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    Future Russian Aircraft Carriers and Deck Aviation. #2

    Tsavo Lion
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    Post  Tsavo Lion Thu Jan 30, 2020 2:56 am

    Ka-31 is the cheapest but functionally the worst option for AWACS.  Lower ceiling then E-2 10,500m vs 3,500m for Ka-31.
    They could adopt the Mi-38 with ~2x Ka-31 ceiling (6,500 m) & range:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mil_Mi-38#Specifications_(Mi-38)
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kamov_Ka-31#Specifications_(Ka-31)

    If the future CVNs will have escorts armed with naval S-400/500, their radars+UAVs will be enough to cover any gaps created by the absence of an E-2 counterpart.
    Also, they could deploy IL-38s/Tu-214/A-50/100s to bases in Cuba, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Syria, Libya, Algeria, Iran, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, China, Philippines, Vietnam, Sudan, S. Africa, Mozambique, Angola, & Argentina to cover all of the possible areas they'll sail into.
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    Post  Rodion_Romanovic Thu Jan 30, 2020 11:49 am

    which are NATO 6th generation (naval) fighters?

    There is the plan for the uk tempest and for a German French fighter, but nothing is clear about them and they are at least 15 years away.

    And anyway by that time Russia could further modernise their su57.

    So until at least 2035 i do not see any naval fighter that could be so better than a mig35K, and after that a su57k, maybe with a mid life improvement would be able to be at least on par with NATO so caller 6th gen fighters (that would not have reached yet full operational capability,  by the way).

    It is also possible that half of the carrier air wing will be composed by unmanned aircrafts btw... we will see.

    Concerning the Russian STOVL naval fighter, we will see. They announced that they are working on it, but I  do not believe they want to put all of their eggs in this basket.
    For them the best would be if some country with more money (to waste) than sense (e.g. some of the arabs countries) would fund most of the development costs. At the end it would be still cheaper for such customer than buy overpriced American products (yes I know that the military spending for those countries is also a out of jail card that allow them to kill people in embassies and live like a middleage dictatorship but have better PR than most countries, however they are already diversifying their expenses and looking with interest at many russian products)
    GarryB
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    Post  GarryB Fri Jan 31, 2020 3:59 am

    3- Can steam catapults work in the arctic?

    No point in wasting time and money developing steam catapults today... they are inferior to the potential of EM cats, and most importantly technology developed creating steam catapults is not useful... technology created developing EM cats would be very valuable in all sorts of areas.

    Not for long before having maintenance & safety issues. Steam will add moisture on the flight deck leading to ice buildup.

    Ice build up has always been a problem in arctic waters anyway and could be dealt with, but the fundamental problem remains that a steam cat is not worth developing now... it wont be any easier or quicker or cheaper than EM cats would (for Russia who has never operated one on a ship before), so it makes sense to invest in an EM cat instead.

    MiG-29k/35 in 2030s? like investing in frame from 80s? 50 years old design? ekhm doesn't look too promising for me. Recently there was 10 years from the first flight of Su-57 and no Su-57k on horizon. Yet I hope VSTOL is still in development. In 30s should be on table

    It is likely that even in the 2030 period the French will still be operating Rafale and the US will be operating the F-18 which are contemporaries of the MiG-29/35.

    A VSTOL would be an enormous step backwards... a navalised Su-57 or a new medium 5th gen fighter based on the MiG make rather more sense. There is plenty of time to decide because the carrier itself will take a decade to get made and anywhere near service anyway.


    Thats to me most intriguing part. Ka-31 is the cheapest but functionally the worst option for AWACS. Lower ceiling then E-2 10,500m vs 3,500m for Ka-31. Mission time 2,5hrs for both but E-2 can be refueled and fly 5 hours on mission.

    The extra height is irrelevant... the Ka-31 can see to sea level out to 250km... operating at 10K altitude wont change the distance it can see to... it would just make it visible to other platforms from further away.

    Another factor you ignore is that a spread out surface group will have lots of ships with helipads where the Ka-31 can land and refuel without having to fly back to the carrier and being smaller and lighter and rather cheaper you could operate half a dozen of them and position them around the carrier group with a corvette or frigate nearby with a heli pad to keep them in the air...

    It is not ideal obviously, but certainly better than nothing.

    Even with EM cats they will likely still use them...


    Investing in (never finished) Yak-44 is like restart the 50 years old design. The new platform for 2030s? US BTW USN has just started replacing own Grumman C-2 Greyhound with tiltrotors. Which do not require any catapult. C-2 is same airframe as Grumman E-2 Hawkeye AWACS.

    An airship could operate at enormous altitudes continuously for months at a time with no need for a catapult and could be fitted with antenna arrays that are enormous too. Its lack of speed is not really an issue because with flight speeds of 100km per hour even a conventional airship can move with any carrier group.

    The technology needed for EM cats would be useful for developing long range artillery and for electric powered propulsion systems etc etc the investment in EM cats wont be wasted... unlike money invested in tilt rotors and VSTOL fighter aircraft.

    It would be interesting to see ho thins will develop on US/NATO side

    Interesting but not particularly relevant.

    P.S. how do you know that no Su-57K will be developed?
    The new carrier will not start trials (in the best case) before 2030. There is plenty of time for it.

    I remember in the 1970s the models showing brand new Soviet carrier designs had MiG-23s on them... when we saw the fixed wing carrier it had Su-27 and MiG-29s on it... they are not stupid... they will plan for aircraft and if they have to make aircraft to operate from the carriers then those aircraft will be adapted to work.

    Unlike US and western aircraft carriers Russian ones don't require a catapult to launch fighter aircraft because their fighter aircraft are expected to be used as fighters rather than multirole aircraft so the requirement for weapon loads is much less. A full air to air missile and jammer pod load out is small compared with an air to ground loadout.

