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Sukhoi PAK FA

Stealthy air superiority fighter

Su PAK FA

The Sukhoi PAK FA is a new Russian stealthy air superiority fighter

 
 
Country of origin Russia
Entered service Expected in 2017-2018
Crew 1 men
Dimensions and weight
Length 22 m
Wing span 14.2 m
Height 6 m
Weight (empty) 18.5 t
Weight (maximum take off) 37 t
Engines and performance
Engines 2 x ?
Traction (dry / with afterburning) ? /175 kN
Maximum speed 2 600 km/h
Cruising speed 1 300 ~ 1 800 km/h
Service ceiling 20 km
Ferry range ?
Combat radius ?
Armament
Cannon 1 x 30-mm cannon
Missiles R-74M Archer and R-77M Adder air-to-air missiles

 

   The Sukhoi PAK FA (or Future Frontline Aircraft System), is a new Russian air superiority fighter. This new aircraft is intended to replace the ageing MiG-29 Fulcrums and Su-27 Flankers. It is considered as a Russian answer to the US F-22 Raptor. Development of this new aircraft commenced in 2001. The T-50 prototype was revealed and made its maiden flight in 2010. In 2014 a pre-production prototype was delivered to the Russian Air Force for trials and evaluation. Trials were completed in 2015. It was planned that this fighter aircraft will enter service in 2017-2018 and should reach full operational capability by 2020. However in 2017 official sources reported that the aircraft is not yet ready for production and could become operational in the timeframe of 2018-2025. Most likely that setbacks are related to technical issues, incomplete development of some of its core systems, such as engines, new missiles and electronics, as well as funding problems.The PAK FA will probably receive a regular Su- designation. Some sources report, that Russia plans to acquire up to 150-200 of these new fighters. Meanwhile the Russian Air Force orders Su-35 multi-role fighters as an interim measure, until the PAK FA stealthy fighter becomes available.

   Despite being referred as a fifth-generation fighter, there are some serious doubts about it, as some US Military officials refer the Sukhoi PAK FA only as advanced forth-generation fighter. Russia still lags behind in the development, acquisition and employment of some of the latest technologies. Though the Sukhoi PAK-FA  definitely has reduced radar cross-section and a number of other improvements over the current Su-35 multi-role fighter.

   Development of this aircraft was also funded by India, which also planned to acquire up to 250 of these next-generation fighters, known as the HAL FGFA or Fifth-Generation Fighter Aircraft. It was planned that the Indian aircraft version will be different from the Russian version. Some sources report, that the HAL FGFA will has a twin-seat configuration. It is claimed that the PAK FA will also be proposed for other export customers.

   This stealthy air superiority fighter has a generally conventional layout. The PAK FA uses stealth shaping to deflect radar waves. Weapons are stored in internal weapon bays, that do not compromise the stealthiness to radars.

   This Russian fighter was expected to use two Saturn 117S (AL-41F1S) engines, producing 142 kN of thrust in afterburning and 86.3 kN dry. The same engines are used on the Su-35S multi-role fighter. However the T-50 prototype used a completely new Saturn engines during its maiden flight, that generate a larger thrust. Exact specifications of the new engine are unknown. Some sources claim, that it produced 175 kN of thrust in afterburning. The PAK FA is capable of flying at supersonic speeds without using its afterburners.

   Two large internal weapon bays are mounted in tandem between the engines. There are also two sidebays for short-range air-to-air missiles. It is believed that this aircraft will carry up to 7 500 kg of ordnance. That's enormous amount of weapons. This fighter has 10 internal and 6 external hardpoints for the R-74M Archer and R-77M Adder air-to-air missiles.

   The Russian Sukhoi PAK FA will also be available as a twin-seater.

 

Video of the Sukhoi PAK FA stealthy air superiority fighter

 

 
Su PAK FA

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Su PAK FA

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Su PAK FA

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Su PAK FA

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