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MFI - Multifunctional Frontline Fighter
MFI - Mnogofunksionalni Frontovoy Istrebitel

Work on the creation of the 4.5 next generation Multirole Tactical Fighter (MFI) began in the Soviet Union in the late 1970s, by one account even earlier than in the United States engaged in the creation of an F-22 fighter. Even then, in general terms, it became clear how this aircraft should be. The basic requirements were reduced to five points: the machine must be multifunctional and super-maneuverable, have low radar visibility, cruising supersonic flight speed and the internal suspension of the guided weapon. Development of promising technology engaged OKB. A.I.Mikoyan and OKB im. P.O.Sukhoi, and as a result, MiG 1.44 and Su-47 (S-37) projects appeared.

By another account, when the Soviets learned of the existence of the American Advanced Tactical Fighter [ATF] program, they initiated their own design effort for a next-generation fighter. The new fighter would replace the MiG-29 and Su-27, providing the VVS with a new fighter capable of holding its own against the American ATF. MiG and Yakovlev would submit designs, but Sukhoi would only join in once they felt MiG’s proposal threatened the superiority of their Su-27. MiG and Yakovlev worked closely with TsAGI to develop their own similar designs, but Sukhoi would offer a wildly unconventional proposal. The MFI would be interrupted by the end of the Cold War.

Despite the economic and financial crisis, Russia continues to be among the leading aviation powers. Through the efforts of designers and engineers Mikoyan OKB developed fighter on its tactical and technical characteristics are not inferior, but according to Russsian analysts in a number of indicators even superior to the American F-22 "Raptor" - machines, embodying the latest technological advances of the United States military-industrial complex.

A bit about the history of the IFIs. In response to the deployment in the United States in the early 1980s. R & D program of ATF (Advanced Tactical Fighter) as a response in 1986 adopted the closed joint resolution of the CC CPSU and the USSR Council of Ministers, provides for the beginning of works on creation of a fifth generation fighter. Defining the concept and appearance of the new combat vehicle took the leading research organization of the Ministry of the aviation industry and the Air Force with the participation of the largest design offices involved in the design of military aircraft. It was possible to formulate a clear tactical and technical requirements to the promising fighter.

After much delay, prototypes would fly at the end of the millennium, but by that point the MFI requirement had long since been cancelled. In March 1997, military officials scrapped plans to manufacture the MFI because it was too expensive. The Defense Ministry supported the MFI development program, and would decide on production following flight tests that could take up to seven years. The Russian air force will not gain one new, state-of-the-art warplane before the year 2005 because of insufficient financing. No new warplanes had been acquired since 1996.

Yakovlev’s MFI proposal was the smallest and least popular with officials. While extensive cooperation with TsAGI ensured their MFI shared many aspects with the competing MiG proposal, it used only a single engine, allowing it to be considerably smaller. The Yak MFI was a canard-delta aircraft, taking advantage of static instability and fly-by-wire controls for improved maneuverability. YAK-MFI Engine was going to be NK-321 derivative (blackjack's engine). Power came from a single massive Kuznetsov NK-32 turbofan, producing similar thrust as the twin engines of the Eurofighter or Rafale. While stealth was not integral to design requirements, Yakovlev did incorporate several RCS-reducing features into the design, including specially designed intakes and canted tailfins. The single-engine layout would be its downfall, as the VVS was set on twin-engine designs after Afghanistan.

Sukhoi proposed an unusual forward-swept wing design, using TsAGI research on the configuraiton and advances in new composite materials. Providing excellent maneuverability and control at high angles of attack, the S-47 used special composite materials in the wings to mitigate the negative effects of wing twist moment coupling. Both canards and conventional tailplanes were used, as well as two-dimensional thrust vectoring and fly-by-wire controls. To lower RCS, the signature fuselage tunnel of the Flanker series was abandoned, and the engines placed side-by-side to shield compressor fans. Additionally, an internal weapons bay was installed. While the end of the Cold War would spell the end of official funding, Sukhoi continued to fund the S-47 privately.

MiG’s MFI proposal followed TsAGI recommendations on the MFI to the letter. The MiG 1.42 was a twin-engined thrust-vectoring canard-delta aircraft, incorporating canted tailfins and specially designed intakes to reduce RCS. The design was submitted in 1987 and approved for further development. However, budgetary constraints forced MiG to cancel the parallel LFI project, leading MiG to add the multirole requirements of the LFI to the MiG 1.42. Meanwhile, TsAGI working closely with Mikoyan, flying scale models to validate the design. Tests showed the MiG 1.42 was controllable at angles of attack up to 60 degrees, leading to approval for a full-scale prototype in 1988 under the designation MiG 1.44. Unfortunately, the Soviet Union collapsed with the prototype half-finished.

