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    Russian VTOL fighter development

    PapaDragon
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    Post  PapaDragon on Sat Dec 16, 2017 6:05 pm

    AlfaT8 wrote:
    PapaDragon wrote:
    They are not supposed be aerodynamically superior or to dodge missiles. They would be cheap filler to supplement proper fighter jets and to handle low priority crap.

    Then the Ka-52 should be more then enough.

    How so? Since when do pilots concern themselves with budget expenditures?

    Supercarrier = white elephant for Russia, just like Kuznetzov is now. Naval budget will not be growing and neither will importance of surface fleet in Russian naval doctrine.

    When there very lives are at stake.

    If that's the case then the development of the VTOL should be scrapped altogether to focus on better air-defenses for Destroyers and Frigates.

    Ka-52 can't drop many bombs on primitive colonial possessions. And can't scout ahead too far.

    As for air defense it's more than good already. Excellent in fact.
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    Post  AlfaT8 on Sat Dec 16, 2017 7:11 pm

    PapaDragon wrote:Ka-52 can't drop many bombs on primitive colonial possessions. And can't scout ahead too far.

    As for air defense it's more than good already. Excellent in fact.

    That depends on the aircraft, assuming it's more akin to the Yak-141 then yes, true.
    Although i must ask, why would they use a fragile VTOL rather than a cruise missile for such a thing, and if it's for CAS, then the VTOL option is a no go.

    They need to be better, because they'll not only deal with firepower from hostile ships, but also numerous hostile aircrafts as well.
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    Post  PapaDragon on Sat Dec 16, 2017 7:47 pm

    AlfaT8 wrote:
    PapaDragon wrote:Ka-52 can't drop many bombs on primitive colonial possessions. And can't scout ahead too far.

    As for air defense it's more than good already. Excellent in fact.

    That depends on the aircraft, assuming it's more akin to the Yak-141 then yes, true.
    Although i must ask, why would they use a fragile VTOL rather than a cruise missile for such a thing, and if it's for CAS, then the VTOL option is a no go.

    They need to be better, because they'll not only deal with firepower from hostile ships, but also numerous hostile aircrafts as well.


    It will be much bigger than Yak-141, that thing was a miniature with miniscule wings. New one should be roughly size of F-35 or even larger.

    VTOL/STOVLs are not any more fragile than other jets. Especially if they are designed properly. And today you have computers to handle complicated stuff. Russia already developed system that lands jets on Kuznetzov in autopilot mode. VTOL/STOVL fly-by-wire should be no problem in comparison.

    They will not be dealing with hostile ships. Their purpose will be do handle Syria style ops against low threat enemies that are not worth wasting expensive cruise missiles on.

    If enemy can afford actual warships then it's a completely different type of war, one where surface fleets are irelevant.
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    Post  Peŕrier on Sat Dec 16, 2017 7:49 pm

    F-35 is VTOL and it's used as STOVL by Royal Navy, it's the different setting on same airplane you dumb braindead moron.

    No way, F-35B is not and was not meant to be a true VTOL.

    It could only perform a vertical take off when empty of any weapon, or as alternative with some armament but little fuel on board.

    Put it plainly, its vertical take off capabilities are a feat aimed only to transfers through whatever ship available to carry it into theater of operations.

    There it would perform a single vertical take off, if the ship is lacking a proper flight deck, to relocate itself onboard a flat top or an expeditionary airfield.

    End of vertical take offs stunts.

    It is simply phisics, you could not have on the same aircraft vertical take off, payload and range.

    By the way, F-35B has several limitations in range, payload and dynamics performances compared to its siblings F-35A and F-35C. The fan and transmission required for vertical landings, together with the related stuff put an hefty penalty on the aircraft, as always has been in past STOVL projects


    Last edited by Peŕrier on Sat Dec 16, 2017 8:14 pm; edited 1 time in total
    Tsavo Lion
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    Post  Tsavo Lion on Sun Dec 17, 2017 12:55 am

    "The second plane to replace the entire Russian shipborne fleet would be this new early warning and control aircraft."
    To replace, there must be something to replace- but there r no dedicated EW&C planes now, only helos!
    ".. the military has already offered hints about its vision of the future of Russian naval aviation. The MoD plans to lay down the Project 23000E Shtorm heavy aircraft carrier sometime between 2025 and 2030." Their vision isn't = reality, it's just what they want to get; the MoD can't lay down anything- it doesn't own the yards that build warships, they r owned by United Shipbuilding Corporation!
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sevmash
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baltic_Shipyard
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Severnaya_Verf
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Admiralty_Shipyard

    Su-57 may or may not get navalized, & Borisov didn't mention it.
    The F-22 & J-20 (the size of the F-111) didn't for a reason.
    http://www.atimes.com/article/pla-admiral-rejects-talk-j-20-fighters-aircraft-carriers/

    Past history teaches that all this talk must be taken with a grain of salt!
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    Post  GarryB on Sun Dec 17, 2017 9:22 am

    Very likely the bolded in red are the 2 aircrafts Bondarev is talking about. Obviously and logically, the fighter aircraft to replace all the current shipborne fighters will be the Su-57 (T-50). The second plane to replace the entire Russian shipborne fleet would be this new early warning and control aircraft. The MiG-29 is of a previous generation.

