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    VVS Russian Air Force: News #1

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    Post  GarryB on Fri Feb 25, 2011 1:01 am

    Russia will buy 10 new generation S-500 air defense systems, which will
    replace the S-400 systems currently entering service with the Russian
    forces, said First Deputy Defense Minister Vladimir Popovkin, who is in
    charge of arms procurement.

    WHAT?

    They only have about 2 deployed batteries of the S-400 and they want to replace it with S-500?

    Please tell me that is a translating error and he means the S-500 will replace the S-400 around Moscow and other places they have been intending to put ABM protection and that they will be produced together with S-500 as an ABM system and S-400 as a replacement for S-300 as a SAM and anti theatre ballistic missile system.
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    Post  Vladimir79 on Thu May 12, 2011 7:19 am

    Russian Defense Ministry to buy transport aircraft An-140

    Russian Defense Ministry has ordered seven light transport aircraft An-140. Told the head of the board of directors of OJSC "Motor Sich" Vyacheslav Boguslayev.

    According to Interfax, Boguslayev said that the decision was made not to build a military transport version of the turboprop aircraft IL-112. Instead, the Russian Defense Ministry has made an order for seven aircraft An-140.

    He also noted that plans to make cargo version of the An-140, designed to carry up to 6-7 tons of cargo. AN-140 - a joint product of Russia and Ukraine.

    Previously reported that the Samara plant Aviakor signed a contract with the Ministry of Defense to build turboprop transport aircraft An-140-100. According to the press service of the enterprise, a regional 52-seater passenger jet AN-140-100 included in the list of defense contracts and will be used for special tasks military.

    AN-140 was created to replace the outdated transport aircraft An-24 and AN-26, some of which are operated in the military.
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    Post  Austin on Thu May 12, 2011 7:41 am

    It makes sense to use An-140-100 for Light Transport ,which is operational and available and has equal or better specs compared to IL-112V instead of reinventing the wheel and develop a new type.

    This is a good decision.
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    Post  GarryB on Tue Jun 07, 2011 6:31 am

    So under the current reforms the Russian military has changed from 6 to 4 military districts and each district command structure has complete control of all forces within its area except for Airborne forces, Strategic Missile Forces, and Air and Space defence forces.

    This means Army, Navy, and Airforce units are under one command in each district.

    I think this will mean that the Airborne forces will need their own transport aircraft, fixed wing and helos if it is to be truely independent.

    The Air and Space defence forces is relatively new and is basically the PVO plus all the over the horizon radars and space tracking bits of the Strategic Missile forces.

    Their new role is to monitor the air and space above Russia to look for and deal with intruders.

    The PVO had its own budget and its own custom designed equipment. A Flanker of the PVO forces had different radar frequencies and different missiles that were not compatible with Frontal Aviation Flankers for instance.
    The PVO tended to use datalinks and had much tighter control of aircraft than Frontal Aviation did.
    Aircraft unique to the PVO included the Tu-128 Fiddler which was a huge long range interceptor. Other aircraft used by the PVO included the Su-9, Su-11, and Su-15 series interceptors. The Su-9 and Su-11 looked like Mig-21s but were much larger and were pure interceptors. They also were the major user of the Mig-31 and Mig-25 in the interception role.

    I therefore assume that the air and space defence branch of the military will get its own budget and will likely be looking for new designs to upgrade its existing equipment.
    I look forward to see what they want to replace the Mig-31...
    There is no huge hurry, but developments with the PAK DA might be relevant if it is a large supercruising long range aircraft with a large radar and a significant payload capacity.
    Perhaps a non stealthy PAK DA scaled down a little with a reduced number of engines that can supercruise over strategic distances and with the extreme stealth features removed to reduce costs would be ideal. There is a whole range of new AAMs being developed for the PAK FA that can be launched from internal weapons bays, so these weapons could easily be compatible with a future interceptor variant of a PAK DA... and perhaps even by the PAK DA itself.

    With longer wave radars mounted on wing leading edges of fighters... imagine the sort of arrays that could fit on a flying wing design... Quite useful for an interceptor.
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    Post  Austin on Tue Jun 07, 2011 6:50 am

    Mig-31 will be replaced with some variant of PAK-FA and perhaps Mig-31 will be the last breed of dedicated interceptors
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    Post  GarryB on Tue Jun 07, 2011 7:02 am

    PAK FA would be a poor replacement for the Mig-31.

