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    PAK FA, T-50: News #1

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    Post  Zivo on Tue Sep 25, 2012 4:52 pm

    Is he a pilot, has he flown both aircraft? Never read comments on anything related to military tech on youtube. There's just to many ignorant people, and you will get PO'ed just scrolling through them.
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    Post  SOC on Tue Sep 25, 2012 9:01 pm

    TR1 wrote:A sphere has a uniform, low RCS signature if properly treated.

    An actual sphere, yes.

    Now, in the case of circular (i.e. "not spherical") exhaust nozzles, you can run into a similar problem that Lockheed ran into with the A-12. In that example, caustics generated RCS spikes from the circular intake lips. Will it make that much of a difference with the T-50? Sure, but only from rear aspects. Given that the T-50 is mostly intended to point and shoot at other things flying about, I doubt it's much of a problem.

    So, you two managed to kinda sorta both be right and both be wrong at the same time pwnd

    A solution to this is a serrated edge on the nozzle like you see on the F-35 or F-16 LOAN testbed. Given that the T-50 apparently isn't yet flying with the production engines, such a feature could easily be accomodated. Like Garry mentioned, they'll probably sort out a lot of the minute details like this on an RCS testbed before incorporating them into production airframes, although I'd guess that they'd also be trialled on a retrofitted or purpose-built prototype as well.
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    Post  Aegean on Tue Sep 25, 2012 10:19 pm

    SOC wrote:
    TR1 wrote:A sphere has a uniform, low RCS signature if properly treated.

    An actual sphere, yes.

    Now, in the case of circular (i.e. "not spherical") exhaust nozzles, you can run into a similar problem that Lockheed ran into with the A-12. In that example, caustics generated RCS spikes from the circular intake lips. Will it make that much of a difference with the T-50? Sure, but only from rear aspects. Given that the T-50 is mostly intended to point and shoot at other things flying about, I doubt it's much of a problem.

    So, you two managed to kinda sorta both be right and both be wrong at the same time pwnd

    A solution to this is a serrated edge on the nozzle like you see on the F-35 or F-16 LOAN testbed. Given that the T-50 apparently isn't yet flying with the production engines, such a feature could easily be accomodated. Like Garry mentioned, they'll probably sort out a lot of the minute details like this on an RCS testbed before incorporating them into production airframes, although I'd guess that they'd also be trialled on a retrofitted or purpose-built prototype as well.

    The F-16 LOAN is a key point. There is a lack of such an aircraft evidence from Russia.

    There might be one, but there are no pictures of a plane testing any such engine, or indeed an old engine with a new type serrated nozzle.

    And my point on the IRST was NOT its shape. Wink

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    Post  TR1 on Tue Sep 25, 2012 10:32 pm

    KomissarBojanchev wrote:One person on youtube said that the F-22 is more agile than the T-50 because it has larger rudders and that 3D thrust vectoring only makes a tiny difference in maneuverability compared to 2D

    People say a lot of things on you tube.

    Notice how the PAK-FA has all moving tail, unlike the F-22.
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    Post  TR1 on Tue Sep 25, 2012 10:32 pm

    [quote="Aegean"][quote="GarryB"]


    The IRST sensor at the front of the plane is the primary sensor, yes ? the secondary sensors scattered around the plane cannot have the same performance. A simple enough deduction.

    The F-35 has its primary sensors placed in such a way as to provide that 360 field of view.

    The sensor at the front of the T-50 has what 60+- degrees off centerline ? maybe more, I don't know.



    That is like saying, the F-35s primary sensors is the large installation bellow the nose...the rest cannot be as powerful because they are secondary.
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    Post  SOC on Tue Sep 25, 2012 11:23 pm

    Aegean wrote:The F-16 LOAN is a key point. There is a lack of such an aircraft evidence from Russia.

    There might be one, but there are no pictures of a plane testing any such engine, or indeed an old engine with a new type serrated nozzle.

    Lack of evidence is not lack of existance. The West had no idea about the scope and extent of Soviet biological warfare programs until Pasechnik defected, nor of the existance of a lot of Soviet-era weapons programs during the Cold War. Now, this doesn't mean that a lack of evidence should be ignored, just that it can't be cited as irrefutable proof that something does not or cannot exist.

    Besides, who knows what sort of things NPO Saturn is bench testing behind closed doors? It could be that this is a feature that just isn't ready for testing in the air yet, especially if there's something physically mating it to a specific engine model. Or it could be that the RusAF and Sukhoi place lower importance on rear-hemisphere (and by proxy all-aspect) RCS and don't see the need to go to this effort, thereby saving a small bit of cash in the process.

    Who knows. We'll figure it out eventually.
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    Post  GarryB on Wed Sep 26, 2012 5:34 am

    I am inclined to ask why you think the vortices will be what the designers wanted? It is as much an assumption as it is mine. The F-22 and the T-50 have very similar wings, why would one need the vortex fence and the other not?

    Because the F-22 designers want a high altitude plane that supercruises at mach 1.3-1.4 and would not need to fly in a regime where the leading edge slats would be deployed (ie high lift and low speed like takeoff and landing)

    The PAK FA designers on the other hand want their plane to be able to knife fight which means low speed turning performance and nose pointability... situations where a vortex near the wingtip stopping the air flowing along the wing and over the tip creating drag improves lift and manouver performance by effectively making the wing act like it is larger than it actually is.

    I don't think the F-22 designers are stupid either.

    The difference however is the Russian designers have had plenty of time to look at the F-22 and the F-35 and learn from the mistakes already made.

    They also have to keep in mind the requirements of their customer which are different from those of the F-22 and F-35.

    Besides the slats are I think extended even in level flight. All the photographs I have seen of the T-50 at level flight show them used. Perhaps I am wrong.

    Low speed low level flight they are deployed to create a more curved wing shape that generates more lift at the cost of a small increase in drag. At high speed the slats would be straight creating a relatively flat wing shape with very low drag to allow supersonic flight.

    The IRST sensor at the front of the plane is the primary sensor, yes ? the secondary sensors scattered around the plane cannot have the same performance. A simple enough deduction.

    Does that not apply to the F-35 as well? The other sensors on the F-35 are not as large as the main forward looking sensor.