    The cats for the new carriers will be for AWACS platforms... manned or unmanned... new or based on old... their work on brand new radars might mean their new AWACS platform has tiny lightweight radar arrays that can be fitted to smaller lighter aircraft... a scaled up more powerful Ka-226T that can operate at 7km altitude for instance could be an option... they might be able to mount the new antenna arrays on existing aircraft skin so a MiG-35 might have front and rear facing radar antenna and engine side wall mounted antenna for 360 degree scanning so it can be used as an AWACS platform... they could fill in the centre location between the engines with a low power turbofan engine... the aircraft could take off normally with two main engines accelerating the aircraft and climbing up to 7 or 8 thousand metres altitude and then the centreline cruise engine could start up and the FOD doors over the two main engines could close to minimise drag and it could loiter on this low power turbofan engine for 7 or 8 hours... buddy refuelling could extend the amount of time it spends on station, or it could be replaced when needed...

    Anyways there would be no point in developing catapults and building a 75000tons carrier if you only plan to use tiltrotors, helicopters and stovl aircrafts.

    That is the trap... we have VSTOL fighters and helicopters and tiltrotors so instead of a 75K ton carrier we have a 20K ton helicopter carrier like the Hermes which is much much less capable than a real carrier.

    A false economy.

    But those who support this should also be suggesting that Su-35s and Su-30s should be withdrawn and replaced with cheaper lighter MiG-29s and MiG-35s... they do the same job but the smaller lighter aircraft cost less to operate...

    [qutoe]if Russians go for catapults there will be much more sense in investing into EM catapult. Less mechanically complex, reduced crew requirements and more starts per minute. No problems with icing of condensed steam . [/quote]

    And technology that can be used in other areas...

    Extending range for artillery guns for instance...

    it is upgraded 80s design in plain words. It is a good stopgap but it doesn't really looking like a perspective fighter to counter US/NATO 6th gen fighters. For Kuz it woulds make sense as Kuz is back soon. OK relatively soon in line.

    For now it makes sense... it is capable and affordable... and the 6th generation Russian fighters that replace it don't exist yet anyway.

    I dont but about carrier there were a lot of discussions in Russian media sphere since 2014. But nothing wrt to Su-57k really. Only 2-3 times mentioned VSTOL development since 2017 (AFAIR)

    R-37 being compatible with all the new Russian fighters... Su-57, Su-35, MiG-35 and of course MiG-31, but we have only ever seen it on MiG-31s and mentioned for Su-57... but now we see it on Su-35... how long before we see it on MiG-35?


    2) And US will use E-2 till the 2030s when next gen will appear. V-22 is replacing C-2 for a reason. USN has 90-100ktons CVNs with catapults yet replaces C-2 with V.22. There must be advantage I guess.

    Maintenance is usually the excuse... the F-18 replaced the F-14 because it was "multirole" and cheaper to operate and maintain... which is of course bullshit in terms of multirole because they specifically did not upgrade the F-14 with a lot of things like AMRAAM to make it obsolete so it would be replaced... I suspect the company that makes the C-2 no longer exists and they can't make any more but the maker of the V-22 wants the job so it is creating work by developing a replacement where none was really needed.

    Ironic that the F-15 was taken out of production so the F-16 and then the F-35 could be made in larger numbers to replace them... now they are talking about putting the F-15 back in to production... ironic... the F-35 was supposed to save money


    3) UK from the other hand has 2 70k CVs without catapults and VSTOL ;-)

    They also went from fixed wing carriers with cats to the Hermes vstol carrier... it was not a military decision... it was an accountants decision because every time the British military are sent out to do a task the first thing the british government does when they get back is cut their budget to offset the cost of munitions and the war.

    Not a good model to follow.... any brit will tell you that.

    Their life will be extended till 30s but it is already legacy tech. And if RuN is going to use upgraded 80s designs (MiG-35, Yak-44) then they will invest into yesterday's tech vs US tomorrow's tech.

    Bullshit.

    Aircraft technology in terms of design and materials and manufacturing has moved on since the 1970s... basing a design on a model from the 1970s does not mean it will be a 1970s design, but if you believe that then that would be a very good argument against VSTOL fighters.

    If F-35 represents US tomorrows tech then Russia is in an excellent position because American future tech is crap... going for tilt rotors sounds to me like they have reached rock bottom and are still digging.

    They could adopt the Mi-38 with ~2x Ka-31 ceiling (6,500 m) & range:

    Range and altitude are not critical for AWACS... its purpose is not to look for targets thousands of kms away... it is to detect low flying and sea surface threats early so they can be engaged earlier and quicker and with coordination.

    The most likely replacement for the MiG-35 on Russian carriers would be the Su-57 with folding wings. Should be a straight forward upgrade.
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    Post  Tsavo Lion Fri Jan 31, 2020 7:03 am

    I suspect the company that makes the C-2 no longer exists and they can't make any more but the maker of the V-22 wants the job so it is creating work by developing a replacement where none was really needed.
    The Northrop Grumman is still active, & now works on the B-21.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grumman_C-2_Greyhound

    Instead of developing a new plane or restarting C-2 production, the V-22 was selected to save $- the Navy version is also useful for SAR, ASW & special ops. Also, COD can now be done safely at night, giving them more flexibility & reducing CATOBAR use & maintenance costs.

    Range and altitude are not critical for AWACS...
    Bigger range=more patrol time w/o refueling; higher altitude may mean faster speed to reach a given patrol area & grater target detection range.
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    Post  GarryB Fri Jan 31, 2020 11:24 am

    The Northrop Grumman is still active, & now works on the B-21.

    Do they still support operational Hawkeyes and are they capable of making or even interested in making more?

    That is like saying MiG could start building MiG-3 fighter planes because MiG still exists as part of the UAC organisation... but the facts are that the guns and engines and many other parts needed are no longer in production so while they probably could make a few hand made versions it would not be practical or useful to put them back into production and I doubt even MiG would be interested in such a thing.

    Instead of developing a new plane or restarting C-2 production, the V-22 was selected to save $- the Navy version is also useful for SAR, ASW & special ops. Also, COD can now be done safely at night, giving them more flexibility & reducing CATOBAR use & maintenance costs.

