SU-57: On hold for a decade

Military aircraft - Post cold war aircraft, including for example B-2, Gripen, F-18E/F Super Hornet, Rafale, and Typhoon.
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charlielima223

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Unread post29 Aug 2019, 03:19

The nerves of the pro-PAKFA crowd must have been really ticked...

As an outsider all I ever see of the PAKFA are photo opportunities for the press and airshow demos. All nice and cool but this is supposed to be a combat aircraft... not some aerial super model. Compare the PAKFAs progression and news media attention to the F-35...

Before any major weapons or avionics test and validation was conducted, the PAKFA had to appear at an airshow as if, "look at me! I can fly". The F-35 (and the F-22 before it) went through numerous test, evaluations, and validations before they ever appeared at an airshow doing acrobatic maneuvers. Its more of, "lets get this product finished before we show it to the public". There was many articles of the F-35 doing weapons test and avionics tests before it showed up at an airshow.

This all I ever hear/read from thr PAKFA crowd, "it will get it". Okay thats nice... when? Response to that is, "eventually... they're working on it though". This mainly pretains to things like the engine, radar, avionics, and weapons. In contrast the F-22 and F-35 both showed up with final production version engines, radar, and avionics packages. Granted the F-35 had to go through a series of block upgrades/improvements and stumbles to get where it is at now but at least there was a discernable path or road map we can follow to know where its going and how it will get there. With the PAKFA, I am not seeing anything like that. I KNOW it will eventually get everything that it needs but how and when would be nice to know. Another thing is its purposed engines. Once it finally gets its intended motor, wouldn't they need to do more additional flight tests because it may change the flight characteristics and flight envelope? That would mean that it would take EVEN LONGER.

To me stealth is a major factor for any 5th generations aircraft; current or planned. Is the PAKFA stealthy? Yes. Is it VLO, no. Will it be VLO, close but no dice. It is impossible to ascertain exactly how stealthy an aircraft is just by visual analysis. However reasonable assumptions can be made. Unless they plan to completely re-do the PAKFA design it will NEVER be as VLO or stealthy as the F-22, F-35, and its Chinese counterparts. How do we know this? Public information based on proven design elements...
https://basicsaboutaerodynamicsandavion ... -benefits/
It would appear that US and Chinese aircraft were designed to be as stealthy as possible given limitations in technology, engineering, and material all while attempting to acheive a balance with good kinematic performance. The PAKFA on the other hand with the same limitations appears to have opted to be stealthy enough but with more emphasis on kinematic qualities. Then there are factors such as quality of RAM and design tolerances.

As I see it the PAKFA is late to the game and doesnt have enough players as well as all the tools and skills to play for too long in the major leagues.
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Unread post29 Aug 2019, 04:21

southerncross wrote:Don't be so sure they [Russia] are so backwards, they manufacture the best AD systems ...


Mere claims for which there's no existing compelling evidence available. But there's quite a bit that suggests they lack the ability to effectively defend an airspace especially depending on which force it faces. In other words, against a high-end force the latest Russian SAMs appear to be functionally and tactically obsolescent from a weapons and tactics point-of-view.

southerncross wrote:The levels of political pressure on NATO and allied governments to buy the F-35 are mind blowing. But you don't perceive it, so it is ok.


LMAO ... what absurd baseless nonsense!

The Chief of the German airforce made an airpower case that Germany needs to buy the F-35 ASAP, and got politically sacked for doing his job. It's European airforces which want to procure the F-35 and the political pressure is flowing in the other direction within recalcitrant governments, who want to deny what their airforce professionals already know.

southerncross wrote:... Now they are secondary, coincidentally they are not the strongest points of the F-35 and SA is the be-all, end-all characteristic. ... And also one of the reasons why the adaptive engines and the PCA programs are being fast tracked and Pentagon is scrambling in search of funds as we speak. ... The new US 6th gen. platforms again want range and speed ... we have countering tools like the E-2D claims to be, for instance.


Rubbish, superior situational-awareness has been the most important advantage in A2A and A2G since 1914.

