Russia is,developing a light weight stealth fighter

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

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Unread post03 Jun 2021, 13:25

But Mig-31 is not in production any more. Those existing airframes are old and tired as CCCP murals and the statue of Lenin.

https://englishrussia.com/2016/04/21/aw ... odernized/

Not all of them will be updated to the lastest standard, Mig-31BM?
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mixelflick

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Unread post03 Jun 2021, 14:50

ricnunes wrote:
Corsair1963 wrote:
Who would want the Mig-31 in the first place???


Any Mig-25 customer for example?? :wink:
And there were considerable Mig-25 exports. (exported to 7 nations outside the old USSR)

And on top of this, the Mig-25 was one of the most successful Soviet designs of the Cold war and the only Iraqi fighter aircraft to have any success during Desert Storm, having shot down an F/A-18 and damaging an F-15 (the only situation where a F-15 was close to being shot down in Air-to-Air combat) and it also enjoyed a great deal of success during the Iran-Iraq war.

So I can easily imagine that the Mig-31 would be a serious threat! IMO a quite more serious than the Flanker (perhaps with the exception of the Su-35).


I'd have to agree here, as even a cursory look at the Foxhound's capability should send shivers down the spine of any enemy aviator. Unless you're in an F-22/35, the Foxhound will likely find you first, shoot first and likely kill you first. It has the speed necessary to run/stay away from you too, where it holds its biggest advantage.

Stil, something is sticking in my head about the Hushkit interview with an Indian aviator.. When asked why India never bought the Mig-31, he had (I thought) some very logical answers. Will have to dig that up.. In any case, the western "playbook" on the Foxhound likely isn't too different from the Flanker - You're not going to out-run it. You certainly aren't going to out last it. You have to kill it and kill it fast (at range).

I'd think catching and killing a Foxhound would be more difficult than even a Flanker, given it can dictate the terms vs. virtually all other fighters (save perhaps, for the F-22)...

EDIT: Inteview from Hushkit on why India didn't buy the Mig-31..

"Notwithstanding the upgrade, the MiG-31 remained an old platform inherently designed for high-altitude, high-speed interception. It could not be compared to a modern multi-role aircraft. The IAF had already made up its mind with the Su-30MKI for which the contract was actually signed while we were in Russia. We were also interacting closely with the Indian Su-30MKI upgrade team in Moscow. India was also not keen to put the IAF more into the Russian basket. India had had a great experience with Mirage 2000, and was also looking at adding more upgraded variants of the Mirage 2000. Also India had done its threat perception study. It had seen how its own neighbourhood was evolving. India had no such threat from Pakistan. Yes, India needed long-range missile and interceptors for China. But the same could be achieved by putting a long-range missile on any other aircraft. Having a large radar with long-range was the main advantage with MiG-31 which was not possible on smaller aircraft. But technologies were evolving and later better radar performance was possible from smaller radars. In any case the Su-30MKI had a large area of real-estate in its nose."

That, and they said the cost of maintaining and operating such a complex aircraft was a concern...

https://hushkit.net/2020/12/18/i-was-th ... opra-retd/
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milosh

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Unread post03 Jun 2021, 15:13

MiG production capacity was problem with MiG-31. When there were talks about MiG-41 congress commission conclude it would cost same to build production line for new design as cost of restarting MiG-31 production line and there was problem with documentation about MiG-31.

So even if someone wanted to buy NEW MiG-31 how it would be possible?

It wasn't Russia didn't want to sell it was buyers didn't think MiG can deliver it.

zhangmdev wrote:
Not all of them will be updated to the lastest standard, Mig-31BM?


Yes just airframes which are build in late 1980s early 1990s. Btw I think they upgraded all of those, something like 120 Mig-31. Rest will be in reservs while some will be converted in missile carriers.
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ricnunes

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Unread post03 Jun 2021, 16:00

I don't think that the ability (or not) to restart the Mig-31 production line is what directly prevents the production and eventual export of new built Mig-31s. If the will and money is available or made available then I'm sure the Russians would be more than able to restart its production line.

However the reasons for not doing it can IMO be read in mixelflick's last post.
Basically the Flanker is much, much better suited for multi-role missions while the Mig-31 is essentially limited to long range or BVR air-to-air intercept missions like the Mig-25 that preceded it (I'm not including the missile carrier role here because it's a role that was only added very recently to the Mig-31). For instance and while the Mig-31 is an extremely fast aircraft - faster than the Flanker - it's very limited in terms of agility compared to the vast majority of all other air-to-air capable fight aircraft.
At the same time the Flanker is also a very large aircraft which is capable of carrying large and powerful radars and other electronics but and while being less expensive to adquire and maintain.

