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    Future Russian Aircraft Carriers and Deck Aviation. #3

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    Post  Mir Mon Oct 17, 2022 3:30 pm

    GarryB wrote:I don't... Yak-41 was cancelled in August 1991.

    The Russian version of Wikipedia is usually a far more reliable source than the English version when it comes to Russian weapon systems. The flying accident on the Baku happened only on 5 October 1991. Funding was only terminated in December 1991 with the demise of the Soviet Union and the program was finally closed by the Russian MOD in early 1992. The Yaks were literally dusted off just before the Farnborough 92 show.

    GarryB wrote:The tooling was never set up for production because they knew it was going to be cancelled before it was cancelled.

    Not according to Yefim Gordon in his book on the Yak VTOL's published in 2008. A small initial batch of Yak-41M's was to be built for the Navy which included 2 Yak-41UT trainers as well. The resulting accident was obviously a big blow to the program however.

    GarryB wrote:The Yak-41M had zero stealth, it was boxy and had no stealth shaping... its air intakes were the opposite of stealthy and gave an excellent view of the front of the engine.

    See preliminary drawings from Yefim Gordon's book of the Yak-41M - it looked rather different than the prototypes with much improved stealth features. >>

    Future Russian Aircraft Carriers and Deck Aviation. #3 Yak41m10

    Compared to the flying prototype >>

    Future Russian Aircraft Carriers and Deck Aviation. #3 Yak41-11

    GarryB wrote:Yes, because world records are important in a military platform... all the most successful military weapons are record holders...

    I would dare to say that the Mig-25, Mig-31, Su-27, F-16, SR-71 and even the Mirya were some of the most remarkable planes ever! (Small sample)

    GarryB wrote:The Yak-38 and Yak-38M were not all bad...

    Well you've certainly come a long way!  Wink  Laughing

    Mir wrote:India for an example lost 16 out of 31 Sea Harriers that also claimed the lives of 7 pilots over a period of two decades.
    GarryB wrote:Yeah, you are comparing cat shit with dog shit though because VSTOL fighters are fragile and dangerous to the ground.

    No. What it's actually telling me is that the "dog shit" was much more reliable than the "cat shit" - despite western propaganda!
    The Indian attrition rate proves that beyond any doubt.

    If you look at the British and American attrition rate and fatalities it gets even worse but as you've mentioned they were far more active in actual wars. Nevertheless many pilots were lost.

    GarryB wrote:The intake looks like a T-4, which was going to be a recon bomber type so I would guess the missile is a Kh-22 or something similar.

    Quite right about the T-4 but the missile was the Kh-45 specially developed for the T-4. It was a superb aircraft and the first in the world with Fly-by-Wire controls. Both the plane and the missile were quite remarkable but got cancelled, however the T-4 laid much of the technical groundwork for the superb Su-27.

    The Kh-45 was initially also part of the tu-160's weapons load but was later dropped in favour of the KH-55.


    Last edited by Mir on Mon Oct 17, 2022 7:43 pm; edited 1 time in total

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    Post  Tsavo Lion Mon Oct 17, 2022 7:38 pm

    the Su-33 doesn't need to carry a Moskit when the ship it operates from carries Granit.
    on a Su-33, it can be recalled/retargeted before release; a ship-launched weapon can't.
    Might want to check those specs because that is rather small compared with the 4.5 ton almost 10 metre long Moskit.
    But the Chinese integrated them on their Su-33 counterpart while their CV escorts also have dozens of AshMs.
    They would not bother integrating the Moskit now because Onyx and Zircon are less than half that weight and faster and with better flight range.
    then, perhaps those 2 could be integrated on Su-33 &/ MiG-29Ks?
    All of those types of missiles could also be modified for ground attack & it would make sence to integrated them on carrier borne fighter-bombers.
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    Post  GarryB Tue Oct 18, 2022 12:57 am

    A small initial batch of Yak-41M's was to be built for the Navy which included 2 Yak-41MU's as well. The resulting accident was a big blow to the program however.

    And they were going to eventually be deployed on aircraft carriers that didn't happen either, but plans are plans and reality is reality... there is no evidence any tooling was set up let alone any production started.

    It was still in a testing stage.

    See preliminary drawings from Yefim Gordon's book of the Yak-41M - it looked rather different than the prototypes with much improved stealth features. >>

    But they could draw anything at all though couldn't they?

    The tooling for the standard design was not built, so how could they then make stealthy designs where dimensions and angles and materials are critical?

    And then you would have to flight test it to see how it effects flight performance, which likely was not done either.

