Saturday, January 30, 2010

PAK-FA: the first flight

The new 5th  generation fighter prototype T-50-1 ('izdelie 701'), developed within the framework of the Indo-Russian PAKFA/FGFA program, has made its first flight at Jan. 29 in Komsomolsk-on-Amur. It was 47 min on the air. Despite the wrap of secrecy, the look of the fighter appeared very close to that, previously described in the most reliable Russian publications. So, everybody can now compare what was said about the PAK FA specs before, and what exists actually. 

Unofficial specs:

- wings 14.2 m
- square 78.8 m2
- length 22 m
- height 6.05 m

- max 37000 kg
- normal 26000
 - void 18500

 Now it is clear, that in its airframe design the fighter is closer related to American F-23 prototype, than F-22 or JSF, but with bigger internal payload bay. However, it has unrepeatable impress of Sukhoi design house, clearly looking as a thoroughbred Su-linage. According to the most reliable estimations, T-50 has 10 internal and 2 additional external hardpoints on the wings (the 'mystery' triangle thickening under the wings). With this great payload capability and much space for the fuel T-50 can became a true military 'workhorse' of the future battlefield! 

From relatively unexpected moments the controlled LCA-like LERX must be noted.  It demonstrates the designers' assertiveness (if not hardball) in field of the super-maneuverability. With currently installed 14.5 t thrust 'izdelie 117' and futuristic 17,2 t thrust Al-41F engine the plane can take off from a 300-400 m  horizontal airfield or even a highway. Also, the multiplicity of controlled aerodynamic surfaces, which make precision landing easier, is an indication about intention to use the plane in the future as a carrier-based platform . However, the capability of the aircraft to land on Vikramaditya-size carrier (40 kt) is not yet clear.

The nozzles was designed round, as expected, which provoked speculations about problem in IR and radar stealthness from rear hemisphere. However, the program chief has explained early, that IR and radar observability reduction was achieved not worse than on American 5th gen. fighters, but in different way. The 1st prototype has no TVSs but it's certainly formulated as a part of the program and already developed by 'Klimov'.

The triangle form of the wings is optimized for supersonic maneurability, and indirectly confirms the supercruise capability of the aircraft. On other hand the cross-section of the nose-cone is not so flattened, as was predicted according to flattened AESA form. 

As Putin's deputy has officially declared, the prototype already has an installed data link which allows it the battlefield communication. According to him the new 5th  gen. avionics, the 'electronic pilot', allow to pilot concentrate its efforts on the battle instead of the piloting. In addition: it has an advanced HOTAS type control. However, Russian PM Putin itself said after the fly, that the designers 'have much to work' on the fighter's weapon and engine. The program is described by the cabinet as the 'first priority military program', and its 100% financing will continue despite the world financial turmoil. 

A somewhere disappointing is the old fashion look of the cockpit,  but this can relatively easy   be improved till entering serial production. The information about the tender for a frame-less cockpit is already published. However, the riveting is relatively smooth and minimalistic comparing to JSF for example. The additional bulk RCS reduction in different diapasons will be achieved by new Russian nano-structural coating technology.

Signal and mission processor: based on the new fully Russian 6-core VLIW chip 'Elbrus-2S' based on 2-scalar cores  ('Elbrus-S') + 4 signal cores  (Elvees)  . 40 MFlops. The fighter will have at least 4 'Elbrus'2S' chips in its processor unit.  

The production is planned to be started till 2013. Then, according to the PM's publicly announced decision, the first batch of fighters has to come to the practice center in 2013, and in 2015 the fighters have to be on service.

The former Sukhoi's chief (now working with 'MiG' in UAC directorate) and the 'father' of PAK FA program Mikhail Pogosyan said after the flight, that the United Air-building Corporation (UAC) will follow to work with the Indian counterparts on this program and he is sure, that this product will catch the world market too. 

I personally estimate the fighter (in single and two-sitter configuration)  jointly produced in Russia and India can be exported to Russian and Indian friendly countries around the world. The list of the countries who can afford T-50, includes in the first place those, who already use Soviet/Russian fighters in AF and want generation upgrade. It could be Belorussia, Kazakhstan, Venezuela, Algeria, Malaysia, Libya and in some circumstances – Iran. The second line, if economically improved, the follow states could become T-50's customers too: Vietnam, Myanmar, Indonesia, Syria,  Serbia and even Ukraine (if more realistic president will be elected). However, I think, China has zero chance to be allowed for T-50 import for obvious reasons.