    Keep in mind that current plans are based on the current state of affairs... when certain things change then plans must change too.

    I mean a few years ago the future of the Russian Navy was based around the 2-4 Mistral carriers they would have in service right now if the French were not such unreliable bastards.

    The successful development of a CTOL light 5th gen stealth fighter with UAE might change the plans again.

    In this quote we can see how some media identified this new project with the Yak-44. Like que Yak-141, the Yak-44 was a project cancelled with the fall of the Soviet Union, but like like in the case of the Yak-141 some media identified the project of a new early warning and control aircraft with the Yak-44 project because this was also the role of the old project.

    An important point is that many experts view the USN as the pinnacle of naval technology and can't see past the choices they made when they were developing their fleet.

    They chose propeller driven aircraft because they had a suitable design and it has worked well for them.

    As you have pointed out however new technology offers new options... radar and electronics are changing and getting smaller and lighter... UAV technology and indeed other technologies could effect their options.

    Their new replacement for the propeller driven AN-12 is going to be jet propelled so they are not going to have a light propeller driven aircraft with engines powerful enough to get a Yak-44 off a carrier deck.... the engines of the Il-112 will be much to small an alternative... but that is OK.

    Perhaps a VTOL model might be chosen.... perhaps a tethered airship design could be used too... perhaps a combination of several solutions might be chosen to maximise the strengths and minimise the weaknesses of each option...

    20 years ago I would not have thought that a tiny little phone sized computer could outperform even the most powerful desktop computer of the day... yet here we are today...

    "The second plane to replace the entire Russian shipborne fleet would be this new early warning and control aircraft."
    To replace, there must be something to replace- but there r no dedicated EW&C planes now, only helos!

    There is another interpretation of that comment... replace can literally mean to take the place of... so two aircraft... one vertical take off to replace all current aircraft... that could mean a conventional aircraft that can fulfil all attack and fighter and recon and jammer and AWACS roles... like a 5th gen light fighter with AESA antenna arrays facing in every direction with their new generation radars they keep talking about, plus a new generation VTOL aircraft that is helicopter based for all the roles the helos perform like sub hunting, and search and rescue and transport and other duties like landing forces from a helicopter carrier.

    The VTOL aircraft could be like an enlarged Ka-226 with modules for attack and short range air defence and troop and cargo transport and anti ship and anti sub use etc etc.

    The Russian Navy is making its weapon systems and its ships multirole... why would it not do the same with its aircraft?

    Operating VTOL helos from all its ships with a helo deck would be easy because they are already adapted for helos.

    Having modular helos they could change the mission of the helo just the same as they change the loadout of their UKSK launch tubes.

    An at sea replenishment vessel could load new missiles in the UKSK tubes and also load modules for the onboard helos or UAVS at the same time so their air component can continue to compliment the armament loaded when deployed anywhere around the world.
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    Post  flamming_python on Mon Dec 18, 2017 3:55 pm

    They're definately talking about VTOL fixed-wing fighters GazB
    If they were talking about helicopters they'd just call them helicopters. Who in God's name calls a helicopter a 'VTOL aircraft'?

    Anyway, here's a recent Sputnik News article on it; not my favoured source but they do bring in good experts sometimes. I've highlighted the interesting stuff in bold:

    https://sputniknews.com/military/201712151060040750-new-russian-vtol-aircraft-analysis/

    VTOL for the 21st Century: Why Russia's Working on New Vertical Takeoff Fighter

    Russian Deputy Defense Minister Yuri Borisov has confirmed that work is underway on the design of a new vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft. Military observer Vadim Saranov outlines what's driving the military's interest in this class of aircraft, and considers whether Russia's aviation industry has the resources and know-how to build it.

    Last month, the Russian Defense Ministry confirmed that work is under way on a new VTOL plane design. Deputy Defense Minister Borisov said that the naval aviation variants of the MiG-29 and Su-33 fighters in use by the Navy today face becoming obsolete in the next decade. Accordingly, he said, it's logical to start development of a new plane to replace them. Borisov's remarks follow revelations this summer that the MoD has been discussing the issue of a new VTOL design with Russia's military aircraft manufacturers, and that the plane could be "a development of the Yak line."

    The Yak-38, first introduced in 1976, quickly became the USSR's most heavily-produced VTOL aircraft, and enjoyed widespread deployment aboard the Soviet Navy's fleet of Project 1143 heavy aircraft carrying cruisers, including the Kiev, the Minsk, the Novorossiysk and the Baku.

