PAK FA and J-20/31 vs. NATO 4th Gens: how big is the edge?

Military aircraft - Post cold war aircraft, including for example B-2, Gripen, F-18E/F Super Hornet, Rafale, and Typhoon.
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collimatrix

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Unread post28 Apr 2017, 14:20

Fair enough, gideonic. In fairness to the Russian arms manufacturers, by the time they actually had to hype and advertise their wares on the free market, they were in a pretty dire situation and desperately needed foreign currency. It's not surprising that they stretched the truth.

I would be curious to know, in a few decades time when such things become public knowledge, what the strategic thinking behind designing the PAK-FA is. When Sukhoi designed the SU-27 they could credibly be described as catching up to the F-15. Their design was basically equivalent to the F-15A, give or take. It was just entering service about a decade later. But the PAK-FA isn't going to close the gap with the F-22 and F-35. In fact, it's debatable whether it will even be as good as the J-20 and J-31 (and that's probably the more important question). The Russians are anteing in a whole lot of money to stay in a game they're steadily falling behind in.

It would also be interesting to learn how technically ambitious the PAK-FA is. Relative to US designs, it looks very conservative. But relative to the state of Russian technology, perhaps it's actually quite ambitious? The compressed development cycle does seem to suggest it's a conservative design, though.

The military reform movement has this paradoxical history of hyping up foreign designs as superior while accusing the military of exaggerating the threat of enemy hardware in order to obtain more funding. They also have a history of focusing on purely hardware issues and ignoring logistical and other practical considerations whilst accusing the military of doing the same thing.
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majorfinn

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Unread post28 Apr 2017, 23:43

hornetfinn wrote:
majorfinn wrote:Yes, totally. It is PAK FA's chief designer who doesn't have a clue and your incoherent, illogical, desperate and frankly embarrassing rambling is supposed to convince us.


No, it's the extremely knowledgeable people from USAF, USN, USMC, RAF, RAAF, NoAF and other airforces along with designers of F-22 and F-35 who say that F-22 and F-35 have RCS several orders of magnitude lower than even the best 4th gen fighter ever flown. I think those people know the characteristics of F-22 and F-35 much better than Russians do.


As I already explained before, Davidenko is not disputing the RCS value for frontal sector (0,0001m^2) claimed by the Americans. If you understand anything about RCS of aircrafts it should be obvious that the average RCS of all the different sectors and angles (including those that are perpendicular to the flat surfaces) is by orders of magnitude larger than the smallest RCS sector, which is the frontal. If you don't understand, as your confused comment indicates, you can look at my post on the issue in the third page of this topic where I explain it with diagrams. Although there are still some sad fellows like Arian for whom it is just too difficult of an concept to comprehend. Hopefully you can do better.

hornetfinn wrote:Besides, it would take a serious miracle for PAK FA to have even remotely similar RCS to F-22 because it has so many clear features and details that work against it. I also doubt Russia can have similar RAM and RAS solutions available given the decades of head start and huge amount of money poured into research, development and operational use in USA.


Firstly, even if the Russians were 20 years behind the US on RAM and RAS as you so desperately hope, it would put them on equal footing with F-22, which isn't so bad after all. But your position is quite dubious from the outset, because there have been a lot of general technological development since F-22 was developed, which gives the Russians more and better tools to do their work on this area, than what the Americans had. For example nanotechnology and materials science has improved a lot. And it isn't like the Russians haven't done any work on the area before PAK FA. Already a number of Russian aircrafts and missiles have used RAM. Also using some dollar denominated budgetary comparisons is extremely flawed as there is radical difference between the wage levels. For example with the same dollar expenditure you could hire some 6-7 times as many people in Russia than in US.

collimatrix wrote:It would also be interesting to learn how technically ambitious the PAK-FA is. Relative to US designs, it looks very conservative.


