Russian UAV/UCAV developments

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

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Unread post26 Sep 2018, 17:06

element1loop wrote:
babybat{}.net wrote:The only one "but". If LFMS will appear, it will anyway be twin-engine like j-31.


These numbers are from specs, my calcs and some estimates (as noted):

J-31

Fuel Load ~12,000 lb (About all it could be given MTOW and implied empty weight plus claimed payload on Wiki page)
Empty Weight 37,363 lb (Obtained via claimed MTOW, minus the claimed available ‘payload’ of 17,637 lb. In 2015 Wiki claimed empty weight was 38,801 lb … so I’m being a bit generous)
Max Internal Weapons 4,409 lb (claimed 2,000 kg internal and 6,000 kg external)
TOW (with that configuration is) 53,772 lb
Remains under MTOW by 1,228 lb
MTOW is claimed as 55,000 lb

J-17 RD-93 (x2) engine thrust:
Dry Thrust lb=22,210
A/B Thrust lb=36,570

Resulting power to weight ratios with claimed full internal weapon payload used up:

Dry 100% fuel 0.41
AB 100% fuel 0.68

Dry 75% fuel 0.43
AB 75% fuel 0.72

Dry 50% fuel 0.47
AB 50% fuel 0.77

Dry 25% fuel 0.51
AB 25% fuel 0.83

Not good for a multirole fighter in the 2020s, but it's not unlike a fully-loaded Gripen E/F either. Wiki says this about J-31 payload:

“Payload
The J-31 can carry 8000 kg (17637 lb) of payload, with four munitions totaling 2000 kg (4409 lb) internally, and 6000 kg (13228 lb) carried on six external hardpoints; primary armaments include the PL-10 short-range missile and SD-10A medium-range air-to-air missile. It has a combat radius of 648 nmi (746 mi; 1,200 km) and a maximum take-off weight of 25,000 kg (55,000 lb).”

See the problem here?

Full-fuel of 12,000 lb plus the full-weapon payload gives a weight of 67,000 lb, or 12,000 lb over MTOW. In other words, you can have full-fuel, or you can have full-weapons--but you can not have both. So J-31, as it currently stands, would be unable to have full-fuel and to carry any external weapons, unless you first removed all of the internal weapons.

So external pylons on a J-31 will not be seeing a whole lot of action. :D

All of those computer pics of the J-31 flying about with a wide variety of nasty looking external stores … yeah ... dreaming.

In reality it would carry about the same internal weapon loads as an F-35B, and about 12,000 lb of fuel, into two fuel-inefficient engines, that will always have to be driven hard (even more fuel-guzzling) to produce acceptable cruise, or acceleration, or energy-recovery performance. So range would be less than half of that of an F-35, and performance and agility would be distinctly lacking after the first turn, and the practical weapons payload would be around one fifth that of an F-35A.

So basically you'd get something like a Gripen E/F in strike-range, and even worse than Grippen in deliverable weapon weights, but with added LO advantages (version 1.0). Which is useful but nothing like what the Chinese claim it as, nor clearly want it to be. So a Russian 5th-gen J-31ski is likely to run into similar limits, unless the engines are significantly better than RD-93s.

I suspect Russia could actually produce a better LO J-31ski over the next decade.


J-31 won't become an official program until China has a better idea of when WS-19 (think of it as Chinese equivalent to F414) will go into production. Does Russia have a replacement program for RD-33 with proper funding?

twin-engined fighter jet using RD-33 is quite underpowered. I would think it's a no-go.
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mixelflick

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Unread post26 Sep 2018, 20:17

SU-35 exports OK for the next 10 years? You sure about that??

It's a good fighter, sure. But in this day and age where modern fighters have AESA radars, much more capable BVR air to air weapons and more and more, stealth technology - where's the value? If I'm a middle eastern country flush with money, why not spring for the F-35, Rafale or Typhoon instead?

All three hold significant advantages over the Flanker in key areas..

1.) AESA/advanced radars - much moreso than the Flankers PESA
2.) Much lower radar signature
3.) Meteor
4.) AIM-120D
5.) AIM-9x block II/III

I dunno man, I just don't see SU-35's proliferating like the other Flanker variants. At least in a 5th generation world, where the SU-35 will continue to fall further and further behind..
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element1loop

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Unread post27 Sep 2018, 01:43

tphuang wrote:Does Russia have a replacement program for RD-33 with proper funding?


If they neglected to move forwards from RD-33 they have no path to building a 5th-gen airforce.
Accel + Alt + VLO + DAS + MDF + Radial Distance = LIFE . . . Always choose Stealth
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element1loop

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Unread post27 Sep 2018, 02:06

mixelflick wrote:If I'm a middle eastern country flush with money, why not spring for the F-35.


They won't get FMS approval. They'll stay 4th-gen-centric for a couple of decades as they try to 'collaborate' to develop their own engines, sensors and a 5th-gen airframe.

Until there's a genuine competitor to F-35 on the market, or LM has no more customers for the F-35 (as if!), then there's no incentive to sell into the ME, to what are actually non-aligned countries.

btw, this thread's strayed from topic ...
Accel + Alt + VLO + DAS + MDF + Radial Distance = LIFE . . . Always choose Stealth
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gideonic

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Unread post09 Oct 2018, 08:22

In the Russian troll-factory land of "all according to plan" and "surpassing the West since 1917"™ ...

