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    PAK-DΑ: News #2

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    Azi


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    Post  Azi Thu Aug 04, 2022 7:27 am

    Tolstoy wrote:
    GarryB wrote:An air intake above the wing proves its primary use will be at medium to high altitudes where its flight speeds will be highest and fuel burn lowest maximising flight range and endurance, while reducing RCS from below from any angle.
    Criminal waste of resources. Give me one good reason as to why there is a need for a PAK-FA when S-70 Okhotnik already exists?

    Bombers came in handy when UCAVs did not exist. Today a Su-30SM, Su-35, Su-34 paired with a S-70 Okhotnik can perform the same operations far more effectively than a heavy bomber.
    So you would trust a fully automated system like S-70 patrolling with nuclear bombs along US-border? Wink

    First of all...all computers on earth combined have less calculation power than one single human brain! No AI is able to replace a human on battlefield at moment. All drones are operated by operators in a command centre or from a plane as a wingman. But with remote controlled drones you have ONE big problem...in heavy EW environment your million $ drone does exactly what your 20 $ supermarket drones does....NOTHING!

    A drone is in all aspects inferior to a fighter jet. Advantages are less weight because no cockpit, less costs to operate and the operator survives if the drone crashes. In a low intensity conflict like Artsakh conlict drones are ideal because armenians lack good AD systems. In a high intensity conflict against for example NATO jets are necessary and losses unavoidable.

    The best combination of course is the genius of a human brain and the assistance of an AI like in the Su-57!
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    Post  GarryB Thu Aug 04, 2022 3:49 pm

    Criminal waste of resources. Give me one good reason as to why there is a need for a PAK-FA when S-70 Okhotnik already exists?

    To be fair the PAK DA (which is what I think you meant) is replacing the Tu-95 Bear and also the Tu-22M3 in the role of strategic long range cruise missile carrier and medium range theatre bomber and cruise missile/strike weapon carrier.

    The S-70 in comparison is a fighter escort drone that is rather smaller and shorter ranged and would be performing roles that the Su-35 and Su-34 would be doing.

    In many cases the S-70 will be a bomb or missile truck carrying extra weapons and sensors that would enable a group of fighters to send them in to regions that would be unsafe for them to go, or to add extra missiles or bombs to an attack without sending extra aircraft.

    The PAK DA will have a flight range of roughly double that of the S-70 and it will be double while carrying a much heavier payload than the S-70 could carry too.

    Bombers came in handy when UCAVs did not exist. Today a Su-30SM, Su-35, Su-34 paired with a S-70 Okhotnik can perform the same operations far more effectively than a heavy bomber.

    A single PAK DA will be able to deliver more bombs to target than several S-70s... the pairing with unstealthy aircraft negates any stealth advantage the S-70 might have had.

    If anything the PAK DA should be more stealthy than the Su-57 simply because it lacks vertical tail surfaces and engine nacelles hanging under the aircraft.

    In terms of operational costs a subsonic flying wing should be about as aerodynamically efficient as you can get and with subsonic flight it should be the cheapest to operate... most of the operational costs from the F-35 is panels and joints... on a normal plane you unscrew a panel and check what is under there for maintenance and support, on a stealth plane you have to sand down the RAM coatings and then remove the tape and then unscrew the entire panel and then check what is underneath, and then put the panel back on screw the screws down flush and then cover the joints and screw heads with tape and then spray several coats of RAM material that might take 24 hours to cure properly before you can fly the plane again.

    The advantage of the PAK DA is that while it is huge... making it in a factory that makes Tu-160s with its huge titanium box structure means the forge is huge so the parts can be made in individual pieces that are enormous too, meaning fewer panels and easier access... with such big aircraft you can design it to allow internal access to most avionics that are located in internal bays... they even did that with the Mi-28 design where you can climb inside and access all the electronics without needing to remove external panels... which means quicker and easier access and faster support... and better stealth because you don't need lots of panels that might have been recoated properly or not...

    I would rather look at an expansion of the Tu-22M3M program if the air frames are still viable.

    It is not a new plane and shows up badly on radar. Apparently the shift from MiG-23 looking intakes of the Tu-22M2 to the MiG-25 looking intakes the Tu-22M3 has increased the radar cross section of the aircraft by 25% which is enormous... but in terms of engine performance and flight speed and endurance it was well worth it because it was never a stealthy aircraft to begin with...

    A new flying wing that has lots of internal space for either weapons for a theatre bombing mission or missile strike attack in the Backfire role, or maybe only 20 tons of missiles and lots of fuel for a strategic strike mission makes it very versatile.

    Having radar surface antenna on the leading and trailing wing surfaces means you could get 360 degree radar coverage without an external dish so it could end up replacing the A-100 in the AWACS role full of fuel for long endurance with small weapons bays with self defence air to air missiles.

    Equally it could carry external fuel tanks and its large internal capacity and act as inflight refuelling aircraft for similar aircraft or the Blackjacks... where it flys fast to teh north pole and refuels the Blackjacks and then fly back to base using its conformal radars and AAMs looking for enemy cruise missiles or other threats trying to penetrate the northern border of the country.

    It might have time to return to base and refuel and head back to the north pole area and refuel MiG-31s and MiG-41s to allow them to loiter for longer periods and extend their reach and range.

    You could probably even make a JSTARS type platform that loiters at altitude long distances... maybe even an MPA type Tu-142 replacement that controls HALE or MALE drones to support Thunderbird and Poseidon missions of a non strategic nature...

    So you would trust a fully automated system like S-70 patrolling with nuclear bombs along US-border?

    With a flight range of only about 5,000km that would be a one way trip too.

    First of all...all computers on earth combined have less calculation power than one single human brain! No AI is able to replace a human on battlefield at moment.

    Computers are not great at handling unexpected events or situations, while humans cope rather well in comparison... well some do...

    But with remote controlled drones you have ONE big problem...in heavy EW environment your million $ drone does exactly what your 20 $ supermarket drones does....NOTHING!

    Most, when cut off from its controllers will normally either just land or try to return to base...

    A drone is in all aspects inferior to a fighter jet.

    Drones are a great idea for boring monotonous jobs like MPA or recon, or dangerous jobs like finding and killing individual vehicles on a battlefield, and in theory their ability to survive high g forces should make them amazing fighter pilots but AFAIK no one has made any drone fighters yet and for obvious reasons... what happens to your airspace when one of these goes rogue and starts targeting civilian airliners.

    ED209 in the first Robocop movie is case in point.

    Advantages are less weight because no cockpit, less costs to operate and the operator survives if the drone crashes.

    Disadvantages is that they crash a lot and often to stupid things like flying too high and having the avionics freeze, or having some Serb in a Hind fly up next to you and gun you down with a PKM machine gun.

    Obviously drones get better, and if you think about it the cost of the F-117 programme... the payload was two laser guided bombs... so instead of sending one F-117 to destroy two targets you could have launched half a dozen cruise missiles and they have better range and similar speed and are tricky for fighters to spot because of their size... paint them black and fire them at night like you do with the F-117 and what exactly do you need an F-117 for... so I do understand where you are coming from... but equally SLBMs and ICBMs and cruise missiles and strategic bombers are all redundant and have lots of crossover in performance and capabilities...

    But bombers have some features that ICBMs don't as shown in Syria where Backfires and Blackjacks and Bears attacked targets in Syria in a way ICBMs are not really good at... but then they serve a purpose too and when they are no longer needed they can launch satellites into space too.
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    Post  Mir Thu Aug 04, 2022 5:39 pm

    GarryB wrote:

    It is not a new plane and shows up badly on radar. Apparently the shift from MiG-23 looking intakes of the Tu-22M2 to the MiG-25 looking intakes the Tu-22M3 has increased the radar cross section of the aircraft by 25% which is enormous... but in terms of engine performance and flight speed and endurance it was well worth it because it was never a stealthy aircraft to begin with...

    Yes the Tu-22M is not a "stealth" plane but it is still a very dangerous opponent, when you combine it's speed and weapon's range. My criticism of the flying wing concept is that it is supposed to be super stealthy, but it is not exactly invisible to radar. It only gives a much smaller RCS that reduces the range at which it can be detected. Once the aircraft is detected it becomes a bit of a sitting duck. It doesn't have the speed nor the maneuverability to evade the attentions of enemy fighters. In terms of a NATzo vs Russia conflict the Russians will face a significant number of fighter aircraft.

    Something like the Tu-160 is an ideal bomber for the Russians as it is somewhat stealthy but it has the speed and maneuverability to outrun most enemy fighters. The fuselage blended wing design is in many ways similar to the flying wing concept in terms of internal volume, which means it can carry a lot of fuel and internal weapons BUT it can do it at Mach 2+ for extended periods.
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    Post  Azi Thu Aug 04, 2022 7:21 pm

    GarryB wrote:
    Drones are a great idea for boring monotonous jobs like MPA or recon, or dangerous jobs like finding and killing individual vehicles on a battlefield, and in theory their ability to survive high g forces should make them amazing fighter pilots but AFAIK no one has made any drone fighters yet and for obvious reasons... what happens to your airspace when one of these goes rogue and starts targeting civilian airliners.
    Exactly!

    Especially small drones for reconnaissance that each platoon can use. Incredibly valuable!

