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    PAK FA, T-50: News #1

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    Post  TR1 on Thu Sep 27, 2012 5:08 am

    GarryB wrote:

    So you think India are contributing a lot of money... so they can buy whatever the Russians develop for themselves?

    Indian money would also go towards establishing production in India, buying Russian components, price per airframe, making whatever indigenous components they want and integrating them...and the rest can just make whatever system the RuAF already specified for the PAK-FA go faster.

    To take the Flanker example you think the Indians want a Su-35BM?

    Well, it would certainly seem they do (aside from 2 seats) if we look @ the Super-30 modernization!

    If the Indians want maximum all round stealth and really don't care about having a very manouverable aircraft flat engine nozzles make a lot of sense.

    Flat engine nozzles don't preclude very maneuverable aircraft.

    In fact they have said they want more engine power... is that because they expect it lose power with the flat nozzle design?

    They said they want more engine power back when they planned for a two seat desighn. Let's read between the lines...the heavier two seater would need more engine power to stay @ required levels of performance. PLUS we can look at it as more power over current PAK-FA. We already know the definitive engine will be more powerfull, and there is no proof the Indians want more power than THAT. Also, there is a big question of will the top engine even be cleared for export.

    So. They already have Su-30MKI in service and are upgrading them as we speak. There is no urgency to get the FFGA into service by 2015. Most of the Indian timescales I have seen say at least 2018 or later.

    Yes, but 2018 is probably also in line with the time the RuAF will be getting the definitive model.]

    Design choices involve penalties and capabilities... the Indians seem to place greater emphasis on stealth than on manouver capabilities, and the Russians seem to be focussing on the reverse.

    Is there any explicit proof of that? I see none!

    The Mig-21 is a cheap and simple fighter and with a few upgrades could actually be more appealing than early model Mig-29s. The eastern european nations seem to prefer to keep their 21s operational over their 29s.

    That is because they are broke, and usually had small fleets of MiG-29s not worth keeping. Also, wasn't it only Roumania that kept its MiG-21s while retiring MiG-29s? Cost is one thing, but performance wise, you could do a light modernization of the MiG-29, and no MIG-21 would approach it.

    If the Russian AF demands super small RCS then they will pay for it. The FFGA program is basically an Indian funded program with the Russians, French, and Israelis as subcontractors.

    Right, but I see it as basically Indian indigenization to whatever degree achievable of the PAK-FA. I don't think anything fundamentally unique will be fitted to it. The foreign components are not clear as of yet btw, so we don't know how substantial they will be. Russia won't allow the Israelis full access to the PAK-FA for example. I think India will try to stick their equivalents into the plane more than 3rd party stuff.

    If they develop some super new dodecahedron shaped engine nozzle that offers 3D thrust vector with a 1% thrust reduction at full deflection that is as stealthy as flat nozzles then I am sure the Russians will look at that technology for their T-50 too.
    India's accomplishments so far in aviation are exactly what makes me doubt they will be making any breakthroughs in the FGFA program.

    Very simply the FFGA program is like the MKI program... it is Indian driven and funded and the product will be Indian. The Russians will definitely learn something, and might take some things and use them as they are or perhaps might even explore them for different reasons and take them further.

    The difference is during the MKI program, RuAF was broke and unable to fund its own advanced Flankers. The PAK-FA is a priority for Russia, well funded and the state of the art as far as Russian combat aviation is concerned. The MKI program helped fund some Russian en devours that yielded fruit for the RuAF later (like Irbis)....I don't think the same can be said of FGFA, which is program contemporary to the PAK-FA, not an advanced variant.

    And that is the critical thing... a FFGA with a smaller RCS than the T-50 does not make it more or less advanced. It just makes it different.

    True, but that does not change that there is no explicit proof regarding the matter! I would be willing to admit I am wrong if the evidence was there.

    Russian hasn't got 1.5 billion taxpayers to fund such things so it has to think about protecting an enormous area with as few toys as possible... and hopefully toys that last as long as possible.
    Russia may have less taxpayers, but they are richer tax payers Wink. Plus, just from a defense budget perspective, Russia's will remain larger than India's for the foreseeable future.



    To summarize I see a lack of actual evidence that the Indian version will be any stealthier then the RuAF bird.

    The Indians have stated that stealth is a higher priority than for Russia.

    Where? No actual sources involved in the program have said anything of the kind. There have only been generalities that can be explained as develooping the PAK-FA from what it is today- BUT that would have happened with or without India in the program.



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    Post  GarryB on Thu Sep 27, 2012 5:59 am

    Indian money would also go towards establishing production in India, buying Russian components, price per airframe, making whatever indigenous components they want and integrating them...and the rest can just make whatever system the RuAF already specified for the PAK-FA go faster.

    How much do you think they are contributing?

    This is full joint development of an aircraft for India... the FFGA program is linked to the T-50 program but they are not inseparable.

    When they decided to buy Rafales for their MMRCA program they had no say in the development of the aircraft or its evolution. They could pick foreign components to go with it, but at the end of the day it is a french aircraft.

    FFGA is not a codename for an Indian licence produced T-50.

    If they just wanted to licence produce a T-50 they could simply put in an order with the first 10 built in Russia, the next 100 in kits assembled in India and the rest built in India.

    Well, it would certainly seem they do (aside from 2 seats) if we look @ the Super-30 modernization!

    There are no Israeli parts in the Su-35BM.

    In ten years time Russia might come out with a new radar or engine and they might fit them to their T-50s in service as an upgrade. If the Indians want such an upgrade they can order such components too... neither design is set in stone.

    Flat engine nozzles don't preclude very maneuverable aircraft.

    A biplane is a very manouverable aircraft. If there were no benefit to 3D thrust vectoring then why would anyone bother?

    We already know the definitive engine will be more powerfull, and there is no proof the Indians want more power than THAT. Also, there is a big question of will the top engine even be cleared for export.

    Hey... you are assuming the Indians want a Russian engine...

    Yes, but 2018 is probably also in line with the time the RuAF will be getting the definitive model.]

    The definitive model of the PAK FA... not FFGA.

    Is there any explicit proof of that? I see none!

    How much explicit proof would you expect for such an important program?

    Cost is one thing, but performance wise, you could do a light modernization of the MiG-29, and no MIG-21 would approach it.

    I think you are underestimating the Mig-21 quite a bit... rather like the Americans did. Cheap to operate and able to surprise an enemy...

    Russia won't allow the Israelis full access to the PAK-FA for example. I think India will try to stick their equivalents into the plane more than 3rd party stuff.

    I doubt Russia will allow any access to French or Israeli engineers to the PAK FA, but we are talking about the FFGA. The plane India is paying for.

    The fact that they are different aircraft is not a negative, it is a bonus. It is like having your workers work for another employer so they learn new skills and new experiences that don't cost you anything, yet if it progresses and creates something of worth you can apply that to your own projects it you want.

    India's accomplishments so far in aviation are exactly what makes me doubt they will be making any breakthroughs in the FGFA program.

    Most breakthroughs are made when money is invested and things are tried. Even failures can be valuable lessons. Indian money together with Russian and Indian engineers should result in solid results IMHO.

    ...I don't think the same can be said of FGFA, which is program contemporary to the PAK-FA, not an advanced variant.

    It is a different aircraft that has goals in different directions that will lead to different solutions and different technologies. Russia leased a modern nuclear submarine to India, though it wasn't equipped with everything it would have in Russian service... not everything is shared. The point is that Indias needs of being able to penetrate Pakistani and Chinese air defences might result in some useful features and equipment that might be of use to Russia... or it might not... what do you care... the Indians are paying for their stuff so it is not like it is costing Russia anything.

    Russia may have less taxpayers, but they are richer tax payers Wink. Plus, just from a defense budget perspective, Russia's will remain larger than India's for the foreseeable future.

    The difference is that Russian economic performance is largely limited by its relationship with the rest of the world. The rest of the world doesn't see India in the same light, and its potential for growth is significant because it also offers a large market.

    Where? No actual sources involved in the program have said anything of the kind. There have only been generalities that can be explained as develooping the PAK-FA from what it is today- BUT that would have happened with or without India in the program.

    Austin and Sujoy are both Indians... and they have stated that the FFGA will be more stealthy censored censored censored Razz Razz Razz Twisted Evil Twisted Evil Twisted Evil Rolling Eyes

    Sorry... couldn't help myself.

    India and Russia got together and developed the Brahmos from the Yakhont that was a Russian missile.
    India and Russia got together and developed the Su-30MKI from the Su-30MK that was a Russian upgrade of an Su-27UB.

    The difference now is that the Indians and Russians are getting together much earlier in the development process of the PAK FA, but the purpose of the joint venture is to create the FFGA, which will be an Indian aircraft based on the PAK FA, but paid for with Indian money to create something that will suit Indian needs.

    There are no requirements for commonality with the PAK FA... just like the Brahmos and Oniks are not the same. Stuff that was developed for the Su-30MKI have made its way into the Su-27SM2 and indeed into the Su-35BM design, and of course there are things in the Su-35 that have made it into the Su-30MKI upgrade... that is normal... designs are not static, they are fluid and change over time.

    The point is that the PAK FA will be what the Russian Air Force wants it to be, while the FFGA will be what India wants it to be... their needs and wants will be different and indeed can change over time. India originally wanted a two seater, which in fact might have been useful for Russia as an operational trainer or for SEAD missions, but they have changed that requirement for whatever reason... cost, rcs, or the advantage of a two seater negated by the avonics making it a one man job.

    what is the best tank in the world?