Other problem is the unfair competition, sometimes accompanied by huge kickbacks. The natural competitors of Indo-Russian T-50 on the world market is JSF and the 4+ gen eurojets. If aggressive marketing of those planes succeeds, the prospects of PAK-FA/FGFA program may be worse for simple reason of fund devastation. I'm not sure, how this fact is reflected in political consciousness in two countries.  Methinks both countries must concentrate maximum efforts on their most advanced fighter program instead supporting third part foreign competitors by massive purchases.
- The last picture is a comparison between PAK-FA and JSF surface finish 
- Gun placement. 
- Refueling kit 
- The high-res pics 


  1. Hi Igor nice article! I really liked the look of Pak Fa, but also was a bit disappointed ot the engine nozzels. Also if you look at the fighter from below, sveral parts of the engine cover are round and not angled. Looks like they concentrated mainly on steath design to the front. If the internal weapon bay would be lower (till the egdges of the engine cover), wouldn't that be offer more space and be an advantage in terms of RCS?
    Also do you have any info if the engine nozzels will be cooled, or something like that to get lesser IR signature?

    Regards, Sancho

  2. "Methinks both countries must concentrate maximum efforts on their most advanced fighter program instead supporting third part foreign competitors by massive purchases"

    Vieled references???

  3. to Sancho:

    == If the internal weapon bay would be lower (till the egdges of the engine cover), wouldn't that be offer more space and be an advantage in terms of RCS?==

    - Yes, it's obvious allthought on the expence of aerodynamics. My only hope they know what they do. Anyway the most reliable estimations say F-22 without covering has only 0,3 m frontal RCS (T-50 has 0,5 m). The remain - is work of the covering, and Russia has excellent nanomolecular technology in this issue, cheaper and most advanced that at least first serial F-22's (which indeed had a big problem with cover reliability).

    ==Also do you have any info if the engine nozzels will be cooled, or something like that to get lesser IR signature?==

    - Yes, it happen. They have said about this almost openly when in recently interview was said that Sukhoi has achieved the 'Ruptor's engines low emission by its own way. The nozzles are not final. The Serial variant will have TVS and there the cooling sleeve is expected.

  4. Hey Igor!
    Any influence now on MRCA deal by this beauty???Does it screws it up in fav of gripen/mig favour ???

  5. to anon January 30, 2010 7:26 PM:

    It would be influential in other circumstances or other places perhaps. I'm rather pessimistic about the routine bureaucratic inertia giving a chance for clearly bad or outdated decisions.

  6. Hey igor, nice article:-)
    I have a few queries for you man-
    first of all, i'd heard somthing about the new russian engines having reverse-thrust-vectoring(i'm not exactly sure what that means), is it true?, If it is, is it featured in the pak-fa engines?
    And is the aesa radar for the craft ready? If so where does it stand in comparison to the raptor's radar?(i heard the f-22's radar has around 2000 modules)
    Lastly since normally russian planes are more maneuverable than their western counterparts, is it safe to assume that the pak-fa will be more maneuverable than the f-22?

  7. And as far as I know soviet/russian crafts have always been one step ahead of the american counterparts(maybe except for the f-22) and I do hope the pak-fa will carry on this legacy and outperform the f-22 in all fronts:-) Its heartning to know that russia finally has a voice in the english blogosphere, you're doing a great job!!:-) - Sujith

  8. Hello Igor,

    May i know how much % is India funding to the PAK-FA program or is it only funding the Indian version?

    And does that 25% technological involvement mean whole PAK-FA program or just the Indian version?

  9. AFAIK the Indians were putting 2 billion into the program, but the design that flew the other day was developed without that money.
    It is very much like the Su-30MKI program in that the Su-30M had already been developed by the Russians and the Indian input was to integrate Indian and foreign equipment (ie French, Israeli, etc) into the design. Certainly experience on joint development of the Su-30MKI with the Indian led to improvements to the Su-35BM and no doubt the PAK FA, and I think further work with the Indians on the PAK FA-MKI will further improve the Russian model PAK FA.
    It is most likely that it will be the joint Russian/Indian model that is exported to third parties though the Russians might make a further modification that can be sold to clients that are not allowed western avionics or equipment from Israel in their systems.

    Regarding the look of the engines... there is little point in making temporary engines stealthy. When the final engines are ready they will no doubt have stealthy features.