    The other sensors are designed to detect incoming threats like missiles and are more part of the self defence suite than target acquisition and engagement.

    The F-35 has its primary sensors placed in such a way as to provide that 360 field of view.

    Only the forward looking sensor on the F-35 is of any size, and despite having 360 degree view... which is no better than that fitted to the Su-35BM or Mig-35 or PAK FA, the primary IR sensor is forward looking.

    The sensor at the front of the T-50 has what 60+- degrees off centerline ? maybe more, I don't know.

    It is optimised for air to air use. For air to ground use the PAK FA has an external pod.

    One person on youtube said that the F-22 is more agile than the T-50 because it has larger rudders and that 3D thrust vectoring only makes a tiny difference in maneuverability compared to 2D

    The T-50 has all moving tail planes, while the F-22 has small control surfaces along the trailing edge of very large very fixed tail surfaces.

    If 3D thrust vectoring makes so little difference why has the F-35 got a round 3D TVC nozzle?

    Besides, who knows what sort of things NPO Saturn is bench testing behind closed doors?

    Have heard that they actually have some very powerful engines they want to put in the new plane...

    Or it could be that the RusAF and Sukhoi place lower importance on rear-hemisphere (and by proxy all-aspect) RCS and don't see the need to go to this effort, thereby saving a small bit of cash in the process.

    Or it could be that they already know from discussions that the Indian Air Force want a much more stealthy aircraft than the Russian Air Force is demanding so they will leave the high stealth rear end till the Indian money and expertise come on board and then offer the final results to the Russian Air Force. If the price per aircraft can be kept to a non frightening level, they might decide that the extra stealth will not end up costing too much over the life if the aircraft. Who knows how many hundreds of millions of dollars the USN saved by making the F-18 a mach 1.8 plane instead of a mach 2.4 plane. Along with its low cost maintainence design it has to get credit as a very good plane... shame they went all super hornet on it and ruined it economically. Razz

    Lack of evidence is not lack of existance.

    Or, Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Smile
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    Post  TR1 on Wed Sep 26, 2012 6:18 am

    Honestly I don't believe this whole "IAF has higher stealth requirments than the RuAF".

    IAF still flies MiG-21s, while RuAF has always been top tier AF.
    Russian defense budget is bigger, and domestic purchases are much cheaper, so I don't see an argument of money.
    I would be interested in seeing how much of the Indian money actually develops anything, and isn't used in setting up production in India.
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    Post  GarryB on Wed Sep 26, 2012 7:24 am

    I think you are reading it the wrong way.

    The question of stealth level comes down to cost... for the sake of discussion lets assume the F-22 is the most stealthy aircraft, followed by the F-35 and then the F-117. Assuming the new technology in both design and production/materials is the reason.

    The F-117 could be made today using more modern materials to a greater precision resulting in better real world performance, but lets assume they represent three different levels and choices for stealth level.

    If you are designing and building a stealth aircraft there is no point in aiming for F-22 level stealth if the resulting aircraft will cost you 250 million per aircraft to buy, and then spends 40 hours in maintainence for every hour in the air.

    By scaling back the level of stealth required and revising the way RAM is used the F-35 has reduced stealth capabilities at what should have been lower costs... to buy and to operate... this should have been multiplied by the large numbers of aircraft bought domestically and for export, but they fudged it and now will have a cheap light plane that is just as expensive as the big capable plane it was supposed to operate with to replace all existing fighters in the inventory.

    The result is that 4th gen fighters will stay in service much longer than was intended.

    They made the same mistake with the F-35 as they made with the C-17... by spreading around production all over the US and indeed around the world they have made it too big to fail and no senator will vote against it because it will likely cost jobs and them votes in elections.

    It is too big to fail... and too expensive to afford.

    My point is that for Russias purposes of self defence they don't need super stealthy all aspect stealth aircraft to enter enemy airspace with fully operational iADS systems operating and to be able to take it apart piece by piece.

    Equally unlike the F-35 they don't need to run in stealthy and leave under the cover of F-22s.

    India will almost certainly have higher stealth demands for their aircraft because they will want them to operate in and near Chinese air defences which are more formidable than most eastern european setups that border the Russian airspace the Russians PAK FAs will be operating in.

    The cost however is that higher levels of stealth will impact performance, and it will also be more expensive to both buy and to maintain... and will not result in an invincible aircraft either.

    Think of the F-22 as a sniper with a very good long range rifle... and a pocket knife for close in fighting.

    Its main problem is that its long range weapon homes in on reflected radar energy so for instance against another F-22 it will likely end up as a close in fight... which shifts the advantage to the aircraft with the best manouver capability... The PAK FA doesn't need to be some sort of invisible ghost that no radar can detect... with support of a few NEBO-M units and other ground based radar and space based radar it will be able to locate F-22s and F-35s and other PAK FAs for that matter. The problem for the PAK FA at the moment is what to do about it? The tiny radar seeker in a modern AAM is impressive in its performance, but not so good against stealth aircraft so even if your datalink tells you exactly where an F-22 is an R-77 shot would not work because just the same as the F-22s AMRAAM will not detect and lock on to the PAK FA, the R-77 will have the same problem with the F-22... except the IIR model...

    With an IRST and L band radar the PAK FA is very well equipped to find stealthy targets... the next piece of the puzzle is the ability to engage stealth targets at long range... hense IIR becomes important.

    The passive seeker can be looking all the way to the target and with command guidance the PAK FA can guide the missile to within 5km of the F-22 which should allow the missile plenty of opportunity to detect and engage the F-22.

    The F-22 will likely detect the PAK FA with its own sensors too, but AMRAAM wont get a lock... what is it going to do? It can either try to close the distance and get whacked by an IIR guided R-77 or even IIR guided RVV-BD, or it can run away and get whacked with the IIR guided RVV-BD.
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    Post  Austin on Wed Sep 26, 2012 7:31 am

    Personally I dont think Russia would share a gold plated configuration of PAK-FA FGFA to any one including India.

    It would be an export model based on Indian needs , you can always use sementics like i have higher stealth requirenment but there is no way for IAF to know what RuAF requirenment for stealth are or capabilities.