US airpower has been consistently staying at least one generation ahead of the opposition since WWII. This is SOP, and nothing has changed in that regard currently.

PCA range and speed is desirable because speed reduces transit time and induced fatigue levels as the range is being extended (and required) via higher thrust and far more efficient propulsion options. Stealth fighting however is almost always subsonic and F-35 and F-22 already have superior subsonic acceleration and agility performance, regardless of the ability to go much faster. They don't do it because it's a tactically dumb idea and unnecessary. This will not change soon. In fact the fielding of offensive lasers will make superior VLO platforms and well-developed VLO tactics, which includes going slower to remain hidden, has become far more important and desirable.

Do you want to merely pretend an E-2D VHF AWAC won't vector a superior number of passive F-35C toward an Su57 flight and kill them with a superior passive AIM-9X-3 missile, guided by a superior DAS, and targeted with a superior EOTS, in a jet with superior data fusion, superior EA, superior ESM, superior SA, superior defensive measures, superior pilot mission-data-file cues and superior levels of all-aspect stealth?

Good luck with that.

southerncross wrote:... scarcely developed militaries can be helpless against such weapons, but advanced ones have ways both to deploy and to counter VLO.


Except no one has done it successfully to date, so BS. And VLO platforms and weapons are not static they constantly dynamically evolve faster than you can afford to or have time to respond to.

You also seem to fail to grasp what has been a very heavily emphasized core aspect in here and in the military developments discussions in general, namely that 5th-gen airpower is not merely stealth, it is JOINT systems-of-systems integration of every military service, and not merely about some VLO jets and weapons.


Tout such gobbledygook elsewhere please. :doh:
Accel + Alt + VLO + DAS + MDF + Radial Distance = LIFE . . . Always choose Stealth
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Unread post29 Aug 2019, 14:15

Corsair1963 wrote:India still buys and maintains a lot of Russian Military Hardware. So, why offend Russia directly buy completely closing the door on the Su-57. Which, would hurt Russia prospects to sell the Su-57 to other customers.

India will need Russian Technical Support, Spares, etc. etc. for years to come.

So, while India is buying more and more Western Hardware. She wants to let down Russia ever so slowly... :wink:

So in essence they said nothing bad about the PAKFA, but you know they don't like it, and you know they want to ditch Russia and buy Western despite them craftily hiding their intentions behind a recent multi-billion surge in military deals and new negotiations. Is it a surprise to you if I am not convinced?

Anyway, we will see so no point in bitter discussions. India has no money to address all the issues with their AF right now and no real hurry to get a 5th gen fighter, rather replace senile aircraft, get the needed amount of operational squadrons and if everything goes well, update the MKIs. They will have their hands more than full with all that for a few years, and besides, it is much better to solve their security concerns at the SCO than wasting their wealth in ultra-expensive aircraft.
charlielima223 wrote:The nerves of the pro-PAKFA crowd must have been really ticked...

Probably that includes me. I simply address claims that are unfounded because I feel a collective responsibility to keep the discussion minimally factual and balanced, I am not against anybody's right to have likings or phobias.
As an outsider all I ever see of the PAKFA are photo opportunities for the press and airshow demos. All nice and cool but this is supposed to be a combat aircraft... not some aerial super model. Compare the PAKFAs progression and news media attention to the F-35...

Do you live in Russia or in the West? That may explain a couple of things re. your level of relative awareness, don't you think? Besides, the level of exposure of the F-35 program to the public is huge, which BTW is not beneficial and has been an issue DoD has been trying to reduce recently. Russians don't speak almost anything about their planes and roadmaps, period. They know US can outspend them so they refrain from giving them hints as to where exactly to spend, simple and logical.
Before any major weapons or avionics test and validation was conducted, the PAKFA had to appear at an airshow as if, "look at me! I can fly". The F-35 (and the F-22 before it) went through numerous test, evaluations, and validations before they ever appeared at an airshow doing acrobatic maneuvers. Its more of, "lets get this product finished before we show it to the public". There was many articles of the F-35 doing weapons test and avionics tests before it showed up at an airshow.