    The Yak-38 garnered a poor reputation among pilots due to a high accident rate (with several dozen of the 231 Yak-38s built destroyed or scrapped following accidents). As military observer and RIA Novosti contributor Vadim Saranov pointed out, the planes' capricious nature limited flight time aboard aircraft-carrying Navy ships to a paltry 40 hours a year.

    "The planes' combat characteristics were also questionable," the journalist wrote. "Due to the lack of on-board radar, it was only conditionally able to engage in aerial combat. The Yak-38's use as a pure attack aircraft looked rather ineffective, since its combat radius in VTOL mode amounted to just 195 km, and even less in a hot climate."

    Given their less-than-stellar record, production of the Yak-38 was stopped in 1989. Gradually withdrawn and scrapped throughout the 1990s, the remaining VTOL Yaks were retired from the Russian Navy in 2004.

    Owing to the Yak-38's difficult operational history, Soviet designers almost immediately began development of a new aircraft – the Yak-141.

    Considered a highly promising design by Soviet and Western observers, the Yak-141 program was canceled after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Lockheed Corporation entered into a partnership with Yakovlev with the official aim of funding the program. Years later, many Russian observers suggested that Lockheed, already working on its X-35 F-35 prototype, effectively bought out the Yak-141's technical documentation for about $400 million.

    A New VTOL for the 21st Century

    Speaking to Saranov about the prospects for a new Russian VTOL design, Russian Navy captain first rank (ret) Konstantin Sivkov said that if the aircraft were developed and fielded, they would become a boon not just to the Navy, but to Russian military aviation as a whole.

    "The main problem in contemporary aviation today is that a jet fighter requires a good runway," Sivkov explained. "There are very few airfields of this kind, and it's quite easy to destroy them through a first-strike attack. Aircraft equipped with VTOL can be dispersed, to a clearing in the woods, for example. The use of VTOL by combat aviation would give it exceptional staying power."

    Not everyone agrees. Oleg Panteleev, editor-in-chief of Russian aviation news agency Aviaport.ru, said that VTOL fighters' heavy consumption of fuel on takeoff, combined with the flexibility of traditional aircraft designs, makes fielding a large fleet of air force VTOL fighters impractical.

    "Conventional fighters can carry out combat missions in conditions of partially destroyed airfield infrastructure from shortened airstrips of less than 500 m," the analyst noted. "The military's plans to build a carrier fleet is something else entirely, however. There, the use of VTOL aircraft would indeed be highly rational."

    The VTOL design would enable strike aircraft to be deployed even aboard small aircraft-carrying cruisers, perhaps even foregoing the need to build a new, expensive, conventional aircraft carrier.

    Sikvov emphasized that Russian design bureaus have no time to lose for creating a new VTOL design. "Aircraft with VTOL capability can be based not just on conventional carriers, [but on much smaller ships.] For example, a tanker equipped with a ramp becomes a kind of aircraft carrier; we had similar projects during the Soviet era," the analyst said. "Furthermore, VTOL aircraft can be used aboard helicopter-carrying combat vessels such as frigates," he added.

    In any case, Saranov pointed out that the case of the F-35 offers a warning about the potential costs involved in the creation of a new VTOL-capable fighter plane, with that program reaching a staggering $1.3 trillion estimated price tag. The journalist noted that creating a plane with performance characteristics comparable to the F-35B will require finding solutions to a series of design problems, including miniaturization of avionics, new generation on-board systems, and a new airframe taking into account the requirements of a VTOL aircraft.

    "The Russian aviation industry has opportunities in this direction, particularly since many systems can be unified with the Su-57 fifth-gen fighter aircraft," the journalist noted.

    At the same time, according to Panteleev, the specially-designed engine may prove to be the new plane's biggest problem. "The developer of the engine for the Yak-38 has ceased to exist. While the technical documentation about the Yak's thrust nozzles, including its afterburner, is probably still around, the specialists with the practical experience to create these components probably aren't around anymore. Here, we've probably lost our expertise."

    These problems notwithstanding, the observer noted that if the Ministry of Defense does go ahead and approve the creation of a new VTOL aircraft, the aviation industry will be able to come up with an appropriate design.

