 Kg
83,775 lbs
Max Landing Weight: 21,000 Kg
46,297 lbs
Max Payload: 4,500 Kg
9,921 lbs
1,776 Kg
3,915 lbs
Fuel Tank Capacity: 3,080 gallon
11,659 litre
2,400 gallon
9,085 litre
Baggage Volume: - -
Seats - Economy: 1 seats 1 seats
Seats - Business Class: 1 seats -
Seats - First Class: - -
Cabin Height: - -
Cabin Width: - -
Cabin Length: - -
Exterior Length: 21.9 metre
71.85 feet
18.9 metre
62.01 feet
Tail Height: 5.92 metre - 19.42 feet 5.08 metre - 16.67 feet
Fuselage Diameter: - -
Wing Span / Rotor Diameter: 14.7 metre
48.23 feet
13.56 metre
44.49 feet
Wing Tips: No Winglets No Winglets
More Info: Sukhoi Su-27 “Flanker” Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor
Data presented is for entertainment purposes and should not be used operationally.

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About the Sukhoi Su-27

The Sukhoi Su-27 is a supersonic, all-weather tactical fighter and interceptor aircraft developed by the Soviet Union. It was designed by Sukhoi’s department of aeronautical design under the leadership of T. S. Sukhoi to counter new American fighters such as the McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle and the General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon in air combat. The Su-27 most recently served in the Russian Air Force.

Sukhoi Su 27
Editorial Team Sukhoi Su-27

For a supersonic, all-weather tactical fighter and interceptor aircraft, the Su-27’s most distinctive feature is its variable-sweep wing, which can sweep back in a “cruise” configuration or forward for “combat”. The Su-27 can also employ highly agile thrust vectoring nozzles for roll supersonic flight, using two nozzle settings: “high-thrust” and “super-maneuverability”. Due to its thrust vectoring control capability combined with digital fly-by-wire flight control system, the Su-27 is very maneuverable.

Sukhoi Su 27
Robert Sullivan Sukhoi Su 27 (J-11)

The Su-27 was first flown in 1977, and was accepted into service in 1983. The plane is currently in service with the Russian Air Force and various export customers.

Why was the Sukhoi Su-27 developed and built?

The Su-27 was developed because the supersonic, all-weather multirole tactical fighter and interceptor aircraft it replaced (Sukhoi Su-15) was deemed inferior to the McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle which were procured in 1975 by the United States Air Force. Furthermore, because of the success of the General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon on export markets with many NATO countries during the late 70s, the Soviets wanted to offer a Soviet supersonic multirole aircraft that could match these capabilities.

The Sukhoi Su-27 was developed between 1976 and 1985. It’s high performing characteristics were largely attributed to its large twin engines and supersonically slender long body design. The Su-27 had an empty weight of 37,000 pounds (16,800 kg), a maximum take-off weight of 63,500 lb (29,400 kg) and a range of 2.2 miles with air-to-air missiles.

What purpose did the Sukhoi Su-27 serve?

The main purpose of the Su-27 was to act as a supersonic, all-weather, multirole fighter and to serve as an interceptor. The Su-27 also had ground attack capabilities, but its primary mission was air-to-air combat.

The su-27 was successful in its supersonic, all-weather multirole mission as it was able to outperform the McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle and General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon in mock combat.

Why is the Sukhoi Su-27 a famous aircraft?

The Sukhoi Su-27 has become a famous aircraft because of its unique look and its highly agile supersonic flight capabilities.

About the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor

The Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor is a fifth generation, single-seat stealth tactical fighter aircraft developed for the United States Air Force by Lockheed Martin. The F-22 was designed primarily as an air superiority fighter, but has additional capabilities that include ground attack, electronic warfare, and signals intelligence roles. Lockheed Martin is the prime contractor and is responsible for the majority of the airframe, weapon systems , and final assembly of the F-22.

Lockheed Martin F 22A Block 35 Raptor.
Reinhard Zinabold Lockheed Martin F-22A Block 35 Raptor.

The F-22 provides air dominance previously provided by the F-15 and A-10 Thunderbolt II. For supersonic aerial combat, both aircraft are equipped with radar warning receivers to detect, track and attack an enemy using its onboard radar system, including target illumination for beyond visual range engagements.

Why was the F-22 Raptor developed and built?

The F-22 was developed because the US Air Force needed supersonic air dominance fighters after the end of the Cold War that were affordable to buy and operate. Both American aircraft manufacturers and their allies (such as Great Britain, Japan, Israel) felt a need to replace older supersonic aircraft such as the F-15 Eagle with modern aircraft in order to reduce development costs for avionics and engines.

Lockheed Martin F 22A Block 35 Raptor USAF
Robert Frola Lockheed Martin F-22A Block 35 Raptor-USAF

In addition, advances in Soviet supersonic fighters made US supersonic aircraft obsolete. While many Western European countries such as France chose not to develop an expensive fighter like the F-22, they did choose to develop the VFAX.

The F-22 was first flown in 1997. Its development was slowed down in the early nineties for various reasons, but threat level projections changed after the September 11th attacks and the F-22 Raptor entered service in late 2005. It is currently operated by the USAF.

What purpose does the F-22 Raptor serve?

Present day, the main purpose of the F-22 Raptor is to defend the air superiority of US and allied airspace. It is also capable of conducting ground attacks, electronic warfare, and signals intelligence roles.