    A replacement for the Mig-31 needs long range but also high speed... and not high dash speed, it needs to be able to fly around all the time at high speed.

    It doesn't need stealth.

    It needs the capacity to carry lots of heavy missiles and it needs a large powerful radar to find small elusive targets.

    That doesn't say PAK FA to me.

    Bigger aircraft are more expensive to operate, but long range and high speed are necessities.

    To be honest probably the best two options right now to replace the Mig-31 would be a Mig-31 with new 5th gen 18 ton thrust engines, and a new large AESA radar.
    The other option that I like too is put a new huge AESA in a Tu-22M3 with 6 long range two stage R-37M AAMs in the rotary launcher in its bomb bay.
    Conformal missile positions covering the belly of the aircraft could also be used to carry 20-24 missiles meaning that a single Backfire could replace four Mig-31s.
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    Post  Austin on Tue Jun 07, 2011 7:04 am

    Certainly they wont be funding a dedicated manned interceptor after Mig-31 so it could be PAK-FA derivative or some big UCAV.
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    Post  GarryB on Wed Jun 08, 2011 7:25 am

    Why wouldn't they fund a dedicated long range high speed interceptor?

    They are funding a light 5th gen fighter.

    Remember that it is not the Air Force that will be paying for it... now that the PVO is transferred to the Air and Space Defence structure that is not subordinate to the four military districts they will likely get money thrown at them.

    The Mig-31 is very successful at what it does, there is no reason to suspect they will not replace it with a customised design.

    The focus is not on stealth but long flight range at high average speed with the biggest and most powerful radar they can shoehorn into the nose of the aircraft.

    To be brutally honest the Su-34 would be a better candidate than PAK FA.

    Besides the PAK FA will not be very cheap anyway, and would be more use in places where dogfighting and manouver are important. Interceptors need long range radars and big missiles and to launch those missiles from high altitude and high speed to maximise the range of those missiles.

    Should add that in addition to the reforms I mentioned above the Army Aviation has been moved to the Air Force and also the coastal fighter and anti ship/strike component of the Navy has also been transferred to the Air Force.

    That is a whole lot more Tu-22M3 airframes for the Air Force, and Su-24s as well.
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    Post  Austin on Wed Jun 08, 2011 7:49 am

    GarryB wrote:Why wouldn't they fund a dedicated long range high speed interceptor?

    Probably because UCAV can do a better job or for manned fighter PAK-FA can do the same job , they can fit long range missile on external pylons of PAK-FA.

    Mig-31 after modernisation will serve for another 15 year or atleast till 2025 , post that period it would be ucav

    They are funding a light 5th gen fighter.

    The recent news of light fighter based on ACM statement is just a myth , probably lost in translation and stuff like that.

    I think the days of dedicate long range interceptors are gone , it would be big UCAV and Long Range SAM taking that role.
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    Post  GarryB on Wed Jun 08, 2011 9:07 am

    If UCAVs could perform the role then why bother developing the PAK FA... surely a UCAV can do that job too?

    The truth is that hunting enemy cruise missiles and stealth bombers is easier with a huge radar on board and an IRST and real people and I doubt that will change in 15 years.
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    Post  Austin on Wed Jun 08, 2011 9:19 am

    ^^ because PAK-FA was designed 8-9 years back when there was no mature UAV technology forget about UCAV technology.

    15 years from now they would have UCAV technology and netcentric capability to make it useful and viable to replace Mig-31 types if it gets decommisioned from RuAF , I personally think Mig-31 will stay till 2030 after refurbishment.

    Till such time UCAV gets deployed in sufficient numbers they can always use derivative of PAK-FA in that role.
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    Post  GarryB on Wed Jun 08, 2011 10:11 am

    I disagree.

    The Mig-31 can be upgraded with new 5th gen engines and new radar and 5th gen avionics which should make it cheaper to operate... the new engines should even allow super cruising potential if the new avionics reduce weight enough... and of course the new engines should be more fuel efficient as well.
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    Post  Austin on Wed Jun 08, 2011 10:15 am

    GarryB wrote:I disagree.