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    Post  Azi Thu Aug 04, 2022 7:32 pm

    Mir wrote:
    GarryB wrote:

    It is not a new plane and shows up badly on radar. Apparently the shift from MiG-23 looking intakes of the Tu-22M2 to the MiG-25 looking intakes the Tu-22M3 has increased the radar cross section of the aircraft by 25% which is enormous... but in terms of engine performance and flight speed and endurance it was well worth it because it was never a stealthy aircraft to begin with...

    Yes the Tu-22M is not a "stealth" plane but it is still a very dangerous opponent, when you combine it's speed and weapon's range. My criticism of the flying wing concept is that it is supposed to be super stealthy, but it is not exactly invisible to radar. It only gives a much smaller RCS that reduces the range at which it can be detected. Once the aircraft is detected it becomes a bit of a sitting duck. It doesn't have the speed nor the maneuverability to evade the attentions of enemy fighters. In terms of a NATzo vs Russia conflict the Russians will face a significant number of fighter aircraft.

    Something like the Tu-160 is an ideal bomber for the Russians as it is somewhat stealthy but it has the speed and maneuverability to outrun most enemy fighters. The fuselage blended wing design is in many ways similar to the flying wing concept in terms of internal volume, which means it can carry a lot of fuel and internal weapons BUT it can do it at Mach 2+ for extended periods.
    True! But in a Nazo vs Russia conflict AWACS will be dead from day 1 and Nazo AD systems are not really good...the chance that a Nazo fighter will find a PAK-DA is low.

    The role of PAK-DA is a different one! Not penetrating enemy airspace and wrestling with AD systems. It's more a carrier for long range cruise missiles...similar to Tu-95. And for this role it's perfect. The RCS is so low that in contrast to Tu-95 it will be not detected at long range and an attack would be more surprise. It has a great fuel efficiency because of the flying wing design and that leads to more loiter time. So PAK-DA is not a clone of the B-2 the B-2 was designed to penetrate CCCP airspace by avoiding AD systems and striking deep in the territory...but of course the PAK-DA could also assume this role.

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    Post  GarryB Fri Aug 05, 2022 6:00 pm

    My criticism of the flying wing concept is that it is supposed to be super stealthy, but it is not exactly invisible to radar.

    To be fair the Backfire had an advantage in speed in the sense that it could sprint away after launching some anti ship missile like Zircon or Kinzhal or Zmeevik even... a supersonic retreating target is very difficult to deal with, especially if its standoff weapon has very long range, but then against most dangerous targets both the Backfire and this new flying wing will be using standoff weapons anyway.

    Against COIN targets like in Syria the Backfire is useful for the loads it can carry and deliver... 5 tons of dumb bombs can easily dropped on targets thousands of kms away with precision with air support to defend the aircraft... a flying wing could do the same with a lower fuel burn and its lack of supersonic speed is not a huge issue in this case.... AFAIK nothing has broken the speed of sound over Ukraine or Syria except munitions.

    A flying wing on its own would be terribly vulnerable... like a Bear would, but internal weapons bays in fighters demands air to air weapons that can be launched and acquire their targets after launch... like LMUR air to surface weapon, but air to air missiles that can do that can be launched from stealth aircraft mounted inside weapon bays... including the bays of larger bomber type aircraft.

    Those wing mounted small missile bays on the Su-57 could be redesigned to be flush with the surface on a flying wing and located on the upper surface, or indeed vertical launchers could be mounted on the aircraft with mini self defence missiles... they have shown patents for them in the past and a large flat upper surface would be ideal for such arrangements... the aircraft could carry self defence missiles in large numbers as well as anti radiation and anti aircraft missiles in enormous numbers.

    In fact the S-70 is a force multiplier... it carries extra sensors and missiles to help as a force multiplier for a group of fighters or strike aircraft that might come across enemy air defences or fighters in large numbers... imagine a PAK DA carrying 500 AAMs ranging from large to tiny that can be used on a range of threats including SAMs and AAMs fired at the aircraft or aircraft around it, but also against ground targets and enemy aircraft too... they are talking about munitions for ground forces small and light enough to be carried in the hundreds to defend against artillery shells and artillery rockets as well as ATGMs and drones... 10kg missiles with precision guidance for direct hits to set off artillery shells and rockets and be stacked in bundles and launched in enormous numbers... such missiles would be useful on land, in the air, and at sea...

    And I meant 500 and not 50.... An R-37 can carry a 60kg warhead and flys at mach 6 or so to 350km range today, so remove the warhead alone (keeping the seeker and everything else) then adding 6 x 10kg missiles that can be released or ejected as it comes down from a lofted trajectory 350km away from where it was launched from... as it comes down the radar on the missile scans for targets and allocates each of the 6 missiles to an individual target and then releases them each gliding down from high altitude with rocket motor ready to fire and gliding towards its target... the core missile could then find the biggest target there like a transport plane or inflight refuelling tanker or flying wing stealth bomber which will look huge from vertically down and just fly into the centre of it and damage it kinetically... actually a small charge inside the missile to make it break up 10m short of the target would mean metal fragments spreading from the missile disintegrating but still moving at mach 3 plus hitting the target... nothing like a 60kg HE warhead but would do serious damage to a centre mass hit.

    So an existing missile can do that... imagine a custom designed missile with scramjet propulsion that can throttle up or down or shut down its engine and restart it when needed with a quarter weight of fuel and an air scoop to catch the air on the way to quadruple the energy efficiency of the rocket motor...

    Imagine Kinzhal or Zircon carrying such mini missiles on its way to defend itself during flight...

    Flying wings of the future wont be as vulnerable as bombers of WWII or the 1980s.

    It only gives a much smaller RCS that reduces the range at which it can be detected. Once the aircraft is detected it becomes a bit of a sitting duck. It doesn't have the speed nor the maneuverability to evade the attentions of enemy fighters. In terms of a NATzo vs Russia conflict the Russians will face a significant number of fighter aircraft.

    The point is that where air defences are strong a flying wing wont be entering enemy controlled air space... using stand off ranges hypersonic missiles flying at 40km altitudes plus moving at mach 10 plus will penetrate the defences and take out major SAM sites and damage air fields while fighter groups will be sent in to fight with S-70s there as force multipliers to compensate for any numbers advantage HATO might have at the start.

    Look at the effectiveness if AD systems in Ukraine... odds are that HATO will attempt to defeat Russian AD capacity using standoff weapons meaning super long range AA weapons like S-400 and S-500 and new long range missiles will be useful to smack down their standoff launch platforms... they will engage in close combat thinking their amazing technology gives them some advantage... well we will see about that... the problems of keeping all their planes operational while taking fire and getting hit because their AD is shit will make their air power rapidly less capable which will be critical for them because both their defence and attack is based on air power...


    Something like the Tu-160 is an ideal bomber for the Russians as it is somewhat stealthy but it has the speed and maneuverability to outrun most enemy fighters.

    But not the speed to outrun missiles like S-300/350/400/500 etc... and also not MiG-31/41.

    The use of Blackjack and PAK DA gives them a useful mix of capabilities of the three aircraft they currently use.

    The fuselage blended wing design is in many ways similar to the flying wing concept in terms of internal volume, which means it can carry a lot of fuel and internal weapons BUT it can do it at Mach 2+ for extended periods.

    Indeed and a flying wing made in a factory that makes Tu-160s could have swing wing tips and engines that allow super cruising at certain fuel weights which would give an enormous boost in ability, but I think the cost would be too much... they don't need two supersonic bombers and to get supersonic requires too many compromises in other areas... less space for fuel and weapons etc...

    Exactly!

    Especially small drones for reconnaissance that each platoon can use. Incredibly valuable!

    Originally the only groups in the Soviet Union that had drones were big expensive not very flexible recon drones for recon forces and tiny slow drones for artillery units... no one else could care less about drones in their military.

    Right now recon and artillery are likely still very strong and very interested in drones for obvious reasons but I suspect every branch and every division of the Russian military has recognised the value of drones and what they could do for them and are exploring their options... but money does not grow on trees and some areas it makes obvious sense while in others they would get less value at the moment having drones.

    In a very real sense fighter pilots already use drones to kill enemy aircraft... they are called air to air missiles... they have sensors and propulsion and control surfaces and a payload and can pull enormous gs and fly at high speed... what they don't do at the moment is loiter and fly around with you like a wingman would... that is what the S-70 is... a wingman.

    True! But in a Nazo vs Russia conflict AWACS will be dead from day 1 and Nazo AD systems are not really good...the chance that a Nazo fighter will find a PAK-DA is low.

    No AWACS aircraft have been shot down in Ukraine AFAIK... they are valuable assets and are seriously protected... to the point of making them less useful by using them further away than would be preferred.

    Russia probably has more dedicated anti AWACS systems than HATO does but both sides recognise the advantage they provide and therefore the danger they represent... I would think on day one they would be pulled back to safer locations but would still be expected to look for deep penetrations and low flying threats like cruise missiles rather than operating over the front line keeping track of all enemy activity there.

    Not sure HATO practises that though... which might effect their performance over the front line dealing with enemy fighters and enemy ground based AD systems... some of which have serious reach...

    So PAK-DA is not a clone of the B-2 the B-2 was designed to penetrate CCCP airspace by avoiding AD systems and striking deep in the territory...but of course the PAK-DA could also assume this role.