Not sure what the point is here. There are many ways of promoting a plane, which both US and Russia actively do. Russian planes traditionally shine at airshows so it is only normal they take advantage of that.
This all I ever hear/read from thr PAKFA crowd, "it will get it".

See above, they don't talk. You can assume if they don't talk they are not doing anything, at your own risk. DoD is not taking chances but developing new gen platforms.
Another thing is its purposed engines. Once it finally gets its intended motor, wouldn't they need to do more additional flight tests because it may change the flight characteristics and flight envelope? That would mean that it would take EVEN LONGER.

This is actually known in broad terms, they are expected to reach the series around 2023 after a 5 year flight test program that started December 2017. The T50-2 is the designated flying laboratory so all those test you mention are already ongoing for a while now.
To me stealth is a major factor for any 5th generations aircraft; current or planned. Is the PAKFA stealthy? Yes. Is it VLO, no. Will it be VLO, close but no dice. It is impossible to ascertain exactly how stealthy an aircraft is just by visual analysis. However reasonable assumptions can be made. Unless they plan to completely re-do the PAKFA design it will NEVER be as VLO or stealthy as the F-22, F-35, and its Chinese counterparts. How do we know this? Public information based on proven design elements...

1. As you say there is no certainty in your visual analysis, as we may ignore really MANY things only specialists know (alas, maybe even things US specialists ignore themselves as customary with proprietary military secrets) and also fundamental design metrics as the depth and nature of the RAM/RAS layers. 2. It is pure speculation to foresee what tactical implications a given RCS profile may have in he intended use doctrine of the aircraft. In summary, these arguments are not very solid.
The PAKFA on the other hand with the same limitations appears to have opted to be stealthy enough but with more emphasis on kinematic qualities. Then there are factors such as quality of RAM and design tolerances.

Maybe yes, and maybe they are right, who knows. But the data they gave (I mean designers) pointed to similar requirements to their estimations of F-22's RCS. They can be right or wrong there of course, or engaging in disinformation or whatever. We have no way of knowing.
element1loop wrote:Mere claims for which there's no existing compelling evidence available.

Evidence provided by the SAM systems market and the extent countries, even US allied, are willing to go to get Russian designs. Apart from obvious and well known technical characteristics. The point is that they know how AD and in general radar detection works, I hope that we can agree on that.
But there's quite a bit that suggests they lack the ability to effectively defend an airspace especially depending on which force it faces. In other words, against a high-end force the latest Russian SAMs appear to be functionally and tactically obsolescent from a weapons and tactics point-of-view.

What evidence? That would mean USAF routinely flying inside the Russian territory and that is unknown to me.
LMAO ... what absurd baseless nonsense!

Politics is not the point to be discussed here so I will not develop further, but in general it would be better if you tone down and respect other opinions.
Rubbish, superior situational-awareness has been the most important advantage in A2A and A2G since 1914.

US airpower has been consistently staying at least one generation ahead of the opposition since WWII. This is SOP, and nothing has changed in that regard currently.

What should I say? If you believe that it is ok with me.
PCA range and speed is desirable because speed reduces transit time and induced fatigue levels as the range is being extended (and required) via higher thrust and far more efficient propulsion options.

They need range because the size of the airspace where tankers cannot reasonably operate and distance to safe airbases is getting bigger and bigger.
Stealth fighting however is almost always subsonic and F-35 and F-22 already have superior subsonic acceleration and agility performance,

Hmmmm...no? F-22's supersonic cruise is a critical design aspect and it has not been ruled out that I know. As to comparing F-22 and F-35 despite obvious design philosophy, TWR and wing loading characteristics... it dissuades me from discussing further.
regardless of the ability to go much faster. They don't do it because it's a tactically dumb idea and unnecessary. This will not change soon.

You should have told USAF and spared them all the pains to shape and design the F-22 for highest supersonic performance.
In fact the fielding of offensive lasers will make superior VLO platforms and well-developed VLO tactics, which includes going slower to remain hidden, has become far more important and desirable.

