Lajos F. Szászdi
* This paper was originally finished and saved on March 30, 2010, in Falls Church, Virginia.
For at least the last three years some expert opinions from the USAF and defense industry believed that in the next twenty years or so the U.S. F-22 Raptor and the F-35 Lightning II, the Joint Strike Fighter, would not face a serious threat from foreign fifth generation fighters.1 Yet,
defied such expectations when the T-50, the prototype of the PAK FA, the
Advanced Front-Line Aviation Complex and Russia ’s fifth generation fighter,
conducted its first test flight on January 29th.2
One reason why Russia would be interested in getting a fifth generation
fighter, probably the most expensive type of fighter yet to develop, is that in
air combat and strike missions a fifth generation fighter, due to its stealth
technology and state-of-the-art avionics, would likely prevail over older
fourth generation fighters. As one expert said: “In this modern era of stealth
combat, there are two types of fighters: stealth fighters and targets.”3 Being conscious of the value of air
power in modern warfare, the commander-in-chief of the Russian Navy said
recently that “it would be impossible to win contemporary and future wars
without air and space supremacy. Whoever understands this is in the right
path.”4 A fifth generation fighter force would
achieve air supremacy in a modern battle space over enemy fourth generation
fighters. With the Russia
and NATO probably being regarded as potential opponents in a future war that U.S. would
otherwise try to avoid, the PAK FA has been designed with the idea of being a
match to the Russia
F-22A and the F-35 stealth fighters.5
U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates last year assured an audience that “
contrast, is projected to have no fifth generation aircraft by 2020. And by
2025, the gap only widens. The China
will have approximately 1,700 of the most advanced fifth generation fighters
versus a handful of comparable aircraft for the Chinese.”6 Defense Secretary Gates’ prediction of
a U.S. force of 1,700 F-35 by 2025 might be too optimistic by now, considering
that the initial operational capability (IOC) for the USAF version of the
aircraft, the F-35A, has been pushed by two years from 2013 to the end of 2015.7 It would not be surprising if the IOC
of the F-35A would be further delayed due to the complexity of the program. Other
considerations may prevent the expenditures needed to reach the F-35 force
levels planned for 2025, like the huge national debt and a weakening national
economy. Mr. Gates, however, seems not to have considered that U.S. , which
was known already last year to have been developing the PAK FA, could sell the
fifth generation fighter to Russia .
This would not be something extraordinary, for Moscow has sold Beijing the fourth
generation Su-27 fighter and its advanced versions, the Su-30MKK and Su-30MK2,
made by the firm Sukhoi that is also developing the PAK FA. Sukhoi would build
its fifth generation fighter at its China
KNAAPO factory – where the Su-30MKK and Su-30MK2 are produced – and which is
located in the Russian Far Eastern region of Komsomolsk-on-Amur , neighboring Khabarovsk . China
The Defense Secretary did not mention in his speech that of the future force of 1,700 U.S. stealth fighters planned by 2025, only about 187 (if no aircraft has been lost by then) would be twin-engine F-22 fighters, while the rest would be single-engine F-35 fighter bombers. By 2025
could have a number of PAK FA similar to the world’s inventory of F-22A,8 the China aircraft designed as an air
superiority fighter and perhaps the only credible match for the Russian-made
fifth generation fighter. The F-35 would only carry normally a total of two
AMRAAM beyond visual range air-to-air missiles and two JDAM guided bombs
distributed in its two internal weapon bays. In addition, the F-35 could carry
under the wings another two AMRAAM missiles or two AIM-9X Sidewinder
short-range air-to-air missiles, in which case the radar stealth advantage of
the fighter would be annulled. If the F-35 in a flight formation would be armed
with missiles and bombs under the wings, an AESA (Active Electronically Scanned
Array) radar in the PAK FA would be able to detect, track and target
simultaneously with air-to-air missiles four, six or eight enemy aircraft
appearing on the pilot’s radar screen, based on the current capabilities of
Russian airborne fire-control radars.9
This could offset the numerical advantage of F-35 armed with more weapons
externally yet at the expense of its radar stealth. In addition, the F-35
engine nozzle is not designed stealthily as the F-22A engine nozzles are.
Russian-made PAK FA flying high above in air defense mode could potentially
detect the non-stealthy engine nozzle of the F-35, since this fighter is radar
stealthy when showing its front to enemy radar. Hence, the potential capability
of each PAK FA to engage six to eight air targets at the same time would be a
force multiplier against F-35 that have been detected and tracked. U.S.
is perfectly capable of developing a fifth generation stealth fighter for
several reasons. Thanks to oil and gas export revenues for instance,10 it has the money and the resources to
build it, for Russia holds the third largest gold and hard currency reserves
held by a country after China and Japan, with $437 billion by the end of
January, rising to over $441 billion by March 12 and to $448.2 billion by March
19.11 The estimated cost of the PAK FA
program is of $8-10 billion.12 Russian Federation is
leading the development of the aircraft and will produce it in cooperation with
which wants a 25 percent participation in designing and developing the fighter.13 It could thus be expected that India would
fund also the development of the PAK FA. India would make use not only of
its research & development, but would “borrow” also technology from the
West. Moreover, the Russia Soviet Union by the 1980s
had an ongoing program to develop a stealth fighter that did not materialize
due to the collapse of the country.14
According to Russian sources, the PAK FA will have a maximum range of 5,500 km,15 which compares with the range of the F-22A of over 2,963 km “with two external fuel tanks.”16 It is probable that the referred 5,500 km range of the PAK FA is really its maximum range with at least one air refueling, since the Russian fourth generation Su-30MK multirole fighter reportedly has a top combat range of 5,200 km with one in-flight refueling.17 According to Russian sources, the PAK FA will be capable of “repeated” air refueling for extended operations.18 It may be that the combat range with internal fuel of the PAK FA would be of about 3,000 km, which is the combat range with internal fuel of the Su-30MK.19 This figure would not be that different from the range of the F-22A with external fuel tanks, of approximately 3,000 km.
In contrast, the F-35A, the version of the Joint Strike Fighter for the USAF, has range with internal fuel of approximately 2,222 km. The U.S. Marine Corps version, the F-35B, has a range of 1,667 km with internal fuel, and the U.S. Navy’s version for its aircraft carriers, the F-35C, has a range with internal fuel of about 2,592 km.20
It has also been reported that the dimensions of the PAK FA will be “close” to those of the Su-27 Flanker,21 which has a maximum length of about 22 meters and a wingspan of 14.70 meters.22 With a maximum length of 22 meters and a wingspan of 14.8 meters, the T-5023 PAK FA prototype is bigger than the F-22A, which has an overall length of 18.90 meters and a wingspan of 13.56 meters.24 This greater size would enable the future PAK FA to carry internally more fuel and air-to-air missiles, and heavier guided bombs than the Raptor.25
The Russians stated that the maximum take-off weight (MTOW) of the T-50 PAK FA is 37 tons,26 slightly less than the reported MTOW of the F-22A of 38 tons.27 Russian sources also claim that the PAK FA would be able to take-off from an airstrip only 300 to 400 meters long.28 In comparison, it is possible that the F-22A in an air interception mode may only need for take-off a strip about 274 meters long, the length of air strip needed by the USAF fourth generation air superiority fighter, the F-15, for take-off in an interception mission.29 The take-off distance on land of the Marine Corps vertical/short take-off and landing (V/STOL) F-35B is 550 feet (167.64 meters).30
The PAK FA is claimed to be slightly faster than the F-22A in terms of supercruise speed, which is the ability of an aircraft to have a sustained supersonic speed for an extended period of time, and thus cruise through long distances supersonically without the need to recur to afterburners. Russian reports say that the Russian fifth generation fighter could attain a supercruise speed of more than 2,000 km per hour,31 equivalent to Mach 1.83 flying at 30,000 feet (9,144 meters) altitude.32 In comparison, the F-22A is reported to have a maximum supercruise speed of Mach 1.82 at an altitude of 30,000 feet.33 Supercruise would allow PAK FA fighters to cover long distances flying supersonically without the need to engage afterburners, thus saving fuel and enabling the Russian Air Force to better patrol the long expanses of
’s geography. The same
operational requirement can be said of Russia ,34 which is set to co-develop the plane
with India .
would be a potential customer of the Russian-made fighter for the same operational
need to cover its large land and maritime territories fuel-efficiently at
supersonic speeds. The F-35, on the other hand, will not have supercruise speed
The maximum speed of the F-22A with afterburners is in the “Mach 2 class,” reportedly to be Mach 2.5.35 A maximum speed with afterburners of Mach 2.25 has also being given for the F-22A.36 A maximum speed of Mach 2.5 for the F-22A is slightly faster than the maximum speed with afterburners of the T-50 PAK FA, given as Mach 2.45 by the official Russian news agency RIA Novosti.37 Yet the Russian Air Force’s revised specific operational requirement (SOR) of December 2004 established that the PAK FA’s maximum speed – most likely with afterburners – should be decreased to Mach 2 from the initial requirement of Mach 2.5.38 It is nonetheless possible that the final stage 2 engines for the PAK FA would have the ability to reach Mach 2.45 with afterburners, well above the Russian Air Force’s specific operational requirement. In addition, it has been reported that the T-50 and the F-22A have a same service ceiling of about 20,000 meters.39
In contrast, the maximum level speed of the F-35 at altitude is Mach 1.6, or as high as over Mach 1.8 with afterburners.40 The F-35’s maximum altitude is of about 45,000 feet (13,716 meters), or perhaps as high as 15,000 meters.41
The F-22A engine nozzles have thrust vector control (TVC) for super maneuverability, which could be an essential capability to prevail and win in close air combat, and in successfully conducting evasive maneuvers against attacking missiles. The PAK FA is planned also to possess thrust vectoring,42 having the same capability as the Raptor. The F-35, however, will not be fitted with TVC technology.