  10. to anon January 31, 2010 6:56 AM:

    India - is fully involved partner of this program so can be called united program with two different national designation. Both country will buy single-sitter and duo-sitter versions for their air forces but in different proportion. THe avionics and probably engine will be different two in some degree, but no two fully independent version, most technology will be fused on single- and two-sitter version for both countries. THis will make the program cheapper.

  11. hey igor please to reply to my earlier questions..- sujith

  12. i mean please do reply to my earlier questions- sujith

  13. i heard that f22 radar has 2000 t/r elements
    my friend apg77 is of the same size as apg63(v4)

    and apg63v4 has around 1500 t/r modules so apg77 having 2000 t/r modules is misconception

  14. igor there supposed to be 4 internal bays

    2 in fuselage and 2 on both sides of air intakes

    but i c only 2 internal bays

  15. hi sujith!
    Sorry, I have tried to replay, but something wrong happen and my text disappeared, so will do again...

    1) The Reverse and the thrust vectoring silos are two different things. The currently installed 117S engine is a temporal solution, and has neither TVS nor reverse. The first batch of the fighters, which will produced for RuAF will have 117S with TVS but not reverse. But the primary PAKFA engine, Al-41F-2, is under development, it will get the reverse option, which is important for shorter landing.
    2) The AESA for PAKFA is in the last stages of flying tests. However, as any AESA, it will be upgraded with its software and digital signal processor periodically. For comparing it with F22 AESA we would need classified information. From count of emitting units no conclusion about performance can be done. It's clear, that PAK-FA will not suffer from radar insufficiency since in addition it will have rear side x-band AESA and s-band AESA on the wing edges.
    3) There are a number of hints, why PAK-FA will be more maneuverable, than F22. First of all, the Klimov's all-dimensioned TVS are significantly better for horizontal subsonic maneuverability, than 2-dimentional F22 silos. Second – the controllable LERX, something very close in idea to what LCA has, must play a great role in maneuverability on subsonic. Third – the humble PAK-FA full deflected fins must be much more effective than the huge, but less effective fins of F22. The former also must have less problems with the side wind - something which is very important for landing on the deck of carrier.

  16. to anon January 31, 2010 6:07 PM:

    ==there supposed to be 4 internal bays 2 in fuselage and 2 on both sides of air intakes but i c only 2 internal bays==

    - Two additional middle wing hardpoints you can see on the last picture. I guess it could be used as an internal bay for short range AAMs or alternatively - as an external point for more heavy missiles or kits, but not fully sure. In addition at least the first central bay seems to care the payload in two floors - on the flaps and in the deep. So, can be counted 10 points: 2+3 in the first fuselage bay, 3 - in the second and 2 - on the wings.

  17. Hey thanks a lot man:-) and by the way is the carrier based pak-fa already in line? and i came across an article which mentioned several shortcomings in the f-22 like high cost and time of maintenance for every hour of flight and even frequent critical failures.. it appeared to me that the great f-22 is not as venerable as it is made out to be after all.. it seems even its radar absorbent material is somewhat inadequate as it needs to be replenshed frequently.. so is it likely that the coating used on pak-fa will face similiar problems or is it fundamentally different? -sujith

  18. to sujith:

    About carrier based variant could be said only after AF variant is fully ready. However, the current PAK-FA prototype has demonstrated great potential in this direction. It could be the world best carrier based plane till at least 2050, since F22 doesnt fit Navy role and the Chinees are still far from to be real competitors in the issue.

    About coating read here, the new Russian technology allows keep coating ready much easy.

  19. I am an American, and I don't know why many in the West believe that the U.S. way of doing stealth is the end all be all and final say. In case many do not know, it was the Soviets/Russians you first implement stealth on satellite. After the U.S. NORAD tried to find the satellite and could not, they had to ask the Soviets for the coordinates, and this was in 1962. Before the launch, the Soviets made a public announcement that it was launching a Cosmos Earth-orbiting Satellite which would be invisible to radar detection.

    The U.S. got their lesson in stealth from the Nazis – shape and coating. By the 1970s the U.S. stealth technology was updated to include superconducting magnets. Although this update was bulky, a measure of the technology was implemented in the F117 stealth fighter in the late 1970s into the early 1980s and later on the B2.

    By the 1970s the Russians had updated their stealth technology based on the foundation of plasma... And from 100 miles their crafts were undetectable by normal radar. And when they do come close to show up on radar, the radar behave erratically. And that was in the late 1970s. By the late 1980s into the 1990s they improved upon their stealth technology to make objects invisible and other features were added as well -- such as shielding.

