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    PAK DP prospective long-range interceptor

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    ALAMO


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    Post  ALAMO Sat Oct 21, 2023 1:53 pm

    lancelot wrote:The MiG-25 was just the latest in a long line of long range interceptors. When the Soviets designed their air defense network after WW2 they knew the ground based air defense network would never be able to cover 100% of Soviet territory. So they conceived of a flying radar platform/interceptor to plug in the gaps. Due to limitations in miniaturization of electronics for the radar and missiles back then the platform had to be huge.
    So they conceived the La-250. Unfortunately the La-250 requirements were slightly beyond the limit of the technology of the day so the project ended up being cancelled. However it led to later development of the successful Tu-128 aircraft in the same role. The Tu-128 itself was later replaced by the MiG-25, and the MiG-31.

    Actually, the general size of the platform was made by the engine size rather than onboard electronics.
    R-15 is a huge one, about 6.5 m long and 1m diameter. It is 2m more than R-33 and 1.5m more than AL-31. The same goes for weight, it is 2-2.5x heavier than the next generation.
    It was needed to achieve unmatched speed and flight duration.
    If there is anything to blame, here is your candidate Laughing

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    wilhelm


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    Post  wilhelm Wed Jan 10, 2024 5:29 pm

    I wonder if the Mig31M is playing a role in the start off in this programme..
    1 prototype and 6 pre-production units were manufactured, but the end of the cold war and end of the USSR stopped production and introduction into service.
    It had a host of new improvements,  including airframe modifications, and more powerful engines.
    Does anyone know where those airframes are in Jan 2024?
    I saw on another forum that one/some/all have been moved from their usual storage location, as per satellite photos.
    GarryB
    GarryB


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    Post  GarryB Thu Jan 11, 2024 2:07 am

    AFAIK the M upgrade was deemed too expensive at the time and was shelved and later on when more money became available they applied the less ambitious BM upgrade which improved various things of course and introduced the R-37M missile too, but didn't introduce all the upgrades, like the one piece front portion of the canopy to improve forward vision, or the LERX extensions on the wings and of course also not the new belly arrangement allowing 6 x R-37s to be carried at one time in belly positions.

    I seem to remember they also had upgraded engines that were 16.5 tons thrust instead of the engines currently used with 15.5 tons thrust each.

    I rather think that as they develop new technology for the new PAK DP that they can test and apply some of that technology to the MiG-31 as it is cleared for use to directly improve the existing fleet and also give a proper operational test for the equipment and systems so by the time the PAKDP is ready most of its systems are mature and fully operational.

    Obviously some components wont be able to be tested like the new engines that allow it to fly mach 4.2... the MiG-31 wont be able to handle that aerodynamically I suspect... but newer lighter heat resistant materials would a be rather good way of improving the MiG-31, but also giving real world testing for the materials in operational conditions to see how they hold up for long periods of time being heated to high temperatures in flight and then landing on airfields that might be minus 30 degrees C...

    Reducing airframe weight without reducing strength or heat resistance is always the goal of all aircraft designers and taking a few tons off the weight of the aircraft would make a significant difference I suspect. Improvements in shaping and aerodynamics might also improve performance too.

    I notice on the MiG-35 that the LERX has a sharp edge and also flaps that open, presumably it energises the vortexes better to improve handling and control... it is also applied to the MiG-29M and MiG-29K, and might reduce RCS as well.

    It is always good to apply new ideas and technologies to older platforms because it means you can get it into service faster and test it in the real world to see if it has any problems.

    The problem with the Zumwalt and LCS and Ford class ships was that they were introducing a lot of new technologies all at once which makes fault finding difficult... you might be trying to find out why something isn't working properly when it is working just fine but the things it is connected to that it relies on to work are causing the problem... and that could be because the things they are connected to are not working properly.

    They could have put that new gun on any number of different ships they have and work it through to get it working and shooting properly.
    lancelot
    lancelot


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    Post  lancelot Thu Jan 11, 2024 3:06 am

    The MiG-31 airframe is made of stainless steel and is basically eternal. Continuous upgrades to the engines and electronics in the aircraft make much more economic sense. If you go to the trouble of making a new airframe you might as well put that money into PAK DP.
    Mir
    Mir


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    Post  Mir Thu Jan 11, 2024 6:02 pm

    @Wilhelm

    I don't think so - simply because much of the technology that was incorporated into the Mig-31M was already implemented on the much later Mig-31BM. Everything in that design is already dated  so I think whomever is going to design the PAK-DP, is going to work from a clean sheet of paper to start with. The only thing it will have in common with the Mig-31M is that it will be a long range interceptor. The rest will be 6th Gen. It's going to be a big leap from a 4th generation interceptor to the 6th - and I believe the specs (and the risks) are rather high.