    V-22 stats are pretty ordinary and don't really impress me very much... the C-2 can manage 4.5 tons with a cruise speed of 460km/h to 2,400km range... Wiki gives no cruise speed for the V-22, but as a general rule of thumb cruise speed is about 80% of top speed which gives us a cruise speed of about 400km/h, and while it can supposedly carry 9 tons of payload its combat range is about 700km... an Mi-26 could do better than that...

    I also don't really trust numbers for the V-22... for the same reason I don't trust figures for the F-35 either....

    Bigger range=more patrol time w/o refueling;

    Not at all... a helicopter is much slower than a fixed wing aircraft so a flight range that is a quarter doesn't mean a quarter of the endurance... helicopters can also land on any ship with a heli pad and does not need to return to the carrier for refuelling...

    higher altitude may mean faster speed to reach a given patrol area & grater target detection range.

    The Ka-31 can only see to 250km so getting higher than 3,500m is pointless because any extra height wont extend the radar range... it will only make the helicopter visible to surface ships that are further away...

    Higher flight speed is largely useless to AWACS platforms...
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    Post  Rodion_Romanovic Fri Jan 31, 2020 11:58 am

    Yeah higher speed is not needed for awacs, but if they build an AWACS Yak-44 derivative, they can also build a tanker version and a cargo/transport version.
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    Post  Tsavo Lion Fri Jan 31, 2020 4:17 pm

    while it can supposedly carry 9 tons of payload its combat range is about 700km... an Mi-26 could do better than that...
    Don't worry: they r already test flying a MQ-25A UAV tanker.
    https://news.usni.org/2019/05/06/navy-first-mq-25a-stingray-flight-planned-for-later-this-year

    The MQ-25A will deliver up to 15,000 pounds of fuel at 500 nautical miles. (926km) https://news.usni.org/2019/09/20/boring-first-flight-of-mq-25a-prototype-was-the-result-boeing-and-navy-wanted
    https://www.theunitconverter.com/nautical-miles-to-kilometers-conversion/500-nautical-miles-to-kilometers.html

    I'm sure it could be used to refuel the V-22s. 700km+926km=1,626km. They may even have a dedicated V-22 tanker version.

    a helicopter is much slower than a fixed wing aircraft so a flight range that is a quarter doesn't mean a quarter of the endurance... helicopters can also land on any ship with a heli pad and does not need to return to the carrier for refuelling...
    True, but a large helo of the Mi-38 size can have extra fuel tank(s) for more loitering time & a pusher prop in the tail to give it more speed; OTH, it'll be too big to land on FFGs & DDGs.



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    Post  GarryB Sat Feb 01, 2020 1:49 am

    Yeah higher speed is not needed for awacs, but if they build an AWACS Yak-44 derivative, they can also build a tanker version and a cargo/transport version.

    They could make it a biplane like an An-2 with double folding wings... its takeoff speed is so low that it could probably take off from an aircraft carrier that is running in to the wind without a catapult... all sorts of versions could be developed...

    An upgraded Yak-44 with new engines and propellers made of modern composite materials and new lift features on their wings like blown flaps could make a very capable small AWACS aircraft that could be sold to countries that don't even operate aircraft carriers... India it seems could do with aircraft to coordinate its fighters during skirmishes on its borders and they could probably buy a dozen for the price of a full sized AWACS platform...

    True, but a large helo of the Mi-38 size can have extra fuel tank(s) for more loitering time & a pusher prop in the tail to give it more speed; OTH, it'll be too big to land on FFGs & DDGs.

    First of all a bigger helo could land on frigates and destroyers... what it couldn't do is fit in to their hangars because they are designed for Kamov Helix family aircraft.

    Second any improved helo based AWACS for the navy will almost certainly be a Kamov... most likely based on the new models they are working on now.

    The technology they are working on for small UAVs on tethers that can be used by Armata tanks that raise thermal imagers and MMW radars in to the air to look down and around the vehicle with data and power provided through the tether suggests a potential future with hydrogen balloons lifting sensors above a ship so they don't need rotary or fixed wing aircraft to search the airspace around them out to significant distances down to low altitudes...

    In fact you could pallatise it like the new Naval TOR system so you could place it anywhere on the deck that has free space... inflate the balloon using water and a fuel cell to generate hydrogen... and to then consume it for recovery purposes... so there is not too much tension on the tether...
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    Post  Tsavo Lion Sat Feb 01, 2020 7:06 pm

    They could make it a biplane like an An-2 with double folding wings... its takeoff speed is so low that it could probably take off from an aircraft carrier that is running in to the wind without a catapult...
    I'm sure some1 already thought on this, but since no such concept appeared up to date, I doubt it'll be feasible in the long run.

    Second any improved helo based AWACS for the navy will almost certainly be a Kamov... most likely based on the new models they are working on now.
    possibly incl. the Ka-102. It'll have the range, speed, & payload to be adopted for EW&C role besides COD, SAR, ASW, MCM, & special ops roles.

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    Post  GarryB Sun Feb 02, 2020 2:36 am

    I'm sure some1 already thought on this, but since no such concept appeared up to date, I doubt it'll be feasible in the long run.

    The Soviets and Russians have a recent history of showing failed designs and revealing failed systems in the hopes of finding a foreign partner to invest in developing the product... case in point the Mi-28 was revealed in the late 1980s... it was about 4-6 years later when real images of the Ka-50 were shown... both the Mi-28 and the Ka-50 were good designs but at the time the Ka-50 was considered better though it was more expensive. The new requirements for night and all weather performance meant the Ka-50 was eliminated and they started looking at the Mi-28 again because flying a helicopter at night is a full time job so you need a weapon operator as well.

    The point is that the Russians might not be revealing AWACS design plans at all so how can we tell what options they are looking at?