The PAK FA will reportedly be capable of conducting attacks against multiple surface (land and sea) and air targets at the same time and in all-weather conditions.43 The PAK FA is thus a multirole, swing-role fighter. The T-50 appears to have two long internal weapon compartments, located one after the other and along the ventral section of the plane,44 each weapon bay closed by two doors. The two main weapon bays of the T-50 have an arrangement similar to that of the two bomb bays of the Tupolev Tu-160 supersonic strategic bomber.45
The T-50 has ten hard points distributed inside its weapon bays.46 The Vympel State Machine-Building Design Bureau is reported to be developing very long-range, medium-range beyond visual range (BVR), and short-range air-to-air missiles for the PAK FA,47 designed to fit inside the plane’s weapon bays. It can carry inside its two main weapon compartments eight Vympel R-77 beyond visual range active radar (fire and forget) air-to-air missiles, which could be the advanced R-77M-PD missiles.48 It is possible that like in the F-35,49 the PAK FA would carry one BVR missile attached to the inner side of each of the two doors that each of the two weapon compartments has. This would enable the PAK FA to carry four R-77M missiles while carrying internally two bombs or two very long range air-to-air missiles – one per weapon bay - in place of the other four BVR missiles – two per weapon bay - out of the maximum of eight, which the plane can carry inside its main weapon bays. Thus, the Russian fighter could carry a weapon mix of two of the latest very long-range air-to-air missile derived from the Vympel R-37M missile, plus four of the latest types of R-77M beyond visual range missiles.50
Development work could be concluded in 2010 on the new R-77M beyond visual range missile, apparently a different weapon than the R-77M-PD that may be also carried by the PAK FA.51 The PAK FA could carry internally four of the latest version of the ramjet-powered R-77M-PD, which reportedly would have a 160 km range, twice that of the R-77.52 The R-77M or izdelie 180 BVR missile would have an active/passive radar guidance system, with the passive mode intended to seek the enemy’s radar and electronic countermeasures (ECM) emissions.53 This capability for instance could be used to target the F-35 when it would use its AESA radar in jamming operations. The R-77M would have a range that would be 2.5 to 3 times the 80 km range of the R-77 missile,54 having thus a range of 200 to 240 km.
The original R-37 active radar air-to-air missile, with a maximum range of 300 km,55 has been designed to shoot down value air targets engaged at long range, such as AWACS, Joint STARS, air tankers, reconnaissance planes, electronic warfare (EW) aircraft,56 transport aircraft, Airborne Laser (ABL) aircraft, and if it is ever built, the B-1R Lancer bomber, which could be armed with 18 AMRAAM missiles to support the F-22A in beyond visual range air-to-air combat scenarios.57 For very long-range interception operations, the PAK FA may be armed with two rounds of a new missile based on the R-37M yet designed to be carried internally by the PAK FA.58 The R-37M very long range air-to-air missile is an improved version of the R-37 with a maximum range of 300 to 400km.59 Yet the new missile, known as izdelie 810 in its developmental stage (the R-37M was izdelie 610M), would have a range 50 percent greater than the original R-37 missile, could engage a target at an altitude of 40,000 meters, and would enter service in 2013.60 The izdelie 810 missile may then have a maximum range as high as 375 to 450 km.61
There are also two smaller rectangular internal compartments located in the rear part of the plane, on the starboard and port sides of the engines. The smaller compartments may likely carry each one short-range air-to-air missile.62 This design feature was borrowed from the F-22A, which also has two side smaller weapon bays holding each one AIM-9M or AIM-9X Sidewinder short-range air-to-air missiles.63 The smaller weapon bays would carry an improved version of the Vympel R-37M short-range air-to-air missile with a high off-boresight capability and thus the ability to turn 160º around, enabling the infrared-guided missile to engage enemy targets in the rear hemisphere of the plane through lock-on after launch (LOAL) or lock-on before launch modes.64 A rear fire-control radar inside the protruding sting of the T-50 would provide the needed target information. This new missile, identified as the “izdeliye 760 (the so-called Stage 2 upgrade)” could be the R-74, it may have a maximum range of 40 km, and production of the weapon may begin in 2010.65 Another missile that may arm the PAK FA’s side weapon bays is the Vympel K-30 missile, designed as a new compact short-range air-to-air missile for the Russian fifth generation fighter.66 Other possibility is the K-MD short-range air-to-air missile designed as an entirely new weapon for close combat and to shoot down enemy missiles.67 The K-MD missile, which might be developed by 2013,68 could be an improved version of the K-30 or an entirely new weapon.
In place of a weapons load of eight beyond visual range air-to-air missiles, the PAK FA could carry two large precision-guided 1,500 kg bombs,69 probably together with four BVR air-to-air missiles if these are attached to the inner part of the two main weapon bays’ doors. The 1,500 kg bombs may include the new KAB-1500LG family of laser-guided bombs.70 The PAK FA could also carry two of the new satellite-guided KAB-500S-E bombs of 500 kg, dubbed “
after the U.S. Joint Direct Attack Munition and which would use both the U.S.
GPS and the Russian GLONASS satellite navigation systems.71 There may be also 1,500 kg
satellite-guided KAB-1500S-E “Russian JDAM” bombs capable of being carried
inside the internal weapon bays of the PAK FA.72
With two 1,500 kg bombs the PAK FA would have an internal bomb payload of over
6,600 lb. In comparison, the Boeing Phantom Ray unmanned combat air vehicle
(UCAV) being proposed as a bomber could carry two 2,000 lb Joint Direct Attack
Munition (JDAM) bombs in its internal weapon bays, and a payload of 4,500 lb in
a long-range strike mission of 3,704 km.73 Russia
In addition, the PAK FA may be capable of carrying internally with folded wings and tail control surfaces two subsonic Kh-35E (NATO designation: AS-20 “Kayak”) anti-ship missiles, with a maximum range of 130 km.74 The PAK FA may carry also internally two Kh-35UE (3M24M1) GLONASS satellite-guided missiles, an improved version of the Kh-35E with the ability to strike land targets, and with more fuel and a longer range of 260 km.75
The PAK FA could carry also internally two Kh-38M air-to-surface missiles for use against land and sea targets. A successor to the Kh-25 missile, the Kh38M has been represented with folding wings and rudders, and it has a range of 40 km.76 The Russian stealth fighter may carry two of the Kh-58UShK anti-radiation missile (against radars), shorter than the original Kh-58 missile, possessing also folding wings and rudders to fit in the PAK FA’s main weapon bays, and with a maximum range of 245 km.77
The PAK FA may have provision for up to eight external hard points for additional missiles and bombs, with at least two hard points and possibly up to three per wing and one hard point under each engine nacelle.78 It has been reported that the PAK FA could also be armed in external hard points with two Novator KS-172 very-long range air-to-air missiles with a maximum range of 400 km, designed to destroy AWACS aircraft.79 The Indian version of the PAK FA, the twin-seat Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA), may be armed externally with “BrahMos supersonic missiles,”80 jointly developed by
and Russia . In such
case, the Russian PAK FA may be able to launch not only the BrahMos missile but
also the air-launched version of the 3M55 Oniks (named Yakhont in its export
version) anti-ship missile, from which the BrahMos was derived, and which has a
maximum speed of Mach 2.6 at altitude and a range of at least 300 km.81 India
The Sukhoi fifth generation fighter would be able thus to carry internally and externally larger and heavier missiles than the F-22A or the F-35. In addition, the PAK FA will be armed with more air-to-air missiles internally, with up to ten, compared to the eight air-to-air missiles arming the F-22A inside its weapon bays, and only two AMRAAM carried by the F-35 in its internal weapon compartments along with two JDAM bombs. However, both the F-22A and the F-35 can carry more air-to-air missiles, bombs, air-to-surface missiles, and also drop tanks hung from external hard points.82
For close air combat, the PAK FA will be armed with a 30 mm cannon on the starboard side of the fuselage.83 Moreover, like a future version of the F-35B, the PAK FA in the future may be armed with a laser weapon.84
In terms of stealth technologies, according to Sukhoi “the use of composite materials and advanced technologies, improved aerodynamics, and reduced engine heat signature minimizes its radio-frequency, optical and infrared visibility.”85 The design of the T-50 is stealthy to radar, following the design principle of planform alignment,86 utilized in the F-22A. Planform alignment is when the aircraft’s surfaces, like the wings’ leading edge, leading edge root extension (LERX) and horizontal control surfaces or the vertical control surfaces and the vertical sides of the engines’ air intakes share the same angle, being thus aligned. Another stealthy feature is the angled shape of the pilot’s canopy. Hence, any incoming radar wave would be deflected at a same angle in a direction away from the radar source.87
The operational version of the PAK FA may have S-ducts or curved ducts for the flow of air from the air-intakes to the engines inside the aircraft, which would help mask the engine compressor blades from radar.88 The T-50 prototype was not fitted with stealth-designed engine nozzles, as the F-22A is, and it has to be seen if the operational PAK FA will be built with stealthy thrust vector control nozzles as the Raptor. Yet stealthy thrust vector controls could be installed in the operational PAK FA, as a stealth-designed two-dimensional thrust vector control nozzle was fitted to the port engine of a Su-27 test aircraft.89 The PAK FA is also expected to be built with Radar Absorbing Material (RAM),90 and the carriage of missiles in the internal weapon compartment reduces the aircraft’s radar cross section (RCS).