    In the meantime, the military has already offered hints about its vision of the future of Russian naval aviation. The MoD plans to lay down the Project 23000E Shtorm heavy aircraft carrier sometime between 2025 and 2030. By that time, the Navy expects to receive two new Priboy-class universal helicopter-carrying amphibious assault ships. These, it can be safely assumed, would be perfectly capable of carrying any new VTOL project the aircraft industry throws their way.
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    Post  Tsavo Lion on Mon Dec 18, 2017 8:14 pm

    "They're definitely talking about VTOL fixed-wing fighters..
    If they were talking about helicopters they'd just call them helicopters. Who in God's name calls a helicopter a 'VTOL aircraft'?"
    Exactly! Also, UAVs won't completely replace manned EW&C in the foreseeable future. Otherwise, China wouldn't be working on KJ-600 now. https://www.popsci.com/kj-600-china-plane#page-2
    A naval doctrine is just a piece of paper, a road map- it's not written in stone & given many variables of the real world, its implementation may not go as planned. Borisov was referring to the State Armament Program, not any doctrine.  
    If the Project 23000 construction and entry into service is planned for 2021-2030, they better have $ for it, & soon! If they had the $, Storm wouldn't have been recently offered to India, & we all know it was rejected! Navalized Su-57 (with reduced performance) is possible, but even then it's not an ironclad guarantee that a new CVN will be there for it to land on.
    Even if Adm.K was in top shape all these years, it's not at all essential for the RF defense to deploy it more often than it was up till now. To show the flag in the World Ocean, exercise, provide hum. relief, evacuate nationals, & intervene in a local conflict, 2-3 smaller CVs with STOVL fighters for the price of 1 Storm with navalized CTOL Su-57s would be more feasible, even if by 2021 the RF economy miraculously becomes = to Japan's!
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    Post  GarryB on Tue Dec 19, 2017 9:01 am

    Let me Summarise that article:


    VTOL for the 21st Century: Why Russia's Working on New Vertical Takeoff Fighter

    Russian Deputy Defense Minister Yuri Borisov has confirmed that work is underway on the design of a new vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft. Military observer Vadim Saranov outlines what's driving the military's interest in this class of aircraft, and considers whether Russia's aviation industry has the resources and know-how to build it.

    Last month, the Russian Defense Ministry confirmed that work is under way on a new VTOL plane design. Deputy Defense Minister Borisov said that the naval aviation variants of the MiG-29 and Su-33 fighters in use by the Navy today face becoming obsolete in the next decade. Accordingly, he said, it's logical to start development of a new plane to replace them. Borisov's remarks follow revelations this summer that the MoD has been discussing the issue of a new VTOL design with Russia's military aircraft manufacturers, and that the plane could be "a development of the Yak line."

    So they have decided to go for a VTOL aircraft.

    The Yak-38, first introduced in 1976, quickly became the USSR's most heavily-produced VTOL aircraft, and enjoyed widespread deployment aboard the Soviet Navy's fleet of Project 1143 heavy aircraft carrying cruisers, including the Kiev, the Minsk, the Novorossiysk and the Baku.

    The Yak-38 garnered a poor reputation among pilots due to a high accident rate (with several dozen of the 231 Yak-38s built destroyed or scrapped following accidents). As military observer and RIA Novosti contributor Vadim Saranov pointed out, the planes' capricious nature limited flight time aboard aircraft-carrying Navy ships to a paltry 40 hours a year.

    "The planes' combat characteristics were also questionable," the journalist wrote. "Due to the lack of on-board radar, it was only conditionally able to engage in aerial combat. The Yak-38's use as a pure attack aircraft looked rather ineffective, since its combat radius in VTOL mode amounted to just 195 km, and even less in a hot climate."

    Given their less-than-stellar record, production of the Yak-38 was stopped in 1989. Gradually withdrawn and scrapped throughout the 1990s, the remaining VTOL Yaks were retired from the Russian Navy in 2004.

    This class of aircraft was a fucking waste of time and money and were completely useless.


    Owing to the Yak-38's difficult operational history, Soviet designers almost immediately began development of a new aircraft – the Yak-141.

    Considered a highly promising design by Soviet and Western observers, the Yak-141 program was canceled after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Lockheed Corporation entered into a partnership with Yakovlev with the official aim of funding the program. Years later, many Russian observers suggested that Lockheed, already working on its X-35 F-35 prototype, effectively bought out the Yak-141's technical documentation for about $400 million.

    We have no reason to believe the Yak-41 would have been any improvement over the MiG-29K... there were plenty of further upgrades they could have applied to the MiG-29K to make it more like the MiG-35 but they were too cheap to spend money... the situation with the Yak-41 would have been no different.


    A New VTOL for the 21st Century

    Speaking to Saranov about the prospects for a new Russian VTOL design, Russian Navy captain first rank (ret) Konstantin Sivkov said that if the aircraft were developed and fielded, they would become a boon not just to the Navy, but to Russian military aviation as a whole.

    "The main problem in contemporary aviation today is that a jet fighter requires a good runway," Sivkov explained. "There are very few airfields of this kind, and it's quite easy to destroy them through a first-strike attack. Aircraft equipped with VTOL can be dispersed, to a clearing in the woods, for example. The use of VTOL by combat aviation would give it exceptional staying power."

    Bullshit... VTOL crap themselves on rough airfields too... FOD is even more of an issue with such aircraft and a 25 ton thrust class engine directing its thrust at the ground will not take off from anything not expensive and especially designed for the purpose... even a modern runway wont take that sort of power directed at it.