    Their model ships show Yak-44 like AWACS... but as I have mentioned the models from the 70s showed MiG-23 as carrier aircraft as it was the standard fighter aircraft of the time. When the carriers were in the water however there was the Yak-141 (replacement of the Yak-38M) and the MiG-29 and Su-33 (replacements for the MiG-21 and MiG-23 respectively) that were carried.

    The people developing new ships can communicate with the people developing new aircraft so new ships will have helicopter facilities able to handle new helicopters as well as current ones... new aircraft carriers that wont be in service for a decade will plan to have new aircraft too... at least as an option...

    An important part of the design process is to ensure your new product is going to be compatible with products in development.

    I mean they would hardly develop the PAK DA only to find all the brand new cruise and hypersonic missiles they are also developing wont fit internally... the makers of weapons will talk with the makers of planes to ensure they work together and are standard.

    Will be the same for carrier designers.
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    Post  GarryB Sun Feb 02, 2020 2:39 am

    possibly incl. the Ka-102. It'll have the range, speed, & payload to be adopted for EW&C role besides COD, SAR, ASW, MCM, & special ops roles.

    Certainly not the Ka-102 for a couple of reasons... first of all because it likely wont get made. Second because even if it was made it would take up an enormous space inside the carrier and would be totally inferior to any fixed wing AWACS platform they develop... you could probably carry four Ka-31s for each Kh-102 so no matter what performance you get from the Kh-102 the existing already developed and in service Ka-31 makes rather more sense.

    It is possible they might make them for land based use... but with other new helicopters funded and in development I rather doubt they would make any money at all on it so they will likely shelve it.
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    Post  Isos Sun Feb 02, 2020 9:12 am

    I mean they would hardly develop the PAK DA only to find all the brand new cruise and hypersonic missiles they are also developing wont fit internally... the makers of weapons will talk with the makers of planes to ensure they work together and are standard.

    Will be the same for carrier designers.

    Well newest US carriers can't operate newest US f-35... shit happens somtimes and cost a lot.

    There are many things engineers can't think about when developing something and realize that in the best case only during tests and in the bad case when they already sold lots of equipment that then need to be fixed for a big price.

    A little bit like when car makers call back thousands of cars because there is a part that need to be changed.
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    Post  Tsavo Lion Sun Feb 02, 2020 3:49 pm

    GarryB wrote:
    possibly incl. the Ka-102. It'll have the range, speed, & payload to be adopted for EW&C role besides COD, SAR, ASW, MCM, & special ops roles.

    Certainly not the Ka-102 for a couple of reasons... first of all because it likely wont get made. Second because even if it was made it would take up an enormous space inside the carrier and would be totally inferior to any fixed wing AWACS platform they develop...
    something has to replace the Mi-6; a shorter version can be made for CVNs, or it can stay on the flight deck or some other ship; fixed wing AWACS may not materialize & EM CAT will take a lot of $ & time to develop & test, besides requiring a lot of power, space, & extra personnel to operate & maintain.
    Yak-24K The fuselage was shortened,...
    http://www.aviastar.org/helicopters_eng/jak-24.php
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    Post  GarryB Mon Feb 03, 2020 12:28 am


    Well newest US carriers can't operate newest US f-35... shit happens somtimes and cost a lot.

    The newest US carriers can't operate the cat launched F-35s because their cats don't work yet... give them time and a few billion dollars and they will get it working eventually...

    We keep hearing about how wondering the F-35 is... I would think from such a physically large ship as the Ford class they could just take off conventionally with air to air loadouts if they needed to... has the conventional cat assisted take off F-35 have main engine thrust vectoring?

    There are many things engineers can't think about when developing something and realize that in the best case only during tests and in the bad case when they already sold lots of equipment that then need to be fixed for a big price.

    That ship has already sailed... they have spent enough on Ford and the F-35 to fix any possible problems 100 times, but in actual fact it seems most of the money that went into the F-35 was wasted in the method of production that made it cancel proof... did they know it was going to be a dog from the outset and make it the way they did to prevent common sense from stopping it? I mean the whole point of the F-35 programme was standardisation and unification of design and components to make it CHEAPER... so far it has only made it orders of magnitude more expensive... I mean the Russians are making the Su-57 for 40 million each, while the price for the F-35 seems to be three times more than this...

    The excuse that they can afford it while the Russians can't is pretty damn weak... if anything the Russian aircraft should be much more expensive because it doesn't use imported parts...

    A little bit like when car makers call back thousands of cars because there is a part that need to be changed.

    True... but generally it is only one thing... a faulty airbag design or a fault in the brakes, or an electronic problem with something... the sort of thing they try very hard to solve before they start selling it to the public... it seems that in the case of the F-35 it is more like the microsoft method of getting the product out and making money from it and then fix problems in a slap dash way with patches and workarounds as they turn up and then after a period put out a service pack to fix the major problems... usually the OS is stable and relatively reliable by service pack 3.

    Not a good model for fighter aircraft though.

    something has to replace the Mi-6; a shorter version can be made for CVNs, or it can stay on the flight deck or some other ship;

    The Mi-26 replaced the Mi-6 years ago... and this new 10-12 ton payload helicopter joint venture with China will fit in the appropriate niche to make any other helicopter type redundant in that role. They don't need a Chinook or a Ka-102 AND this new helicopter, and considering this new helicopter is rather more likely to proceed once the engines are ready then it makes little sense to waste time talking about a Chinook or Ka-102 which in Russian service would likely use the same new engine so would be delayed the same amount of time too before it could enter service...

    The Chinook has zero chance of entering Russian service as I keep telling you, and the Ka-102s chances are not that much better for the reasons I have explained.

    fixed wing AWACS may not materialize & EM CAT will take a lot of $ & time to develop & test, besides requiring a lot of power, space, & extra personnel to operate & maintain.

    Money spent on EM cats is money well invested because the technology an materials invested in electromagnets and even just the transfer and use of large amounts of electrical energy will be seriously valuable across an enormous range of fields... with all electric aircraft and land vehicles and ships and subs such technology can be used across the board from cars to trucks to trains to armoured vehicles of all types, through airships and drones and all types of aircraft manned and unmanned.

