PAK-FA and FGFA Thread

All threads that are locked or marked for deletion will be moved to this forum. The topics will be cleared from this archive on the 1st and 16th of each month.
NRao
BRF Oldie
Posts: 16814
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: Illini Nation

Re: PAK-FA Thread - First flight

Postby NRao » 09 Feb 2010 21:59

This article was wriiten a month ago - Jan, 2010:

First, some thoughts:

According to the ADA, the government will look to purchase upto 250 MCAs when its done and ready -- not just as a replacement to the MiG-27s and Jaguars, but to complement the MMRCA fleet that will hopefully be half-inducted by then.


A proposal in 2008 suggested that the MCA be used as a technology feeder platform to the Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA), but after hectic representations by DRDO and HAL, with support from the IAF, it was finally decided that the MCA would continue as a fully separate aircraft programme.


So, it is not a pipe dream or the like.

In August 2008, right about the time the Indian Air Force had decided to officially kickstart procedures to get the Medium Combat Aircraft (MCA) off the realm of theory, then Chief of Air Staff Fali Major happened to bump into DRDO chief M Natarajan and then HAL chairman Ashok Baweja at an industry suppliers function in Bangalore. The Chief was mildly irritated that both Baweja and Natarajan had provided media sound-bytes and interviews suggesting that the MCA would have "fifth generation technologies". He impressed upon both gentlemen, over tea, that if the MCA went the LCA way, it would be not just unacceptable to the air force, but an act of criminal disregard for the country's security. "Give the air force a bloody first-rate fourth generation aeroplane. That is the job before you," he said.

Two months later, in October 2008, the name of the MCA programme was changed (on recommendation to the Secretary, Defence Production) to "Next Generation Fighter Aircraft", though MCA continues to be used alternatively without any particular distinction.

As per official documentation by the IAF, it wants the MCA to be a twin-pilot configured multirole stealth aircraft capable of "close air support, all weather interception, air defence suppression, long-range strike, electronic attack, limited command & control and reconnaisance" -- that's the profile from an official IAF wishlist to the ADA last year. That might roll right off the air force's tongue, like off a brochure, but they're deadly serious. Putting all speculation to rest when it officially began dialogue about the MCA in 2008, the IAF said it was not willing to look at a strike aircraft with other capabilities. It wants a fully multirole (preferably, swingrole) aircraft for the job.


Even for that level of thinking some "funds" have to be provided?

As we speak, a joint committee of several bodies involved with the NGFA is finetuning the configuration of the final jet, before work begins on building a tech demonstrator, three prototype vehicles and two production series trial jets -- the wind tunnel model unveiled at Yelahanka in February 2009 is largely what the aircraft will look like, though there are three other variants that have not been displayed yet. A twin-engine delta planfrom version, which was a direct derivative from the LCA, has since been shelved -- low observable requirements demanded a fully new airframe approach, which finally ended in the design that people got to see at Aero India 2009. While the wind-tunnel model, fabricated by a Bangalore-based engineering firm, is the product of an ADA/HAL study, there will be dramatic changes yet to the aircraft's intakes (utterly radar friendly, according to the IAF), vertical stabilisers and dorsal section, say sources.


So there has to be some funds allocated for all these activities? Related to the NGFA? .................. ????? (Or do they come free?)

While configuration fructifies, the following work has begun on the MCA in full earnest: DARE, Bangalore has appointed a special team to begin identifying avionics and cockpit packages for the first prototype vehicle, and will supply this in published form to the ADA by July 2010. This will include cockpit electronics, cockpit configuration, man-machine interface, mission console systems and computers/software with a focus on data fusion and modular architecture. The LRDE will, in about the same time frame, provide a separate project proposal for an all new radar, to be re-designated for the MCA, as a derivative of the MMR currently being completed with technology from Israel's ELTA. LRDE will independently look in the market for a partner for active array technology, though it communicated to ADA in June 2009 that it had sufficient R&D available to build a reliable AESA prototype with assistance from Bharat Electronics Ltd and two private firms based in Hyderabad.

There is a collossal amount of work going on as far as materials is concerned for the MCA/NGFA. With the IAF unmoving in its demand for an aircraft that has stealth characteristics built into it from the drawing board forward, the DRDO has powered teams within its materials laboratories in Pune and Hyderabad to come up with new composities, low observable materials fabrication techniques, and of course, radar-absorbent control surface aggregates, airframe materials and paints. This is, of course, completely separate from design characteristics, including internal weapons, fresh leading edge innovations and a sustainable stealth maintenance footprint.


None of these can be done over lunch break. They have to have some funds.

Thoughts?

NRao
BRF Oldie
Posts: 16814
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: Illini Nation

Re: PAK-FA Thread - First flight

Postby NRao » 09 Feb 2010 22:07

Austin ji,

Here is my thinking (and let me know what you think if need be).

India has:
a) LCA, and
b) MCA/NGFA.

THAT IS IT.

So, from a very high level, when anyone in India says "engine", "radar", "skin", "composite", etc (WRT air crafts) they will normally fall under "LCA" or "MCA/NGFA". Can they apply to trainers, etc. Sure they can. But, more than likely the topic will be one of these two CAs. So, "fund"s in the aircraft arena will more than likely will be associated with these two "twins". Any improvment in one will more than likely help the other.

the challenge is not the funds. It is the technology that India needs and does not have.
Last edited by NRao on 09 Feb 2010 22:12, edited 1 time in total.

KrishG
BR Mainsite Crew
Posts: 1290
Joined: 25 Nov 2008 20:43
Location: Land of Trala-la

Re: PAK-FA Thread - First flight

Postby KrishG » 09 Feb 2010 22:09

Singha wrote:is the MCA going to parallel the FGFA - twin engine, strike focus, dual seater but use much more of desi design, kaveri-ej, desi aesa etc as a platform to develop 5th gen fighter skills?


IMHO FGFA could predominantly be used an Air-superiority role and enemy defence supression role. NGFA would be used for ground attack, CAS, air defence and tactical bombing roles.

