Can the F-35 match the PAK-FA

The F-35 compared with other modern jets.
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mixelflick

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Unread post02 May 2019, 12:24

milosh wrote:@mixelflick

I expect some cheaper variant is expected in future, for example with less composites and RAM it still would be much bigger problem then Su-35.

Smaller fleet of real VLO and bigger fleet of lets say LO (with smaller RCS then 4.5gen)


I respectfully disagree.

That would necessitate two different programs, or at least airframe/engine integration. They've been trying like hell for 10 years to get to a VLO airframe, and just haven't been able to do it. Bear in mind that was hand building the 7 or so flying examples we have today.

I think it's more likely they live with just LO, and focus instead on giving it hypersonic missiles etc.. It will likely best current 4++ gens but be beaten regularly by F-22's and 35's. As a follow on fighter to the SU-35, it will be considered a success. It may find a foreign buyer or two, but it's going to be expensive. All in all, it will be the first Russian fighter in a generation that failed to out-perform the Western jets it was designed to counter.

They gave it a good try, but understandably came up short. Not a bad first attempt though, all things considered..
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milosh

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Unread post02 May 2019, 18:25

mixelflick wrote:I respectfully disagree.

That would necessitate two different programs, or at least airframe/engine integration. They've been trying like hell for 10 years to get to a VLO airframe, and just haven't been able to do it. Bear in mind that was hand building the 7 or so flying examples we have today.

I think it's more likely they live with just LO, and focus instead on giving it hypersonic missiles etc.. It will likely best current 4++ gens but be beaten regularly by F-22's and 35's. As a follow on fighter to the SU-35, it will be considered a success. It may find a foreign buyer or two, but it's going to be expensive. All in all, it will be the first Russian fighter in a generation that failed to out-perform the Western jets it was designed to counter.

They gave it a good try, but understandably came up short. Not a bad first attempt though, all things considered..


Su-57 if you take your time and read chinese study is VLO shape, so if Russians use radar blocker it can't be consider LO but VLO as study point out.

So no it isn't LO it is VLO.

I agree they will have lot less Su-57 then F-22&F-35 but Russia isn't Soviet Union they can't spend huge portion of budget on military.
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loke

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Unread post02 May 2019, 22:31

mixelflick wrote:I think it's more likely they live with just LO, and focus instead on giving it hypersonic missiles etc.. It will likely best current 4++ gens but be beaten regularly by F-22's and 35's.
They gave it a good try, but understandably came up short. Not a bad first attempt though, all things considered..

I agree that F-22 and F-35 will have no issues with the Su-57, however I actually think it will struggle also against the latest Western 4.5 gen fighters, in particular those that have missiles with a huge NEZ like the Meteor and AIM-120-D...

The latest 4.5 gen fighters will have much better sensors, much better sensor fusion, and much better MMI than the SU-57, this will give them a much better SA. This, together with long-range missiles will give them great opportunitiy to get the first (and last) shot at a safe distance. Keep in mind the SH block III, the Rafale, Typhoon, F-16V/F-21 and Gripen E all have reduced RCS; but also long-range AESA radars with LPI modes (well with the exception of Typhoon, but it will get one soon) and excellent IRST sensors, RWR sensors. Since the SU-57 is LO not VLO it will be spotted at a distance by the latest 4.5 gen fighters. 4. gen fighters like the Hornet, F-16 block 50/52, Mirage 2000, Gripen C no doubt will struggle much more against the PAK FA.
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milosh

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Unread post03 May 2019, 08:15

loke wrote:Since the SU-57 is LO not VLO it will be spotted at a distance by the latest 4.5 gen fighters. 4. gen fighters like the Hornet, F-16 block 50/52, Mirage 2000, Gripen C no doubt will struggle much more against the PAK FA.


How you concluded that?

You have study done by people which knows lot more about aircraft design and building then you on me and they worked on stealth projects, by them if PAK-FA have radar blocker for engines it is VLO design for X-band. I mean without any RAM its frontal RCS is ~0.5m2 for X-band radar.

