Sukhoi T-50 or PAK-FA T-50
Late last year, a defense ministry delegation to Sukhoi's flagship aircraft facility in Siberia became the first Indians to set eyes upon the next-generation fighter that is slated to form the backbone of the future Indian Air Force (IAF).
In that first meeting, carefully choreographed by Sukhoi, the new fighter, standing on the tarmac waved a welcome to the Indians, moving all its control fins simultaneously :
– The effect, recounts one member of that delegation, was electric
– The senior IAF officer there walked silently up to the aircraft and touched it almost incredulously.
This was the Sukhoi T-50, the first technology demonstrator of what India terms the Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA). Senior defense ministry sources tell Business Standard that — after five years of haggling over the FGFA's form, capabilities and work-share — a detailed contract on joint development is just around the corner.
Contract, which Bangalore-based Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) will sign with Russia's United Aircraft Corporation (UAC), will commit to building 250 fighter (50 single-seat and 200 twin-seat) for the IAF and an equal number for Russia:
– Option for further orders will be kept open; HAL and UAC will be equal partners in a joint venture company
Cost of developing the FGFA, which would be shared between both countries, will be $8-10 billion
(Rs 37,000-45,000 crore) :
– Over and above that, say IAF and defense ministry sources, each FGFA will cost 86 to 108 million (Rs 400-500 crore).
Sukhoi's FGFA prototype, which is expected to make its first flight within weeks, is a true stealth aircraft, almost invisible to enemy radar :
– According to a defense ministry official, "It is an amazing looking aircraft. It has a Radar Cross Section (RCS) of just 0.5 square meters as compared to the Su-30MKI's RCS of about 20 square meters“
Features of the Sukhoi T-50/PAK-FA
1. Hope for 10-15% PAK-FA advantage over F-22 Raptor due to two decades of technology development
2. F-22 Raptor detects Su-35 from the distance of 150-180 km but can open fire from 110 km, while becomes visible for Su-35's radar by itself and on R-77 range of attack
3. OLS-35 probably detects F-22 Raptor on 100 km distance
– OLS with 360 deg
4. PAK-FA's AESA radar has probably 1,526 modules with overall power 18 KWt
– Range for a big air target – 400 (TWS/A = 60/16)
5. Active antennas in the wings and tail are probable
6. Backward attacking missiles
7. Has up to 12 air-to-air missiles (if compact) in internal placement
8. Two internal bays for WLRAAMs and LRAAMs up to 700 kg each + 2 bays for short range missiles
9. While F-22 Raptor can have up to 8 missiles in the internal bays
10.WLRAAM 'Izdelie 810' is MiG-31 R-33 derivative with range of 400 km
11. LRAAM 'Izdelie-180PD' is air-breath R-77 derivative with a range of 250 km
12. 'Izdelie-180' – solid-fuel R-77 derivative with a range of 110-140 km with active/passive radar and homing on jammer
13. Short range AAM – 'Izdelie-300' or K-MD IR matrix, double range of homing
14. Kh-58UShKE internal weapon bay ARM and Kh-35 internal weapon bay ASM can be carried
15. 500 kg guided and unguided bombs and/or sub-munition payloads
16. Intra-fuselage catapults
– UVKU-50L – up to 300 kg; UVKU-50U – up to 700 kg.
17. Internal bays total carry weight is 2,000 kg
18. With + external hardpoints carry weight is 6,000 kg
19. GSh-30 30 mm autocannon.
20. According to the plans – 430 planes must be built for Russian Air Force
21. Will replace 339 Su-27 and 300 MiG-31 fighters