    Meaningless.

    Which plane is the most advanced?

    The PAK FA will likely be in service first, the FFGA second...

    Who can say more than that right now?
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    Post  TR1 on Thu Sep 27, 2012 7:59 am

    GarryB wrote:

    How much do you think they are contributing?

    This is full joint development of an aircraft for India... the FFGA program is linked to the T-50 program but they are not inseparable.

    When they decided to buy Rafales for their MMRCA program they had no say in the development of the aircraft or its evolution. They could pick foreign components to go with it, but at the end of the day it is a french aircraft.

    FFGA is not a codename for an Indian licence produced T-50.

    If they just wanted to licence produce a T-50 they could simply put in an order with the first 10 built in Russia, the next 100 in kits assembled in India and the rest built in India.

    Well that is what I question, how much is India actually contributing? I think they will have quite a few indigenous systems on their birds, but for actual design, or overvall system capability? Big questions, but the current state of Indian aerospace industry is not encouraging.

    There are no Israeli parts in the Su-35BM.

    RIght, but they are going with a Russian sourced Super-30 upgrade, one that has many similarities to SU-35BM program

    A biplane is a very manouverable aircraft. If there were no benefit to 3D thrust vectoring then why would anyone bother?

    Of course there is, but it doesn't mean the RuAF won't settle for a 2d TVC solution, which is still very capable.

    Hey... you are assuming the Indians want a Russian engine...

    Lets be honest here- they have no choice.

    The definitive model of the PAK FA... not FFGA.

    IMO the FFGA will be an Indianized final model PAK-FA

    How much explicit proof would you expect for such an important program?

    Well, like I said, anything that backs up the assertion that India has a higher RCS req. I have seen zero in that sense.

    I think you are underestimating the Mig-21 quite a bit... rather like the Americans did. Cheap to operate and able to surprise an enemy...

    I like the Bison, but reality is reality. Even with the upgrade, it is a stop gap measure that should have been replaced long ago.
    But my original point about it was, the argument that some people put foreward (no one on this forum mind you) that the IAF will get a better FGFA, because supposedly it is a better funded air force. Yet this is an air arm that flies something as outdated as the MiG-21, and has been in one long saga to replace it. Hell, people were predicting India would operate more of the bird than RUssia would. Nice that reality is setting in on THAT front.


    I doubt Russia will allow any access to French or Israeli engineers to the PAK FA, but we are talking about the FFGA. The plane India is paying for.

    Well we disagree here. Let's just wait untill we see the birds. My bet? The FGFA will be a whole lot closer to the PAK-FA than people think. Most of the FGFA will still be very much a Russian product/design.

    India and Russia got together and developed the Brahmos from the Yakhont that was a Russian missile.
    India and Russia got together and developed the Su-30MKI from the Su-30MK that was a Russian upgrade of an Su-27UB.

    All true- but lets look @ the details shall we?
    Brahmos is basically repackaged Yakhont. It has a land capability that was never developed, because Russia did not need/want it.
    How can you say the same for PAK-FA and stealth? The aircraft is design AROUND a weapons bay that was made SPECIFICALLY to hold 4 Kh-58UKShK, and air defense suppression weapon- you are going to tell me the plane isn't made specifically to tackle AD networks?
    The SU-30MKI was developed because India wanted a cutting edge plane, and the Russian defense industry offered to develop one- the RuAF at the time did not have such a modern plane on order or in production! That is not the case with PAK-FA, where the RuMOD is clearly developing and ordering a cutting edge combat jet.


    The PAK FA will likely be in service first, the FFGA second...

    Who can say more than that right now?

    My issue is not so much with "whats more advanced" but the deductions that people are making, from what I see as a lack of defensible proof.
    Look I want India to push the PAK-FA project even further if they can....but I think reality will be a bit more subdued.

    Damn, I usually bitch about time goign too fast, but I cannot wait for the PAK-FA.
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    Post  GarryB on Thu Sep 27, 2012 11:35 am

    Well that is what I question, how much is India actually contributing? I think they will have quite a few indigenous systems on their birds, but for actual design, or overvall system capability? Big questions, but the current state of Indian aerospace industry is not encouraging.

    India is paying for the FFGA program... it is their program.

    RIght, but they are going with a Russian sourced Super-30 upgrade, one that has many similarities to SU-35BM program

    Technically the Su-35BM program was created for export but in the event they decided to make it a stop gap aircraft to relieve the pressure to get PAK FA into service fast, and also to ease the transition for the pilots and crew who otherwise would have gone from Su-27s to PAK FAs... quite a leap.

    The Su-35s the Russian AF will get will have a lot of PAK FA developed equipment on it... I rather suspect the exported Su-35s will not.

    Of course there is, but it doesn't mean the RuAF won't settle for a 2d TVC solution, which is still very capable.

    But why compromise? There is no benefit to the Russian AF flying exact same aircraft that the Indian AF flys. Orders will be separate and not related so there would not be any benefit in production numbers because the Indian FFGA will be produced in India in different factories compared with those Russian factories making the PAK FA.

    Why would they choose to settle for lower performance in an area that is important to them to get better capability in an area that is not so important to them?

    Lets be honest here- they have no choice.

    What makes you say that?

    They have bought Rafales, what happens if the French engine company offers to build them an 18 ton thrust engine for the FFGA and Russia will only sell the 15.5 ton thrust version of their new engine?

    Or what if the US offers India the engine that has been neglected in the F-35 competition, so that Indian money will develop an extra engine for the F-35 giving F-35 customers more choice, perhaps reducing the price...


    IMO the FFGA will be an Indianized final model PAK-FA

    No... it seems your opinion is that the Indian model will be the PAK FA with Indian markings.

    Well, like I said, anything that backs up the assertion that India has a higher RCS req. I have seen zero in that sense.

    India has different requirements to Russia, and is probably prepared to spend the extra lifetime operational costs that come with extra levels of stealth.

    Costing Russia less money to buy and operate in the long run is not a bad thing... it means that after about 160 are in service by 2020 that more can be considered because they are not the hangar queens they could have been if they had gone for F-22 level paper stealth levels.

    I like the Bison, but reality is reality. Even with the upgrade, it is a stop gap measure that should have been replaced long ago.

    With something more expensive that doesn't even really do a better job?

    But my original point about it was, the argument that some people put foreward (no one on this forum mind you) that the IAF will get a better FGFA, because supposedly it is a better funded air force.

    I think I already covered that... anyone who claims better has to justify what they mean. The M1 Abrams is not better than Soviet era tanks simply because it would be too expensive and guzzle too much fuel to operate and of course would not be able to operate on most of the bridges in Russia because of its weight. Russia has a better idea of what is best for its own air force and what is better for India is not automatically better for Russia.

    Yet this is an air arm that flies something as outdated as the MiG-21, and has been in one long saga to replace it. Hell, people were predicting India would operate more of the bird than RUssia would. Nice that reality is setting in on THAT front.

    If I was feeling nasty I might bring up the fact that the Russian military still uses the An-2 for paradropping... oops.

    The thing is that if it can still do the job and is not costing the earth then it doesn't need replacement.

    Well we disagree here. Let's just wait untill we see the birds. My bet? The FGFA will be a whole lot closer to the PAK-FA than people think. Most of the FGFA will still be very much a Russian product/design.

    The FFGA will not come out looking like a SAAB Gripen, it is based on the PAK FA, but I would expect a few choices India will make that will be different from the Russian version... and I very much doubt the Russians will change their plane to match the Indian model so they can produce them in India and get them cheaper.

    I think India will insist on flat nozzle engines and I think Russia will wait to decide what sort of performance penalties that creates before they decide for the PAK FA.

    Brahmos is basically repackaged Yakhont. It has a land capability that was never developed, because Russia did not need/want it.

    There were limitations on what Russia could deliver regarding international treaties and what India wanted. At the end of the day India wanted land attack capability so the Joint Venture was created to add that capability to the Yakhont.

    Russia would probably apply that land attack capability to Onyx rather than brahmos because of the range difference.

    With the Su-30MK the Indians wanted a fully multirole fighter bomber with extra bits and pieces from France and Israel.

    If they didn't have these extra wants and demands they could easily have just ordered Yakhont and Su-30MK and saved a lot of money and time.

    Of course Russia would have saved a lot of hassle but without that development work the Su-35BM wouldn't have been as good and no doubt I think the Su-34 and the PAK FA probably benefited as well.

    The point is that they work well together and when they do the result is better than if they hadn't. Pantsir-S1 is another case in point though with the UAE instead of India... the UAE demanded more and were prepared to pay for it and the result is one of the best systems of its kind in the world.

    You could say that was because the UAE was more demanding and more stringent in their requirements in terms of performance and were prepared to spend the money to achieve the level they wanted. The result was that the Russian AF is getting an excellent system which will soon be available to the Russian Army and Navy too.

    India spending money on developing 5th generation fighter technology is a win win situation for India and Russia.

    You could argue that India couldn't do it on its own, but it has the money so it could certainly buy into the F-35 program if it wanted. The main problem there is that that program is US controlled with the customers seeming to get no input on design or features... it seems to be more of a leasing arrangement.

    Russia could do it on its own, but with more money to spend on the program it is bound to end up with a better product... for less money.

    How can you say the same for PAK-FA and stealth? The aircraft is design AROUND a weapons bay that was made SPECIFICALLY to hold 4 Kh-58UKShK, and air defense suppression weapon- you are going to tell me the plane isn't made specifically to tackle AD networks?