Lasers now. OK, take your F-35, which are unnecessarily designed to fly supersonic and hindered by small airframe size, and replace them with B-21s with lots of lasers, EW, missiles and broadband stealth. Of course all the adaptive engine program is useless, too, you just need economic engines for subsonic flight. USAF is going to save trillions, literally.
Do you want to merely pretend an E2-D VHF AWAC won't vector a superior number of passive F-35C toward an Su57 flight and kill them with a superior passive AIM-9X-3 missile, guided by a superior DAS, and targeted with a superior EOTS, in a jet with superior data fusion, superior EA, superior ESM, superior SA, superior defensive measures and superior levels of stealth?

Ok I get they are superior by definition. The point was that US has counter-stealth means, and they are very much sure they know how to address the issue when an adversary force also has VLO. Maybe you think knowledge about physics and rational thinking is limited to Westerners, but it is not.
Good luck with that.

Exactly. Good luck with thinking only you can develop and counter VLO. You are up for a funny surprise.
Except no one has done it successfully to date, so BS. And VLO platforms and weapons are not static they constantly dynamically evolve faster than you can afford to or have time to respond to.

Ultra-VLO drone detected and captured in Iran (just to name an old example) begs to differ. And evidence is that countering VLO actually evolves faster, which only makes sense due to the nature of how learning curves work. But as said think what you want, there are little facts above to discuss.
You also seem to fail to grasp what has been a very heavily emphasized core aspect in here and in the military developments discussions in general, namely that 5th-gen airpower is not merely stealth, it is JOINT systems-of-systems integration of every military service, and not merely about some VLO jets and weapons.

Not really. I perfectly understand that, hence why those RCS values are useless against a complex multilayered IADS. And why basing your operations on informational dominance is quite a shaky ground when you deal with peer rivals that will kill your satellites, destroy your air bases, control centers and EW nodes, jam your communications and heavily hinder your sensors. You need your individual fighters to perform, even with little support.
Tout such gobbledygook elsewhere please. :doh:

Better you take your bad manners elsewhere.
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botsing

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Unread post29 Aug 2019, 16:04

milosh wrote:
botsing wrote:
milosh wrote:Su-57 isn't just stealthier Su-35, it is VLO designed aircraft ask Chinese if you don't believe me, four leading Chinese engineers are lot more competent then you or me.

Please post (or PM) their phone numbers so I can check.


Google their study of Su-57 model. I posted earlier on forum. Short version: if Russians hide engines and use stealthy nozzle it is fall in VLO category.

Stealthy nozzle we saw and hidden engines are mentioned in patents. So VLO. What RCS we can only guess because Chinese study didn't take RAM in account.

I googled "their study of Su-57 model" but did not find anything relevant, can you share it again?

Also having patents doesn't prove a thing for VLO, just do a quick search for all the perpetuum mobile patents to understand that patents are not even close to science papers.
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Unread post29 Aug 2019, 18:18

botsing wrote:I googled "their study of Su-57 model" but did not find anything relevant, can you share it again?


It was been posted on forum maybe couple times:

http://www.scielo.br/pdf/jatm/v8n1/1984 ... 1-0040.pdf
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Unread post29 Aug 2019, 19:06

That study says a metal Su-57 has an average frontal RCS of ~-6dB. Similar study on F-35 shows avarage frontal RCS is ~-17dB with max frontal RCS only -10dB. Both assume smooth metal surface. This is where manufactuability matters. This is where coatings matter. Do the Russians understand the theory of stealth? Of course, they literally wrote the book. But they have effectively zero experience in MANUFACTURING a stealth design. The US has built more stealth aircraft in the F-117s than Russia has in total.

I want the Su-57 to be an amazing aircraft. I think it is hands down the most amazing and capable thing flown out of Russia. I do not for one moment think that the Russians somehow leaped ahead of the US in manufacturing, coatings, avionics, or propulsion (AL-31 was a great analog to the F110 in power and economy, but by that time the US was light years ahead on TBO)
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Unread post29 Aug 2019, 19:13

milosh wrote:
botsing wrote:I googled "their study of Su-57 model" but did not find anything relevant, can you share it again?