    Yes, B-2 was supposed to be a radar invisible bomber that would fly over S-300 and S-400 batteries and kill them with dumb bombs and then flying on to nuke Moscow and Leningrad with impunity... PAK DA is a long range cruise missile carrier and a theatre range bomber... a Tu-95/Tu-22M3 direct replacement.

    And new air launched weapons are starting to look very interesting... 11 metre long 12,000km range mach 10 scramjet powered Gurza II missiles for instance...
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    Post  Tolstoy Fri Aug 05, 2022 6:23 pm

    GarryB wrote:A single PAK DA will be able to deliver more bombs to target than several S-70s... the pairing with unstealthy aircraft negates any stealth advantage the S-70 might have had.
    You do not pair them in the SEAD role. The job of destroying the enemy's AD systems can be assigned to a swarm of S-70s. Once they have successfully carried out the mission they share the relevant information with the Su-30s, Su-34s and Su-35s who can then target the enemy's infantry and armored units.

    Large stealthy bombers like the B-2 is a failure. They can never be used by the U.S against a near peer competitor like Russia. And yet Russia is going for the PAK-DA. Terrible.

    GarryB wrote:
    So PAK-DA is not a clone of the B-2 the B-2 was designed to penetrate CCCP airspace by avoiding AD systems and striking deep in the territory...but of course the PAK-DA could also assume this role.

    Yes, B-2 was supposed to be a radar invisible bomber that would fly over S-300 and S-400 batteries and kill them with dumb bombs and then flying on to nuke Moscow and Leningrad with impunity... PAK DA is a long range cruise missile carrier and a theatre range bomber... a Tu-95/Tu-22M3 direct replacement.
    Obviously PAK-DA is a "clone" of the B-2. Why else would it have a flying wing design if it was not meant to be a low observable stealth bomber?

    In your own words..."PAK DA should be more stealthy than the Su-57 simply because it lacks vertical tail surfaces and engine nacelles hanging under the aircraft."
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    Post  xeno Fri Aug 05, 2022 9:24 pm

    No, it is not a "clone" of the B-2. It shares the similar concept of B-21...

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    Post  LMFS Fri Aug 05, 2022 9:36 pm

    Tolstoy wrote:Large stealthy bombers like the B-2 is a failure. They can never be used by the U.S against a near peer competitor like Russia. And yet Russia is going for the PAK-DA. Terrible.

    Stop the clueless rant already, this thing is not intended against peer rivals or as a strategic missile carrier, it is for conventional conflicts against West proxies and against isolated SAM sites operating in decimetric and centimetric wavelengths that such platforms are useful. Plus of course it will have huge persistence, range, payload and more than decent survivability to provide a wide range of functions currently lacking in the Russian airforce.

    Remember, VKS professionals know more than you. 1 million times.

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    Post  Tolstoy Sat Aug 06, 2022 2:07 am

    xeno wrote:No, it is not a "clone" of the B-2. It shares the similar concept of B-21...
    B-21 according to the makers themselves is basically an upgraded B-2. It will be used in missions that are currently being undertaken by the B-2.

    At least in case of the U.S I understand. Their MIC is the most corrupt industry in the country. The U.S government has to award billions of dollars of contracts to the various defense contractors from time to time so as not to earn the wrath of this extremely influential body.

    Kremlin has no such compulsion as it runs all the defence companies.

    LMFS wrote: Stop the clueless rant already, this thing is not intended against peer rivals or as a strategic missile carrier, it is for conventional conflicts against West proxies and against isolated SAM sites operating in decimetric and centimetric wavelengths that such platforms are useful.
    Why would you think that a radar is the only system used to detect a stealth aircraft? A stealth aircraft has to make itself stealthy at the different frequencies including IR, acoustic, visual, and the radar bands.

    Design of stealth aircraft are not as effective against less conventional air search or early warning radar wavelengths in either the lower VHF range or much higher millimeter wave range. Some of these RADAR use over the horizon technology where they bounce the pulse off of the ionosphere. This means the pulse is hitting the stealth aircraft at a far different angle than the aircraft is optimized against. B-21 or PAK-DA is not going to buck this trend. Radars like the Nebo SVU , Gamma DE and Protivnik GE are accurate enough to direct a missile shot, using the engagement radar primarily as a midcourse command/datalink channel to the missile.

    Three to four S-70s will be more than adequate to perform all the missions that would require the deployment of a PAK-DA.

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    Post  Mir Sat Aug 06, 2022 3:11 am

    Tolstoy wrote:

    Three to four S-70s will be more than adequate to perform all the missions that would require the deployment of a PAK-DA.

    The only issue I have with your argument is that the S-70 does not have the range to fulfill any strategic or long range tactical missions, but the idea of a long range UAV in the strike role does make sense in future - subject to human control/intervention. Well same goes for any UAV - no matter what military role.
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    Post  Hole Sat Aug 06, 2022 4:15 am

    Well, some time back there was a rumour that Russia is working on a strategic drone, big enough to carry Kh-101 cruise missiles inside. The PAK-DA could be designed like the Su-75 with manned and unmanned versions.

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    Post  Tolstoy Sat Aug 06, 2022 4:33 am

    Mir wrote: The only issue I have with your argument is that the S-70 does not have the range to fulfill any strategic or long range tactical missions
    Why does every single UCAV ever conceived need to fulfill long range missions? For long range missions RuAF already has the Tu-160, Tu-95, Tu-22.

    If they still intend to use the S-70 in long range missions it can be armed with the Kinzhal or the Kh-95.

    Long range strikes are best carried out by ships and submarines using cruise missiles like Kaliber or Zircon.

    Long range airbone tactical mission is an oxymoron. Dodgy, vaccuous  tactics devised in the West to rob billions from taxpayers despite the fact that the powers that be knows fully well that stealth bombers will be picked up by enemy space and sea based assets during their long flight thousands of miles away.

    Bombers like B-2, B-21 can bomb the daylight out of a Saddam or Gaddafi but against Russia it is useless. Similarly PAK-DA is equally useless if you intend to bomb targets half way across the world.
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    Post  Mir Sat Aug 06, 2022 6:19 am

    Tolstoy wrote:
    Why does every single UCAV ever conceived need to fulfill long range missions? For long range missions RuAF already has the Tu-160, Tu-95, Tu-22.

    Definitely not every single UAV. They are/or will be available for every conceivable missions whether it is short/medium or long range. Long range UAV's will be necessary for AEW/ELINT, Maritime Patrol/Recce and Strike and ECM missions. You will obviously get short and medium range UAV's fulfilling the same roles as the longer range UAV's.

    Tolstoy wrote:If they still intend to use the S-70 in long range missions it can be armed with the Kinzhal or the Kh-95.

    For Strategic roles you will need a UAV with MUCH longer legs than the S-70 - even if it is armed with Kinzhals etc. At best it can attack most of Europe from Russian territory, but it won't be a threat to the US unless it is based in Cuba or Mexico.

    Tolstoy wrote:Long range airbone tactical mission is an oxymoron. Dodgy, vaccuous  tactics devised in the West to rob billions from taxpayers despite the fact that the powers that be knows fully well that stealth bombers will be picked up by enemy space and sea based assets during their long flight thousands of miles away.

    Strategic bombers are like principle navy ships. You need them as a show of force. For sabre rattling to keep your enemy in check. In the real war nuclear tipped missiles will do the business, but you can't have missiles flying around in "peace time". Therefor you use bombers and large ships instead.
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    Post  GarryB Sat Aug 06, 2022 3:17 pm

    You do not pair them in the SEAD role.

    So a PAK DA performing a subsonic long range bombing mission over Syria would not be escorted by Su-35s or other fighters to protect it from interference?

    Do you think the Backfires operated on their own over Syria?

    Despite modern aircraft being fully multirole... in fact the French call their Rafales Omnirole because they are not just fighters and interceptors and strike aircraft and recon platforms with their sensors and weapons options, they can be combinations of any of those things on each mission... but obviously the more weapon types carried the fewer weapons for each role will be available so in practise a couple of aircraft in the package will be loaded up with weapons for the primary and secondary targets while other aircraft might carry extra fuel and air to air and anti radiation missiles to engage air and ground based threats.

    In a sense it is bomber aircraft being paired with lighter fighter like aircraft to help defend from ground and air threats... but in this case S-70 pairing with Su-35 and Su-34 is for a variety of reasons... S-70s are stealthy and when paired with Su-35s, which are not stealthy offer an opportunity to fly closer to enemy forces and locations without being spotted but they can be used against enemy air and ground systems. When paired with Su-34s they might adopt an overwatch mission where the Su-34s are penetrating enemy airspace low and fast where their lack of stealth is less of a problem because of the problems tracking low flying targets, but in this case you could pair them with S-70s which could use their stealthy shapes to fly at high subsonic speeds at medium to high altitudes maximising the range of their air to air missiles to defend the low flying Su-34s which when loaded with ordinance will also be flying at high subsonic speeds... the high flying stealth drones looking for threats in the air and on the ground ahead of the attacking strike aircraft launching high speed anti radiation missiles at ADs and major radar sites before they spot the low flying Fullbacks...

    For an attack on the US then SEAD support for the PAK DA wouldn't make sense unless you used a PAK DA based support aircraft that could match flight performance and range, but for theatre missions an S-70 escort carrying long range AAMs and long range anti radiation missiles also flying high with the PAK DA to maximise range and speed would be useful and help both penetrate quite strong defences.

