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Defending from Outer Space?

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Arrow-3, a missile-defense system capable of destroying targets in space, codeveloped by Israel Aerospace Industries and Boeing, has officially entered service, according to Jerusalem.

The Israeli Air Force announced that the Arrow-3, its newest missile defense system, has officially entered service. The first round of Arrow-3 installations has been delivered to the air force’s Aerial Defense Array. US Air Force Brig. Gen. William Cooley joined Israeli Ministry of Defense representatives in a ceremony marking the delivery.

“Arrow-3 is the result of many years of development efforts, based on a solution designed by Israeli Aerospace Industries, which have today come to fruition,” said Boaz Levi, Israel Aerospace Industries vice president and general manager of the Systems, Missiles & Space Group. “This is a milestone for the Israel’s Defense Establishment, and for Israel’s defense industries.”

Arrow-3 will complement its lower-range predecessor, Arrow-2, and a short-range missile-defense system known as the Iron Dome. The new missile has half the weight of an Arrow-2, and, according to Israeli newspaper Haaretz, offers users better “control and monitoring abilities while also expanding radar detection range.”

Arrow-3 is reported as being able to destroy targets as high as 62 miles, the boundary of outer space, also known as the Karman line. When the missile reaches the desired altitude, its warhead splits into individual ‘kamikaze satellites’ that can track and destroy targets, including long-range and intercontinental missiles. If an Arrow-3 fails, the shorter-range and lower-altitude Arrow-2 will serve as a backup. However, it is unclear whether Arrow-3 can actually hit a satellite, since ‘low orbit’ begins at the altitude of about 100 miles.

According to public data, since 2008, the United States has contributed almost $600 million to the development of the Arrow-3. In September 2016, the US and Israel signed a 10-year military-aid deal assuring Israel $5 billion in missile-defense funding from the fiscal year 2019 through the fiscal year 2028, according to Defense News.

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How Russian Su-57 5th Gen fighter evolved

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Russian pilots have survival kit at their disposal for case of emergency

Russia’s fifth-generation fighter jet, formerly known as the Prospective Airborne Complex of Frontline Aviation (PAK FA), or Sukhoi T-50, has officially been named the Su-57. RIA Novosti contributor Andrei Kots takes a look at the evolution of Russia’s premier fighter jet.

Experts believe that the latest T-50-11 or the earlier T-50-10 variants of the original T-50 will inherit the onboard equipment of the T-50-9, which conducted its maiden flight on April 24, 2017. The United Aircraft Corporation’s CEO, Yuri Slyusarev, earlier said that the initial batch of 12 such planes will be supplied to the Aerospace Forces in 2019.

Initial Tests

Presented to President Vladimir Putin in 2014, the scaled-down model of the T-50 was a combination of the latest technological know-how for the Sukhoi Su-47 and MiG-1.44 prospective fighter jets, designed back in the Soviet days.

When the production of the F-22 Raptor fifth-generation multirole fighter, which became a legislator of fashion in the field of next generation fighter planes, started in the US in 1997, it became clear that Russia needed to replace the Su-27 with a plane that would be up to par with its Western counterparts.

PAK FA (Su-57) Photo: Russian MoD

Since its first flight in the early 2010s, the T-50 has receiving a vast series of upgrades to its avionics, stealth and armaments, Andrei Kots wrote. The T-50-1 prototype took to the skies on January 29, 2010, and the T-50-2 followed suit on March 3, 2011. After 40 successful flight tests the

T-50-2 took part in the MAKS 2011 air show. Before taking off, however, one of its engines caught fire forcing the pilot to abort. Engineers fixed the faulty engine and the T-50-2 flight tests resumed.

The T-50-3 flew on July 24, 2012. Unlike its predecessors, the new prototype carried onboard active phased-array radar. In December 2012, the T-50-4 took to the skies with the same radar array on board. Both prototypes proved fast and highly maneuverable and their state-of-the-art radar systems worked perfectly.

Second Stage

The T-50-6, T-50-8 and T-50-9 (maiden flights in April 2015, November 2016 and April 2017, respectively) were second-stage prototypes, enabling the use of upgraded AL-41F1 engines, similar to the ones powering the Su-35 fighters.

The second-stage engine, dubbed “Item 30,” will feature a new fan and control mechanism; it will be more fuel-efficient and will have greater endurance.

A pilot version of the second-stage PAK FA with a new engine is slated to fly later this year.
The T-50-6, T-50-8 and T-50-9 also have stronger airframes, bigger wingspans and make wider use of composite materials.

Flight tests are proceeding at full swing. Everything is going well. We are already testing in-flight missile launches and the plane is performing just fine,” Aerospace Forces Commander Viktor Bondarev told reported on the sidelines of the MAKS 2015 airshow.

All Set for Mass Production

In July, Viktor Bondarev said that the construction of the highly appraised ninth, 10th and 11th prototypes of the Su-57 was slated to begin shortly.

I see no physiological limits whatsoever for PAK FA pilots. The designers are working to make sure that much of the pilot’s work is done by the plane itself,” Bondarev added.

With six Su-57s scheduled for delivery to the Aerospace Forces by next year, with mass production beginning shortly afterwards, Andrei Kots concluded.

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Russia’s state-of-art PAK FA fighter jet officially named Su-57

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© Sputnik/ Alexei Druzhinin

Russia’s fifth-generation fighter jet AK FA has officially been named as the Su-57, Russian Aerospace Forces Commander Col. Gen. Viktor Bondarev said Friday.

Russia’s fifth-generation fighter jet formerly known as Prospective Airborne Complex of Frontline Aviation (PAK FA), or Sukhoi T-50, has officially been named as the Su-57, Russian Aerospace Forces Commander Col. Gen. Viktor Bondarev said Friday.

“The decision has been made, the aircraft got its name, like a child after the birth. Su-57 — from now on, we will call it that way,” Bondarev said in an interview with Russia’s Zvezda broadcaster.

The Su-57 is a single-seat, twin-engine multi-role stealth fighter designed for air superiority and attack roles. It is equipped with advanced avionics system and airborne active phased array radar.
The jet made its maiden flight in 2010. Yuri Slyusar, the president of Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation, which is involved in building the aircraft, said last month that the first Su-57s could come into service in 2019.

Since its first flight in the early 2010s, the T-50, part of the Prospective Airborne Complex of Frontline Aviation (PAK-FA) program, has received a vast series of upgrades to its avionics, stealth and armaments. On Wednesday, United Aircraft Corporation General Designer Sergei Korotkov confirmed that engineers are busy working on the creation of a next-generation engine for the plane, one that boasts increased thrust and fuel efficiency, lower cost, and improved reliability compared to the existing engine.

With six machines expected to be delivered to the Russian Aerospace Defense Forces by next year, the military plans to equip the air force with about 55 T-50 fighters by 2020, with mass production beginning after that.

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