Odd judgement to say the least. It is PAK FA, which has many of the goodies that were stripped from F-22 due to budgetary constraints. Like sidelooking radars and IRST. I think few doubt how sophisticated design PAK FA is aerodynamically and there are good reasons to believe it will be even more maneuvrable than F-22, which was one of its main strengths against YF-23. PAK FA will most likely also enjoy clear superiority in terms of power and kinematics (F-35 isn't even worthy of comparison here). All the indications are that the type 30 engines are in the 169-176kN class, compared to the 156kN class of Raptors engines. There is also little reason to doubt this. Already on the last generation the Su-27 had more powerful engines than F-15 and same goes for the latest models of those aircrafts. And now the Russians are working with 20-30 year advantage over the F-22's engines. Same advantage is very obvious in the computer department, where PAK FA's new computer has a massive performance edge of 300 GFLOPS to 20 GFLOPS. It could be argued that F-22 has an advantage in all-aspect stealth, mainly from the lower side sector. It is largely important in a hostile IADS enviroment and considering the Soviet and Russian heavy emphasis on SAMs, it is certainly understandable why all-aspect stealth was and is so crucial for United States. It far less important from the Russian perspective, especially as they are hardly planning on invading China. It isn't like all-aspect stealth comes without compromises. For example F-22's range is quite poor in comparison to PAK FA's.
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arian

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Unread post29 Apr 2017, 00:41

As I already explained before, Davidenko is not disputing the RCS value for frontal sector (0,0001m^2) claimed by the Americans. If you understand anything about RCS of aircrafts it should be obvious that the average RCS of all the different sectors and angles (including those that are perpendicular to the flat surfaces) is by orders of magnitude larger than the smallest RCS sector, which is the frontal. If you don't understand, as your confused comment indicates, you can look at my post on the issue in the third page of this topic where I explain it with diagrams. Although there are still some sad fellows like Arian for whom it is just too difficult of an concept to comprehend. Hopefully you can do better.


LOL. Ok lets try this again. Do you know what an average is? If frontal RCS of F-22 is, whatever small number it is, and AVERAGE RCS of F-22 is claimed by "PAK-FA Chief Designer" ( :roll: ) to be 0.3m^2...then please explain....mathematically...to me....what sort of values we should expect for the rest of the distribution of RCS values of F-22 to take the average from 0.0001m^2 frontally to 0.3m^2 in average.

Please explain mathematically. And keep in mind we're speaking of a 360deg sphere here. You might need some calculus work here.

The same goes for PAK-FA. Please explain how an....average...can range from 0.1 to 1? An average (or mean) is a point estimate which describes the central value of a set of numbers (or the central tendency of a distribution)

This all to say, this is bad and stupid propaganda if indeed any serious Russian source said so. Poor propaganda.

But your position is quite dubious from the outset, because there have been a lot of general technological development since F-22 was developed, which gives the Russians more and better tools to do their work on this area, than what the Americans had.


Of course. Because somehow miraculously all that technology developed by LM and Northrop and Boeing and other Western companies, managed to get into the hands of Russian designers who had prior to this never in their life work on such technologies.

That's, exactly how it happens. Just like Mikron is able to produce more advanced electronics than F-35. Because.

Already a number of Russian aircrafts and missiles have used RAM.


And I suppose you think all RAM is the same? I guess 1960s RAM and RAM applied to your car to hide from police radar, is the same as F-35 RAM?

Also using some dollar denominated budgetary comparisons is extremely flawed as there is radical difference between the wage levels. For example with the same dollar expenditure you could hire some 6-7 times as many people in Russia than in US.


And I suppose you assume 1 Russian engineer = 1 US engineer? Strangely all the good Russian engineers are in the US, not Russia.

. Same advantage is very obvious in the computer department, where PAK FA's new computer has a massive performance edge of 300 GFLOPS to 20 GFLOPS.


:doh: LOL. No comment.

majorfinn wrote:it is certainly understandable why all-aspect stealth was and is so crucial for United States.


You understand why this comment contradicts your earlier attempt at explaining the incredulous "0.3m^2 F-22 average RCS" claim you made earlier? Do you? Do...you?