    An Su-57 wont take much tarmac to get airborne and even if every Russian air field is obliterated there are motorways it could operate from easily... more easily than the Yak-41 could and it destroyed airstrips too.

    Not everyone agrees. Oleg Panteleev, editor-in-chief of Russian aviation news agency Aviaport.ru, said that VTOL fighters' heavy consumption of fuel on takeoff, combined with the flexibility of traditional aircraft designs, makes fielding a large fleet of air force VTOL fighters impractical.

    "Conventional fighters can carry out combat missions in conditions of partially destroyed airfield infrastructure from shortened airstrips of less than 500 m," the analyst noted. "The military's plans to build a carrier fleet is something else entirely, however. There, the use of VTOL aircraft would indeed be highly rational."

    The VTOL design would enable strike aircraft to be deployed even aboard small aircraft-carrying cruisers, perhaps even foregoing the need to build a new, expensive, conventional aircraft carrier.

    Putting VSTOL aircraft on a helicopter carrier means it is no longer a helicopter carrier... and WTF do you need strike aircraft for? The Navy has missiles and artillery for the role if needed.


    Sikvov emphasized that Russian design bureaus have no time to lose for creating a new VTOL design. "Aircraft with VTOL capability can be based not just on conventional carriers, [but on much smaller ships.] For example, a tanker equipped with a ramp becomes a kind of aircraft carrier; we had similar projects during the Soviet era," the analyst said. "Furthermore, VTOL aircraft can be used aboard helicopter-carrying combat vessels such as frigates," he added.

    A VSTOL aircraft taking off and landing on a helo pad on a frigate will not be able to fly very far or with very much and would be practically as useless as the Yak-38M.

    In any case, Saranov pointed out that the case of the F-35 offers a warning about the potential costs involved in the creation of a new VTOL-capable fighter plane, with that program reaching a staggering $1.3 trillion estimated price tag. The journalist noted that creating a plane with performance characteristics comparable to the F-35B will require finding solutions to a series of design problems, including miniaturization of avionics, new generation on-board systems, and a new airframe taking into account the requirements of a VTOL aircraft.

    "The Russian aviation industry has opportunities in this direction, particularly since many systems can be unified with the Su-57 fifth-gen fighter aircraft," the journalist noted.

    The F-35B is totally inferior to all other versions of the F-35... why not just make a naval version of the Su-57 and get a good plane?

    At the same time, according to Panteleev, the specially-designed engine may prove to be the new plane's biggest problem. "The developer of the engine for the Yak-38 has ceased to exist. While the technical documentation about the Yak's thrust nozzles, including its afterburner, is probably still around, the specialists with the practical experience to create these components probably aren't around anymore. Here, we've probably lost our expertise."

    The next gen engine will be even more powerful and need even more exotic materials to allow Helipad surfaces and carrier decks to survive it use even for a couple of minutes.

    These problems notwithstanding, the observer noted that if the Ministry of Defense does go ahead and approve the creation of a new VTOL aircraft, the aviation industry will be able to come up with an appropriate design.

    In the meantime, the military has already offered hints about its vision of the future of Russian naval aviation. The MoD plans to lay down the Project 23000E Shtorm heavy aircraft carrier sometime between 2025 and 2030. By that time, the Navy expects to receive two new Priboy-class universal helicopter-carrying amphibious assault ships. These, it can be safely assumed, would be perfectly capable of carrying any new VTOL project the aircraft industry throws their way.

    So why build heavy carriers if you are going to waste money on a VSTOL piece of crap?

    The whole point of the VSTOL aircraft is so you don't need to build real carriers... VSTOL aircraft are a waste of time and energy... a super carrier even more so.... for Russia.
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    Post  Tsavo Lion on Tue Dec 19, 2017 8:48 pm

    "So why build heavy carriers if you are going to waste money on a VSTOL piece of crap?
    The whole point of the VSTOL aircraft is so you don't need to build real carriers... VSTOL aircraft are a waste of time and energy... a super carrier even more so.... for Russia."
    That's my point: they r reviving STOVL for small TAKRS/CVs as a stop gap before CVNs r built, & in (very likely) case those get delayed/cancelled, at least they'll have something instead of nothing!
    On land, STOVL fighters can use portable airfield sections designed to withstand extreme heat & perhaps ski ramps dropped/brought by heavy lift planes/helos, similar to these:
    https://www.airspacemag.com/multimedia/these-portable-runways-helped-win-war-pacific-180951234/ http://www.megadeckrigmats.com/portable-airfield-mats.php

    What they really need r small nuclear powered artificial islands made of concrete, capable of handling all kinds of aircraft, that can be moved & anchored when/where needed.


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    Post  GunshipDemocracy on Tue Dec 19, 2017 9:25 pm

    I just wonder if VTOL will be based on Yak-141 in Tu-160M2 manner or new construction taking into account previous achievements?