And RAM in equation and it would be lot lower. VLO level to be precise.
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Unread post03 May 2019, 08:38

The Su-57 has VLO to prove. The first stage engine does not have a radar blocker and will have to rely on a lot of RAM just to get RCS down to the ~0.5 sq m general airframe level. It is still to be proven that the second stage engine will have a blocker. The fact that the Russians are not claiming RCS below 0.1 sq m anywhere implies that the Su-57 will not end up VLO. Their PR tactic seems to be to suggest that F-22/F-35 don't have an RCS below 0.1 sq m either. If it ends up VLO well that will be a pleasant surprise for you but initial statements and facts so far are not supporting this eventual outcome.
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Unread post03 May 2019, 13:45

milosh wrote:
mixelflick wrote:I respectfully disagree.

That would necessitate two different programs, or at least airframe/engine integration. They've been trying like hell for 10 years to get to a VLO airframe, and just haven't been able to do it. Bear in mind that was hand building the 7 or so flying examples we have today.

I think it's more likely they live with just LO, and focus instead on giving it hypersonic missiles etc.. It will likely best current 4++ gens but be beaten regularly by F-22's and 35's. As a follow on fighter to the SU-35, it will be considered a success. It may find a foreign buyer or two, but it's going to be expensive. All in all, it will be the first Russian fighter in a generation that failed to out-perform the Western jets it was designed to counter.

They gave it a good try, but understandably came up short. Not a bad first attempt though, all things considered..


Su-57 if you take your time and read chinese study is VLO shape, so if Russians use radar blocker it can't be consider LO but VLO as study point out.

So no it isn't LO it is VLO.

I agree they will have lot less Su-57 then F-22&F-35 but Russia isn't Soviet Union they can't spend huge portion of budget on military.


If this is true, why did the Indians pull out? Specifically, they cited inferior stealth as one of their primary objections. I suppose the final SU-57 might be better, but if things were pointing in that direction don't you think India would be all in again?

I mean, if anyone needs a true stealth fighter it's India! China already has one, they're not getting the F-35 and Pakistan has bought Chinese before. They get ahold of the J-31 and they've got BIG problems. I would think if the stealth has improved even marginally, they'd have an order on the books right now - at least a small one.

They don't though, which I think is telling..
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milosh

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Unread post03 May 2019, 20:15

mixelflick wrote:If this is true, why did the Indians pull out? Specifically, they cited inferior stealth as one of their primary objections. I suppose the final SU-57 might be better, but if things were pointing in that direction don't you think India would be all in again?

I mean, if anyone needs a true stealth fighter it's India! China already has one, they're not getting the F-35 and Pakistan has bought Chinese before. They get ahold of the J-31 and they've got BIG problems. I would think if the stealth has improved even marginally, they'd have an order on the books right now - at least a small one.

They don't though, which I think is telling..


How was cited? No one official it was journalist BS, same as 117 isn't modular engine even though AL-31 is! Also don't forget India is billion people democracy so lobbing is thriving there. India right now is planing to buy Rafales and middle man is Mody's close friend. So things are lot more complicated then capability of some fighter.

Also India have huge problem of aging fleet so they really want what is available now and not something which would be ready in 2025. So Rafale (because of Meteor and Mica) is best option, especially if they upgrade Su-30MKI with AESA radar so they will have radar with noticeable better range then Rafale ones and because Su-30MKI is lot bigger they don't need to worry about reviling its location using max radar power, that would allow them to use Rafale for sneak attacks, also Su-30MKI with hypersonics will be problem for Pak airfields espeacilly those closer to India, J-31 doesn't have F-35 range so not being able to use closer airfields would be big penalty.

Last time I check Pak nor China are planing stealth tankers so tanking in air wouldn't work espeacilly if India get R-37.
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Unread post03 May 2019, 22:05

Indeed India has complained about the stealth characteristics of the PAK FA -- at the same time they have talked about the "stealthy" characteristics of the Rafale(!).

I do believe that the Rafale would do quite well against the PAK FA (but at stated already the sensors, sensor fusion, and the Meteor missile are all important factors in this).
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Unread post04 May 2019, 04:04

India could buy Rafale to retire MKI. Or they could upgrade the MKI production like to build their own version with F-15's radar and engines. By the time they made an Uber MKI it would be 2050... Or they could build F-16IN and integrate Russian ordnance. Or they could buy F-15EX and integrate their Russian ordnance. Seems like buying Rafale is the simplest route.
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Unread post04 May 2019, 05:12

A nation, like most all individual people, will say anything needed to achieve their end. If India wanted out on the Su-57 program, even a -.001dB deficit relative to the F-35 can be cited as "inferior stealth".

