Two engines are always a safer bet, but in terms of export potential and overall costs this option is a clear winner. I do expect the F-35 to suddenly become way more affordable due to "new and revolutionary" production methods!
I would not expect any military item that is effective to be cheap from the US.
The concept of the F-35 is fine... the ideas behind it are good, but the implimentation was standard US MIC make it congress and senate cancel proof, which guarantees it will be eye wateringly expensive.
Also they tried to replace one aircraft too many... if it didn't need VSTOL capacity it would have been a much better aircraft.
Even against third world countries these days Harrier type aircraft are going to be in trouble flying low and slow, because they can't get as low and as behind stuff as a helicopter can.
Ironically to reduce costs they even went for some cheap materials that has also bit them in the ass as well.
I would bet money MiG and Sukhoi could both make an excellent single engined fighter that is world class in every respect, but what I question is it worth trying to add stealth to that design... a 4++ gen fighter could be cheap and affordable and easy to mass produce, 5th gen is always going to be more support intensive and handling critical in terms of keeping its stealth levels to a useful level.
VSTOL is simply unnecessary in my view.... on land it is bullshit because you need paved heat treated areas... well most places have concrete and motorways thousands of kms long so 300m to 400m stretches of "runway" are located all over the place... to take off vertically a supersonic jet needs special heat treated materials of a standard motorways are not made to and any suggestion that any open field will do is just bullshit... a jet engine creates dirt fountains that rapidly clog the intakes and you destroy your fighter plane faster than any enemy missile could.
For ships having a bigger ship is actually more desirable as the small 20K ton ships like the Hermes don't exist except for countries that can't afford a real carrier... which makes me think if they want a white elephant so desperately why are they putting fighters on it.
The Yak-141 is talked about like it was better than a MiG-29, but the Yak-141 is a good example of a super powerful jet engine and complication and an aircraft that was cancelled because every vertical takeoff and landing was risky because of hot gas ingestion.... ie stall.. boom..
I remember the first blurry photos of the RAM K.
That old American naming convention...
As one already said, don't remember who, there are lots of countries who will equip in STOL capable LHDs in near future, so why the Russkies would not want to have something capable of grabbing a piece of cake?
They can hoover up the money of clowns wanting a white elephant, but the Russian military should not waste any further money on that dead end.
23900 are the next ones in mind, as far as Japan operates its own mini carriers with F-35 on board, and the Kuril issue is still on the table, I guess its own solution to this would be nice.
Except in the Kuriles ground based fighters will be vastly superior to any VSTOL handicapped special needs money pits.
As for this prototype, I almost get the distinct feeling that it's trying to steal the F-35's thunder. Do 80% if its job for 20% of the cost, and UAC makes a killing in the meantime.
I agree, but the main problem is that the likely main customers of F-35 could never even pretend to consider a Russian aircraft... performance and cost have nothing to do with that.
Turkey will like it, and India and Algeria might love it, but I can see China wanting to buy two and about 200 engines.
I doubt they do this without considering the VKS. But often Russian MoD allows MIC to work on a initiative basis and "convince" them with a design and a business case too. They are not willing to fund anyone's happy engineering, and they are fully right at that.
They were not keen on the Su-25 till it got combat experience in Afghanistan, and they already knew the MiG-21 and MiG-23 with bombs were not as good as a MiG-15 with bombs.
They have not got money to throw away, so they are careful and conservative...
Shame the US military is not more so... things seem to have gone to their heads...