    The current R-37M is reported to have a flight range of about 350km launched at very high speed from a MiG-31, so its flight speed from a high flying subsonic bomber might be 250km, which is still very good... and having S-70s operating with the PAK DA means they could deploy jammers which would make the PAK DA operating with them even harder to spot... enemy forces might think it is just a probing attack to test their defences and find out where their major SAMs and radars and air groups are located at... and then they notice 12 x Mach 10 Zircon missiles suddenly appear over their airspace as the PAK DA turns and heads back to base... mission accomplished...

    The job of destroying the enemy's AD systems can be assigned to a swarm of S-70s. Once they have successfully carried out the mission they share the relevant information with the Su-30s, Su-34s and Su-35s who can then target the enemy's infantry and armored units.

    That is one way they could be used, but another way might be operating with a group of 24 fighters, where two drones per fighter means 48 drones, so 72 aircraft operating together all armed with a range of missiles all equipped with towed decoys and jammers, all working together to deal with any threats trying to cross into their airspace.

    Being relatively stealth the S-70s could operate closer to enemy fighters and defences without being noticed which is an advantage that the Russian forces can use to make their job easier.

    The numbers advantage of HATO is not really as substantial as it could be... they don't have the hundreds of F-22s and thousands of F-35s they thought they would have by now, while the quality of Russian aircraft has increased substantially since the 1980s where the main advantages were aerodynamic and not engine or radar related... their air to air missiles also gave them an advantage too and that looks set to continue as well with new weapons entering service.

    Large stealthy bombers like the B-2 is a failure.

    During peace time or limited war large heavy bombers are incredibly useful... look at the B-52.

    What is the failure is thinking a B-52 like plane can penetrate Soviet air space and still do a good job... which it obviously can't, but the PAK DA is not a B-52 or a B-2... it is a subsonic only Tu-160 or Tu-95 which are long range cruise missile carrying platforms for WWIII type scenarios... whether launching 5,000km range subsonic cruise missiles or next generation much longer ranged hypersonic missiles, they won't need to get anywhere near US air defences.... and ironically their low speed will mean launching from Russian bases in the far north it will be 6 to 8 hours before they reach their launch positions... 30 minutes after they take off Russian ICBMs and SLBMs will be devastating US air defences and cities and infrastructure... when they arrive 5-6 hours later to a point mid ocean to launch their long range missiles nothing will be coming to greet them, and anything they spot on the way used to be dealt with using the Kh-15 which is a 500km range mach 5 nuclear armed self defence missile for use against air and ground targets with the blunt instrument of a large nuclear warhead. It has been withdrawn from service, but its replacement is supposed to be a mach 6 missile with a flight range of 1,500km... so in practise if a group of enemy aircraft or large SAM radars light up ahead of the bomber group a bomber will launch a single missile that will streak ahead at 6 times the speed of sound and detonate destroying the aircraft group or the ground based radar well before the bombers get anywhere near them...

    They can never be used by the U.S against a near peer competitor like Russia. And yet Russia is going for the PAK-DA. Terrible.

    The only way the B-2 could survive any period over the Soviet Union was flying low... the same as the B-52 for all the same reasons... and it didn't take much time in exercises and training to realise actually flying low for long distances reduced flight speed, massively reduced flight range, and also greatly increased wear and tear on the structures of the aircraft reducing their lifespans by 60-70 percent or more and leading to cracking and also increasing the risk of bird strikes...

    Their solution was to make a cheaper B-2 but they don't seem to want to make it into a cruise missile carrier... they seem to want a long range fighter that will protect it in hostile airspace... so the PAK DA is not a B-2 and nor is it a B-21... it is a fixed wing Tu-160 in flying wing configuration to replace a cruise missile carrier in the long range strategic role (Tu-95) and also long, medium, and short range strike missiles and bombs in the Theatre attack role (Tu-22M3).

    The Tu-22M3 is not expected to use its speed to evade enemy defences, it will be using its standoff weapon range for that, and the PAK DA wont use its stealth to penetrate enemy air defences, it will use standoff weapons and stealth together to likely never be noticed.

    A bit like using the F-35 outside Syrian airspace to attack targets inside Syria... except the PAK DA will have massively more ordinance... both attack and self defence...

    I see on Wiki the new B-21 is supposed to use the same engines as the F-35 in a bid to make the F-35 cheaper perhaps... ironically I suspect it will only make the B-21 more expensive instead.

    Obviously PAK-DA is a "clone" of the B-2. Why else would it have a flying wing design if it was not meant to be a low observable stealth bomber?

    Are you American?

    The Soviets were flying experimental flying wings before WWII... is the F-15 a clone of the MiG-25?

    Building a flying wing design for a long range subsonic strategic cruise missile carrier and theatre bomber or missile carrier means it is not a clone of the B-2 which is a bomber.

    The Tu-142 maritime patrol aircraft is often reported as being a Soviet or Russian bomber, which is ironic because it is not a bomber either.

    The Tu-95 as in service at the moment is a cruise missile carrier and is not a bomber either... the Bear in its current versions don't carry bombs for any missions, they can use strategic nuclear or strategic or theatre range conventionally armed cruise missiles and that is all.

    The Tu-142 can carry depth charges and torpedoes and anti ship missiles but is not a bomber either.

    In your own words..."PAK DA should be more stealthy than the Su-57 simply because it lacks vertical tail surfaces and engine nacelles hanging under the aircraft."

    It is a flying wing because that gives it low drag and minimal RCS even without any other stealth measures... a flying wing design is a naturally stealthy shape that is even hard to see from some angles, but the Americans make different planes than the Russians do... their B-2 is a bomber only, just like the F-22 was a fighter only... the Russian PAK DA is a cruise missile carrier mostly but it will be able to bomb targets too like the Backfire does, and the Su-57 was designed from the outset to be fully multirole air to air and air to ground.

    Suggesting something that follows the same design has the same roles and purpose is wrong.

    No, it is not a "clone" of the B-2. It shares the similar concept of B-21...

    Does it though?

    I kinda get the feeling that the B-21 is just an F-15EX... a rehash of old shit because they don't know a good path forward... the B-21 seems to be a subsonic strategic bomber that they want to use to replace the B-52s and B-1Bs... so in that sense it is a mirror of the PAK DA replacing the Bear and the Backfire... but the American planes are mostly bombers too.

    The Soviets and Russians didn't really buy in to the western culture of strategic bombing their enemy into submission, because they know it is not as effective as the west seems to believe.

    Remember, VKS professionals know more than you. 1 million times.

    To be fair the B-2 was obsolete before it entered service... even flying low level it was too vulnerable to operate over the Soviet Union for very long armed with nuclear free fall bombs, and if the Russians were trying to copy it now I would say they were being stupid too, but they are not.

    The Bear is a cheap long range cruise missile carrier, whose standoff missiles keep it safe from enemy air defences, and the longer ranged standoff missiles in development will make the stealthy PAK DA even safer in the strategic role. In theatre roles over Europe or hitting targets in the Middle East or Asia, its stand off weapon range might mean it can launch massive attacks from inside Russian airspace, and in COIN type conflicts like Syria or perhaps Libya they can safely and accurately drop cheap dumb bombs on targets more efficiently than other aircraft types... they should also be able to carry and use some of the larger ordinance in the Russian inventory including FAB-3000, FAB-5000 and FAB-9000 and also the Father Of All Bombs too at about 11 tons....

    B-21 according to the makers themselves is basically an upgraded B-2. It will be used in missions that are currently being undertaken by the B-2.

    Which makes it totally obsolete against Russia or China, and as we move forward and Russia starts selling AD systems and equipment to the rest of the world the number of countries the west can bully will shrink rapidly.

    Kremlin has no such compulsion as it runs all the defence companies.

    The Russians aren't making a B-1B or B-52 replacement strategic bomber, they are making a Backfire replacement bomber that can also carry long range cruise missiles like the Tu-95 Bear does. The Bear does not carry bombs in its current models... only nuclear or conventionally armed cruise missiles.

    The PAK DA will not carry bombs in its strategic role, only theatre attack role against non HATO countries or groups.

    Why would you think that a radar is the only system used to detect a stealth aircraft? A stealth aircraft has to make itself stealthy at the different frequencies including IR, acoustic, visual, and the radar bands.

    Not if it never gets within 4,000km of its target it doesn't. Modest stealth like RAM and materials and limiting emissions including from its engines and the natural stealth and aerodynamic efficiency of its basic shape will be plenty.

    Design of stealth aircraft are not as effective against less conventional air search or early warning radar wavelengths in either the lower VHF range or much higher millimeter wave range.

    That is very true but larger stealth aircraft fare better than smaller stealth aircraft in that regard.

    Some of these RADAR use over the horizon technology where they bounce the pulse off of the ionosphere. This means the pulse is hitting the stealth aircraft at a far different angle than the aircraft is optimized against. B-21 or PAK-DA is not going to buck this trend. Radars like the Nebo SVU , Gamma DE and Protivnik GE are accurate enough to direct a missile shot, using the engagement radar primarily as a midcourse command/datalink channel to the missile.

    Very true but those radars you mention are Russian... how many of those radars does HATO operate, and more importantly detecting PAK DA at 3,000km is of little use because it is probably about to launch its missiles and turn away and head back to base...

    Flying at full AB to try to catch it would massively reduce the already limited flight radius of Rafales and F-35s and Gripens etc that might be trying to intercept it.