    Perhaps they want it to carry more AAMs in addition to air to ground weapons? I don't know. They might want it to be able to carry two Brahmos II missiles under the wings in an arrangement that allows the two missiles to be released and have the supporting pylons retract making the aircraft stealthy to allow the aircraft to super cruise to close to a border... launch two Brahmos II hypersonic missiles and then become stealthy and then fly into enemy territory with 4 ARMs in its belly and two AAMs for self defence in its wing positions so that any air defence radar lights up in response to the Brahmos II missiles can be located and either engaged or targeted via Iskander or other theatre BM...

    The SU-30MKI was developed because India wanted a cutting edge plane, and the Russian defense industry offered to develop one- the RuAF at the time did not have such a modern plane on order or in production! That is not the case with PAK-FA, where the RuMOD is clearly developing and ordering a cutting edge combat jet.

    More accurately the Russians had the Su-27M, but India wanted a two seat aircraft and the Russians had the Su-30MK which was not fully multirole to the level India required so they developed a joint venture.

    With the PAK FA the situation is the different in the sense that the Indians are joining at the very start of the program rather than with a finished Russian product that they are going to start a joint venture to adapt to what they want.

    This means that they can make rather more fundamental changes to the prototype to suit their precise needs, but that is not to say they are designing the PAK FA.

    The PAK FA will be designed and built to Russian AF specifications and wants and needs, the FFGA will be designed and built to Indian AF specifications and wants and needs... both are limited to single seat, but 5th gen tech should make that not handicap, and of course both are limited to basic stealth requirements, but there is leeway for both to mix and match what goes where and what stays, what gets bigger and what goes... it is the same in any design process.

    India might want a larger wing area to allow the FFGA to operate at higher altitudes who knows...

    My issue is not so much with "whats more advanced" but the deductions that people are making, from what I see as a lack of defensible proof.

    I suggest you treat it the way it deserves to be treated... idle speculation from interested parties who have absolutely nothing invested in the project.

    Damn, I usually bitch about time goign too fast, but I cannot wait for the PAK-FA.

    I am with you... and armata and kurganets and boomerang and verba and Ak12 and the next gen weapon family and the replacement for the Su-25 and the new destroyers and what they will do to the Kuznetsov and the Orlans and the PAK DA.... would love to have a time machine to zip 50 years into the future and just see how it all worked out... and note down the winning lotto numbers for this weekend.
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    Post  Sujoy on Thu Sep 27, 2012 12:19 pm

    TR1 wrote: Lets be honest here- they have no choice
    If there can be choices with avionics why not with engine . A state of the art 5th gen engine can very easily be obtained from Europe or Canada.
    TR1 wrote: Russia may have less taxpayers, but they are richer tax payers Wink. Plus, just from a defense budget perspective, Russia's will remain larger than India's for the foreseeable future.
    Tax rates in Russia are among the lowest in the world (a flat 15% across for salaried individuals if I recollect properly). India’s tax rates are twice that. There are more millionaires in India than there are in UK, France and most of Europe . So by your argument these countries should have a defence budget less than that of India’s . Russia spends a considerable portion of it’s defence budget in maintaining it’s huge nuclear stockpile . India’s nuclear stockpile is less than a 5th of Russia’s , hence the low expenditure in maintaining the nuclear arsenal.

    TR1 wrote: Well that is what I question, how much is India actually contributing? I think they will have quite a few indigenous systems on their birds, but for actual design, or overvall system capability? Big questions, but the current state of Indian aerospace industry is not encouraging.
    Cutting edge cruise missiles, MLRS , NLOS BM have been developed as has AESA radars in a record time.You are only taking into account the Indian public sector . The private sector is far more robust . Also, FDI in aviation has now been approved . Most major Russian , US , European defense contractors have already entered into JVs with Indian Pvt companies. But let's stay the course & focus only on the FGFA .And as I stated in my previous posts, India's contribution is 25% to this project .
    TR1 wrote: IMO the FFGA will be an Indianized final model PAK-FA
    Incorrect . I have explained in my earlier posts in this thread as to why this is not the case. Take a look at this recent quote of the IAF Air chief :
    http://www.ainonline.com/aviation-news/ain-defense-perspective/2012-09-21/indian-air-force-chief-outlines-fighter-jet-plans
    We still do not know what [our] final version will be like until we finish. What I can say is that it will be very different from the Russian version, including weapons, avionics and sensors.
    TR1 wrote: My issue is not so much with "whats more advanced" but the deductions that people are making, from what I see as a lack of defensible proof.
    You will have to wait for the prototype of the FGFA to come out . The IAF will get three prototypes for testing–the first in 2014/15, the second in 2017 and in 2019 the final one,In the interim this is what I can tell you . Sukhoi insists the PAK-FA already meets Russia's requirements . So it is safe to say that it includes Stealth as well .
    In his blog Defunct Humanity , Igor Djadan had also stated that the Indian FGFA will be different from the T 50. Igor states -

    Yes Russians want more balanced aircraft then Raptor, including true multiroling. The Indian variant of T-50 (ie FGFA) will be rather different from the variant for RuAF. So if IAF really wants more stealthiness at the cost of maneuverability it can insist on this, for example on flat nozzles.

    TR1 wrote: The SU-30MKI was developed because India wanted a cutting edge plane, and the Russian defense industry offered to develop one- the RuAF at the time did not have such a modern plane on order or in production! That is not the case with PAK-FA, where the RuMOD is clearly developing and ordering a cutting edge combat jet.
    The design phase of the T 50 was frozen even before India joined the project . They still needed a foreign partner to develop the other essential aspects.


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    Post  Sujoy on Thu Sep 27, 2012 12:52 pm

    SOC wrote:If I recall correctly the Su-35 thing turned out to be incorrect.

    It's on hold currently . From a Russian perspective it's a choice between a rock & a hard place. Russia wants to sell a large number of SU 35s to China to make the deal economically viable, but China wants only a handful ( guess why scratch ?). Also , there are voices within the Russian Defense Ministry who are against the sale of a cutting edge fighter to a country with questionable integrity . Rosoboronexports is marketing it vigorously in China and indications are that if both sides are able to arrive at a figure ( for how many aircrafts) this deal will go through.

    SOC wrote:Furthermore, going after the S-400 is entirely logical as it upgrades the regions (Beijing, Shanghai, the Taiwan Strait) that rely on Russian-provided air defense equipment.


    True , but they are going after the S 400 only after the HQ 19 ( Chinese version of the S 400 ) failed .

    SOC wrote:But, how is the J-20 not "cutting edge"?

    Good question .

    For starters China’s best engine till date is the Chinese copy of the "AL-31F. Till date they do NOT have the know how to produce 5-th generation engines like the 117 . Some suggests it has good stealth features . Granted . But only to a certain extent . There are at least 3 design flaws that I can re-collect :

    a) The air intakes are remarkable short and this will hinder the smooth airflow with desirable parameters at the entry to the J 20s engine's fan.

    b) The air channels are not S shaped therefore radar waves can very easily detect the fan blades.

    c) The J 20s design is only optimized for transonic regimes and moderate supersonic speeds.

    Against any 4++ gen fighter aircraft the J 20 is dog meat from WVR . It is a huge aircraft probably even larger than the now obsolete F 111 . It can be a good aircraft to launch ALCMs at ground targets or sea vessels but beyond that it can achieve very little .

    CHina has not made rapid progress in EW . They are yet to come out with a state of the art AESA radar ( India started it's work on an AESA after CHina but still managed to come out with a production level AESA) or a Emitter Locating System.As on this date the J 20 is still flying with a PESA radar ( a Chinese copy of the Russian PESA radar)



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    Post  TR1 on Thu Sep 27, 2012 7:42 pm

    3rd party engine?

    Really?

    Get real guys. Europe doesn't have engines that fit, and they can't magic one into existence quickly...not to mention that Russia has quite a bit more spread when it comes to military engines.
    The only nation that could is US, but we know that won't happen for FGFA.

    No, India has no choice of engine in this matter. It will be whatever Russia uses for PAK-FA.
    Anything else is unlikely to actually exist/peform well enough/be ready in time, and modifying the airframe for 3rd party engine is stupid and needless diversion of resrources.
    Not to mention Russia would not likely go along with that.

    Avionics are much easier to modify on the bird than engines. India can easily indigenize a large portion of the avionics fit in line with their domestic capabilities, engine is a whole seperate ballgame.
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    Post  George1 on Thu Sep 27, 2012 9:17 pm

    The advanced fifth-generation fighters will be delivered to the Russian air forces in four years

    The advanced fifth-generation fighters will be delivered to the Russian air forces in four years, the Commander-in-Chief of the Russian air forces, general-lieutenant Viktor Bondarev said, Vzglyad.ru reports.

    «The Prospective Airborne Complex of Frontline Aviation (PAK FA) should be delivered in 2016 in accordance with the State Defense Procurement», - the Commander-in-Chief said. «The jet’s preliminary testing will be carried out at State Proving Flying Center in Akhtyubinsk (Astrakhan Region). I believe we will start the testing in 2014-2015», - Bondarev said.

    He also said that the development of Prospective Air Complex for Long Range Aviation (PAK DA) is being carried out according to the schedule. «TheconceptofPAKDAhasbeenapproved. Now we will continue its development and take all the necessary steps to launch its serial production in future», - the Commander-in-Chief said.