Let me expand on it a bit, again. The smaller you acknowledge the F-22,s frontal RCS is, the GREATER the RCS around the rest of the aircraft has to be, or at least the greater the spikes around it need to be, to get you to a 0.3m^2 RCS claimed by "PAK-FA chief designer". Hence implying the F-22 has no or very poor all-aspect stealth. The reverse seems to be the claim of the 'PAK-FA chief designer" regarding the PAK-FA, since he seems to claim it has lower "average" RCS than F-22.

Again, this requires a basic understanding of the term "average". Which is obviously lacking here.

Seriously, go back to Key Publishing kiddo.
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arian

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Unread post29 Apr 2017, 01:16

Just as a future guide on how to have a serious discussion on topics, since these are standard boiler-plate fanboy arguments from all over the internet. And are fallacious on face value:

1) "Our engineers are cheaper therefore we can do more for less"...is a fallacious argument. To explain it in technical terms why....you're making an argument about the productivity of a worker without actually observing their output, but only the input. You're assuming the output. Generally, in the real world, things that do more for the same input, cost more too. And besides, we can observe the output here. It ain't good :wink:

2) "Since we're starting our development later then you, we can be ahead of you"...is a fallacious argument. Its so silly it should require no explanation, but apparently it is a popular enough argument from the fanboyism crew that it does. This MAY be the case if all the necessary knowledge and technology were available on the market off-the shelf. So if I build a new subway line today, it will be better than the subway line build 50 years ago somewhere else, even if I have no experience in building subway lines at all. This is NOT the case with military technologies, lest of all stealth technologies. None of this is available for anyone to purchase, and all must be developed internally. In such a case, the assumption that someone who has worked on this internally for 50 years and continuously invests in improving it...can be overtaken by someone with 0 experience, 0 knowledge (and 0 money), is silly. The concepts and terms associated with this are "asset mass efficiency" (the more you know, the easier it is to learn more), "time compression diseconomies" (it takes time to build up knowledge), and "interconectideness" (learning new things depends on knowing other things first).

4) "We can buy stuff of the shelf and be ahead of you instantly"...is a fallacious argument. If you can do that, so can we. And do you think Raytheon or some other such company which continuously introduces new AESA radars and models, doesn't do so? But a Russian radar design bureau that hasn't made a new thing in 15 years, has an advantage here? By implication, there can be no advantage, if the tech is off-the shelf available on the markets.

5) The tech is not off the shelf available on the markets. LOL It's off the shelf for Raytheon. Not for Russian radar developers. Also see point #1: if your designers were just as good, they wouldn't need to rely on off the shelf civilian technology. :wink:

6) Making claims of performance on an aircraft that is in the prototype stage and no performance data is actually available, is always a dumb move.

7) If something sounds too stupid to be true, it probably is (like the claims from the "PAK-FA chief designer")

8 ) Arguing about things you don't understand (like node technology), as if they mean anything to the point you're trying to make, is probably a bad idea.
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juretrn

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Unread post29 Apr 2017, 01:42

By the way, saying that "the average RCS" is this or that is completely meaningless without context and specifics about the methods used; if I twisted statistics enough I'm sure I could somehow argue a Yugo is superior to an Audi, or that fossil fuels totally don't affect climate on our planet(like certain oil companies "sponsored" some research), or that a PAKFA can have a similar "average" RCS to F-22, you just need to find the appropriate data points and manhandle them long enough to get the wanted results. If you put an article into peer review saying the average of x is similar to average of y and nothing more, you'd probably get told to define what's "average".

As for computers and production nodes... this reminds me of arguing on certain forums where 14-year-old fanboys would try to argue Intel's chips were better than AMD's because of node shrinks... :roll: It just doesn't work that way. Process advancements are only enablers, they guarantee NOTHING.
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hythelday

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Unread post29 Apr 2017, 13:59

Wonder how many Russian-made Elbrus supercomputing 300 GFLOPS chips had to be stolen by CIA to make an inferior F-35...

technology at issue included devices used in radar and missile guidance systems


http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSKBN17U2ZR
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arian

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Unread post30 Apr 2017, 01:52

juretrn wrote:As for computers and production nodes... this reminds me of arguing on certain forums where 14-year-old fanboys would try to argue Intel's chips were better than AMD's because of node shrinks... :roll: It just doesn't work that way. Process advancements are only enablers, they guarantee NOTHING.