    The Mig-31 can be upgraded with new 5th gen engines and new radar and 5th gen avionics which should make it cheaper to operate... the new engines should even allow super cruising potential if the new avionics reduce weight enough... and of course the new engines should be more fuel efficient as well.

    They can but for how long , the airframe has technical life and if recent Indian Mig-29 upgrade is an indication , they can extend the airframe life to atleast 20 years , so lets says Mig-31 get deep refit which actually they did and its going on , its 20 more years which is 2025-2030 , unless they start building new Mig-31 they need to be decommisioned.

    So what ever replaces Mig-31 will need to start coming out by 2025 atleast or 15 years from now , good enough time to get UCAV in next 15- 20 years and in interim period get a modified PAK-FA for intercept role.
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    Post  GarryB on Wed Jun 08, 2011 10:25 am

    So far even the countries with the most experience with UAVs have used them for recon and assassination.

    I just really don't think a UCAV will be developed in 15 or 20 years time that can reliably perform air to air roles effectively enough to approach the performance and capabilities of manned aircraft.

    Remember it is not longer the PVO, it is air and space defence... they will likely go to satellites before they go to UCAVs.
    The most likely UCAVs they would employ would be airships rather than fixed wing UCAVs.
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    Post  nightcrawler on Thu Jun 09, 2011 10:53 pm

    @Austin

    I don't think the UCAV is anything but matured. We know because we had the first hand experience in the face of their victims. The precision targeting is all but BS. UCAVs just can't fire an adequately aimed missile but yes its good for recon. Evey time they fire a missile 4-5 civilians get killed * in a documentary US generals himself proclaimed that without public intel from the ground UCAVs are all but dumb
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    Post  Vladimir79 on Wed Aug 10, 2011 7:09 am

    Celestial outlook
    Air Force Commander spoke about the new aircraft and air defense systems, which must be received by the Russian army

    Air force

    Air Force Commander Colonel General Alexander Zelin said Tuesday, as will develop in the next few years he headed the Armed Forces.

    Zelin said that during this year's fleet of combat vehicles of the Russian aircraft filled up with six front-line bomber Su-34. "Last year we had four such machines, this year we get six more," - said Zelin. He added that such an aircraft is not the Americans, "they have departed from this theme."

    "Su-34 protects the crew, but in its maneuvering capabilities and tasks to be solved it is close to the park long-range aviation aircraft. If he will carry cruise missiles, then switch to another class, "- said the commander, passes the RIA "Novosti".

    Zelin said that during training the Air Force Su-34 with two fill-ups for 8 hours flew from Lipetsk to Komsomolsk-on-Amur, and could reach even further, provided refueling.

    In the coming years, said the commander in chief, the defense industry will create aircraft radar detection of a new generation. "We plan to get airplane A-100, a carrier which will be machine Il-476 with PS-90 with long range," - said the Zelin. According to him, the car should be ready by 2016.

    IL-476 is a deep modernization of the military transport aircraft Il-76MD: the fuselage of the new machine is practically not change, but the wing will be different structurally. It will be applied lengthy panel that is used in basic design and technology wing of the IL-96.

    Talking about future models of equipment, the commander in chief has complained that the multi-purpose Su-35 isn't created quickly enough. "As for the Su-35, then work on it do not go as I wanted" - said Zelin.

    According to him, in making this car has some glitches. According to Zelin, on-board equipment and integrated defense system of the Su-35 is inferior American aircraft of the same type.

    "Our plane should be more protected from the air defenses of the enemy," - said the commander in chief.

    At the same time work to create fifth-generation aircraft T-50, according to the commander in chief, going as planned. "By the fifth generation until we go to the chart. Such failure to stop and think about these issues we do not "- said the general.

    Recall that in early July, a number of statements in which the implementation of defense contracts this year has been questioned. The next day, spoke with Anatoliy Serdyukov public statementIn which critics called "alarmists." The Minister admitted that the allocation of funds for the purchase of advanced weapons is uneven, but explained that this unevenness is coordinated with all concerned agencies.

    Unmanned Army and

    The Commander said the decision of the leadership of the Armed Forces decision to transfer an unmanned aircraft in the Army. "Unmanned aircraft is still in its air force, but there is a decision of the General Staff to transfer it into the Army," - said Zelin.