    We remind you that the Commander-in-Chief of the Russian long-range aviation, general-lieutenant Anatoly Zhikharev, stated earlier that the testing of PAK DA will be started in 2022. «I think that the first prototype will be manufactured in 2022 and the testing will be started», - Zhikharev said. According to him, a special attention will be paid to the composites during development of PAK DA in order to “decrease its radar cross-section”.

    Talking about the crash of Mi-35 in Dagestan, Bondarev said that there is no point in discussing the cause of the crash prior to the completion of the commission’s work. «Mi-35 crashed in Dagestan. It is too early to discuss the causes of this crash, commission’s investigation is underway. I cannot tell you anything prior to the completion of commission’s work. There are too many questions», - the Commander-in-Chief noted. «The worst thing is that the recorders have almost been destroyed», - Bondarev said.

    «I think our specialists will be able to decrypt the remaining information and we will tell you what happened», - he said. We remind you that Mi-35 helicopter owned by the Ministry of Defense crashed on the border of Chechnya and Dagestan while performing special mission under conditions of low visibility.

    The criminal case has been initiated over the crash of the helicopter, which caused the death of four people.

    http://www.ruaviation.com/news/2012/9/27/1235/
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    Post  GarryB on Fri Sep 28, 2012 2:19 am

    A state of the art 5th gen engine can very easily be obtained from Europe or Canada.

    If India buys 250 FFGAs like they plan, then the sale of a minimum of 500 engines would be very attractive for any western engine maker... especially in current economic times.

    The MMRCA competition showed Typhoon and Rafale engines could be sold to India and the offer from the US for the F-35 suggests that engine could be delivered to India too.

    In fact there were supposed to be two engines developed for the F-35 and they only ended up using one, which makes me suspect the maker of the other engine would be happy to let India pay for completion of development and put it into service on the FFGA as a rival aircraft on the export market to the F-35.

    Think of the delight that engine company would have if the F-35 program collapses and former F-35 customers start knocking on its door and Indias door for a 5th gen fighter... as unlikely politically as that would be... the irony would be delicious!!!

    We still do not know what [our] final version will be like until we finish. What I can say is that it will be very different from the Russian version, including weapons, avionics and sensors.

    And it will be different because it will be directed by Indias wants and needs. PAK FA will evolve to work within the Russian military structure to solve Russian AF problems.

    Yes Russians want more balanced aircraft then Raptor, including true multiroling. The Indian variant of T-50 (ie FGFA) will be rather different from the variant for RuAF. So if IAF really wants more stealthiness at the cost of maneuverability it can insist on this, for example on flat nozzles.

    Each design choice has its strengths and weaknesses and you really need to compare the customers wishes with the strengths and weaknesses of each design choice. For instance an extremely stealthy aircraft will still not be invisible but will cost a lot more to buy and operate. For India level x of stealth might enable them to do certain things that a lower level of stealth will not... and they want to do those certain things. Russia might not want that level of stealth, because they have other ways of doing those things (ie Iskander) and by reducing the level of stealth they are still hard to find and track, but the reduced cost means they can afford to buy 20% more aircraft and therefore get better coverage of their enormous country then the result is two different aircraft with different design solutions that meet the different needs of two different countries.

    Of course there will be a lot of stuff they have in common too and in those areas they have avoided duplication in research and development and get the advantage of numbers in terms of production and maintainence.

    The design phase of the T 50 was frozen even before India joined the project . They still needed a foreign partner to develop the other essential aspects.

    The basic design was finished, but the details are the important part, and together they are going to end up with two much better designed aircraft than if there was no joint venture... they both will benefit enormously and both aircraft will be formidable.

    It's on hold currently . From a Russian perspective it's a choice between a rock & a hard place. Russia wants to sell a large number of SU 35s to China to make the deal economically viable, but China wants only a handful ( guess why scratch ?). Also , there are voices within the Russian Defense Ministry who are against the sale of a cutting edge fighter to a country with questionable integrity . Rosoboronexports is marketing it vigorously in China and indications are that if both sides are able to arrive at a figure ( for how many aircrafts) this deal will go through.

    That is what I have heard too, but to be honest I think it is the perspective of the marketing and sales people... I think Sukhoi will be busy for the next 10 years building planes for the Russian market and the export market for Su-30s. I rather suspect any Su-35 they sell to China will have reduced level equipment and systems and they wont actually sell it till the PAK FA is entering service.

    a) The air intakes are remarkable short and this will hinder the smooth airflow with desirable parameters at the entry to the J 20s engine's fan.

    Doesn't the Hornet have relatively short intakes... and it has fairly good performance.

    b) The air channels are not S shaped therefore radar waves can very easily detect the fan blades.

    Even with S shaped intakes the radar waves still hit the fan blades... the point of the S shaped ducts is that they bounce off the internal walls of the intake a couple of times before they get out again... with the RAM coating on the walls reducing the signal strength.

    An obvious solution would be a solid intake block with auxiliary air intake louvers... for example used on the Mig-29 for takeoffs and landings on rough gravel airfields.

    c) The J 20s design is only optimized for transonic regimes and moderate supersonic speeds.

    If it lacks engine power then it does not make sense to design the aircraft to fly faster than it is able.


    Against any 4++ gen fighter aircraft the J 20 is dog meat from WVR .

    The F-22 and F-35 would be in trouble in such a combat regime too.

    It is a huge aircraft probably even larger than the now obsolete F 111 . It can be a good aircraft to launch ALCMs at ground targets or sea vessels but beyond that it can achieve very little .

    What if it is packed with 20 short range IIR guided thrust vector control AAMs able to shoot down incoming missiles?

    In a one on one combat with an F-22 that has maybe 6 AMRAAMs and 2 Sidewinders the Chinese fighter still has 12 AAMs left and the F-22 pilot is in real trouble...

    CHina has not made rapid progress in EW .

    Don't need to jam AMRAAMs when you can shoot them down...

    Don't think they will adopt the same strategies as the US... the purpose of the F-22s is to shoot down Flankers and Fulcrums in large numbers... it was not designed to fight stealthy aircraft and is not designed for the dogfighting required for fighting stealthy aircraft.

    No, India has no choice of engine in this matter.

    And if you told them that they would most likely approach a US engine company and offer to pay for the rights to a new engine and ask to buy 800 now with plans for more in the future.

    With US engines and Israeli EW systems and French avionics these aircraft might become a real export item... with 250 aircraft for India alone that is at least 600 engines they will want including spares, which means 100 export planes... I think France would be interested and German would be interested if it is half the cost of an F-35.

    Don't take anything for granted.

    Anything else is unlikely to actually exist/peform well enough/be ready in time, and modifying the airframe for 3rd party engine is stupid and needless diversion of resrources.
    Not to mention Russia would not likely go along with that.

    Avionics are much easier to modify on the bird than engines. India can easily indigenize a large portion of the avionics fit in line with their domestic capabilities, engine is a whole seperate ballgame.

    The whole purpose of starting with the PAK FA at this point is to allow more scope for modification.



    Last edited by GarryB on Fri Sep 28, 2012 2:08 pm; edited 1 time in total
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    Post  Sujoy on Fri Sep 28, 2012 11:20 am

    Doesn't the Hornet have relatively short intakes... and it has fairly good performance

    You mean the Super Hornet ….right ? True . However, we have to see things in totality and therefore must consider the other important characteristics viz Center of gravity in relation to the mean aerodyanmic chord, canards in relation to the nose and air intakes . The F/A 18 Hornet was not how things were supposed to be. The designers at Boeing were able to address these issues in the Super Hornet ONLY.If Indian fighter pilots who tested the Super Hornet during the MMRCA competition are to be believed both the Rafael & the Typhoon have far better performace than the Super Hornet.

    Even with S shaped intakes the radar waves still hit the fan blades

    Correct . But then as with all Stealth aircrafts the idea is to minimize radar returns since as of now there cannot be zero radar returns . From a design perspective this is just one of the loopholes.


    If it lacks engine power then it does not make sense to design the aircraft to fly faster than it is able.
    They need a 5th gen engine first . There is a believe that this is one reason why China wants a limited number of Su 35s . To lay their hands on a 5th gen engine. It is common knowledge that smugglers routinely smuggle Mig 29 , Su 27 parts from Russia to China , but smuggling an entire engine would require more dexterity , like getting an Ukranian pilot to fly the SU 33 to China .

    The F-22 and F-35 would be in trouble in such a combat regime too

    Obviously skills of the pilot are important here . China does not have a great Simulation industry unlike Japan or India.So they have to wait for prototypes to hone their skills . More importantly , the J 20 is an enormous aircraft.The fuselage is around 24 meters and max take off weight ( empty weight) is around 20 tons. This severely restricts service ceiling and acceleration . The g turns are therefore extremely low . In a dog fight it will have to rely solely on the GSh-30-1 30mm gun.

    In a one on one combat with an F-22 that has maybe 6 AMRAAMs and 2 Sidewinders the Chinese fighter still has 12 AAMs left and the F-22 pilot is in real trouble
    In the absence of an effective EW suit and AESA radars it will be extremely difficult for the J 20 to prevent hostile jamming. Also , by the time the J 20 detects a F 22 the F 22 would have already fired it's AMRAAM.

    it was not designed to fight stealthy aircraft and is not designed for the dogfighting required for fighting stealthy aircraft.

    That’s the whole point . The J 20 is basically a platform to launch missiles . It will launch cruise missiles at enemy targets and thereafter evade enemy interceptors by means of a high cruise speed ( Mach 2 ).

