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    Su-30 for Russian Air Force

    miketheterrible
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    Post  miketheterrible on Sat Sep 15, 2018 9:32 pm

    It was the drawback from the APU's that prevented the total power from exceeding what they wanted with Bars initially. With the new microprocessors being used for N036 (Elbrus 2CM+) and with new APU's, they can really pump out more power and increase sensitivity of their PESA radar's that give them really amazing performance.
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    Post  hoom on Mon Sep 17, 2018 4:18 am

    So new builds with the Al-41F rather than retrofit? If the changes are as big as I'd seen suggested that would make more sense than a massive rebuild/refit program.
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    Post  marcellogo on Mon Sep 17, 2018 8:31 am

    hoom wrote:So new builds with the Al-41F rather than retrofit? If the changes are as big as I'd seen suggested that would make more sense than a massive rebuild/refit program.
    Yes, all Su-30 in Russian service are very recent acquisitions so no need to retrofit them a.t.m.
    However, given that improvements are about engines and avionics implementing almost a part of them would be fully possible in future.

    Still, historically the preferred option was to substitute old planes with new ones instead of going into deep modifications like the actual MiG-31BM or MiG-29SMT so I expect that in the future, once the consequences of two decades of paralysis would be fixed, they would get back into old practises.


    Last edited by marcellogo on Tue Sep 18, 2018 12:11 am; edited 1 time in total
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    Post  GunshipDemocracy on Mon Sep 17, 2018 1:57 pm

    marcellogo wrote:

    Still, historically the preferred option was to substitute old planes with new ones instead of going into deep modifications like the actual MiG-31BM or MiG-29SMT so I expect that in the future, once the consequences two decades of paralysis would be fixed, they would get back into old practises.


    Well every nation is upgrading old  fighters ill new models come in  numbers. France 30 years is making only Rafale, Spain/Italy/UK/Germany Eurofighter since 1994. US -F18.

    There is nothing to replace MiG-31 atm. and it still can do the task.  MiG-29 is IMHO at the end of the line that's  why MiG-35 is in hold. My guess is that the new VSTOL will take over light fighter duties.
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    Post  medo on Mon Sep 17, 2018 5:01 pm

    Isos wrote:
    PapaDragon wrote:
    Russia To Order Improved Su-30 'Flankers'

    https://www.ainonline.com/aviation-news/defense/2018-09-15/russia-order-improved-su-30-flankers

    Bars and Irbis have almost the same range. With the new engines, bars could do better than irbis. Su-57 compare to them is a beast of another level with better radar but also better engines.

    Anyway if they keep with su-30/35 means that they proved to be very good against F-22/35 and rafales/typhoons in Syria.

    Bars and Irbis doesn't have the same range actually. Bars-R have cca 400 km range against big targets, but Irbis have 400+ km range against small targets with 3 square meters RCS. Big targets Irbis could detect at far longer range like 600+ km, but its radar display is instrumentally limited to 400 km (maybe at some radar regimes it have longer range in display, bu8t it was not shown publicly). Irbis radar peak power is 20 kW, while Bars-R at best have peak power at 7 kW. Considering, that modernized Su-30SM will have the same 117S engines as Su-35, they could simply replace Bars-R with Irbis radar. I hope modernized Su-30SM will also get UV MAWS and LWR sensors from Su-35. Equipping them with SAP-518SM ECM pods and T220 targeting pod, RuAF and RuNAVY will receive very effectife and capable multirole fighter-bomber.

    I don't think Russian MoD will buy only 36 new modernized Su-30SM jets. It doesn't make sense to modernize it for such small number, they will for sure buy more of them, most probably 100+ or even more.
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    Post  Isos on Mon Sep 17, 2018 6:53 pm

    Well then just buy two seater su-35 like mike said as it is cheaper, better and stealthier than the less capable su-30. Modernization could make the price grow unless they take everything from su-35 and then achieve a reduction of price with the no-stealthy structure of su-30.
    miketheterrible
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    Post  miketheterrible on Mon Sep 17, 2018 9:41 pm

    I think the 36 in question are now orders, the next orders will be these newer Su-30's.

    And yes, I am correct. They might as well make a Su-35 two seater and be done with it.

