Cain Marko wrote:Dunno about the veracity of this claim but fascinating nevertheless
It has been rumored to be a DIRCM test system but I don't see where the other systems would be for adequate coverage. There was a DIRCM system developed for the F-35 as well by Northrop Grumman many years ago called the Threat Nullification Defensive Resource (ThNDR) linked below, but it appears none of the partners or users were interested. I think everyone is waiting to see how you mount an actual low-medium power High Energy Laser on fighters for self-defense. A podded test system will begin flight testing next year on an F-15 which will serve as a proof-of-concept for mounted systems later down the road.LINK
Philip wrote:The SU-57 isn't a mass production programme..
Over the years the official / semi-official word has been is that it is aimed at a 400-500 aircraft sized production run with about half of that destined for the Russian Air Force, and the remaining half for export. Had India stuck around and built on the nearly $250 Million invested in the program the projected need would have been around 120 fighters IIRC. Possibly more. Now add all the classic flanker operators and the projected export market could have been 2-3x of what the Indian demand was. Medium - Far term, you could even add the upgraded Flanker operators to the mix.
But now those numbers have changed. Russia is buying 78 aircraft by 2028 and there is currently no export customer. Without an export customer, I don't see them even getting to 100 operational aircraft (anywhere in the world) by 2030. It was projected to replace around 300 SU-27's in Russian service and even a subset of MiG-29's so I don't see how anyone could, with a straight face, claim that the PAKFA was not to be a mass produced programme. As currently planned it will be in trickle mode for most of this decade unless an export customer could come in and bank roll a large order and provide a much needed boost overall.
Russian combat aircraft production has fallen sharply over the last few years and since a subset of that is aimed at export the impact on actual combat aircraft modernization within the services is as much if not more severe with most plans likely being moved to the right.