Connect with us

Technology

How Russian Su-57 5th Gen fighter evolved

Published

on

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.

Advertisement    

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Technology

Is This a Sneak Peek at the Israeli Army’s New Tank?

Published

on

A small armored wedge with a remote-controlled turret: is this what the Israel Defense Force’s future armored vehicles will look like?

The answer is . . . maybe. At a conference in Israel last month, the former chief of the IDF’s Armored Corps showed a simulation of what Project Carmel—the IDF’s effort to develop technology for the its generation of tanks—might produce.

The virtual vehicle is wedge-shaped, with the hull sloping towards the front. The cannon-armed turret is set at the rear of the hull, with a machine gun mounted on top. In one of the screenshots, below the turret there is what seems to be—and your guess is as good as mine—a row of vision ports (you can see other screenshots here and here).

Israel is developing two next-generation armored vehicles. One is the Eitan, the IDF’s first wheeled armored personnel carrier and the chosen replacement for Israel’s fleet of old and poorly armored M113 APCs. Already in the prototype stage, the eight-wheeled Eitan somewhat resembles the U.S. Stryker. The thirty-ton Eitan will be paired with the much heavier Namer, an APC based on the chassis of the Merkava tank.

However, the simulated vehicle displayed at the conference by retired Brigadier General Didi Ben-Yoash, who is heading Project Carmel, is much more of a tank. It would be tracked rather than wheeled like the Eitan, and would weigh thirty-five to forty tons (compared to a sixty-eight-ton M-1 Abrams). With just two crewmen, the vehicle would mostly function autonomously, including “autonomous navigation and driving, target spotting, aiming, independent firing whenever possible plus other features,” according to Israel Defense magazine.

The “cockpit” of the Israeli vehicle will have space for a third crewman to operate drones and standoff weapons. The tank would also have an active protection system, such as Israel’s Trophy, to deflect antitank missiles and rockets. “The future armored platform will be light, agile, small, relatively inexpensive and simple to operate and designed primarily for operation in urban areas with the hatches closed,” Israel Defense said.

The new tank will not replace the current Merkava 4, which is expected to remain in production until 2020. “Rather, it is a research-and-development program aimed at a state-of-the-art, medium-weight combat vehicle,” according to Defense News.

“It won’t be Merkava 5,” an Israeli official told Defense News. “The operational requirement will be something entirely different.”

Much like the United States and its Ground-X Vehicle Technology project, Israel is aiming to develop smaller, lightweight tanks that can operate in urban terrain. In Israel’s case, the IDF is mindful of the lessons of Operation Cast Lead, the 2014 incursion in Gaza that saw Israeli soldiers challenged by a city with narrow streets and crisscrossed by tunnels. Also in line with U.S. thinking, the Israeli vehicle will be heavily networked into battlefield command and control systems.

The Below the Turret Ring blog offers a thoughtful analysis of what’s known about Project Carmel vehicle so far. The Israeli vehicle is considerably lighter than the forty-eight-ton Armata, which is Russia’s next-generation tank. Its active protection system might stop antitank missiles, but its armor won’t stop heavy cannon rounds from tanks such as the T-72. “The closest Russian counterpart to the Carmel might be the BMPT/BMPT-72 Terminator fire support vehicle designed by the Russian company UVZ,” the blog notes.

In that sense, Project Carmel sounds less like a main battle tank that can replace the Merkava or Abrams in a turret-to-turret armored slugfest. A small tank protected by medium armor and armed with an autocannon and missiles, it would seem to have its own niche as an infantry support vehicle.

Continue Reading

Technology

US Army Laser Prototype Intercepts Drones in Mid-Air (VIDEO)

Published

on

The US Army’s 60 kilowatt advanced test high energy asset (ATHENA) laser weapon prototype took down five Outlaw unmanned aerial systems over the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico last month.
The weapons platform is designed by Lockheed Martin, which posted the following video of ATHENA in action.

According to the defense contracting giant, the weapon system makes use of the magnifying glass effect to strengthen the beam applied against targets. It can horizontally rotate to strike targets in any direction; boasts unlimited ammunition by injecting power and removing excess heat from the turret itself; and is compatible for air, land, and sea domains.

On Wednesday, Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) chief Lt. Gen. Marshall Webb said the service plans to test a much stronger 150 kilowatt laser weapon system aboard a gunship in 2018. The weapon system, known as the high energy liquid laser area defense system (HELLADS), is the result of a General Atomics project that has received significant development support and funding from the Pentagon’s secretive Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) because it wouldn’t be related to the government if it didn’t have an acronym.

Continue Reading

Most Popular (30 days)

JOIN OUR NEWSLETTER

Subscribe now for free

Sign up today for free and be the first to get the latest news & intel from our former military journalists. Support our Veteran writers and get the latest news and exclusive intel.

We won't disclose your personal information to third parties without your permission.