Sunday, October 9, 2011

PAK DA news

Russian source reports PAK DA is developed by Sukhoi, 120 t class, and will be equipped with 4 Al-41 engines. It means Sukhoi has finally won competition with Tupolev for PAK DA program. The new prospective bomber will have the same range like Tu-160 (14+ thousand kms) and will gradually replace Tu-95 (60+ units), Tu-160 (15 units) and partially Tu-22M3. The technical-economic reasons played important role in the decision, the better shape of Sukhoi design house too. To make an adequate replacement  for such high number of planes  by Tu-160 size bombers (a new kind or refurbished)  is impossible, they said.


  1. so is this the variable-bypass version of Al-41?
    any info confirming that the same/similar engine will be the `final` PAK-FA engine as well?

  2. ...of course, who would be interested in what the competing proposals LOOK LIKE? :-)

  3. Sukhoi has experience in developing a bomber ,they developed the T-4 bomber which was far ahead of its time then but it was rejected being expensive.

    Ofcourse Tupolev experience will come in handy in designing a bomber.

    Igor couple of questions.

    1> Will they use the new 18 T engine for the new bomber ?
    2> Has it been decided the new bomber will be subsonic or supersonic ?

  4. With 4 X 18 ton class engines, but a weight of a Tu-22M3 the numbers are all wrong.

    I think the aircraft will operate in two different modes... strategic and theatre.

    In strategic mode it will carry a payload of maybe 9-12 tons of cruise missiles and it will likely super cruise all the way to the target at about mach 1.5 or so. Flying all the way in dry thrust will be very efficient, and the high average speed will mean it would get it strategic targets faster than bombers do now.
    For theatre mode it will carry a greatly reduced internal fuel load and might carry a 30 ton weapon load over much reduced distances.

    I would expect all weapons and fuel to be internal.

    Would expect a dash speed of Mach 2 or so to reduce time over target in the theatre role.

  5. Austin,

    q1 - positive
    q2 - the planned speed is 2M. About on dry supersonic capability they yet elaborate, but certainly yes.

  6. better get rteady with bombers. first priority is to bomb the real persisiten t enemy england to be bombed into smithness. send twenty topola nd cruise misisles to kill allt those english coward bastards who plot agasint the world.

    nato is an organisation created to serve the piracy and bullying of the thrid rate country england after the second world war-America did nto need not england needed that to serve her purpose on back of American arms
    “isolationist” (really an anti-meddling) is a code word used by england and her agents in usa to decry those people in America who do not want the whole of usa resources put to the benefit of English race and england and who may not want the perpetual wars being waged by england on the strength of American arms
    NATO is an organisation created to maintain the power of third rate england through American arms to bully Germany and Europeans and to keep Russia down all for benefit of england and usa got sukced into it through British agents in us media and politics and business. that is what isolationist means one who is not willing to sacrifice for the benefit of england.

    it is not only neocons who are for perpetual war it is the english race so called British who are instigating the perpetual war of course the English are too coward and weak to fight on their own so they have arranged a charade called NATO to do their dirty work.
    Decisions in nato are made not in berlin or Belgium but only in London and some British agents’ place in Washington. NATO WAS CREATED TO KEEP THE INFLUNCE OF WEAKNED BRITISH BASTARDS TO KEEP EUROPEANS DOWN (ESPECIALLY GEMRNS AND FRENCH) AND KEEP RUSSIAN THREATEND. IT WAS NOT CREATED TO counter Russia; it was created to give
    support by americans to the British agenda of keeping the world for the e benefit of English and anglosaxon race and that only.

  7. With 4 engines putting out 18 tons of thrust this new plane is more like a B-1B than a Tu-160.

    The Tu-23M3 has two 25 ton thrust engines for a total of 50 tons thrust for a max weight of about 120 tons. Having 4 x 18 ton thrust engines means 72 tons of thrust in a plane the same weight as the Tu-22M3.

    Being a strategic aircraft it will need an enormous fuel fraction which will leave a fairly small payload capacity.

    Even with an extremely efficient flying wing configuration this is going to be less impressive than a Tu-160 in terms of payload range performance...

    If it can super cruise then it might be worth it, but it will likely have a strategic payload of perhaps 6 cruise missiles.

  8. Considering the weight and the thrust and the potential for large internal loads of weapons or fuel I wonder if a variant of the PAK DA could be developed to fill the role of the Mig-31.

    A flying wing is not so manouverable, but a super cruising long range low RCS aircraft with a huge nose mounted AESA and perhaps a 20-30m long wing mounted L band AESA radar with strategic range and a payload of perhaps 10-12 tons of long range AAMs carried internally... it would be a very potent interceptor and would reduce the cost of the PAK DA with numbers, and free the PAK FA up from interception duties.