    As well, Irbis-E's performance mentions was years ago. As far back as 2009. Same time Bars radar was much less capable than it is today (Yes, Medo is correct, 400km range for larger targets, about 250km - 300km for fighter sized targets (3m^2). That is now or around 2014 when Bars-R came to light and all its improvements (Without needing much for power output increase. As Medo said, with new APU's they could just switch outright to Irbis radar). But for what we know, they may have already made modernization of the Irbis Radar for better sensitivity and increase range within the same amount of power draw or less.
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    Post  Isos on Mon Sep 17, 2018 9:55 pm

    miketheterrible wrote:I think the 36 in question are now orders, the next orders will be these newer Su-30's.

    And yes, I am correct.  They might as well make a Su-35 two seater and be done with it.

    As well, Irbis-E's performance mentions was years ago.  As far back as 2009.  Same time Bars radar was much less capable than it is today (Yes, Medo is correct, 400km range for larger targets, about 250km - 300km for fighter sized targets (3m^2).  That is now or around 2014 when Bars-R came to light and all its improvements (Without needing much for power output increase.  As Medo said, with new APU's they could just switch outright to Irbis radar).  But for what we know, they may have already made modernization of the Irbis Radar for better sensitivity and increase range within the same amount of power draw or less.

    With the same tech, s-400 radars should be able to see anything at max range, stealth or not. New awacs will be beast and even smaller ones with smaller radar than a-100 can be very good if a radar with an antenna of 1m can see a target of 3m2 at 400km which is what awacs can do today then an awacs mounted on SSJ-100 or similar plane could see f-22 at 500-600 km easily. Even track it ajd guide r-37 on them.
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    Post  miketheterrible on Mon Sep 17, 2018 10:32 pm

    if you are insinuating that the Irbis doesn't see that far for a fighter sized target, it was already proven in a video submitted on youtube years ago of a Irbis E detecting targets at various ranges, 3M^2 at over 320km.



    apparently target in question on the video is 1m^2
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    Post  flamming_python on Mon Sep 17, 2018 10:36 pm

    miketheterrible wrote:I think the 36 in question are now orders, the next orders will be these newer Su-30's.

    And yes, I am correct.  They might as well make a Su-35 two seater and be done with it.

    As well, Irbis-E's performance mentions was years ago.  As far back as 2009.  Same time Bars radar was much less capable than it is today (Yes, Medo is correct, 400km range for larger targets, about 250km - 300km for fighter sized targets (3m^2).  That is now or around 2014 when Bars-R came to light and all its improvements (Without needing much for power output increase.  As Medo said, with new APU's they could just switch outright to Irbis radar).  But for what we know, they may have already made modernization of the Irbis Radar for better sensitivity and increase range within the same amount of power draw or less.

    Su-35 is just a stopgap for the Su-57.

    When the Su-57 is available they won't need to procure more Su-35s, but they'll still need the 2-seater Flankers for all sorts of multirole duties; strike, interception, patrol, etc... However they're not meant to be top-of-the-line air superiority fighters with the highest-end equipment such as the Su-35 or Su-57 are. They're your bread and butter and you need a lot of them, so you want to aim for best value for money; not the most expensive technologies.


    Last edited by flamming_python on Mon Sep 17, 2018 11:08 pm; edited 1 time in total
    Isos
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    Post  Isos on Mon Sep 17, 2018 11:02 pm

    miketheterrible wrote:if you are insinuating that the Irbis doesn't see that far for a fighter sized target, it was already proven in a video submitted on youtube years ago of a Irbis E detecting targets at various ranges, 3M^2 at over 320km.

    apparently target in question on the video is 1m^2

    I'm not. I'm just wondering what new awacs could do if a radar with an antenna of 1m and power output of 20kW can see such targets at 400km.

    There are numbers on the net about nato awacs having ranges of 300-400 against 4th generation fighters. This is less capable than a irbis e. Then if you use the irbis e tech on such big radars you can see raptors and f-35 at max range easily.

    Thanks for the video.
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    Post  miketheterrible on Mon Sep 17, 2018 11:08 pm

    flamming_python wrote:
    miketheterrible wrote:I think the 36 in question are now orders, the next orders will be these newer Su-30's.