In addition, the PAK FA could be fitted with a “stealthogenic” system, an advanced technology Soviet scientists reportedly developed at the Mstislav V. Keldysh research centre.91 This “stealthogenic” technology is a form of anti-radar cloaking device in which a “system used wisps of plasma formed by pencils of electromagnetic rays from special generators installed on the aircraft; the plasma absorbs radio waves, reducing the aircraft’s RCS approximately 100 times.”92 By absorbing the radio waves, the cold plasma field surrounding the plane may be able to make the aircraft essentially invisible to radar. Thus, the USAF is interested in deploying a cold plasma cloaking device “as the next generation of stealth technology” for its fighter aircraft.93
The Russians might have successfully tested this technology already, and the operational PAK FA could very well deploy a cold plasma field device which would greatly reduce the plane’s radar cross section (RCS). This would be useful to make the PAK FA stealthier, for at least the Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA), the Indian version of the PAK FA, is set to have a radar cross section of 0.5 square meters, compared to the RCS of the Su-30MKI of approximately 20 square meters.94 A radar cross section of 0.5 square meters is equivalent to the RCS of a missile, compared to the RCS of a “tactical jet” of between 5-100 square meters.95 The F-22A, on the other hand, is stealthier with a smaller radar cross section comparable to that of a small bird or a bumblebee.96 Thus, the radar cross section of the F-22A would be found between 0.01 square meter, the RCS of birds, and 0.001 square meter, the RCS of insects.97 The radar cross section of the T-50 and radar reflecting features seen in the prototype, like the infrared search and track/laser rangefinder (IRST/LR) spherical device, and the narrow spaces between the air intakes and the fuselage or leading edge root extensions,98 could be made stealthier to radar with a cold plasma field system. Such a stealthogenic system may even enable the fighter that is cloaked with it to carry a full load of missiles, bombs and/or drop tanks in external hard points and still remain stealthy.
It is unclear, though, if the Sukhoi fifth generation fighter would have a system such as the F-22A’s TRW AN/ASQ-220 Communications/Navigation/Identification (CNI) system.99 This possesses multifunction antennas distributed in conformal arrays along the leading edges of the wings and vertical control surfaces which enable passive “radar track warning, missile launch detection, and threat identification.”100
Nonetheless, the PAK FA reportedly has communication “equipment [that] allows real-time data exchange not only with ground based control systems, but also within the flight group” en route on a mission.101 In this regard, the FGFA, the Indian version of the PAK FA, has been described as having when operational “‘a very high degree of network centricity’ as well as multi-spectral reconnaissance and surveillance systems.”102 That capability of sharing in real-time tactical information among aircraft flying in formation is a feature that characterizes fifth generation fighters such as the F-35 and F-22A.
Like the F-22A and the F-35, the PAK FA and the Indian FGFA will have sensor data fusion to provide a unified tactical picture with information convenient to use by the pilot. Thus, the FGFA will have “data fusion; the myriad inputs from the fighter’s infrared, radar, and visual sensors would be electronically combined and fed to the pilot in easy-to-read form.”103 However, it seems that the PAK FA would be one step ahead than the F-22A and F-35 in terms of computer processing functions. The PAK FA’s computer would not just provide information to the pilot after processing data from various sensors and sources but would also function as a battle management system. Instead of the PAK FA being a pocket
for the pilot, it would serve as a cockpit Combat
Information Center , as it would offer
combat decisions for the pilot to choose. Describing the PAK FA, the head of
Avionika, one of the main Russian manufacturers of avionics, said: “The plane
is equipped with advanced avionics that act as an electronic pilot…. The
fighter itself analyses the situation and offers options to the pilot. This
greatly reduces the mental load on the pilot and allows him to focus on
tactical tasks.”104 With
the F-22A’s sensor fusion technology “the pilot spends less time monitoring
basic systems and more time making combat decisions.”105 However, the PAK FA’s battle
management system would allow the Russian pilot to spend less time making
combat decisions, for these would already be made by the fighter’s “electronic
pilot” thanks to the system’s “AI (artificial intelligence).”106 In reference to the computer power of
the PAK FA, General Nikolai Makarov, Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed
Forces, said “the plane is practically with human intelligence.”107 A Russian pilot of the fifth
generation fighter would have then to choose the best tactical decision offered
by the plane’s “electronic pilot” and just press a button, giving him an
advantage of seconds over his opponent that could be decisive in leading to his
enemy’s destruction. Combat Direction
The PAK FA’s “electronic pilot” could also fly the plane autonomously due to the “artificial intelligence” of its computer system. The “electronic pilot” may be able to fly the fighter as if the aircraft would be a fully autonomous unmanned combat air vehicle (UCAV), releasing the human pilot from this task so that he would have only to monitor the systems and concentrate on choosing quickly the best tactical decision from a selection of options the “electronic pilot” would offer him. The human pilot would be able nonetheless to fly manually the PAK FA if he chooses to, particularly to perform evasive maneuvers and for a dogfight’s close combat maneuvers.