    Mi-X1 - another project of Russian-speed helicopter, developed by Yakovlev Design Bureau. Mil. According to the developers, the car can reach speeds of up to 500 kilometers per hour and used to serve remote areas. According to genkonstruktora Plant, the Mi-X1 in the future can compete with the medium-haul aircraft

    According to him, this issue closely involved in the chief command of Russian Air Force. "Directive Chief of Staff perform" - said the commander in chief.

    He said that in the future of unmanned aircraft operational and tactical plans to pass into the air bases, which are directly subordinated to the commanders of military districts.

    In addition, Zelin said, the Defense Ministry decided in the next decade, nearly double the number of air bases army aviation. "Now in our part of eight air bases army aviation. Until 2020, must have 14 air bases "- leads "Interfax" Commander of the word.

    He confirmed that under the state program of weapons until 2020 is planned to purchase more than one thousand helicopters. The Commander said that the urgency of Army aviation experience confirmed the five-day war with Georgia in 2008.

    Now, said the general, the Air Force are on arms attack helicopters Mi-28N, Ka-52 military transport and combat helicopters of new modifications of the family "Mi". "They are able to operate both day and night" - said captain.

    He also noted that the BBC is extremely interested in the heavy transport helicopter Mi-26, in particular, as a tanker for the Army fuels and lubricants.

    Defense

    Col. Gen. Zelin said that last week on duty barred second anti-aircraft missile regiment equipped with the latest anti-aircraft missile system S-400 "Triumph". Earlier it was reported that by the end of this year to combat mission will begin and the third part of the military, armed with C-400, but Zelin said that before the deadline for combat duty will take not one but two of the regiment.

    The Commander added that plans to supply these systems "have shifted to the right" through no fault of Defense reasons. "The C-400 has problems with long-range missile. Nevertheless, an understanding of the industry is, and I'm optimistic, "- he said.

    Zelin said the Air Force command insists on building a new plant for production of anti-aircraft missile. "We put that question to the leadership of Concern" Almaz-Antey ", - said Zelin.

    Anti-aircraft missile system S-400 is designed to engage all types of aircraft - aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles and cruise missiles. The system can work not only in the air, but also in near space, perform the tasks of non-strategic missile defense.

    On the effectiveness of the defeat of the full range of air targets, S-400 "Triumph" is able to replace three systems of type C-300. "Triumph" is intended to replace the S-300 and C-200 and is highly effective in combating new types of targets - aircraft performed using the technology of Stealth, small-sized cruise missiles and ballistic missiles with a range of less than 3, 5 thousand miles, and speed - 4.8 kilometers per second.

    "Triumph" has unique characteristics and has no analogues in the world. It can simultaneously track 300 targets and fire rockets into 36 of them.

    The Commander also said that the operational-strategic command (USC) military and aerospace defense (ASD) will in the near future, six air defense systems, "Armour-S1", recalling that four such complexes have already arrived in the army. "We got to the Air Force anti-aircraft system," Armour ", four armored anti-aircraft missile system near the action," Armour-S1, "they went on air defense missile regiment of the fourth command USC ASD in Novorossiysk," - said Zelin, without specifying when These complexes were obtained.

    Александр Зелин решил создать новую пилотажную группу (Фото: ИТАР-ТАСС)
    Alexander Zelin, decided to create a new aerobatic teams (Photo: ITAR-TASS)

    Speaking about the new developments, the general announced the creation of an air defense system, "Knight": "She at times exceed the stand in the arms of the Russian air defense system S-300. "The Knight" - a further improvement of the S-300 to increase the combat capabilities at times. "

    "In fact, this new system on a single launcher is displayed instead of 4 missiles 16" - added the commander.

    This system, according to the general, can destroy air targets at the same distances and altitudes, and C-300. "The" Vityaz "significantly increased the number of destination channels simultaneously shelled targets, ability to maneuver," - he said. "This system will be equipped with a completely different missile" - concluded Zelin.

    The Commander also spoke about the development of a new air defense missile system "Morpheus." "This is a short-range system with a maximum range of up to 5 km, it is intended to shield military sites, has both active and passive means of warfare" - said Zelin, transfers ITAR-TASS.

    "Morpheus" would destroy everything that moves within a radius of 5 kilometers, "- he said.

