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Light Frontline Aircraft Lyogkiy Frontovoy Samolyot

As Russia struggled to recover from the economic ruins of the 1990s, they began a new modernisation effort for the Air Force [VVS]. Hoping to compete with the NATO Joint Strike Fighter, the new aircraft was aimed to be a capable multirole design with moderate stealth characteristics. Preliminary work would begin in 1994, but it would take until 1999 for the program to officially start. The LFS would see entries from the same three companies that had participated in previous stillborn programs - MiG, Sukhoi, and Yakovlev. MiG and Yakovlev would only submit a single proposal, but Sukhoi would submit three full proposals, all with different layouts. The LFS program would be very brief - in 2001, the program was cancelled to free up funding for the more advanced PAK FA.

Yakovlevs LFS would be the final development of their failed Yak-43 development. Further refining the stealth characteristics of the Yak-43, the LFS proposal would end up resembling the stealth projects of the west (particularly the ATF and JSF). STOVL operation was retained in the new design, but the lift jets system was modified. Supplementing the vertically-mounted lift-jets was to be a system bleeding air from the forward compressor stages of the engine. Unfortunately, the project would not progress far before the LFS was cancelled.

MiGs I-2000 proposal was an entirely new design, notable for its massive circular inner wing section. The unusual wing planform was intended to improve control at high angles of attack - a feature that was to be supplemented by thrust-vectoring engine nozzles. Additionally, stealth elements were to be incorporated into the design, most notable being an internal weapons bay. Specially designed undercarriage and airbrakes were intended to improve short-field operations that were considered integral to VVS frontal aviation operations. Perhaps most important was the open architecture of the design, intended to improve export prospects by making the airframe adaptable to a variety of avionics and weapon systems. The I-2000 would never materialize due to the end of the LFS program, but MiG would sell the design to Iran, which was working on their own domestic fighter program.

The failure of MiGs I-2000 would not be the end of the design. When the LFS program was cancelled, the I-2000 design work was sold to Iran, where it was used as the basis for a domestic fighter program. Working with MiG, Iran used the design as the basis for both a full-fledged combat aircraft known as the M-ATF Morghue Ashura Tactical Fighter and a less ambitious subsonic trainer - the Shafaq. It appears that the majority of the design - particularly the distinct circular inner wings - was preserved, while the outer wing sections were swept. The M-ATF was apparently cancelled before a prototype could materialize, with work instead focusing on the Shafaq.

The first Sukhoi proposal, the S-52, would build on their experience with the S-32 forward-swept wing fighter. More resembling the American X-29 than the domestic S-32, the S-52 was a small single-engined forward-swept wing aircraft with canards and small control surfaces on tails strakes. Compared to the S-32, it incorporated more stealth features, although weapons were to be carried in semi-recessed positions rather than a fully enclosed bay. While single-engined, the proposed Soyuz R179 powerplant was to allow the aircraft - which was larger than the S-32 - to supercruise at Mach 1.3. The project got as far as wind tunnel tests before Sukhoi decided to pursue more promising alternatives.

Sukhois second LFS proposal, the S-55, was adapted from a parallel proposal for an advanced trainer for the VVS. Effectively resembling a single-engined Su-27, the proposal was to result in three separate designs - a trainer, land-based fighter, and naval fighter. A large nose would provide for a powerful radar, and control was to be achieved with a combination of canards and elevators. Because of the trainer requirements, the small aircraft was to have a crew of two. Proposed powerplants were the RD-33 (from the MiG-29) and the AL-31F. Unfortunately, Sukhois focus on making a naval fighter that would be adapted to the other requirements was its downfall. The naval fighter would never materialize thanks to lack of funds, and the land-based variant would meet its end with the cancellation of the LFS. Its last hope of survival, the trainer competition, would prove a failure as well, as the S-55 was too complicated and expensive for the trainer role.