The instrument panel of the T-50 is dominated by two large color multifunction displays, in an arrangement similar to that of the Su-35 fighter.108 The multifunction displays in the instrument panel of the T-50 have buttons around each display like in the Su-35, so the displays may not have touch screens like the two large color multifunction displays in the F-35 control panel.109 It cannot be excluded though that the PAK FA in the future would have two large multifunction displays integrated to form one large display with touch screens, like the Lightning II.110 The two large displays in the cockpit’s control panel of the T-50 and Su-35 might have been influenced by the F-35. Such an arrangement of two large multifunction displays dominating the cockpit’s control panel may be a simpler solution to better show sensor fusion information to the pilot, being an improvement over the F-22A’s four main color multifunction displays design in the Raptor’s cockpit.111 Like the F-22A, the T-50 has a head up display (HUD).112 It should not be excluded that the PAK FA in the future would have in place of a head-up display a helmet mounted display (HMD) for its pilots, like the F-35 and upgraded F-22A will.113
The T-50 prototype probably flew with a modified version of the Irbis-E radar, a passive electronically scanned array (PESA) equipping the Su-35 generation 4++ fighter.114 The PAK FA is expected to have an active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar that would contain 1,500 transmitter/receiver (T/R) individual modules, with a prototype of the AESA radar currently undergoing tests on a different aircraft platform.115 In comparison, the F-22A’s AN/APG-77 AESA radar has about 2,000 T/R modules.116 Development of the PAK FA’s AESA radar by Tikhomirov NIIP institute may be completed by the middle of 2010.117 NIIP is working together with Phazotron NIIR and the Leninets Holding Company to develop the PAK FA’s integrated avionics suite, which in addition to the AESA fire-control radar it would have side-looking airborne radar (SLAR) in the aircraft “ventral fairing,” and a rear-facing radar.118 Indeed, it has been suggested that the design of the PAK FA may allow conformal arrays (active or passive) to be fitted on the fighter’s surfaces.119 Moreover, the sting fairing in the rear of the PAK FA, located between the engines exhaust nozzles, may harbor a small fire- control radar,120 such as the Phazotron Pharaon-M radar,121 to provide detection of airborne targets and attacking missiles, and to provide fire-control solutions in the rear hemisphere for the PAK FA’s air-to-air missiles. In addition, the future AESA radar of the PAK FA would have electronic countermeasures (ECM) capabilities, which, like in the case of the F-35 AESA radar, would allow the jamming of enemy radar.122 The PAK FA AESA radar, like the radar of the Lighting II, may have also a directed energy weapon capability that would enable it to burn with radio waves the electronic systems of enemy radar or a SAM battery’s command and control computer,123 and perhaps even the flight computer of an enemy fighter. However, it has yet to be seen the level of power and sensibility of the PAK FA’s AESA radar compared to the radar systems in the F-22A and the F-35. Around 30 companies are in total involved in developing the PAK FA’s integrated avionics suite.124
The T-50 is fitted with an infrared search and track/laser rangefinder (IRST/LR) optoelectronic system, with its sensor located on the starboard side in front of the cockpit. It is expected to be a new, fifth-generation, system including infrared and TV channels for day and night operations, a laser rangefinder for accurate targeting, and with “look down/shoot down” capability for detection, tracking and engagement of targets over land, sea and air.125 The system’s range could be 100 km for enemy fighters flying away, and 40 km for approaching fighters,126 yet these ranges in the PAK FA might be even greater. In addition, it is possible that the operational PAK FA’s optoelectronic system may incorporate a LADAR (laser radar) in the future, a useful capability for target identification by providing an image of a contact in three dimensions.127 A LADAR system may thus help track and identify stealth aircraft.
One example of the effectiveness of the Russian IRST/LR system in engaging a stealthy airborne target might be provided by the report, if accurate, that a Russian-made MiG-29 of the Yugoslav Air Force shot down the USAF F-117A Stealth Fighter destroyed during the Kosovo Crisis of 1999. According to this version, the Serbian MiG-29 fired its infrared-guided missiles at the F-117A, which was destroyed by the first missile that was launched. It is probable that the Serb pilot used the MiG-29’s IRST/LR system to detect, track, and engage in a stealthy fashion by not giving away radar signals to the Stealth Fighter,128 which was designed also to minimize its engines’ exhaust infrared signature. The official version of the
military is that the F-117A was shot down by Russian-made surface-to-air
missiles (SAM) of the Serbs. According to sources that spoke to Jane’s, it
appears that the Serbs were able to intercept the F-117A because a spy working
for the Russian GRU inside NATO stole the doomed Stealth Fighter’s bombing
mission flight plan, which the GRU passed on to the Serbs, enabling them to
prepare an ambush against the F-117A.129 U.S.
The F-22A does not have a built-in IRST system, although it could be fitted if funded. The F-35 will have the optronic Distributed Aperture System (DAS) and the Electro-Optical Targeting System (EOTS) that form the Electro Optical Sensor System (EOSS), designed to give the fighter a 360º infrared coverage of the plane for search and track of enemy surface and air targets.130 Using DAS, the F-35, which was not designed for super maneuverability in a dogfight due to the lack of engine thrust vectoring control and because it has “a higher wing loading than the F-22,” would recur to high off-boresight short-range air-to-air missiles launched in a lock-on after launch mode to hit pursuing enemy fighters and run away from the fight.131 Another problem is that the F-35 will have to carry its AIM-9X for self-defense under the wings, breaking its stealth outline.132 This is because the F-35 was designed to carry internally typically two AMRAAM missiles and two JDAM precision guided bombs but not Sidewinder missiles. The PAK FA, on the other hand and like the F-22A, would be able to carry two short-range air-to-air missiles in its internal side weapon compartments, maintaining the integrity of its stealth outline.
The T-50 prototype is fitted apparently with engines developed by NPO Saturn from its izdelie 117S engine, an improved and modernized version of the AL-31F turbofan engine that was developed for the Su-35 generation 4++ fighter. The 117S engine has been described as possessing “fifth-generation technologies” like “a new full-authority digital engine control (FADEC) system” and three dimensional thrust vectoring control nozzles.133 Each one of the Saturn 117S engines of the Su-35 has a thrust of approximately 14,500 kg, and they were developed taking account of the experience with the AL-41F engine, originally planned for the Russian fifth generation fighter.134 The engine used by the T-50 and by the PAK FA when it would enter service in the Russian Armed Forces is the so-called “engine of the first stage,” produced by NPO Saturn for Russia’s United Engine-building Corporation (ODK).135 In reference to the T-50 and its engine of the first stage, the head of the Sukhoi Company, Mikhail Pogosyan said: “The airplane flied up in principle with a new engine, which was designed specially for this aircraft.”136 The T-50’s stage 1 engines, derived from the Saturn 117S engines of the Su-35 fighter, would each have also a thrust of 14,500 kg and three dimensional thrust vectoring control nozzles.137 In comparison, each of the F-22A’s F119-PW-100 turbofan engines has a thrust of 15,876 kg.138
The PAK FA will be fitted in the future with a new engine known as the “engine of the second stage,” which would be developed by the United Engine-building Corporation, according to its general director, through cooperation between NPO Saturn, which has 83 percent of Russian production of aircraft engines, and Salyut, with 17 percent of aircraft engine production.139 In terms of its power, it has been reported the stage 2 engines would have each a thrust of about 17,500 kg.140 However, the stage 2 engines of the PAK FA may each have instead 15,300 to 15,500 kg of thrust.141 Pogosyan, the head of Sukhoi, stressed that the new engine of the second stage will not be ready by 2015, and since it is in its early stage of development, he suggested that the engine would take 10-12 more years for it to be fully developed.142
The T-50 flew successfully for a second time on February 12 for 57 minutes in the Russian Far Eastern city of
the first flight of January 29, which lasted 47 minutes.143 Russia through Sukhoi began this
fifth generation fighter project as a new program in the 1990s after the Soviet-era
Mikoyan MFI and Sukhoi S-37 technology demonstrators would not become the basis
of Russia’s future operational fifth generation fighter.144 Confirming yet again the PAK FA’s
future potential opponent, a Russian Ministry of Defense official said in
relation with the T-50 second test flight that “Russian specialists have been
carefully monitoring the U.S. F-22 Raptor, so we can compare the newest Russian
fighter with it.” The official concluded that the PAK FA has “a very bright
After several conducting more test flights in the Russian Far East the T-50 will be taken to the air base at Zhukovsky close to
for more tests.146
Reportedly, T-50 will begin standard flight tests in April, but testing of the
aircraft would last “several years,” according to a source from Sukhoi.147 This would be confirmed by Prime
Minister Vladimir Putin, who said that “before the jet goes into production, it
should complete over 2,000 test flights.”148
Another three prototypes would join the PAK FA flight test program between the
end of 2010 and the beginning of 2011.149
Years of flight testing may not preclude deployment of the PAK FA in
operational units while testing would be taking place. For example, the F-22
prototype first flew in September 1997, 4,000 hours of flight testing (probably
roughly equivalent to 2,000 flights) in the F-22 development program were
reached in September 2003 and the Raptor was first delivered to an operational
unit in September 2003, yet testing lasted until November 2005.150 Moscow
Thus, Colonel General Alexander Zelin, the commander-in-chief of the Russian Air Force, announced that the PAK FA would begin to be delivered to operational units in 2015.151 Previously, according to the Russian Air Force specific operational requirement (SOR) of December 2004, the PAK FA is planned to enter production in 2015.152 Zelin also said, due to the PAK FA’s multirole qualities, that those Russian Air Force units receiving the fifth generation fighter would not be classified as belonging to either fighter aviation or to tactical aviation, for they would be classified as belonging to tactical or tactical-operational aviation because all the aircraft in a tactical-operational unit could fulfill the air defense mission when required.153 Moreover, Russian Air Force pilots are already training “in fifth-generation fighter piloting techniques.”154
produced the T-50155 and would manufacture the other
prototypes, as well as the PAK FA once it is ready for production. Sukhoi’s
Chkalov NAPO factory in Komsomolsk-on-Amur ,
Novosibirsk Siberia, would have been subcontractor in the
production of parts for the PAK FA, yet in 2008 the NAPO
plant withdrew from the project since manufacture of the Su-34 strike aircraft
and the modernization of the Su-24M2 strike plane would fully occupy its production
The Sukhoi PAK FA would form the basis for further variants of the aircraft, in the same way that the Su-30MKI multirole fighter for
, the Su-30MKK multirole
fighter and Su-30MK2 naval strike fighter for India , the Su-30MKA for China , the
Su-34 strike aircraft, and the latest Su-35 multirole fighter are advanced versions
of the baseline Su-27 “Flanker” fighter. One such variant of the PAK FA could
be a twin-seat long-range strike version, like the Su-34 dedicated strike
version of the Su-27 or like the cancelled FB-22 bomber version of the F-22A. Algeria
Alexander Formin, first deputy director of
Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation, stated that the joint
Russo-Indian PAK FA/FGFA fighter may be ready by 2015 or 2016. Formin also said
that equipment from third countries could be integrated in the Indian version
of the Russian fifth generation fighter, the FGFA, reminding of Russia ’s
experience in systems integration with French and Israeli technology.157 Sukhoi is planned to jointly develop
the Russian fifth generation fighter with Russia ’s Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd.
