There are claims, that Russian air force will this year receive its first PAK FA. Anyone knows, if this will be one of prototypes or first pre-serial plane?
Likely just a prototype for testing... might be a new build rather than an existing prototype.
F-22 does not come not nearly as close in speed and range. PAK-FA will probably surpass it in range but not in speed.
An important aspect too is that while some aircraft can fly very fast they can't do so for very long as heat build up can damage components and parts.
The Mig-31 for instance can fly as long as it likes at mach 2.4, but at mach 2.6 it has a flight time limit of about 5 minutes before it needs to slow down again.
Pogo already stated they are seeing a supersonic range more than twice that of the Su-27.
This is a case in point regarding supercruise... the Su-27 can fly about 4,000km in most models at subsonic speeds, but its supersonic range is about 700km. That means that when a supercruising aircraft is involved the Su-27 will have to use AB to keep up which as you can see will nullify its huge range advantage. For an aircraft like the Mig-31 it will have no effect because there is no supercruising aircraft that can supercruise at over mach 2 so to keep up or to have speed superiority it will need to burn fuel at a high rate too... except of course the SR-71 which is unarmed.
A supercruising range of 1,400km would be very useful as it means the aircraft can remain in super cruise mode for longer.
I'm not sure. I've heard that the R-33 was not very impressive (comparatively speaking; it didn't have to be a world-beater to be shot at cooperative, high-RCS targets like a B-52)
Errm... the data released about the R-33 was something like a missile released from 10,000m that hit a target at 20m altitude that was x distance away... sounds to me like they were testing it against cruise missiles too.
And a B-52 would be anything but cooperative... they had and have all sorts of electronic jiggery pokery to prevent them being defeated.
It did use redesigned internal components and different aerodynamics, hence the reprofiled wings and added canards.
Missile design technology had improved over the time before and after Donald, and the R-33S certainly likely took advantage of that.
The question becomes whether or not there's any sort of tactical utility in being at Mach 2 vs. Mach 1.7.
If you want to decline the fight then mach 2 gives you a choice... though make sure your DIRCMs are set to kill...
Supercruise is getting past Mach 1 and sustaining supersonic flight without using afterburners. Supersonic cruise is simply the ability to sustain supersonic speeds. Concorde, the SR-71, the MiG-31...these are supersonic cruise aircraft, not supercruisers.
To follow on from this... supercruise is a bit of a gimmick it doesn't really matter how you get to be supersonic... to get that extra push to break the sound barrier using AB is not that big a deal as using it just to cross the speed of sound doesn't use an enormous amount of fuel.
For most 4th gen fighters flying supersonic means full AB to break the speed of sound and then continuing to use an AB setting to maintain supersonic speed. For supersonic cruising aircraft they need AB to break the speed of sound but can maintain flight at supersonic speeds using dry thrust without AB. Supercuise aircraft can break the speed of sound and maintain supersonic flight without AB. In practical terms the difference between supercruise and supersonic cruise is not nearly as important as the condition the aircraft can maintain supersonic speeds.
Stealth aircraft easily supercruise because all their weapons are internal and dont generate drag. For an aircraft like the Mig-31 that could supersonic cruise around the place at mach 1.5 or so with a full weapons load then that capability is rather more valuable than for an aircraft with a seriously limited weapon load (either external or internal).
Getting some place fast makes no sense if you have no weapons... aircraft are delivery platforms for their weapons.