Russia just cancelled the Altair UAV, which had been developed since 2011, cost 3 Billion RUB (which is pennies though) and was supposed to be in serial production by 2020.

link (google translate): https://translate.google.com/translate? ... rda-rubley
The Defense Ministry has closed the development of the largest Russian UAV. For seven years, she spent three billion rubles
00:25, October 9, 2018

The Russian Defense Ministry has decided to stop developing the Altair drone, the largest UAV in Russia. She was engaged in Kazan MPB named after MP. Simonov.

As explained to Vedomosti, a source close to the Ministry of Defense, the created developments can be transferred to the Ural Civil Aviation Plant: it is possible that they will be used in similar projects.

UAV "Altair" was developed since 2011. In total, three billion rubles were spent on its development.
The first experimental flight "Altair" made in 2016. It was assumed that the serial production of the UAV will begin in 2020.


EDIT:
We of course don't have the public reason for the cancellation, so here is the shocker (cue drumroll) ....

The head of the company was arrested in April, for embezzling at least 900m rubles out of the project :roll:

Link: (google translate) https://translate.google.com/translate? ... edit-text=
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mixelflick

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Unread post09 Oct 2018, 14:38

Seems like a lot of Russian initiatives have been cancelled recently. It makes you wonder why the SU-57 program is still alive. Personally, I think this is a vanity project for Putin. If they don't at least have it in the works, it tells the world Russian technology/expertise isn't capable of fielding 5th gen aircraft. When your arms exports are such a big part of your economy, that's just not good business.

Since it's going to have an astronomical price tag (due to low production run), the export potential of the aircraft will be limited. India withdrew its funds/interest and now we're told they'll be pitched on the 2nd iteration of the aircraft. That may be, but now add even more cost to customize it for Indian service. The UAE? Maybe. But outside of those two I don't see any other buyers. Besides, the F-35 will be flooding the market and by that time its likely the J-31 will sell to any nation that doesn't qualify for it. Selling Flankers at that point ain't going to be easy.
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milosh

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Unread post10 Oct 2018, 17:37

mixelflick wrote:Seems like a lot of Russian initiatives have been cancelled recently. It makes you wonder why the SU-57 program is still alive. Personally, I think this is a vanity project for Putin. If they don't at least have it in the works, it tells the world Russian technology/expertise isn't capable of fielding 5th gen aircraft. When your arms exports are such a big part of your economy, that's just not good business.

Since it's going to have an astronomical price tag (due to low production run), the export potential of the aircraft will be limited. India withdrew its funds/interest and now we're told they'll be pitched on the 2nd iteration of the aircraft. That may be, but now add even more cost to customize it for Indian service. The UAE? Maybe. But outside of those two I don't see any other buyers. Besides, the F-35 will be flooding the market and by that time its likely the J-31 will sell to any nation that doesn't qualify for it. Selling Flankers at that point ain't going to be easy.


They can't cancel Su-57 not because it is vanity project but because things which are important are developing trough that project.

For expample Su-57 engine can be fitted in any Flanker. So if they invest in new engine for Su-57 they invest in engine for Su-30/34/35 even Su-27 if they want (engine is cheaper then 117S).

India for example is waiting Su-57 tech for Super 30 (Su-30MKI big upgrade).

We can talk about J-31 when it get decent engines (at least similar to F414). With 1980s RD-33 it is brick, smoking brick to be precise:
https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-6cw3PWrDeIY/ ... 0/BEST.jpg

How need radar just search for smoke trails :D
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marsavian

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Unread post11 Oct 2018, 00:06

It makes you wonder why the SU-57 program is still alive.


Supercruising (eventually) semi-stealthy super-maneuverable Flanker with AESA. Hey if there was no F-22/F-35 it would be leading edge so this stuff is all relative. Turkey also needs something to buy to go along with its S-400 and Iran will buy some too along with other friends.
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sferrin

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Unread post11 Oct 2018, 02:06

marsavian wrote:
It makes you wonder why the SU-57 program is still alive.


Supercruising (eventually) semi-stealthy super-maneuverable Flanker with AESA. Hey if there was no F-22/F-35 it would be leading edge so this stuff is all relative. Turkey also needs something to buy to go along with its S-400 and Iran will buy some too along with other friends.


Iran still flies Tomcats instead of buying Flankers.
"There I was. . ."
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marsavian

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Unread post11 Oct 2018, 08:45

They were blocked by sanctions when they wanted to buy Su-35 plus even now the Tomcat/Phoenix platform is still capable against non-stealth opposition, that's how far ahead of its time it was.
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mixelflick

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Unread post11 Oct 2018, 14:39

marsavian wrote:They were blocked by sanctions when they wanted to buy Su-35 plus even now the Tomcat/Phoenix platform is still capable against non-stealth opposition, that's how far ahead of its time it was.


The former may be true, but I'd question the latter. The AWG-9/Phoenix was an incredible combination for its day, the operative words there being "was" and "for its day". Its range is now matched by the AIM-120D, as is its multiple/ripple launch profile. And Super Hornets and Eagles can carry quite a few more than the 1-2 I've seen Iranian Tomcats flying with. Never have I seen them with 4, and I can only imagine how sluggish it'll be carrying 6. This assumes they actually have a functioning Phoenix derivative, which IMO is questionable.

Also, just imagine how fast the US/US Navy went to work countering that technology after the revolution. You have to believe they have lots of different ways to jam it. Then there is the maneuverability question: Does just fine hitting Mig-25's, bombers and aircraft without a RWR flying in a straight line. Perhaps not so well against a fighter sized target pulling many G's.

Don't get me wrong: I love the F-14 and those big Phoenix missiles. But at around a million a shot and with 1970's tech, it's not going to be the most difficult weapon on the battlefield to defeat...
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