    We dont even know the real capabilities of RuAF Mig-31 or Su-34 or Su-35 all we see is advertised export model specs of Aircraft and Weapons.

    As long as IAF gets what its asked and paid for it will be happy.
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    Post  TR1 on Wed Sep 26, 2012 8:17 am

    The closer the Indian and Russian variants are, the better for both services in terms of cost and induction speed IMO.
    Looks like IAF has completely moved away from the two-seat bird (as yours truly predicted Wink ). Very good news.
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    Post  Austin on Wed Sep 26, 2012 8:23 am

    Both birds will be similar in many aspect but they wont be identical because of Opsec reasons.

    IAF and RuAF would want to protect their own bird and make sure the other does not know all the details.

    I can easily bet the RuAF bird would be advanced in key aspect but I am sure RuAF will never talk about it in public , all we would see is specs of export model and most would be easily fooled in believing what they see and yes Janes and Aviation Week will play a key role in propagating this lie .opps Truth.
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    Post  Sujoy on Wed Sep 26, 2012 8:26 am

    TR1 wrote:Honestly I don't believe this whole "IAF has higher stealth requirments than the RuAF".

    IAF does have higher stealth requirements in order to penetrate deep , overlapping air defense networks . Even Sukhoi acknowledges it in it's releases .

    http://www.sukhoi.org/eng/news/company/?form=print&id=3905

    TR1 wrote:IAF still flies MiG-21s, while RuAF has always been top tier AF.

    The Mig 21 is an Outstanding fighter . It was meant from the very onset to be a dogfighter . Till this date no fighter has better turns than the Mig 21 . The IAF continues to fly Mig 21 , Mig 23UBK and Mig 27Ms. The reason why they have not been replaced is because fighter aircrafts are not replaced ( by IAF)on a per-unit basis, but on the basis of nett deliverable firepower.

    TR1 wrote:Russian defense budget is bigger, and domestic purchases are much cheaper, so I don't see an argument of money.
    China's defense budget is higher than Russia's and domestic purchases are more cheaper than Russia's because the Communist part determines the price. So what ? Defense budget depends on a whole lot of things . The lifecycl costs of your inventories takes the biggest chunk out of your defense budget . Countries like France, Saudi Arabia , UK have higher defense budgets than India's because they have bought equipments ( like EF 2000 ) that have huge lifecycle costs . India buys equipments whose lifecycle costs are lower . Therefore , it frees a lot of money to be invested in purchasing newer hardware. India remains the largest importer of defense hardware .

    TR1 wrote:I would be interested in seeing how much of the Indian money actually develops anything, and isn't used in setting up production in India.

    Production facilities already exists in India . Infact part of the cockpit engineering process for the F 18 Super Hornet is also carried out by HAL in it's facilities as they have excess capabilities . FGFA will keep evolving for a fairly long time. The 18-month preliminary design phase which ends in 2012, will be followed by an R&D phase for India that HAL has estimated at 7 years. India is paying Sukhoi $35 billion for the development and subsequent transfer to India of 250 FGFA . This is a JV from the very onset . Even if it had not been a JV but like the JSF program , partner nations still have to pledge a significant amount to the development process.

    The “Tactical Technical Agreement” between HAL & Sukhoi clearly states where the money will go .
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    Post  TR1 on Wed Sep 26, 2012 10:38 am

    Austin wrote:Both birds will be similar in many aspect but they wont be identical because of Opsec reasons.

    IAF and RuAF would want to protect their own bird and make sure the other does not know all the details.

    I can easily bet the RuAF bird would be advanced in key aspect but I am sure RuAF will never talk about it in public , all we would see is specs of export model and most would be easily fooled in believing what they see and yes Janes and Aviation Week will play a key role in propagating this lie .opps Truth.

    Certain level of Opsec is granted (IFF equipment, some EW+datalinks), but given the Indian monetary relation plus the "special status" amongst Russian customers, I wouldn't bet the changes will be significant, assuming export law does not interfere + MOD does not have an issue with latest stuff being exported.

    However selling India the same advanced systems just makes them cheaper for Russia, plus there is no possible scenario where the IAF is an enemy (the two countries have barely any conflicting interests)...so logically I don't see any reason to not share "the good stuff".

    Then again I don't believe that some of things exported to India even have the "export" restrictions. The same nation that got to trial the Mi-24 by fire while the USSR was fighting in A-stan, and a "sneak" peak @ the MiG-29...isn't going to be limited by some non-enforceable missile restriction treaties. I am referring to Klub here...sure hope the Indians were instructed what to modify to get the full Kalibr range out of the system.
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    Post  TR1 on Wed Sep 26, 2012 10:48 am

    Sujoy wrote:

    IAF does have higher stealth requirements in order to penetrate deep , overlapping air defense networks . Even Sukhoi acknowledges it in it's releases .

    http://www.sukhoi.org/eng/news/company/?form=print&id=3905

    I don't see any aknowlegement there (or anywhere for that matter) that the IAF stealth requirement is explicitly more stringent in RCS or includes a bigger emphasis on all round stealth.



    The Mig 21 is an Outstanding fighter . It was meant from the very onset to be a dogfighter . Till this date no fighter has better turns than the Mig 21 .

    MiG-21 was good for its time, but it is hopelessly ancient by todays standard, in most areas. Its turn rate is outdated compared to modern 4th gens.


    China's defense budget is higher than Russia's and domestic purchases are more cheaper than Russia's because the Communist part determines the price. So what ?

    Well, uhh, if we look at recent years, China has inducted VASTLY more equipment than Russia has, so that money is definitely talking.

    India remains the largest importer of defense hardware .

    True, but that is not a good thing from a "cost effectiveness" perspective- it is cheaper for an AF to induct a domestic fighter. Just look @ how much the RuAF is paying for eash Su-34, compared to say what the IAF is paying for a SU-30MKI.

    Production facilities already exists in India .
    New facilities, production lines, tooling, everything will have to be developed for something as advanced as the PAK-FA. When will the first Rafale roll out of India? Likely not for years.