The S-56 was a further refinement of the S-55, dropping the trainer requirement to focus on the dual land/sea fighter design. The crew was reduced to one, and the aircraft was vastly refined, reducing empty weight. The stingers characteristic of Sukhoi fighters were added on either side of the tail nozzle, and a complex system of folding surfaces was intended to reduce the aircrafts footprint on the carrier to just 3 meters wide by 3 meters tall. Power was to come from a single Al-31F engine, and a massive internal fuel capacity of 4500kg of fuel was to give a range of almost 4000km. Overall, performance projections (while likely ambitious) expected the S-56 to outpace the latest model F-16s and possibly compete with the JSF. Sukhoi would market the design not only domestically, but also to India (as part of their carrier fighter competition) and South Africa. Unfortunately, none of these options panned out, and, as money ran out, the S-56 had to be abandoned. The first meeting of the NTS MAP on PFI was held in the end of March 1971 and it was conducted "in private", ie yet without inviting representatives of the customer. Team Sukhoi Design Bureau to participate in the meeting personally formed General Designer, it included: Paul himself Osipovich, IE Baslavsky, MP Simonov and OS Samoylovich. At NTS heard reports TsAGI Deputy Chief of GS Byushgens and Deputy Chief NIIAS AM Batkova, laid out a vision problem from the standpoint of industrial research institutes MAP. At the same time the part NIIAS based on an analysis of aviation routes abroad for the first time officially announced the idea of ??a fighter dvuhtipovogo Park consisting of light and heavy PFI. The "debate" made by the representatives of all three EDO - participants of the competition. OKB Mikoyan have reported to the first. Deputy GLEB LOZINO-LOZINSKIY General Designer, who was at that time head of the topics presented aircraft project under the name of MiG-29. Preliminary research on the subject of the future fighter were here for 2 years, at the same time considered the most different variants of the aircraft. At the initial stage of the project MiG-29 even remotely nothing like the now well-known fighter of the same name. It was, rather, an interceptor designed for ceiling of 23 km, the maximum flight speed of 3000 km / h at high altitude of 1500 km / h at the ground and practical flight range of 2500 km cruise. Takeoff weight was 25.4 tons at 7 tons of fuel left. Properly formed part of the on-board equipment and the initial requirements for the power plant. After receiving military TOR, the project has been revised downward dimension - take-off weight of the aircraft was reduced to 19 tons. In terms of layout, presented at a meeting of the NTS MAP new version was a classic fighter MiG-25 scheme, equipped with two-class traction engines AL-21F-3, with side adjustable air intakes soviet type. The second meeting on the reported "suhovtsy". Pavel Osipovich entrusted to make the head of the projects department OS Samoylovich, who presented the Commission a draft integrated T-10 layout. Oleg Sergeyevich made a brief analysis of the program of creation of aircraft the F-15, as the main competitor of the TFIs, then criticized the number of unreasonable provisions of the Air Force TTP and formulated the essence of EDO approach to the creation of a new aircraft. Separately, it was voiced disagreement with the position OKB NIIAS the need dvuhtipovogo park fighter planes. As justification case is as follows: "We believe that our main rivals in the air combat arena will be F-14 and F-15, having a relatively large range and duration of flight. ... ... Therefore, along with the characteristics of agility, domestic TFIs should have a duration of the flight is not less than the F-15 aircraft. In a duel situation of air combat maneuvering out of the fight almost impossible. If the pilot due to lack of fuel stops maneuvering and try to get out of the fight, he will come under cannon fire (or under attack missiles melee) enemy, or be attacked by missiles "air-to-air" long-range. The gap in the distance with a sharp crossing the speed when leaving the battlefield is unlikely to exceed the range guided missile ... ". The conclusion was as follows: for a given level of performance characteristics of the TFIs to implement the project is critical to ensure the lowest possible mass flight. This requires: the minimum necessary and a sufficient part of the avionics, a new generation of engine with a minimum specific weight and maintaining a strict weight limits but all levels of cooperation - not only for the creation of aircraft, but also of all its systems. In the present project, the T-10 in the performance of the established boundary conditions (engine specific weight 0.11, the weight of finished products avionics 1,225 tons, the weight of 1.1 tonnes of payload, fuel capacity of 6.6 tons) and the predefined LTH at TTZ, was declared takeoff Aircraft weight of 21.9 tons. From Yakovlev played itself Designer General, who presented the project fighter Yak- 45I. The original version of this aircraft was developed a year earlier, to July 1970, in two basic versions - attack aircraft and light tactical fighter. The layout of the machine is to further develop the scheme, in the bureau spent back in the mid-60s for a supersonic interceptor Yak-33. Aerodynamic configuration of the aircraft - normal, with the fuselage of circular cross section and a high aspect ratio; complex wing shape in plan, with a large sweep in root and low in the end parts of the console; odnokilevym