    As far back as in the early 1980s the Soviets were able to detect and track U.S. F117 stealth planes.

    My advice to the Russians is this: Implement the U.S. way of doing stealth on planes that would be available to the Russian Air Force and for sale to other countries. And I think that this is the path that the Russians are following. Because other countries seem to always measure military planes based on what the Americans are doing.

    And the native Russian method for stealth should be held classified and only be used on secret military projects.

    The Russians have on a few occasions outfitted their old military jets with their native stealth technology and the U.S. forces could not detect them until they turned off the stealth device. Russian bombers flew undetected across Arctic:

  20. If you look carefully at a view from under the aircraft you can see a total of 4 wing hard points and a total of two further points on the underside of the front of the engines for external weapons pylons.
    Now look carefully at the undercarriage doors and you will see that the way they open the door is the side of the engine and not the bulged curve between the side of the engine and the wing.
    With the gear up there is a bulge between the side of the engines and the wing and in that bulge is a very long narrow bay that is probably designed to hold two short range missiles in tandem (one in front of the other) on each side.
    Since the late 1980s there have been drawings released showing internally mounted missiles on catapault launchers to eject AAMs from internal bays.
    The R-77 has folding rear grid fins and its standard external wing pylon mount on non stealthy aircraft (like the Mig-31BM) includes a catapault that throws the missile down and clear of the aircraft at launch.
    Regarding the claims for the introduction of the PAK FA it seems that production of operational prototypes by 2015 for sending to Lipsek (spelling) operational testing units, would be reasonable considering how much testing has already been completed they have 5 years to integrate all of the systems that have been already tested on seperate mounts, with the exception of the engines and the radar of course because they would not be ready yet.
    I would expect that if nothing goes wrong it could be entering operational units by 2018.

  21. Oh! So nano-tech is being used.. nice:) and this is totally off topic but do you have any idea as to what the indian nuclear sub(arihant) is based on?? i mean people say it's based on the charlie class but this guy Vyacheslav Trubnikov (ex-soviet and later russian ambassador to india) says its based on the akula class.. and has the russian army and navy inducted brahmos?? if not what may be the reason?- sujith

  22. to GarryB:

    If believe to Putin, the first operational aircraft must come to Lipetsk in 2013 and 2015 - is the date of starting serial production. The radar is almost ready but yes need some years of finishing on the plane itself. THe final engine will not be ready in 2015, so first serial batch will have 117 (not current 117S) engine with 15 t thrust and TVS.
    Thanks for plentiful information about the hardpoints! So how it can have total in internal and external you think?

  23. If PAK FA ends up costing less than 2/3 of F35's ridiculous price tag but can climb, turn and accelerate better than F35 ever can,

    Pentagon will soon sport an internal memo titled "Whiskey Tango Foxtrot" (WTF), while GAO and RAND follow up by going "Told Ya."

  24. THe avionics and probably engine will be different two in some degreee

    Buddy I hope Russia doesn't ban the new 17.5 tn engine from being exported/license produced in India

  25. to anon February 1, 2010 9:16 AM:

    Why would Russia do so, while India is remained to be all weather proved friend of Russia, and no signs of secrets and technology leakage occur via Delhi to US and Israel?

  26. GarryB good to have you here and to see you after a long time.

    So Igor can you confirm the internal weapons that can be carried by PAK-FA ?

    What is the new engine and the thrust available on the model that flew ?

  27. to Austin:

    About internal weapon, I have no much to add to what was written before here The width of the central bay (110-120 cm) points about 2 medium range or 3 short range AAMs.

    The currently installed engines are 14.5 t thrust 117S (allowed for export, the same as Su-35 has). The next prototypes and the first serial batch will be equipped with slightly uprated 15 t '117' engine with TVS. The Saturn chief engineer told in one his interview about this difference. In parallel Saturn (now the part of United Engine-building Corporation) has started development of a totally new engine which will not be a just upgrade of 117.

    Salut, which is a single Russian company remained out of UEC, offers of course its own 5th gen engine project, but most probably will be merged in common one. The planned power of the new engine must be as 17.2 t, with 1.5 t weight, so it is on the part of prospective western 5th gen engines in this weight class. It will have additional 5th gen goodies, like low service time , reverse, modular construction (where possible) etc.

