GarryB wrote:Seems to be the trend today.... the Eurofighter entered service well before all its capabilities and systems were ready.
I think people are not appreciating the problems with AESA production... the MiG-35 has an array of over 1,000 by 1,000 transmit/receive modules... that is 1 million modules per aircraft... which is a lot to produce.
the first ones can be hundreds or even thousands of dollars each to make but over time and improvements in production the quality and production capacity goes up and the dud rate goes down... remember a dud module costs the same amount to make as a good module... you just can't use it on a radar antenna.
At the end of the day if the first 30 aircraft don't have an AESA that is not the end of the world... as later planes get the AESA radars the production numbers will increase as will production capacity and new designs and new technology to make them better and cheaper... once that happens those first production aircraft can get replacement radar antenna fitted for rather less money than it would cost if they sold them with under tested and under developed experimental models.
Well actually there are other problems in that AESA radar other than its delay . One of them is its limited range compared to western AESA radars . the range of the radar with 960 modules is up to 160 km for air targets . This was shown by KRET at Aero India 2015 and was offered to India