    The “Tactical Technical Agreement” between HAL & Sukhoi clearly states where the money will go .
    SO far though, all of these releases have been generalities about development, nothing specific regarding what systems will actually originate from India. Now, I suspect we will see Indian indigeniziation of EW systems, pilot interface, and perhaps weapons, but what else?
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    Post  Sujoy on Wed Sep 26, 2012 11:47 am

    TR1 wrote: I don't see any aknowlegement there (or anywhere for that matter) that the IAF stealth requirement is explicitly more stringent in RCS or includes a bigger emphasis on all round stealth.
    Just reading out loud from the link – “The fighter is being developed on the basis of the Russian perspective aviation complex (PAK FA) according to stringent technical requirements of the Indian side. The further development of the program envisages design and development of a two-place version of the aircraft and integration of an advanced engine with increased thrust."Had IAF's stealth requirement been the same as that of the RuAF what was the need for the PAKFA/PMF . India would have got the T 50 at the same time that Russia would have been inducting this into it's AF.

    SOme additional reading from Sukhoi releases :

    http://www.sukhoi.org/eng/news/company/?id=3905
    TR1 wrote: MiG-21 was good for its time, but it is hopelessly ancient by todays standard, in most areas. Its turn rate is outdated compared to modern 4th gens.
    Please note these are upgraded MIG 21 (Bisons).The extremely high g turns of the Mig 21 guarantees that it survives most modern missiles and guns.The Mig 21 intercepts on counter headings, an engagement through visual detection is nearly impossible. If Ground Controlled Intercept is used, the controller will compute a lead distance (9 kms to 27kms) for the aircraft to start a turn which will roll the MiG-21 out on the tail of the target. MOdern day fighters use BVR missiles from WVR to hit targets.
    TR1 wrote: Well, uhh, if we look at recent years, China has inducted VASTLY more equipment than Russia has, so that money is definitely talking.
    And also vastly more inferior equipments . After spending billions they have realized that they cannot produce cutting edge weapons and are therefore trying to purchase SU 35 & S 400 from Russia.
    TR1 wrote: True, but that is not a good thing from a "cost effectiveness" perspective- it is cheaper for an AF to induct a domestic fighter.

    Isn't that what the Eurofighter consortium had also said when they joined hands for the EF 2000 project . Today no one can afford the EF 2000 for it's extremely high procurement cost.

    TR1 wrote: Just look @ how much the RuAF is paying for eash Su-34, compared to say what the IAF is paying for a SU-30MKI.

    SU 30 MKI cost $30 million a piece ; SU 34 costs $36 million a piece.
    Since no more Mirage 2005 will be manufactured in India those production lines will be utilized for the development of the Rafale . It’s more a question of how many can be produced in a year rather than when . Also , it will have to be determined whether importing Rafales will be more cost effective than producing them in house.

    TR1 wrote: [b]SO far though, all of these releases have been generalities about development, nothing specific regarding what systems will actually originate from India. Now, I suspect we will see Indian indigeniziation of EW systems, pilot interface, and perhaps weapons, but what else .
    Oh absolutely they have been . 25% of the work will be done by HAL ( remaining by Sukhoi).Hal willinclude the mission computer and critical software (building on Indian SU-30MKI work), navigation systems, cockpit displays, counter-measures dispensing (CMD) systems, composites expertise .How else did they arrive at how the development cost will be split. EW systems for the FGFA will partly be imported from Israel & partly be developed in house. Weapon systems no. No one here is working on weapons that can be stored internally .


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    Post  Austin on Wed Sep 26, 2012 12:38 pm

    TR1 wrote:Certain level of Opsec is granted (IFF equipment, some EW+datalinks), but given the Indian monetary relation plus the "special status" amongst Russian customers, I wouldn't bet the changes will be significant, assuming export law does not interfere + MOD does not have an issue with latest stuff being exported.

    However selling India the same advanced systems just makes them cheaper for Russia, plus there is no possible scenario where the IAF is an enemy (the two countries have barely any conflicting interests)...so logically I don't see any reason to not share "the good stuff".


    There are many ways to skin the cat , Club is one example and in the book Russian Air Power , A Russian Airforce Top Offical was quoted as saying the Su-27SM3 was better then Su-30MKI in many aspect.

    This can be an endless debate since we would never know what exactly RuAF PAK-FA and IAF FGFA will get and I am sure the IAF too wont have clue on what going inside Russian PAK-FA but they wont mind as long as they get what they want.

    So we just let this debate pass if IAF thinks its requirenment is more "stringent" then RuAF then so be it , Russian Air Force will never come and confirm or deny that statement and in the end we will never know.
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    Post  Aegean on Wed Sep 26, 2012 2:50 pm

    GarryB wrote:I think you are reading it the wrong way.

    The question of stealth level comes down to cost... for the sake of discussion lets assume the F-22 is the most stealthy aircraft, followed by the F-35 and then the F-117. Assuming the new technology in both design and production/materials is the reason.

    The F-117 could be made today using more modern materials to a greater precision resulting in better real world performance, but lets assume they represent three different levels and choices for stealth level.

    If you are designing and building a stealth aircraft there is no point in aiming for F-22 level stealth if the resulting aircraft will cost you 250 million per aircraft to buy, and then spends 40 hours in maintainence for every hour in the air.

    By scaling back the level of stealth required and revising the way RAM is used the F-35 has reduced stealth capabilities at what should have been lower costs... to buy and to operate... this should have been multiplied by the large numbers of aircraft bought domestically and for export, but they fudged it and now will have a cheap light plane that is just as expensive as the big capable plane it was supposed to operate with to replace all existing fighters in the inventory.

    The result is that 4th gen fighters will stay in service much longer than was intended.

    They made the same mistake with the F-35 as they made with the C-17... by spreading around production all over the US and indeed around the world they have made it too big to fail and no senator will vote against it because it will likely cost jobs and them votes in elections.

    It is too big to fail... and too expensive to afford.

    My point is that for Russias purposes of self defence they don't need super stealthy all aspect stealth aircraft to enter enemy airspace with fully operational iADS systems operating and to be able to take it apart piece by piece.

    Equally unlike the F-35 they don't need to run in stealthy and leave under the cover of F-22s.