    An EM cat system would require less personnel than a steam cat system, and would not require enormous amounts of super high temperature steam under very high pressure to be piped through the ship... such things are incredibly dangerous in war scenarios in terms of battle damage.

    Equally a steam system needs to be set precisely for the aircraft type and for its fuel and ammo and payload status... dial it up wrong and the aircraft either gets its nose wheel ripped off and probably ends up in the water because it wont be moving fast enough to raise its nose when it gets to the end of the deck and will just drop straight in to the sea, or the cat does not deliver enough speed to the aircraft to get to takeoff speed and when it gets to the end of the deck with its nose turned up its lack of speed means it will sink down from lack of lift till it hits the water and sinks.

    With an EM system the system can adjust the force it is delivering so if it senses the aircraft is not accelerating fast enough it can increase power to get it to speed in the space available. If it starts moving too fast it can reduce the energy to avoid damaging the aircraft and still get it to flight speed...

    In terms of electrical power it wont be that much different from the power delivered to the 4 main antenna arrays of the CVN itself during peak search routines scanning at long range for stealthy targets... such vessels with nuclear power plants should have plenty of excess power to play with... it will also have back up generators and other systems to temporarily increase available power when needed too... but as I keep saying these cats are not for launching Russian fighters... Russian fighters with the ski jump and sailing in to the wind should be able to take off with max fuel and max air to air payload without needing cat assistance... so the only aircraft needing the cats will be the AWACs and any other large aircraft types based on that design like a COD/tanker platforms that could have their design unified fairly easily...

    Yak-24K The fuselage was shortened,...

    There are limits to how much you can shorten the fuselage of a tandem rotor helicopter design... in comparison a coaxial rotor design is about as short as you want to make it... with most of the benefits of a tandem rotor design...
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    Post  Tsavo Lion Mon Feb 03, 2020 1:44 am

    The Mi-26 replaced the Mi-6 years ago...
    it wasn't's a not a direct replacement any more than the An-12 was of the An-8- it increased vertical lift capability exponentially along with the operating costs.  
    ..and this new 10-12 ton payload helicopter joint venture with China will fit in the appropriate niche to make any other helicopter type redundant in that role.
    like I wrote on the other thread, they won't buy it in any meaningful #, if at all. Better make its own helo.
    Money spent on EM cats is money well invested ..will be seriously valuable across an enormous range of fields...
    they can invest in MAGLEV trains with the same result, saving $ on EM CAT & fixed wing AWACS & CODs by adopting helos or tilt-rotors.
    A few EW UAVs can help AWACS helos making them=the USN E-2s.
    There are limits to how much you can shorten the fuselage of a tandem rotor helicopter design...
    if the future CVN is going to be as large or larger than the Nimitz/Ford classes, it won't make a big difference, even if its close to 2x as long as CH-46E & CH-47F, both of which operated off LHAa & CV/Ns. 1-2 of them could be based on it & the other 1-2 or all 4 on other ship(s).
    The length of the helicopter 36.2 m
    https://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/russia/ka-102.htm

    Length: 44 ft 10 in (13.67 m) (fuselage)
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_Vertol_CH-46_Sea_Knight#Specifications_(CH-46E)

    Fuselage length: 52 ft (16 m)
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_CH-47_Chinook#Specifications_(CH-47F)

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/huey205/8660009890/

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/49589823@N05/7512388964

    https://i.pinimg.com/originals/7c/af/95/7caf9528c217e7556bde543eb4438819.jpg

    https://i2.wp.com/usmilitaryupdate.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/B66FA555-8EAA-4E68-BCB1-FBFA666BA40B.jpeg?ssl=1


    Last edited by Tsavo Lion on Mon Feb 03, 2020 2:36 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : add text)
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    Post  Rodion_Romanovic Mon Feb 03, 2020 9:07 am

    Tsavo Lion wrote:
    The Mi-26 replaced the Mi-6 years ago...
    it wasn't's a not a direct replacement any more than the An-12 was of the An-8- it increased vertical lift capability exponentially along with the operating costs.  
    ..and this new 10-12 ton payload helicopter joint venture with China will fit in the appropriate niche to make any other helicopter type redundant in that role.
    like I wrote on the other thread, they won't buy it in any meaningful #, if at all. Better make its own helo.
    Money spent on EM cats is money well invested ..will be seriously valuable across an enormous range of fields...
    they can invest in MAGLEV trains with the same result, saving $ on EM CAT & fixed wing AWACS & CODs by adopting helos or tilt-rotors.
    A few EW UAVs can help AWACS helos making them=the USN E-2s.
    There are limits to how much you can shorten the fuselage of a tandem rotor helicopter design...
    if the future CVN is going to be as large or larger than the Nimitz/Ford classes, it won't make a big difference, even if its close to 2x as long as CH-46E & CH-47F, both of which operated off LHAa & CV/Ns. 1-2 of them could be based on it & the other 1-2 or all 4 on other ship(s).
    The length of the helicopter 36.2 m
    https://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/russia/ka-102.htm

    Length: 44 ft 10 in (13.67 m) (fuselage)
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_Vertol_CH-46_Sea_Knight#Specifications_(CH-46E)

    Fuselage length: 52 ft (16 m)
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_CH-47_Chinook#Specifications_(CH-47F)

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/huey205/8660009890/

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/49589823@N05/7512388964

    https://i.pinimg.com/originals/7c/af/95/7caf9528c217e7556bde543eb4438819.jpg

    https://i2.wp.com/usmilitaryupdate.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/B66FA555-8EAA-4E68-BCB1-FBFA666BA40B.jpeg?ssl=1

    The only thing that I may agree here is that is probable that they won't buy many copies (if any) of that helicopter, since  Russia has downgraded their participation  to supplier and not to 50% partner.