  28. update: I see now in the news Fedorov said a couple days ago, those were not '117S' but other, more uprated engines (obviousely 15 t '117').

  29. If we look at the Typhoon, it was in service well before it was a fully operational aircraft.
    By using stages or I think they called them Tranches or something, they could get it into service and then add capabilities over time as they became available.
    It has already been made pretty clear that the Su-35S will have 5th generation bits in its makeup and the first operational PAK FA will likely share a lot of components and perhaps even engines.
    When the new components like engines and new radar models are ready they will likely be added to in service aircraft during overhauls/upgrades and added to new production aircraft as they become ready.
    I would expect that testing and evaluation and operational procedures manuals will take a lot of work so they sooner they get it to Lipsek the better.

    Regarding hardpoints if the internal bays between the wing and the engine is angled 45 degrees to throw the missiles out and down for launch there is a significant gap to the first wing pylon and the angle out should clear the under engine pylon mounted weapon point.
    Assuming the long slim R-77 missile is used in the belly positions and the replacement for the R-73 is used in the outer bays I would estimate 4 R-77s side by side in the front central large bay and 4 more behind it. Remember the R-77 has folding rear grid fins with slim lateral body strakes so stacking them close should allow this configuration.
    Two more short range missiles in each outer bay means 12 missiles internally plus 4 external wing pylons and 2 under engine pylons for use when stealth is not so important.
    For instance if a sophisticated enemy sends 100 UCAVs and launches a heavy cruise missile attack then with the reduced threat to the fighter means external weapons can be carried to increase combat persistance.
    Equally the PAK FA is supposed to have a ground attack capacity so external wing points would greatly increase the amount of weaponry carried and also allow large or wide weapons to be used.
    The F-35 and F-22 also have external pylons for extra weapon capacity but most of the time they will not be fitted to keep the RCS low.
    Most of the time if RCS is not important then an Su-35BM would probable make more sense.

    Hi Austin... nice to see you to.

    Regarding internal carriage, it should be able to carry the new model Kh-58 with the folding fins and wide band seeker. If it is 100-120cm wide then the 20cm body of the R-77 should allow 3-4 to be carried side by side. Because they are catapaulted out with the rear grid fins folded they can be very closely positioned.
    The real issue is that there are new weapons being developed as we speak for internal carriage on 5th gen fighters and no doubt they will be designed for internal storage.

  30. Regarding the internal bays, if they are 120mm wide, what length do they have and if I'm not wrong the bays are separated from each other right (yellow colored part on the pics)?
    So are they separated? If it would be 1 long bay (even if it has 2 sets of doors), you could use longer a2g missiles too, that might not fit now.
    An R77 is 3,6m long, so even if these bays are 4m long, you can't carry the Kh 31 (4,7m, or longer), the Kh 58 (4,8m), or the Kh 59 (5,7m)in them.

  31. to Sancho:
    ==So are they separated? ==

    - It's a big question, really... The gap between them can removable too. No answer for now.

    ==An R77 is 3,6m long, so even if these bays are 4m long, you can't carry the Kh 31 (4,7m, or longer), the Kh 58 (4,8m), or the Kh 59 (5,7m)in them.==

    - If believe to the picture above, the total length of two central bays together including the separation gap must to be ~11m, so each one - 5-5,2 m long. Enough for these goodies.

  32. any news about zhuk ae

  33. Hi Igor, I doubt that the gap between can be removable, because the doors would be too short and you must fit new doors too. Too much work, just to use a longer missile right?
    Another point that interests me, are these air intakes below the tail fin (can't paste an URL, otherwise I could show a pic to you). I came to know that these are used to cool the auxilliary power unit, is that correct? Could that have any effect on the cooling of the nozzels too?

    Regards, Sancho

  34. hi igor, thank you for the excellent article on the fighter. my question: what do russians think of brahmos missiles. we, here in india, see it as a THE missile for every known platform. thanks in advance. and also what do your fellow russians think about INDIA ? do they feel the same as india thinks about russia ?

  35. The Brahmos is a joint development of a Yakhont missile.
    The Brahmos is a large improvement on the Yakhont which was an export version of the Russian/Soviet Onyx missile.
    Brahmos and Yakhont are limited by export rules that restrict its range and payload.
    Onyx has no such restrictions in the air and sea launched versions. (Any land based system would of course be restricted by the INF treaty).
    I would expect rather than using the Brahmos the Russians would likely apply the improvements of the Brahmos on the Onyx missile and use the resulting weapon themselves.
    For export if India approves they will sell Brahmos and where India does not approve they will sell Yakhont.
    If India objects strongly (say Pakistan wants Yakhont) then of course Russia will not sell any of these weapons.