This sort of stuff has been argued for YEARS by fanboys who read some specs on some prototype thing and then proceed to assume all sorts of incredulous things.

This "Elburs" business is the most common fallacy on the net, and has been for years. They have been claiming for nearly 4 years now all sorts of incredible abilities of Russian processors...based on a design for a civilian application that isn't even produced in Russia because no such technology exists in Russia. A design which for civilian applications is middle of the pack at best. Then they proceed to assume that if Russia can "design" something like that for civilian applications, then it automatically means that they can also be used in military applications and in fact can be produced for them too.

And voila.

Unfortunately, this isn't how things work. Especially if you have to import them from a civilian manufacturer from Taiwan in the first place.

And if it were the case that Russian radar manufacturers were so advanced in processors, why is their latest and greater 2014 AESA capable of a SAR resolution comparable to mid-1990s US radars (0.5m^2...at 1/3 the range no less)? What's going on there? http://www.ato.ru/content/aesa-radars-growing-smaller

So we're supposed to believe they have reached and surpassed US radars in physical characteristics and computing characteristics, and of course so much more code!...but the AESA manufacturer in 2014 says their newest generation achieved 0.5m^2 SAR resolution? Worse then what F-18 Hornet APG-65 was able to get after upgrades in mid-90s?

How does that happen?

PS: If the fallacious arguments that if you start development after someone else, you will be ahead of that someone else because you will have access to more advanced technology...were true...then how does one explain why late 2000s early 2010s Russian AESA radars like this Zhuk-AE could only get "super high resolution" of 1m^2 at 20km range: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_o_no4M2xEPY/S ... 773847.JPG , when US radars were getting 0.3m^2 resolution at 54km range in 1994?: http://www.nordenretireesclub.org/scrap ... ssue_3.pdf

Or why Irbis-E which is a much later development than APG-63, could only get 3m^2 SAR resolution http://www.niip.ru/eng/index.php?option ... 6&Itemid=8 , when APG-63/70 was getting 2.8m^2 all the way back in 1983?

So one still remains to explain and give an example of this supposed technological leap-frogging we're supposed to assume as so being self-evident. None of the examples from the past or present, show this.
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Unread post30 Apr 2017, 17:35

The point about PAK FA being cutting edge (or not) for Russia and the extended duration timeline is a good one...

The airframe seems to be "low risk", and an evolution of the Flanker. In fact, it looks like someone stepped on a Flanker. The front 1/3rd of the aircraft is obviously designed with stealth in mind, rearward from there - not so much. It's clearly a lot lower drag than any Flanker though, and should perform well in the super-cruise arena. Like the Flanker, it'll have great legs owing to the great internal fuel load.

The engines and avionics however, are a different story. It's pretty clear those are the areas that are taking so long. You can likely throw weapons in there too, as qualifying the aircraft with even existing weapons will be time consuming (owing to the larger performance envelope).

At some point (probably circa 2025) they'll have a super-cruising, semi stealthy offensive/defensive counter air fighter with secondary ground attack/SEAD capability. The cost however, will continue to spiral upward consistent with whatever new capabilities are required of it. It'is doubtful it'll come in at or under $80 million though, and as such few countries will be able to afford it.

I think the Russians know this, which is why you'll see Sukhoi continue to pimp/deliver SU-35's. The Chinese are much more likely to find export success with their J-31...
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Unread post01 May 2017, 10:24

mixelflick wrote:The point about PAK FA being cutting edge (or not) for Russia and the extended duration timeline is a good one...

The airframe seems to be "low risk", and an evolution of the Flanker. In fact, it looks like someone stepped on a Flanker. The front 1/3rd of the aircraft is obviously designed with stealth in mind, rearward from there - not so much. It's clearly a lot lower drag than any Flanker though, and should perform well in the super-cruise arena. Like the Flanker, it'll have great legs owing to the great internal fuel load.