    Maybe they will use that work to do their own development,  like Italy and Russia did with the M346 and the yak130.

    However there is not a specific engine for that either, they plan to use a derated version of the PD-12V that should go also on the Mi-26 to substitute the soviet/ukrainian D136.

    Maybe this size class is not the priority for Russia, and they would rather invest money on a fixed wing transport aircraft with such payload capability,  e.g. a lengthened il-112v with a more powerful engine.

    I know that they are going to develop a 4000/5000 shp engine, so that will probably be for an helicopter in size between the mi38 and the mi6. I believe it will be anyway still a bit too large for naval use and would not fit in the helicopter hangars in current navy ships.

    Interview with General Designer of the United Engine Corporation Yuri Shmotin

    - Regarding "perspective helicopter engine" project. UEC is working on an engine suitable for both helicopters and airplanes. This project is now called PDV-4000 [PDV stands for future helicopter engine]. Τhis power system will be a new generation engine of 4,000-5,000 horsepower.
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    Post  GarryB Mon Feb 03, 2020 11:13 am

    it wasn't's a not a direct replacement any more than the An-12 was of the An-8- it increased vertical lift capability exponentially along with the operating costs.

    Well they stopped making the Mi-6s and they started making the Mi-26 instead... it was not a direct complete replacement where they withdrew the Mi-6 and replaced them with Mi-26... they kept using the Mi-6s because they remained useful... but they tend to reuse numbers for replacements... ie Il-476 replaces the Il-76 for example.

    like I wrote on the other thread, they won't buy it in any meaningful #, if at all. Better make its own helo.

    They are making it because they have a use for it and building it together with China reduces design and production costs and also means a shared market of Russia and China for the aircraft which means it will be produced in much larger numbers than a Russian or Chinese only design.

    It will also likely be exported to third parties as well for which the Mi-26 might be too big but the Mi-38 might be too small.

    If they wont be making a joint Russian/Chinese helicopter in the 10-12 ton payload range in big numbers then why do you think they need to make a Chinook class helicopter or a Ka-102... both of which are in the 10-12 ton payload class... you were whining because they didn't have one and now you suggest they wont need many at all...

    they can invest in MAGLEV trains with the same result, saving $ on EM CAT & fixed wing AWACS & CODs by adopting helos or tilt-rotors.
    A few EW UAVs can help AWACS helos making them=the USN E-2s.

    The money spend developing EMALS cats can be used in development of very high speed trains as well as long range artillery and all electric systems for ships and aircraft and ground vehicles. The money spent will be valuable across the board in a range of technology areas and will boost performance with a lot of projects already underway... it will be money very well spent.

    if the future CVN is going to be as large or larger than the Nimitz/Ford classes, it won't make a big difference, even if its close to 2x as long as CH-46E & CH-47F, both of which operated off LHAa & CV/Ns. 1-2 of them could be based on it & the other 1-2 or all 4 on other ship(s).
    The length of the helicopter 36.2 m

    It is not a question of whether they could fit them... it is a question of why would they bother... no large helicopter based AWACS is going to have performance much better than the Ka-31. With a cat a fixed wing aircraft offers rather better performance and also flexibility in the sense of a COD and tanker version to support operations the way a tandem rotor helo or tilt rotor aircraft cannot.

    The only thing that I may agree here is that is probable that they won't buy many copies (if any) of that helicopter, since Russia has downgraded their participation to supplier and not to 50% partner.

    Maybe they will use that work to do their own development, like Italy and Russia did with the M346 and the yak130.

    It will be exactly like the M346... Russia creates the design and Italy modifies it for their needs and systems and produces a copy... China will be doing the same I suspect.

    If Russia has reduced its participation then it is because either they don't need an aircraft in that category or they suspect China is just trying to get a new design cheaply so they are in fact making their own 10-15 ton payload class high speed helicopter because the Chinese weren't prepared to invest enough to pay for their share of the technology...

    I know that they are going to develop a 4000/5000 shp engine, so that will probably be for an helicopter in size between the mi38 and the mi6. I believe it will be anyway still a bit too large for naval use and would not fit in the helicopter hangars in current navy ships.

    Not really sure they need a new helicopter between the Mi-38 and Mi-6... that would be an 8-10 ton capacity aircraft... which is what this helo with China is close enough to being.

    In any case I have heard nothing about a helicopter in that size range for carrier use and the new replacement for the Helix family will need to operate from the same hangars and same ships so it is very restricted to being a coaxial design perhaps with a pusher prop for higher flight speed, but certainly not bigger than the current models...
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    Post  Tsavo Lion Mon Feb 03, 2020 4:04 pm

    If they wont be making a joint Russian/Chinese helicopter in the 10-12 ton payload range in big numbers then why do you think they need to make a Chinook class helicopter or a Ka-102...
    China will need them in big #s but not Russia. 926 Mi-6s were built & there's a need for this class in the RF today, Mi-26 being more costly to build & operate. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mil_Mi-6

    It is not a question of whether they could fit them... it is a question of why would they bother... no large helicopter based AWACS is going to have performance much better than the Ka-31. With a cat a fixed wing aircraft offers rather better performance and also flexibility in the sense of a COD and tanker version to support operations the way a tandem rotor helo or tilt rotor aircraft cannot.
    Even if true, the fixed wing AWACS & CODs r going to be ~the same or bigger than tandem/tilt rotors anyway:
    Length: 57 ft 8.75 in (17.59 m)
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northrop_Grumman_E-2_Hawkeye#Specifications_(E-2C)

    Length: 44 ft 10 in (13.67 m) (fuselage)
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_Vertol_CH-46_Sea_Knight#Specifications_(CH-46E)

    Fuselage length: 52 ft (16 m)

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_CH-47_Chinook#Specifications_(CH-47F)

    Length: 57 ft 4 in (17.48 m)
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bell_Boeing_V-22_Osprey#Specifications_(MV-22B)

    Even a modest 25-50% increase in performance over the Ka-31 is worth it, esp. since the VMF mission isn't the same as was the Soviet's VMF.
    IMO, if there's a strong push to induct a CVN while & saving $, it could be an option to cut that big corner- like they did with STOVLs on the Kiev class TAKRs. Better than no deck fighter at all, & it gave them real world experience in carrier flight ops.