    Regarding the air intakes at the base of the vertical fins I would expect they will also be used for general cooling. AESA radars generate a lot of heat as do electronics in enclosed places.

  36. Regarding Brahmos, the latest news says Brahmos will be integrated in MKI by 2012 carried on the centerline station. They are also developing an lighter and smaller version of it, which can be carriered in on the centerline and 2 wing stations!
    I hope these smaller versions will also have some stealthy coverings, similar to Scalp/ Storm Shadow, for lower RCS.
    Brahmos in India gets so much hype because it is the first real cruise missile capability for Indian forces. For Russia, or other countries with more options, it should be good, but nothing to get in celebrations.

    To GarryB, but the AESA is in the nose, do you think that the air will pass it from there to the front?

  37. I was thinking of the L band AESA radar antennas on the leading edges of the wings. Close enough that cooling fluids could be piped through them and back to the tail.
    I would assume that the ventral bays will have some form of heating for use with tactical nuclear weapons delivery...
    Mostly all still speculation.

  38. New Russian jet fighter to threaten Raptor?

    The Sukhoi PAK FA T-50, Russia's first 5th generation stealth fighter jet has been in development since the 1990s. It was conceived as a counterpart to the American F-22 Raptor, the first 5th generation fighter aircraft and F-35 Lightning II. 5th generation fighters carry internal weapons, boast ultrasonic cruise speed, are nearly invisible to radars, have the ability to use shortened take off strips and are equipped with AI (artificial intelligence). The jet's computer should be able to analyze the environment and give the pilot the information as prompts.

    The T-50's maiden flight was planned in 2008, but was later postponed to 2009. In December 2009 Russian Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov announced that the maiden flight would take place in January 2010. The 5th generation engine for the new jet was tested by the flying laboratory SU 27M on January 21st in Zhukovsky near Moscow. The press release on NPO Saturn, the engine manufacturer's, website says that the flight lasted for 45 minutes and was successful. There was no criticism of the engine's operation.

    Only three jets have currently been built. The tests will take approximately 5 years. Russian Defense Ministry plans to buy the new jets from 2015. They should replace 4th generation fighter jets SU-27 and MiG-29 in the Air Forces.

    T-50 is said to have bigger engine resources, more effective arms and equipment for goal detection, higher maneuverability, longer ultrasonic flight and it will be almost invisible to radio and infrared waves.

    Ilya Kramnik, RIA Novosti's military commentator, thinks that the jet itself is not enough to bring Russia's military capabilities to a new level. A complex of measures and innovations is required, including weapons, communications equipment and management systems of Air Forces.

    Complete Article At Link:

  39. Nice post there Igor. However, I find it hard to consider the PAK-FA a competitor to the F-22. From just the physical dimensions revealed so far, the aircraft is far from employing all the RCS reduction techniques employed in the F=22. The airframe in comparison with the F22 is crude and many obvious RCS hotspots are left as is! The nose of the aircraft seems strangely pointed upwards too!

    The landing gear doors nor the cockpit display any sigs that RCS reduction considerations were made. The IRTS is also placed crudely without any thought to stealth. Even the exhaust nozzels for the Engines show no attempts to reduce the signature in that area! As such, almost all the expected passive radar reduction techniques that would be expected seem to have been overlooked.

    In terms of sheer aesthetic beauty, I found the continued use of the horizontal stabilizers to be disconcerting and downright ugly! Why could they have not gotten rid of this relic from the past and integrated the horizontal stabilizers into the main wing itself by extending it further to the rear and increasing the size of the control planes ?

    All in all, while this "test aircraft" seems promising, it is yet a crude attempt at best and much is required before it can be considered a rival to the F22. So far, it is just a sad attempt.

  40. Brando, perhaps you are looking at this first prototype and think the design is set in stone.
    Would suggest you look at the YF-22 prototype and compare it with the in service aircraft.
    If there could only be one design that works for stealth then why do the YF-22, YF-23, as well as the F-117, B-2, and the two F-35 prototypes look so different?
    The PAK FA is not supposed to be an F-22.
    Its purpose is not to perform the same functions the F-22 is designed for.
    The purpose of the PAK FA is to shoot down stealth aircraft, for which its L band AESA radar antenna and general design seem rather well designed.