(HAL).158 India ’s
Minister of Defense, A.K. Antony, expressed his country’s interest for the FGFA
to be fully developed by 2016 so that it could enter service in 2017.159
On the issue of numbers, some models that predict victorious engagements between a small formation of F-22A and a far superior enemy fighter force part from the premise that under the cover of stealth the numerically inferior Raptors would be fighting against inferior fourth generation aircraft.160 The problem with this thinking is that it did not consider the possibility that Russia could deploy a force of PAK FA fighters at least equal in quality yet superior in numbers to the 187 F-22A of the USAF, exporting the aircraft in the hundreds to other powers with which one day the U.S. might become involved in an air war. In addition,
might build a lighter version of the PAK FA,161
equivalent to the F-35, and produce and export it in large numbers. Russia
In terms of unit cost, the F-22A appears to have now a price of about $140 million, yet the fighter’s production has been terminated.162 The price for the F-35 goes beyond $100 million per aircraft to a current flyaway cost of $112 million per plane, rising to $130 million for each F-35 after incorporating the requirements for the Israeli Air Force.163 The PAK FA is expected to cost less than $100 million or about $100 million per aircraft.164 In 2001 the Russian Air Force had a requirement for 300 PAK FA, but currently the requirement is for 250 fighters, with the single-seat version being
preferred design option.165
However, the Russian Defense Ministry may purchase more of the two-seat version
of the PAK FA as training aircraft. On the other hand, the twin-seat PAK FA is
the preferred option for Russia ’s
FGFA, and of the Indian requirement for 250 fighters, 200 would be of the two-seat
version and the remaining 50 would be single-seat aircraft.166 Negotiations between India and Russia continue
on the joint development of the PAK FA and FGFA. In this regard, Mikhail
Pogosyan, the head of Sukhoi said: “We are in the process of negotiations. They
will be completed in the near future and we shall ink a contract for the
technical sketch project of this plane then.”167
Speaking on the export potential of the joint Russian and Indian fifth
generation fighter project after the T-50’s first flight, Pogosyan declared: “I
am strongly convinced that our joint project will excel its Western rivals in
cost-effectiveness and will not only allow strengthening the defense power of
Russian and Indian Air Forces, but also gain a significant share of the world
market.”168 The combined
production of the Russian PAK FA and the Indian FGFA would be of at least 500
aircraft, and it could reach a total of 600 machines and even more considering
additional export orders.169 India
With a price of about $100 million per aircraft, the PAK FA would not be cheap and only wealthy countries or countries with access to sizeable amounts of export revenues, like from oil and gas exports, could afford buying it. In addition to Russia and India, the PAK FA may be exported to China, Algeria, Libya, Iran, Syria (paid by Iran), Venezuela (under Hugo Chavez), perhaps to Kazakhstan, probably even to Malaysia and Vietnam thanks to their gas and oil revenues, and possibly also to Indonesia, which may feel compelled to buy the PAK FA in limited numbers to counterbalance the 100 F-35 that Australia plans to acquire.170 Thus, the PAK FA would likely find a market among those countries that have purchased the Su-30MK and/or have the Su-27 and can afford the Russian fifth generation fighter. The
export the F-35 to U.S. ,
at least 75 to 100,171 and
does not want to sell the Joint Strike Fighter to its oil-rich Arab allies,
some of these may entertain the idea of buying the PAK FA instead. In such case,
would be more than willing to expand the market for its fighter aircraft. Russia
It must be considered also that some of the countries that might acquire the PAK FA could use their fifth generation fighter force in air naval operations against the U.S. Navy. Some serious thought should be given to the possibility that squadrons of PAK FA manned by well trained pilots operating from land bases could pose a credible threat against the squadrons of F/A-18E/F Super Hornets and F-35C Lightning II of an aircraft carrier battle group, particularly in the battle for air superiority and air supremacy. If the operational PAK FA turns out to be as remarkable a machine as it has been reported it would be, the Pentagon should seriously consider revising its assessments with regard to what is the adequate number of air superiority fighters the USAF and the U.S. Navy should deploy, and if there is a fighter gap not just in terms of number of aircraft but particularly concerning fighter capabilities in the vital air superiority role. If the PAK FA proves to be a successful aircraft, the U.S. should expect a proliferation of this fifth generation fighter among those countries with means to acquire it and with a foreign policy that shares Moscow’s pursuit of a multipolar world order at the expense of a unipolar international system centered in the United States.
Even though there are no plans to acquire more F-22A in the foreseeable future, measures should be taken to restart the Raptor’s production line in case it is needed. Further delays in the IOC for the F-35A due to program development delays should make the government rethink its policy of closing F-22A production after acquiring 187 aircraft. The Raptor is a proven design and it is operational. The F-35A, on the other hand, has yet to enter into service. In the meantime, the
1 The History Channel, Dogfights of the Future, approx. 100 min., A&E Television Networks AAE-131240, 2007, DVD.
fifth-generation fighter T-50 (PAK FA),” RIA Novosti, Russia January 29, 2010, at
http://en.rian.ru/mlitary_news/20100129/157717728.html ( January 29, 2010); “ draws
back veil of secrecy with peek at future fighter,” RIA Novosti, Russia January 29, 2010, at
http://en.rian.ru/russia/20100129/157715872.html ( February 1, 2010).
3 The History Channel, Dogfights of the Future.
4 “Comandante de la Marina rusa dice que la principal ventaja en la guerra es la supremacía aérea y espacial,” RIA Novosti, February 26, 2010, at http://sp.rian.ru/onlinenews/20100226/125266454.html (February 26, 2010).
5 “Russia’s future fighter conquers the skies,” RIA Novosti, January 29, 2010, at http://en.rian.ru/mlitary_news/20100129/157712091.html (February 1, 2010); “Indo-Russian 5th generation fighter to take-off by 2012,” The Times of India, October 30, 2007, at http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/World/Europe/Indo-Russian_5th_generation_fighter_to_take-off_by_2012/articleshow/2503005.cms (February 12, 2010); Ariel Cohen, “Swords and Shields: Russia Bets on PAK FA,” The Heritage Foundation, January 21, 2009, at http://www.heritage.org/Research/Commentary/2009/01/Swords-and-Shields-Russia-bets-on-PAK-FA (March 14, 2010).
6 Italics are mine. See “Speech at the Economic Club of Chicago As Delivered by Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates, Chicago, IL, Thursday, July 16, 2009,” United States Department of Defense, at http://www.defense.gov/speeches/speech.aspx?speechid=1369 (February 3, 2010).
7 Caitlin Harrington, “USAF slips F-35 IOC by two years,” Jane’s Defence Weekly,
March 10, 2010, p. 8.
has shown already it can sell to Russia hundreds of its best fighter
is China ’s
largest customer of Su-27/Su-30 Flanker fighters, with up to 626 sold and
ordered. See Mackenzie M. Eaglen and Lajos F. Szaszdi, “The Growing Air Power
Fighter Gap: Implications for U.S. National Security,” Heritage Foundation
Backgrounder, No. 2295, Russia July
7, 2009, at http://www.heritage.org/Research/NationalSecurity/bg2295.cfm
( February 3, 2010).
9 Yefim Gordon, Russian Air Power: Current Organization and Aircraft of all Russian Air Forces (
Hinckley, England , 2009),
p. 325; Yefim Gordon, Sukhoi Su-27,
Famous Russian Aircraft ( Midland : Hinckley,
England , 2007), p. 175;
Edward Downs, ed., Jane’s Avionics 2006-2007, 25th ed. (Coulsdon, Midland Surrey: Jane’s Information Group, 2006), pp. 668, 672-73.