SaiK
BRF Oldie
Posts: 36415
Joined: 29 Oct 2003 12:31
Location: NowHere

Re: PAK-FA Thread - First flight

Postby SaiK » 09 Feb 2010 22:24

per the above link and per western analysts:

While India can bring significant funding, it cannot supply relevant technical expertise to help Sukhoi with the challenging task of developing and integrating a low-observable, network-centric, fifth-generation fighter. How soon, and how effectively, the Russians can deploy their rival to the F-22 remains to be seen.

India can't be a feeder /period. :oops:

Cain Marko
BRF Oldie
Posts: 4376
Joined: 26 Jun 2005 10:26

Re: PAK-FA Thread - First flight

Postby Cain Marko » 09 Feb 2010 23:19

Raosahab,

Thank you for that piece - one of Aroor's better ones imho.

According to the ADA, the government will look to purchase upto 250 MCAs when its done and ready -- not just as a replacement to the MiG-27s and Jaguars, but to complement the MMRCA fleet that will hopefully be half-inducted by thenl.....It wants a fully multirole (preferably, swingrole) aircraft for the job..


It is this part that increasingly makes me think that the MRCA is no more an interim, gap filler, with fully developed capabilities (ala F-16) but also a hedge against delays in the MCA. The emboldened part leads one to think that the MRCA will have something to do with the MCA, for this reason amongst others (such as the fact that the MRCA will have to hang in till 2040), a more evolutionary concept (with cutting edge tech) is a requirement on the MRCA.

It makes sense that the IAF would want to standardize as far as possible on the two platforms. Amongst all the candidates, for a variety of reasons, which I won't enumerate here for fear of trespassing upon the parameters of this thread, the Rafale stands out as the one bird that fits the picture best. For similar reasons, the F-18 is the best platform in the American stable, it shows promise of further evolution unlike the solah.

So, it is not a pipe dream or the like....
Even for that level of thinking some "funds" have to be provided?


I would have to agree. The infrastructure and industry set up so painstakingly via the Tejas program, cannot now be squandered.

CM

NRao
BRF Oldie
Posts: 16814
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: Illini Nation

Re: PAK-FA Thread - First flight

Postby NRao » 09 Feb 2010 23:48

I am not sure what to make out of articles like this:

Feb 9, 2010 :: India develops electronic intelligence tech for surveillance

which has this:

India has also developed a "penetration aid" that allows its aircraft to penetrate into enemy territory "without being identified by any of the radars," sources said.


LCA/NGFA-"Growler" ????? !!!!!!!!

Hang them of a MMRCA too? Or the FGFA?

sumshyam
BRFite
Posts: 552
Joined: 23 Sep 2009 19:30
Location: Ganga ki dharti.
Contact:

Re: PAK-FA Thread - First flight

Postby sumshyam » 09 Feb 2010 23:52

NRao wrote:I am not sure what to make out of articles like this:


Sir, You can try some Alien Chutney... :mrgreen: !

NRao
BRF Oldie
Posts: 16814
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: Illini Nation

Re: PAK-FA Thread - First flight

Postby NRao » 09 Feb 2010 23:55

sumshyam wrote:
NRao wrote:I am not sure what to make out of articles like this:


Sir, You can try some Alien Chutney... :mrgreen: !


For breakfast in Lahore/Isloo, lunch in Peshawar and dinner with friends in Kabul/Kabool?

Oh boy. How much the world has changed.

with that kind of stealth PAF will need to fold up.

NRao
BRF Oldie
Posts: 16814
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: Illini Nation

Re: PAK-FA Thread - First flight

Postby NRao » 10 Feb 2010 00:02

OK.

Back to PAK-FA.

Samay
BRFite
Posts: 1143
Joined: 30 Mar 2009 02:35
Location: India

Re: PAK-FA Thread - First flight

Postby Samay » 10 Feb 2010 00:30

NRao wrote:I am not sure what to make out of articles like this:

Feb 9, 2010 :: India develops electronic intelligence tech for surveillance

which has this:

India has also developed a "penetration aid" that allows its aircraft to penetrate into enemy territory "without being identified by any of the radars," sources said.


LCA/NGFA-"Growler" ????? !!!!!!!!

Hang them of a MMRCA too? Or the FGFA?

DEW-growler

sumshyam
BRFite
Posts: 552
Joined: 23 Sep 2009 19:30
Location: Ganga ki dharti.
Contact:

Re: PAK-FA Thread - First flight

Postby sumshyam » 10 Feb 2010 06:48

self-deleted..!
Last edited by sumshyam on 10 Feb 2010 06:53, edited 1 time in total.

sumshyam
BRFite
Posts: 552
Joined: 23 Sep 2009 19:30
Location: Ganga ki dharti.
Contact:

Re: PAK-FA Thread - First flight

Postby sumshyam » 10 Feb 2010 06:53

Something that I noticed from my earlier post:

According to the laconic communique issued on the occasion of Sukhoi, the flight was "successful, in full accordance with the objectives. It was carried out to verify the "maneuverability aircraft, the normal operation of engines and main systems of the aircraft, as well as cleaning and exit the chassis.

The machine is generally smaller than the family "Flankerov, displaying a wingspan of about 14 meters and a length of about 19.8 meters. Take-off weight of the machine without external suspensions, and bulk-supply of domestic fuel is about 21-22 tons, giving Thus, the ratio of "thrust-mass" of about 1.4, thanks to two turbines, developing unit capacity of 15 tons. Maximum takeoff weight T-50 can be estimated at 35 tons, with a range of 3,000 kilometers without refueling and external fuel tanks.


and in addition :
Image
Legend to numbers on the graphic projections of the plane:

1. Radar SH121
2. OLS (model)
3. IR detector
4. Central tail beam, which is probably the rear radar
5. Kiel
6. Monobloc horizontal tail on a titanium frame
7. Place for aerogun (single-barreled, 30mm)
8. Place for a pull-rod refueling
9. The movable part of the influx
10. Place the alleged location of the lateral radar
11. Two-piece rear flaperon
12. Engine with a vertically adjustable nozzle
13. Container for braking parachutes
14. Bays weapons
15. "The build-up, length 4,5 meters for missiles or electronics. The front part of the closing mechanism slats.
16. Places to sites outside of the suspension.
17. Designated eductors optical and electromagnetic traps
18. "S" The external skeleton of air ducts in the form of "S" [/quote]

SaiK
BRF Oldie
Posts: 36415
Joined: 29 Oct 2003 12:31
Location: NowHere

Re: PAK-FA Thread - First flight

Postby SaiK » 10 Feb 2010 07:01

Wasn't the 'S' shaped duct on the lateral aspect rather vertical, giving more way to those landing gears.. but, I was also thinking in the cross-section diagram that depicted as lateral, did lose the space for internal weapons. May be the S is going up, but in that case, the current version needs structural changes.