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    Post  AlfaT8 on Tue Dec 19, 2017 10:52 pm

    Tsavo Lion wrote:"So why build heavy carriers if you are going to waste money on a VSTOL piece of crap?
    The whole point of the VSTOL aircraft is so you don't need to build real carriers... VSTOL aircraft are a waste of time and energy... a super carrier even more so.... for Russia."
    That's my point: they r reviving STOVL for small TAKRS/CVs as a stop gap before CVNs r built, & in (very likely) case those get delayed/cancelled, at least they'll have something instead of nothing!
    On land, STOVL fighters can use portable airfield sections designed to withstand extreme heat & perhaps ski ramps dropped/brought by heavy lift planes/helos, similar to these:
    https://www.airspacemag.com/multimedia/these-portable-runways-helped-win-war-pacific-180951234/
    http://www.megadeckrigmats.com/portable-airfield-mats.php

    What they really need r small nuclear powered artificial islands made of concrete, capable of handling all kinds of aircraft, that can be moved & anchored when/where needed.

    Yap, there's simply no way around the carrier.
    end of story.
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    Post  GarryB on Wed Dec 20, 2017 10:04 am

    On land, STOVL fighters can use portable airfield sections designed to withstand extreme heat & perhaps ski ramps dropped/brought by heavy lift planes/helos, similar to these:

    For years the sales pitch was that the Harrier and aircraft like it could be disbursed at the first sign of trouble and take off from anywhere... supermarket carparks, short strips of road etc etc

    Invulnerable on the ground because you never knew where they were...

    The problem was that these aircraft need weapons and people to keep them operating and lots and lots of aviation fuel, and as they get more powerful they need special equipment.... heat resistant tiles like those fitted to the space shuttle to land on on aircraft carriers and anything else you expect it to land on including helipads.

    Most Russian naval helipads have nets on them to reduce slippage.... one landing from a VTOL supersonic fighter and that will be burned off.

    A supermarket carpark is not hard enough for a VTOL fighter.... the Yak-41 only visited Farnborough and damaged their runway when it briefly deflected its main engine thrust downwards for a take off.... note it damaged the runway on an international air field and it did not even take off vertically...

    The crap about operating from anywhere is just that... when taking off vertically the payload is greatly limited and fuel levels reduced too, so helipads are out and anything without a ski jump would also be a waste of time.

    While I agree that they have not said it was a helicopter I would argue they have not said it was a fixed wing supersonic fighter... for all we know they might be talking about a vertical takeoff UAV or even airship.
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    Post  medo on Wed Dec 20, 2017 5:08 pm

    Most of western runways are made from asphalt and russian ones are made from concrete. VTOL planes have problems with asphalt, not with concrete. Arctic bases are made from concrete blocks, because there is too cold for asphalt. Not all arctic bases, specially those on Arctic islands, will have full airfields with 2 km to 3 km long runways. But for sure they will have heliports at least for whole year search and rescue operations. Helicopters on Arctic are not takeing off vertically, but with short run on runway to not lift too much snow and ice in the air. This heliports could be as well used by VTOL planes operating in short take off and landing mode. Even a plane like Yak-141 is good enough to do the job there. Their job will be anti-ship patrols armed with anti-ship missiles and air patrols against strategic bombers, which could come through North Pole or against maritime patrol planes. There will not be many foreign fighters as they are stationed too far away. They could well work together with MiG-31BM, which will operate from bigger continental Arctic airbases.
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    Post  Tsavo Lion on Wed Dec 20, 2017 10:52 pm

    Right! Harriers at US bases use concrete pads & strips: http://www.aeroresource.co.uk/operational-reports/harrier-town-usa-mcas-yuma/ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lu54pdBsA-o

    Another advantage of STOVL is it can take off & land with greater margin of safety in inclement weather & low visibility, which happens often in the North, Siberia & the RFE.

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    Post  GarryB on Thu Dec 21, 2017 8:21 am

    You are not getting it... claiming VSTOL aircraft are superior because when all the airfields are obliterated they can take off from any old strip of firm ground is bullshit... they need hard flat places just like conventional modern 5th gen fighters... a 400m strip would allow a Flanker or Fulcrum or Su-57 to take off with full fuel and air to air weapons... for a VTOL it needs to be concrete and can't be normal motorways.

    Right! Harriers at US bases use concrete pads & strips

    Harriers don't have 20-25 ton thrust motors with full after burners...

    Arctic bases are made from concrete blocks, because there is too cold for asphalt. Not all arctic bases, specially those on Arctic islands, will have full airfields with 2 km to 3 km long runways.

    They need proper air strips more than they need dinky little helo bases... a proper landing strip means decent sized aircraft can bring in supplies and support the base better than if it could only be supplied by helicopter.