    Three to four S-70s will be more than adequate to perform all the missions that would require the deployment of a PAK-DA.

    S-70 has a flight range of about 5,000km so even without a payload it cannot perform the mission the PAK DA performs... add a 5 ton payload and that flight range is likely reduced further... but 5 tons is two Kh-101 or Kh-102 cruise missiles... the PAK DA will be carrying at least 5 times more than that over distances twice as far...

    The only issue I have with your argument is that the S-70 does not have the range to fulfill any strategic or long range tactical missions, but the idea of a long range UAV in the strike role does make sense in future - subject to human control/intervention. Well same goes for any UAV - no matter what military role.

    But a long range strike drone version of the PAK DA is essentially just the same design minus the cockpit and they have already mentioned an unmanned model of the aircraft as an option...

    Well, some time back there was a rumour that Russia is working on a strategic drone, big enough to carry Kh-101 cruise missiles inside. The PAK-DA could be designed like the Su-75 with manned and unmanned versions.

    It might be bigger than we think and it might carry two S-70 drones conformally as payloads of 5,000km range "cruise missiles" that can deliver 5 tons of nuclear bombs... maybe 100 kgs each... maybe 50 nuclear bombs per S-70 drone to scatter around the place.... dirty fission bombs that make a real mess and do radiation damage to the terrain that lasts for a long time...

    Why does every single UCAV ever conceived need to fulfill long range missions? For long range missions RuAF already has the Tu-160, Tu-95, Tu-22.

    The Purpose of the PAK DA is to replace the Tu-95 and Tu-22M3 in the Russian long range aviation branch of their Air Force... It is a cheaper slower compliment to the Tu-160 strategic missile carrier which likely wont carry bombs at all.

    If they still intend to use the S-70 in long range missions it can be armed with the Kinzhal or the Kh-95.

    S-70 is a wingman drone and has no business carrying strategic missiles.

    Kinzhal is a rocket powered anti ship and land attack missile which gets its extra range and speed from being carried by the MiG-31 and being launched at mach 2.5 speeds and 18km altitudes... neither of which the S-70 could come close to, so Kinzhal launched from the S-70 would have rather ordinary performance in terms of range and speed and therefore would be a waste of resources.

    Long range strikes are best carried out by ships and submarines using cruise missiles like Kaliber or Zircon.

    Groups of ships and subs are enormously expensive and while mobile and not fast and responsive like long range aircraft are.

    Long range airbone tactical mission is an oxymoron.

    The Backfire proved rather useful in Syria and its capacity to carry lots of heavy dumb bombs over decent distances was valuable enough for them to base a Backfire in Syria. Its capacity to carry long range supersonic anti ship missiles was also a bonus in that regard too which will likely be shared by the PAK DA being able to do too.

    Dodgy, vaccuous tactics devised in the West to rob billions from taxpayers despite the fact that the powers that be knows fully well that stealth bombers will be picked up by enemy space and sea based assets during their long flight thousands of miles away.

    Totally agree which is why the heavy bombing theatre role would only be for low intensity conflicts where the enemy has no heavy SAMs or air power.

    The Backfire attacked targets with dumb bombs from 8-10km altitude quite safely... a flying wing could probably do the same from 12-16km altitude which adds more safety and also kinetic energy to the bombs being used...

    Bombers like B-2, B-21 can bomb the daylight out of a Saddam or Gaddafi but against Russia it is useless. Similarly PAK-DA is equally useless if you intend to bomb targets half way across the world.

    If they wanted to bomb targets half way around the world the PAK DA would actually be better than the Backfire which does not have inflight refuelling and has relatively thirsty engines designed for much higher speeds than are needed most of the time.

    If the enemy detect bombers coming then Russia can launch from Subs or ships, but if they know the ships are there then an attack from aircraft can be a surprise.

    How many countries have OTH radars operational and working... I would say the US, France, and Australia and that is about it.... 90% of the best anti stealth radar are Russian...

    Strategic bombers are like principle navy ships. You need them as a show of force. For sabre rattling to keep your enemy in check. In the real war nuclear tipped missiles will do the business, but you can't have missiles flying around in "peace time". Therefor you use bombers and large ships instead.

    Bombers and ship and sub launched missiles are flexible and responsive and can be sent almost anywhere at short notice, and unlike ICBMs and SLBMs they can be used in limited conflicts.... sometimes their presence can prevent war... if the US is getting titchy about Venezuela or some other country in that region... being able to send a few Blackjacks or PAK DAs for a visit and some exercises in a few days is a valuable escalation to try to deescalate the situation without firing a shot.

    In comparison getting a surface action group of ships together to send them to that region for exercises that might last months is going to take 4 to 6 weeks at best... armed subs could probably get there faster but then to be effective as a deterrence they would need to reveal their presence... which sub captains would hate to do because he will then spend the next few weeks trying to evade western forces trying to locate and follow him...

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    Post  Tolstoy Sat Aug 06, 2022 7:02 pm

    GarryB wrote:So a PAK DA performing a subsonic long range bombing mission over Syria would not be escorted by Su-35s or other fighters to protect it from interference?
    You misunderstand. I was referring to the pairing of S-70 with Su-30/Su-34/Su-35. In the SEAD role this pairing is not necessary until the S-70 has destroyed the enemy AD.

    GarryB wrote:Do you think the Backfires operated on their own over Syria?
    Backfires were not used for SEAD operations in Syria. Enemy AD was destroyed by Russian ship launched cruise missiles. Backfires came into the picture much later.
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    Post  LMFS Sat Aug 06, 2022 8:37 pm

    GarryB wrote:To be fair the B-2 was obsolete before it entered service... even flying low level it was too vulnerable to operate over the Soviet Union for very long armed with nuclear free fall bombs, and if the Russians were trying to copy it now I would say they were being stupid too, but they are not.

    The Bear is a cheap long range cruise missile carrier, whose standoff missiles keep it safe from enemy air defences, and the longer ranged standoff missiles in development will make the stealthy PAK DA even safer in the strategic role. In theatre roles over Europe or hitting targets in the Middle East or Asia, its stand off weapon range might mean it can launch massive attacks from inside Russian airspace, and in COIN type conflicts like Syria or perhaps Libya they can safely and accurately drop cheap dumb bombs on targets more efficiently than other aircraft types... they should also be able to carry and use some of the larger ordinance in the Russian inventory including FAB-3000, FAB-5000 and FAB-9000 and also the Father Of All Bombs too at about 11 tons....

    PAK-DA will be that and many more things, while our friend here is busy making noise and spamming a low level discussion.

    All indicates the strategic role will be covered mainly by the Tu-160, for obvious reasons (payload vs range and turn-around times / strategic mobility mainly), that is the reason why the Russian industry has tackled on the huge task of restarting its production. They needed the whole UAC companies working together for this, just to be able to recover the documentation. Not to talk about production facilities like the electron beam titanium welding setup which is unique in the world, new NK32 engines and so on. A massive achievement justified by a strategic task, even when PAK-DA will also be capable to carry nukes.

    PAK-DA allows Russia to cover the role they have not covered, conventional bombing, with a lot of relevant side missions enabled by the big size and flying wing design which grant:

    - Lowest RCS, specially against longer wavelength radars
    - Extremely high internal fuel fraction, L/D ratio and hence huge range and persistence
    - Very high internal payload

    So this is a platform that can be used for anything like:

    - Carpet bombing of unprotected targets. Russia does not do this normally, because they have normally intervened trying to minimize collateral damages, but it has undeniable benefits in terms of sparing own ground forces and reducing enemy combat capability. For example, Russia will not maximize destruction in the Donbass in the SMO, but would they refrain in say Poland or Finland or in a high intensity conflict?
    - Stand-in bombing in low to moderate risk environments (i.e. scarce presence of isolated AD units)
    - Stand-off missile carrying in high risk environments (IADS)
    - High persistence UCAV control station / C3 post / ISR platform / on station CAS
    - Power projection (through long range bombing missions)
    - Long range AD

    Even long range maritime patrol could be covered by such a platform, mind you...

    Smaller unmanned platforms have not even close payload/range performance, cannot act fully autonomously and cannot carry big ordnance, so why so much bitching about PAK-DA?

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    Post  LMFS Sat Aug 06, 2022 8:42 pm

    Tolstoy wrote:Backfires were not used for SEAD operations in Syria. Enemy AD was destroyed by Russian ship launched cruise missiles. Backfires came into the picture much later.

    SEAD operations in Syria?? Give us a break

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    Post  GarryB Sat Aug 06, 2022 9:18 pm

    You misunderstand. I was referring to the pairing of S-70 with Su-30/Su-34/Su-35. In the SEAD role this pairing is not necessary until the S-70 has destroyed the enemy AD.

    As shown by the conflict in the Ukraine the enemy AD might never be totally defeated meaning SEAD will be an important component of any mission for all aircraft, so Su-30s or Su-35s which are fully multirole might use S-70s as support fighters or support SEAD platforms or as strike platforms while they take care of enemy aircraft, while the Su-34 is also fully multirole it is mainly a strike platform and might operate with S-70s to fly high and provide overwatch for their low level strikes where S-70s at altitude will see the battlefield better than low flying Su-34s and add range to any AAM they might be carrying in their weapon bays.