    I suspect if it had gone ahead they would have built some testing models like the originally already flown model and then created a few of the stealthy models and tested them aerodynamically in secret to determine the changes if flight performance and characteristics... a bit like MiG did with the MiG 1.42 and MiG 1.44.

    Compared to the flying prototype >>

    Ironically it looks like the reverse of the MiG-29 and the Su-27... when these projects were first mentioned in the west they needed images, but they didn't have any, so they got artists to draw some and what they basically did was take the MiG-21 and other old designs and modify them to the known design choices that the new aircraft had, so twin engine, twin tail fin planes but without the blended lifting body design.

    The flying Yaks look like the drawings based on previous generation fighters... boxy... and angled... but not in a useful stealthy way... and then these drawings are like they are drawing them the way they would need to look to be aerodynamic and stealthy.

    That final design image looks interesting... the much larger tail fins, but they have clearly reduced the size of the fuselage to reduce frontal drag... the bulge at the ventral area shows the size of the main engine and presumably a ventral weapon bay...

    On its own it would need to be supersonic, but as the low part of a high low fighter paring say with an Su-57K then they could make it much chunkier with more fuel.... give up the supersonic capacity, and create more internal volume for fuel and internal weapon bays.

    I would dare to say that the Mig-25, Mig-31, Su-27, F-16, SR-71 and even the Mirya were some of the most remarkable planes ever! (Small sample)

    Is that because of their records or because of their performance in service?

    Well you've certainly come a long way!

    Overall I don't think they were worth it... they were not cheap, but they were also not F-35 expensive, and they left service before they could be found out in terms of combat usefulness... but if the Russian Navy thought they and their replacement Yaks would deliver what they promised they sure did invest a lot in navalised MiGs and Sukhois...

    The whole point of VSTOL fighters is to be able to save money on carriers... every ship in the fleet with a helicopter pad can become an aircraft carrier... so why waste money on actual aircraft carriers at all... a few shipping container ships with their decks empty and you have an aircraft carrier super cheap... when you are not using it as an aircraft carrier you can use it as a container ship... except when it is carrying aircraft as an aircraft carrier it will also need to carry fuel tanks for thousands of tons of aviation fuel and of course ordinance that the aircraft will be using, which means modifications so it isn't a standard container ship any more really... and conversion might take so long it just isn't worth it.

    Sort of like the whole VSTOL premise... sounds good, but when you actually do it it doesn't make sense and doesn't work properly.

    No. What it's actually telling me is that the "dog shit" was much more reliable than the "cat shit" - despite western propaganda!
    The Indian attrition rate proves that beyond any doubt.

    If you look at the British and American attrition rate and fatalities it gets even worse but as you've mentioned they were far more active in actual wars. Nevertheless many pilots were lost.

    So attrition of both types was very high... part of that would be conflicts and the experimental nature of the aircraft, and operating at sea is not always easy as a moving landing pad complicates things too, but at the end of the day they are fragile and have a high loss rate compared to more conventional types...

    Quite right about the T-4 but the missile was the Kh-45 specially developed for the T-4. It was a superb aircraft and the first in the world with Fly-by-Wire controls. Both the plane and the missile were quite remarkable but got cancelled, however the T-4 laid much of the technical groundwork for the superb Su-27.

    Experience with the T-4 led to Tupolev to push for Mach 2 bombers instead of Mach 3 or faster which was the fashion of the time.

    Most people back then thought by now we would be flying at mach 5 or faster.

    Cartoons like Roger Ramjet told kids that was what the future would be like.

    Reality is that there is a huge penalty to flying very fast in a very big plane and that is enormous fuel consumption if you are not using suitable engines (scramjets).

    on a Su-33, it can be recalled/retargeted before release; a ship-launched weapon can't.

    Do you mean it can be retargeted after launch?

    The ship launched models operate in wolfpack mode so up to 8 would be fired and one would climb to 300m to scan for targets and the rest would fly to the target area at below 7m... the lead missile would determine which targets would be hit by which missile normally.

    They might have planned to allow the aircraft to perform the role of the lead missile so it climbs and monitors the targets and sends target information to a low flying missile, but most of the drawings I saw showed the air launched version operating in a high altitude flight profile which massively improves flight range ( from 120km for the surface launched model to over 300km for high altitude launch and flight)... simply because the missile flies faster at higher altitude and the thinner air is easier to push through at altitude than at sea level.

    Instead of flying below the 7m altitude limit of Standard SAMs used on AEGIS cruisers, the Moskit was supposed to fly above their ceiling like the Kh-32 does.