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    Post  GarryB on Fri Sep 28, 2012 2:31 pm

    You mean the Super Hornet ….right ? True .

    No.

    All Hornets have short air intakes and they are not criticised for engine problems.

    They aren't the most manouverable aircraft in the world but most aircraft with folding wings have g limits of about 7g.

    However, we have to see things in totality and therefore must consider the other important characteristics viz Center of gravity in relation to the mean aerodyanmic chord, canards in relation to the nose and air intakes .

    Now hang on... you said short air intakes would have a negative effect on airflow to the engine, yet Hornets are not considered to be problem aircraft with regard to stalls and flameouts or any other engine problems.

    If you are judging this chinese aircraft based on the distance between various things wouldn't you need to take into account that the engine intakes being shorter than on many other aircraft might throw such measurements out a little and give you a wrong impression?

    The F/A 18 Hornet was not how things were supposed to be. The designers at Boeing were able to address these issues in the Super Hornet ONLY.If Indian fighter pilots who tested the Super Hornet during the MMRCA competition are to be believed both the Rafael & the Typhoon have far better performace than the Super Hornet.

    Nothing to do with the 20 odd years in aerodynamics development perhaps, or the fact that the Hornet is a carrier based aircraft, which means heavier structure, folding wings, and true multirole capability compared with the Typhoon which has no proven air to ground capacity yet and the Rafale which was proven in the intense heat of Libyan airspace against AKs and foul language.

    Correct . But then as with all Stealth aircrafts the idea is to minimize radar returns since as of now there cannot be zero radar returns . From a design perspective this is just one of the loopholes.

    There are plenty of corrective measures that can be applied... S shaped intake ducts are not magic... the Tu-154 has one for its tail engine.

    They need a 5th gen engine first .

    Why?

    The F-22 has supercruise capability because that will give it the advantage of the high ground to extend the range of its missiles with height and speed.

    For the Chinese supercruising might not be important because their enemy will likely bring stealth aircraft that wont be able to be detected or engaged at long range so supercruising suddenly becomes a meaningless luxury.

    Why waste money and time developing a high performance engine when what you want is a stealthy weapons platform?

    Why does it have to be an F-22?

    The F-35 can't supercruise either.

    There is a believe that this is one reason why China wants a limited number of Su 35s .

    It hardly makes sense to delay an aircraft design for an engine you might never get.

    China does not have a great Simulation industry unlike Japan or India.So they have to wait for prototypes to hone their skills .

    Who told you that? I would expect they got flight simulators with their Flankers, which could easily be adapted for the purpose. Heck... they could buy some of the commercial flight simulators if they wanted... have you seen DCS:BLack Shark? There is a 10 minute video showing you all the buttons and systems you have to turn on to take off in realistic mode...

    More importantly , the J 20 is an enormous aircraft.The fuselage is around 24 meters and max take off weight ( empty weight) is around 20 tons. This severely restricts service ceiling and acceleration . The g turns are therefore extremely low . In a dog fight it will have to rely solely on the GSh-30-1 30mm gun.

    Sorry... what? How big is the wing area? How big are the control surfaces? A canberra bomber is a large plane with a fairly big takeoff weight but was an excellent high altitude aircraft... acceleration is irrelevant to a high altitude aircraft.... the SR-71 accelerated like a rocket yet its max altitude is lower than the U-2.

    A Mig-31 weighs about 50 tons and its engines are less powerful than the F-22s yet it flys faster and higher than the F-22.

    In the absence of an effective EW suit and AESA radars it will be extremely difficult for the J 20 to prevent hostile jamming.

    Hostile jammers are targets that can be shot down. The F-22 doesn't have a jammer... that would give away its location to third party platforms.

    Also , by the time the J 20 detects a F 22 the F 22 would have already fired it's AMRAAM.

    Doesn't matter. A modern IIR guided missile could detect and engage an AMRAAM.

    That’s the whole point . The J 20 is basically a platform to launch missiles . It will launch cruise missiles at enemy targets and thereafter evade enemy interceptors by means of a high cruise speed ( Mach 2 ).

    And did the Chinese say that or is that the assumption of western internet experts?

    Who or what will they be launching their cruise missiles against?

    I am guessing you will say ships, because the "experts" who have suggested it are US Naval experts who are paranoid and think everything China does is to counter the US Navy.

    But perhaps their aircraft are actually big and heavy because they need long range and a large capacity of AAMs because they are designed to fly to Taiwanese airspace and operate there for long periods shooting at any aircraft that might take off.
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    Post  Aegean on Fri Sep 28, 2012 3:16 pm

    Sorry

    In what way exactly are the J-20 intakes short? The damn thing is huge. The distance from engine to intake is the almost the length of an entire J-10 (sarcasm)


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    Post  Sujoy on Fri Sep 28, 2012 8:13 pm

    All Hornets have short air intakes and they are not criticised for engine problems.

    Incorrect . How is that possible when the Super Hornets do not even use the same engine as the older Hornets. It uses the F414-GE-400 turbofans and not the F404 .The Super Hornets do not have short intakes. The D-shaped intakes of the earlier Hornets were short . The Super Hornet has a completely re-designed engine air intake of trapezoidal configuration that provide around 15% more air to the uprated engines and also gives better performance at high speeds. Take a look at the pic below of the huge air intakes of the Super Hornet .

    PAK FA, T-50: News #1 - Page 22 Super_10

    There are plenty of corrective measures that can be applied... S shaped intake ducts are not magic... the Tu-154 has one for its tail engine.
    As of now the corrective measures have not been applied , so the flaws remain.

    It hardly makes sense to delay an aircraft design for an engine you might never get.
    They have not delayed it . The Chinese have gone ahead with the AL 31F . The size of the fifth gen 117S is hardly any bigger than the AL 31F . Design will not be drastically affected , performance will.

    Why waste money and time developing a high performance engine when what you want is a stealthy weapons platform?
    WW 2 aircrafts were also stealthy because of a small RCS and very little sensors.
    4th gen engines provide 10-12 tons thrust . The Chinese don’t have that either . That’s why .

    For the Chinese supercruising might not be important because their enemy will likely bring stealth aircraft that wont be able to be detected or engaged at long range so supercruising suddenly becomes a meaningless luxury.

    Supercruising is meaningless luxury ?? At a time when we already have 4th gen fighters that can supercruise without after burners. Really ??

    Who told you that? I would expect they got flight simulators with their Flankers, which could easily be adapted for the purpose. Heck... they could buy some of the commercial flight simulators if they wanted.

    They got their first helicopter simulator installed last year by an Indian company. They have Su 30 flight simulators that are leased out at times to Indonesian AF as well . Point I am making is that it’s another industry where China has not made any progress.

    A canberra bomber is a large plane with a fairly big takeoff weight but was an excellent high altitude aircraft... acceleration is irrelevant to a high altitude aircraft..

    Canberra bomber and excellent high altitude aircraft …. With an acceleration of barely 17m/s ……..??? An Indian Canberra bomber was shot down by a Pakistani F104 in the 1965 war inspite of the fact that the Canberra was cruising at an higer altitude.


    A Mig-31 weighs about 50 tons and its engines are less powerful than the F-22s yet it flys faster and higher than the F-22.

    Which is the result of a better thrust – to – drag – ratio.

    Doesn't matter. A modern IIR guided missile could detect and engage an AMRAAM.
    Of course but that also requires a state of the art fire control system which the J 20 doesn’t have.

    But perhaps their aircraft are actually big and heavy because they need long range and a large capacity of AAMs because they are designed to fly to Taiwanese airspace and operate there for long periods shooting at any aircraft that might take off.

    The J 20 will have to get close to the Taiwanese coast to shoot down Taiwanese aircrafts given the fact that it’s radar has serious limitations . By the time it gets close it can be shot down.


    In what way exactly are the J-20 intakes short? The damn thing is huge. The distance from engine to intake is the almost the length of an entire J-10 (sarcasm)

    Short with respect to the overall size of the aircraft not short per se .
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    Post  GarryB on Sat Sep 29, 2012 2:12 am

    Incorrect . How is that possible when the Super Hornets do not even use the same engine as the older Hornets. It uses the F414-GE-400 turbofans and not the F404 .The Super Hornets do not have short intakes. The D-shaped intakes of the earlier Hornets were short . The Super Hornet has a completely re-designed engine air intake of trapezoidal configuration that provide around 15% more air to the uprated engines and also gives better performance at high speeds. Take a look at the pic below of the huge air intakes of the Super Hornet .

    Now you are fudging the issue... I know the SHornet has a revised intake shape... the older Hornets were speed limited to mach 1.8 so they could use simple fixed air intakes, which made the aircraft cheaper and simpler to buy, to make, and to operate. A hornet might go its entire life and never fly faster than mach 1.5 or so because flying really fast burns up an enormous amount of fuel and can't be sustained for very long periods anyway. For the same reason the F-16 has a curved fixed air inlet that limits its top speed to mach 2 despite being a relatively light low drag fighter with a huge engine.
    The SHornet has relatively short air intakes, just like the older model hornets and it also has different engines and in neither model do they have problems with engine stability, flameouts or stalls.
    The real reason they went for square intakes was to reduce RCS.

    As of now the corrective measures have not been applied , so the flaws remain.

    It hasn't got its final engine either... shall we btch because it is underpowered and the current engine is not a true 5th generation engine yet?