A few years later, the Mikoyan Design Bureau submitted a preliminary ordering Air Management IFI project, which was successfully defended before the State Commission. At the same time, being sure of the correctness of the chosen path, and reasonableness of the proposed solutions, OKB developed the necessary technical documentation for the aircraft, using computer-aided design system. In 1989, a complete set of working drawings, after which began the manufacture and assembly of the first aircraft on the basis of experienced ANPK "MiG" the plant was released. Managers work on the creation of MFIs is a general constructor Rostislav Belyakov, Chief Designer Gregory Sedov, and the final stage - the chief designer Yuri Vorotnikov. In early 1994, MFI was delivered to Zhukovsky. In December of that year, MFIs, with test pilot Roman Taskaev, made a high-speed taxiing on the runway Flight Research Center in Zhukovsky with a margin of the nose landing gear. However, due to lack of funds, further work on the project had been frozen 1.42. Not even helped numerous appeals in various instances. IFIs - a heavy single-seat fighter, executed on the aerodynamic configuration "duck" with an all-moving canards (PGO), sredneraspolozhennym delta wing and a V-shaped tail. In our country, this aerodynamic configuration in the design of jet machines realized for the first time. The aircraft has improved takeoff and landing characteristics. The power plant consists of two AL-41F engines with thrust vector control, providing the maneuverability of the machine in a dogfight over the entire range of speeds and long cruising flight at supersonic speeds to besforsazhny operation. Coming soon likely, the estimated maximum flight speed corresponds to the number of M = 2.6. engine air intakes - adjustable, with an S-shaped channels for shielding the engine compressors and radiopoglaschayuschey lining. The fuselage, wings, canards, and are widely used composite materials based on carbon fiber and polymers. The machine is designed to meet the requirements of "stealth" technology, as evidenced by the appearance of MFIs with characteristic expression malootrazhayuschimi forms. Application radiopoglaschayuschih coatings, shielding radar-contrast design elements, low thermal signature, missile deployment in vnutrifyuzelyazhnyh compartments allowed to reach almost the same values ??of the effective dispersion area as that of the F-22. Onboard pulse-Doppler radar fifth-generation phased-array antenna and the electronic scanning of the radiation pattern can effectively carry out long-range air combat visual communication with the enemy and attack more than 20 air targets simultaneously. Specially designed for the IFI driven long-range missiles "air-to-air" and "air-to-surface" of the fifth generation, implementing the principle of "fire and forget." However, there remains built-in 30-mm cannon. In addition, the external hardpoints fighter can carry any type of missile and bomb weapons used by the Russian Air Force planes. With such impressive achievements of the current state of the MFI Developer it looks sad. ANPK has no legal personality and is just one of the many branches of MAPS "MiG". Salaries paid to employees of OKB with a big delay. But worldwide design bureaus, developers are leading in-house cooperation. As a result, there was a gradual strangulation of one of the country's leading design bureaus. Following the appointment of the general director of MAPA Grigory Nemov and chief designer ANPK "MiG" Mikhail Korzhuev situation began to change for the better. Only one proposed ANPK "MiG" project of modernization of a modern fleet Air Force of Central and Eastern Europe would bring Russia to $ 250-300 million.. When the minimum state support ANPK "MiG" only due to external orders can annually receive $ 100 million.. The fate of the IFI It promises to be difficult. Current economic realities are such that in the foreseeable future is unlikely to be possible to expand its production in the interests of the Russian Air Force. After all, the estimated cost of the new fighter will be about $ 70 million.. At the same time completely unwise to close the project 1.42. It appears that Russia could accept the proposal by China on cooperation in design works for MFIs, followed by export sales data for the needs of the Air Force aircraft that State. In the future not ruled out the transfer of appropriate technologies. A potential investor ready to finance all the necessary work. The case for small - need a political solution to the Kremlin. Unless, of course, the principle of strategic partnership is not realized in words, but in deeds. Excerpts from the report of the NTV MFIs Today at the airfield in Zhukovsky, the first to show the plane of the future. Features fighter still kept secret, but some figures are known: speed up to 2500 km / h, a wingspan of 15 meters, fuselage length - 20 m plane is equipped with two engines of the Moscow Design Bureau "Cradle-Saturn.". For 10 years, he managed to create a plane that can not withstand even a group of fighters consisting in service today. He is no more a name and it is called "Project 1.42" MFI - multifunctional frontline fighter. Due to its form the fighter is capable of performing in a dogfight Neville hitherto aerobatics. Designers are going to put on a fifth-generation aircraft engines with thrust vectoring. Their mobility and maneuverability of the nozzle increases many times. But these benefits are not limited to new aircraft. That's what General said directors are MAPS "MiG" Mikhail Korzhuev: "This invisibility is not only to subsonic, and supersonic mode. This is a fundamentally different location - in terms of visibility - weapons: everything inside. This is fundamentally different ranges. This is a fundamentally different ideology and a fundamentally different intelligence side. " Korzhuev confident that his fighter will be much less noticeable American samol?tov- "Stealth", which long before their appearance were not invisible to Soviet air defenses. Russian aircraft designers take into account the Americans have made mistakes and stealth more for much less. fighter coating absorbs radar waves, and his form is better suited for flight than in the same "Stealth." American opponent of the same MFI - fighter F-22 "Raptor" - is worth more than $ 100 million "Project 1.42" in the words of the designers will be much cheaper.. Fighter MFI is passed ground tests. The first detachments of the runway and these flights are expected to begin in February.

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Page last modified: 13-09-2021 17:22:20 ZULU