  9. The izvestia article is bogus. No prototype before 2020. The engines speculation is totally wrong.

    B.R. Andy_theWiz

  10. Hey Andy... any better engine speculation from you?

    I would like to see them investing in a 5th gen engine based on the engines used by the Blackjack, or the engines used by the Backfire.

    If they make them in stages like they are doing with the PAK FA they could fit the early improved versions to the existing fleet of aircraft... the first thing they should do is create an engine that can be fitted to both the Blackjack and Backfire and that alone will streamline logistics and improve performance for both aircraft.

    With proper investment by 2020 they might have an engine powerful and reliable enough that they can go for a single engined medium bomber or three engined heavy bomber (ie reduced engine numbers reduce operational costs, but the increase in power and reliability it wont come at the cost of safety or performance.)


  11. Of course the implications of a 5th gen version of the engines fitted to Backfires and Blackjacks is interesting too.

    Based on the improvement of the Al-31 from 12,700kg thrust to 18 tons in the 5th gen derivative engine, then we can expect a similar 41.73% increase in thrust for an updated strategic bombers engine so a base thrust of 25 tons suddenly jumps to 35 tons of thrust per engine, which makes it almost double the thrust of the PAF FA engine.
    A single seat "light" PAK FA with a single engine for some roles and as a cheap mass production alternative might make an interesting development.
    Put a large shrouded prop in the front and it could be used as the basis for a new propfan engine for subsonic long range aircraft too.

    Equally a Backfire weight aircraft with two 35 ton engines results in 70 tons of thrust which is better than the current Backfires 50 tons, and very close to the projected PAKDA above with 4 x 18 ton thrust engines, but 2 engines are lighter and cheaper to operate and maintain.

    The extra thrust should easily allow super cruising, perhaps even without an AB being fitted.

    A civilian version could allow the Concord type dream of mach 2.2 civilian transport in dry thrust with 4 engines to allow super cruising at above mach 2.
    This would greatly speed up flights from one side of Russia to the other and really open up the far east.

  12. Strange decision. Even if the Russians were looking for a Backfire-sized tactical bomber why did they turn to Sukhoi instead of Tupolev? Whether in tactical or strategic bombers, Tupolev trumps everyone else in experience.

    I have the feeling political influence has a lot to do with this decision.

  13. Or perhaps the "russian source" is from inside Sukhoi rather than inside the government or military.

    I agree that Tupolev is the best place to develop this new strategic aircraft...

    We have seen with orders for Indian Frigates that contracts go to different shipyards as each job renovates each yard and prepares it for production... so although the production of Frigates is a little slower, Russia ends up with more yards able to compete for contracts for domestic and export orders which can only be good for domestic and export customers as when domestic orders increase the capacity for production needs to increase too... if all the orders went to one successful shipyard then obviously there would be a problem in the future for supply.

    The same should be applied to aircraft design bureaus as the more spread out the work the better variety within the industry for domestic and export customers.

    Sure the different aircraft companies are now all part of UAC, but keeping all parts working is much better than starving off half and overworking one or two parts of it.

    The Sukhoi bureau needs to focus on Su-35s and Pak Fas and superjets and also UAVs and stop trying to steal other programs from other groups.

  14. Hi Igor,

    Is Russia taking any steps to improve it's Electronic Warfare capability . Recent newspaper reports in India are suggesting that the EW capability of the PAK FA is inferior to both the F22 & the F 35 .


  15. I would assume that if they are bothering to make a 5th gen fighter then they will also be making an effort to make it the best they can make it.

    That would mean EW would be developed for it too, but of course with India seeming to turn to other weapon suppliers perhaps Russia is not offering India the best it has because it might assume India will want a combination of Israeli and French EW equipment anyway.

    The EW equipment on PAK FA is not really important to India as they will be developing an aircraft based on it that can have anything they want included in the design.

    Because of this the new aircraft will likely be the first two seat stealth fighter.

  16. It's not really a question about India's requirements or the PAK FA . It is about Russia's EW capability per se. As Alexander Zelin, head of the Russian air force said during the MAKS airshow that US aircrafts have better EW capabilities than Russian aircrafts.

    Also, for a stealth aircraft it is not possible to have Israeli/European EW equipments in a Russian platform . Transferring data between stealth and non stealth aircrafts itself comes with it's fair share of challenges . Plug and play will become more difficult . Going forward countries will ask for the entire package from one country .

  17. Ramesh,

    The Israeli version of the F-35 supposedly will have many Israeli components including EW systems. As such I don't see why it would be a problem to integrate Western equipment on the Indian PAK-FA so long as the systems integration is ultimately done by a Russian/Indian firm(as was the case for the Su-30MKI programme).

  18. Hey, Igorr, related to your old news about an Indian firm manufacturing GaN chips in Russia, how far are Russian efforts to induct GaN technology in AESA radars? I understand all current-gen AESA radars use GaAs architecture, but GaN has 3-5 times the power output.

  19. Any new info about the PAK DA Igor?

    Last I heard they had pushed deployment back to 2030 or so, which makes the upgrades to the Tu-160 and Tu-95 a bit more critical.

    It means developing a 5th gen engine would be even more useful for the strategic bomber force... perhaps a 35 ton thrust replacement for the NK-32 and NK-25 as used by the Tu-160 and Tu-22M3 and perhaps a propfan version turning turboprop blades for the Bear based on the new 5th gen engine and the prop from the An-70 or something similar...

    With the 140 odd Tu-22M3s including long range aviation Backfires and Naval Aviation Backfires that is 280 engines, plus the 15 odd Blackjacks adding 60 more engines by combining them into one new engine you over come the financial problems of making stuff for a small pool of aircraft (15 Blackjacks for a total of 60 engines is not worth investing funds over, but 340 engines for the Backfire and Blackjack and spending some money starts to make sense)

    Add to that the fact that turboprop engines could also be developed for the existing Bear and Naval Bear aircraft... perhaps altering them to twin engined aircraft with longer flight range and cheaper to operate because of reduced maintainence costs of only having two engines instead of four, and it almost pays for itself.

    More importantly the new engines could be used as part of the PAK DA program to create a supercruising flying wing design with potential for long range bomber (to replace the Blackjack and Bear), short range heavy conventional payload bomber (to replace the Backfire), long range maritime patrol aircraft (to replace the Naval Bear Tu-142), and of course supercruising Civilian airliner, and perhaps even long range interceptor model to replace the Mig-31.

    The pushing back of the service entry means that the existing types that could be potentially replaced as I mention above will need to operate for a rather longer period and so upgrades to these aircraft will need to allow for a longer period in service.

    Igor... any input would be appreciated... would be nice to hear from you this year too.. :)

  20. Morning Igor,

    Time permitting please do read this article about the US army's need for tiny killer drones


  21. I fear Igor has moved on to other things.

    We should perhaps treat this blog as an archive of very interesting stuff.

    1. SO sorry to hear that . Igor's blog was a huge source of inspiration and had a number of loyal followers , like your's truly .

  22. Hi friends! First I'm OK. However, many other important things prevented me from having enough time for this blog. Donno if I will post there some day as actively as I did so in the past. If I decide to revive this, most probably it will be rather analytical texts than primary information or reviews. Thank you GarryB, Sujoy and others who follow keeping watch on this blog!

  23. Hi Igor ,
    Heartening to know that you are doing great . Would sincerely hope that you will get some time to posts your analytical texts. Needless to say your blog is outstanding.

    All the best with your work .


  24. Glad to hear you are OK.

    I assumed you had other things to keep you busy... there is time and effort spent on this blog and I didn't think you would walk away because you were bored... :)

    Any further posts will be appreciated.

    I appreciate what it is like to have a life... sometimes you start things and then something comes up and you don't have as much time for the things you started as you used to... quite often it is children, but it can be a new partner or job related, but that is none of our business... we appreciate what time you can spare.


  25. Hello Igor ,

    Just wanted to drop a line to wish you and your's a MERRY CHRISTMAS and a VERY HAPPY 2013 .

    Wishing you nothing but continuous success .

    Best Regards,

  26. Well it seems pretty clear now that the PAK DA will be made by Tupelov... which makes a lot of sense because Sukhoi will be pretty busy with other things anyway.

    Also pretty clear is that they are after a very large flying wing design that is stealthy but with an enormous internal weapon and fuel capacity to allow strategic missions with heavier payloads than the Blackjack can carry, and also very heavy theatre payloads too.

    I rather suspect the FOAB will be a standard theatre weapon carried internally which will demand large weapon bays.

    I also suspect they will make it viable simply by developing stealthy very long range cruise missiles... 4-5 ton missiles with ranges of 8-10,000km on aircraft with a flight radius of 12,000km means almost any target can be hit from any direction. Equally large hypersonic scramjet powered missiles can be carried which will further complicate defence and also allow precision conventional strike capabilities from international air space.

    Of course a tailed flying wing might allow transonic flight and supercruising would make flight times shorter without compromising RCS too much, and would also make interception much more difficult for 4th gen fighters.

    A supercruising model could include bypass thrust based scramjet technology too for high speed cruising at supersonic speeds (the way the SR-71 did).

    This might make it a candidate for a long term replacement for the Mig-31 in the interceptor role with lower peak speed but much longer range, enormous internal weapon payload and huge wing mounted antenna arrays to allow scanning for stealth targets.

    Indeed just replacing the internal weapons with fuel cells could allow it to also be used as an AWACS like aircraft with wing leading edge antenna arrays offering exceptional performance in a range of frequencies.