10 Ajai Shukla, “
close to PACT on next generation fighter,” Business
Standard, Russia January 5, 2010,
( February 12, 2010).
11 “Mezhdunarodnie rezervi Rossiiskoi Federatsii v 2010 godu,” Tsentralny bank Rossiiskoi Federatsii,
February 4, 2010, at
(February 4, 2010); “Rusia aumenta sus reserves internacionales hasta
US$441.300 millones,” RIA Novosti, March 18, 2010, at
http://sp.rian.ru/onlinenews/20100318/125525296.html (March 18, 2010);
“Russia’s international reserves up $6.9 bln to $448.2 bln in week,” RIA
Novosti, March 25, 2010, at http://en.rian.ru/business/20100325/158306802.html
(March 25, 2010).
12 Gareth Jennings, “Russian PAK-FA fifth-generation fighter makes maiden flight,” Jane’s Defence Weekly,
February 3, 2010, p. 5.
future fighter conquers the skies;” Ajai Shukla, “ Russia to develop 25% of fifth
generation fighter,” Business Standard,
India January 6, 2010,
( February 12, 2010).
14 Yefim Gordon, Sukhoi S-37 and Mikoyan MFI: Russian Fifth-Generation Fighter Technology Demonstrators, Red Star Vol. 1 (
: Midland Publishing, 2001),
pp. 21-22; Ilya Kramnik, “ Hinckley, England
successfully tests Sukhoi T-50 Stealth fighter jet,” RIA Novosti, Russia January 29, 2010, at
http://www.en.rian.ru/analysis/20100129/157716197.html ( January 31, 2010). See also the entries
on the advanced Yakovlev Yak-43 fighter in Bill Gunston and Yefim Gordon, Yakovlev
Aircraft since 1924, Putnam Aeronautical Books (London: Putnam, 1997), pp.
201, 200; Yefim Gordon, Dmitriy Komissarov and Sergey Komissarov, OKB
Yakovlev: A History of the Design Bureau and its Aircraft (Hinckley,
England: Midland, 2005), p. 346; Yefim Gordon, Yakovlev Yak-36, Yak-38 &
Yak-4: The Soviet ‘Jump Jets,’ trans. Dmitriy and Sergey Komissarov,
Red Star 36 (Hinckley, England: Midland, 2008), p. 122.
fifth-generation fighter T-50 (PAK FA);” “ Russia ’s future fighter conquers
the skies;” “VVS predstavili predlozheniia po dorabotke ustrebitelia piatogo
pokoleniia,” RIA Novosti, Russia February 12, 2010, at http://www.rian.ru/defense_safety/20100212/208837122.html
( February 24, 2010).
16 “F-22 Raptor: Specifications,” Lockheed Martin, at http://www.lockheedmartin.com/products/f22/f-22-specifications.html (
February 4, 2010).
17 Paul Jackson, ed., Jane’s All the World’s Aircraft 2006-2007, 97th ed. (Coulsdon,
Surrey: Jane’s Information
Group, 2006), p. 501.
fifth-generation fighter T-50 (PAK FA).” Russia
p. 501. Jackson
20 “F-35 Lightning II: The World’s Only 5th Generation International Multirole Fighter,” Lockheed Martin, p. 8, at http://www.lockheedmartin.com/data/assets/aeronautics/mediacenter/mediakits/f35/f-35-brochure-090722.zip (
February 27, 2010);
future fighter conquers the skies.” Russia
p. 497. Jackson
23 “The T-50 fifth-generation fighter,” RIA Novosti,
February 19, 2010, at http://en.rian.ru/infographics/20100219/157939986.html
( February 19, 2010).0
24 “F-22 Raptor: Specifications.”
25 See “FACTBOX:
fifth-generation fighter T-50 (PAK FA).” Russia
26 “The T-50 fifth-generation fighter.”
27 “F-22 Raptor: Specifications.”
fifth-generation fighter T-50 (PAK FA).” Russia
29 Jamie Hunter, ed., Jane’s Aircraft Upgrades 2006-2007, 14th ed. (Coulsdon,
Surrey: Jane’s Information
Group, 2006), p. 184.
30 “F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) Lightning II Specifications,” GlobalSecurity.org, at
February 27, 2010).
fifth-generation fighter T-50 (PAK FA).” Russia
32 “The T-50 fifth-generation fighter.”
33 Jay Miller, Lockheed Martin F/A-22 Raptor: Stealth Fighter (
Aerofax, 2005), p. 102. Hinckley, England
34 “Different FGFA fighter versions for
, India ,” India Today, Russia September
29, 2008, at http://indiatoday.intoday.in/site/StoryPrint?sId=16398&secid=4&page=null
( February 12, 2010).
35 “F-22 Raptor: Specifications;” “The T-50 fifth-generation fighter.”
36 Miller, p. 102.
37 “The T-50 fifth-generation fighter.”
38 Yefim Gordon and Dmitriy Komissarov, OKB Sukhoi: A History of the Design Bureau and its Aircraft (Hersham,
Surrey: , 2010), p. 542. Midland
39 “The T-50 fifth-generation fighter;” Miller, p. 102.
40 “F-35 Lightning II: The World’s Only 5th Generation International Multirole Fighter,” p. 8;
p. 809; “F-35 Joint
Strike Fighter (JSF) Lightning II Specifications.” Jackson
draws back veil of secrecy with peek at future fighter.” Russia
tests stealth fighter jet,” BBC News, Russia January 29, 2010, at
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8486812.stm ( February 4, 2010); “Sukhoi Company launches flight tests
of PAK FA advanced tactical frontline fighter,” Sukhoi Company (JSC), January 29, 2010, at http://www.sukhoi.org/eng/news/company/?id=3143
(February 12, 2010); “Different FGFA
fighter versions for India, Russia;” “Russia’s Fifth Generation Jet Tested
Successfully,” Pravda, January 29,
2010, at http://english.pravda.ru/russia/economics/29-01-2010/111923-fifth_generation-0
(February 12, 2010).
44 See photograph of lower, underneath part of the T-50 at “Perspektivni aviatsionni kompleks frontovoi aviatsii,” Stels’ machine, at http://www.paralay.com/pakfasu.html (
March 1, 2010); and also
more specifically at “Perspektivni aviatsionni kompleks frontovoi aviatsii,” Stels’ machine, at http://www.paralay.com/pakfasu/325.jpg
(March 1, 2010).
Fifth Generation Jet Tested Successfully;” David Donald and Rob Hewson, eds., Tupolev Bombers ( Russia :
AIRtime Publishing, 2002), p. 154. Norwalk, Conn.
46 “The T-50 fifth-generation fighter.”
47 Gordon and Komissarov, p. 541; Hewson, p. 75.
fifth-generation fighter T-50 (PAK FA);” “VVS predstavili predlozheniia po
dorabotke ustrebitelia piatogo pokoleniia;” “Caza de quinta generación realize
con éxito segundo vuelo,” RIA Novosti,
Russia February 12, 2010,
at http://sp.rian.ru/onlinenews/20100212/125083946.html ( February 18, 2010); “ ’s Fifth
Generation Jet Tested Successfully.” See also Gordon, Sukhoi S-37 and Mikoyan MFI, p. 83. Russia
49 See pictures in Gerard Keijsper, Joint Strike Fighter: Design and Development of the International Aircraft (
South Yorkshire: Pen & Sword Aviation,
2007), pp. 219-20.
50 Gordon and Komissarov, p. 541; Gordon, Russian Air Power, pp. 335-36.
51 Ibid., pp. 335-36.
52 Hewson, pp. 65.
53 Gordon and Komissarov, p. 541; Gordon, Russian Air Power, pp. 335-36.
54 Gordon and Komissarov, p. 541.
55 Yefim Gordon, Soviet/Russian Aircraft Weapons Since World War Two (
England , 2004), p. 70;
Robert Hewson, ed., Jane’s Air-Launched Weapons, no. 45 (Coulsdon, Midland Surrey: Jane’s Information Group, 2005), p. 76.
56 Hewson, p. 64.
57 The History Channel, Dogfights of the Future.
58 David A. Fulghum, Maxim Pyadushkin, and Douglas Barrie, “Stealth, Sukhoi-style,” Aviation Week & Space Technology,
2010, p. 31; Gordon and Komissarov, p. 542; Gordon, Russian Air Power, p. 336.
