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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falcon.16

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Unread post30 Aug 2019, 23:42

milosh wrote: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.


European FCAS program between France, Germany and Spain is an option for India.
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Unread post31 Aug 2019, 03:39

@milosh

So despite no tech transfer they also wanted a made in India approach in that deal?

There are short comings to the stealth design of the SU-57 but the choices they have made for that purpose of what is viewed as a flaw that any run of the mill internet enthusiast can catch and for some reason their engineers cant :roll:

Some users from another aviation claim s-duct and the placement of internal weapons bay, low bpr engines of a certain stealth aircraft limit its range significantly compared to another one not having S-ducts and having a different design suited for longer range missions. Don't if that's true.

Chinese and French claims of IRST capabilities claims show some interesting results while some view it idiotic for an IRST placement in the 1st place. I do not disagree with most users here on this but the question is what performance would the OLS-50 offer and how much does its placement effect RCS readings?

Than there was some user that claimed something about the wing edges of the aircraft not being stealth enough while another user has explained the reason for that design is the L-band radar placement that can also be used for detection and even EW purposes.

I am not completely sold on the idea that they have incompetent engineers and scientists that missed a spot on RCS reduction measures, especially when they could grab internet photos of the F-22 or F-35, take advice from this forum and design it the same way to appease most of everyone's accusations here about the aircraft. But what we consider as not stealthy might have a purpose to why that is and why they chose a design for a certain way. They have access to that information but we don't. They do lag behind on mmics and irst technology(they seem reliant on the French in some areas) but no one knows how recent or if there has been any changes to their recent placements just like adding new suits, engines, navigation and computer equipment, etc.

I think the best way to place judgement is if we knew every detail why everything was designed a specific way for the aircraft. I don't mind the criticism of the aircraft or their lack of resources, money, etc for better equipment. But atleast offer a good reason for criticism

Example: Could they have designed their IRST a different way to reduce RCS signature with the same performance. Or would this different way of design with same performance cant be done because their IRST industry can't reduce its equipment size to offer same performance but believe the placement is still necessary because it does not effect its RCS that much, etc. This approach is better in my opinion than talking about subjects that do not have any relations to an aircrafts performance results
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Unread post31 Aug 2019, 08:13

southerncross wrote: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.


It journalist nonsense they simple don't want to research. New engine is favored not because 117 lack thrust but because new engine will lower plane RCS noticeable because of new nozzle and lower heat signature, also new engine will allow longer supersonic flight because it is tuned for max dry thrust. What Russians want isn't F-22, they want F-23 or even better plane in super cruse regime. That is logical because Russia is vast.
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Unread post31 Aug 2019, 13:31

I just watched the entire MAKS 2019 airshow. Of course, you can't judge most aircraft capabilities from such but here's my 2 cents..

* The SU-35 continues to impress and its demo IMO was the highlight of the show. It looked every bit as maneuverable as the SU-57 and then some.

* The SU-57 looked sluggish in some maneuvers, and very crisp/quick in others (primarily the post stall stuff). I believe it can supercruise with current engines, but perhaps only minimally and with a touch of afterburner (as w/the F-35). The new engines will bump up the dry thrust considerably, and get it into to mach 1.5_+ range. It will be the most ambitious engine product Russia's ever attempted, and won't come easy. They will ultimately succeed though, and it'll probably be used in advanced SU-35's down the line..

* The Mig-35 demo was a good one, but didn't hold up vs. the SU-57 or certainly the SU-35

* If I was Russia, I'd be buying lots more SU-35's and a fair number of Mig-35's as well. The SU-35 has room to run, especially if it can use the new engines being developed for the SU-57. For all its capabilities though, the SU-35 has to be an expensive machine to operate. As for the Mig-35, it's main advantage seems to be in operating expense. The Mig-35 can probably perform 85-90% of the Flanker's mission (although with a much smaller radius), at a fraction of the cost.

What they really need is a single engine fighter they can stamp out in larger numbers. We haven't seen that though since the Mig-21/23, and it doesn't look like it'll happen anytime soon.
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Unread post31 Aug 2019, 14:54

falcon.16 wrote:European FCAS program between France, Germany and Spain is an option for India.

Actually, by the time the Indians have the money to tackle the 5th gen fighter program in earnest, the Europeans may have something more than good intentions and a drawing that changes radically each year :mrgreen:
Who knows, Europe seems aware that they need to wake up, but the program is a significant challenge not only technically but mainly politically. Based on previous experiences, it is not realistic to expect anything before 2040, maybe this time is different though.
fidgetspinner wrote:I am not completely sold on the idea that they have incompetent engineers and scientists that missed a spot on RCS reduction measures, especially when they could grab internet photos of the F-22 or F-35, take advice from this forum and design it the same way to appease most of everyone's accusations here about the aircraft.