    Last edited by Tsavo Lion on Mon Feb 03, 2020 11:02 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : add text, links)
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    Post  GarryB Tue Feb 04, 2020 2:34 pm

    China will need them in big #s but not Russia. 926 Mi-6s were built & there's a need for this class in the RF today, Mi-26 being more costly to build & operate.

    Of course the Mi-26 is more costly to build and operate... it has twice the payload capacity...

    And how can you say in one sentence that China needs them in large numbers but Russia does not, and then say 926 Mi-6s were built and they need them in Russia today... 926 is a shit load of helicopters for aircraft this size... so which is it? They need them or they don't?

    Even a modest 25-50% increase in performance over the Ka-31 is worth it, esp. since the VMF mission isn't the same as was the Soviet's VMF.
    IMO, if there's a strong push to induct a CVN while & saving $, it could be an option to cut that big corner- like they did with STOVLs on the Kiev class TAKRs. Better than no deck fighter at all, & it gave them real world experience in carrier flight ops.

    A decent light AWACS aircraft would sell well on the international market... airborne radar don't have gaps because of hills and other terrain features like ground based radar, but AWACS is more than just an airborne radar it is also command and control which organises defences and allows them to work together as a team making them much more effective... if India had an AWACS in the area when they attacked targets and defended themselves it would have been much better managed and controlled...

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    Post  Isos Tue Feb 04, 2020 2:50 pm


    A decent light AWACS aircraft would sell well on the international market... airborne radar don't have gaps because of hills and other terrain features like ground based radar, but AWACS is more than just an airborne radar it is also command and control which organises defences and allows them to work together as a team making them much more effective... if India had an AWACS in the area when they attacked targets and defended themselves it would have been much better managed and controlled...

    I agree. China, India and Algeria would for sure buy 3 or 4 each if not more.

    However I would do the same as they did with their ASW system that has many version for light, medium helicopter or patrol aircraft.

    One for a new yak-44 for carrier based awacs but also a much lighter one like for exemple based on sukhoi su-80 and for helicopter based radar pickets and also one for Zepplins and ballons.

    Future Russian Aircraft Carriers and Deck Aviation. #2 - Page 7 S-8010

    You don't need an AWACS to assist the air defence. Most of the time a radar and a datalink with the command post of s400 with 1 operator will be enough.

    Awacs are used with fighters and needs more systems making them expensive.
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    Post  Tsavo Lion Tue Feb 04, 2020 3:52 pm

    And how can you say in one sentence that China needs them in large numbers but Russia does not, and then say 926 Mi-6s were built and they need them in Russia today... 926 is a shit load of helicopters for aircraft this size... so which is it? They need them or they don't?
    Russia has more heavy helos than China, & she needs to produce her own airframes which will differ from what China needs.
    The USSR operated both Mi-6s & Mi-26s it needed a lot more heavy helos than Russia today. Still, the niche of Mi-6 needs to be filled by a helo with better performance
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    Post  GarryB Wed Feb 05, 2020 1:56 am

    I agree. China, India and Algeria would for sure buy 3 or 4 each if not more.

    It is hard to emphasise too much how an AWACS platform effects the performance of air defence... they are very very expensive... but there is a reason why they are called force multipliers.

    Without airborne radar you need to fly aircraft around a lot to make sure no one is sneaking below your ground radar or in places like mountains where your ground radar is not so good... that means lots of sorties and tired pilots and planes being used when they don't need to be.

    Having a few AWACS platforms means much better coverage of your airspace... linking it in with your air defences makes you air defences much better... but it is also an aircraft so if you move out side of your territory near someone elses you can take them with you and use them there too.... NATO does this all the time on its wars of liberation...

    Smaller aircraft would of course have less capability than the bigger types, but even just AEW which is what the Ka-31s are is valuable to prevent surprise attacks... like the ones on that Saudi Oil Refinery...

    Having a view of the battlespace and being able to use it to coordinate attack and defence means it is much more likely that you will shoot down any incoming missiles, but it also means you should be able to coordinate an on the fly attack against some of the platforms that launched the attack too.

    I would add Iran and probably Syria to the list of countries interested in this... the latter would best be able to use it with their IADS , meaning they would be best able to take advantages of all its features, but even a country with no unified air defence system would benefit from such resources...

    However I would do the same as they did with their ASW system that has many version for light, medium helicopter or patrol aircraft.

    I agree... scaled versions for different needs means better flexibility and better pricing for their own use... the Russian Army has bought several Ka-31s for monitoring battlefields... I suspect they would also be interested in a Yak-44/Il-112/114 sized model... but I would expect the full sized A-100 is probably too big and too expensive for the Army... but of course the Air Force might consider an Il-96 based version with surface mounted antenna for photonic radar... or perhaps even a flying wing type based on the PAK DA even...

    One for a new yak-44 for carrier based awacs but also a much lighter one like for exemple based on sukhoi su-80 and for helicopter based radar pickets and also one for Zepplins and ballons.

    They have a lot of options... from drones and light helos and planes through airships and much larger aircraft... I always liked the look of the Su-80... they had some awesome air to ground models armed with rocket pods and missiles like Hermes etc... but then probably the most capable COIN version would be a bomber which bombs from 10km altitude using G&T systems...

    You don't need an AWACS to assist the air defence. Most of the time a radar and a datalink with the command post of s400 with 1 operator will be enough.

    Awacs are used with fighters and needs more systems making them expensive.

    Indeed... the Ka-31 is basically an airborne early warning aircraft... ie just a flying radar... with all the processing and communications via a ship that processes the data and generates commands etc.