plumage and tselnopovorotnym stabilizer. such as R53F-300 engines installed in nacelles two insulated circular section, placed under the wing fracture in places swept wing. Air intakes - external compression: axisymmetric, adjustable, with a conical central body. From the perspective of the concept, the Yak-33 was a very lightweight, with the lowest possible composition of avionics fighter, intended "to protect ground forces from attack aircraft of the enemy and destroy enemy fighters ... in visual visibility", with normal takeoff weight of about 10 tons at fuel reserve 2.9 tons. Redesigned by 1971 under the TTZ Air Force version of the fighter, which reported AS Yakovlev, was designated as the Yak-45I. Now the plane was intended "to conduct air combat with enemy fighters and destroy it ... strike aircraft in all weather conditions, day and night." In this regard, on the plane grew composition of the target avionics, respectively increased in size and the aircraft itself: normal takeoff weight is 13.5 tons of fuel stock at about 4 tons. Drawing of the Su-27 (T10-1), presented at NTS MAP in 1971 In general, the meeting was of rather a consultative nature, and, of course, no conclusions it has not been made because relevant work in all three OKB has only just begun. Six weeks later, in May 1971, it held its second meeting on the subject of the TFIs. Here's how to describe this event OS Samoylovich: "One and a half or two months the second meeting of the NTS. I just said a little part of the posters, and the MiG company has had time to prepare a new version of the layout. It was the integrated circuit is very similar to the now existing MiG-29. Interestingly, the MiG company has received a copyright certificate for the integrated layout fighter aircraft before CB PO Dry. Subsequently, we had to spend a lot of effort to get a copyright certificate for the Su-27. Following two meetings of Yakovlev Design Bureau was excluded from the competition, and the question arose of carrying out the third round, which did not need any company MiG or Su firm - this constant hassle, trying to find out what is on the "other" company ". Here, we have little to correct the author: OKB Mikoyan really came with the presentation of the integrated layout variants of the MiG-29, but it happened a bit later - in the second half of 1972. Most importantly, no official decisions about reducing the number of participants at that meeting had been adopted, and advance projects of the contest continued in the same part of "contestants". Of course, it is possible that in the MAP at an informal level Yakovlev, no one perceived as the favorite and, especially, as the winner of the competition, but to exclude it from the participants at this stage does not make any sense. The choice was to make the customer himself. In late summer, set to expire by the order of the period of development of preliminary design. Judging from the existing documents, the Sukhoi Design Bureau has managed the appointed date: the end of September 1971 was basically completed the preparation of preliminary design for the T-10 and advanced materials sent to the MAP for the subsequent presentation of the Air Force. Soon held board of MAP, which was considered the readiness of all three materials for the presentation of EDO their customer. t should be noted since that the MiG-29, presented in the preliminary design was in a different form than currently known MiG-29. In the pilot project it is different from the Su-27 is insignificant - practically projects Su-27 and MiG-29, were two of the same aircraft. But Yak- 45 differed from the Su-27 and MiG-29 significantly. ... Speakers from the Mikoyan Design Bureau, Yakovlev and Sukhoi told about their aircraft, presented in a preliminary design, and answered questions. The main questions asked by the Minister of the speakers - is the level of maneuverability of the aircraft: the rate of climb, acceleration time from 600 to 1100 km / h at an altitude of 1,000 meters, disposable overload. With regard to questions of equipment and weapons, then they have practically all said the first speaker. In the process of answering the questions I was particularly notable for one episode. The Minister asked all speakers is the same first question: "What a climb from your plane?". Speaker of the OKB Mikoyan responded: 360 m / s. Speaker on the Yak-45 - 450 m / s. Rapporteur for the Su-27 was Oleg Sergeyevich Samoylovich. Involuntarily, I expect an answer from him - more than 500 m / s, because the answer that climb the Su-27 is lower than that of the Yak-45 would be, in my opinion, unwise. Oleg Sergeyevich came out of this situation brilliantly. He said: "In our OKB assumed that climb can not be greater than the speed of flight. Therefore climb the Su-27 - 300 m / s. " We had to see the faces of the speakers and representatives of the OKB Mikoyan and Yakovlev. On board, it was decided, the essence of which was as follows: preliminary design on all three planes are made in accordance with the TTZ and in full, it remains to present preliminary design the Air Force. " Formally, the decision board was the basis for the presentation materials prepared by the Air Force, but in fact after the meeting in the course of the work there is some "operational pause", which each of the contestants used on its own. Explanations delay work boiled down to the need to rework materials EDO advance projects, and such work actually took place. But in fact, all due to the fact that the customer in the face of the Air Force from the MAP was informally