It was been posted on forum maybe couple times:

http://www.scielo.br/pdf/jatm/v8n1/1984 ... 1-0040.pdf

Thank you.

One question though: did you actually read this paper? I ask you since this paper does not state nor confirm that the Su-57 is a VLO design (the research in that paper is also not about the Su-57 being VLO or not).
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Unread post29 Aug 2019, 19:27

I took the liberty of combining the RCS plots of that and another Chinese study on RCS of metal fighters. It shows quite clearly that while the Su-57 is a great attempt, it isn't yet on par with US designs even from a shaping standpoint.

I scaled them to the 20dB rings as they all seem to have -30dB as the center

Stealth compro.png


Anyone know of a study with J-20 this way?
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Unread post29 Aug 2019, 19:34

@sprstdlyscottsmn

I never said Russia leaped ahead of US in stealth technology, I just point out why it is wrong to consider Su-57 as similar to F-Silent Eagle or to be more precise Silent Flanker. It is new design which have stealth as base.
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Unread post29 Aug 2019, 19:49

Su-57 is not exactly a 'Silent Flanker'. It's likely more stealth than the Western armchair analysts give credit. But it is a completely different animal than a Flanker and not even remotely similar to how Super Hornet relates to Hornet. People are really going out on a limb to discredit the Su-57.
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Unread post29 Aug 2019, 20:53

milosh wrote:@sprstdlyscottsmn

I never said Russia leaped ahead of US in stealth technology, I just point out why it is wrong to consider Su-57 as similar to F-Silent Eagle or to be more precise Silent Flanker. It is new design which have stealth as base.

I never said you did say that. I have seen it said many times, however. I was only providing the visuals of the studies done by third parties along with my opinion of the results.
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Unread post30 Aug 2019, 00:36

milosh wrote:
botsing wrote:I googled "their study of Su-57 model" but did not find anything relevant, can you share it again?


It was been posted on forum maybe couple times:

http://www.scielo.br/pdf/jatm/v8n1/1984 ... 1-0040.pdf


Milosh, on this study, you need think the Su-57 is a perfect metal model, it does not show problems like real Su-57 has. For example, problem with IRST, problem with Dircm, problem with not curve S inlets, problem with canopy, problem with Pitot tubes...

All these problems was not reflected on perfect model used on this study, so you can not get this data like real data.

If you want to be a VLO stealth fighter, you can not show a IRST on the same way than european canards has. And now you have a big DIRCM without any protection...

If next year F-35 appears with a dircm similar than Su-57 has, can tell good bye VLO RCS too.

On mi opinion SU-57 is a LO fighter, better than eurocanards or SH because it bring weapons bay, but far from J-20 or american VLOs.
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Unread post30 Aug 2019, 16:54

"But IAF has been unhappy with the Russian FGFA called Sukhoi T-50 or PAK-FA because the jet lacks proper stealth and its engine does not have "enough thrust", which are among 43 critical modifications or shortcomings it pointed out earlier..."

Read more at:
//economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/57551801.cms?from=mdr&utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst

Lacks proper stealth, engine doesn't have enough thrust.... among FORTY THREE critical shortcomings. Again, can these shortcomings be overcome? Maybe. Are the current engines good enough? Maybe. SA up to par with American fighters? Doubtful, but maybe.

For anyone thinking of buying this jet, there are a whole lotta' "maybe's". And I hope we can at least agree on this: For foreign operators especially, it's NOT going to be cheap. Maybe its me, but if I'm shelling out that kind of $ I want to KNOW those 43 things.... are going to be good enough/get fixed/give it the edge in air to air combat.

There is such a thing as buyers remorse, and it has huge implications going forward for Sukhoi/Russia. Maybe it'll be a world beater when it's all said and done, but it's a LONG way away from that right now. It probably won't mature as a design until 2025 at the earliest, and possibly as late as 2030. Long, long way to go and at this point it has more question marks vs. selling points.