    For fixed wing AWACS for carriers it makes sense to have a full AWACS capability because in terms of locating the fleet having an aircraft flying around scanning for targets means you detect one target... if it processes the data and generates its own commands to control the aircraft in the air as well as pass target data to surface ships then that can all be one way digital traffic so an enemy listening in will just detect the AWACS platforms emissions.

    With an AEW aircraft like Ka-31 they are going to detect its radar too but it will be volume transmitting enormous amounts of data to a nearby ship for processing... so effectively the ship becomes the C&C centre that finds targets and tells the Ka-31 where to look and coordinates any aircraft in the air and passes target data to aircraft and other ships... so for an enemy listening they will detect one helicopter and at least one ship... not the end of the world because you have no idea what else is there and if you think just because you know where one helo is and one ship is that you can take them on... what happens if that single ship is a Corvette... how many other ships are there there? How many other aircraft?

    Russia has more heavy helos than China, & she needs to produce her own airframes which will differ from what China needs.

    The whole point of a joint venture is because both parties want something so similar they can save money by making it together. It is perfectly sensible and practical and should lead to both parties getting a good product at a reasonable price...

    The USSR operated both Mi-6s & Mi-26s it needed a lot more heavy helos than Russia today. Still, the niche of Mi-6 needs to be filled by a helo with better performance

    Russias problem is distance and time... big helicopters are not particularly fast and don't have massive flight ranges. In comparison light transport types can have flight ranges of several thousand kms and travel that distance in a few hours.

    If you look at it from the point of view of a hub system... in the far east you will have a major airfield that can land the heaviest aircraft... An-124s... and later Slon etc. So moving materials by air would generally go to that air field first. Near that airfield there will be a significant population base so the majority of what was transported doesn't go very far... by road or by rail or by smaller aircraft. Some material needs to go further away so smaller lighter aircraft are used to distribute cargo and people to smaller airfields around the place.

    Russian investment in the northern sea route will mean more money going through Russian northern ports... they will need people and people need supplies and support... much of it will come to the port by ship because that is cheapest but other stuff will come via airfields near the ports. Roads and rail lines will grow from the ports south to link up with existing rail and road links and those links will expand... small towns will pop up on those rail and road lines to support the traffic going one way or another... and those people and the people moving on rail and road links will need support and servicing...

    Jobs will be created and all this added infrastructure will make access to areas to mine and resources to exploit much easier and cheaper.

    People doing these new jobs need to be fed and looked after... which means more jobs...

    The Mi-6 is a 10-12 ton payload aircraft... the new joint Russian/Chinese helicopter programme is a 10-15 ton payload aircraft with better performance... if the Russians want to develop their own aircraft because they don't want to share new technology so cheaply then it will likely be a much higher speed design... either way Russia wins.
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    Post  Tsavo Lion Thu Feb 06, 2020 6:23 am

    The Navy's newest carrier is currently a sad joke

    The Russians will have similar, if not worse, problems with EM catapults; the Americans won't share any fixes they may come up with.
    The whole point of a joint venture is because both parties want something so similar they can save money by making it together. It is perfectly sensible and practical and should lead to both parties getting a good product at a reasonable price...
    If there was a consensus that it'll replace & surpass the Mi-6, Kamov wouldn't be announcing work on its Ka-106.

    Russias problem is distance and time... big helicopters are not particularly fast and don't have massive flight ranges. In comparison light transport types can have flight ranges of several thousand kms and travel that distance in a few hours.
    The Mi-6 was the fastest Soviet helo:
    Maximum speed: 300 km/h (190 mph, 160 kn)
    Cruise speed: 250 km/h (160 mph, 130 kn)
    Range: 970 km (600 mi, 520 nmi) at 1,000 m (3,281 ft) at 40,500 kg (89,287 lb) TOW
    Ferry range: 1,450 km (900 mi, 780 nmi).

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mil_Mi-6#Specifications_(Mi-6)

    Light transport types don't have comparable max. payload to make them feasible in the vastness of Russia & her EEZ.
    ..in the far east you will have a major airfield that can land the heaviest aircraft... An-124s... and later Slon etc. So moving materials by air would generally go to that air field first.
    To supply a remote location, they'll still need a heavy helo to reduce the # of flights & save time. A CVN at sea will be as remote, if not more, as a small base in Siberia/FE or the Arctic coast/island from other bases &/ big airfields it may need to have transport connections with.


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    Post  Tsavo Lion Fri Mar 13, 2020 3:08 am

    A catamaran design presents considerable risks - namely that it will be less stable in rough seas which makes it far from ideal as a blue water platform. For providing support against threats closer to Russian shores however, the design could potentially be ideal - and would follow a growing emphasis on such defensive naval capabilities. Advantages of the design would include lower costs and reduced drag - the latter which allows them to attain speeds which conventional carrier designs would struggle to match without integrating much larger, more fuel hungry and more costly engines.
    https://militarywatchmagazine.com/article/russia-plans-to-revolutionise-carrier-warfare-with-a-risky-new-catemeran-design?fbclid=IwAR0rn5PnAP2P088bugaHOj9qE3Lt6aEWzTzHWQvT6jKMxiXnp4K9rZYTv2I

    The Barents, Bering, Okhotsk, Japan, S China, Red, Med. Seas & N. Indian Ocean don't get very big waves most of the time. W/o a NPP, such carriers won't need leghty & costly nuclear refuelings, not to mention shore infrastructure & extra personnel.

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    Post  hoom Fri Mar 13, 2020 9:47 am

    A catamaran design presents considerable risks - namely that it will be less stable in rough seas which makes it far from ideal as a blue water platform.
    They're talking about the Krylov 'light' carrier with the tunnel hull stern.

    The general problem with catamarans is not 'insufficient' stability but 'too much'.
    Cats have very high metacentric height so they roll with high acceleration -> uncomfortable in big seas.

    That said, the Krylov light concept is only semi-catamaran & the stern isn't much wider at waterline than a pure monohull would be, combined with a maximised deck it might actually be relatively unstable.

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