    SEAD missions performed by stealth aircraft might struggle because the enemy might not realise there are S-70s in the air without scanning with radar and wont want to scan with radar to reveal their position and strength.

    Backfires were not used for SEAD operations in Syria.

    No, they weren't because the rebels didn't have any air defence equipment that would require dedicated SEAD platforms to clear.

    Backfires were used as large capacity long range bomb trucks... something they were very suitable for... some area targets are better engaged with lots of heavy bombs all arriving at one time than a few or a couple of smaller weapons even if their accuracy is better.

    Enemy AD was destroyed by Russian ship launched cruise missiles. Backfires came into the picture much later.

    Enemy AD was never much of a threat except that over Turkey or Israel which Russian forces did not test or engage.

    Backfires were useful for hitting targets all over the country and were probably better value for money than cruise missiles even if they were both relatively cheap and effective.

    All indicates the strategic role will be covered mainly by the Tu-160, for obvious reasons (payload vs range and turn-around times / strategic mobility mainly), that is the reason why the Russian industry has tackled on the huge task of restarting its production. They needed the whole UAC companies working together for this, just to be able to recover the documentation. Not to talk about production facilities like the electron beam titanium welding setup which is unique in the world, new NK32 engines and so on. A massive achievement justified by a strategic task, even when PAK-DA will also be capable to carry nukes.

    Their dilemma was that they did not have enough Tu-160s to make a viable strategic cruise missile attack force and their subsonic Bears, while effective enough and cheaper to operate were not going to last forever.

    An all Tu-160 fleet would be too expensive to be viable, but as you point out brand new production facilities for making Tu-160s would also be excellent for making other large aircraft out of much larger pieces which improves strength and also reduces joints which are bad for RCS too.

    A flying wing is the most efficient and most low drag way of carrying things around over enormous distances at subsonic speeds.

    They needed new planes but knew the Blackjack was good enough, its range and speed performance were enough to make it less vulnerable than any other type of aircraft that makes sense could achieve... a hypersonic bomber would be enormously expensive to buy and to operate, but ironically not that much more survivable because manned platforms would be g limited making them very fast but also fairly straight forward targets compared with a missile.

    The PAK DA gives up the supersonic speed of the Backfire but most of the time the cost in range and payload to get supersonic speed is less useful than it sounds... its flexibility of large payload that can be bombs plus inflight refuelling for a heavy bomb payload for theatre missions like Syria, or a smaller weapon payload and more fuel for strategic missions using cruise missiles at standoff ranges means it can be effective in both roles, and likely using the same new engines without AB should give them a commonality that the Backfire and Blackjack didn't have but should have.

    PAK-DA allows Russia to cover the role they have not covered, conventional bombing, with a lot of relevant side missions enabled by the big size and flying wing design which grant:

    Very much agree and suspect the PAK DA will carry the FOAB rather than the Blackjack... but it will also carry standoff weapons too.

    cannot act fully autonomously and cannot carry big ordnance, so why so much bitching about PAK-DA?

    I think some members look at the flying wing that is the PAK DA and the flying wing that is the S-70 and think they are the same... and therefore a waste.

    Except the S-70 is a tactical and theatre platform, while PAK DA is theatre bomber and strategic cruise missile carrier.

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    Post  LMFS Sat Aug 06, 2022 10:34 pm

    GarryB wrote:SEAD missions performed by stealth aircraft might struggle because the enemy might not realise there are S-70s in the air without scanning with radar and wont want to scan with radar to reveal their position and strength.

    SEAD is a very dangerous mission and I would say a stealth and unmanned + supersonic aircraft combo like S-70 + Su-35 or Su-57 are simply ideal for that. One flies unseen to the proximity of the SAM sites, the other wakes them up, while flying supersonic to have the best scape chances in case of need. The unmanned part of the team can be sacrificed and that is crucial.

    No, they weren't because the rebels didn't have any air defence equipment that would require dedicated SEAD platforms to clear.

    You having to explain that sums it all...

    Backfires were used as large capacity long range bomb trucks... something they were very suitable for... some area targets are better engaged with lots of heavy bombs all arriving at one time than a few or a couple of smaller weapons even if their accuracy is better.

    They are naval strike bombers intended to penetrate CBG defences carrying AShM, so they are not very well adapted to the role in Syria. They were flying thousands of km with a meagre bomb load, and still they made a difference against big compounds. A PAK-DA should be able to carry many times the bomb load of a Tu-22M3 over such a distance and deliver it even in less favourable environments.

    Their dilemma was that they did not have enough Tu-160s to make a viable strategic cruise missile attack force and their subsonic Bears, while effective enough and cheaper to operate were not going to last forever.

    Exactly, that is why I think they stated the PAK-DA would replace the Tu-160 too. But plans seem to have changed, for good I may say.

    An all Tu-160 fleet would be too expensive to be viable, but as you point out brand new production facilities for making Tu-160s would also be excellent for making other large aircraft out of much larger pieces which improves strength and also reduces joints which are bad for RCS too.

    Not sure about that, because this is part of the nuclear triad and has priority. 50 units were mentioned, I don't think they will reach those numbers, but they do need to have enough of them (and in good shape) to be credible

    A flying wing is the most efficient and most low drag way of carrying things around over enormous distances at subsonic speeds.

    They needed new planes but knew the Blackjack was good enough, its range and speed performance were enough to make it less vulnerable than any other type of aircraft that makes sense could achieve... a hypersonic bomber would be enormously expensive to buy and to operate, but ironically not that much more survivable because manned platforms would be g limited making them very fast but also fairly straight forward targets compared with a missile.

    In the strategic role AD penetration is not the main issue, and if threats appear, that is why supersonic speed is there. With the advantage that it reduces the delivery times and hence increases your ability to pound the opponent with a higher intensity. Going forward, extreme range CM are in the making and also hypersonic ones. The value there is to use the bays of the Tu-160 as much as possible, maximizing internal fuel of those missiles for best range and speed/maneouver performance, so the very big size of the platform is a significant advantage and justifies its cost. PAK-DA should be able to carry such missiles (that means bays ca. 10 m long) but its broadband stealth design is not so crucial when you are going to release a missile 5000 km away from target as when you are doing stand-in bombing...

    and likely using the same new engines without AB should give them a commonality that the Backfire and Blackjack didn't have but should have.

    That is a nice advantage in commonality and allows to pay the propulsion effort for both programs. I have not heard anything about NK-32M having increased bpr but it would make sense. Apparently it will be simply a non A/B version of the NK-32-2, which is interesting, since the new production of the Tu-160 would indeed profit from the completely renewed design of the M (apparently only the LPC and couple of other elements will be carried over from the -2 into the -M)

    Very much agree and suspect the PAK DA will carry the FOAB rather than the Blackjack... but it will also carry standoff weapons too.

    Yes, together with many conventional bombs. Russia needs to get rid of some thousands of tons of iron bombs after all and the queue of volunteers to be on their receiving end just grows and grows...

    I think some members look at the flying wing that is the PAK DA and the flying wing that is the S-70 and think they are the same... and therefore a waste.

    Except the S-70 is a tactical and theatre platform, while PAK DA is theatre bomber and strategic cruise missile carrier.

    Pretty essential differences aren't they?

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    Post  Sujoy Sun Aug 07, 2022 4:35 pm

    I think PAK-DA will have to work in concert with Tu-160. While the weapon carrying capacity of the PAK-DA should be more than that of the Tu-22 given its delta wing shape it will probably have a weapon carrying capacity less than that of the Tu-160.
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    Post  GarryB Sun Aug 07, 2022 4:56 pm

    One flies unseen to the proximity of the SAM sites, the other wakes them up, while flying supersonic to have the best scape chances in case of need. The unmanned part of the team can be sacrificed and that is crucial.

    Especially if the supersonic elements launch the weapons to destroy the air defence sensors, while the stealthy high flying component of the group just listens to emissions and signals from the enemy to locate radars and HQs controlling the AD assets.

    They are naval strike bombers intended to penetrate CBG defences carrying AShM, so they are not very well adapted to the role in Syria.

    That is like saying the Su-24 used by the Russian Navy makes the Su-24 a naval strike aircraft used to defeat small coastal vessels with light anti ship missiles.

    The Kh-22 and Kh-22M come in a range of types including anti radiation and a nuclear armed model for destroying a grid coordinate... neither of which were designed for use at sea but it was decided later on that they could be used to target a carrier group or an AEGIS class cruiser scanning for incoming threats in a passive way.

    The Tu-22M3 and its predecessors was always intended to be a land based theatre strike platform whose primary role was taking down enemy air defences with big heavy long range missiles in the anti radar role to defeat enemy SAMs... its official sales title is missile carrying bomber.... to quote a sales pitch for the export model: The Tu-22M3 long range missile carrying bomber is designed to defeat optically visible and radar contrast, single and area , ground and sea, mobile and stationary targets with supersonic air to ground missiles and aerial bombs in the operational and strategic depth of enemy defences by day and night in any season, in VFR and IFR weather conditions.

    It has four weapon positions/pylons and a central bomb bay, two are conventional but very large pylons either side of the bomb bay and the other two weapon positions are normally fitted with MER (multiple ejector racks) on the air intake trunks.

    The weapon positions under the intakes can either take clusters of bombs on a multi ejector rack, or twin Kh-15 missiles on a pylon.