    "Watch" - the forbidden game

    Tell us about yourself on Russia.ru
    In the near future, said the commander in chief, in Russia there will be a new aerobatic team, which will fly a combat-training aircraft Yak-130. "Me was made by the Minister of Defense report on the subject, he held it me, we're going," - said Zelin.

    The Commander explained that the creation of light aircraft aerobatic team will extensively use smoke effects used by aerobatic teams from other countries, including France and Italy.

    Currently in Russia there are several aerobatic teams, the most famous of which - "Swifts" flying the MiG-29, and "Russian Knights" on the Su-27.

    On Tuesday, the commander in chief, confirmed that the dissolution of "Swifts" and "Russian Knights" is not planned. "I have not had any such aspirations. Before you destroy something, it is necessary to create something "- said the general. According to him, the two aerobatic teams, "no one tried and tried to abolish."

    Zelin also said that during a recent trip to the U.S., he invited a group of American "Puffin" to show their flying skills in Russia. "I think that in 2012 Russia in the sky they fly - the confirmation I received," - he said.

    http://vz.ru/society/2011/8/9/513604.html
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    Post  GarryB on Wed Aug 10, 2011 9:14 am

    With their move to mobile medium and especially light brigades those Mi-26s will become critical in the supply chain such mobile forces will need to operate properly.

    Of course such aircraft would need very strong defences because their speed will not be enough on its own to protect them from enemy interference.

    They will need MANTA DIRCMs and all sorts of other protections to defend against enemy attack.
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    Post  Pervius on Wed Aug 10, 2011 2:57 pm

    They shouldn't try to copy the world and create an Air stunt team.

    It wastes aircraft, people, fuel. Assets better used for defense.

    Unless they can sell enough merchandise to civilian populace to subsidize military.....which they can't.

    The Logistics cost alone to constantly move around an Air Exhibition Team is very costly.


    No mention of Russia's UCAV planes. They look pretty.
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    Post  Vladimir79 on Wed Aug 10, 2011 8:01 pm

    Su-35BM and S-400 development is pretty much stalled.
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    Post  GarryB on Thu Aug 11, 2011 6:25 am

    S-400 can go into service without the 400km range missile.

    That is not such a big deal for the moment.

    An Su-35 going into service without its ESM suite however is a more serious issue, perhaps systems developed for the T-50 can be adapted?

    ESM is expensive and complicated and requires all sorts of tricks and tactics to collect signatures of potential enemy weapons, so that they can be recognised and dealt with appropriately.

    It seems a few potential export customers are keen to get their hands on these aircraft, and I am sure the Russian AF is probably quite keen too.

    Hope they can sort this out.

    Clearly they must be developing a system for the T-50 and the system for the Su-34 might also be useful too.

    Or perhaps the hardware is not sophisticated enough...
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    Post  Austin on Thu Aug 11, 2011 8:41 am

    I think when they form the new aerobatic team with Yak-130 , they can disband the Knights and Strigzi .... they are not really rich to afford two aerobatic team.
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    Post  GarryB on Thu Aug 11, 2011 12:07 pm

    If they help sales I would think more display teams would be a good idea.

    Hinds, Havoks, even turboprop trainers.
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    Post  medo on Thu Aug 11, 2011 7:24 pm

    What bothers me in this article is, that he claim they will get first ten Pantsirs only now. Where are those Pantsirs, which were in parade in 2010 and in 2011? I think all those generals are making too much fog in their talkings.
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    Post  GarryB on Fri Aug 12, 2011 2:02 am

    Perhaps they went to testing units?

    Now they are going to operational units?

    Hard to say.

    Just read an article on the state of Russian air force aircraft and it was not actually that impressive.. here is what I read:

    The Title is Air Force Procurement Plans Part I Fighters:

    A long time ago, I promised some folks a report on the air force's procurement plans for the coming decade. Various other projects pushed that to the back burner, but with MAKS 2011 fast approaching, now seems to be the time to resurrect it. The following is largely based on Anton Lavrov's excellent chapter in the CAST center's "Russia's New Army" report. If you know Russian, I encourage you to go read the original. But if not, here's my summary, with some additions based on developments since the report went to press.

