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Russian PAK-FA Program. Reuben F. Johnson Foreign Technology Consultant. Fifth-Generation Fighters: Requirement/Justification Fighter Aircraft Are Still The Only Platforms That: • Reach any target within a radius of 1000km within 1 hour • Provides for its own defence throughout its mission

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Russian PAK-FA Program

Reuben F. Johnson

Foreign Technology Consultant


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Fifth-Generation Fighters: Requirement/Justification

Fighter Aircraft Are Still The Only Platforms That:

• Reach any target within a radius of 1000km within 1 hour

• Provides for its own defence throughout its mission

• Places multiple sensors on the target

• Can drop ordnance from long range with CEP of 5-10 metres

• Can attack almost any target

  • Fifth-Generation Fighters Perform These Missions And More With Higher Assurances Of Survivability


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Current Domestic/Export Needs Of Potential PAK-FA Customers

• Larger (more than 20 aircraft) buys – PAK-FA replaces several types of aircraft

• Increased effectiveness against air defence systems

• Ease of maintenance

• Long-range AAM

• Local production

• Third-party weapons


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PAK-FA/T-50 Fifth-Generation Fighter Programme

• First flight predicted by year end of 2009 but doubts remain

• NIIP AESA radar set

• New-generation engine derived from AL-31F/117S/AL-41F design concepts

• Managed signature v. true low observables

• Internal weapons bay

• Developed/Enhanced EW with internal fitting

• Improved air-launched weapons

PAK-FA’s Initial Design Is Closer To An Su-35-Type Of Design Than A Blended-Body F-35 Planform


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Previous Russian Development Efforts For a Fifth-Gen Fighter

• Sukhoi Su-27M/Su-35 (early 1990s) supermanoeuvrability concept validated

• Sukhoi S-37/Su-37 Forward Swept Wing demonstrator

• Mikoyan MFI demonstrator

• Mikoyan LFI design concept

• Mikoyan Project 701

These 1980s Concepts Proved Irrelevant To Post-Cold War Defence Requirements


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Aspects/Requirements For A Fifth-Generation Fighter

• A Digital Electronic Infrastructure

• Open-Architecture, “Plug and Play” Avionics and On-Board Systems Configuration

• Supercruise Capability

• Low RCS

• AESA Radar

• Thrust Vector Controls

• Data Fusion/Battle Space Management Capacity

• New-Generation Weapons

Current Russian Industry Suffers From Technological Bottlenecks In Trying To Achieve Some Of These Objectives


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Programme Issues

• Integration of all components and avionics

• Engine development

• New-design AAMs

• Test facilities

• Production of critical technologies

• Support platforms – A-50, IL-78

• Pilot autonomy

• Hours/flying proficiency

  • Current Russian Government Funding Is Not Adequate


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