    More importantly it probably isn't cleared to carry weapons and probably doesn't have a functioning gun fitted either so it will be a dead duck in a real combat situation.

    You assume they will equip it with new engines and weapons... do you think as part of their RCS reduction efforts they might do something about the intakes?

    They have not delayed it . The Chinese have gone ahead with the AL 31F . The size of the fifth gen 117S is hardly any bigger than the AL 31F . Design will not be drastically affected , performance will.

    With high offboresight missiles and helmet mounted sights the less manouverable export model Mig-29B kicked the ass of every western fighter it came up against in close combat during tests in Germany. That is why AMRAAM suddenly was fully funded and became such a priority in the early 1990s.


    WW 2 aircrafts were also stealthy because of a small RCS and very little sensors.

    What makes you think that?

    4th gen engines provide 10-12 tons thrust . The Chinese don’t have that either . That’s why .

    So the Mig-31 has a 5th gen engine... and the Tu-160 has about a 10th or 11th generation engine I suspect.

    Supercruising is meaningless luxury ?? At a time when we already have 4th gen fighters that can supercruise without after burners. Really ??

    Supercruising is being able to fly faster than subsonic aircraft, but without burning up your fuel load in 5 minutes. The Mig-25 and Mig-31 have been doing the equivalent for decades because their engines are optimised for supersonic flight regimes. They are so optimised that their subsonic flight radius is actually very similar to their supersonic flight radius.

    The main problem is that even when supercruising a 4th gen fighter needs to fly at medium to high altitudes, and without stealth it becomes an easy target for long range SAMs. So for the purposes of interception it is useful because they can intercept the target further out and have more fuel available, but mostly it is a very specific skill that has very specific applications... a supercruising Rafale has a speed advantage over a subsonic Mig-29 or Su-27, but no real advantage over a supersonic Mig-29 or Su-27 because while burning more fuel they will also be rather faster.

    Point I am making is that it’s another industry where China has not made any progress.

    But your mistake is to assume that no progress in the past means no progress ever. If they put this aircraft into service they might decide to make their own flight simulator, or buy one off the shelf. The Russians have made great progress in this regard and I believe Mig have developed a fully 3D flight simulator that makes their simulator much more realistic, with lots of foreign interest. I think I read that the guy that made Il-2 had something to do with it.

    Canberra bomber and excellent high altitude aircraft …. With an acceleration of barely 17m/s ……..??? An Indian Canberra bomber was shot down by a Pakistani F104 in the 1965 war inspite of the fact that the Canberra was cruising at an higer altitude.

    All very true, but if the Canberra was a stealthy fighter the F-104 would never have even detected it let alone shot it down.

    Which is the result of a better thrust – to – drag – ratio.

    So big and heavy things can fly fast, and it has less to do with weight as to do with drag? That is not what you said before.

    Of course but that also requires a state of the art fire control system which the J 20 doesn’t have.

    No it doesn't... all it requires is something like DAS that will pick up the IR signature of the incoming missile, or the nose of the missile as it flys at mach 4 and is heated by the atmosphere it is pushing through.
    The IIR missile will be lock on after launch and could rapidly detect such a target.

    The J 20 will have to get close to the Taiwanese coast to shoot down Taiwanese aircrafts given the fact that it’s radar has serious limitations .

    What radar limitations? For all we know they might plan to pay Russia to develop a nice AESA radar for them, or they might have already stolen the schematics for a US AESA.

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    Post  Sujoy on Sat Sep 29, 2012 4:20 pm

    Now you are fudging the issue... I know the SHornet has a revised intake shape... the older Hornets were speed limited to mach 1.8 so they could use simple fixed air intakes, which made the aircraft cheaper and simpler to buy, to make, and to operate. A hornet might go its entire life and never fly faster than mach 1.5 or so because flying really fast burns up an enormous amount of fuel and can't be sustained for very long periods anyway. For the same reason the F-16 has a curved fixed air inlet that limits its top speed to mach 2 despite being a relatively light low drag fighter with a huge engine.
    The SHornet has relatively short air intakes, just like the older model hornets and it also has different engines and in neither model do they have problems with engine stability, flameouts or stalls.
    The real reason they went for square intakes was to reduce RCS.

    What exactly am I fudging ? Get a grip . I am only spelling out the design flaws in the J 20 . You have answered your own question. Square intakes reduces RCS , the J 20 has angular intakes.

    It hasn't got its final engine either... shall we btch because it is underpowered and the current engine is not a true 5th generation engine yet?


    Even if we do btch a fifth gen engine will not fall on their lap like Manna from Heaven . They will have to design one , which so far they have failed to . I cannot professe what the future holds for them. In the meantime they can beg , borrow or steal . The Chinese Prime Minister was in Germany last week and have asked Europe to lift it’s arms embargo on China .
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/21/world/europe/wen-chides-eu-on-arms-sale-embargo.html?_r=0

    More importantly it probably isn't cleared to carry weapons and probably doesn't have a functioning gun fitted either so it will be a dead duck in a real combat situation.

    So why not ? Should have been cleared by now . Why have they left it half done . They are already rolling out the J 21 .

    You assume they will equip it with new engines and weapons... do you think as part of their RCS reduction efforts they might do something about the intakes?
    Best practices related to the design of the intakes are widely available . Hiding the air intake in the structure works to obscure it from enemy radar, but the J 20 can use a more sophisticated deception where the intakes are, like the tail fins, arranged at peculiar angles that avoid forming corner reflectors.

    That is why AMRAAM suddenly was fully funded and became such a priority in the early 1990s.

    And yet it is widely known that majority of western fighters achieve a WVR kill with BVR missiles . In all likelihood the AIM 120D program is a failure.

    What makes you think that?

    By using metal only for the engines, and non-magnetic brass screws as reinforcement at critical points in the airframe, the De Havilland Mosquito was virtually invisible to German radar.In the early days of primitive radar detection, due to their low radar signature, sorties of Mosquito fighters were frequently mistaken as flocks of birds!


    So the Mig-31 has a 5th gen engine.
    “That which we call a rose. By any other name would smell as sweet” . The Mig 31 has an outstanding D-30F-6 two-shaft bypass high-economy turbojet engines. Nomenclatures like 5th gen apart , give me the name of a homegrown Chinese engine that is remotely as good.

    But your mistake is to assume that no progress in the past means no progress ever

    Not my assumption , this is the ground reality in China .

    So big and heavy things can fly fast, and it has less to do with weight as to do with drag? That is not what you said before.

    I will reiterate what I said. The faster you fly the more the drag and for a fighter the size ( & weight) of the J 20 it’s engines are ridiculously underpowered .


    No it doesn't... all it requires is something like DAS that will pick up the IR signature of the incoming missile, or the nose of the missile as it flys at mach 4 and is heated by the atmosphere it is pushing through.
    The IIR missile will be lock on after launch and could rapidly detect such a target.


    True . The US version of DAS on the F 35 will not even be exported to the partner nations of the JSF program.The electro optical industry in China is in it’s infancy .China will have to rely on Russia or Israel to sell them a Distributed Aperture System


    For all we know they might plan to pay Russia to develop a nice AESA radar for them,

    If ifs and ands were pots and pans, there'd be no work for tinkers' hands

    or they might have already stolen the schematics for a US AESA.

    Possible but I doubt the US is keeping quite when they have a great chance to claim the Bragging Rights.
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    Post  GarryB on Sun Sep 30, 2012 1:21 am

    Smile

    Lets not get upset.

    What exactly am I fudging ? Get a grip . I am only spelling out the design flaws in the J 20 . You have answered your own question. Square intakes reduces RCS , the J 20 has angular intakes.

    I have a grip. The design flaw you claimed was that the engine intakes were too short which effected engine performance. Square intakes are easier to design for adjustable intakes... for higher speed flight. The squared intakes of the Tu-22M3 actually increased the frontal RCS of the Backfire by 25%, but the changes greatly improved the ability to change the air flow to the engines resulting in better high speed engine performance (so they ignored the effect on RCS).

    Non simple square intakes makes RCS management more difficult, but not impossible.

    Even if we do btch a fifth gen engine will not fall on their lap like Manna from Heaven . They will have to design one , which so far they have failed to . I cannot professe what the future holds for them. In the meantime they can beg , borrow or steal . The Chinese Prime Minister was in Germany last week and have asked Europe to lift it’s arms embargo on China .

    I doubt they will cancel their stealth program if they can't get a hold of a decent 5th gen engine.

    We really don't know what their plans are anyway... for all we know they might not value speed or manouver capability and feel less engine power is not the end of the world. The F-14 had a fairly average engine in its first models (ie F-14A). The plane was eventually made a much better aircraft in the D model with a new engine, which is not to say the F-14A was rubbish.

    The F-117 had very poor capacity to manouver, but it wasn't intended as a fighter, despite the fighter designation... for all we know this Chinese aircraft might be a strike aircraft rather than a fighter.

    ...how can you fault something when you don't even know what it is for?

    So why not ? Should have been cleared by now . Why have they left it half done . They are already rolling out the J 21 .

    I am talking about the PAK FA not having its final 5th gen engine or cleared weapons carrying capacity...

    And yet it is widely known that majority of western fighters achieve a WVR kill with BVR missiles . In all likelihood the AIM 120D program is a failure.

    Mainly because BVR combat is not actually totally realistic and most of the time the launch aircraft needs to check that that blip on the radar screen is actually two enemy Hinds and not two Blackhawks carrying officials and VIPs before they smoke them.