That simple common sense consideration should put to rest most claims about modest internet users "busting" Sukhoi, or at least, make them a bit humbler. But not, we are all 200% sure how Russians design stealth, even when 99% of the people could not even know how to read Maxwell's equations. This issue is pretty complex, technically and scientifically, and is even more difficult to analyse than other aspects for which our layman's intuition can at least help a bit.
I think the best way to place judgement is if we knew every detail why everything was designed a specific way for the aircraft

But we and by far don't know all those details. There are many ways to skin a cat, specially when you start from an engineering culture and military doctrine that has followed its very particular path for almost a century. This is almost impossible to understand in depth from our perspective.

As to the IRST issue, considering the glass is not radar-reflective, its shape does not matter much so they can keep it spherical and transparent as it is best for its main function. What interests re. RCS is what is inside of the dome, and this we don't know either, BTW this applies to the DIRCM turrets too. The diameter of the ball itself was notably reduced compared to the Su-35, this points to awareness about its impact on the RCS and also about probably new technology for the sensor. In any case, what kind of idiot would bust an otherwise VLO frontal design just because of a couple flare spots? Either it is ok enough like that for their requirements or something more is in the pipeline, there is no other rational approach.
milosh wrote:It journalist nonsense they simple don't want to research. New engine is favored not because 117 lack thrust but because new engine will lower plane RCS noticeable because of new nozzle and lower heat signature, also new engine will allow longer supersonic flight because it is tuned for max dry thrust. What Russians want isn't F-22, they want F-23 or even better plane in super cruse regime. That is logical because Russia is vast.

Most probably true. Even when the new engine will produce more thrust (as stated by UEC), this is no reason enough for such an expensive and time consuming undertaking as developing a new fighter engine from scratch.

Agree, too, that they don't want a F-22, which is simply too expensive to operate for them and too short ranged. They come late (by 15 years) and so need to go one step beyond, because the US answer is not so far in the future. There is a real possibility that izd. 30 has variable bypass, I hope I don't get stoned for daring to suggest that the Russians may deploy such an engine before the US, but the writing is on the wall, given what has been disclosed already.
mixelflick wrote:* The SU-57 looked sluggish in some maneuvers, and very crisp/quick in others (primarily the post stall stuff). I believe it can supercruise with current engines, but perhaps only minimally and with a touch of afterburner (as w/the F-35). The new engines will bump up the dry thrust considerably, and get it into to mach 1.5_+ range. It will be the most ambitious engine product Russia's ever attempted, and won't come easy. They will ultimately succeed though, and it'll probably be used in advanced SU-35's down the line..

The Su-57 is flown quite easy and relaxed, its wing loading seems (my personal take) decidedly lower than that of the Su-35. Keep in mind that they are not under any incentive to let the whole world know what their turn rate is, but now and then you see them doing amazing turns as the Falcons of Russia did in this year's MAKS with the Su-35. Truly amazing horizontal turn, almost on the spot, that I had not seen before.

As to supersonic cruise compared to F-35, there are significant differences in design (wing sweep) and thrust / frontal area relation between those two. Maybe knowledgeable people here can comment on that but I doubt F-35 has been designed for supersonic drag as Su-57 indeed has.

I personally doubt the izd. 30 will end up in the Su-35. It will be expensive and that would not follow the normal logic in Russian AF, as well as the plane not being designed specifically for supercruising, but the 1st stage engines may very well be used on the Flanker family for best TWR and unification of logistics.
* The Mig-35 demo was a good one, but didn't hold up vs. the SU-57 or certainly the SU-35

MiG-29 is a beast in terms of maneouverability and TWR, it should be up with the Su-35 easily in terms of sustained turn.
What they really need is a single engine fighter they can stamp out in larger numbers. We haven't seen that though since the Mig-21/23, and it doesn't look like it'll happen anytime soon.

The MiG-29 should have been that but the available technology was not enough to do a plane capable enough with only one engine. Now it is too late.
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Unread post31 Aug 2019, 15:36

But surely by now, they can produce a reliable, competitive single engine bird?

They certainly have the thrust levels necessary for top tier performance. Their TBO has been getting better, and dry thrust isn't too shabby either. I know Mig was working on something single engined... LMFS?

In retrospect, it probably would have been a better play than the SU-57. Smaller, lighter, cheaper and tailor made for export. It could have been a nice replacement for the Mig-29, both in Russian as well as foreign service. Designing something to go toe to toe with the F-22 was always going to be an expensive undertaking. Designing something to match the F-35 would have made more sense IMO.

