Home Analysis Su-27 vs F-16 – Breaking Down the Battle in the Sky

Su-27 vs F-16 – Breaking Down the Battle in the Sky

Su-27 vs F-16: In the vast theater of aerial supremacy, two iconic fighter jets have soared to prominence, each representing the pinnacle of their respective nations’ aeronautical prowess. The Sukhoi Su-27 “Flanker” and the Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon stand as testaments to the engineering brilliance and strategic vision of Russia and the United States, respectively. As we embark on this journey into the realms of speed, agility, and firepower, let’s unravel the captivating narrative behind these aerial titans.

The Russian Marvel: Sukhoi Su-27 “Flanker”

Heralded as a symbol of Russian aeronautical excellence, the Su-27 emerged from the design halls of Sukhoi in the mid-1980s, answering the call for a versatile and formidable multirole fighter. With its distinctive twin-engine configuration, the Su-27 boasts a striking profile that mirrors its exceptional capabilities in the air. Its lineage can be traced to a pursuit of air superiority, and it has since evolved into a platform adept at air-to-ground missions and interception.

From the cold expanses of the Soviet Union to the modern theaters of global conflict, the Su-27 has proven its mettle in the hands of skilled pilots, renowned for its remarkable agility, powerful radar systems, and a combat range that extends across vast distances. With a price tag that reflects its advanced capabilities, the Su-27 stands as a symbol of Russia’s commitment to maintaining aerial dominance.

The American Icon: Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon

On the other side of the geopolitical spectrum, the Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon, often dubbed the “Viper,” represents the epitome of American ingenuity in aerial warfare. Born in the late 1970s, the F-16 quickly became the backbone of the United States Air Force and found itself in the arsenals of numerous allied nations. Its single-engine design, combined with a sleek and agile frame, has made it a stalwart presence in the skies.

As a true multirole fighter, the F-16’s versatility is reflected in its capability to excel in air-to-air combat, ground attack missions, and electronic warfare. The F-16’s legacy is etched in its adaptability, allowing it to evolve with technological advancements and remain a formidable force in the ever-changing landscape of aerial combat.

Unveiling the Duel: A Comparative Odyssey

In the forthcoming exploration, we will dissect the intricacies of these aerial behemoths—comparing their specifications, dissecting their design philosophies, and delving into their operational histories. From the thrust of their engines to the range of their missiles, the Su-27 and F-16 will go head-to-head in a virtual dogfight of attributes.

As we ascend into the clouds of this comparative odyssey, fasten your seatbelts for an exhilarating journey through the skies, where the Su-27 and F-16 engage in a high-stakes duel for supremacy. The stage is set, the jets are fueled, and the only limit is the boundless expanse of the atmosphere. Welcome to the enthralling world of the Sukhoi Su-27 and Lockheed Martin F-16—a tale of two air giants.

Su-27 vs F-16 Data Table

Here’s a table comparing the Sukhoi Su-27 “Flanker” and the Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon:

Aspect Sukhoi Su-27 “Flanker” Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon
Country Russia United States
Manufactured 1985 to Present 1978 to Present
Price $37 million $18 million
Avionics Sukhoi Search and Track Radar / Fire Control, OEPS-27 IRST, OEPS-27 electro-optical targeting system Lockheed Martin Tactical Aircraft Systems
Engine 2x Saturn/Lyulka AL-31F turbofans 1x Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-220
Engine Type Turbofan
Power 27,600 pound-force 29,160 pound-force
Max Cruise Speed 1,546 knots (2,863 Km/h) 1,147 knots (2,124 Km/h)
Approach Speed (Vref) 129 knots
Travel Range 1,906 Nautical Miles (3,530 Kilometers) 2,280 Nautical Miles (4,223 Kilometers)
Fuel Economy 0.62 nautical mile/gallon (0.303 kilometers/litre)
Service Ceiling 62,000 feet 50,000 feet
Rate of Climb 54,000 feet/minute (274.32 meters/second) 50,000 feet/minute (254.00 meters/second)
Take Off Distance 450 meters (1,476.36 feet) 345 meters (1,131.88 feet)
Landing Distance 620 meters (2,034.10 feet) 457 meters (1,499.33 feet)
Max Take Off Weight 30,450 Kg (67,130 lbs) 19,187 Kg (42,300 lbs)
Max Landing Weight 21,000 Kg (46,297 lbs)
Max Payload 4,500 Kg (9,921 lbs) 7,167 Kg (15,800 lbs)
Fuel Tank Capacity 3,080 gallons (11,659 litres) 845 gallons (3,199 litres)
Wing Span/Rotor Diameter 14.7 meters (48.23 feet) 9.96 meters (32.68 feet)

This table provides a side-by-side comparison of various specifications for the Sukhoi Su-27 and the Lockheed Martin F-16. Keep in mind that specific variants and upgrades may have different performance characteristics.


Both the Su-27 and F-16 are formidable fighters, and their effectiveness depends on factors such as mission requirements, pilot skill, and the specific variants involved. The Su-27’s larger size, twin-engine configuration, and exceptional agility give it certain advantages, while the F-16’s compact design, versatility, and widespread use contribute to its success on the global stage.


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