59 Hewson, p.75.
60 Gordon and Komissarov, p. 542; Gordon, Russian Air Power, p. 336.
61 Gordon, Soviet/Russian Aircraft Weapons Since World War Two, p. 70; Hewson, pp. 75-76.
62 Fulghum, Pyadushkin, and Barrie, p. 30.
63 See Miller, pp. 98-99.
64 Hewson, p. 28-30; Gordon and Komissarov, p. 541; Gordon, Russian Air Power, pp. 334-35.
65 Fulghum, Pyadushkin, and Barrie, p. 31; Hewson, p. 28; Gordon and Komissarov, p. 541; Gordon, Russian Air Power, p. 335.
66 Fulghum, Pyadushkin, and Barrie, p. 31; Hewson, p. 24.
67 Gordon and Komissarov, p. 541; Gordon, Russian Air Power, p. 335.
68 Gordon and Komissarov, p. 541; Gordon, Russian Air Power, p. 335.
69 “FACTBOX: Russia’s fifth-generation fighter T-50 (PAK FA);” “VVS predstavili predlozheniia po dorabotke ustrebitelia piatogo pokoleniia;” “Caza de quinta generación realize con éxito segundo vuelo.”
70 Carlo Kopp, “Soviet/Russian Guided Bombs,” Air Power Australia, August 2009, at http://www.ausairpower.net/APA-Rus-GBU.html#mozTocId522037 (
March 11, 2010);
Hewson, p. 397.
71 Ibid., pp. 395-96; Kopp, “Soviet/Russian Guided Bombs.”
72 Carlo Kopp, “Soviet/Russian Guided Bombs.”
73 Caitlin Harrington, “Boeing offers Phantom Ray bomber,” Jane’s Defence Weekly,
March 10, 2010, p. 10.
74 Hewson, pp. 172-74; Carlo Kopp, “Soviet/Russian Cruise Missiles,” Air Power Australia, August 2009, at http://www.ausairpower.net/APA-Rus-Cruise-Missiles.html#mozTocId501956 (
March 11, 2010).
75 Ibid.; Hewson, pp.172-73.
76 Fulghum, Pyadushkin, and Barrie, p. 31; Carlo Kopp, “Soviet/Russian Tactical Air to Surface Missiles,” Air Power Australia, August 2009, at http://www.ausairpower.net/APA-Rus-ASM.html#mozTocId919852 (
March 11, 2010);
“K-38 ( ),
Air-to-surface missiles – Direct attack,” Jane’s
Air-Launched Weapons, Russian Federation November
12, 2009, at http://www.janes.com/articles/Janes-Air-Launched-Weapons/Kh-38-Russian-Federation.html
( March 2, 2010).
77 Fulghum, Pyadushkin, and Barrie, p. 31; Kopp, “Soviet/Russian Tactical Air to Surface Missiles.”
Fifth Generation Jet Tested Successfully;” Fulghum, Pyadushkin, and Barrie, p.
79 “FACTBOX: Russia’s fifth-generation fighter T-50 (PAK FA);” “VVS predstavili predlozheniia po dorabotke ustrebitelia piatogo pokoleniia;” “Caza de quinta generación realize con éxito segundo vuelo;” Hewson, p. 64.
, Russia to
develop joint 5G-fighter by 2016,” RIA Novosti, India March 2, 2010, at http://en.rian.ru/mlitary_news/20100302/158065429.html
( March 2, 2010).
81 Hewson, pp. 168-69; Kopp, “Soviet/Russian Cruise Missiles.” See also “La Marina rusa se dotará de la fragata ‘Almirante Gorshkov’ en 2011,” RIA Novosti, February 26, 2010, at http://sp.rian.ru/onlinenews/20100226/125262287.html (February 26, 2010).
pp. 800, 809. Jackson
83 “The T-50 fifth-generation fighter.” See also the T-50 photograph with the cannon’s darker blast plate on the starboard side of the fuselage in “Perspektivni aviatsionni kompleks frontovoi aviatsii,” Stels’ machine, at http://www.paralay.com/pakfasu/313.jpg (
March 3, 2010).
84 Keijsper, pp. 227-30.
draws back veil of secrecy with peek at future fighter;” Kramnik, “ Russia
successfully tests Sukhoi T-50 Stealth fighter jet.” Russia
86 The History Channel, Dogfights of the Future. See also Fulghum, Pyadushkin, and Barrie, p. 30.
87 The History Channel, Dogfights of the Future.
88 Gordon, Sukhoi S-37 and Mikoyan MFI, pp. 73, 82, 33.
89 Gordon, Sukhoi Su-27, p. 102. See also a picture of the Russian stealthy two dimensional thrust vector control nozzle in “PAK FA fotografiia,” Iandeks, at http://images.yandex.ru/search?p=117&ed=1&text=%D0%9F%D0%90%D0%9A%20%D0%A4%D0%90%20%D1%84%D0%BE%D1%82%D0%BE%D0%B3%D1%80%D0%B0%D1%84%D0%B8%D1%8F&spsite=fake-023-1055511.ru&img_url=www.flanker.free.fr%2Fmono%2FTexte%2Fexperimental%2F03.jpg&rpt=simage (March 1, 2010).
90 Gordon, Sukhoi S-37 and Mikoyan MFI, pp. 33-34.
91 Ibid., 21.
92 Ibid., pp. 21-22.
93 The History Channel, That’s Impossible: Death Rays & Energy Weapons DVD, 50 min., A&E Television Networks 210120, 2009, DVD.
94 Shukla, “
close to PACT on next generation fighter.” Russia
95 “Radar Cross Section (RCS),” Microwave Encyclopedia, p. 4-11.3, at http://www.microwaves101.com/encyclopedia/Navy%20handbook/4.11%20Radar%20Cross-Section%20(RCS).pdf (
March 3, 2010).
96 “F-22 Raptor Stealth,” GlobalSecurity.org, at
March 3, 2010);
Tony Halpin, “
unveils its first stealth fighter jet – the Sukhoi T-50,” The Times, Russia January
30, 2010, at http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/europe/article7007913.ece
( February 12, 2010).
97 Jeff Scott, “Radar Cross Section,” Aerospaceweb.org,
21, 2004, at http://www.aerospaceweb.org/question/electronics/q0168.shtml
( March 7, 2010).
98 Fulghum, Pyadushkin, and Barrie, p. 30.
99 Jackson, Jane’s All the World’s Aircraft 2006-2007, p. 800.
100 Miller, p. 88.
101 “Sukhoi Company launches flight tests of PAK FA advanced tactical frontline fighter.” See also “Different FGFA fighter versions for India, Russia;” “Rusia desvela el futuro de su aviación de combate con el primer vuelo de su caza de quinta generación,” RIA Novosti, January 29, 2010, at http://sp.rian.ru/onlinenews/20100129/124894765.html (March 12, 2010).
102 Rajat Pandit, “
conducts first test of fifth-generation Sukhoi,” The Times of India, Russia January
30, 2010, at http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Russia-conducts-first-test-of-fifth-generation-Sukhoi/articleshow/5514549.cms
( March 12, 2010).
103 Shukla, “
close to PACT on next generation fighter.” Russia
104 “Russia’s fifth-generation aircraft will corner 30% of fighter market – analyst,” Gazeta, Izvestia, in “What the Russian papers say,” RIA Novosti, February 12, 2010, at http://en.rian.ru/papers/20100212/157858932.html (February 17, 2010).
105 The History Channel, Dogfights of the Future.
106 “Sukhoi Company launches flight tests of PAK FA advanced tactical frontline fighter;” Evgeniya Chaykovskaya, “New Russian jet fighter to threaten Raptor?,” Moscow News, January 29, 2010, at http://www.mn.ru/news/20100129/55406919.html (February 12, 2010).
107 “Rossiiskii samolet 5-go pokolenia budet obladat’ ogromnim ‘intellektom’ i prevoskhodit’ inostrannie mashini – nachal’nik Genshtaba VS RF,” ARMS-TASS,
February 11, 2010, at http://arms-tass.su/?page=article&aid=80998&cid=24 ( February 18, 2010).
108 “Perspektivni aviatsionni kompleks frontovoi aviatsii,” Stels’ machine, at http://www.paralay.com/pakfasu/556.jpg (
March 22, 2010);
Gordon, Russian Air Power, p. 322.
109 “Perspektivni aviatsionni kompleks frontovoi aviatsii,” Stels’ machine, at http://www.paralay.com/pakfasu/556.jpg (
March 22, 2010);
Gordon, Russian Air Power, p. 322;
Keijsper, pp. 170-71.
110 Ibid., p. 171.
111 Bill Sweetman, “Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor,” International Air Power Review 5 (Summer 2002): p. 57; Miller, p. 85.