proposed to divide the work on creation of the TFIs into two separate areas: light and heavy fighters. Now it is difficult (and so does it matter?) To say who it belonged to the initiative in putting forward this proposal. In one form or another it has repeatedly put forward NIIAS leadership at various levels discuss the problem, and he had been placed under and the corresponding theoretical basis. EA Fedosov wrote: "Having worked at the institute this approach, we have created the concept of the two planes - heavy and light. The first was to have a considerable amount of fuel, increased range of application, and carry large combat payload to accompany the strike groups of our aircraft and cover them in carrying out raids throughout the depth of the front line. ... A light aircraft was supposed to work as a front-line fighter, a leading anti-aircraft defense of the battlefield, covering its troops from enemy air strikes. ... We also calculated what proportion of air must be in groups, each of these aircraft. It turned out that their ratio should be 70% of light aircraft and 30% heavy. From the outset, we proceeded from the fact that large aircraft will be more expensive. At the same time, we relied on a linear relationship between the weight of the machine and its value that, looking ahead, I will say, is not justified. All of these justifications were joined by our specialists from the 30th Air Force Institute, which conducted the study, similar to what we did, and came to similar conclusions ... ". According to O. Samoilovych initiative of this proposal owned OKB Mikoyan: "CB MiG came with a radical proposal - to divide the subject into two sub-themes: Heavy PFI - anti-F-15 and easy PFI - anti-F-16." The rest of the events of Oleg Sergeyevich coincides with that given in the memoirs of academician EA Fedosov, "In GosNIIAS and 30 CRI ACT was organized by mathematical modeling to determine the feasibility of establishing a mixed fleet. Calculations carried out on the cost ratio conditions of the Su-27 and MiG-29 is not less than 2: 1, showed that a mixed fleet is the best on the condition that it should consist of one-third of the Su-27 and two-thirds of the MiG-29 " . The proposed version of the guide arranged MAP. It is clear that informally in the ministry to this point in time has already been decided that the program will be divided between the OKB Mikoyan and Sukhoi. In this case, the decision to develop two parallel planes instead of one is a guarantee the simultaneous employment, for two OKB and the basis for requests for a much larger amount of capital to carry out the program. Thus, this embodiment arranged almost everyone. The final meeting of the NTS MAP devoted to the subject of the TFIs, conducted in TsAGI December 23, 1971, and it was very representative. The delegation was headed by the Client on it Deputy Air Force Commander Colonel-General A. Efimov. From the industry at a meeting attended by the leadership of MAP, headed by the Minister, representatives from head institutions MAP airframe EDO (Mikoyan, Sukhoi and Yakovlev) and developers missile - PKPK "Lightning" and M3 "Vympel". The first was made by AN Efimov. His report contained the elements of the theoretical formulation of air combat objectives and general requirements for PFI. On the part of industry speakers were: Deputy. Chief NIIAS AM Batken deputy. Chief of TsAGI GS Byushgens and deputy. BP chief LII. Mironov, as well as representatives of the aircraft design bureau and "rocket men". In the speeches of representatives of MAP is clearly present abstracts of ongoing discussions about the park Description of fighter aircraft. For example, AM Batken to its report at first quite elaborated on the analysis of the main trends of development of weapons and sighting systems abroad and the related process of changing the nature of air combat. Then, referring to made at the Institute of Research, he reiterated that "... to deal with prospective fleet of enemy fighters optimal in terms of efficiency at a fixed cost, is its frontline fighter, which should include two types: a light tactical fighter ( 10 - 14 tons) and heavy tactical fighter (20 - 25 tons). Easy front-line fighter is a fighter cheap mass acting on its territory and having a high efficiency in the near (visual) dogfight. The main rocket armament of this aircraft are lighter missiles with thermal homing missiles and short-range air combat. It is also possible to boost the capacity of the aircraft through the use of weapons of medium-range missiles with radar and heat seekers. Heavy tactical fighter is the main fighter air superiority, acting as over its territory and over enemy territory when accompanied by stormtroopers. medium-range missiles are a major missile weapons of the aircraft and weapons build-up - long (heavy) with radar homing missiles. " GS Byushgens in his speech formulated the basic criteria for PFI and maneuverability in the most general terms described the means to ensure these indicators in terms of aerodynamics. The findings of its report states that the basic requirements for the Air Force fighter air combat may well be satisfied with the size of the take-off weight of 14 tons., This will require a reduction of the functions assigned to special equipment and weaponry so that the total weight of the payload must not exceed 3.0 -3.5 m. As a result, it began to develop a new, additional project TTZ on light PFI (LPFI), but the work, as is often usual, delayed, and formally document has been prepared only for the summer of 1972, when the PFI program's fate was, in fact, already been solved. In this regard, it is evident that the study of the OKB Mikoyan alternative, fighter smaller dimension was carried out in advance, even before the formal decision on the division of the program into two areas and the issuance of additional TTZ, otherwise it is difficult to explain the fact that the aircraft preliminary design under the designation MiG-29A in weight dimensions 13 -. 