Sukhoi Su-47

The Sukhoi Su-47 Berkut (NATO reporting name Firkin), also designated S-32 and S-37 (not to be confused with the twin-engined delta canard design offered by Sukhoi in the early 1990s under the designation Su-37) during initial development, was an experimental supersonic jet fighter developed by Sukhoi Aviation Corporation. A distinguishing feature of the aircraft was its forward-swept wing that gave the aircraft excellent agility and maneuverability. While serial production of the type never materialized, the sole aircraft produced served as a technology demonstrator prototype for a number of advanced technologies later used in the 4.5 generation fighter SU-35BM and current fifth-generation jet fighter prototype Sukhoi PAK FA T-50.

On August 11, 2014, Commander-in-chief of the Russian Air Forces, Colonel General Viktor Bondarev claimed that Russia is still continuing the research and development of Su-47 or similar forward-swept wing fighters. The new prototypes of such aircraft will be unveiled in the near future.

Sukhoi Su-47
Class Aircraft
Type Fighter
Manufacturer Sukhoi
Origin Russia (USSR)
Country Name Origin Year
Russia (USSR) 1997
Country Name Operational Year Retirement Year
Russia (USSR) View
ManufacturerName Production From Production To Quantity
Sukhoi 1 View

The Su-47 is of similar dimensions to previous large Sukhoi fighters, such as the Su-35.To reduce development costs, the Su-47 borrowed the forward fuselage, vertical tails, and landing gear of the Su-27 family. Nonetheless, the aircraft includes reduced radar signature features,[citation needed] an internal weapons bay, and space set aside for an advanced radar.

Though similar in overall concept to the Grumman X-29 research aircraft of the 1980s, the Su-47 is larger and far closer to an actual combat aircraft than its US counterpart.

To solve the problem of wing-twisting, the Su-47 makes use of composite materials carefully tailored to resist twisting while still allowing the wing to bend for improved aerodynamic behavior.

Like its immediate predecessor, the Su-37, the Su-47 is of tandem-triple layout, with canards ahead of wings and tailplanes. Interestingly, the Su-47 has two tailbooms of unequal length outboard of the exhaust nozzles. The shorter boom, on the left-hand side, houses rear-facing radar, while the longer boom houses a brake parachute.

Role Experimental/Technology demonstrator
Manufacturer Sukhoi
First flight 25 September 1997
Introduction January 2000
Status In development
Primary user Russian Air Force
Number built 1 flight testing prototype

General characteristics

  • Crew: 1
  • Length: 22.6 m (74 ft 2 in)
  • Wingspan: 15.16 m to 16.7 m (49 ft 9 in to 54 ft 9 in)
  • Height: 6.3 m (20 ft 8 in)
  • Wing area: 61.87 m² (666 ft²)
  • Empty weight: 16,375 kg (36,100 lbs)
  • Loaded weight: 25,000 kg (55,115 lb)
  • Max. takeoff weight: 35,000 kg (77,162 lbs)
  • Powerplant: 2 × Lyulka AL-41F (planned), prototypes used 2 Aviadvigatel D-30F11 afterburning, thrust vectoring (in PFU modification) turbofans
  • Dry thrust: 83.4 kN (18,700 lbf) each
  • Thrust with afterburner: 142.2 kN (32,000 lbf) each
  • Thrust vectoring: ±20° at 30° per second in pitch and yaw


  • Maximum speed: Mach 1.65 (Achieved in test flights) (1,717 km/h, 1,066 mph)
  • At sea level: Mach 1.16 (1,400 km/h, 870 mph)
  • Range: 3,300 km (2,050 mi)
  • Service ceiling: 18,000 m (59,050 ft)
  • Rate of climb: 233 m/s (46,200 ft/min)
  • Wing loading: 360 kg/m² (79.4 lb/ft²)
  • Thrust/weight: 1.16 (loaded) / 1.77 (empty)


The Su-47 is an unarmed technology demonstrator. If further developed into a fighter the armament could include the following weapons:

  • Guns: 1 × 30 mm Gryazev-Shipunov GSh-301
  • Missiles: up to 14 hardpoints (2 wingtip, 6-8 underwing, 4-6 conformal under the fuselage)
  • Air-to-air: R-77, R-77PD, R-73, K-74
  • Air-to-surface: Kh-29T, Kh-29L, Kh-59M, Kh-31P, Kh-31A, KAB-500, KAB-1500

End notes