    Even just a 600m long runway would be plenty for a modern fighter, but 1,200m would allow heavier transports to operate there.
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    Post  GarryB on Thu Dec 21, 2017 8:23 am

    A normal aircraft rolls forward during takeoff which limits the amount of dirt and crap going into the intake. A vertical take off or landing means holding position in the plume of crap being blown up by the engines... like a helo only 100 times more so.
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    Post  Tsavo Lion on Thu Dec 21, 2017 8:40 pm

    They can use CTOL mode on highways too, like these:








    http://www.gripenblogs.com/Lists/Posts/Post.aspx?ID=1632

    Viggens & Grippens r STOL, & Russians can avoid using VTOL method with their STOVL fighters while on asphalt roads like shown above.
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    Post  GarryB on Fri Dec 22, 2017 3:00 am

    If CTOL aircraft can take off from stretches of highway why spend money developing STOL and VTOL aircraft with lift engines?
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    Post  Tsavo Lion on Fri Dec 22, 2017 7:10 pm

    Because they can use shorter stretches of roads &/ concrete pads + better fit on smaller CV/Ns w/o CATs. Building & maintaining long airstrips is expensive anywhere; in the Russian North, Siberia & the RFE many times more.
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    Post  Singular_Transform on Fri Dec 22, 2017 8:04 pm

    Tsavo Lion wrote:Because they can use shorter stretches of roads &/ concrete pads + better fit on smaller CV/Ns w/o CATs. Building & maintaining long airstrips is expensive anywhere; in the Russian North, Siberia & the RFE many times more.  

    In syberia everything is expensive.

    "lilly pad" makes sense only if you have other means of transportation to the given area.

    It is not true in Siberia.


    And it is a simple cost benefit calculation.
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    Post  Tsavo Lion on Fri Dec 22, 2017 9:29 pm

    Siberia below the Arctic Circle will be used as deep rear staging/repair area. There r lakes, reservoirs & rivers on which flattop ships/barges could be placed for STOVL fighters. Believe me, the Russians will find a safe way to operate them w/o damaging anything with hot downwash.
    They could even equip them with floats/skis for water landings & take offs!
    The concept isn't new:
    https://www.defensemedianetwork.com/stories/xf2y-1yf2y-1-sea-dart-a-jet-fighter-on-water-skis/
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    Post  GarryB on Sat Dec 23, 2017 11:13 am

    Because they can use shorter stretches of roads &/ concrete pads + better fit on smaller CV/Ns w/o CATs. Building & maintaining long airstrips is expensive anywhere; in the Russian North, Siberia & the RFE many times more.

    The length of a stretch of road is immaterial.... in all of Russia finding a 200m long stretch of motorway for a VTOL aircraft to operate from you will easily find 600m stretches of motorway for a CTOL aircraft to operate from too.

    Building a long airstrip to allow heavy transports to land just makes sense whether you have fighters there or not.

    The only realistic difference is the operating from small carriers that don't have cats... so what you are proposing is to spend a small fortune to develop VTOL fighters so you can cheap out on weak light carriers that are not good enough to get the job done... they will be token carriers for show and to cost lots of money but really fuck all use when you really need something.

    I have said all along for effective use they need medium sized carriers, no matter what the bean counters say, and that giving them VTOL options just means giving the bean counters to claim they can have what they need and save money.

    It wont be until they are all built and used in combat that you find that those new cheaper 20K ton carriers that only VTOL fighters can operate from are bloody useless, with limited endurance and no real reach against any enemy with any sort of modern air force or Navy.

    A decent medium carrier carrys rather more aircraft, can operate further from home bases for rather longer (especially when nuke propelled and with cats able to operate real AWACS aircraft).

    The British learned in the Falklands that shipboard carrier based AEW is an important feature... if their VSTOL fighters had decent ground attack performance (which their navy models didn't) then they would not have needed to send their Vulcans to attack targets...

    Of course the Russian Navy has no history of relying on an air component for anything except anti sub warfare... having air defence fighters and AWACS aircraft care of cats and medium sized carriers will make them a much more powerful force in attack and in defence.

    Having VTOL fighters that can operate from helicopter carriers basically makes the helicopter carriers useless for their intended role because they will carry fighters and not helicopters, it will also mean the bean counters will question why they need medium carriers and helicopter carriers... pretending that helicopter carriers with VTOL fighters can even compare with a real aircraft carrier... which they don't otherwise the British would have them... they are the pinnacle of forces controlled by the bean counters...

    They know they only got the Falklands Islands back by the skin of their teeth and that if the Argentines had more capable fighters than A-4 skyhawks and Mirage jets that they would have had serious problems taking back the falklands with the mini carriers they had.

    Even if the Argentines had F-4s or MiG-23s with medium range missiles and were operating from the Falkland islands instead of the mainland those 20 odd Harriers the British had would have been in serious trouble...

