Well if radars are improving, for a stealth aircraft to remain relevant it needs to improve its. In this case I don't see how a 0.1 sqm aircraft would be on equal footing with a 0.001 sqm aircraft in 20 years. Especially when the stealthier aircraft has the more powerful radar.
Right now you would have to say US aircraft are more stealthy and have more powerful AESA radars, but with the next generation photonic radar will that still hold true.
We can say the Russians are not spending trillions of dollars on stealth, which is not to say they can't have breakthroughs that improve performance dramatically, they have also be rather quiet about plasma stealth... is it dead or is it near operational and they don't want to talk about it.
The fact that Russian stealth fighters will operate inside a full IADS with ground based missiles that make Americans so scared they will punish any country that buys them suggests they have the right mix of stealth and other things to help them win.
The fact that Israeli F-35s wont enter Syrian airspace with Russian IADS and systems operating there suggests the same.
In 10 years time when the Russians have new types of radar in service their new planes are unlikely to be much more stealthy than they are today but they could have a breakthrough in that area too, but I don't see the US in a strong position again because they tend to waste money on magical game changer things that are not always as shiny as they appear.
I mean the F-22 doesn't have an IRST because that would have made it slightly less stealthy... I rather suspect they will regret that decision.
Stealth will always be relevant... no one wants a fighter with the RCS of 20m or more... the question is, how much money do you want to spend and how expensive do you want it to be operationally because of a feature that might not be relevant in 15 years time.
Look at the F-117... at on stage it was a super plane but now it is retired... for the payload of two bombs over less than 2,000km range they could have designed and used two stealthy cruise missiles for a fraction of the cost of building a plane...
Was stealth worth it in this case?
They decided it wasn't worth it in the case of the Commanche attack helo before that got into service...
Maybe I am wrong but the whole situation of these planes looks very awkward to me.
Totally agree with your assessment... bring them out for airshows, and test a couple of airframes in very low intensity wars and perhaps up and down a few cold war borders like eastern europe and north korea to show the flag, but the bulk of the forces seem to be the old stuff still... still waiting for the 2,500 F-35s they promised too.
Added to the new manufacturing of Tu-160, Russia will have the whole range of needed solutions covered for the next decades.
Despite the new drone flying wing able to exceed the speed of sound, I think the PAK DA will need too much internal volume and space to carry a decent theatre payload when acting like a Backfire, and also a huge fuel load for strategic missions for it to be capable of supersonic flight... even just for short periods of time.
I rather suspected upgraded new NK-32 engines for the Blackjack will result in it being able to supercruise and that will greatly enhance its flight performance... it might reduce flight range to 10,000km, but it will cover that distance in half the time... making it one hell of a difficult target for slow aircraft like Naval or land based F-35s to deal with and reduce the effective range of medium and long range AAMs to intercept it too.
It looks like advanced stealth technology requires niche high tech and expensive technologies.
I disagree... advanced stealth technology can be as simple as the correct design choice early on. Anti stealth technology does not need to be expensive either... integrating a few long wave ground based radar into an existing radar network and using computers to process the resulting data to detect stealthy targets would not be hugely expensive... just clever.
The Russians are budget and technologically conscious of their situation.
Actually I don't disagree... they will make things out of Titanium when it needs to be, but they will also make things out of stainless steel when it doesn't need to be made out of titanium... interceptors or submarines... Titanium is more difficult to work with properly, and is much lighter than steel, but if you need large numbers of interceptors that need to operate day to day the steel is the best choice despite being heavier... it will just use more fuel and take slightly longer to get up to speed.
They don't have an unlimited budget, but are not afraid of exploring technologies others reject out of hand... the west tried tank launched anti tank missiles and they failed... the west tried rocket propelled torpedoes and they failed too... the Soviet and Russian approach was different which led to different methods and different results... the US and France wanted super missile tanks where the tank only carried missiles around which the gun was designed. The Soviets designed the missiles to fit into existing gun types and the tank was only supposed to carry 6-8 missiles with the rest being normal standard ammo. The Soviet concept was superior even if the early models were not that impressive, the current ones look rather good... and with the standardisation of the 125mm gun all their tanks can now use them with some minor modifications needed to some sights.