I have to believe that if LMFS flew in 2010 and got the nod, it would have matured faster and perhaps be in service today. I'm sure Turkey and other countries would love a cheaper SU-57, if somewhat less capable...
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Unread post31 Aug 2019, 15:58

mixelflick wrote:But surely by now, they can produce a reliable, competitive single engine bird?

They certainly have the thrust levels necessary for top tier performance. Their TBO has been getting better, and dry thrust isn't too shabby either. I know Mig was working on something single engined... LMFS?

In retrospect, it probably would have been a better play than the SU-57. Smaller, lighter, cheaper and tailor made for export. It could have been a nice replacement for the Mig-29, both in Russian as well as foreign service. Designing something to go toe to toe with the F-22 was always going to be an expensive undertaking. Designing something to match the F-35 would have made more sense IMO.

I have to believe that if LMFS flew in 2010 and got the nod, it would have matured faster and perhaps be in service today. I'm sure Turkey and other countries would love a cheaper SU-57, if somewhat less capable...


If they want stealth it would need something like AL-41 engine which Russia stop developing in early 2000s because it can't be use in any other bird they have and sell.

AL-41 and AL-41F1 (Su-35/57 engine) size comparison:
http://www.leteckemotory.cz/motory/al-41/srovnani.png

AL-41 test bed was MiG-25 and it was install only in MiG-1.42

What they could do is similar thing as Chinese did with J-31. Using two RD-33MK to make some lighter A-A oriented stealth. In fact there was some drawings of such thing, one drawing look like baby PAK-FA, it would have two weapon bays but second one was much smaller only for two amraam type missiles.

But that bird can't be MiG-31 replacement, which is probable most important for Russia.
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Unread post31 Aug 2019, 16:22



Evident are vestiges of Northrop's genius design, the YF-23.
Have F110, Block 70, will travel
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Unread post01 Sep 2019, 15:46

Yes, I agree. It's similarity in some respects is definitely there...

They love those widely spaced, podded engines though and the tunnel that goes along with it. Having said that, I think they would have done better with a flat bottom given the "tunnel" doesn't house any weapons or fuel. Yes, there are internal carry bays for missiles but... I would think a flat fuselage would lend itself better to more fuel/better lift.

They went down that road with the Mig-29, likely inspired by the F-14 - and never looked back. Mig-29, SU-27/30/34/35 and now SU-57. Unusual, given every subsequent US design after the F-14 (legacy and otherwise) never featured it again. Given all of the problems the early F-14 saw with asymmetrical thrust, I assumed that to be the reason.

If it's true they're developing an carrier based variant, I'd think that would be problematic. Then again, they did the same with the Mig-29K and SU-33. Otherwise, the YF-23 traits are very evident. Won't surprise me to see PCA feature a similar layout...
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Unread post01 Sep 2019, 17:26

mixelflick wrote:They went down that road with the Mig-29, likely inspired by the F-14 - and never looked back. Mig-29, SU-27/30/34/35 and now SU-57. Unusual, given every subsequent US design after the F-14 (legacy and otherwise) never featured it again. Given all of the problems the early F-14 saw with asymmetrical thrust, I assumed that to be the reason.

If it's true they're developing an carrier based variant, I'd think that would be problematic. Then again, they did the same with the Mig-29K and SU-33. Otherwise, the YF-23 traits are very evident. Won't surprise me to see PCA feature a similar layout...


Asymmetrical thrust was problem with older engines, something like that in 2020s is very unlikely plus Su-57 have 3D vectoring and engine axes aren't parallel:
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Unread post01 Sep 2019, 18:38

milosh wrote:
mixelflick wrote:They went down that road with the Mig-29, likely inspired by the F-14 - and never looked back. Mig-29, SU-27/30/34/35 and now SU-57. Unusual, given every subsequent US design after the F-14 (legacy and otherwise) never featured it again. Given all of the problems the early F-14 saw with asymmetrical thrust, I assumed that to be the reason.

If it's true they're developing an carrier based variant, I'd think that would be problematic. Then again, they did the same with the Mig-29K and SU-33. Otherwise, the YF-23 traits are very evident. Won't surprise me to see PCA feature a similar layout...


Asymmetrical thrust was problem with older engines, something like that in 2020s is very unlikely plus Su-57 have 3D vectoring and engine axes aren't parallel:


It's not the engines, that are the issue for asymmetric thrust. It's the location of the engines, that create the issue.
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Unread post01 Sep 2019, 19:05

wrightwing wrote:
milosh wrote:
mixelflick wrote:They went down that road with the Mig-29, likely inspired by the F-14 - and never looked back. Mig-29, SU-27/30/34/35 and now SU-57. Unusual, given every subsequent US design after the F-14 (legacy and otherwise) never featured it again. Given all of the problems the early F-14 saw with asymmetrical thrust, I assumed that to be the reason.

