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T-50 / Project 701 / PAK FA - Design

Although T-50 specifications remained classified, fragmentary data on its engines implied that this heavy-duty fighter will have a take-off weight of more than 30 metric tons and will be close in dimension to the well-known Sukhoi Su-27 Flanker. The new fighter's exterior was designed using Stealth technology, also known as LO technology (low observable technology).

Mikhail Strelets, the head developer at the Sukhoi United Aircraft Corporation, explained the key strong points of the cutting edge fifth generation Su-57 jet in comparison to its Western rivals, the F-22 and F-35 in an interview 11 November 2018 with the Zvezda TV channel.

According to him, the F-22 lacks the capability to strike ground targets as opposed to the Su-57. Strelets explained that the F-22 was initially designed as an air superiority jet, while the Su-57 was created as a more versatile aircraft from the beginning. As a result, internal compartments of the F-22 were unable to hold munitions with significant payloads.

When comparing the F-35 and Su-57 aircraft, Sukhoi's chief developer stressed the increased manoeuvrability and acceleration of the latter. He also noted that both the F-22 and F-35 are less versatile in terms of fulfilling various combat tasks than the Russian plane.

The Russian Air Force T-50 reflects the latest scientific and technological achievements. This machine is the representative of the Russian military technology innovation, and its stealth technology, new materials technology and artificial intelligence techniques, so that the Russian air force into high-tech new level. The T-50 fuselage for the first time uses the latest composite materials, compared with the same hardness titanium or aluminum is 50% lighter than steel and lighter 20% -25%. On the T-50, 70% of the skin is made of this new material, T-50 weighs just a skin equivalent traditional materials used in aircraft skin 25%, the weight of these savings can be used to carry more weapons in on.

By weight of the empty aircraft composites are 25 percent. The advantage gained primarily by weight. In production, after working off the necessary technological processes, a significant reduction in the number of parts occurs. In comparison with the Su-27, the T-50 according to the airframe are four times less parts. Reducing the complexity and production time translates into a reduction in the price of the machine.

The PAK FA can carry either eight next-generation air-to-air R-77 missiles, or two large controllable anti-ship bombs weighing 1,500 kg each. The new jet can also carry two long-range missiles developed by the Novator Bureau which can hit targets within a 400 kilometer range. The jet can use a take-off strip of just 300-400 meters, and perform sustained supersonic flight at speeds over 2,000 km/h, including repeated in-flight refueling. The highly-maneuverable plane has a range of about 5,500 kilometers. The fifth-generation fighter is equipped with advanced avionics to combine an automatic flight control system and a radar locator with a phased array antenna.

In comparison with the fighters of the previous generations, the PAC[FA] possesses a number of unique special features, combining in itself the functions of attack aircraft and fighter. The fifth generation aircraft is equipped with the fundamentally new complex of avionics, that integrates the function "electronic pilot", and by a promising phased-array radar. This to a considerable degree reduces load on the pilot and makes it possible to be concentrated on the fulfillment of tactical missions. Onboard equipment of new aircraft permits implementation of the exchange of data in the regime of real time both with the ground-based systems for control and inside the air group. The application of composite materials and innovation technologies, the aerodynamic layout of aircraft, measure for reduction in distinctness of engine ensure the unprecedented low level of radar, optical and infrared distinctness. This makes it possible to considerably increase combat effectiveness in the work both along the air and ground targets, at any time twenty-four hours, in the simple and adverse weather conditions.

"This is the great success of Russian science and design thought. After this reaching stands the cooperation more than hundred subcontracting enterprises, our strategic partners. Program PAC[FA] derives Russian aircraft construction and adjacent branches to the qualitatively new technological level. These aircraft, together with the modernized aviation complexes of the fourth generation will determine the potential of Russian VVS during the next decades. Into the plans of company "Sukhoi" enters further development of program PAC[FA], at which we will work together with the Indian partners. I am confident, that our joint project will exceed western analogs on the criterion cost- effectiveness and will make it possible not only to strengthen the defense power VVS of Russia and India, but also will be occupied worthy place on the World Market", said the Director-General of joint stock company company "Sukhoi" Mikhail [Pogosyan], commenting on the beginning of flight tests.

Russia’s state-of-the-art Sukhoi Su-57 fifth-generation fighter outperforms its US rivals in weapon systems, robotics, radars and electronic warfare equipment, military expert Alexei Leonkov told TASS on 21 October 2021, commenting on some Western media’s claims that Russian aircraft lagged behind the American F-22 and F-35 planes. "The Su-57 outshines them by now in terms of the amount and diversity of armament. On top of that, the latest solutions, such as the second pilot as a system that facilitates aircraft control and combat operations, a spherical all-around radar that ‘sees’ everything and cutting-edge electronic warfare systems aboard the Su-57 leave the US rival far behind," the expert stressed.

The United States emphasizes supersonic afterburning, low infrared signature, maneuverability, short take-offs, advanced avionics, multirole capabilities and network centricity as major criteria for fifth-generation aircraft, he pointed out. "For a long time, it had been believed that only F-22 and F-35 planes can be referred to as fifth generation but these aircraft lack low radar signature and therefore can be shot down," the expert stressed.

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Page last modified: 23-10-2021 18:57:18 ZULU