Cain Marko
BRF Oldie
Posts: 4376
Joined: 26 Jun 2005 10:26

Re: PAK-FA Thread - First flight

Postby Cain Marko » 10 Feb 2010 12:56

SaiK wrote:Wasn't the 'S' shaped duct on the lateral aspect rather vertical, giving more way to those landing gears.. but, I was also thinking in the cross-section diagram that depicted as lateral, did lose the space for internal weapons. May be the S is going up, but in that case, the current version needs structural changes.


I think the S is both vertical and horizontal.

CM

sumshyam
BRFite
Posts: 552
Joined: 23 Sep 2009 19:30
Location: Ganga ki dharti.
Contact:

Re: PAK-FA Thread - First flight

Postby sumshyam » 10 Feb 2010 15:13

what to say for this comparison from FEAR THIS....!

Image
Image

ovein
BRFite -Trainee
Posts: 48
Joined: 21 Sep 2008 16:53
Contact:

Re: PAK-FA Thread - First flight

Postby ovein » 10 Feb 2010 16:53

http://www.defpro.com/daily/details/505/

"Even though it is nearly automatic to think of the PAK FA/T-50 in terms of a direct confrontation vs. the F-22, and this may indeed have been the original goal when the programme was first launched in the late 1980s, in the current global strategic scenario it is perhaps more likely that the Russians are rather interested in maintaining an air superiority edge over China’s current J-11s/SU-27s/-30s and future J-12. Also, the expected future worldwide usage of the F-35 JSF attack aircraft with its low observability qualities requires an interceptor capable to deal with this peculiar threat."

sumshyam
BRFite
Posts: 552
Joined: 23 Sep 2009 19:30
Location: Ganga ki dharti.
Contact:

Re: PAK-FA Thread - First flight

Postby sumshyam » 10 Feb 2010 16:58

FlightGlobal's article :: posting for reference.

Image

sumshyam
BRFite
Posts: 552
Joined: 23 Sep 2009 19:30
Location: Ganga ki dharti.
Contact:

Re: PAK-FA Thread - First flight

Postby sumshyam » 10 Feb 2010 17:03

ovein wrote:
"the Russians are rather interested in maintaining an air superiority edge over China’s current J-11s/SU-27s/-30s and future J-12. Also, the expected future worldwide usage of the F-35 JSF attack aircraft with its low observability qualities requires an interceptor capable to deal with this peculiar threat."


Having said that won't you like to answer WHY THEY SELL THEIR TOP NOTCH MILITARY ITEMS TO CHINA?

Austin
BRF Oldie
Posts: 23387
Joined: 23 Jul 2000 11:31

Re: PAK-FA Thread - First flight

Postby Austin » 10 Feb 2010 17:13

http://www.ausairpower.net/APA-NOTAM-100210-1.html

Indeed, the unveiling in late January, 2010, of the Sukhoi T-50 PAK-FA prototype, with superior aerodynamic and kinematic performance to the F-22 Raptor, and comparable in stealth performance to the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, but with far greater range and overall persistence, makes a complete mockery of most of the OSD planning for US TacAir capabilities over the last decade.

sumshyam
BRFite
Posts: 552
Joined: 23 Sep 2009 19:30
Location: Ganga ki dharti.
Contact:

Re: PAK-FA Thread - First flight

Postby sumshyam » 10 Feb 2010 17:25

Austin wrote:http://www.ausairpower.net/APA-NOTAM-100210-1.html


from ^^ above link ...!

The annihilation in combat of its less than capable air combat assets will be the curtain raiser for high cost capital assets such as the Wedgetail AEW&C, Aerial Refuelling MRTT, C-17 Globemaster III , AP-3C Orion and C-130J aircraft remaining on the ground or risk similar annihilation; its ground forces in the North and deployed being at risk of attack from the air where “one aircraft/three bombs/one Batallion” will be the order of the day; and, those embarked on the LHD and AWD ships steaming into the Air/Sea/Land Gap will risk being turned into shark bait.

sumshyam
BRFite
Posts: 552
Joined: 23 Sep 2009 19:30
Location: Ganga ki dharti.
Contact:

Re: PAK-FA Thread - First flight

Postby sumshyam » 10 Feb 2010 18:29

Russian 5th-generation fighter deliveries delayed until 2015

07:43 GMT, February 10, 2010 VLADIMIR | Deliveries of fifth-generation fighters to Russia's Air Force will start in 2015 rather than in 2013 as previously announced, the Air Force chief said on Tuesday, according to RIA Novosti.

"In 2013, I hope... the [Sukhoi] PAK FA prototype will be ready and fine-tuned, and we will start deliveries to military units in 2015," said Col. Gen. Alexander Zelin.

A prototype of the fighter made its maiden flight in Russia's Far East on January 29. Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said after the 47-minute flight that the first batch of fifth-generation fighters would go into service in 2013.

Russia has been developing its newest fighter since the 1990s. The current prototype, known as the T-50, was designed by the Sukhoi design bureau and built at a plant in Komsomolsk-on-Amur.

Russian officials have already hailed the fighter as "a unique warplane" that combines the capabilities of an air superiority fighter and attack aircraft.


another source

Austin
BRF Oldie
Posts: 23387
Joined: 23 Jul 2000 11:31

Re: PAK-FA Thread - First flight

Postby Austin » 10 Feb 2010 22:44

NRao wrote:Austin ji,

Here is my thinking (and let me know what you think if need be).

India has:
a) LCA, and
b) MCA/NGFA.

THAT IS IT.