    Long term decay
    The Russian Air Force received virtually no new planes or helicopters between 1995 and 2008. This means that by the start of the Medvedev presidency, even the most modern aircraft were 15-20 years old, while many were approaching 30. This means that not only were the planes physically old, but their designs were outdated when compared to Russia's main military rivals. This means that almost none of them were equipped to use guided weapons. Furthermore, lack of money for maintenance meant that many aircraft were no longer in usable condition. Finally, lack of money for fuel meant that pilots did not receive adequate training to maintain or develop their skills, adding to the air force's overall state of deterioration. These problems were exposed during the 2008 war in Georgia, when six planes were lost in five days. Furthermore, the air force was assessed to be ineffective in combat operations due to a combination of its lack of guided munitions and the pilots' limited training.

    Fighter and Ground Attack Aircraft
    Throughout the post-Soviet period, the Russian air force's combat forces have consisted primarily of five types of aircraft:

    Su-24: The venerable Su-24 attack aircraft was introduced into the Soviet air force in 1974. According to warfare.ru, around 320 of these aircraft are in service in the Russian air force.
    Su-25: close air support plane introduced in 1981. Approximately 200 in service.
    Su-27: fourth generation fighter plane introduced in 1984. Approximately 260 in service.
    MiG-29: fourth generation fighter plane introduced in 1983. Approximately 190 in service.
    MiG-31: interceptor introduced in 1982. Approximately 140 in service.
    These planes will remain the primary combat aircraft in the Russian air force for the next decade. Some types have undergone significant modernization.

    Between 2003 and 2008, 55 Su-27s were modernized to the Su-27SM variant, including the installation of new engines, which has substantially extended their expected lifespan. The modernized aircraft are based at the 6987th and 6989th air bases in the Far East. An additional 12 new Su-27SM3 aircraft were ordered from Sukhoi in 2009. Eight of these have already been delivered and the rest will be received by the end of 2011.

    Relatively few MiG-31s have been modernized to the MiG-31BM version that includes improved avionics and navigation systems and better armament. Recent reports indicate that the defense ministry is preparing a contract to modernize another 30 MiG-31s to the MiG-31BM level.

    Substantial purchases of new combat aircraft began in 2008, after a 15 year gap. Initially, the air force bought 28 MiG-29SMT and 6 MiG-29UBT planes, which had been sold to Algeria but were then rejected by the latter ostensibly due to problems with the planes' quality. Despite these concerns, some analysts consider these aircraft to be highly capable because they are equipped with the most modern electronics and the best weapon systems of any aircraft in the Russian air force. An additional 26 MiG-29K aircraft are expected to be purchased in the next five years.

    They are to be supplanted by the Su-35S fighter planes, 48 of which are to be procured in the next five years together with 4 Su-30M2 two-seater trainers. However, there have been significant delays in the development of the Su-35s. The first plane was made available for flight testing in May 2011, five months behind schedule, and the timetable for subsequent aircraft has likewise been extended. The delays have been caused by limited space for final assembly at the Komsomolsk assembly plant, which is busy assembling Sukhoi Superjets for the civilian market. Analysts expect another 24-48 Su-35s to be purchased in the near future.

    Down the road, the T-50 is seen as the future of Russian fighter jets. This heavy fifth generation fighter is being developed jointly by Sukhoi and India's HAL Corporation. The first test flight was conducted in January 2010. The goal is to procure 60 T-50s in the 2016-2020 time period. It is slated to fully replace the remaining Su-27s in the following decade.

    However, there is no obvious replacement for the MiG-29 light fighter jets. The MiG-35's failure in the recent Indian MMRCA tender has left it with few prospects in either the domestic or export markets. In any case, it is not a next generation aircraft such as the American F-35, but merely an extension of the MiG-29 line.

    The situation is somewhat worse for the modernization of Russia's fighter-bombers. The air force has repeatedly declared that the Su-24 is to be replaced by the Su-34, which began development in the mid-1990s. After the first two aircraft were ordered in 2006, then defense minister Sergei Ivanov stated that 44 would be in service by 2010 and 200 by 2015, at which time all the Su-24s would be retired. However, only 6 Su-34s have actually been transferred to the air force as of the end of 2010, in addition to 5 prototypes that were built prior to 2006. Sukhoi seems to be on track to build 6-8 planes per year, which would allow the company to fulfill the 2008 contract for 32 planes by 2014, only a year or so behind schedule. The Russian press is reporting that contracts for another 80 Su-34s will be signed in the next few months. However, at the current rate of construction, it will still take 25 years to build all 200. Sukhoi would have to gradually double the rate of construction to get them built by 2025.