If it's true they're developing an carrier based variant, I'd think that would be problematic. Then again, they did the same with the Mig-29K and SU-33. Otherwise, the YF-23 traits are very evident. Won't surprise me to see PCA feature a similar layout...


Asymmetrical thrust was problem with older engines, something like that in 2020s is very unlikely plus Su-57 have 3D vectoring and engine axes aren't parallel:


It's not the engines, that are the issue for asymmetric thrust. It's the location of the engines, that create the issue.


If engine isn't reliable in configuration like F-14 when one engine fail you have asymmetric thrust.

That is why Su-27 doesn't have parallel engine axes, in case of Su-57 that is even more noticeable.
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Unread post01 Sep 2019, 21:43

mixelflick wrote:But surely by now, they can produce a reliable, competitive single engine bird?

They could but it makes no sense atm. The logic behind a single engine, light fighter is to make it cheap, but a new 5th gen plane is not going to be cheaper than the MiG-35 which is already developed and paid for.
I know Mig was working on something single engined... LMFS?

I don't hear anything about this project since a lot of time. MiG's one and only task now is to get their act together and make some profit.
In retrospect, it probably would have been a better play than the SU-57. Smaller, lighter, cheaper and tailor made for export. It could have been a nice replacement for the Mig-29, both in Russian as well as foreign service. Designing something to go toe to toe with the F-22 was always going to be an expensive undertaking. Designing something to match the F-35 would have made more sense IMO.

Russia's main concern is the defence of the country and not to export planes, so they needed a high-end platform to substitute the Flankers and counter US and other Western developments, with the added benefit of bringing the industry to a whole new level. Any program that comes afterwards will build upon that and benefit greatly of the effort done in the PAK-FA program.

milosh wrote:What they could do is similar thing as Chinese did with J-31. Using two RD-33MK to make some lighter A-A oriented stealth. In fact there was some drawings of such thing, one drawing look like baby PAK-FA, it would have two weapon bays but second one was much smaller only for two amraam type missiles.

I think that would be repeating the same mistake they did with the MiG-29. A light fighter would make much more sense in a number of aspects to complement their heavy fighter fleet.
That is why Su-27 doesn't have parallel engine axes, in case of Su-57 that is even more noticeable.

Exactly, confirmed by Sukhoi.
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Unread post02 Sep 2019, 01:16

madrat wrote:
People are really going out on a limb to discredit the Su-57.


Let's see.....

1.) Russia is only going to acquire just 76 Su-57's over the next 9 years. (average less that 8.5 aircraft per year)

2.) India left the program and can't be persuaded to return.

3.) Russia has been totally unsuccessful to find a single export customer.

The facts speak for themselves....
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Unread post02 Sep 2019, 05:15

Corsair1963 wrote:
madrat wrote:
People are really going out on a limb to discredit the Su-57.


Let's see.....

1.) Russia is only going to acquire just 76 Su-57's over the next 9 years. (average less that 8.5 aircraft per year)

2.) India left the program and can't be persuaded to return.

3.) Russia has been totally unsuccessful to find a single export customer.

The facts speak for themselves....


1. Su-30SM, Su-34 and Su-35 are build in similar rate and no one say they are failures. And don't forget you and others were sure Russia will cancel Su-57, you even write they will buy J-31 instead.

2. This is blow to program, I wouldn't say it isn't but India is in problems with less advanced programs so no wonder they iced FGFA, and to be clear Indian prime minister said they would buy PAK-FA but only after PAK-FA in build in decent numbers for RuAF, which is logical. UAE didn't want original F-16 block 60 (evolution of F-16XL) even though it was superb fighter (F-16XL is one of my favorite design) because USAF didn't want to buy two squadrons.

3.Well it isn't cheap for ordinary Russian customers. Su-35 export price is around 80 millions, Su-57 is at least 1.5x more expensive. It would be smart move to have second program, something like smaller two engined fighter aka J-31 but better design. MiG had excellent proposal for that, it is baby PAK-FA, there wouldn't be much work on airframe because aerodynimics is very similar and it would have good bay capacity, one Su-57 main bay and two Su-47 bays (each can carry R-77M) plus wing pods for R-74 but because Sukhoi have final word in UAC it didn't happen and only if they find foreign partner something like that could became reality.

But still it doesn't make SU-57 bad fighter.
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