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Su 27 VS MiG 29: Distinction & Characteristics

Su 27 VS MiG 29: Distinction & Characteristics

Being defensive and attacking are two types of combat one could acquire. Humans have been using several weapons to defend and attack property, territory, life, and wealth.

In the past, humans were only bound to land or naval combat until October 23, 1911, during Italo-Turkish War. Since then aircraft were used in war combats either to protect territory or to bombard enemy territories.

In military conflicts, the role of the fighter aircraft is to use establish air superiority in the battlespace. Fighter airplanes have been referred to under a variety of labels; In World War 1 Royal Air Force and Royal Flying Corps referred to them as “scouts” whereas the Americans referred to them as “pursuit” until the late 1940s.

The key feature of fighter aircraft is not only its firepower but its maneuverability and speed relative to target aircraft. Many fighter aircraft have secondary capabilities such as fighter bombers, and ground attacks, and some types are designed from the outset for dual roles.

Su 27 and MiG 29 are also two modern Soviet-origin fighter aircraft with great features and specifications. Despite, their features both aircraft have a few distinctions between them.

The Su 27 also known as Sukhoi Su-27 is a Soviet-origin twin-engine supermaneuverable fighter aircraft designed by Sukhoi whereas the MiG-29 or Mikoyan MiG-29 is developed by the Mikoyan design bureau.

This is just one difference between the Su 27 and Mig-21, there is a lot more to know so stick with me till the end as I’ll be going through all facts, distinctions, and much more.

Su-27: Characteristics, Variants & much more

Su-27 or better known as Sukhoi Su-27 is a Soviet origin twin-engine supermaneuverable fighter aircraft that is designed by Sukhoi.

It is also called (NATO designation) Flanker, which is an air-superiority fighter plane introduced in forces of the Soviet Union.

Su-27 is currently the premier fighter aircraft of China, Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Kazakistan, Indonesia, and Vietnam.

Brief History

The Su-27 was introduced by the Soviet forces in 1985. The work on Su-27 began in 1969 at  Sukhoi design bureau as a direct response to the development of the F 15 fighter Eagles of the United States.

The chief designer Mikhail Simonov, molded the Su 27 into was is arguably the finest Air superiority platform of the 20th century.

As its Cold War counterpart, the Su-27 was developed into a large number of interceptors that were powered by twin turbofan engines.

Su 27 was developed with remarkable agility for its size and the aircraft of more than twice the speed of sound.


The SU 27 has a basic design automatically similar to MiG-29 fighter aircraft but was larger. The wings blend into leading-edge extension and are essentially a cross between a cropped delta and a swept wing.

The fighter is also an example of the tail delta wing, retaining conventional horizontal tailplanes.

Su 27 first fly-by-wire operational control system was combined with relatively low wing loading, and powerful basic flight controls except for agile aircraft, comfortable at the high angles of attack and even at low speed.

General Characteristics of Su 27

The general characteristics of Su 27 are presented in the table below.

Height5.92 m (19 ft 5 in)
Wingspan14.7 m (48 ft 3 in)
Wing area 62 m2 (670 sq ft)
Length21.9 m (71 ft 10 in)
Empty weight16,380 kg (36,112 lb)
Gross weight23,430 kg (51,654 lb)
Max takeoff weight30,450 kg (67,131 lb)
Fuel capacity9,400 kg (20,723.5 lb) internal
General Characteristics of Su 27

Performance & Weaponary

The Su 27 has a maximum speed of 2,500 km/h (1,600 mph, 1,300 kn). It has a range of 3,530 km (2,190 mi, 1,910 mi) where 1,340 km is at sea level.

It has a rate of climb (rate of ascent or descent) of 300 m/s (59,000 ft/min) and a wing loading of 377.9 kg/m2 (77.4 lb/sq ft) With 56% fuel. The Su 27 is equipped with a 1 × 30 mm Gryazev-Shipunov GST-30-1 autocannon, 150 rounds gun.

It also has a combination of rockets namely; S-8KOM/BM/OM, S-13T/OF, and S-25OFM-PU.

Other than rockets, it is equipped with 6 × R-27R/ER/T/ET/P/EP air-to-air missiles and 6 × R-73E AAMs.

Bombs used for bombardment are FAB-500 general-purpose bombs, RBK-500 cluster bombs, and RBK-250 cluster bombs.


These are some variants of Sukhoi Su-27:

  • Su-27PD
  • Su-27SKM
  • Su-27KUB
  • Shenyang J-11
  • Su-30M/MK
  • Su-27KUB
  • Su-27UP1M
  • Su-27P1M
  • Su-35BM/Su-35S
  • Su-27UB (“Flanker-C”)
  • T10 (“Flanker-A”)
An image of Su 27 jet.
Su-27 is a twin-engine supermaneuverable fighter aircraft of Soviet origin.