And so we should be wary of how we interpret statements because it's all to easy to inject baseless suppositions into them for the sake of supporting our own arguments.
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Unread post04 May 2019, 07:26

Why would they use a false reason to drop the PAK FA? When there are so many reasons to do so?

Also, we all know that "proper" stealth is actually quite hard to engineer. The theory is simple but the engineering is not.
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Unread post04 May 2019, 07:36

Not saying it's false at all, what I'm saying is, it can be a true statement, yet not be the "real" reason. Can you tell me exactly how significantly the lack of stealth weighed in the decision, versus cost, and versus other political factors such as their unhappiness over their MiG-29K's? How much would a desire to shift away from Russia have factored into it?

I can't tell you, because I don't know. But I don't think mixelflick or anyone else here really knows either.
Last edited by lbk000 on 04 May 2019, 07:43, edited 2 times in total.
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Unread post04 May 2019, 07:40

lbk000 wrote:Not saying it's false at all, what I'm saying is, it can be a true statement, yet not be the "real" reason. Can you tell me exactly how significantly the lack of stealth weighed in the decision, versus cost, and versus other political factors such as their unhappiness over their MiG-29K's? How much would a desire to shift away from Russia have factored into it?

I can't tell you, because I don't know. But I don't think mixelflick or anyone else here really knows either.

I don't care that much about India and their decision process -- the point was and is that it seems highly unlikely that the PAK FA is a true VLO platform (as defined by the USAF). Actually no reason to involve India in the chain of argument.


It may evolve into VLO, but the current version seems to be lacking in a number of areas and VLO seem to be one of them. Engins seems to be another. Number of units is another weak point of the PAK FA, both now but also in the near-to-mid future.
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Unread post04 May 2019, 13:56

lbk000 wrote:Not saying it's false at all, what I'm saying is, it can be a true statement, yet not be the "real" reason. Can you tell me exactly how significantly the lack of stealth weighed in the decision, versus cost, and versus other political factors such as their unhappiness over their MiG-29K's? How much would a desire to shift away from Russia have factored into it?

I can't tell you, because I don't know. But I don't think mixelflick or anyone else here really knows either.


Correct.

None of us knows how much of a factor it was (sub par stealth) in India pulling out. What we do know is that it appeared on a rather long list of what they deemed to be deficiencies. If I were India though, stealth would be in my top 3. The others being avionics (IN specific) and cost.

I think it's a fair statement that the SU-57 is going to be expensive. More expensive than any Russian fighter that came before it. India isn't poor so to speak, but acquiring over a hundred Rafale's (or whoever wins the contract) isn't going to be cheap. There's only so much $ to go around.

As far as avionics go, the Indians no doubt want them tailored to their own wants/needs. Assuming the Russians get the airframe/engines etc worked out, that's going to be a bear. Who's going to do that testing, and how long is it going to take? IMO, it adds another 2 years or so to the timeline. And I think that's on the low end of things..

Finally, we get to stealth. If you're going to pay for all that capability, you need an aircraft that can penetrate PAK or Chinese airspace at will. That's doubtful given the current circumstances. At the end of the day I just don't think India has confidence in the Russians to manage the program well. And the sooner India gets a taste of top shelf western fighter technology, it's going to make the Russian stuff look pretty lame. That too, needs to be factored in.

Turkey is the much more likely country to adopt the SU-57 IMO. And that's going to be a much bigger problem for NATO vs. India coming back on board. It's going to be interesting..
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Unread post04 May 2019, 17:23

Su-57 in Turkey would be better for my conscious than F-35A.

Just hope they don't get Rolls-Royce engine technology put into them, nor help from Europe for anything.

I see J-31 being more likely. And whenever I see JF-17 in Pakistan's Islamic themed color scheme for airshows it makes me think Turkey would look perfectly at home flying it.
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