    Because of the delays with the Su-34s, the air force has decided to modernize the existing Su-24Ms, rather than simply replacing them. An initial 30 planes were modernized to the Su-24M2 level, which features improved navigation and weapons control systems and improved armaments, in 2007-09. Further upgrades may occur in the future.

    The air force has also been modernizing its Su-25 close air support planes. Between 2006 and 2010, a total of 40 aircraft were upgraded to the Su-25SM variant, which has improved avionics. Rather than buying or designing new planes, the air force has decided to extend the lifespan of its existing Su-25s to 40 years, allowing them to remain in service through 2030. In the meantime, the air force has ordered 16 Su-25UBM trainer planes, which will be received in the next 2-3 years.

    However, the experience of the Georgia war has shown that the Su-25 is highly vulnerable to enemy fire, because it is armed with unguided munitions and therefore has to approach within 600 to 800 meters of targets if it is to have any chance of hitting them. As a result, three Su-25s were lost and four damaged during the war. These losses should not have come as a surprise to the Russian military, as it sustained similarly high casualty rates on these planes in Afghanistan back in the 1980s. In a recent article, Ilya Kramnik argues that the solution is to restart building Su-25T (aka Su-39) aircraft, which are similar to the Su-25SMs but were designed to use guided munitions in any weather or light conditions. The Russian air force currently operates no more than six such planes, built in the 1980s and early 2000s.

    Overall, the situation with fighter aircraft seems to be relatively good for the long term. Sukhoi (and to a much lesser extent MiG) is in fairly good shape and can continue to supply the air force with relatively modern planes as long as it continues to receive funding. The joint venture with India's HAL Corporation may help in developing better electronic systems for the long term.


    Personally I disagree with the assessment of the Russian AF. The numbers of Georgian hardware left at the side of the road proves they feared the air force more than they feared the ground forces.

    I do agree that relying on Su-25s with dumb bomb and unguided rocket and cannon fire is going to lead to enormous casualties against a well equipped enemy and that something more sophisticated needs to be developed.

    Perhaps Sukhoi and Mil and Kamov could get together and create a unified air to ground package of sensors and weapons that included communications equipment so that the helicopters and close air support aircraft (and any light UCAVs) could communicate directly and could share the same info.
    Things like self defence suites etc could also be jointly worked on to share costs and increase production potential, so that instead of the Ka-52 needing 100 sets of radars for the 30 odd Army Aviation aircraft and 70 odd Naval aircraft, they could buy 700 sets of radars for the 100 Ka-52s, 300 Mi-28N and Mi-28M aircraft and another 300 for the Su-25TM2s.

    The larger production run should reduce costs, and the commonality of the equipment should make cooperation of the aircraft in the air much easier.

    The lack of speed of new aircraft entering service is disappointing, and could be helped by expanding production capacity a little and also easing the urgency by upgrading more existing types... especially low hours airframes that might have been in storage.

    The most important thing is to make sure maintainence and support keep the new ones in service in good service condition and that they get upgrades too.
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    Corrosion

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    VVS Russian Air Force: News #1 - Page 4 Empty Re: VVS Russian Air Force: News #1

    Post  Corrosion on Fri Aug 12, 2011 5:13 am

    GarryB wrote:
    Su-24: The venerable Su-24 attack aircraft was introduced into the Soviet air force in 1974. According to warfare.ru, around 320 of these aircraft are in service in the Russian air force.
    Su-25: close air support plane introduced in 1981. Approximately 200 in service.
    Su-27: fourth generation fighter plane introduced in 1984. Approximately 260 in service.
    MiG-29: fourth generation fighter plane introduced in 1983. Approximately 190 in service.
    MiG-31: interceptor introduced in 1982. Approximately 140 in service.

    These are about 1100 in number. It will be a very difficult job to upgrade most of these or replace these 1 for 1. I am sure we will see more quality than quantity in VVS in future.

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