    And yes, I am correct.  They might as well make a Su-35 two seater and be done with it.

    As well, Irbis-E's performance mentions was years ago.  As far back as 2009.  Same time Bars radar was much less capable than it is today (Yes, Medo is correct, 400km range for larger targets, about 250km - 300km for fighter sized targets (3m^2).  That is now or around 2014 when Bars-R came to light and all its improvements (Without needing much for power output increase.  As Medo said, with new APU's they could just switch outright to Irbis radar).  But for what we know, they may have already made modernization of the Irbis Radar for better sensitivity and increase range within the same amount of power draw or less.

    Su-35 is just a stopgap for the Su-57.

    When the Su-57 is available they won't need to procure more Su-35s, but they'll still need the 2-seater Flankers for all sorts of multirole duties. However they're not meant to be top-of-the-line air superiority fighters with the highest-end equipment such as the Su-35 or Su-57 are. They're your bread and butter and you need a lot of them, so you want to aim for best value for money; not the most expensive technologies.

    But Su-35 is cheaper than Su-30SM.  So that kind of throws this whole debate aside since well, it is supposed to be cheap.

    Su-57 wont come out in numbers.  I have a theory - a lot of the technology from Su-57 will end up in the Su-35 and the rest.  Reason is that stealth isn't necessary anymore since ways of tracking and engaging stealth is way more advanced than it was 10 years ago and current stealth platforms are not really effective.  Thus it becomes a very expensive acquisition for little to no gain.  Various technologies can come to Su-35 from Su-57 since radar housing is similar dimensions from what I read and the power output from the Su-35S APU is more than enough to power that N036 radar.  Which in this case, can also be installed in current Su-30SM.

    They will aim for something even newer and better than Su-57.  By then, they may start to introduce a Su-57 in numbers as overall design of the Su-35 will be exhausted.

    Isos wrote:
    miketheterrible wrote:if you are insinuating that the Irbis doesn't see that far for a fighter sized target, it was already proven in a video submitted on youtube years ago of a Irbis E detecting targets at various ranges, 3M^2 at over 320km.

    apparently target in question on the video is 1m^2

    I'm not. I'm just wondering what new awacs could do if a radar with an antenna of 1m and power output of 20kW can see such targets at 400km.

    There are numbers on the net about nato awacs having ranges of 300-400 against 4th generation fighters. This is less capable than a irbis e. Then if you use the irbis e tech on such big radars you can see raptors and f-35 at max range easily.

    Thanks for the video.

    The AWACS mentioned, A-100, is capable of seeing targets upwards to 600km. Possibly even further. Detecting them at such large ranges is not out of the question. It is the tracking them is the tough part. Also, A-100 radar system is supposed to be AESA too, so it will be different in terms of sensitivity to its antenna.
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    Post  PapaDragon on Tue Sep 18, 2018 12:29 am

    miketheterrible wrote:.....But Su-35 is cheaper than Su-30SM. ....

    Since when?

    VKS version of Su-30 is best bang for the buck in history of aviation.
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    Post  miketheterrible on Tue Sep 18, 2018 12:31 am

    PapaDragon wrote:
    miketheterrible wrote:.....But Su-35 is cheaper than Su-30SM. ....

    Since when?

    VKS version of Su-30 is best bang for the buck in history of aviation.

    I believe it was because of mentioned prices of Su-35 individually was less than $30M per aircraft. Roughly $27M per aircraft.

    I guess best would be to compare prices in Rubles of recent orders, and how many they got per aircraft.
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    Post  GarryB on Tue Sep 18, 2018 6:56 am

    The Su-35 was an interum fighter... it is not completely the same as a stopgap fighter... it is fitted with avionics intended for the 5th gen fighters, so in many ways it is a fifth gen fighter without the stealth and internal weapons bays.

    I doubt they had any plans as to whether to make just a few Su-35s and lots of Su-57s or lots of Su-35s and a few Su-57s or lots of both... I rather suspect they want to test and evaluate them and also look at their performance... as long as they keep putting new upgraded avionics in both aircraft as technology improves I don't see a reason for a two seat model of either aircraft... the whole point of 5th gen super avionics is a virtual AI crew to take care of mundane stuff while the pilot tackles stuff that can't be automated.