So, from a very high level, when anyone in India says "engine", "radar", "skin", "composite", etc (WRT air crafts) they will normally fall under "LCA" or "MCA/NGFA". Can they apply to trainers, etc. Sure they can. But, more than likely the topic will be one of these two CAs. So, "fund"s in the aircraft arena will more than likely will be associated with these two "twins". Any improvment in one will more than likely help the other.

the challenge is not the funds. It is the technology that India needs and does not have.


Rao sahab ,

I think they are doing some basic research and taking AF on board before they approach the GOI for funds , they have experience to go by this time around.

LCA should give ADA the solid foundation and base to build a 5th gen fighter , even if they manage to build a JSF class strike fighter in a decade that would be a great achievement for us. Since MCA is targetted to replace M2K/Jags they would be more oriented towards strike with multirole capability , while FGFA will be more oriented towards airsuperiority with multirole capability , LO wise i think MCA could do a better job than FGFA.

Craig Alpert
BRFite
Posts: 1440
Joined: 09 Oct 2009 17:36
Location: Behind Enemy Lines

Re: PAK-FA Thread - First flight

Postby Craig Alpert » 11 Feb 2010 00:36

From Key-pubs
a PROSPECTIVE image of Paf-Fa (FGFA) in a 2 Seater Variant....

Image

and NOW FOR SOME FUN IF YOU WANT TO TRAIN 2 PILOTS AT THE SAME TIME :rotfl:

Image

Anoop. A.
BRFite
Posts: 102
Joined: 22 Nov 2009 15:12
Location: City of the snake with 1000 heads

Re: PAK-FA Thread - First flight

Postby Anoop. A. » 11 Feb 2010 01:55

Craig Alpert wrote:IF YOU WANT TO TRAIN 2 PILOTS AT THE SAME TIME :rotfl:

Image


Certainly Unique........ :lol:

alok_c
BRFite -Trainee
Posts: 9
Joined: 27 Jul 2009 07:20

Re: PAK-FA Thread - First flight

Postby alok_c » 11 Feb 2010 07:10

Craig Alpert wrote:From Key-pubs
a PROSPECTIVE image of Paf-Fa (FGFA) in a 2 Seater Variant....

Image


Come to think of it - it could be a cross between 2-seat Growler and 4-seat Prowler for the EW tasks with the forward weapons bay filled with wide spectrum jamming equipments and rear weapons bay carrying AR missiles. Of course, my understanding of EW is minuscule at best, so not sure if EW jamming equipments can even be concealed in the weapons bay or not and how it impacts the performance. Another utility would be control a swarm of UCAVs to provide on-board human-in-loop functionality for mostly autonomous drones. /end of day-dreaming

Philip
BRF Oldie
Posts: 20706
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: India

Re: PAK-FA Thread - First flight

Postby Philip » 11 Feb 2010 14:08

Just extend the cockpit all the way upto the tail and you could have a superb 5th-gen multiple trainer fthat could even accomodate about a dozen "guests",He!He! The President can then take her entire entourage/family on a stealth jaunt.

ovein
BRFite -Trainee
Posts: 48
Joined: 21 Sep 2008 16:53
Contact:

Re: PAK-FA Thread - First flight

Postby ovein » 11 Feb 2010 14:31

sumshyam wrote:
ovein wrote:
"the Russians are rather interested in maintaining an air superiority edge over China’s current J-11s/SU-27s/-30s and future J-12. Also, the expected future worldwide usage of the F-35 JSF attack aircraft with its low observability qualities requires an interceptor capable to deal with this peculiar threat."


Having said that won't you like to answer WHY THEY SELL THEIR TOP NOTCH MILITARY ITEMS TO CHINA?


IMHO

- Desperate need of Survivelity of their industries
- Need to fund their future projects

Some less probable reason will be

- Trying to create multi polar world.

sumshyam
BRFite
Posts: 552
Joined: 23 Sep 2009 19:30
Location: Ganga ki dharti.
Contact:

Re: PAK-FA Thread - First flight

Postby sumshyam » 11 Feb 2010 16:17

words from KeyPublishing Forum:

"Only another flyable PAK FA prototype and a ground test item exist thus far, while Sukhoi has indicated they will complete five prototypes for initial testing. These are scheduled for completion in 2011-12, with the company expecting to then produce an initial batch of pre-series aircraft for operational trials by 2015."

"There are persistent rumours of the PAK FA programme being largely financed directly by Sukhoi (some 75%, with the remaining 25% being provided by India), and in any case it is quite obvious that it could only progress thanks to the substantial revenues from export sales of Su-27/-30s."

krishnan
BRF Oldie
Posts: 7342
Joined: 07 Oct 2005 12:58
Location: 13° 04' N , 80° 17' E

Re: PAK-FA Thread - First flight

Postby krishnan » 11 Feb 2010 16:30

Twin Seater PAK-FA = Indian FGFA :?:

sumshyam
BRFite
Posts: 552
Joined: 23 Sep 2009 19:30
Location: Ganga ki dharti.
Contact:

Re: PAK-FA Thread - First flight

Postby sumshyam » 11 Feb 2010 16:39

krishnan wrote:Twin Seater PAK-FA = Indian FGFA :?:


There is talk of redefining control surfaces for the two seater...except that It would be same...!

wiki says..
FGFA will be predominantly using weapons of Indian origin such as Astra, a Beyond Visual Range missile being developed by India, although in keeping with the Russian BVR doctrine of using a vast variety of different missiles for versatility and unpredictability to countermeasures, can be expected to have compatibility with many different missile loadouts. The Indian FGFA is significantly different from the Russian PAK FA because a second pilot means the addition of another dimension, development of wings and control surfaces.


http://www.defenceaviation.com/2008/10/sukhoihal-fgfa-a-indian-stealth-fighter.html

Austin
BRF Oldie
Posts: 23387
Joined: 23 Jul 2000 11:31

Re: PAK-FA Thread - First flight

Postby Austin » 11 Feb 2010 18:12

Sukhoi PAK FA: First Observations Part 1
By Sergio Coniglio

Image

06:51 GMT, February 10, 2010 On 29 January 2010, the Sukhoi PAK-FA (Perspektivnyi Aviatsionnyi Kompleks Frontovoi Aviatsy, literally "Future Front line Aircraft System"), which could variously be described as a technology demonstrator, the first prototype of the future T-50 fighter, or an intermediate step between the two, took to the air for the first time from the freezing runway of Dzemgi Air Force Base (shared with the KnAAPO plant) at Komsomolsk-on-Amur in the Russian Far East Siberia (see also http://www.defpro.com/daily/details/497/). A fundamental step has at last been accomplished in the development of the long-expected Russian response to the American F-22 RAPTOR air dominance fighter.