    On the other hand I personally would like to see something flying at Mach 3+ speed but with long range hypersonic missiles to take out whatever is out there. It will be less ambitious but it would also be a more affordable undertaking as well. If that is the case - then yes the Mig-31M may well be in there somewhere.

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    GarryB
    GarryB


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    Post  GarryB Fri Jan 12, 2024 7:56 am

    The MiG-31 airframe is made of stainless steel and is basically eternal. Continuous upgrades to the engines and electronics in the aircraft make much more economic sense. If you go to the trouble of making a new airframe you might as well put that money into PAK DP.

    I don't agree, when you are developing new materials that have similar or better heat resistance capabilities but are much lighter then it would make sense to experiment with replacing existing heavy parts with much lighter parts perhaps of the same shape and design or perhaps an improved design that improves airflow and performance while being rather lighter.

    Operational experience with new materials might lead them to realise that it might work in a lab but operational conditions don't allow it to be so effective and that maybe it might retain strength at higher temperatures, but expansion issues or vibration or stress issues appear... this is a case of using new materials to improve existing platforms and to get the new materials into service so the guys supporting these aircraft can learn the new properties and how to work with them.

    I don't think they should do radical things to redesign the MiG-31 to be MiG-41 like, but there will be things they can upgrade and improve using new materials and computer models to reduce RCS and drag and reduce weight.

    Reducing 1 ton of structure weight means reduced fuel burn and better acceleration and flight performance because you are not carrying 1 ton of excess weight everywhere. Reduced fuel burn means you can fly further for longer, or you can just use less fuel for the same jobs.

    I don't think so - simply because much of the technology that was incorporated into the Mig-31M was already implemented on the much later Mig-31BM. Everything in that design is already dated so I think whomever is going to design the PAK-DP, is going to work from a clean sheet of paper to start with.

    Have to agree... I doubt they carried very much across from the MiG-29M and Su-27M aircraft designs from the 1980s to the 2010s MiG-35 and Su-35 because most technologies have moved on in that time frame. Even the shift from CRTs in the 1980s to LCD screens now is a dramatic shift in performance and weight and space.

    I would say most of the more useful things of the MIG-31M programme did get made in the MiG-31BM that there wasn't enough left over to make building MiG-31Ms now worth while.

    The only thing it will have in common with the Mig-31M is that it will be a long range interceptor. The rest will be 6th Gen. It's going to be a big leap from a 4th generation interceptor to the 6th - and I believe the specs (and the risks) are rather high.

    I think they could do with the MiG-31BM and the MiG-41 or whatever it will be called what Sukhoi did with the Su-35 and Su-57, where instead of making the Su-35 out of things developed for the old Su-27M, that they developed brand new stuff for the Su-57, and put cheaper simpler versions in the Su-35 to test and get experience with.... they were both single seat fighters so the tasks would not be totally different but of course the Su-35 was never going to have the sort of stealth the Su-57 has, just like the MIG-31 is not going to have the speed or range etc that the MiG-41 will have.

    The point is that in the case of the MiG-31 that applying new technology and systems and weapons and equipment to an aircraft already in service allows you to deploy and take advantage of new systems faster and test them in realistic conditions to see if they actually work and if there are any hidden problems or issues... so those problems and issues can be solved before the MiG-41 even starts flying.

    The first MiG-41 Serial aircraft might essentially be a MiG-41M because its systems and equipment has all been tested and improvements have been started and are ready to test too.

    Of course that is the ideal process that Sukhoi managed to go through... even to the point of using Su-57 production experience to make a single engined light fighter family member on the profits, which could really sell in enormous numbers... and do so on merit rather than bullying or corruption.
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    ALAMO


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    Post  ALAMO Fri Jan 12, 2024 8:00 am

    lancelot wrote:The MiG-31 airframe is made of stainless steel and is basically eternal. Continuous upgrades to the engines and electronics in the aircraft make much more economic sense. If you go to the trouble of making a new airframe you might as well put that money into PAK DP.

    Stainless steel cracks due to wear as well bro.

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