    If Su-35s can be made for 27 million... that is about 7 million more than an Apache helicopter for goodness sake... they should make thousands even if the Su-57 is a success...
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    Post  marcellogo on Tue Sep 18, 2018 8:35 am

    A Su-30SM with the engine of Su-35, updated avionics and a more powerful APU is a practical equivalent of a two seater version of it.

    -while in the case of Su-30 they just needed to take an existing plane and modify it in order to test the new suit, developing a two seater version of Su-35 plane would need to get back to designer table, build a prototype and perform almost a full certification test run if not complete state one.

    -Su-30 have sold a lot abroad in the past decades so a potential retrofitting market is already present while the Su-35 is much more recent and still in their green years.

    -Su-30 is made at Irkusk while Su-35 at KnAAZ and remaining slots there are already for Su-57.
    Actual production batch of Su-30SM  is about to be fulfilled and another contract need to be signed as there are still a request for it, and not Su-35, by both VKS than VMF, so better to have them at the highest possible standard.

    Above all, Su-30SM and Su-35 are, in the minds and plans of the high commands are considered complementary and not alternative planes, just as also Su-34 are.

    Su-35 would be an Air Defense and Air Superiority plane, Su-30 are Tactical Fighters and Maritime Patrol planes (while covering also the need of OCU for Su-35 and Su-57) while Su-34 is a light tactical bomber. Su-35 have also a successor almost ready in the form of Su-57 so investing heavily in future version of it make not sense at all.
    Better to look after a two seater version of Su-57 instead.
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    Post  Hole on Tue Sep 18, 2018 11:16 am

    Cheap solution: the new-built modernised Su-30SM (SU-30SM1 or 2) could be called Su-35UB.
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    Post  GarryB on Wed Sep 19, 2018 4:46 am

    Not really... the whole point of a two seat aircraft is to share the workload between two human beings...

    If the Su-35 can be operated as a single seat fighter then you can assume it wont be operated the same way an Su-30 would be operated... you could set the Su-30 up so the front guy is the Su-35 pilot and the guy in the back just monitors hits performance and gets him out of trouble if he makes a mistake... but that would pretty much make the Su-30 a trainer aircraft for the Su-35.

    In fact I suspect the Su-30 is designed to be operated by two people... so pilot in front and weapon operator/navigator in the back... ie two crew with two distinct but separate roles that compliment each other and raise the performance of the aircraft beyond what one person could manage on their own.

    Having said that of course... if you only need a two seater for training because the avionics make it easy enough to fly on your own then an Su-30 with a digital flight control system that can simulate the performance of other aircraft like the Yak-130 has means the Su-30 could be designed so that it can be used as a single seat aircraft for training with trainer in the back, or as a fully operational two seat fighter bomber...

    Equally with all these remote tanks and unmanned aircraft another option would be to have remote control with a trainer in a van able to take over control of the aircraft if there is a problem... in a very serious situation you could fly a low slow pass over the airfield and eject the trainee, and then come around and try to safely land the now unmanned aircraft...
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    Post  LMFS on Wed Sep 19, 2018 5:24 am

    marcellogo wrote:A Su-30SM with the engine of Su-35, updated avionics and a more powerful APU is a practical equivalent of a two seater version of it.

    -while in the case of Su-30 they just needed to take an existing plane and modify it in order to test the new suit, developing a two seater version of Su-35 plane would need to get back to designer table, build a prototype and perform almost a full certification test run if not complete state one.

    -Su-30 have sold a lot abroad in the past decades so a potential retrofitting market is already present while the Su-35 is much more recent and still in their green years.

    -Su-30 is made at Irkusk while Su-35 at KnAAZ and remaining slots there are already for Su-57.
    Actual production batch of Su-30SM  is about to be fulfilled and another contract need to be signed as there are still a request for it, and not Su-35, by both VKS than VMF, so better to have them at the highest possible standard.

    Above all, Su-30SM and Su-35 are, in the minds and plans of the high commands are considered complementary and not  alternative planes, just as also Su-34 are.