It is the first fighter equipped for aerial refueling and possesses a sophisticated onboard radar system that can track ground targets from supersonic speeds.

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The F-22 is also capable of guiding air-to-air missiles fired by other aircraft, such as an AIM-120 AMRAAM launched by an F/A-18 Hornet.

United States Air Force Lockheed Martin F 22A Raptor
Axel J. United States Air Force Lockheed Martin F-22A ‘Raptor’

How are the Su-27 and F-22 Raptor similar?

Both aircraft use a single vertical stabiliser, twin rudders at different heights on the Su-27 and the F-22, fixed canards, and twin tails. All Su-27s are built with spoilers at the rear of the wings to control downward thrust generated by supersonic flight, while all F-22 raptors have large leading edge extensions which provide additional lift for supersonic flight

How are the Su-27 and F-22 Raptor different?

Both aircraft are supersonic, all-weather tactical fighter and interceptors, but due to their different primary functions, they have many differences in terms of combat capabilities.

The main difference between these two aircraft is that the Su-27 was designed to be a supersonic, all-weather tactical fighter  and interceptor aircraft with air-to-air combat as its top priority while the F-22 Raptor was built for dog fighting and stealth.

The Su-27’s supersonic cruise speed is higher than that of the F-22 Raptor. The Su-27 flies at a supersonic speed of Mach 2.35 which is about 1,370 km/h as opposed to the F-22 Raptor’s supersonic speed of Mach 1.82 (1,223 km/h).

Additionally, the Su-27 has higher operational ceilings and longer range than the F-22 Raptor.

The Su-27s range is about 1300 nautical miles or 2300 kilometers while the F-22 raptor’s range is only about 600 km. In terms of maximum altitude, Su-27’s service ceiling is 15,000 meters as opposed to the F-22 Raptor’s service ceiling of 15.8 kilometers.

The Su-27 can carry up to ten air-to-air missiles, as opposed to eight on the F-22 raptor. Additionally, Su-27 pilots have their own dedicated 3 color cockpit display as opposed to the F-22 Raptor’s shared 2 color cockpit display.

What is better about the Su-27?

Although Su-27s are slightly slower than F-22 Raptors, Su-27 pilots are able to fly supersonically without any limitations. However, F-22 pilots are not allowed to fly supersonically over friendly  territory.

The Su-27’s visibility is also better than that of the F-22 Raptor, giving it better all-round sensory awareness in flight. And as a consequence of this, Su-27 pilots have greater training opportunities since they require more advanced, realistic combat training.

This also contributes to Su-27 pilots achieving a better kill ratio compared to f 22 raptor. The Su-27’s versatile dog-fight ability is especially apparent when it is flown against the F-15 or the F/A-18 which are supersonic aircraft as well.

Su-27s can go supersonic without using the Su-27’s roll trim, therefore Su-27 pilots  have more control over their aircraft. Although Su-27 design is different, they are able to achieve supersonic flight without using their horizontal stabilizers for trim in relation to F-22 Raptors which require it. So this means that Su-27 pilots can focus on attacking, while F-22 pilots have to focus on keeping their supersonic flight.

Another factor about the Su-27 that makes it better than the F-22 raptor is its Su-27 is smaller and lighter,  as a result it is faster in acceleration and deceleration, while the F-22 by being bigger and heavier takes time to accelerate or decelerate which allows Su-27 pilots to be more agile and manoeuvrable. 

A Su-27 fighter pilot would experience less stress than F-22 Raptor pilots because Su-27s have the flight characteristics of an “ideal” supersonic aircraft whereas F-22 Raptors don’t, in fact F-22 raptors are considered the most difficult supersonic aircraft to pilot.

However, the Su-27s downside is that pilots must wear pressure suits  while flying Su-27s above Mach 1 due to the pressurized cockpit which is a disadvantage when compared to F-22 Raptors according to Su-27 pilots who say they prefer being in their own natural skin by not having to wear a Su-27 pressure suit.

What is better about the F-22 Raptor?

The F-22 is superior to Su-27 in stealth, engines and avionics. Unlike Su-27, the F-22 raptor is invisible to radar except from the rear due to its very small frontal area. This means that Su-27s are more detectable by radar than the f 22 raptors.

The Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor is better at supersonic climbing and supersonic cruising than the Su-27. This means that pilots may have to fly supersonically without being able to dictate the flight characteristics of their aircraft, as Su-27 pilots do with their Su-27s when it comes into exceeding the speed of sound over friendly territory.

Another factor that makes F-22 raptors better than su 27s is that the F-22 Raptor can turn faster than Su-27s.

Additionally, Su-27 pilots cannot share information to other Su-27 pilots in real time because the Su-27 cockpit does not have as many air data systems and symbology readouts like the F-22 raptors do. In fact, su27 pilots need to rely on radio calls to communicate with Su-27 pilots in the same squadron as opposed to F-22 Raptor pilots who can see and communicate with other F-22 raptors in real time.

Sukhoi Su-27 vs Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor. Which one would win in a dogfight?

There is no clear answer to this question, it depends on various factors. The Su-27 has the advantage of supersonic speed and supersonically impressive dogfight capabilities due to its thrust vectoring system . On the other hand, the F-22 Raptor would be able to defeat a large number of enemy aircraft without even being detected.

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