  41. Would mention in regard to my comments about the vertical fin based cooling intakes that the Su-34 has one at the base of each fin and that its air intakes look rather a lot like the PAK FA intakes.

  42. t-50 graphic description by ria novosti

    first found in the bottom part of following page:

  43. stealth Mig-39 concept image:

  44. If our aircraft are no numerical advantage over the equal of the class enemy fighters, then set to be just having a tactical advantage over the enemy.
    Radar range detection gives us the advantage - we know the situation better than the opponent.

    The tactics of action will look like this:
    Link our T-50 is divided into two pairs (distracting and shock).
    Diverts couple includes all radar and data link to radiation, increases the speed and altitude so as to be above the enemy - in general behaves defiantly. As the name implies, the task of this group (couples) to attract the attention of the enemy.
    Meanwhile, the strike group on the contrary, is a mode of radio silence, and only receives signals (from ground radar and T-50 diverts couples). Aircraft strike group are reduced to a height below the height of the objectives. Now their enemy planes is a goal against the backdrop of space, and our T-50 Conversely, camouflaged against the background of the land (even the most sophisticated radar there are restrictions on work with the goals against the backdrop of the land - their frequent manifestation is a decrease in detection range).
    Shock couple strikes against the flank of purpose, out of range of their radars (see Figure). The coverage of radar F-22 -60 ... 70 degrees on the course. The angle between the planes, distracting and shock should be larger than 120 ... 140 degrees - then their fighters, even including its radar, can not simultaneously observe both groups.
    Diverts couple approaches the enemy in the distance a missile launch, turns and walks away, further distracting the enemy from the aircraft strike group. The task of abstracting pair does not include destruction of enemy aircraft, their mission "to pass the razor's edge" and to survive, time ran.
    Aircraft strike group to converge and attack them in one gulp with the inclusion or without the inclusion of the radar.
    (translated from:

  45. what will be u.s.a.f. reaction?

  46. detailed diagram:

  47. navalized version:

    two-seater version:

  48. comparison with su-27:

  49. "Apparently the designers and systems analysts have looked at the
    thorny question of "how much stealth do we want to pay for?" and have
    come up with a different answer than the F-22 designers. The fact that
    the armed forces of potential adversaries don't have S-300 and S-400
    missiles may have something to do with that answer."

  50. Very great information.

    Igor, do you have any news on software they have been using for PAK-FA avionics, computer chips , and which programming languages, etc Russian will use for their works?

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  52. Hello Igor,

    I am a Defense Specialist based in India . I have been analyzing the PAK FA closely and in this regard I have one question for you .

    Suppose Russia/India manage a RCS of 0.01 square metres from all aspects the F 22 A's APG 77 radar can still detect the PAK FA from ~40 nauticle miles.Add to that passive electronic surveillance and detection range will increase.

    Will Russia / India be able to master stealth to the degree of the F 22A ? Will the PAK FA be able to get first look using it's Advanced Infrared Sensors ?



  53. to Debajit :

    Hi! If you ask about a pure duel situation, when two rival aircrafts are closing in, then I believe the achieving if F22 stealthiness require from PAK FA further improvement, like advanced radar absorbing cover, nanometric cage covering and most important - LPI mode of the radar. According to my knowing all these technologies exist in Russia (look for my old reports about AESA radars and radar absorbing covering).

    I also believe that the new L-band radar which is going to be installed on PAK FA in addition to X-band, will guarantee parity for PAK FA in a duel situation despite following progress of the technology in USA, or even give it some advance.

    More hard question, whether PAK FA can compete with F22 in non-frontal aspect stealthiness? Today I translated the interview with one of the prominent Russian engine designer, which say that the prospective PAK FA engine will have up to twice advance over F22 in rare aspect IR emission. The rare aspect for PaK FA radar cross-section is not clear however.

    In short words: the stealthiness issue is a complex question and cannot be answered in one-two global parameters. Deep tactic-tech analysis is needed.

  54. Igor,

    Sincerely appreciate your insight.