    India will almost certainly have higher stealth demands for their aircraft because they will want them to operate in and near Chinese air defences which are more formidable than most eastern european setups that border the Russian airspace the Russians PAK FAs will be operating in.

    The cost however is that higher levels of stealth will impact performance, and it will also be more expensive to both buy and to maintain... and will not result in an invincible aircraft either.

    Think of the F-22 as a sniper with a very good long range rifle... and a pocket knife for close in fighting.

    Its main problem is that its long range weapon homes in on reflected radar energy so for instance against another F-22 it will likely end up as a close in fight... which shifts the advantage to the aircraft with the best manouver capability... The PAK FA doesn't need to be some sort of invisible ghost that no radar can detect... with support of a few NEBO-M units and other ground based radar and space based radar it will be able to locate F-22s and F-35s and other PAK FAs for that matter. The problem for the PAK FA at the moment is what to do about it? The tiny radar seeker in a modern AAM is impressive in its performance, but not so good against stealth aircraft so even if your datalink tells you exactly where an F-22 is an R-77 shot would not work because just the same as the F-22s AMRAAM will not detect and lock on to the PAK FA, the R-77 will have the same problem with the F-22... except the IIR model...

    With an IRST and L band radar the PAK FA is very well equipped to find stealthy targets... the next piece of the puzzle is the ability to engage stealth targets at long range... hense IIR becomes important.

    The passive seeker can be looking all the way to the target and with command guidance the PAK FA can guide the missile to within 5km of the F-22 which should allow the missile plenty of opportunity to detect and engage the F-22.

    The F-22 will likely detect the PAK FA with its own sensors too, but AMRAAM wont get a lock... what is it going to do? It can either try to close the distance and get whacked by an IIR guided R-77 or even IIR guided RVV-BD, or it can run away and get whacked with the IIR guided RVV-BD.

    If I am not mistaken, (and I could be) an IRST inherently cannot tell you the vector of the target it is picking up. Which means you have insufficient data to plot a firing solution for the missile you intend to fire. i.e. the launch parameters may be completely wrong for a long range shot.

    The whole sniper/ killer hunter argument is the one I always advocated, I am however wondering if those design choices are coming from cost considerations or something else.
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    Post  SOC on Wed Sep 26, 2012 11:55 pm

    GarryB wrote:Or it could be that they already know from discussions that the Indian Air Force want a much more stealthy aircraft than the Russian Air Force is demanding so they will leave the high stealth rear end till the Indian money and expertise come on board and then offer the final results to the Russian Air Force.

    I could buy that. If India intends the FGFA to have penetrating capability, then all-aspect LO would be more important.

    GarryB wrote:India will almost certainly have higher stealth demands for their aircraft because they will want them to operate in and near Chinese air defences which are more formidable than most eastern european setups that border the Russian airspace the Russians PAK FAs will be operating in.

    Exactly.

    GarryB wrote:The tiny radar seeker in a modern AAM is impressive in its performance, but not so good against stealth aircraft so even if your datalink tells you exactly where an F-22 is an R-77 shot would not work

    Actually, if you have a good enough radar track to fire an R-77, you can likely get it close enough for the seeker to acquire the target. You need to get closer than you would with a non-LO target, but if you have a good enough track already via Nebo-M or onboard sensors than you can conceivably take the shot.

    And I could be wrong but I don't think the F-35 has any sort of TVC, just a basic faceted nozzle fit for rear-hemisphere reduction.

    Sujoy wrote:After spending billions they have realized that they cannot produce cutting edge weapons and are therefore trying to purchase SU 35 & S 400 from Russia.

    If I recall correctly the Su-35 thing turned out to be incorrect. 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. But, how is the J-20 not "cutting edge"?
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    Post  Aegean on Thu Sep 27, 2012 12:42 am

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


    The only thing we know about it so far, is that is is black and very very big.

    I don't expect China to come forward with details about it, but from the little we have seen there are things that we can point out.

    The odd shape of the wings, the odd shape of the canards, the non edge alignment of some surfaces and other little things like that.

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    Post  TR1 on Thu Sep 27, 2012 1:00 am

    Austin wrote:

    There are many ways to skin the cat , Club is one example and in the book Russian Air Power , A Russian Airforce Top Offical was quoted as saying the Su-27SM3 was better then Su-30MKI in many aspect.


    I actually have that book, and I am 100% sure that Official was talking out of his ass.
    He was taking about Su-27SM, not even SM3, but there is no way either of them is superior to MKI in most parameters (cough avionics cough).

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    Post  GarryB on Thu Sep 27, 2012 2:15 am

    Personally I dont think Russia would share a gold plated configuration of PAK-FA FGFA to any one including India.

    I agree, but that is not what India are paying for.

    As with the Su-30M, they got a base of an aircraft that was largely undeveloped and they added the bits and pieces they wanted to suit their needs and came up with the Su-30MKI which was an excellent aircraft. The Russians looked at that and added their own extra stuff they were working on for the PAK FA program and created the Su-35BM.

    The Su-35BM is not an Su-30MKI warmed over, but it certainly benefited from the work Sukhoi did with Indian, French, and Israeli companies on the Su-30MKI.

    It would be an export model based on Indian needs , you can always use sementics like i have higher stealth requirenment but there is no way for IAF to know what RuAF requirenment for stealth are or capabilities.

    Actually we could say that the Indians are interested in a higher level of stealth, and indeed all round stealth, whereas the Russians want to maintain manouver capability, so it might end up that the Indian model is more stealthy, but that will likely cost more in terms of purchase price and operational costs. If they can get the extra stealth without compromising manouver capability you might actually see the Russians adopting similar features to the Indian model and them being more alike.

    The Indian model will likely have French and Israeli components... hey imagine the Indian model being stealthy enough that France and Israel are tempted to buy it themselves instead of the F-35.... Twisted Evil

    At the end of the day I suspect the Indian model will have flat nozzle engines for extra stealth while the Russian model will retain round nozzles unless there is a breakthrough in rectangular models.

    Of course I have already mentioned a solution... why limit to circular or rectangular... hexagonal or other multisided shapes should offer better stealth than round while offering the potential for 3D thrust vectoring... Smile

    At the end of the day the divergent wishes of the two parties suggest to me that Russia will come out with an Su-35BM, while India will come out with an Su-30MKIM.