They are likely hedging on Tu-160 load, speed and maturity to throw hypersonic missiles to penetrate defenses.
The slower PAK DA will probably have more internal volume for larger hypersonic missiles, I would expect the progression for the Tu-160 would be subsonic stealthy cruise missiles currently with 5,500km range to be replaced with subsonic stealthy cruise missiles with double that range or more, and instead of flying over the north pole towards canada they might fly out over the pacific ocean and directly attack the ABM systems in Alaska first and then the western seaboard and Hawaii.
Their plan to continue work on a subsonic PAK-DA for 2030s is still in the early stages. I am not sure how relevant a PAK-DA would be in the 2050s. I think the Russians are simply keeping options on the table.
PAK DA is fine.... the US will have B-2s and B-52s in service in the 2050s, so it wont matter much at all and by then the PAK DA will be carrying mach 15 10,000km range cruise missiles...
Money is a myth. Science involves human brain activity and not currency flux. Western propaganda has drilled the fiction of "more money equals more knowhow and tech"
into everyone's brain and they repeat it without a second thought.
I disagree... america uses its money to appear to be the centre of the human world in terms of innovation and technology simply by looking for clever things and clever people anywhere in the world and offering to pay to complete their work... in the US...
Most of the people who worked on the Manhatten project to build the first nuclear bomb were foreigners... europeans mostly but they weren't fussy.
Einstein didn't have an American accent but very quickly he was in the US working... just like Nazi scientists... do you think that was because they loved the free and fair america?
Or because they got to head up a team of people with a huge budget and of course your whole family can come live here too in nice houses and we can give them jobs too.
None of the angled surfaces require any innovation in manufacturing technology.
The F-117 was faceted because computers of the time could not calculate smooth curves... now they can.
The best way of explaining it is a helicopters canopy... a curved canopy like on a little hughes 500, compared with the small flat panels on an Mi-28.
Think of an active source of energy shining on both those canopies... the obvious one is sunlight... it doesn't matter what angle you turn the bubble canopy because it is curved and spherical you will always see the dot of the shining sun reflecting back at you... because that is what you are seeing the sunlight direct from the sun... hits the canopy and is redirected in all directions by the curve of the canopy in every direction including directly back at the sun. In terms of trying to see the helicopter the curved canopy means on a sunny day the glint of the sunlight on that canopy could be seen from a very wide range of angles from a long way away.
Now think of the sunlight reflecting off the flat panels of an Mi-28 and they dont shine in every direction... the flat panels act like flat mirrors but you need to be at the specific angle to see the sun reflected in the canopy so only a few narrow angles will you see the sunlight direct from the sun.
Now think about an aircraft with panels aligned so that any light directed at them is not reflected back in the direction it came from... they have the opposite of that... on the moon there is an old Soviet rover vehicle and it had a reflector prism on it that captured any light shone at it and reflected it right back to where it came from... scientists are still using it to bounce laser beams off the moon for getting precise range distance measurements...
what can be achieved for the Okhotnik prototype in the refered to the supersonic speed can also be achieved for the future Tu-PAK-DA.
I said it could but it likely wont... look at how slim and high speed that drone looks and that is a rather powerful engine for a drone that size.
For a strategic bomber the PAK DA is going to need an enormous amount of fuel and a big payload capacity to carry all its weapons internally which means it is going to have a very thick wing profile, which means even fairly large engines wont be enough to get it supersonic because supersonic speed burns fuel at two to three times the rate non afterburning engines burn fuel so two to three times more fuel makes it even fatter and slower...
The new high bypass version of the NK-32 would also be useful for other subsonic heavy aircraft like An-124 engines and An-124 replacement engines and also fitting to the Il-106... if they are low bypass turbofans as needed for supersonic flight they would not be very useful at all for heavy transports.
By the end, those that insulted me also about this topic, must surrender to the reality.
Habitually the reality does not leave my words in bad place.
At the end of the day all we have is speculation and rumour... we don't know if the PAK DA is a flying wing or a flying wing with a tail section, we don't even know what sort of engines it will have or if they will have TVC...