    [quote]But the Chinese integrated them on their Su-33 counterpart while their CV escorts also have dozens of AshMs.[/quoet]

    I have seen them fitted at static displays at air shows... by the time China got their Su-33s working they would already have Yakhont missiles which are much lighter, though not any shorter... and also faster and longer ranged... it would make little sense for China to adapt the Moskit to Su-33 launch when the better performing Yakhont is about half the weight and with much better range and better speed... Moskit is about 4 tons and Yakhont is about 2.5 tons...

    then, perhaps those 2 could be integrated on Su-33 &/ MiG-29Ks?

    The Su-33 could probably carry two or maybe three Yakhonts and full fuel if the carrier it was operating from had catapults.

    Without cats maybe reduced fuel load and one Yakhont (about 2.5 tons) and then inflight refuelling after takeoff to full fuel load would work.

    But for anti ship work in real war Yasens with Zircons would make more sense.

    Let the carrier focus on the air defence of the surface ships... that is their primary role.

    All of those types of missiles could also be modified for ground attack & it would make sence to integrated them on carrier borne fighter-bombers.

    Yes, they do have ground attack capacity and could easily be carried by the Tu-22M3.

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    Post  Tsavo Lion Tue Oct 18, 2022 4:09 am

    Do you mean it can be retargeted after launch?
    no, before they r separated from the plane. In situations with lightly defended single targets it's better to send a couple planes while more info. is gathered on them instead of expending up to 8 missiles, disrupting flight ops &/ possibly revealing ships' positions to submarine & space assets with their noisy & flashy launches.
    I have seen them fitted at static displays at air shows... by the time China got their Su-33s working they would already have Yakhont missiles which are much lighter, though not any shorter...
    I meant YJ-12 AshMs.
    Without cats maybe reduced fuel load and one Yakhont (about 2.5 tons) and then inflight refuelling after takeoff to full fuel load would work.
    sure!
    But for anti ship work in real war Yasens with Zircons would make more sense. Let the carrier focus on the air defence of the surface ships... that is their primary role.
    Even the USN/MC F-18s been armed with Harpoons, & I don't see why the VMF would deny that capability to its deck fighters!
    Yes, they do have ground attack capacity and could easily be carried by the Tu-22M3.
    true, but putting all eggs in 1 basket isn't a good idea. Why rely on VKS aircraft that may have bigger fish to fry when u can do it urself, from the deck or a land base?


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    Post  TMA1 Tue Oct 18, 2022 5:42 am

    Quite right the T-4 was similar to the XB-70 here in America in that it paved the way in the development of methods enabling true fourth gen fighters.

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    Post  Mir Tue Oct 18, 2022 8:32 am

    GarryB wrote:There is no evidence any tooling was set up let alone any production started. It was still in a testing stage.

    You are welcome to provide sources to back your statement above but I would rather trust Yefim Gordon as a source than Wikipedia.

    In his initial Aerofax book (1995) on the Yak VTOL fighters he briefly referred to the low rate initial production of the Yak-41M >>

    preparations were being made at that stage for handling a small Yak-41M production order at the Smolensk factory for Soviet Naval use from 1993 onward.
    In a much later and more updated Midland publication in 2008 on the same subject Yefim Gordon again referred to this  low rate initial production but in more detail. For example >>

    As mentioned earlier, (in the same book) the Saratov aircraft factory was tasked with building a LRIP batch of eight aircraft that included both Yak-41M single-seat fighters and Yak-41UT trainers.
    A bit further on >>
    Meanwhile, the Saratov aircraft factory began tooling up for production of the fighter.

    GarryB wrote:Is that because of their records or because of their performance in service?

    I would say both, but yes my list can be much longer - it was just a small sample.
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    Post  GarryB Tue Oct 18, 2022 8:43 am

    no, it has only 2 engines.

    Sorry I was talking about the A-40 or A-42... the Albatross... I think you might have been referring to the Be-200 that actually got into serial production.

    I seem to remember the Albatross was only made in small numbers... something like 6 although there was one version with a D27 propfan too.

    It had the same 12 ton thrust engines of the Il-76 but had two 2 ton thrust engined buried underneath the main engines to generate extra thrust for takeoff.

    PS-90 engines of PD-14s or PD-16s would allow it to operate with just two engines.

    no, before they r separated from the plane.

    That is a given though isn't it?

    I mean neither the surface ship or sub launched nor potential air launched missiles would be much use if you couldn't change the target parameters before launch.

    In situations with lightly defended single targets it's better to send a couple planes while more info. is gathered on them instead of expending up to 8 missiles, disrupting flight ops &/ possibly revealing ships' positions to submarine & space assets with their noisy & flashy launches.