The aircraft, with Sukhoi test pilot Sergey Bogdan in the cockpit, remained airborne for 47 minutes, enabling an initial evaluation of its controllability, engine performance and primary systems operation, including retraction and extraction of the landing gear. “The aircraft performed excellently at all flight-test points. It is easy and comfortable to pilot”, said Sergey Bogdan.

“Today we’ve embarked on an extensive flight test programme of the 5th generation fighter,” commented Mikhail Pogosyan, Sukhoi Company Director General. “This is a great success of both Russian science and design school. This achievement rests upon a cooperation team comprised of more than a hundred of our suppliers and strategic partners. The PAK FA programme advances Russian aeronautics together with allied industries to an entirely new technological level. These aircraft, together with upgraded 4th generation fighters will define Russian Air Force potential for the next decades.

“Sukhoi plans to further elaborate on the PAK FA programme which will involve our Indian partners”, Mr Pogosyan added. “I am strongly convinced that our joint project will excel its Western rivals in cost-effectiveness and will not only allow strengthening the defence power of Russian and Indian Air Forces, but also gain a significant share of the world market”.

Some Russian sources have suggested that the T-50 will enter service in 2015 (e.g. Russian 5th-generation fighter deliveries delayed until 2015), but this is but wishful thinking. Only another flyable PAK FA prototype and a ground test item exist thus far, while Sukhoi has indicated they will complete five prototypes for initial testing. These are scheduled for completion in 2011-12, with the company expecting to then produce an initial batch of pre-series aircraft for operational trials by 2015. A more credible projected IOC date for the T-50 would thus be towards the end of the decade - i.e. some 12-15 years after the F-22. Such a delay would be roughly in line when not with the scientific and technological potential of the Russian aerospace industry, then certainly with the Russian MoD’s financial muscle and the irredeemable time loss of the “black years” following the collapse of the USSR. There are persistent rumours of the PAK FA programme being largely financed directly by Sukhoi (some 75%, with the remaining 25% being provided by India), and in any case it is quite obvious that it could only progress thanks to the substantial revenues from export sales of Su-27/-30s.

Much has already been written and speculated about this first Russian 5th combat aircraft, but virtually nothing is known for certain. The few photos and the couple of videos documenting the first flight are all that is available for a first assessment of the aircraft’s characteristics, analysing its overall external configuration and trying to deduct the Russian Air Force’s requirements on which the PAK FA design can be assumed to be tailored.

Operational Considerations

As expected, the twin-engine PAK FA is a large aircraft, with roughly the same physical size and weight class as the Su-27/-30 family it is aimed to replace. The aircraft’s general configuration strongly suggests a design optimised primarily for the air superiority role, even though the T-50 will almost certainly eventually go along the same road as the Su-27 and evolve into a very capable multirole fighter-bomber. This emphasis on air-to-air combat is arguably due to both the Russian Air Force perceiving its main roles in a very different way than the USAF, and the fact that the Service’s deep strike requirements are satisfactorily covered by the very capable (although admittedly not stealthy) Su-34s currently being delivered.

Even though it is nearly automatic to think of the PAK FA/T-50 in terms of a direct confrontation vs. the F-22, and this may indeed have been the original goal when the programme was first launched in the late 1980s, in the current global strategic scenario it is perhaps more likely that the Russians are rather interested in maintaining an air superiority edge over China’s current J-11s/SU-27s/-30s and future J-12. Also, the expected future worldwide usage of the F-35 JSF attack aircraft with its low observability qualities requires an interceptor capable to deal with this peculiar threat.

Further considerations can be done as regards the expected future place of the T-50 in the Russian Air Force’s inventory, and thus the overall combat aircraft programmes in Russia. When first information on the PAK FA project started to circulate, the programme was widely reported to be intended to replace both the Su-27 and the MiG-29, thus leading to a single-type combat aircraft fleet not unlike the French Air Force’s with its RAFALE. Whether this was purely “disinformacija”, or the Russians were actually planning in that direction back then, it is impossible to ascertain. The fact is, the T-50 given its size and expected avionics complexity will most definitely be an expensive aircraft both to procure and operate, and it is very difficult to imagine how the Russian Air Force could ever be able to acquire it in large number - not to mention the type, for all of Mr Pogosyan’s rosy forecast, having a rather limited potential export market. Current Western and unofficial Russian estimates are of a production run of some 250 aircraft for the Russian Air Force, and even this may prove to be overoptimistic. The combination of the T-50 as the spearhead of a tactical combat fleet composed largely by modernised 4th generation types, as suggested by Mr. Pogosyan, does certainly make sense - but it is rather doubtful whether it could really last for “decades”, apart from the Su-35. Also, the upgrade programmes currently underway do not involve the MiG-29.

Hence, and although the notion of the Russian MoD and national industry being able to sustain the simultaneous development and eventual procurement of t w o different 5th generation fighters does admittedly defy imagination, the eventual launch of a programme for a smaller and less expensive “lo” fighter in a “hi/lo” mix with the T-50 looks virtually compulsory. Failing to do so would leave the Russian Air Force critically crippled in quantitative terms, and would consign the future export market for “affordable” fighter aircraft to Western and Chinese designs.
Last edited by Austin on 11 Feb 2010 18:20, edited 1 time in total.