    By using metal only for the engines, and non-magnetic brass screws as reinforcement at critical points in the airframe, the De Havilland Mosquito was virtually invisible to German radar.In the early days of primitive radar detection, due to their low radar signature, sorties of Mosquito fighters were frequently mistaken as flocks of birds!

    With more modern radars the operator might notice those flocks of birds flying at 400km/h and guess they are not birds. The fact that they mistook them for something else does not mean they couldn't detect them.

    “That which we call a rose. By any other name would smell as sweet” . The Mig 31 has an outstanding D-30F-6 two-shaft bypass high-economy turbojet engines. Nomenclatures like 5th gen apart , give me the name of a homegrown Chinese engine that is remotely as good.

    It is an excellent engine that has performed well in interceptors, transports and even amphibious aircraft, but that doesn't make it a 5th gen engine.

    Not my assumption , this is the ground reality in China .

    I think the ground reality in China actually proves the opposite... they are clearly able to embrace technology and are buying all sorts of new technologies or stealing them from all sorts of sources. They have a lot to catch up, certainly, but a lot of progress is being made.

    I will reiterate what I said. The faster you fly the more the drag and for a fighter the size ( & weight) of the J 20 it’s engines are ridiculously underpowered .

    Except most aircraft deal with that increased drag by flying higher where the air is thinner and colder where their jet engines are rather more efficient.

    A Mig-31 is also underpowered... 31 tons thrust for a 50 ton aircraft!

    That is pathetic.

    Of course what would you expect from an aircraft largely made of stainless steel.

    Yet it can fly without restriction at Mach 2.4, for 20 minutes at Mach 2.6 and for 5 minutes at its top speed of Mach 2.85 till the engines start to get damaged.

    The electro optical industry in China is in it’s infancy .China will have to rely on Russia or Israel to sell them a Distributed Aperture System

    So they can order 500 Su-35BMs and also order an extra 500 engines and DAS systems... I am sure the Russians will oblige with such an order... and the Chinese can certainly afford it.

    Or much cheaper than that they could offer 10 billion dollars to the Russian engine makers to develop a 5th gen engine for Chinese use, plus another 10 billion dollars for a DAS and IIR AAM also for their use including factories in China to make them.

    If ifs and ands were pots and pans, there'd be no work for tinkers' hands

    They have plenty of money and complete control over what they spend it on.

    In the past most countries have refused to sell them technology so they have had to resort to reverse engineering. The result was generally inferior to the original because reverse engineering is actually quite hard and involves a lot of guesswork and is expensive. Licence production and joint ventures are expensive too, but result in local production of products at least as good as the original and sometimes superior because you get some input into the design and manufacture.

    This sort of investment would also be good for Russia... look at the Pantsir-S1 system for UAE.

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    Post  TR1 on Sun Sep 30, 2012 2:29 am

    I'm hearing a lot of assumptions about J-20 that are frankly in a similar vein to the criticism some have of PAK-FA.

    Better to wait for details to emerge.
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    Post  GarryB on Sun Sep 30, 2012 4:25 am

    Better to wait for details to emerge.

    x2

    Especially when the so called criticisms are actually just things that don't look like the equivalent things on the F-22 and F-35.

    As if the solutions applied to the F-22 and F-35 are the only solutions that work or make sense.

    The YF-23 was actually the more stealthy aircraft AFAIK.
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    Post  Sujoy on Sun Sep 30, 2012 10:48 am

    Note for Moderators : If you think that my past few postings in this discussion are off topic please move the postings to the concerned thread as per your jurisprudence.

    Lets not get upset. Very Happy
    I am not upset and hope am not making anyone upset either Smile

    I doubt they will cancel their stealth program if they can't get a hold of a decent 5th gen engine
    They will not . In that case they would not have started with this program in the first place. They will continue moving forward with whatever technology they have in hand

    ...how can you fault something when you don't even know what it is for?
    I am just faulting those aspects where an immaturity / lack of progress is clearly visible Radar, EW suite and part of the designing . Both Russia and US have more evolved fighters/prototypes

    It is an excellent engine that has performed well in interceptors, transports and even amphibious aircraft, but that doesn't make it a 5th gen engine

    Exactly . And that’s the point I too am making . Let’s forget about labeling an engine 4th gen or 5th gen and just talk about a great engine like the the D-30F-6 . Do the Chinese have an equivalent currently ?

    I think the ground reality in China actually proves the opposite... they are clearly able to embrace technology and are buying all sorts of new technologies or stealing them from all sorts of sources. They have a lot to catch up, certainly, but a lot of progress is being made.

    While it is true that they are embracing technology most countries dither to sell high end technologies to them because of their unscrupulous practices of violating copyright rules in order to make cheap copies . This applies not just to the Defense sector but in all those sectors where high end technology is required . Due to the very opaque nature of their work methods countries fear that not only will they not be paid royalties but Chinese copies will displace them in other markets as well.

    So they can order 500 Su-35BMs and also order an extra 500 engines and DAS systems... I am sure the Russians will oblige with such an order... and the Chinese can certainly afford it.

    That’s what Russia is insisting as well , that they buy in large numbers . However, the Chinese only want a handful .

    Especially when the so called criticisms are actually just things that don't look like the equivalent things on the F-22 and F-35.

    As if the solutions applied to the F-22 and F-35 are the only solutions that work or make sense.

    I accept it especially if these criticism are directed towards Russian military hardware which are generally the result of tremendous lateral thinking . In case of the Chinese these criticisms do hold water . There strategies / designs are completely bereft of any lateral thinking and they simply resort to copying from other countries.

    Another thing about criticism is more important than the criticism itself is who is making them . Are they vested interest groups based in Western capitals who have steadfastly fed their people a steady diet of xenophobia and brinkmanship and therefore risks the chance of loosing their “perceived integrity” by divulging the truths or are these criticisms been made by Subject Matter Experts in Russia , South Korea , and South East Asia who do not own their loyalties to some neocon Senator or center right / left leaning media groups .
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    Post  GarryB on Sun Sep 30, 2012 11:49 am

    I am not upset and hope am not making anyone upset either

    Very glad to hear that.. Smile

    I realise I can be quite frustrating too, and if I am then I apologise.

    They will not . In that case they would not have started with this program in the first place. They will continue moving forward with whatever technology they have in hand

    But don't you see the key feature they might have been after could have just been stealth.

    You are assuming they want an F-22 when they might actually be trying to make an F-117.

    Strictly speaking supercruising is being able to accelerate past mach 1 in dry thrust, but that just gives the aircraft the advantage of not having to use its after burner for a short period.

    An aircraft with a much lower level of thrust can still use afterburner to cross the speed of sound and then fly supersonically in dry thrust and enjoy the advantages of high speed and lower fuel consumption without a 5th gen engine.

    I am just faulting those aspects where an immaturity / lack of progress is clearly visible Radar, EW suite and part of the designing . Both Russia and US have more evolved fighters/prototypes

    You don't even know what it is for... you said yourself you think it is a cruise missile carrier... which would pretty much make it rather unlike any US stealth aircraft... the F-117 could only carry 2 LGBs.

    Equally true if it is carrying cruise missiles then it will presumably not be entering enemy air space because cruise missiles are standoff weapons... maybe their purpose is to fly to the middle of the Pacific ocean and launch cruise missiles at Taiwan and Japan from an unexpected direction, or even at the US west coast... or perhaps they are to launch an attack on the US ABM system in Alaska and California... Manouver performance and super cruising would be rather redundant for such a mission...

    Do the Chinese have an equivalent currently ?

    They'll have about 200 engines when the last 30 Il-76s are delivered. In the mid 1990s I would have said one real weakness of the Russian Army was night vision equipment... specifically thermal imagers. Right now they are even putting thermals in their BTR-82 cheap APC vehicles which reflects a complete change in the situation.

    They identified a problem and thanks to their work with Thales mainly through their cooperation with India they decided on a solution of purchase and licence production and now they are still producing Thales sights... they have recently changed to the Catherine XP camera which is a QWIP based third generation thermal camera, and their and their own related developments are appearing on all sorts of platforms including ships, land vehicles, and SAM systems and aircraft including helos and UAVs.

    There is no reason why China can't do the same... no one will give away 5th gen engine technology, but many might be interested in selling it if the price is right.

    While it is true that they are embracing technology most countries dither to sell high end technologies to them because of their unscrupulous practices of violating copyright rules in order to make cheap copies .

    I totally agree... Europe would love to jump into all that Chinese cash, but they are held back not just by sanctions but also for the threat that the next year cheap knockdown models of their products will suddenly hit the market and cost them elsewhere, in terms of sales and of course in terms of reputation when the cheap knock offs fail.

    That easy money however is hard to resist.

    Plus I suspect they would like to cut off income that is otherwise going to Russia and of course strengthening China who is no where near their own borders probably suits their needs too.

    This applies not just to the Defense sector but in all those sectors where high end technology is required . Due to the very opaque nature of their work methods countries fear that not only will they not be paid royalties but Chinese copies will displace them in other markets as well.

    The west is terrible when it comes to the free market... they demand access but when another economy produces products as good as they can or better for a fraction of the price they call that dumping and put a huge tariff on it or ban its import. The US has banned Chinese solar panels... imagine the threat to the US economy... cheap solar panels!!!

    That’s what Russia is insisting as well , that they buy in large numbers . However, the Chinese only want a handful .

    Nobody wants to pay more than they have to to get what they want.

    here strategies / designs are completely bereft of any lateral thinking and they simply resort to copying from other countries.