    Su-35 would be an Air Defense and Air Superiority plane, Su-30 are Tactical Fighters and Maritime Patrol planes (while covering also the need of OCU for Su-35 and Su-57) while Su-34 is a light tactical bomber. Su-35 have also a successor almost ready in the form of Su-57 so investing heavily in future version of it make not sense at all.
    Better to look after a two seater version of Su-57 instead.
    Well said. The Super MKI for India would be based on these improvements I think.

    Only thing I disagree is that Su-57 needs a two seater version. It has been designed from the beginning as a multirole fighter with virtual co-pilot, so a second human on board should not be needed. In fact, it could be thinkable to retrofit this system into the Su-35 in the future and reinforce its multi-role capability.
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    Post  medo on Fri Sep 21, 2018 8:42 pm



    New video with some nice interior pictures.
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    Post  slasher on Sat Sep 22, 2018 3:10 am

    LMFS wrote:Well said. The Super MKI for India would be based on these improvements I think.

    Only thing I disagree is that Su-57 needs a two seater version. It has been designed from the beginning as a multirole fighter with virtual co-pilot, so a second human on board should not be needed. In fact, it could be thinkable to retrofit this system into the Su-35 in the future and reinforce its multi-role capability.

    Actually, the proposed future version of the su-57 dispenses altogether with any pilot, and foresees it as the basis of Russia's 6th gen. aircraft' development ambitions.
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    Post  PTURBG on Tue Sep 25, 2018 7:44 am

    Why not just install the Zhuk radar on the Su-30SM instead of tinkering with PESAs that will soon be hopelessly outdated? Are the nosecone dimensions too small or does the air force consider the software changes too expensive?
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    Post  miketheterrible on Tue Sep 25, 2018 11:06 am

    PTURBG wrote:Why not just install the Zhuk radar on the Su-30SM instead of tinkering with PESAs that will soon be hopelessly outdated? Are the nosecone dimensions too small or does the air force consider the software changes too expensive?

    Multitude of reasons:

    1) PESA won't be outdated. Don't let marketing fool you.
    2) AESA very expensive and performance increase may not be sufficient.
    3) they are working on newer AESA tech like ROFAR (Photonics) and making newer GaAS and GaN modules which aren't out yet. Current are rather inefficient.

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    Post  GarryB on Tue Sep 25, 2018 12:03 pm

    AESA technology is not mature in Russia yet, but it will be everywhere... from tethered drones with AESA radar and IIR sensors flying above armoured vehicles, to ground searching radar and air scanning radar from helicopters, drones, fixed wing aircraft, land vehicles (including SAM systems and large ground based radar arrays), ships, and satellites... so the number of AESA elements needing to be produced will be thousands of millions... which will come down in price and increase in performance rather rapidly.

    In the meantime PESA is effective and much cheaper, while offering good performance.

    New technologies are getting close that might be quite revolutionary, so it would be a huge waste of money to now invest lots of money buying AESA radars for everything, if these new Photonic radars offer even better performance with a different technology.
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    Post  miketheterrible on Tue Sep 25, 2018 12:37 pm

    Russia's been producing T/R GaAS modules since early 2000's. They produced them in the tens of thousands dating back in 2009 or so, as many ground based systems use them.

    Reason why they weren't used in airforce is because of cost and that they average around ~10+% failure rate on the T/R modules. So with modules only around 5W, that is a pretty big failure. That usually comes with lack of proper cooling.

    They we're working on T/R modules which was shown quite a few years ago, that we're smaller than the standard modules and operating at 10W in a quad module. What happened to that? Don't know. Possibly still produced for specific needs like wireless network and what not.

    Then Rostec, whom owns both Phazotron and Tikhomirov NIIP is working on the ROFAR, which they have set up test benches and build a whole new facility just for it's development. With even rumors of it being field tested too last year.

    And of course, PESA still has potential, especially since now they are a hybrid structure. High power, high accuracy, higher (than older models) resolution and at a reduced cost compared to AESA, even the older AESA variants.

    Of course the Su-30SM and what not could hold the N036 radar since the N036 is designed around bars radar family but uses the GaAS AESA modules. They could greatly reduce costs by making many more of these radars to be used as backwards compatibility with Su-30 and Su-35. But the cost may skyrocket, while performance is about the same as the Su-35. Because in the end, it's power input/output. 20KW of power from the APU of the Su-35 and Su-57 will end up providing just enough for the radar to have similar performance.

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