  55. Hi! If you ask about a pure duel situation, when two rival aircrafts are closing in, then I believe the achieving if F22 stealthiness require from PAK FA further improvement, like advanced radar absorbing cover, nanometric cage covering and most important - LPI mode of the radar. According to my knowing all these technologies exist in Russia (look for my old reports about AESA radars and radar absorbing covering). link building services

  56. @Debo is there any evidence that the sensors on the PAK FA will not be able to detect an F-22 at greater ranges than the APG-77... remember that the PAK FA, unlike the F-22 will have a full range of IR sensors too?
    The real question is, can an AMRAAM with a 50% kill probability against unaware targets that do not react to the attack successfully defeat a modern fighter with modern RHAWs and defences.
    My guess is probably not, which means short range IR missiles and gun... in which case the PAK FA should have a pretty good chance.

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  59. T-50-1 is really a amazing plane and technology is combination of Indo-Russian which is really advance. Great 5th generation fighter....

  60. Like any aircraft the PAK FA is a work in progress and even after it enters service it will receive upgrades and modifications.

    At the end of the day I hope it never needs to be used in anger, but if its services are needed I am sure it will give its pilots options many other aircraft in the skies don't offer their pilots.

  61. Lets wait until the PAK-FA is produced until we compare it against the F22.
    In the real world the F22 has been tested time and time againstt aircraft that represent the most advanced and developed types of aircraft in the world. They are proven, combat tested and by far superior to their threat contemporaries. All have modern RWR, IRST and NATO standard datalinks. Not to mention the pilots flying them are the best and most battle proven in the world. Despite that, the F-22 simply makes air combat suicide for all lesser/previous aircraft. Please for once try and look at this objectively and FACTUALLY.

    There is no confusion. Red Flag isn't some platform vs platform pissing contest. Those F-22s faced the most skilled fighter pilots flying some of the worlds best jets simulating the types of tactics a potential opponent would use and tactics they would improvise to defeat the USAF and its F-22s. These include...

    -Highly classified TTPs like to be used as countermeasures

    -Swarming the F-22s with highly disproportionate numerical odds

    -All kinds of EW techniques to degrade sensor performance and communications

    -GPS jamming

    -Simulated SAMs of all kinds to include the most deadly double digit SAMs


    These efforts were described as "futile". Thats a powerful description. Especially when you have members of other Tier 1 Air Forces who use modern TTPs describing the experience as "highly frustrating". No one is in a better position to stop the F-22 than the USAF. They know full well it's limitations and the article suggest that even armed with this knowledge, it wasn't enough to overcome. It may or may not be a surprise that an aircraft like the F-22 could do this. But it certainly suggest that the F-22 is everything it is claimed to be and more.
    Your guys are dreaming there is no magic IRST or radar that is going to be a threat to the F22 or F35

  62. The F-22 is not combat tested and requires 40 hours of maintainence for 1 hour flight time.

    If we are going to look at it factually then we have to say that NATO has focussed for the last few decades of tearing apart third world countries with 1960s level Soviet technology, and they have become very capable and very successful at it.

    When VHF radars like Nebo-M become available however and of course the L band AESA radars in Su-35s and PAK FAs are put to good use the F-22 becomes much less impressive... and certainly no cheaper.

    There is a very good reason they stopped at 189... they aren't idiots.

    The F-22 is optimised as a sniper. It has excellent "eyes" and will want to fly high and fast to give its missiles maximum reach while at the same time moving quickly so conventional fighters that spend very little real time at supersonic speeds (because it uses up too much fuel) wont be able to keep up with it, or wont be able to keep up with it for long.

    You might want to update your sources because the F-22 has been defeated several times in close combat in exercises.

    Sure, it was never designed for close combat, but when Amraams have a 50% kill performance against targets that are unaware they are being engaged you have to think that perhaps carrying more than 6 AMRAAMs might have been worth thinking about. Once those 6 AMRAAMs are gone what is the F-22 going to do?

    Against a third world country of course it can just head home to base and rearm. Against a serious opponent however its airbase is probably not very safe and it would likely get damaged if it went back there...

    The countries this aircraft is designed to fight against it would currently be not so safe and getting less safe in the near future.

    Against Syria and Libya and Iraq and Afghanistan F-15Cs could do the job without breaking a sweat.

    It doesn't even have a helmet mounted sight like the Mig-29 did in the 1980s!

    Currently the biggest threat to the F-22 is from the F-22 to its pilot... they seem to like to suffocate them...

    The NATO tests are not about seeing what the F-22 can or can't do, they are showing off games rigged to hide the fact that the skin colour of the F-22 is white and it has large ears and a trunk.

    Of course the real question is that if NATO can't defeat F-22s how is it going to deal with new Russian and Chinese stealth fighters?

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