14 m was predyavleno customer in March 1972. The Yakovlev acted differently: to assess the current political situation, it adopted the "Solomonic solution": to present to the customer at the preliminary design is not one, but two versions of the aircraft - and "light" and "heavy". Moreover, to speed up the work, it was agreed on both versions use the same layout solutions: new, heavy version of the aircraft, designated the Yak-47 was, in fact, scaled from "light" version of Yak- 45I fighter. Weight dimension fighter was about 23 tons. Only Sukhoi remained in their former positions, continuing aircraft development project in the same dimension (about 18 tons). Making materials of preliminary design was completed in the 1st quarter of 1972, after which, as expected, he was sent to obtain the conclusions to the relevant sectoral institutions and MAP for consideration to the customer - the Air Force. Preliminary design was performed in 4 books. The first contained the basic information: a summary of the prepared plane and its flight characteristics, study the dimension of the aircraft, the lists of installed equipment, some data on the combat capabilities and the general concept underlying the during its development. The second book contains data on the composition of the special equipment and weapons, the third - data about aerodynamics, and the fourth - on the design and on-board aircraft systems. Given in the preliminary design of parametric calculations takeoff weight change gradients justify the need for strict keeping the weight limits when designing the new aircraft. For example, it was found that the weight increase of only 1 avionics kg increases takeoff weight of the aircraft by an average of 9 kg, the gradient for the engine is equal to 4 kg and for aircraft systems - 6.7 kg. In this regard, it stressed that carrying out tough policies to create a weight PFI should be the responsibility of not only General Designer, but the main designers of the aircraft, at all levels of cooperation. Materials included preliminary design study of both aircraft layout options and integrated traditional. The initial data common to both layout variants, is the value of the take-off weight of 18 tons, installed TTZ, and selected on the basis of the analysis of the required level of flight performance, the starting values ??of the parameters (takeoff) thrust-weight ratio equal to 1.15 and a specific wing loading of 350 kg / m g. Usually, due to the long manufacturing cycle test tube models and, in step the materials cited in the preliminary design data obtained only on the basis of aerodynamic characteristics calculations. In this case, the calculation for both LTH layout options have been based on data obtained as a result of purging models in the wind tunnel of TsAGI. It is interesting to note that all the flight characteristics of the aircraft were calculated for the version with the "truncated" combat load in the 2 medium-range missiles and six short-range missiles, which was explained by the complexity of the implementation of the requirements of the TTZ range. Complete armament of the Su-27, in accordance with the recommendations NIIAS includes up to 6 SD-class "air-air" medium (such as K-25 or K-23) and up to 6 SD small (K-60) range in a variety of possible combinations and built-in gun AO-17A with 250 rounds ammunition. So, in February 1972, preliminary design of the Su-27 was presented for consideration by the court. His proposals were presented and other participants of the competition. OKB Mikoyan opted for aircraft smaller dimension. The project is a light fighter MiG-29A provided, in accordance with the recommendations of the TsAGI, the creation of a normal scheme of the aircraft with a wing of moderate sweep, flat side adjustable air intakes and two engines R67-300 with a thrust in afterburner at 7500 kg. Normal take-off weight of the aircraft with acceptance option arms (2 SD medium-range K-25, UR 4 short-range type K-60 and gun ammunition 150 rounds) was 13,750 kg, while providing a starting thrust-weight ratio of 1.1. Projects Yak-45I and the Yak-47, as already mentioned, only differ in dimensions, the layout of both aircraft were almost identical. The Yak-45I provided for the installation of two engines R53F-300 with afterburner thrust of 8,200 kg, while the Yak-47 - with two engines R57F2-300 thrust in afterburner at 12500 kg. Normal take-off weight with acceptance option of weapons for the Yak-45I was 13,900 kg, and for the Yak-47 - 22800 kg, starting thrust-weight ratio - 1.17 and 1.1 respectively. Yak-45I and Yak-47 has not received a positive recommendation. In the choice between the MiG-29 and Su-27 did not say categorically what the plane is preferred, the right of final selection, scientists have provided the Air Force commission. TsAGI generalized conclusion on all three projects OKB was signed June 29, 1972. Presumably, such a later date issue a report was due to the fact that the MAP and the Air Force needed to finalize all the details between themselves agreements on PFI program division into two separate directions.

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