    As long as IAF gets what its asked and paid for it will be happy.

    Exactly. No one else is offering joint development of a 5th gen fighter... even Britain with its special relationship is not even allowed the source code to the F-35 despite helping to fund the development program.

    The closer the Indian and Russian variants are, the better for both services in terms of cost and induction speed IMO.

    I don't agree. If India is going to spend this sort of money they might as well get exactly what they want. Why should Russia want to use Indias version of the aircraft?

    Both sides should work together to develop exactly what each country wants and needs and the final product for India will suit India, but the work involved will also indirectly benefit Russia because of the experience it gets and the new technologies developed that can be applied to their own aircraft if they want.

    Looks like IAF has completely moved away from the two-seat bird (as yours truly predicted Wink ). Very good news.

    Not surprising. In a 4th gen multirole fighter there are a lot of tasks the pilot needs to perform. Having two crew simplifies this and makes the aircraft more effective and responsive. A 5th gen fighter is totally different with the computers doing rather more of the work and presenting processed concise information to the pilot. The pilot becomes a manager. Obviously is it critical that the pilot is not overwhelmed with complex data, so the computers combine the data from all the sensors both onboard and on other platforms and processes it, and just gives the pilot the processed info... it is comparable to the difference between a real old fashion radar screen and a radar screen in a computer game. A real screen shows all sorts of blips and patches, whereas a computer game screen often has the outline of a map and displays dot that is coloured to tell you it is a friendly or an enemy along with information about its height and speed and an arrow showing its flight direction.

    5th gen fighters are trying to be more like old computer flight simulators in terms of ease of use where things like engine temperature is automatically monitored and you never had to worry about oil pressure, or indeed pulling the wings off in tight manouvers.

    IAF still flies MiG-21s, while RuAF has always been top tier AF.

    If Russia had not decided to withdraw all single engined fighters they probably would still have a large number of such aircraft in service as they were cheap and simple to maintain. Even now they still have Mig-25s in service for Recon use.

    so logically I don't see any reason to not share "the good stuff".

    Share is the wrong word. Sell is a better word. If India is prepared to pay for top secret production technology, then Russia will likely sell it... and use the money to further improve and develop new technologies.

    More likely however India might decide to buy equivalent technology from France or Israel.

    sure hope the Indians were instructed what to modify to get the full Kalibr range out of the system.

    If they don't work it out themselves... hey, why is this enormous central fuel tank empty and filled with lead weights? nudge nudge wink wink.

    MiG-21 was good for its time, but it is hopelessly ancient by todays standard, in most areas. Its turn rate is outdated compared to modern 4th gens.

    It was so cheap to operate, and really most of the electronics replaced with new, a new engine, a new AESA radar, and of course RVV-MD, RVV-SD, RVV-BD missile compatibility and a new larger wing with 8 under wing pylons and wing tip pylons, plus five belly positions for 4 semi conformal R-77s and a huge jamming pod on the centre line and you get a small cheap plane... planes don't need to be super manouverable... they aren't going to out turn an R-73 let alone a newer missile anyway.

    True, but that is not a good thing from a "cost effectiveness" perspective- it is cheaper for an AF to induct a domestic fighter. Just look @ how much the RuAF is paying for eash Su-34, compared to say what the IAF is paying for a SU-30MKI.

    Not strictly true as the Su-30MKI costs a lot because it includes development costs. The Su-34 development costs were paid separately, so the unit cost is just the unit cost now... which has been subsidised by exports that have generated revenue that Sukhoi have invested in development of all their aircraft.

    Generally licence production is more expensive than imports... but the extra money goes into your own economy so often it is money well spent.

    A Russian Airforce Top Offical was quoted as saying the Su-27SM3 was better then Su-30MKI in many aspect.

    A more recent development probably uses newer components, and also there is context... he might have been saying the Su-27SM3 was better for the Russian Air Force than the Su-30MKI. After downsizing their military the Russians don't have an enormous pool of air crew so having one crewman aircraft suits them better when appropriate.

    Or it could simply be a case of bravado... ours are best.

    If I am not mistaken, (and I could be) an IRST inherently cannot tell you the vector of the target it is picking up. Which means you have insufficient data to plot a firing solution for the missile you intend to fire. i.e. the launch parameters may be completely wrong for a long range shot.

    IRSTs have better angular accuracy than radar, but they lack ranging information on the older models. If the missile is a BVR missile then you can be pretty sure that a target detected by IRST is within range. A quick bit of trig by flying to one side could give you a rough estimate of range, but as I have said... with an IIR guided missile range is not a huge factor as it can be looking for the target from launch and look all the way. With an ARH missile like R-77 if you did that then the target would get a warning it was under attack because of the radar signal getting stronger and stronger as it approached, so to fire an R-77 you need the approximate distance to the target so an intercept box can be calculated that might be 5km square... the missile will fly to 10km short of that box where the target could have moved to while the missile was in flight and then scan for the target... all the places the target could be will be directly in front of the missile so it should find it quickly and home in on it. Without that range information the missile might fly past the target before it starts scanning and miss it completely.

    The point is that the IIR guided missile should be able to detect anything the IRST detects, though with a smaller sensor it might be at closer range, so launching the missile the launch aircraft can continue to monitor the target with the IRST completely passively while the missile gets closer and closer to the target its smaller sensor will eventually spot the target, get a lock on and guide. If immediately after launch the target suddenly turns or accelerates then the launch aircraft can send a command signal via datalink... the same way it would for an AMRAAM or R-77 for the new intercept point... the thing is however that because the IIR homing missile is actively scanning for targets all the way then the only critical range parameter is the max range of the missile and with IIR R-77s and IIR RVV-BDs (ie 110km and 280km) the max flight range will be 5-10 times less than max range so there should be no problems of the missiles running out of steam.

    [quoteThe whole sniper/ killer hunter argument is the one I always advocated, I am however wondering if those design choices are coming from cost considerations or something else. [/quote]

    The design choices are coming from the choices the US made with the F-22. Making a plane very stealthy is a compromise that reduces the performance of active radar guided weapons and sensors. To make the F-22 less of an emitter it receives datalink information from NATO Link networks, but does not transmit information despite having a powerful capable radar and the ability to operate over enemy territory.