But it's all Russia really has insofar as a 5th gen fighter, so for the country's sake - I hope it works. With all of the other spending priorities though (new TU-160M2's, new PAK DA, Hunter drone, something to replace the Mig-31 etc), I dunno where the rubles are going to come from. $ is going to be a big issue, I rather doubt they have the kind of $ to throw at it like we did fixing the F-35's problems.

Honestly, I think that's where it'll fall down the most. They can only fix/optimize so much before the spigot runs dry..
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Unread post30 Aug 2019, 18:54

If India don't want to buy Su-57 okey, but what stealth they will buy? F-35 nope. Well their AF commander said Rafale is stealth so no need to buy stealth after all.

Btw, whole indian complains on PAK-FA is about "made in India" Russians don't think India is capable to made such complex plane and French had similar opinion about "made in India" Rafales, after all India still have problems with Tejas. Also Indians thought they could get technology transferlong before they invest 5 billions in PAK-FA/FGFA project:
https://www.rbth.com/science-and-tech/3 ... ndian-su57

Which Sukhoi didn't want to allow.

BTw India isn't so much important to Russia as it was in past. Russia really don't need indian money to finish Su-57. Export of Su-57 would be nice but it isn't critical as was when PAK-FA development started (long before first flight).

I wouldn't be surpise Russia sell Su-57 to Turkey for domestic price. Political gain is lot bigger then profit.
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Unread post30 Aug 2019, 20:30

mixelflick wrote:"But IAF has been unhappy with the Russian FGFA called Sukhoi T-50 or PAK-FA because the jet lacks proper stealth and its engine does not have "enough thrust", which are among 43 critical modifications or shortcomings it pointed out earlier..."

Read more at:
//economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/57551801.cms?from=mdr&utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst

OK, wait a second there. They do use quotation marks in the article, but who are they quoting? It all depends on how much faith do you have in the guy writing this. And then they say that they will buy off-the-shelf instead? If they find the plane lacking, the logical thing is to search something different, not to renounce to having a say in the design and buying it as it is instead...

I mainly share milosh's opinion here: India tried a deal with Russia to get a dollar paying a cent, and as expected it didn't work. The conditions of the deal, even with the payments required by Russia, were nevertheless extremely advantageous for India considering local production, source codes and IP rights. Most probably India had no cash and no real industrial capacity to take advantage of this offer but rather more burning issues with their AF, so they kept silent until it was clear that the program made no sense any more in its original scope. No it is dubious if Russia would offer such conditions again, once most of the technical risk of the project has been left behind.

BTW, the "engine lacks thrust" is a very frequent claim but for which no one can provide a shred of evidence, apart from those unnamed sources. If you take the data publicly claimed for the plane (empty weight 18 tons, engine AB thrust around 150 kN), resulting TWR would be better than that of the F-22 already with the first stage engine (1.7 vs. 1.6 for empty weight). Of course, we simply don't know neither the thrust nor the empty weight, so any claim in this regard cannot be considered as anything more than pure speculation, in either way.
There is such a thing as buyers remorse, and it has huge implications going forward for Sukhoi/Russia. Maybe it'll be a world beater when it's all said and done, but it's a LONG way away from that right now. It probably won't mature as a design until 2025 at the earliest, and possibly as late as 2030. Long, long way to go and at this point it has more question marks vs. selling points.

And yet, this is the only heavy, twin engine, air superiority-oriented 5th gen. fighter being offered in the market at all, so it is still extremely appealing to any air force in real need of serious capabilities and with the pockets to afford them. Of course, all depending on what part of the whole package is finally offered for the export, at the MAKS we didn't manage to solve this question beyond a nice description without figures at the plane's stand. Supercruise was nevertheless confirmed as belonging to the capabilities being offered, only we don't know at what level and with what engine.
Honestly, I think that's where it'll fall down the most. They can only fix/optimize so much before the spigot runs dry..

Just to put things in context, Russia is running a surplus economy currently, while in parallel reducing the military expenses. Not saying they swim in money or have no serious issues to address in many areas, because that is clearly not the case, but I would be cautious when putting into question their capability to sustain their current level of military research and procurement in the long term.
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