What wins the Battle of the Super-Fighters: the US’ F-35, or Russia’s Su-57?

在超级战机的对抗之中谁会获胜:美国的F-35还是俄罗斯的苏-57?


(L) F-35 figher plane vs (R) Su-57 fighter plane

(左) F-35战斗机 vs (右)苏-57战斗机




However, the F-35 was not the only cutting-edge combat aircraft to be launched at the turn of the millennium. As the 2000s progressed, the eyes of the US and its Western allies looked to the east, as the military heavyweight of Russia grew closer to rolling out its first indigenously developed fifth-generation stealth fighter.

然而,F-35并不是在世纪之交推出的唯一一款尖端战机。随着21世纪头10年的进展,美国及其西方盟友将目光投向了东方,俄罗斯这个军事重量级国家越来越接近推出第首款自主研发的第五代隐形战机。


For the last decade, manufacturers and operators have continued to grow and mature the abilities of the F-35 and Su-57. These fighters are intended to serve as a strong deterrent in key flashpoint regions across the globe, which are growing in importance as political tensions between the West and East continue to rise.

在过去的十年里,制造商和企业一直在发展和成熟F-35和Su-57的能力。这些战机的目的是在全球关键的爆发点地区起到强大的威慑力量作用,随着东西方之间的政治紧张局势持续升级,这些地区的重要性日益增强。

As NATO alliance members convert from their older combat aircraft to the F-35, Russia begins to silently induct its first serial production Su-57s into operational service.

随着北约成员国从老式战机转为F-35战机,俄罗斯开始悄悄将其首批批量生产的苏-57投入实战服务。

So which one has the edge? Let’s take a closer look…

那么哪一款战机有优势呢?让我们深入研究一番……

Capabilities

能力

The Su-57 is primarily an air superiority fighter, with a secondary focus on conducting strike missions, much like the F-22. Unlike the Su-57, the F-35 family was designed to be a pure-bred, fifth-generation multi-role stealth fighter that can conduct a variety of missions across a multi-domain battlespace.

苏-57首先是一种空中优势战斗机,其次是执行打击任务,很像F-22战机。与苏-57不同,F-35系列被设计为纯粹的第五代多功能隐形战斗机,可以在多领域的战场上执行各种任务。

The Lightning II has the ability to undertake air superiority, close air support, electronic warfare, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, strategic attack and the suppression/destruction of enemy air defence missions.

闪电II战机有能力获取空中优势、近距离空中支援、电子战、情报、监视和侦察、战略攻击和压制/摧毁敌人防空任务。

At present, just one serial production variant of the Su-57 exists – although Russia has highlighted that a number of different versions of the baseline platform could be developed. The nation first promoted a second variant, the Su-57E, in March 2019, which would be the designation given to examples of the fighter that are exported to international customers.

目前,苏-57只有一个批量生产的改进型——尽管俄罗斯强调可以开发出许多不同版本的基础平台。该国在2019年3月首次推出了第二款改进型,即苏-57E,这将是出口给国际客户的战机型号名称。

Where can they be used?

它们能应用于哪些场景?


Sukhoi’s Su-57 shares the same employability as the F-35A, given that both platforms operate solely from prepared land-based runways. However, what gives the Lightning II the edge is its ability to be employed from aircraft carriers and amphibious assault ships through the F-35B and F-35C variants.

苏霍伊的苏-57与F-35A具有同样的功能性,因为这两种平台都只在准备好的地面跑道上起降。然而,闪电II的优势在于它可以通过F-35B和F-35C衍生型号,从航空母舰和两栖攻击舰上使用。

These versions of the platform allow operators to project combat air power directly into a maritime domain from a base that is deployable to any corner of the globe.

该平台的这些版本允许操作员从可部署到全球任何角落的基地直接将作战空中力量投射到海上领域。

Design and speed

设计和速度

The most noticeable difference between the F-35 and Su-57 is in their overall design. The aerodynamic shape of the larger Su-57 is heavily optimised for achieving a high lift-to-drag ratio while flying at supersonic speeds, making it faster than the F-35. With two afterburning turbofan engines to the F-35’s one, the Su-57’s engines are also optimised to allow the aircraft to supercruise (fly supersonic without using the afterburner).