    Against lightly defended targets the Kh-31 or Kh-35 would be used I suspect.

    I would expect a MiG-29KR could get airborne from a carrier with four of either or two of each and their remaining four weapon pylons with two R-77s and two R-74s.

    YJ-12 AshMs

    The wiki page describes that missile as being an elongated Kh-31... not really the same.

    even the USN/MC F-18s been armed with Harpoons, & I don't see why the VMF would deny that capability to its deck fighters!

    US carriers are strike carriers and carry  a lot more planes and also strike platforms and air to ground ordinance.

    Kuznetsov is an air defence carrier to defend a group of ships.

    The strike power of Russian ships comes from their cruise missile launch tubes.

    true, but putting all eggs in 1 basket isn't a good idea. Why rely on VKS aircraft that may have bigger fish to fry when u can do it urself, from the deck or a land base?

    The ships and subs of a Russian surface fleet carry the land attack weapons, and of course the landing ships with naval infantry too.

    I would expect either 152mm or 203mm guns will be deployed on new Russian cruisers and destroyers for naval gun support, providing fire support with no risk of any pilots getting shot down.

    I rather suspect guns and cruise missiles and drones will do more for Russian naval groups than aircraft, which are mainly there in peace time to scare nosey ships and aircraft away.

    In his initial Aerofax book (1995) on the Yak VTOL fighters he briefly referred to the low rate initial production of the Yak-41M >>

    DId he refer to them in the present tense or future tense?

    If they did build tooling for starting production then that is just more money wasted.

    So in the quotes you give they planned to tool up... the factory was given the job to tool up, and they started the process of tooling up, but no mention of finishing or starting to actually build aircraft.

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    Post  Mir Tue Oct 18, 2022 9:01 am

    GarryB wrote:

    DId he refer to them in the present tense or future tense?

    If they did build tooling for starting production then that is just more money wasted.

    So in the quotes you give they planned to tool up... the factory was given the job to tool up, and they started the process of tooling up, but no mention of finishing or starting to actually build aircraft.

    Meanwhile, the Saratov aircraft factory began tooling up for production of the fighter.

    This happened back in 1988 already.
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    Post  Tsavo Lion Tue Oct 18, 2022 7:22 pm

    Kuznetsov is an air defence carrier to defend a group of ships.
    but it was sent to the E. Med to bomb targets in Syria, so the RF VMF is no longer follows the Soviet VMF defensive doctrine.
    There r now enough land based aircraft & SSN/SSKs to guard their SSBN bastions, & they intent their hypotetical future CV/Ns to be multimission capable of power projection ashore, sea denial, HADR, fleet AD, & customary show the flag missions.
    Otherwise, the admirals who deployed it there should be court marshalled after loosing 2 fighters, $Ms wasted (it would cost a fraction to fly those Su-33s South from Kola instead), & embarrasing Russia in front of all!


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    Post  GarryB Wed Oct 19, 2022 7:52 am

    This happened back in 1988 already.

    So they started tooling up for production and then four years later it was cancelled... what a bloody waste of time and money and resources.

    I hate the damn plane even more now. Razz

    but it was sent to the E. Med to bomb targets in Syria, so the RF VMF is no longer follows the Soviet VMF defensive doctrine.

    They planned and executed a few strikes against land based targets to test the new MiG-29KRs, but the primary role of the ship remains air defence.

    Not expecting that to change drastically.

    They might load the fighters with anti sub weapons so they can fly out to where enemy subs are detected and attack them quickly before they can launch anything at the ships, but I don't think they will be doing a lot of strike missions.

    Otherwise, the admirals who deployed it there should be court marshalled after loosing 2 fighters, $Ms wasted (it would cost a fraction to fly those Su-33s South from Kola instead), & embarrasing Russia in front of all!

    Finding out the arrester gear was faulty, they presumably learned some very good lessons... like have a MiG-29KR with external fuel tanks full ready for takeoff if an aircraft breaks more than a few cables, revealing a problem with the arrester gear rather than the cable.

    (normally there are three or four cables to catch and occasionally one will break but not two or three unless the arrester gear that steadily releases the cable keeping tension to slow the plane down is faulty... )

    Once they realised the problem was the arrester gear rather than the arresting cables they should have launched an inflight refuelling MiG which could have topped up the Flanker and the Fulcrum allowing them both to fly to a land base to recover.
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    Post  Mir Wed Oct 19, 2022 8:09 am

    GarryB wrote:
    So they started tooling up for production and then four years later it was cancelled... what a bloody waste of time and money and resources.
    I hate the damn plane even more now.