Austin
BRF Oldie
Posts: 23387
Joined: 23 Jul 2000 11:31

Re: PAK-FA Thread - First flight

Postby Austin » 11 Feb 2010 18:13

Sukhoi PAK FA: Technical Analysis Part 2
By Sergio Coniglio

Image

Airframe

The aerodynamic configuration of the PAK-FA maintains a vague reference to the Su-27 as regards the fuselage and the location of the engines, which are installed in widely separated nacelles forming a tunnel with the flat bottom of the fuselage. The general planform is a tailed delta, similar to the F-22, with the all-moving horizontal tailplanes close-coupled and on the same plane to the wing without any gap. The twin vertical surfaces, canted outward by perhaps 25°, are also all-moving. This solution as been used rarely in recent times; in particular the ill-fated Northrop YF-23 had a pair of all-moving butterfly tailplanes. The all-moving verticals however had been fairly used in supersonic designs dating back to the late 1950s or 60s, in particular the SR-71 which used a pair of all-moving verticals canted inward to reduce the induced roll moment when the surfaces were rotated, and most of the North American design of the period - the RA-5C VIGILANTE, its contemporary YF-107 and the unique XB-70 - as well as the British BAC TSR 2 used a similar solution. In the PAK FA design, their reason d’être arguably consists in enabling the smallest possible vertical surfaces for the sake of reduced radar signature and supercruise drag, while at the same time also maintaining (in combination with the 3D TVC nozzles) excellent manoeuvrability.

The underfuselage tunnel between the engine nacelles contributes significantly to the overall aerodynamic lift generation, just as in the Su-27 and MiG-29 as well as in the F-14 - arguably the real originator of the “centreplane lift” concept. This lift is added to that provided by the large wing and should enable excellent manoeuvrability even at high altitude - a potential advantage of the F-22 and now the PAK FA over all their rivals. The widely separated engines also offer much better survivability in the event of battle damage or accidental fire/explosion.

The fuselage sides have marked “chines”, again like the F-22 and its unfortunate competitor, the YF-23. This shaping can be assumed both to contribute toward reducing radar reflectivity and to develop, at high angles of attack, favourable lift-enhancing vortexes flowing above the inner wing upper surface just above the engine nacelles. The wing has dropping leading edges providing for a variable camber airfoil and separate flaps and ailerons, these latter contributing towards enhanced TO/landing performance (this should anyway be very good, given the huge lift generated by the aircraft configuration as a whole). The inner part of the wing leading edges is stepped longitudinally with a much longer chord which blends forming, in part, the engine nacelles’ upper “lips” and then merging into the fuselage to enhance the lift generating characteristics of the overall aircraft configuration, somewhat akin to a lifting body. Possibly for this reason, but also to ease a smooth airflow into the engines at very high angle of attack, the upper intake projecting false “lips” appear to be hinged parallel to the sweep real intake lips, thus providing a variable camber like the wing leading edge. In this way, the upper surface of the air intake contributes to overall lift generation. It is also possible that the movements of these peculiar elements, when linked to the full authority digital flight control system, could contribute in some way to the aircraft’s longitudinal control, acting like a third control surface (in line with the Sukhoi tradition as exemplified in the three-surfaces Su-30MKI). It seem however clear that the “lips” cannot move as fully independent control surfaces, due to their primary role in ensuring a correct airflow to the engines.

The possible rationale behind the fuselage “chines” and wing strakes could be to generate two vortexes over each wing upper surface, thus enhancing lift (via more diffused vortex lift) at high angle of attack (AoA). In particular, the two inner vortexes (those generated by the fuselage “chines”) would energise the airflow over the inner wing upper surface blending with the fuselage above the engine nacelles. The two outer vortexes (those generated from the wing strakes outboard the intakes lips) would transfer their kinematic energy to the upper outer panel wing airflow. Furthermore, given the expected path of such latter vortexes, they would also interact with the upper airflow over the all-moving horizontal tailplanes - thus replicating the superior longitudinal control provided in the Su-27 by its peculiarly located slab tailplanes.*

Summing up, lift appears to be generated by following elements, working in a synergic way:

• Wing outer panels (outside the engine nacelles) with dropping leading edges (variable camber airfoil);
• Engine nacelles upper surface blended with outer wing panels and fuselage with dropping intake upper false lips/leading edges (variable camber);
• Fuselage tunnel between the engine nacelles;
• Vortexes generated from the front fuselage “chines“, enhancing the engine nacelles upper surface lift and possibly the all-moving verticals’ control authority at very high AoA;
• Vortexes generated by the wing strakes outboard the engine nacelles, enhancing the outer wing panels lift and possibly the all-moving horizontal tailplanes control authority at very high AoA.

The fuselage has the already mentioned flat bottom and a straight tapered upper part ending in a flat and somewhat smaller “sting” between the engine exhausts. The installation of a braking parachute in a bay in the upper part of the sting makes room for the rational introduction in the extreme tailcone of a wide-scanning ECM antenna or perhaps a rear hemisphere surveillance/tracking radar (experiments were carried out a few years ago on a modified Su-32FN). The second prototype, which was used for taxi trials on 23 January appears to have a different tail cone, for unclear reasons.

The rear fuselage beavertail appears wider than in the Su-27/-30 albeit with a similar layout, and should offer more freedom of movement to the multi-axis thrust vectoring control (TVC) exhaust nozzles which will most certainly be fitted to the engines of the T-50 (although their current presence on the PAK FA is not certain). This configuration with the widely exposed round engine exhaust nozzles is however detrimental in terms of rear-emisphere IR and radar signature.

The PAK FA is claimed by Sukhoi to offer “unprecedented small signatures in the radar, optical and infrared range”, and this is certainly true as regards Russian combat aircraft and quite possibly all existing non-American designs. At the same time, it is evident that the PAK FA has been designed with a close attention to stealth characteristics, but is not intended to be an uncompromising stealth aircraft à la F-22. When certain design features detrimental to low observability were deemed to be all-important, these were adopted nonetheless. It would be extremely interesting to watch the eventual results of this approach in terms of maintainability and operational availability, particularly in the light of the in-service experience so far with the F-22.

An element which maintains some similarity to the Su-27 family is the landing gear. All the members retract forward, easing the emergency extension which in this way can be accomplished simply by gravity and air pressure. The main tyres, again like the previous Sukhoi design, when retracted lays flat in bays partially above the air intakes and partially inside the thick wing root fairing born out from the air intake upper part and as a continuation of the sweep surface linking the fuselage side to the outer wing, running above the upper air intake lip.