    The wing pylons normally carry heavy Kh-22M or Kh-32 anti ship missiles, while the weapon bay can carry bombs or be fitted with a single semi recessed heavy missile or a rotary launcher.

    Weapon options include up to 3 Kh-22/22M/32, plus bombs on the forward weapon racks, or all bombs (up to 24 tons), or all Kh-15 missiles... which is two missiles on each of the wing external weapon positions and 6 missiles on an internal rotary launcher in the weapon bay meaning 10 missiles carried.... plus presumably a few bombs on the front MERs.

    AFAIK they talked about a conventionally armed Kh-15 for anti ship use but it was never developed and put into service so when they talk about carrying 10 x Kh-15 missiles they must be referring to land attack against serious air defences that need to be bludgeoned to get through... 10 x mach 5 rockets with nuclear warheads is not for going fishing... it is for clearing a path for more vulnerable platforms.

    They were flying thousands of km with a meagre bomb load, and still they made a difference against big compounds. A PAK-DA should be able to carry many times the bomb load of a Tu-22M3 over such a distance and deliver it even in less favourable environments.

    Even just having inflight refuelling probe would mean being able to operate over the battlefield for longer and carry a much heavier bomb payload perhaps with a bit of variety depending on the targets to be attacked.

    Some laser or TV or satellite guided bombs could be carried with the dumb bombs incase precision is needed... but of course with the brand new mini munitions for drones that are guided so their tiny payloads are still useful against things like moving cars or trucks... how many KAB-20 bombs could it carry...  Twisted Evil

    The sophisticated radar and optics of the aircraft should allow multiple targets to be tracked at once and engaging multiple targets in a single flypast could make it even more devastating to the enemy forces without needing to level cities and brutalise civilians.

    Exactly, that is why I think they stated the PAK-DA would replace the Tu-160 too. But plans seem to have changed, for good I may say.

    Before they had decided what the PAK DA might look like they might have thought the PAK DA would replace all three platforms, but I suspect it was the same as with the BMP-1 and BMP-2... the 73mm gun on the BMP-1 was effective for what it was intended for, but obviously the 30mm cannon of the BMP-2 was better in some areas too. The 30mm was superior in some areas but not all so the BMP-3 actually had a large calibre HE bomb throwing weapon (100mm rifled gun) and a high rate of fire high velocity 30mm auto cannon to get the best of both worlds.

    I think it was probably the same with the BlackJack and PAKDA, because supersonic dash is useful, but subsonic flight performance allows things like a bulky shape so more internal space for fuel and internal weapons, and also less energy burn per flight, and less complexity in terms of mechanical design.

    I thought making the flying wing able to super cruise would be the best of both worlds because that is still difficult for conventional non super cruising aircraft to intercept  because you would need supersonic speed to catch it which means your range is reduced to 1/3 or less for the interceptor aircraft, while they are increasing their fuel burn but not doubling it and by effectively doubling their speed they remain flying at an efficient speed... obviously flying at altitude makes this easier... nothing super cruises at low altitude, so stealth would be useful there too.

    I wonder with the improvements to the Bears props and engines if they might develop an AN-22 type transport... perhaps with further improved propfans like those used on the stillborn An-70... either for an An-70 replacement for the VDV or as an An-22 replacement like the Il-106...

    The Bear is the worlds fastest propeller driven aircraft even today, so while An-12s and Hercs are slower than jets, the Bear and the An-22 were not that much slower than jets and at low to medium altitudes they were often faster.


    Not sure about that, because this is part of the nuclear triad and has priority. 50 units were mentioned, I don't think they will reach those numbers, but they do need to have enough of them (and in good shape) to be credible

    50-60 units were mentioned, plus upgraded existing 15 or so, so you are looking at well short of 100, but plus the Tu-95MSs still in use that will be replaced over time by PAK DA.

    There is little chance they would build 150 Tu-160s because operational costs would be too high, and they would have all their eggs in one basket so to speak.

    An operational pool of say 72 Tu-160s in three regiments of 24 each... perhaps with a couple of extra aircraft as spares, plus a similar number of PAK DAs, so a total of 6 regiments of strategic cruise missile carrying aircraft... along with another 50-60 PAK DAs to fully replace the Backfires in the theatre and naval roles.

    Remember the Naval branch is going to be expanding and not all their aircraft might be based in Russia... imagine some PAK DAs in Argentina or Venezuela performing exercises with the local forces flying around the perimeter of their territory... practising blunting naval attacks by foreign powers...  Twisted Evil


    In the strategic role AD penetration is not the main issue, and if threats appear, that is why supersonic speed is there.

    Technically such an option is only available to operators of supersonic strategic aircraft like the Blackjack... before it was in service weapons like Kh-15 or SRAM, or the stillborn British Blue Steel missile would be used to clear a path for subsonic bombers...

    With the advantage that it reduces the delivery times and hence increases your ability to pound the opponent with a higher intensity.

    The Russian planes will fly subsonic most of the way.. even the Tu-160 has a 10,000km flight range when 2,000km in and 2,000km out are supersonic... so that is 3,000km in and 3,000km out at subsonic speeds. Assuming high altitude flight all the way and 850km/h subsonic cruise and mach 2 ingress and egress, that means three and a half hours to fly the first 3,000km, and then 2,000km/h at mach 2 to fly 2,000km is easy... one hour in and one hour back... so assuming the launch position for the aircraft is 5,000km away from its base it can fly there in 4 and a half hours and then launch its missiles... it will be another four and a half hours before it gets back to base... but the 5,000km range missiles it launched will be flying at 600km/h and high altitude for the vast majority of its flight to conserve fuel and then drop down to low altitude and max speed of maybe 900km/h for the last few hundred or last thousand kms. That means at 600km/h for 4K is going to take another 6 hours, so that means the missile wont impact its target until about 10 hours after its missile carrier gets airborne... from a supersonic bomber.

    Ironically a super cruising Tu-160 with rather more powerful and fuel efficient engines and the first 3,000km being flow at say 1,500km/h drops the first stage to two hours, so three hours to the launch position and three hours back... making it rather more difficult to intercept...

    The value there is to use the bays of the Tu-160 as much as possible, maximizing internal fuel of those missiles for best range and speed/maneouver performance, so the very big size of the platform is a significant advantage and justifies its cost. PAK-DA should be able to carry such missiles (that means bays ca. 10 m long) but its broadband stealth design is not so crucial when you are going to release a missile 5000 km away from target as when you are doing stand-in bombing...

    Just looking at their standardisation of the main weapons bays of the Su-57, S-70 and Su-75 I would think the Blackjack and the PAKDA will both share the same 11m length weapon bays, but perhaps might also get mini weapons back like the wing mounted bays on the Su-57 that perhaps don't stick out so much but can carry defensive missiles in case a long range AAM or SAM is launched at them...

    Ironically the TOR system uses very good radars and optics to command guided the missiles very cheaply to their targets... the new mini models for intercepting drones might be useful for aircraft.

    The LMUR missile shown on a vehicle mount has examples of targets including helicopters, fixed wing fighter aircraft and drones... would it be much of a stretch to add enemy incoming munitions and make it a combined SAM/ATGM like SOSNA/Pine...


    That is a nice advantage in commonality and allows to pay the propulsion effort for both programs. I have not heard anything about NK-32M having increased bpr but it would make sense. Apparently it will be simply a non A/B version of the NK-32-2, which is interesting, since the new production of the Tu-160 would indeed profit from the completely renewed design of the M (apparently only the LPC and couple of other elements will be carried over from the -2 into the -M)

    That raises another aspect... if it is a high performance engine with AB, if you add a small horizontal tail to the flying wing... either angled like the YF-23 or just flat, would these engines be powerful enough for the PAK DA to supercruise in the future... that would make it even more difficult to intercept in its theatre role than the Backfire was... and would not change the design a huge amount...


    Yes, together with many conventional bombs. Russia needs to get rid of some thousands of tons of iron bombs after all and the queue of volunteers to be on their receiving end just grows and grows...

    Putting them to good use in the Ukraine and Syria...  Smile


    Pretty essential differences aren't they?

    I think big enough to essentially dismiss the idea that they are redundant designs.

    In that Combat Approved the S-70 sometimes actually looked enormous, though they may have engineered that by using a fish eye lens because the guy standing on its back looked tiny. I would think an enlarged S-70 might be good as a HALE or MALE drone that operates on its own for long periods performing a mission similar to what the M-17 was being tested for...

    I think PAK-DA will have to work in concert with Tu-160. While the weapon carrying capacity of the PAK-DA should be more than that of the Tu-22 given its delta wing shape it will probably have a weapon carrying capacity less than that of the Tu-160.

    Which makes it sort of ideal for replacing the Bear in the strategic role (which also had less payload capacity on strategic missions) and also the Backfire with rather shorter range and less payload capacity.

    The PAK DA should have a weapon capacity of about 30 tons in the threatre role, compared with a max of about 24 tons for the Backfire. In the strategic role it will likely carry 20-25 tons... the Tu-95MS16 with 10 Kh-101/102 externally and 6 Kh-55SM internally is at overload, so probably just the 10 heavy cruise missiles would mean about 25 tons payload, but the PAK DA will carry all weapons internally so with lower drag.
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    Post  LMFS Sun Aug 07, 2022 9:52 pm

    GarryB wrote:Especially if the supersonic elements launch the weapons to destroy the air defence sensors, while the stealthy high flying component of the group just listens to emissions and signals from the enemy to locate radars and HQs controlling the AD assets.