    Well despite some huge challenges nobody expected the Soviet Union to disintegrate like that and unfortunately many more such promising programs suffered the same fate.
    Funny thing is back in 1991 there was a referendum held on the status of the Soviet Union and the majority of Ukrainians voted in favour of keeping the Soviet Union intact! Shocked Laughing

    One of the saddest sights for me personally >>

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    Post  Tsavo Lion Wed Oct 19, 2022 8:19 am

    As a consolation for u, thanks to that ship & its follow ons, China is going to keep the USN in check & busy in the W. Pac & Indian Ocean, so Russia will have to deal with only pesky Japanese who can't give up their S. Kurils dreams.

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    Post  AMCXXL Mon Oct 31, 2022 9:41 pm

    [quote="Mir"]
    GarryB wrote:
    One of the saddest sights for me personally >>

    Future Russian Aircraft Carriers and Deck Aviation. #3 Varyag10

    China got the Varyag at the price of metal, about 20 million dollars. Russia should have taken her also in 1991 since she was already afloat and now Russia would have two aircraft carriers

    With a bit of luck, in several years when China has more aircraft carriers, it is possible that Comrade Xi will resell the aircraft carrier to Russia in order to have 2 aircraft carriers at the same time, and thus be able to train crews and airmen waiting for the Russian aircraft carriers, after the year 2040
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    Post  Broski Tue Nov 01, 2022 2:40 am

    AMCXXL wrote:
    With a bit of luck, in several years when China has more aircraft carriers, it is possible that Comrade Xi will resell the aircraft carrier to Russia in order to have 2 aircraft carriers at the same time, and thus be able to train crews and airmen waiting for the Russian aircraft carriers, after the year 2040
    What's the point of Russia buying a 2nd hand aircraft carrier from China (with Chinese weapons systems and electronics no less) when there's no extra destroyers or cruisers to escort such a ship?
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    Post  GarryB Tue Nov 01, 2022 4:51 am

    I think Russia having two carriers possibly would have cost them too much money and something more useful would not be as well developed today because of the extra money spent keeping the extra carrier in stasis.

    Russia built a replacement carrier training site when they were denied access to the training facility in the Crimea so right now they should have two land based training sites for carrier aircraft, so I would be guessing they should be fine with training facilities.

    What's the point of Russia buying a 2nd hand aircraft carrier from China (with Chinese weapons systems and electronics no less) when there's no extra destroyers or cruisers to escort such a ship?

    I totally agree... they should be getting corvettes into serial production and once they have the improved Gorshkov into the water and tested thoroughly they need to decide whether they want all light early Gorshkovs, or a mix of the two types, or perhaps serial production of the new heavier Gorshkov.

    There are lots of variables there the new ships might be more expensive but not offer a lot more capability or it might just be better all round.

    They might decide they need light frigates for the Baltic and Black Sea fleets and the heavy ones for the Pacific and Northern fleets and also perhaps the occasional long range trip away from Russian waters, or they might decide the heavier ship is just all round better in every way and the old lighter ship cancelled and the heavier ship put into mass serial production to get half a dozen or more for each of the four main fleets.

    With experience with the heavier Gorshkov and the process of enlarging it and making it bigger and better they can take the next step and design destroyers and cruisers that will be nuclear powered and with much larger sensors (sonar and radar arrays as well as more missile tubes and heavier guns, as well as drones and perhaps lasers and new missiles (S-500 and possibly a larger longer ranged intermediate range hypersonic missile for anti ship or land attack use.)

    In the mean time they need to get the Kuznetsov into the water and test the upgrades and fixes and then look at the Su-57 carrier version... the MiG-29KR is good for the time being but a replacement at sea (29KR) and on land (Mig-35) should start development which should lead to new technology and equipment being used and tested on ground and carrier based aircraft during the development of the next gen replacement types.

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    Post  Mir Tue Nov 01, 2022 8:44 am

    AMCXXL wrote:
    With a bit of luck, in several years when China has more aircraft carriers, it is possible that Comrade Xi will resell the aircraft carrier to Russia in order to have 2 aircraft carriers at the same time, and thus be able to train crews and airmen waiting for the Russian aircraft carriers, after the year 2040


    Unfortunately I doubt it would ever happen. Russia will just have to pull up its socks and start a new project.
    I noticed that it took the Soviets about 3-5 years to get a carrier into the water (launched) which is pretty impressive.
    Modern technology could help to reduce this time even more if they can get their ducks in a row.

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