F-35和苏-57之间最明显的区别在于它们的整体设计。更大的苏-57的空气动力学形状经过了高度优化,以实现超音速飞行时的高升阻比,使其比F-35更快。与F-35的单个发动机相比,苏-57的两台加力涡扇发动机也进行了优化,使飞机能够超巡航(不使用补燃器的超音速飞行)。

As well as that, the Russian fighter features a thrust vectoring capability, which gives it supermanoeuvrable handling qualities in flight.

除此之外,俄罗斯战斗机还具有推力矢量控制能力,这使它在飞行中具有超机动性操控特性。

Stealth

隐身能力

In terms of stealth capability, there is a longstanding debate on how stealthy the Su-57 actually is, although earlier issues with its low-observable signature have seemingly improved as production begins to ramp up.

在隐形能力方面,关于苏-57到底有多隐形一直存在争议,尽管随着产量的增加,苏-57早期的低可见特征似乎有所改善。
在隐身能力方面,关于苏-57到底有多隐身的争论由来已久,尽管随着产量的增加,早期关于其低可观测特征的问题似乎有所改善。

Meanwhile, despite the F-35 benefitting from Lockheed Martin’s long history of developing stealth technologies, it has its own issues. The F-35B and C variants are at risk of suffering structural damage and losing their low-observable signature if they fly supersonic for prolonged periods of time.

与此同时,尽管F-35受益于洛克希德·马丁公司长期开发隐形技术的历史,但它也有自己的问题。如果F-35B和C的变种长时间超音速飞行,它们将面临遭受结构损坏和失去其低可见特征的风险。
与此同时,尽管F-35得益于洛克希德·马丁公司开发隐形技术的悠久历史,但它也有自己的问题。F-35B和C变型如果长时间超音速飞行,有遭受结构损坏和失去低可观测特征的风险。

Futuristic tech

未来的科技



Weapons

武器系统

In terms of their respective armaments, both aircraft can be equipped with an array of munitions, comprising a variety of air-to-air/air-to-surface missiles, anti-ship missiles, and bombs, although the F-35 has a wider sextion of weapons to choose from. To maintain their low-observable characteristics, both fighters feature internal weapons bays. They each have external hardpoints where munitions and fuel tanks can be carried at the expense of stealth. The Su-57 boasts 12 hardpoints to the F-35’s ten.

在它们各自的武器方面,两款战机都可以装备一系列弹药,包括各种空对空/空对地导弹、反舰导弹和炸弹,不过F-35的武器选择范围更广。为了保持其低探测性特点,这两款战机都配备了内置武器舱。它们都有外部挂载点,在那里可以牺牲隐身能力为代价携带弹药和燃油箱。苏-57拥有12个挂载点,而F-35有10个挂载点。

Which other countries use them?

还有哪些国家在使用它们?

Although both platforms were developed from the outset to be available to customers on the export market, there is no doubt that the F-35 has excelled over the Su-57 in this area – helped by the fact that it is the product of a multinational development programme. The Su-57 was developed domestically, despite efforts by Russia to co-develop a variant of the type with India.

尽管这两种平台从一开始就开发出来供出口市场的客户使用,但毫无疑问,F-35在这一领域的表现优于苏-57——得益于它是一个多国开发项目的产品。苏-57是在国内发展的,尽管俄罗斯努力与印度共同发展一种改进型。


But 12 nations have officially ordered the F-35 to replace older fleets, with more set to follow, while the US plans to acquire a total of 2,443 F-35s across all three variants to equip the Air Force, Marines and Navy.

但12个国家已正式下令用F-35取代老旧战机,还有更多国家准备效仿,而美国计划总共采购2443架F-35,涵盖所有三种衍生型号,以装备空军、海军陆战队和海军。

All together, this will take the number of F-35s in operation to way above 3,000. It would be almost impossible for the Su-57 to match this export success.

总而言之,这将使现役F-35战机数量超过3000架。对于苏-57来说,要赶上这种出口成绩几乎是不可能的。

Conclusion

结论



Yet where the F-35 really wins is in its numbers and export success. With more than 3,000 set to be rolled out for operators across the globe, it is going to be a real struggle to pin the F-35 platform down anywhere – and that will make it exceptionally hard to fight against.

然而,F-35真正获胜的地方在于它的数量和出口的成功。全球将有3000多架F-35战斗机投入应用,要把F-35平台部署在任何地方将是一场真正的考验,这将使它变得异常难以对抗。