    The ISR role of S-70 is also known and relevant, also with relatively high persistence and low RCS it will be ideal to listen and attack active SAM sites on short notice.

    The Tu-22M3 and its predecessors was always intended to be a land based theatre strike platform

    You are right, it was not only a naval strike platform but also a strategic missile carrier, in the end it does not change the point that dropping bombs in great quantities, having a high persistence or being cheap to operate were not the main design parameters, but rather the ability to penetrate defences and reach a target quick enough. If you check it, the internal bay of the Tu-22M3 is quite small actually.

    Some laser or TV or satellite guided bombs could be carried with the dumb bombs incase precision is needed... but of course with the brand new mini munitions for drones that are guided so their tiny payloads are still useful against things like moving cars or trucks... how many KAB-20 bombs could it carry...  Twisted Evil

    We see in 404 that hardened positions require serious pounding to be removed, a big concentration of higher calibre bombs on such points would be quite effective me thinks...

    There will be a echeloned CAS support based on U(C)AV from Lancet, Inokhodets and the like all the way up to S-70 and maybe PAK-DA. US has been doing CAS with B-52, it is brutish but it is effective and as said sometimes you are not going to be as careful as Russia was in Syria or Ukraine.

    The sophisticated radar and optics of the aircraft should allow multiple targets to be tracked at once and engaging multiple targets in a single flypast could make it even more devastating to the enemy forces without needing to level cities and brutalise civilians.

    That parallel targetting may be challenging, but the technology is indeed exploring how to carry and deploy autonomous / swarm drones from aircraft. If those drones were able to perform multiple autonomous or semi-automatic targetting, then the military value of their application would be very very serious, that is the role as drone carrying / control platform we discussed above. Pretty sure this is expected for the B-21 too.

    I think it was probably the same with the BlackJack and PAKDA, because supersonic dash is useful, but subsonic flight performance allows things like a bulky shape so more internal space for fuel and internal weapons, and also less energy burn per flight, and less complexity in terms of mechanical design.

    They had the high end strategic missile carriers, but were missing the low cost work horse they could actually apply in conventional combat, that is where I think they were thinking mainly. The strategic role was to be attained mainly through long range flight.

    I thought making the flying wing able to super cruise would be the best of both worlds because that is still difficult for conventional non super cruising aircraft to intercept  because you would need supersonic speed to catch it which means your range is reduced to 1/3 or less for the interceptor aircraft, while they are increasing their fuel burn but not doubling it and by effectively doubling their speed they remain flying at an efficient speed... obviously flying at altitude makes this easier... nothing super cruises at low altitude, so stealth would be useful there too.

    Apart form the controllability issue, the kind of shapes and profiles supersonic flight demands detracts from the payload and also materials need to be different. It would somehow defeat the purpose of having a practical conventional bomber that can be used on the daily work of the VKS

    There is little chance they would build 150 Tu-160s because operational costs would be too high, and they would have all their eggs in one basket so to speak.

    Yes it is too big, too expensive to operate and too valuable. Even considering they need to have enough to still be operational after a first strike on their bases, I doubt we will see more than 30-40 of them.

    An operational pool of say 72 Tu-160s in three regiments of 24 each... perhaps with a couple of extra aircraft as spares, plus a similar number of PAK DAs, so a total of 6 regiments of strategic cruise missile carrying aircraft... along with another 50-60 PAK DAs to fully replace the Backfires in the theatre and naval roles.

    Don't think we will see such high numbers and expect the PAK-DA to be substantially more numerous than Tu-160.

    Remember the Naval branch is going to be expanding and not all their aircraft might be based in Russia... imagine some PAK DAs in Argentina or Venezuela performing exercises with the local forces flying around the perimeter of their territory... practising blunting naval attacks by foreign powers...  Twisted Evil

    Could actually be that case, given the clear direction the new naval strategy has outlined...

    Remember the air launched Tsirkon was planed from the very beginning angel

    Technically such an option is only available to operators of supersonic strategic aircraft like the Blackjack... before it was in service weapons like Kh-15 or SRAM, or the stillborn British Blue Steel missile would be used to clear a path for subsonic bombers...

    I mean, Russia does not foresee strategic bombers but missile carriers, with increasingly longer ranges. AD will be left to the missile due to either low flight and long range to avoid AD sites or hypersonic flight speed.

    so that means the missile wont impact its target until about 10 hours after its missile carrier gets airborne... from a supersonic bomber.

    The goal is to reach points that allow the missile to avoid enemy AD en route to the targets of interest. The fastest the aircraft carries the missiles in that direction, the better. With the new missiles having longer ranges, the carrier may well be demanded to flight all the time in supersonic regime, that is probably the idea. If you fly 1.6 M instead of 0.8, you will be able to release roughly double the number of missiles in the same time...

    Just looking at their standardisation of the main weapons bays of the Su-57, S-70 and Su-75 I would think the Blackjack and the PAKDA will both share the same 11m length weapon bays, but perhaps might also get mini weapons back like the wing mounted bays on the Su-57 that perhaps don't stick out so much but can carry defensive missiles in case a long range AAM or SAM is launched at them...

    The self defence missile announced for the Tu-160 will most probably find also application in the PAK-DA. That is one of the reasons why big platforms have their value too, since they may be higher value targets but can be better protected too.

    Ironically the TOR system uses very good radars and optics to command guided the missiles very cheaply to their targets... the new mini models for intercepting drones might be useful for aircraft.

    The LMUR missile shown on a vehicle mount has examples of targets including helicopters, fixed wing fighter aircraft and drones... would it be much of a stretch to add enemy incoming munitions and make it a combined SAM/ATGM like SOSNA/Pine...

    I guess intercepting incoming AAMs from a plane moving almost 1 M places specific demands on launching, control and kinematics, specially to intercept targets in the rear hemisphere. May be a specially designed missile.

    That raises another aspect... if it is a high performance engine with AB, if you add a small horizontal tail to the flying wing... either angled like the YF-23 or just flat, would these engines be powerful enough for the PAK DA to supercruise in the future... that would make it even more difficult to intercept in its theatre role than the Backfire was... and would not change the design a huge amount...

    There is an aspect of directional stability apart from the change in center of lift, which is BTW quite critical since the plane is very short. I would submit that the main interest of having AB on the plane would be to achieve short take-off, which can be critical for that kind of platform in a war condition. As said supercruising would be important if the Tu-160 needed to be replaced, the way things look now VKS will not need to compromise so much and will get two purpose designed platforms with maximum performance and not some compromised one like if it needed to be a fast strategic missile carrier and a cheap bomber in one.

    Putting them to good use in the Ukraine and Syria...  Smile

    Those are either friendly countries or even mostly Russian native lands, but there are other places where russophobe chihuahuas could be taught the meaning of good old Western carpet bombing in their own territory. "Sorry, no sorry", as they say...

    I think big enough to essentially dismiss the idea that they are redundant designs.

    Exactly

    In that Combat Approved the S-70 sometimes actually looked enormous, though they may have engineered that by using a fish eye lens because the guy standing on its back looked tiny. I would think an enlarged S-70 might be good as a HALE or MALE drone that operates on its own for long periods performing a mission similar to what the M-17 was being tested for...

    S-70 has the size of a tactical bomber. It will be maybe able to carry 4x 500 kg bombs, or 2x 1500 or 4x missiles of the Kh-69/58 size. And that is very good, but not good enough.

    Which makes it sort of ideal for replacing the Bear in the strategic role (which also had less payload capacity on strategic missions) and also the Backfire with rather shorter range and less payload capacity.

    Pretty much

    The PAK DA should have a weapon capacity of about 30 tons in the threatre role, compared with a max of about 24 tons for the Backfire. In the strategic role it will likely carry 20-25 tons... the Tu-95MS16 with 10 Kh-101/102 externally and 6 Kh-55SM internally is at overload, so probably just the 10 heavy cruise missiles would mean about 25 tons payload, but the PAK DA will carry all weapons internally so with lower drag.

    The main issue is internal carriage. Drag reduces range massively, and external ordnance makes a plane very apparent on radar.

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    Post  LMFS Sun Aug 07, 2022 10:05 pm

    S-70 vs PAK-DA

    > Unmanned vs manned
    > Limited RCS reduction against low frequency radars vs optimised against them
    > 6000 km vs probably 15-18k km range
    > Capable for 2 to 4 tactical weapons (ca. 4.2 m long) vs capable for theater/substrategic weapons (ca. 10 m long) and other oversized ordnance
    > Practical 3-4 t payload vs ca. 20-30 t (internal carriage)
    > Remotely controlled / increasingly autonomous vs carrying a crew capable of coordinating attacks of several assets
    > Reduced or no self defence vs. space and precedent (Tu-160) for self defence weapons

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    Post  GarryB Mon Aug 08, 2022 5:33 pm

    Agree with all of your points and guesses except...

    > Reduced or no self defence vs. space and precedent (Tu-160) for self defence weapons

    I would expect if operating with MiG-31s in the far north or flying high over a group of Su-34s penetrating low and fast that the S-70 could easily carry loads of R-37M or its replacement, or the full range of AAMs they have or are developing...

    Do we know what sort of sensors S-70 will have? Radar, IRST, etc etc?

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