    But it is so hard to see inside to find out why certain things were chosen. The fact that the internet community can so easily criticise their designs suggest the stealth mantra is pretty widely known, but is it really? A lot of it might be myth and legend. The F-22 has a RCS of 0.0001 sqm peak stealth is one myth propagated through the internet... if it was so wonderful why isn't it fully deployed and actually being used?

    Why the hesitation... why aren't they doing to Tehran what the Rafales did to Libya.

    The facts are it is a prototype... just like the PAK FA is a prototype and I doubt China would let anyone see anything they didn't want them to see... and the same with the Russians.

    Another thing about criticism is more important than the criticism itself is who is making them . Are they vested interest groups based in Western capitals who have steadfastly fed their people a steady diet of xenophobia and brinkmanship and therefore risks the chance of loosing their “perceived integrity” by divulging the truths or are these criticisms been made by Subject Matter Experts in Russia , South Korea , and South East Asia who do not own their loyalties to some neocon Senator or center right / left leaning media groups .

    The criticisms seem to me to be the old "their copy is not the same as our model so they obviously got it wrong" type stuff. The facts of the matter are that the Soviets and the Chinese are happy to steal ideas when they are useful and they are useful when they suit their purposes. If they are going to build a smallish cruise missile carrier to slip out into the pacific ocean and either attack the US ABM system... or simply bypass it and attack land targets then they don't need an F-22... a really big F-117 would do the job.

    There are lots of comments about the canards being in the wrong place for manouver capability... perhaps they are just to create a lifting force near the nose and their main purpose is to trim the aircraft in flight without needing thrust vectoring engines which improves flight performance by optimising lift and thrust.

    Part of the criticism might simply be white racist crap that they are still behind us and even their good stuff is rubbish... stupid copiers. Of course when you are not a global imperial military machine and you face one you had better do everything you can to catch up or they might decide to test you if they think you are weak. If the west didn't have stealth aircraft and were not planning to introduce thousands of F-35s in the next decade they might not bother with such technology.
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    Post  Sujoy on Sun Sep 30, 2012 6:40 pm

    Very glad to hear that.. Smile

    I realise I can be quite frustrating too, and if I am then I apologise.
    No apologies required as I have never found you frustrating especially since I too get to learn something . For frustration there is Fox news and re runs of Sex & The City Mad

    You are assuming they want an F-22 when they might actually be trying to make an F-117.
    No, I am not assuming they need an F 22 . Even if I suppose they want an F 117 so far they have just got the shaping part right ( or at least for the most part of it). I base my argument on the fact that production models of CHinese aircrafts and their prototypes have historically been very similar.

    I have observed very closely how the Chinese Aerospace & Defense industry has made progress. Case in point the Shenyang J 15 . The J 15 which was derived from the Su 33 is exactly similar to the prototype of the J 15 that CHina had displayed. The then Russian Defense Minister Igor Korotchenko after having seen the prototype had stated in 2010 that the J 15's performance is way below that of the SU 33 . CHina still went ahead with production models of the J 15 . The prototypes of the J 10 & J 17 are also exactly similar to their production models . Over the years China has started to make some progress in the development of AESA radar, RAM MAWS, IRST etc but still they are way behind EU, Russia and the US in these domains.

    There is no reason why China can't do the same... no one will give away 5th gen engine technology, but many might be interested in selling it if the price is right.

    However, so far after many attempts they have failed . Russia / India pays a licence fee to foreign companies . China pays the licence fee for “x” licences and ends up manufacturing “ X + Infinity” . That’s why no one is interested in parting with technology when it comes to China on sensitive areas.

    The US has banned Chinese solar panels... imagine the threat to the US economy... cheap solar panels

    Let them ban every possible import from Asia . It will be interesting to see how long their economy survive. An SUV that costs $60,000 in the US costs twice as much in India . Why ? Coz the US imports it from China whereas India doesn’t .

    A lot of it might be myth and legend. The F-22 has a RCS of 0.0001 sqm peak stealth is one myth propagated through the internet... if it was so wonderful why isn't it fully deployed and actually being used?

    I do marvel at America’s marketing techniques . They leave no stone unturned to market their products . And if that includes bombarding individuals with false data…so be it. I am not endorsing such practices but cannot choose to avoid them either. Those internet myths were thought of at great details before they were unleashed. Remember the countries that signed up for the JSF program were told that they will be getting a F 22 with more advanced features. Look what they are getting now.
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    Post  SOC on Mon Oct 01, 2012 12:35 am

    Sujoy wrote:a) The air intakes are remarkable short and this will hinder the smooth airflow with desirable parameters at the entry to the J 20s engine's fan.

    They don't appear any shorter than those on the F-22?

    Sujoy wrote:b) The air channels are not S shaped therefore radar waves can very easily detect the fan blades.

    They have DSIs which provide a small benefit, and they also have to be canted inward to some degree given the weapons bays on the outer intake walls, and upwards to some degree to clear the ventral weapons bay.
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    Post  GarryB on Mon Oct 01, 2012 1:18 am

    No, I am not assuming they need an F 22 . Even if I suppose they want an F 117 so far they have just got the shaping part right ( or at least for the most part of it). I base my argument on the fact that production models of CHinese aircrafts and their prototypes have historically been very similar.

    Most of their cold war stuff was licence produced or copied illegally.

    Their own designs have tended to be big... look at that interceptor they used that crashed into that american Ep-3 spy plane... it was quite big for a simple fighter from memory too.

    The prototypes of the J 10 & J 17 are also exactly similar to their production models . Over the years China has started to make some progress in the development of AESA radar, RAM MAWS, IRST etc but still they are way behind EU, Russia and the US in these domains.

    Lets face it... they copied the plane, so of course the prototype is not going to be much different from the in service aircraft.

    The T-10 on the other hand looks rather different from the T-10M that eventually became the Su-27... mainly because they got it wrong with the T-10 and had to make major changes.

    The point is that with this aircraft the main question is the power of its engines so I doubt there will be huge changes...

    For all we know they might buy Tu-22M3s and put an NK-25 in it...

    China pays the licence fee for “x” licences and ends up manufacturing “ X + Infinity” . That’s why no one is interested in parting with technology when it comes to China on sensitive areas.

    Which is no longer working for them. Do you not think they might realise that to move forward they will have to bite the bullet and buy the technology licences they need and just try to apply that knowledge as widely as they can so they can make as much money as they can to justify the initial expense.

    Let them ban every possible import from Asia . It will be interesting to see how long their economy survive. An SUV that costs $60,000 in the US costs twice as much in India . Why ? Coz the US imports it from China whereas India doesn’t .

    The problem of cheap imports is that suddenly the cash starts draining from your economy... it doesn't help that things are cheaper than they have ever been when you lose your job because everything is made in China... that is true hell... no money and all the time in the world to spend it.

    Look what they are getting now.

    I hope they remember to paint them white before they deliver them... and I hope they get all round those big ears and that long trunk and that ropey tail... Twisted Evil
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    Post  Sujoy on Mon Oct 01, 2012 10:54 am

    SOC wrote:
    Sujoy wrote:a) The air intakes are remarkable short and this will hinder the smooth airflow with desirable parameters at the entry to the J 20s engine's fan.
    They don't appear any shorter than those on the F-22?

    I am using the word “short” in this context as a relative term. They are not short per se but when we compare the size of the F22 with the J 20 we realize that in comparison to it’s size the air intakes are remarkably small . The size of the air intakes needs to be judged based on the center of gravity in relation to the mean aerodynamic chord and canards in relation to the nose .

    As a primary iteration for aircraft designers, the center of gravity must be somewhere 25-35% of the wing's mean aerodynamics chord (MAC). In case of the J 20 the center of gravity position lie a long way from the MAC of the wing. This is strange for a maneuverable fighter, because balancing of the aerodynamic forces and the gravity will necessitate relatively high deflection of the control surfaces - canards in the J-20's case. Therefore , in order to, achieve, smooth airflow with desired parameters at the ingress to the engine's fan the air intakes need to be made longer .

    SOC wrote:
    Sujoy wrote:b) The air channels are not S shaped therefore radar waves can very easily detect the fan blades.
    They have DSIs which provide a small benefit, and they also have to be canted inward to some degree given the weapons bays on the outer intake walls, and upwards to some degree to clear the ventral weapons bay.
    Hiding the air intake in the structure helps to obscure it from enemy radar, but the J 20 designers can design intakes where the intakes are, like the tail fins, arranged at peculiar angles that avoid forming corner reflectors.

    It is worth noticing that the J-20's air intakes resemble those on the F-35 . This gives ground to affirm that the J-20 is optimized for supersonic regimes and supercruise, much like the F-35.


    Last edited by Sujoy on Mon Oct 01, 2012 11:11 am; edited 1 time in total
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    Post  Sujoy on Mon Oct 01, 2012 11:08 am

    Which is no longer working for them. Do you not think they might realize that to move forward they will have to bite the bullet and buy the technology licences they need and just try to apply that knowledge as widely as they can so they can make as much money as they can to justify the initial expense.
    Actually they have found a way to by pass the idea of buying technology . They are enticing Chinese engineers who work for major A & D companies to come back and work in China . A number of them are actually working in Chinese Defense labs ...lets see what the results will be .

    I hope they remember to paint them white before they deliver them... and I hope they get all round those big ears and that long trunk and that ropey tail... Twisted Evil

    And it will still be called stealth ….coz they say so. Razz

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