The PAK FA appears to be built with a significant percentage of composites, including most of the wing, horizontal tailplanes and dropping intake lips skin, centre-forward engine nacelles, most of the fuselage skin and the doors of the weapons bays and landing gear bays. Metal parts seem to include the dropping wing and intake lips leading edges (with the exception of the inner sections where the conformal aerials are expected to be installed, and which should thus be built of dielectric material), the engine intakes and the wide fairings blending the outer wing panels to the fuselage. Press reports suggest a 75% (being weight) being made of titanium alloys and 20% by composites, which sounds plausible.

Powerplant

The planned engine for the T-50 is understood to be the new Saturn AL-41F, expected to offer about 17.5 tons of thrust in full afterburning mode and somewhere in the range of 12 tons in dry mode. The latter figure would comfortably enable supercruising (i.e., supersonic cruise flight without afterburner) at around Mach 1.5, thus in the same class as the F-22. The prototype/technology demonstrator now flying was expected to be powered by the Saturn 117S, a much improved version of the AL-31F intended for the Su-35 but still less powerful at 14.5 tons in full afterburning than the AL-41F. There however are some indications to suggest that the aircraft already has the new engines.

The engines are fed by two-dimensional raked air intakes with the upper lip generating an oblique shock wave favourable to dynamic pressure recovery in the supersonic regime, which for the PAK FA could approach Mach 2.3÷2.5. While in appearance of fixed geometry, it is possible that a variable-position upper ramp, to generate multiple oblique shocks is part of the system for a further better dynamic pressure recovery in the high supersonic speed regime.

The tight shape of the engine nacelles and the position of the ventral “venetian blind” auxiliary intakes seem to suggest that the PAK FA does not feature a serpentine air duct to the engine compressors, as typically adopted for low-RCS aircraft. It is possible that the Sukhoi designers have preferred to limit the compressors’ strong radar reflection by inserting a grill in front of them, while optimising the air intakes for higher max. speed and supercruise performance.

The engines are mounted with a slight forward convergence (some 3°). This, in twin-engine aircraft with conventional exhaust nozzles, would typically reduce thrust asymmetry in the event of an engine flame-out - although with the drawback of reduced controllability. Given however the installation of TVC nozzles, the choice of converging axis built into the nacelles could be the outcome of an aerodynamic local airflow optimisation due to interaction of all the aircraft elements.

A large fuel capacity in line with the previous Sukhoi fighters is certainly provided, let’s say in the order of 12,000 litres. A fully-retractable in-flight refuelling probe is installed on the left side of the fuselage in front of the windscreen.

Armament

The standard air-to-air armament is carried internally in two identical tandem weapon bays, which can be estimated at about 5m x 1.2-1.3m. The bays’ position inside the tunnel between the engine nacelles ensures a discrete opening of their doors at weapons launch, otherwise a drawback for a stealth aircraft. In addition, the doors have saw tooth-shaped edges to further reduce radar signature. The size of the bays can be assumed to allow internal carriage of eight R-77-class radar-guided AAMs with folding wings, i.e. the same figure as for the F-22.

Similar to American 5th generation types, for the “second/subsequent” days of war operations, four additional underwing hardpoints can be installed under the outer wing panels. However no wingtip store positions appear to have been foreseen. A dark area to the right side of the upper front fuselage under the cockpit betrays the installation, similarly to the Su-27, of a single cannon (a 30mm GSh-30-1?) for close combat engagements.


Avionics

The combat avionics of the T-50 has been under development for some time, and some elements will almost certainly be installed in the Su-35 interim fighter. The main sensor will be a Tikhomorov NIIP X-band radar with active AESA antenna, which was unveiled at the latest MAKS Air Show in August 2009. The 1m-dia. antenna contains some 1,500 solid stat transmit/receive modules by NPP Pulsar, which places it in the same class as the F-22’s APG-77. Tikhomorov claims an exceptional range of ~400km against a 1m² equivalent radar surface target. The radar entered bench testing in November 2008, and a flyable operational prototype will be completed by mid-2010.

In a very innovative development, the main X-band antenna will be supplemented by auxiliary L-band antennas installed in the wing inboard leading edges. In addition to the obvious IFF/SSR functions, this arrangement (which is also being offered for retrofit on the Su-27/-30 family as well as the Su-35), has a very clear anti-stealth search function. Most current stealth or semi-stealth designs - and most particularly the F-35 JSF, although not the F-22 - are optimised to reduce radar signature against X-band fire control radars as the main threat, and their low-observability features and shapings do not work as well against L-band radars. Of course, the lower the frequency the higher the wavelength the poorer the accuracy of distance and angular measurements, and thus even apart from excessive volume, weight, power and cooling requirements a fighter aircraft could not possibly rely on a main L-band system alone. However, the presence of the additional L-band antennas will provide an important early warning function against at least some low-observable targets, and it may also enable a “mini-AWACS” role. It is additionally conceivable that these antennas could also be used for the detection and disruption of sensors and digital communications systems operating in L-band, including e.g. the all-important JTIDS/MIDS/Link-16.

While the PAK FA has no functioning radar yet, it already sports the protruding head of an electro-optic IRST system in front and to the right of the cockpit’s windscreen. This will maintain the excellent mixed solution (radar/IRST) used in all modern Russian fighters, event tough the IRST seeker’s “ball” is at odds with the search for a reduced radar signature in the front emisphere. The decision to add the L-band antennas while maintaining the IRST reinforces the perception of the T-50 being mainly intended for air defence roles against intruding low-observable strike aircraft.


The Indian Factor


Back in early 2007, Russia and India reached an agreement to cooperate on a Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA) based on the PAK FA for the Indian Air Force. The programme is officially described as involving a 50-50% split as regards both financing and R&D activities, but it is nearly universally understood to rather cover a scheme, under which India will fund a substantial portion of the PAK FA’s development bill in exchange for access to the relevant technologies.

