The discussion in this topic would be about the aerial warfare that has some capabilities or is designed to work in contested areas.
Also like in the case of the land warfare, the people is allowed to talk in the poll of the topic with their votes. In this case multiple vote is allowed too to make possible that every reader can select all the aircrafts and helicopters that can have a longer future in the Russian armed forces avoiding a total decommission before the end of this decade, according to his/her opinion.
In the family of small combat aircrafts with different roles (fighters, interceptors, land attack,...) the Su-25 seems to be the less modern aircraft. It is also the smaller and less powerful, it is the alone that reach not supersonic speed and it is one of the oldest in service from this family. The oldest of all them wold be the MiG-25, that still seems very actual as concept. Today the armed forces of Russia continue interesed in this open family of aircraft with intensive work in the development of new aircrafts.
Between the long range bombers, called also strategic bombers the oldest aircraft in service would be the Tu-95 (including all the variants, like the Tu-142). It would be the oldest in age but also in concept. A big crew, with 7 people in, plus details like non-supersonice speed, make to think that the T-95 can be the first aircraft decommissioned between the aircrafts of their class. The entire concept of the strategic bombing has been discussed many years. Some people considered it outdated after the introduction of the modern air defense systems, but also the evolution of the ammunition used by the bombers makes unnecessary for the strategic bombers to fly over a target in order to hit it. This detail gives to the concept of the strategic bomber a longer life than expected, and today are appearing new projects for the future.
The family of aircrafts doing maritime work on different roles, is getting old. Being aircrafts of mid to big size, they have been based mostly on land bases. It seems that they are approaching to the end of their life of service but it is not clear that they would be replaced by new aircrafts following the same concept in some of their roles. Today unmanned aerial vehicles seem to be taking the roles of reconnaisance, patrol or surveillance. They are a lot lighter and can operate from ships. In the other side the most specific combat roles of these aircrafts can be more easily unified with strategic and tactic bombing roles. Different ammunition would be needed but not as different launchers (aircrafts).
Today the family of the helicopters are the lightest aerial combat vehicles. Without protection and with lower speed and altitude than the combat aircrafts, the concept proved to be more vulnerable than previous concepts to new armament, even man-portable, but at same time is appreciated by its performance. Surely the entire concept of helicoter needs a revisión for combat roles, and it is likely that the future can go to unmanned helicopters that keep the combat capabilities but avoiding the human loses when they are shut down. Today, helicopters with human crew continue being produced, but the current models are variants of models that in production since 25 to 46 years that are getting aged.
And finally, we would have the combat trainers. Not designed for combat purposes, but with some small combat capabilities would be also in the subject of this discussion.
Today, the Russian reserves of combat aircrafts and helicopters seems not satured. It seems that there is room for new units in everyone of the previous chapters. If there is some total decommission (from active service and from the reserve) in the following years, it will be surely because the aircraft decommissioned as concept is not useful for combat operations at the time of the decommission.
Then, the following aircrafts and helicopters would be most in the discussion of this topic, and are in the poll:
Which is your opinion about them, do you think some of them (or maybe all) will contiue serving in the next decade? Which of them can remain active for longer time?
PS: Feel free to add news refered to possible or real decommissions in the sort-term or in the mid-term.
Last edited by eehnie on Thu Apr 21, 2016 7:03 am; edited 5 times in total (Reason for editing : Some improvement about trainer aircrafts.)