    These choices make it harder to detect with high frequency radar and harder to kill with radar guided weapons (which due to their size are generally high frequency too)..., the solution is longer wave radar on the ground and in the air, and IIR. The cheap way? I don't think so, but the cost of making a high frequency radar powerful enough to detect stealthy targets at useful ranges would be very expensive, and of course ultimately flawed, because it is not enough to just detect... you have to engage as well and missiles have small radars that are not as powerful as those that can be fitted to the nose of an aircraft.

    Actually, if you have a good enough radar track to fire an R-77, you can likely get it close enough for the seeker to acquire the target. You need to get closer than you would with a non-LO target, but if you have a good enough track already via Nebo-M or onboard sensors than you can conceivably take the shot.

    True... because of the way distance effects radar performance if you can get the R-77 to within a few kms then it still might get a lock, but having an IIR guided model, or a combined IIR and ARH model would be the best choice... just to be sure. Smile

    And I could be wrong but I don't think the F-35 has any sort of TVC, just a basic faceted nozzle fit for rear-hemisphere reduction.

    I might be thinking of the VSTOL model.

    I actually have that book, and I am 100% sure that Official was talking out of his ass.
    He was taking about Su-27SM, not even SM3, but there is no way either of them is superior to MKI in most parameters (cough avionics cough).

    It was probably better because of the RuAF markings on it... Smile
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    Post  TR1 on Thu Sep 27, 2012 3:46 am

    Sujoy wrote:
    Just reading out loud from the link – “The fighter is being developed on the basis of the Russian perspective aviation complex (PAK FA) according to stringent technical requirements of the Indian side. The further development of the program envisages design and development of a two-place version of the aircraft and integration of an advanced engine with increased thrust."Had IAF's stealth requirement been the same as that of the RuAF what was the need for the PAKFA/PMF . India would have got the T 50 at the same time that Russia would have been inducting this into it's AF.

    The PAK-FA is not a definitive article yet, so the Russian side itself is developing it. I don't read it as, the Indians are taking the finished PAK-FA, and changing it to meet more stringent requirements. The two sides can have different tailoring in their final products, but I fail to see anything that says Indian side has higher requirements.


    Please note these are upgraded MIG 21 (Bisons).The extremely high g turns of the Mig 21 guarantees that it survives most modern missiles and guns.The Mig 21 intercepts on counter headings, an engagement through visual detection is nearly impossible. If Ground Controlled Intercept is used, the controller will compute a lead distance (9 kms to 27kms) for the aircraft to start a turn which will roll the MiG-21 out on the tail of the target. MOdern day fighters use BVR missiles from WVR to hit targets.

    Bison is a nice upgrade, but at the end of the day the MiG-21 is outdated hopelessly before any up-to date 4th gen platform. Why has the IAF been pushing so many programs to replace MiG-21? MMRCA, Tejas? MiG-21 was agile for its time, but it is not even rated for the same g-forces that modern planes are.



    And also vastly more inferior equipments . After spending billions they have realized that they cannot produce cutting edge weapons and are therefore trying to purchase SU 35 & S 400 from Russia.

    I take issue with that. They may not have inducted "cutting" edge equipment, and imported some weapons + liberally applied foreign designs, but at the end of the day, in both naval, ground and air platforms they ave inducted a LOT of decent platforms over the past few years. Much more than either India or Russia. They certainly are not trying to purchase large quantities of the Su-35


    Isn't that what the Eurofighter consortium had also said when they joined hands for the EF 2000 project . Today no one can afford the EF 2000 for it's extremely high procurement cost.

    Well, Euroghter is a cross-national consortium, Russia does not have nearly the kind of hurdles that sort of multinational project faces.

    SU 30 MKI cost $30 million a piece ; SU 34 costs $36 million a piece.

    The 30 million price tag is old isn't it? What is the real price they are paying today? For example the recent batch of 42 they ordered from Russia costs a lot more than 30 million a pop, even accounting for the non-airframe parts of the deal included in the price.

    Oh absolutely they have been . 25% of the work will be done by HAL ( remaining by Sukhoi).Hal willinclude the mission computer and critical software (building on Indian SU-30MKI work), navigation systems, cockpit displays, counter-measures dispensing (CMD) systems, composites expertise .How else did they arrive at how the development cost will be split. EW systems for the FGFA will partly be imported from Israel & partly be developed in house. Weapon systems no. No one here is working on weapons that can be stored internally .
    Makes sense; what I am curious about is what Indian soruces components will make it on Russian/Exported PAK-FA?


    I am terrible at multiquote, apologies to all Sad
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    Post  TR1 on Thu Sep 27, 2012 3:59 am

    GarryB wrote:



    so it might end up that the Indian model is more stealthy, but that will likely cost more in terms of purchase price and operational costs. If they can get the extra stealth without compromising manouver capability you might actually see the Russians adopting similar features to the Indian model and them being more alike.

    Honestly this is what I don't see. Any specifics to the Indian version being more stealthy/less manuevrable. Realistically, what can make the aircraft have more all round stealth? The engine installation and nozzles; if any changes happen there they will be made by Russian companies. I don't see the RuAF ignoring such changed, plus, we already know the nozzles will be different in the final model.

    At the end of the day I suspect the Indian model will have flat nozzle engines for extra stealth while the Russian model will retain round nozzles unless there is a breakthrough in rectangular models.

    This I disagree with completely. I think the Indians will go for whatever engine nozzles the RuAF goes for.

    I don't agree. If India is going to spend this sort of money they might as well get exactly what they want. Why should Russia want to use Indias version of the aircraft?

    So far, the versions have been getting closer with every passing month; two seater requirement dropped, etc. Divergence on something as major as body shape and engine installation will be detrimental to speed of induction for the IAF.

    Both sides should work together to develop exactly what each country wants and needs and the final product for India will suit India, but the work involved will also indirectly benefit Russia because of the experience it gets and the new technologies developed that can be applied to their own aircraft if they want.

