Let us face it, as cost of goods are going up and Russia has been forced to tighten its belt regarding funding on nearly anything, a 5th gen lightweight fighter is going to become quite important. Most wars are either a fight of attrition or would end in hours if gone nuclear. So having a jet that is cheap to field while being able to hold its own quite well, is important.
But why should it be not only expensive but takes long to come out? Already KRET has the technologies for a fifth gen like fighter. They could effectively use what they learned from MiG-35 so far, improve its subsystems, and come up with a newer airframe. To reduce costs, they could use shaping a lot more effectively than relying on RAM material for stealth as RAM is quite expensive, while shaping wouldn't be (they could use computers to help come up with the design. Of course, the set basis for it could be MiG-29 shape.
But a jet that would cost roughly $30 - $50M per unit would be ideal, as it would be significantly cheaper than PAK FA, while being reasonable in terms of price, could still be capable. Theoretically, Su-34's are listed as cheaper than Su-35's and are very capable aircrafts, hence the large purchase for them (well, and their needs).
GJ Flanker wrote:Russia needs new combat aircraft, the more the better. The new situation dictates the dynamics of development of brand new Russian gear. A decision to modernize all T-90A to T-90M standard is a sign ain that direction. Mikoyan must come with something brand new. Sukhoi has already many delivery projects. I don't think a new MiG would be inferior comparing with T-50 and if we also get a MiG-41 than the picture will be complete.
It is possible that this new MiG will top anything else out there in the world, even T-50 and F-22A. By logic, it will be a much younger project than all others. New solutions would be built in from the very start, like GaN AESA, X-core 16 nm processors and other things.
I think the main aim is to bring Mikoyan to Sukhoi revenue level.
Problem with low nanometer processors are that their shieldings for against radiation. Most processors used for military purposes are usually around 180 - 90nm processing with specialized shieldings. Very expensive. Like F-22's and Su-30MKI's use the Intel i960x processor which is quite old in terms of regular computer use, but are quite ideal for radar technology. The ones ideal for Russia will be the Elbrus 2C+ or 2SM which are localized production and 90nm with 6 physical cores of two of them being the Elbrus E2K core and 4 being of Elvees DSP cores.
Also, I know very little currently about the modules for radar technology coming out from Russia but my understanding is that NPP Istok is the one who produces the current T/R Modules for both KRET and Tikhomirov NPP. I read that back in 2009 (?) they were working on GaN modules but heard nothing more. They are the makers of the current T/R modules of GaAS in Russia and very odd reports here and there of its performances. Some claim they operate in the 10W field, and others say 5W field with MiG-35's having real trouble powering them, something to 3 - 3.5W and thus gives apparent poor performance. Rumor for same modules used for the N036 radar for PAK FA and there is total power being sent to the radar is around 10 - 15KW and gives roughly rumored or theoretical 400km detection range of the Irbis E, which requires similar amount of power.