    If the Argentines had tried to take the Falklands when the British still had the Ark Royal the British probably would not have lost any ships, with F-4s and Buccaneers they would have been a much more powerful force... better able to deal with enemy aircraft and anti ship missiles.

    Siberia below the Arctic Circle will be used as deep rear staging/repair area. There r lakes, reservoirs & rivers on which flattop ships/barges could be placed for STOVL fighters. Believe me, the Russians will find a safe way to operate them w/o damaging anything with hot downwash.

    Any even semi permanent base will be much better supported by an airstrip long enough to operate transport aircraft from... the very idea that a VTOL aircraft would keep the base safe is preposterous... most of the time aircraft wont even be flying because of weather conditions... an S-400 battery would be vastly more useful, while MiG-31s from bases 500km distant would offer better coverage of their base than a VTOL aircraft based there.

    They could even equip them with floats/skis for water landings & take offs!

    In such a case such a remote outpost would be better protected with a rigid airship with a tether that could be released to very high altitude and a large internal radar and a few AAMs on board... it could defend itself and offer an excellent unobscured view of the surrounding terrain for thousands of kms around... with low operating costs... power could be provided via a tether from the base itself.... With little to no vibration and internal weapons bays the AAMs could be used for years without replacement until they are used or used in tests, so very low costs, but excellent performance and data that could be fed to the national grid of VKKO battle management ...
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    Post  Tsavo Lion on Sat Dec 23, 2017 9:19 pm

    The Mi-26 can bring 20T of supplies, as AN-12, no need to build long airstips.
    http://www.airforce-technology.com/projects/milmi-26heavylifthel/
    There r many small civilian airports with helipads: 19 in the FE, 32 in Siberia, both icl. in the Arctic, & a few dozen undesignated (dual use), + 23 AFBs in all regions:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_airports_in_Russia#List

    4 y. ago: http://barentsobserver.com/en/security/2013/12/putin-orders-new-airports-strengthens-arctic-control-11-12

    https://thebarentsobserver.com/en/arctic/2017/08/sky-rocketing-growth-remotest-russian-arctic-airport

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pevek_Airport

    STOVL fighters on small TAKRS/CVs will not be going too far & will be supported by land based aviation, so mid-sized CV/Ns r not that essential. If/once those r built in needed #s, small TAKRS/CVs can be repurposed as helo carriers & assault ships. Russia needs them anyway!


    Last edited by Tsavo Lion on Sat Dec 23, 2017 11:03 pm; edited 1 time in total
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    Post  Peŕrier on Sat Dec 23, 2017 10:32 pm

    An improvised airfield, with no adequate logistical link by paved motorway, railway or harbour (if built near an harbour) it's the aeronautical equivalent of what a pocket is for a land force cut away from its logistical bases.

    Let's say you have half a dozen combat aircrafts (really a token force!), requested/expected to perform two sorties each per day.

    Let's assume 6 tons of fuel and 2 tons of ordnance for each sortie (a really standard payload, nothing extreme).

    It makes 6 x 6 x 2 = 72 tons of fuel daily, plus 6 x 2 x 2 = 24 tons of ordnance daily.

    That means each single day of operations you need to bring 96 tons only in fuel and ordnance.

    Then come food, water, spare parts, repairing materials for the improvised base itself to bring there on time almost every day.

    So to support only six aircrafts, you have to haul daily more than 100 tons of materials.

    Ok, every day a couple of Il-476 land there and unload everything needed... what do you say? There is only a short strip of dirt and some lilipads?

    So it could happen a transport aircraft breaks the undercarriage on landing, or an engine takes some unexpected tear and wear because the less than optimal landing strip. It is called attrition.

    You end rapidly earmarking more than just two Il-476 to support your six magnificent VTOL combat aircrafts dispersed in some spot amidst of nowhere.

    Four or five of such detachments of VTOL combat aircrafts to support and you run out of heavy transport aircrafts.

    And just forget of little tactical transports aircrafts: if you need to send half a dozen of them daily to support half a dozen combat aircrafts, there is something wrong, even wronger than sending a couple of Il-476, because you are multiplying the crews and the aircrafts (requiring maintenance every N cycles) adding more burden on your logistical structure and draining even more resources.

    Having at least a paved road is mandatory, then is far more efficient, if dispersion is a key feature in your strategy, to follow the swede's way: just build sections of your road networks able to be operated by CTOL combat aircrafts as landing strips.

    Because even JAS-39 Gripen is a CTOL aircraft, it is not a STOL, but designed to be able to take off and land on stretches of roads that were  intentionally built to function as makeshift airfields. So there has been a very strict relationship between how and how long those stretches of roads were built, and what take off and landing characteristics were required from Gripen on the designing phase.

    Nothing forbid to build stretches able to withstand landings of far heavier aircrafts, like a Mig-29 if not a Su-35, and long enough to grant a safe landing under operational conditions.

    In the long run, far more credible than sending VTOL aircrafts in the tundra....

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