Why is the project T-50 (PAK FA) ’bogged down’ and is often postponed?

This is not the first time the launch of Russia’s T-50 (PAK FA) fifth generation jet fighter has been postponed. Designers and senior officials at the Russian Defense Ministry originally gave 2016 as the year when the new aircraft would go into service, but now the deadline has been postponed indefinitely.

On Feb. 2, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Yury Borisov said that as long as there were similar aircraft that meet the requirements of the Armed Forces, there is no need to waste money on purchasing expensive new hardware.

“Most likely this will only happen in the next State Armament Program for 2018-2025,” said Borisov, adding that the T-50 still needs to be perfected.

Experts said it’s wrong to say that the T-50 is “bogged down” because developing an aircraft gradually in stages is common practice. “There have been misleading stories in the media, but the project is not bogged down,” said Viktor Murakhovsky, editor-in-chief of the magazine, Arsenal Otechestva. “All stages of work on the aircraft are on schedule.”

The designers are working on a new fifth generation engine, Izdeliye-30 [Product-30], in order for the fighter to meet all the challenges of the new era. Flight tests of the new engine will start at the end of 2017, or in early 2018. “It will take the designers another two or three years to finalize the project before the aircraft goes into series production and into service with the Russian Air Force,” said Murakhovsky.




Refueling fourth-generation fighters.

Flight-tactical exercises carried out for the preparation for competition “Aviadarts-2017”.
Involving more than 20 aircrew fighter fourth-generation Su-27SM3 and Su-30sm refuelling was carried out day and night on the heights of 3 to 6 thousand m and about 600 km / h speed.
Tankers Il-78 worked rise into the air with a maximum takeoff weight of 200 tons and transfer not less than 10 tonnes.

OPK secretly Developed System “friend or foe” for the fighter PAK-FA

OPK has completed development of a system of radar identification “friend or foe” for the fifth-generation fighter T-50 (PAK FA), a new set of different immunity to interference and enhanced electronic stealth, said on Wednesday the press service of the corporation.

Work on the creation of this equipment as part of the defense industry leads the Central Research Institute of Economy, Informatics and Management Systems.

“The combined instrument-making company has completed the development of radar identification system” friend or foe “for advanced and modernized aircraft complexes Su-35S, the PAK FA and IL-76,” – said in a statement.



The press service specified that the software and hardware designed to determine the state of aircraft supplies military and civil aircraft and their recognition in order to protect “their” flying machines from the erroneous destruction.



“Most of the identification system” friend or foe “today is already technically obsolete high energy visibility of such equipment is an important factor in unmasking, which can take advantage of the defeat of the enemy at the end.” – Said the first deputy general director CRI EISU Inna Grigorenko, which quoted the press service.
She added that “the new software and hardware complex substantially increased range resolution, provided protection from interference and reduced output power, which can significantly increase the level of secrecy of electronic and energy of the whole system.”

In 2016, the system has successfully passed preliminary tests and showed a high level of performance in a complex electronic environment, as well as extreme temperatures and mechanical damage. The modular construction of the system can be integrated into the avionics like an old fleet and advanced aircraft systems such as the PAK FA and the Su-35S




New engine being designed for 5th generation Russian fighter aircraft

The United Engine Corporation (UEC), part of Rostec state holding company, successfully conducted the first ground-based ignition of the second stage of the engine for the Prospective Airborne Complex of Frontline Aviation (PAK FA T-50 aircraft).

In order to carry out the testing, gas generators had to be prepared for it, in addition to the demonstrator engine.

Currently, the PAK FA is using a first stage engine, a modernized Al-41.

According to Pavel Bulat, avionics specialist and head of the Kupol Group of Companies, the AI-41 is an updated version of engines used for the Su-27, Su-30 and other models in that series.

“The engine for the T-50 was significantly upgraded from the original models, incorporating the latest control system, compressors, etc. Nevertheless, it still falls short of the 5th generation model, and is very noticeable on radar screens,” said the expert.





The new second-stage engine is one of the most advanced in the world, said Bulat. It enables the T-50 to accelerate to supersonic speed, and maintain that velocity throughout the flight, without using afterburners.





“The speed will be as much as Mach 1.6 (about 1,200 mph), depending on the terrain over which the flight is taking place. The engine will also significantly improve the stealth properties of the PAK FA, thanks to the use of new composite materials,” said Bulat.

The designers expect to start testing the new engine on fighter jets in 2018, and for the motor to be fully integrated in 2020.

“In addition to the engine, a radar station also needs to be modified, and engineers need to remove the last deficiencies in the airframe concept, which, among all the aircraft flying today, is the most modern in the world,” said the analyst.

New fighter’s weapons
30-mm cannon

The firing unit consists of one of the lightest cannon in its class, the 9-A1-4071K, which is designed to destroy armored vehicles or armored enemy targets. During one flight, the pilot can shoot 150 rounds from the 30-mm cannon.

The future T-50 5th generation fighter will also carry high-explosive and volume-detonating bombs, Sergey Rusakov, General Director of the Techmash Group, announced on September 22.

Rusakov said they are now considering high-explosive incendiary OFZAB-500 aviation bombs for the PAK FA, and volume-detonating ODAB-500PMV, which are currently being used in Russian operations in Syria. Engineers have already produced a set of warheads for future tests.





According to the rearmament program, Russian Armed Forces will receive a batch of 12 T-50 fighters before the end of this year. A new contract for the supply of 5 th generation aircraft will be discussed with the Ministry of Defense at the end of 2016, after which the War Department will decide how many new aircraft are needed.







Nikolai Litovkin
Russia beyond the headlines

The first ammunition for T-50

Russia’s first fifth-generation fighter will soon begin military training. Today, news agency RIA Novosti reported that the Scientific and Production Concern “Tehmash”, which is part of the State Corporation “Rostec” produced the first batch of shells for the T-50, also known as the PAK FA.
According to the Group “Tehmash” General Director Sergey Rusakov already made the first batch of 30-mm shells automatic guns 9 A1-4071K. We are talking about the new heat-resistant ammunition, which will soon be transferred to the Sukhoi Design Bureau, engaged in the development and testing of the new fighter.
According Rusakov, the new fighter will be equipped with high-explosive incendiary bombs OFZAB-500 volume-detonating bombs ODAB-500PMV.

Tests : ODAB-500PMV

Ammunition OFZAB-500 and ODAB-500PMV allow the fighter to perform maneuvers with large overloads, as developed for use at high speeds with small heights. Bomb OFZAB-500 is designed to engage manpower and easily vulnerable field installations, warehouses and fuel depots, ODAB-500PMV – to engage manpower, industrial constructions, easily vulnerable technology, light engineering structures, as well as the demining of antipersonnel and antitank minefields.




T-50 (PAK FA) – Russia’s fifth-generation fighter, created to replace the MiG-29 and Su-27. The development of T-50 began in the 80s, but after the collapse of the USSR the project was put on hold until 2001. The first flight of a new fighter aircraft took place in January 2010, and in 2014 began its flight tests. According to plans of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, the first production models of the PAK FA must be received by the Russian Army in 2018.





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