The Indian Air Force’s requirements do differ rather substantially from the Russian Air Force’s, and are reported to demand a twin-seat configuration as well as possibly a different wing and control surfaces. Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd is expected to become responsible for some 25% of the total development workload for the FGFA programme, involving modifying the PAK FA single-seater airframe to a twin-seater configuration as well as the mission computer, navigation system, cockpit displays and ECM dispensers. HAL will of course also take care of eventual series production of a tentatively planned total of some 200-250 aircraft.

Indian sources have ventured into suggesting that the FGFA could be in service by 2015, but this is quite obviously not feasible given that development has not yet started. A logical date would be well into the 2020s.


Conclusions


As a first tentative assessment and on the basis of the basis of the scarce information as currently available, the PAK FA (T-50-1?) looks like a mix of well-proven solutions from previous Sukhoi designs married to several new ideas, in particular as regards the still superior quality of Russian aerodynamic research.

It is also possible that the significant delay suffered in developing a Russian counterpart to the F-22 could have turned into a blessing in disguise, giving Sukhoi designers a period of reflexion to generate a well balanced design. This would relate in particular to the decision not to push for extreme low observability characteristics at the expense of everything else, including not only flight performance but also acquisition costs and most importantly maintenance requirements and thus operational availability.

nrshah
BRFite
Posts: 577
Joined: 10 Feb 2009 16:36

Re: PAK-FA Thread - First flight

Postby nrshah » 11 Feb 2010 19:05

Austin wrote:It is also possible that the significant delay suffered in developing a Russian counterpart to the F-22 could have turned into a blessing in disguise, giving Sukhoi designers a period of reflexion to generate a well balanced design. This would relate in particular to the decision not to push for extreme low observability characteristics at the expense of everything else, including not only flight performance but also acquisition costs and most importantly maintenance requirements and thus operational availability.


Some how i always felt Russians have always understood their limitations and practicalities and develop solutions accordingly.

sumshyam
BRFite
Posts: 552
Joined: 23 Sep 2009 19:30
Location: Ganga ki dharti.
Contact:

Re: PAK-FA Thread - First flight

Postby sumshyam » 11 Feb 2010 19:59

PAK FA will have "human intelligence"

Fifth-generation fighter T-50, also known as a promising frontline aviation aircraft complex (PAK FA), will have several advantages over the American F-22 Raptor.This, as reported by Interfax, said Chief of General Staff of the armed forces of Russia Nikolai Makarov."First of all, it is high intelligence, almost human intelligence" - said Makarov.

PAK FA made its first flight on Jan. 29, 2010, spending 47 minutes in the air. In the air audited controllability fighter of new engines and systems management.Flight tests of the aircraft were at the airfield of Komsomolsk-on-Amur Aircraft Production Association.

The plane was created with the use of stealth technology, which will reduce its visibility in the optical, infrared and radar wavelengths. T-50 will be able to perform combat missions in any weather and time of day, and will differ maneuverability. The plane can take off and landing on runways length of 300-400 meters.

Presumably, PAK FA will be able to reach speeds of up to 2,6 thousand kilometers per hour, and to fly a distance of up to 5,5 thousand kilometers. The fighter can be installed ten points of suspension in the closed bomb bay and two additional external pylons.

Ministry of Defense of Russia intends to begin the purchase of new aircraft in 2015.

Source: News Agency "Lenta.Ru"
Published: 11/02/2010, 16:56

SaiK
BRF Oldie
Posts: 36415
Joined: 29 Oct 2003 12:31
Location: NowHere

Re: PAK-FA Thread - First flight

Postby SaiK » 11 Feb 2010 22:14

hope it doesn't get to have human feelings and emotions. :twisted:

Asit P
BRFite
Posts: 311
Joined: 14 May 2009 02:33

Re: PAK-FA Thread - First flight

Postby Asit P » 11 Feb 2010 22:43

SaiK wrote:hope it doesn't get to have human feelings and emotions. :twisted:


Ha ha ha. True or else we will end up watching Stealth part 2. This time in reality though :wink:

Austin
BRF Oldie
Posts: 23387
Joined: 23 Jul 2000 11:31

Re: PAK-FA Thread - First flight

Postby Austin » 11 Feb 2010 22:53

^^^ They probably mean high level of AI is built into the aircraft or will have such capability in the future , the google thinge translates that into human intelligence.

NRao
BRF Oldie
Posts: 16814
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: Illini Nation

Re: PAK-FA Thread - First flight

Postby NRao » 11 Feb 2010 23:45

^^^

1) Human interfaces with machine (expect it on the LCA/MCA too), and
2) Air craft health monitoring/maintenance, including predictive maintenance.

vijyeta
BRFite -Trainee
Posts: 90
Joined: 01 May 2006 03:10
Location: Olympus Mons

Re: PAK-FA Thread - First flight

Postby vijyeta » 11 Feb 2010 23:59

SaiK wrote:hope it doesn't get to have human feelings and emotions. :twisted:


pilot - "...Readi for an early morning flight - mikhail (pakfa).."
mikhail - "Not feeling good today, had an argument on TVC nozzle shape with Olga (upgraded su35 with AI parked nearby)... "
pilot - " wat was thi arrgument about..."
mikhail - " I feel thi flat nozzlez work well with TVC, Olga duz not thiink so"
pilot - "ugh, get ovur iit pasha, don't make me miss my vodka for nothing, we fly today.."
mikhail - " If you say so, can we try the pre-programmed flight path to London today?"
pilot - " ... we zould have added a Histori/Strategi module in your AI... that will start WW3, don't think pasha, just reason..... thought leads to imagination...."

Craig Alpert
BRFite
Posts: 1440
Joined: 09 Oct 2009 17:36
Location: Behind Enemy Lines

Re: PAK-FA Thread - First flight

Postby Craig Alpert » 12 Feb 2010 05:23



Quick Summary:
1)Aesa radar has over 1500 t/r modules
2)pak-fa can already supercruise with the current 117 engines, however new engines are in the works..
3)F-22 designed to avoid ground radar, while PAK-FA is designed to detect F-22 earlier and it has longer armaments to take care of it
4) Pak-FA has over 40 % composites and they use the honeycomb structure correctly

Someone with good Russian skills can help translate the rest!


Return to “Trash Can Archive”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests