The Russians have started the test and design works, aim of which is to provide the Russian 5th Generation fighter with a relevant power-plant.
If there is one field in which the Russians seem to fall behind in aircraft development – it is definitely the propulsion systems for the new jets.
Currently, prototypes of the Sukhoi T-50 PAK-FA (Perspektivny Aviatsionny Kompleks Frontovoy Aviatsii—Future Tactical Air System) which is the Russian 5th Generation fighter design, use the Saturn AL-41F1 engines, which are a series production model used by the Russian 4.5 generation fighters, such as Sukhoi Su-35.
We must remember that childhood of T-50 PAK-FA has been quite troublesome and engines have already been cause of some quite embarrassing incidents in the near past.
The current engine should not be mistaken with the NPO Saturn AL-41F engine, which has been designed for the Multi-Role Frontline Fighter, also known as MiG-1.44. The engine used by the PAK-FA prototypes is actually an updated variant of the AL-31F power-plant.
According to altair.com.pl, NPO Saturn corporation representatives recently announced that the prototype of the second engine is expected to be ready for flight testing in 2015. The new engine, shall be ready for the series production by 2020, with the first prototype being completed by 2016, and flight tests planned to happen in 2017.
At least such statements were made during the Aero India 2015 expo by Vladislav Masalov, who is the chief of the ODK company working on the jet propulsion systems.
In the meanwhile, numerous media outlets report that Russia and India are going to sign a contract, regarding the future development of a 5th Generation Fighter in 2015. According to IHS Jane’s, Yuri Slyusar, who is the CEO of the United Aircraft Corporation (UAC), stated that the parties are at the final stage of negotiations. The preliminary agreement has already been signed. The program is to involve the UAC company on the side of Russia and the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited company for India. Slyusar confirmed the fact that the new generation engine testing program is under way.
It is yet unclear, when we may expect the PAK-FA or the Indian fused design to be introduced into service in the front-line units though.
Image credit: Dmitry Zherdin/Wiki
“The new engine, shall be ready for the series production by 2020, with the first prototype being completed by 2016, and flight tests planned to happen in 2017.”
And yet the RuAF plans to take the first delivery in 2016, with 55 of the initial order of 60 being delivered by 2020… Somebody is being a little optimistic! I wonder, are the acquisition plans sincere, or is this a boutique project to milk R&D funds from India while pretending to push towards full rate production?
It is possible that PAK-FA would be delivered with the AL-41F1’s and they will be updated later on.
That seems likely, though I wonder how much commonality the different production tranches can have if each is built around one of the two engines. I haven’t seen this discussed, but the tolerances required for LO shaping mean that simple engine-swap upgrades possible with earlier aircraft may simply not be possible in this case.
It sure doesn’t look that stealthy with its 90 degree vertical tail fins. These will stand out on any modern advanced radar system.
Thewy are not EXACTLY 90 degree, c.f. here: http://www.ausairpower.net/VVS/Sukhoi-T-50-PAK-FA-KnAAPO-3S.jpg
from the picture in this article it looks like 90 degree’s.
Yup, not the best shot
Actually the cant of the tails on the PAK-FA are very similar to the F-22 but the surface area of the tails is smaller due to the 3D TVC which allows higher maneuverability without the need for the large tails seen on the Raptor. From a RCS perspective the PAK-FA tails should be harder to see on radar. Of course shaping and coatings are also important.
The PAKFA has an all moving vertical tail surface. Though the vertical tail for the PAKFA is small than the F-22’s, the amount of deflection is said to be equal to that of the F-22s.
In terms of LO aspect, everywhere I have read and seen (good non bias analysis and not just chest pumping) unanimously agree that the F-22 is superior to the PAKFA.
My money is on that canopy glass and fat engines making that thing look like Rosie O’Donnell on a radar scope in the sky.
That canopy ‘glass’ is actually an indium-tin oxide composite designed to absorb radar. It’s the same process used by the F-22. These also aren’t the final engines obviously. Furthermore the F-22 doesn’t even have an IRST so it won’t see it anyway.
The stealth expert has spoken – nice try Russia, try to get that basic trigonometry right next time.
What you know about ?how many wars did Americans lost? and Russia??
Look again, there not at 90 degrees. Russians know how to build aeroplanes.
India Plans to buy 50 Su T 50 directly from Russia, and later plans to build 144 twin seat FGFA in India
Seems a bit late to just get started on an engine that they knew they needed a decade ago