I received an e-mail, but unfortunately, I can't reply to it. My software doesn't support the Cyrillic symbols in the return address. Do you have a different e-mail address with Latin symbols?
For the moment, I will continue my thoughts here:
(1) KnAAPO Su-27, Su-27P
In the section about KnAAPO, is described "repair and servicing the Su-27, Su-27M, Su-27P, ..." So, it seems KnAAPO agrees that there are two such animals - "Su-27" and "Su-27P". Somewhere in the book, it would be good to explain, what is the difference (or at least, what KnAAPO believes is the difference
between Su-27P and Su-27(S?).
(2) Two targets for Su-27?
Again from Efim Gordon is the claim that during production of the Su-27, there was an added new capability to the weapon system. He claims that all "Su-27P", and recently-constructed "Su-27S", have the ability to engage two targets simultaneously and guide missiles to them. For a long time I thought that this was some mistake, that Gordon confused N-001 radar with stories about the cancelled "Myech" with electronic scanning. But recently there are opinions circulating (by people who worked on the Kuznetsov) that Su-33 does have this capability. What is the truth? This seems like a very interesting story. How is it technologically possible, when the antenna uses mechanical scanning, and the missiles are not active radar? Does it require use of R-27EM missiles, or it can be done with normal R-27R/ER? It requires the use of track-while-scan mode, or maybe the radio communication datalink from other radars? Is it really effective?
(1) Aerodynamic comparison to Su-27
Su-33 uses the same engines as Su-27, is heavier, but has canards. It would be interesting to know the pilot's opinion - does this combination make the Su-33 more, or less maneuverable than Su-27? Are the folding wings responsible for reduced maximum G? Do the canards and extra weapons hardpoints reduce the maximum speed or operating altitude?
(2) Problems with RWR (СПО-15)
The description of Kuznetsov's Mediterranean cruise does not include the story of Su-33 interception by Israeli F-16s, when it was "discovered" that the SPO-15 was insufficient to detect F-16 radar transmissions. The story is especially interesting now, because the Su-33 is being upgraded, but not with the new radar, RVV-AE and Moskit as originally proposed, but rather - with new L-150 RWR. I guess it was decided, that replacing the RWR is a higher priority. Questions:
(a) If the SPO-15 didn't detect Israeli F-16, how did Russia decide they actually had their radars turned on, and weren't guided "silently", by Israeli E-2 AWACS?
(b) Why does this seem to be a Su-33 problem? Don't Su-27, MiG-29, and Su-25 all use the same SPO-15? Wouldn't it make sense to upgrade Su-27 RWR first, so it can be tested independently of aircraft carrier operations? Or, the SPO-15 has this problem only on Su-33? How?
(3) Weapons system comparison to Su-27
One difference between Su-27 and "upgraded" Su-33 weapon system is described as the ability "to intercept aerial targets with the support of the aircraft-carrier's command-and-control means". What does this mean?
(a) There are stories now that the Su-33 can engage two targets simultaneously (see above). Does this regime perhaps require the support of the aircraft-carrier's command-and-control means?
(b) Is the aircraft-carrier's command-and-control means really operational? How does it work? Many people say that the Kuznetsov's large "Sky Watch" radar was an unsuccessful design, and is not operational. For example - "Varyag" was constructed without antennas for this radar. And one person says even the large square antennas on Kuznetsov are not antennas, but actually "concrete slabs" to fool spies. Is it true? The An- and Yak- carrier-borne AWACS aircraft were cancelled, and the Ka- AWACS helicopter was tested, but is not actually purchased by Russian Navy. So what is the basis of the carrier's "command-and-control" system? And...
© ...how is it different from the normal ground control system used with Su-27? Different communication frequencies? Or really different capabilities? Why not use a unified system for both? For example, Soviet naval surface-to-air missiles and ground surface-to-air missiles usually use the same technology.
It's interesting that the Su-33 was photographed with ASM-MSS "Moskit" on a weapons hardpoint at an airshow, but it was never photographed with RVV-AE. What is the real story of Moskit development? There is even a pylon! One person told me that the Su-33 flew carrying a model Moskit for aerodynamic tests, but the missile (not the aircraft) was never finished, and it was never launched from Su-33. Is a new radar and weapon system required, or can the Moskit receive
radio datalink target designation from the Tu-22/142 aircraft with sea attack radar, or radar satellite guidance, or the Kamov AWACS through the carrier's command-and-control system? Can the Su-33 really take off from the carrier with Moskit and air-to-air missiles? What would be the maximum allowed fuel load and combat range in such configuration?
This missile is designed to intercept low-altitude targets over the sea, and it's never mentioned that Su-27 can use it - only Su-35, and Su-33. It's true? Has it been tested with Su-33? Su-33 weapon system seems to be more similar to Su-27, than to Su-35, so it's surprising to think that Su-33 could use R-27EM, but Su-27 could not. Or, do they refer to Su-33 only after the "proposed" weapons upgrade?
Thanks again for your interest, more thoughts later...