The engines and avionics however, are a different story. It's pretty clear those are the areas that are taking so long. You can likely throw weapons in there too, as qualifying the aircraft with even existing weapons will be time consuming (owing to the larger performance envelope).

At some point (probably circa 2025) they'll have a super-cruising, semi stealthy offensive/defensive counter air fighter with secondary ground attack/SEAD capability. The cost however, will continue to spiral upward consistent with whatever new capabilities are required of it. It'is doubtful it'll come in at or under $80 million though, and as such few countries will be able to afford it.

I think the Russians know this, which is why you'll see Sukhoi continue to pimp/deliver SU-35's. The Chinese are much more likely to find export success with their J-31...


I've suggested that Russia may purchase the J-31 at some point. As the RuAF won't be able to acquire large numbers of PAK-FA's. Which, I believe will cost more like $100 Million each. Regardless, Russia won't have a F-35 equivalent. So, honest what other option will Russia have????
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Unread post01 May 2017, 13:45

Corsair1963 wrote:
mixelflick wrote:The point about PAK FA being cutting edge (or not) for Russia and the extended duration timeline is a good one...

The airframe seems to be "low risk", and an evolution of the Flanker. In fact, it looks like someone stepped on a Flanker. The front 1/3rd of the aircraft is obviously designed with stealth in mind, rearward from there - not so much. It's clearly a lot lower drag than any Flanker though, and should perform well in the super-cruise arena. Like the Flanker, it'll have great legs owing to the great internal fuel load.

The engines and avionics however, are a different story. It's pretty clear those are the areas that are taking so long. You can likely throw weapons in there too, as qualifying the aircraft with even existing weapons will be time consuming (owing to the larger performance envelope).

At some point (probably circa 2025) they'll have a super-cruising, semi stealthy offensive/defensive counter air fighter with secondary ground attack/SEAD capability. The cost however, will continue to spiral upward consistent with whatever new capabilities are required of it. It'is doubtful it'll come in at or under $80 million though, and as such few countries will be able to afford it.

I think the Russians know this, which is why you'll see Sukhoi continue to pimp/deliver SU-35's. The Chinese are much more likely to find export success with their J-31...


I've suggested that Russia may purchase the J-31 at some point. As the RuAF won't be able to acquire large numbers of PAK-FA's. Which, I believe will cost more like $100 Million each. Regardless, Russia won't have a F-35 equivalent. So, honest what other option will Russia have????


If you listen to Russia/Sputnick news - plenty!

The Mig-35 is on the way, and it has (reduced observable technology "baked in"). There's also talk of Mig designing a smaller "stealth fighter", and a "missile shield" that'll first be applied to the TU-160 (making it impervious to all missiles), but of course retro-fits will be available for all Russian aircraft.

Also, an SU-34 upgrade will be able to make "whole squadrons disappear) that's in the works.. :)


And if all that fails, the F-22 and 35 will be moot anyway, given Russia had the "antidote" before they even rolled off the production line (per Sputnick). They say the S-300/400/500 can detect/down stealth birds, no problem. In a country with a fraction of the US's defense budget, how do they do it!?!? :roll:
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terrygedran

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Unread post01 May 2017, 13:48

Corsair1963 wrote:I've suggested that Russia may purchase the J-31 at some point........... Russia won't have a F-35 equivalent.

I do not think that the Russians need an analogue of F-35
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Unread post01 May 2017, 13:55

..
Last edited by terrygedran on 02 May 2017, 07:41, edited 1 time in total.
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juretrn

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Unread post01 May 2017, 14:40

terrygedran wrote:Image

Context would be great...
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arian

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Unread post01 May 2017, 15:07

mixelflick wrote:In a country with a fraction of the US's defense budget, how do they do it!?!? :roll:


Great superiority in computer technology. It's already been explained.
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Unread post02 May 2017, 01:27

Ok, now the west also sucks in the SAMs department and it is lagging behind Russia technologically wise.

We're truly, deeply inferior. I wonder why we are not learning russian yet, here in Europe. We clearly stands no chance.
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