    I guess we will see, but I am willing to bet that the Indian version will not have any major, stealth reducing difference that the RuAF doesn't want.

    If Russia had not decided to withdraw all single engined fighters they probably would still have a large number of such aircraft in service as they were cheap and simple to maintain. Even now they still have Mig-25s in service for Recon use.

    Not as old as the MiG-21. The Mig-25 is only in use in several units these days, and thats because it still has some uniue characteristics. The MiG-21 offers none of that, the only reason thr IAF uses it is because the Tejas program has been moving as fast as molasses and ditto for MRCA.

    Share is the wrong word. Sell is a better word. If India is prepared to pay for top secret production technology, then Russia will likely sell it... and use the money to further improve and develop new technologies.

    Or better yet, from the outset agree on the scale of RCS reduction both parties want, pool the resources and not complicate the process down the line.

    Not strictly true as the Su-30MKI costs a lot because it includes development costs. The Su-34 development costs were paid separately, so the unit cost is just the unit cost now... which has been subsidised by exports that have generated revenue that Sukhoi have invested in development of all their aircraft.

    True to some extent, but India also paid a lot to set up Su-30MKI production, and I have zero belief that cost goes into calculating per-unit cost today. The difference in modernizing NAPO and starting Su-34 production in house compared to acquiring the SU-30MKI production process from scratch, and still importing components from Russia, I think is substantial.
    But my whole point was I don't see a financial argument for the IAF affording a more advanced PAK-FA than Russia.


    To summarize I see a lack of actual evidence that the Indian version will be any stealthier then the RuAF bird.
    China is also a potential rival for Russia, and they have a MUCH bigger border.
    RuAF things of the USAF as an adversary, so you bet they want the best performance they can get.
    I don't see a financial argument, or one of technological inability either.
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    Post  GarryB on Thu Sep 27, 2012 4:39 am

    This I disagree with completely. I think the Indians will go for whatever engine nozzles the RuAF goes for.

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

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

    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.

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

    So far, the versions have been getting closer with every passing month; two seater requirement dropped, etc. Divergence on something as major as body shape and engine installation will be detrimental to speed of induction for the IAF.

    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.

    I guess we will see, but I am willing to bet that the Indian version will not have any major, stealth reducing difference that the RuAF doesn't want.

    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. This will create some fundamental differences... just as there are fundamental differences between the Su-30MKI and the Su-35BM... one is a two seat and the other is a single seat aircraft.

    They have changed their minds regarding the two seat requirement they previously had, but that could be because it would reduce the stealthiness of the aircraft in addition to the extra cost. The Russian reassurances that two crew are not needed because of the sophisticated avionics suite might have had less to do with that decision than the reduction in stealthiness.

    Not as old as the MiG-21. The Mig-25 is only in use in several units these days, and thats because it still has some uniue characteristics. The MiG-21 offers none of that, the only reason thr IAF uses it is because the Tejas program has been moving as fast as molasses and ditto for MRCA.

    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.

    Now they of course have NATO to protect them and their choice might be largely economic, but are three Mig-21s with modest upgrades of a decent radar and R-77 and R-73 missiles plus a helmet mounted sight and a really big centreline pod jammer going to work out that some single bog standard worn out early model Mig-29 or F-16 for that matter?

    With a digital electronic overhaul it could be a very capable little fighter even today.

    Or better yet, from the outset agree on the scale of RCS reduction both parties want, pool the resources and not complicate the process down the line.

    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. 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. If, however the Indians want highly a stealthy rear end and a weapon bay capable of holding 5 medium range missiles in each and spend the money to develop that and that results in a shift of the engines another metre apart and flat engine nozzles with 2D thrust vectoring both changes greatly reduce manouver capability and increase weight then the Russians might decide they don't care about the reduction in RCS because it reduces manouver performance too much and continue with their own designs.

    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.

    As long as India gets what it wants it wont care.

    As long as Russia gets paid for what it does then it wont care either.

    True to some extent, but India also paid a lot to set up Su-30MKI production, and I have zero belief that cost goes into calculating per-unit cost today.

    The difference is that after all is said and done that Su-30MKI production plant will be there for other projects and other jobs, so if it is used to make other things then its cost is spread over multiple projects.

    I don't see a financial argument for the IAF affording a more advanced PAK-FA than Russia.

    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.

    A large spanner is not better than a smaller spanner... they are different tools that perform similar jobs on different sized components. The different sized components are used in different roles... a big spanner might be needed for a big bolt that holds together something very important. The small spanner might be needed for a small nut that holds a panel in place.

    If the big bolt comes loose the whole machine might fail. If the small nut comes loose the panel might fall off and weather might get into the electronics and cause the machine to fail. The big spanner is not better than the small spanner as such. Except to say that if Russia has lots of Bolts and no nuts then a Big spanner is what it needs and the small spanner is useless. If India has small nuts and no big bolts then the small spanner is best and the big spanner is useless. It is the job that makes sense of the situation.

    You could argue that Russia might "need to penetrate NATO airspace and Chinese air space" so they need super stealthy aircraft too.
    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.

    Talking about capability both these aircraft will be put into service and problems will be found and changes in doctrine will be made while both these aircraft are in service and during upgrades features will be added and removed on both aircraft.

    Talking about this is more advance than the other is a bit silly IMHO... especially as neither exists in its operational form at the moment anyway.

    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.

    What each side actually puts into service is another question.

    RuAF things of the USAF as an adversary, so you bet they want the best performance they can get.
    I don't see a financial argument, or one of technological inability either.

    Stealth costs money. The higher the level of stealth require requires more and more money in an exponential curve to the point where you are putting in billions of dollars and getting smaller and smaller reductions in RCS.
    When designing a stealth aircraft you need to set a limit and it appears India is setting it higher than Russia is.
    The extra level of capability will however have a cost in terms of maintainence, production, and performance.

    The more stealthy bird might need more careful and longer maintainence, and in terms of production they will need higher quality machine tools and will get more rejects during production which will further increase the purchase price, and of course the increase in stealth might effect other aspects like manouver capability, or engine thrust... (2D thrust vectoring with rectangular nozzles, plus radar blockers in the intakes etc etc).


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