112 “Perspektivni aviatsionni kompleks frontovoi aviatsii,” Stels’ machine, at http://www.paralay.com/pakfasu/556.jpg (
March 22, 2010).
113 Keijsper, pp. 172-73, 176; The History Channel, Dogfights of the Future.
p. 5. Jennings
Fifth Generation Jet Tested Successfully;” Douglas Barrie and Alexey Komarov,
“Fighter Order Rekindles Russian Air Force,” Aviation Week And Space Technology, Russia August 26, 2009, at http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/story_channel.jsp?channel=defense&id=news/RUSSAF082609.xml&headline=Fighter%20Order%20Rekindles%20Russian%20Air%20Force
( February 12, 2010).
Downs, p. 697.
117 Fulghum, Pyadushkin, and Barrie, p. 31.
118 Gordon and Komissarov, p. 541.
119 Barrie and Komarov, “Fighter Order Rekindles Russian Air Force.”
120 There were plans to have installed a small radar in the rear of the now superseded S-37/Su-47 fifth generation fighter technology demonstrator to warn of airborne contacts appearing behind the aircraft. See Gordon, Sukhoi S-37 and Mikoyan MFI, p. 83; Paul Jackson, ed., Jane’s All the World’s Aircraft 2004-2005, 95th ed. (Coulsdon,
Jane’s Information Group, 2004), p. 446.
Downs, pp. 676-77.
122 Gordon and Komissarov, p. 541; Keijsper, pp. 217, 249; The History Channel, Dogfights of the Future.
123 Keijsper, p. 249; The History Channel, Dogfights of the Future.
124 Gordon and Komissarov, p. 541.
125 Gordon, Sukhoi Su-27, pp. 175, 428.
126 Ibid., p. 429.
127 See Michael J. Gething, ed., Jane’s Electro-Optic Systems 2006-2007, 12th ed. (Coulsdon,
Surrey: Jane’s Information Group, 2006), p. 13.
128 Yefim Gordon, Mikoyan MiG-29, Famous Russian Aircraft (
England , 2006), p. 273. Midland
129 See Lajos F. Szászdi, Russian Civil-Military Relations and the Origins of the Second Chechen War (
University Press of Lanham, Md. ,
2008), p. 242. America
130 Bill Sweetman, “All-Seeing Eye,” Defense Technology International, October 2008, at
June 10, 2009); Downs, p. 616.
131 Sweetman, “All-Seeing Eye.”
132 Ibid.; The History Channel, Dogfights of the Future.
133 Gordon, Russian Air Power, pp. 329, 324; “FACTBOX:
fifth-generation fighter T-50 (PAK FA);” Gordon, Sukhoi Su-27, p. 175; “ Russia draws back veil of secrecy
with peek at future fighter.” Russia
134 “Russia To Test Stealthy Fifth Generation Sukhoi T-50 Fighter Jet,” Pravda,
January 28, 2010, at http://english.pravda.ru/russia/economics/28-01-2010/111914-fifth_generation-0
( March 3, 2010); Gordon,
Sukhoi Su-27, p. 173.
135 “Integratorom dvigatelia 2-go etapa dlia istrebitelia 5-go pokoleniia budet ‘Obsiedinennaia dvigatelestroitel’naia korporatsiia,” ARMS-TASS,
March 2, 2010, at http://arms-tass.su/?page=article&aid=81615&cid=25
( March 2, 2010);
“Dlia vtorogo opitnogo samoleta PAK FA uzhe postavlen komplekt dvigatelei,” ARMS-TASS, March 11, 2010, at http://arms-tass.su/?page=article&aid=81936&cid=25
( March 12, 2010).
136 “Integratorom dvigatelia 2-go etapa dlia istrebitelia 5-go pokoleniia budet ‘Obsiedinennaia dvigatelestroitel’naia korporatsiia.”
137 Gordon and Komissarov, p. 542.
138 “F-22 Raptor: Specifications,” Lockheed Martin.
139 “Dlia vtorogo opitnogo samoleta PAK FA uzhe postavlen komplekt dvigatelei;” “Integratorom dvigatelia 2-go etapa dlia istrebitelia 5-go pokoleniia budet ‘Obsiedinennaia dvigatelestroitel’naia korporatsiia.”
To Test Stealthy Fifth Generation Sukhoi T-50 Fighter Jet.” Russia
141 Gordon and Komissarov, p. 542.
142 “Integratorom dvigatelia 2-go etapa dlia istrebitelia 5-go pokoleniia budet ‘Obsiedinennaia dvigatelestroitel’naia korporatsiia.”
143 “Russian 5th-generation fighter makes 2nd flight,” RIA Novosti,
February 12, 2010,
at http://en.rian.ru/russia/20100212/157855932.html ( February 16, 2010).
144 Ibid. On the Soviet origins of the MFI and S-37 see Gordon, Sukhoi S-37 and Mikoyan MFI, pp. 22, 63.
145 “Russian 5th-generation fighter makes 2nd flight.”
5th generation jet fighter to start tests in April,” RIA Novosti, Russia March 1, 2010, at http://en.rian.ru/russia/20100301/158054167.html
( March 1, 2010).
148 “New Russian fighter to make 2,000 flights before production starts,” RIA Novosti,
1, 2010, at http://en.rian.ru/russia/20100301/158056158.html ( March 1, 2010).
149 “Otros tres cazas rusos T-50 comenzarán pruebas en vuelo a finales de 2010,” RIA Novosti, March 2, 2010, at http://sp.rian.ru/onlinenews/20100302/125304354.html (March 2, 2010).
150 Jackson, Jane’s All the World’s Aircraft 2006-2007, p. 798.
151 “Russian 5th-generation fighter deliveries delayed until 2015,” RIA Novosti,
February 9, 2010,
at http://en.rian.ru/russia/20100209/157824658.html ( February 11, 2010).
152 Gordon and Komissarov, p. 542.
153 “Ejército ruso recibirá cazas de quinta generación en 2015,” RIA Novosti, February 9, 2010, at http://sp.rian.ru/onlinenews/20100209/125042057.html (February 18, 2010).
154 Gordon and Komissarov, p. 542.
to develop joint 5G-fighter by 2016,” RIA Novosti, India March 2, 2010, at
http://en.rian.ru/mlitary_news/20100302/158065429.html ( March 2, 2010); “Rusia y la planean
desarrollar un caza de quinta generación para 2016,” RIA Novosti, India March 2, 2010, at
http://sp.rian.ru/onlinenews/20100302/125310373.html ( March 2, 2010).
158 Gordon and Komissarov, p. 542.
159 Pandit, “
conducts first test of fifth-generation Sukhoi.” Russia
160 See The History Channel, Dogfights of the Future.
161 “Lëgkii istrebitel’ 5-go pokoleniia budet sozdan na baze tekhnologii tiazhelogo perspektivnogo istrebitelia” (Light fighter of fifth generation will be created on the basis of the technology of the heavy prospective fighter), ARMS-TASS,
April 16, 2008, at
http://arms-tass.su/?page=article&aid=53759&cid=25 ( January 30, 2010). The “heavy prospective fighter” is the PAK
162 Pandit, “Russia conducts first test of fifth-generation Sukhoi;” “Rusia desvela el futuro de su aviación de combate con el primer vuelo de su caza de quinta generación.”
163 “Sredniaia stoimost’ amerikanskogo istrebitelia 5-go pokoleniia JSF mozhet previsit’ 80 mln dollarov,” ARMS-TASS,
February 26, 2010, at http://arms-tass.su/?page=article&aid=81510&cid=25
(February 26, 2010); Amy Butler and others, “Going Vertical: As price soars,
JSF comes down for its vertical landing,” Aviation
Week & Space Technology, March 22, 2010, p. 33; “Israel presses U.S.
for F-35 deal,” UPI.com, February 12,
2010, at http://www.upi.com/Business_News/Security-Industry/2010/02/12/Israel-presses-US-for-F-35-deal/UPI-44751266002107/
(March 14, 2010).
164 “The T-50 fifth-generation fighter;” Shukla, “
develop 25% of fifth generation fighter.” India
165 Gordon, Russian Air Power, pp. 328-29; Shukla, “India to develop 25% of fifth generation fighter;” Shukla, “India, Russia close to PACT on next generation fighter.”
to sign contract for sketching 5th generation jet soon,” ITAR-TASS, India March
13, 2010, at http://www.itar-tass.com/eng/level2.html?NewsID=14911748&PageNum=0
( March 13, 2010).
168 “Sukhoi Company launches flight tests of PAK FA advanced tactical frontline fighter.”
169 Jackson, Jane’s All the World’s Aircraft 2006-2007, p. 504.
170 Keijsper, p. 260.
presses Israel for F-35