Sukhoi-27 vs. Sukhoi 30: Are they the same?

Although the Sukhoi-30 is a variant of Sukhoi 27, they have a few differences between them.

The Sukhoi 27 is an Air superiority fighter produced in 1982 whereas the Sukhoi 30 is a Multirole fighter that was produced in 1990.

Sukhoi-27 has a maximum speed of Mach 2.35 (2,500 km/h, 1,550 mph) while the Sukhoi 30 has a max speed of Mach 2.0(2,120 km/h, 1,320 mph).

Sukhoi-27 has a maximum weight of 16.38 t whereas, the Sukhoi 30 has a max weight of 17.7 t.

One of the key differences is that the Sukhoi 27 is a single-seater whereas the Sukhoi 30 is two-seater fighter aircraft.

The Sukhoi 27 has a range of 3530 km while the Sukhoi 30 has a range of 3000km.

What is Mig-29?

The MiG-29 was developed to meet the Soviet Union’s air defense capabilities and requirements, and as a result, it was a rapid reaction aircraft capable of launching missiles at the opponent in the same manner as its illustrious predecessor, the MiG-21 Fishbed.

Same as Sukhoi Su-27 was developed to counter new US fighters such as the General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon and McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle.

Brief History

The Mig-29 took its’ first flight on the 6th of October 1977 and has been produced from 1981 till now.

At the height of the Coldwar in the 1960s, the United States Air Force was focused to produce fighter jets dedicated to air superiority, which led to the formation of the F-X program that later on produced the McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle fighter jet in late 1969.

In response, the development of superior fighter jets became a priority for the Soviet Union. The Soviet forces were planned to comprise 33% PFI and 67% LPFI.

The PFI was assigned to Sukhoi which resulted in Sukhoi Su-27 and lighter fighters going to Mikoyan. Detailed working on Mig-29 began in 1974 and the first flight took place on 6 October 1977.

An image of Mig-29.
It is one of 17 MiG-29s purchased by the US government from the former Soviet state of Moldova in 1997.

Characteristics & Performance

The Mig-29 has a maximum speed of 2,400 km/h with a range of 1,430 km. It is designed by foreseeing the critical situations and has a rate of climb of 330 m/s.

The general characteristics of Mig-29 are:

Length17.32 m (56 ft 10 in)
Wingspan11.36 m (37 ft 3 in)
Wing area38 m2 (410 sq ft)
Fuel capacity3,500 kg (7,716 lb) internal
Max takeoff weight18,000 kg (39,683 lb)
Key characteristics of Mig-29

Mig-29: What missiles can it carry?

The Mig-29 can carry several missiles that are listed below.

  • 4 × R-73 AAMs
  • 4 × R-60 AAMs
  • Astra (Indian Air Force)

Other than these missiles, it can carry guns such as 1 × 30 mm Gryazev-Shipunov GST-30-1 autocannon with 150 rounds and rockets that are S-5, S-8, and S-24.

Sukhoi Su 27 vs. Mig-29: Are they the same?

Although both Sukhoi Su 27 and Mig-29 are Russian fighter jets both are not the same. The distinctions between Sukhoi 27 and Mig-29 are represented in the table below.

Height5.92 m (19 ft 5 in)4.73 m (15 ft 6 in)
Wingspan14.7 m (48 ft 3 in)11.36 m (37 ft 3 in)
Wing area 62 m2 (670 sq ft)38 m2 (410 sq ft)
Length21.9 m (71 ft 10 in)17.32 m (56 ft 10 in)
Empty weight16,380 kg (36,112 lb)11,000 kg (24,251 lb)
Gross weight23,430 kg (51,654 lb)14,900 kg (32,849 lb)
Max takeoff weight30,450 kg (67,131 lb)18,000 kg (39,683 lb)
Fuel capacity9,400 kg (20,723.5 lb) internal3,500 kg (7,716 lb) internal
Max speed 2,500 km/h (1,600 mph, 1,300 kn)2,400 km/h
Range3,530 km (2,190 mi, 1,910 mi)1,430 km
Key distinstions between Sukhoi Su 27 and Mig-29

If you are curious to know more distinctions between Sukhoi Su 27 and Mig-29, have a look at this video.

Video telling key distinctions between Su-27 and Mig-29


Despite their differences, they are effective twin-engine supermaneuverable fighter aircraft that are produced the desired results and are used by several countries with large Air Forces such as China and India.

The Sukhoi Su-27 and Mig-29 both are astonishing Soviet fighter jets with great features, design, and combat capabilities. Both Sukhoi Su-27 and Mig-29 have several distinctions between them, that make them distinct from each other.

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