So if we put economics and (multi-role) capability in the same basket then the Flanker wins. However and IMO the Mig-31 is potentially or likely a bigger threat in BVR air-to-air combat compared to the Flanker but then again, that's it.

Regarding export intent or interest by other nations on the Mig-31, I remember to have read that Syria was very interested in it and there seems to have been a real intent and even an actual plan to export some Mig-31s (to Syria) but I imagine that the Civil War scrapped those plans.
“Active stealth” is what the ignorant nay sayers call ECM and pretend like it’s new.
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wrightwing

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Unread post03 Jun 2021, 18:57

madrat wrote:Speculation? Far bigger AND solid state radar than even Su-30. Long range SAM-sized AAMs. Mach3 capability. Longer legs. Unparalleled datalink cooperation for air search and intercept targeting. Telescoping visual identification system. Bigger IRST eyeball. Conventional ASM support was dropped because they really have one main role with Russia AF and Navy, control of the air. Hypersonic ASM options niche for special time sensitive targets. Anti-satellite options. It's not even a comparison.

Mig-31s top out at M2.8, and M2.4 is where they'll likely spend most of their time, with any significant load.
Last edited by wrightwing on 03 Jun 2021, 20:32, edited 1 time in total.
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madrat

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Unread post03 Jun 2021, 19:01

Modern air battles have largely been shoot & scoot events. Trying to turn with a technological peer isn't good enough odds to maintain anything save parity. Get in, get out, live another day. If you can't get first shot don't engage. You cannot afford parity without significant numerical advantage, and even then did you really need to take the chance to lose the asset? The days of chivalry are over.
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ricnunes

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Unread post04 Jun 2021, 12:11

madrat wrote:Modern air battles have largely been shoot & scoot events. Trying to turn with a technological peer isn't good enough odds to maintain anything save parity. Get in, get out, live another day. If you can't get first shot don't engage.


That's something where the Mig-31 has the advantage.

Nonetheless, turning is also and remains very important because it allows a fighter aircraft to better evade incoming enemy missiles and to quickly point the nose towards (or away from) any type of threats.
“Active stealth” is what the ignorant nay sayers call ECM and pretend like it’s new.
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madrat

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Unread post04 Jun 2021, 12:46

ricnunes wrote:
madrat wrote:Modern air battles have largely been shoot & scoot events. Trying to turn with a technological peer isn't good enough odds to maintain anything save parity. Get in, get out, live another day. If you can't get first shot don't engage.


That's something where the Mig-31 has the advantage.

Nonetheless, turning is also and remains very important because it allows a fighter aircraft to better evade incoming enemy missiles and to quickly point the nose towards (or away from) any type of threats.


The Russians still lack a suitable missile in a turning battle. As much credit as the Soviet-era R-73 got for its helmet-cueing, the missile has been an absolute dud in a turning battle. The only turning battle experiences since the end of the Cold War have been very sad endings. The advantage of Flanker over Fulcrum has been its endurance and to pick off the latter when they disengage. Otherwise engaging in the turns for both ended up being futile. So the Flanker in my mind will remain most effective on shoot & scoot no different than the MiG-31. At least the MiG-31 can paint the huge RCS of the Flanker from a safer distance and choose the battle.
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XanderCrews

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Unread post07 Jun 2021, 17:27

milosh wrote:Well no.

USSR sell MiG-29 without any problem to its satelites only when USSR fall apart problems for Russian medium fighter started.

You could get Su-30 for same price as MiG-29M! So why buying MiG-29M at all? Also why Sukhoi will bother with F-16 like fighter when Su-30 is selling superbly?


Because theres clearly a market for it? Beyond that F-16s still sell very well despite the fact that F-15s also sell well. There was indeed an F-16 market in the former warsaw pact as evidenced by recent history. You're narrowing the argument to Russia jet vs Russia jet, when European and American birds (F-16 namely, but there are other European wins across the board too) have been absolutely seizing markets that Russia decided to relegate since "Su-30 is selling superbly" That's a hilariously missed opportunity.

Not to mention there is "now" and "all of the sudden" a market for a lighter stealth fighter F-16 analog, which has only been a thing in the west since the 1990s-- See JSF and all the programs that lead to it.

They are just under 30 years late to the party. Now I eagerly await CG models, and wood models of this impressive Russian LW stealth they will sell to... Romani.. nope... Hunga... nope... ukrai...nope...India..nope.. Pola.. nope...

ummm Eritrea? maybe North Korea?

Think of all the MiG-21 and MiG-23 operators out there. And then look what happened.

Then when PAK-FA program started they lacked powerful enough engine for single engine stealth like F-35. So they really didn't had option B then Flanker based PAK-FA, going with two engine medium stealth based on MiG-29M wouldn't make any economical savings, MiG-29M were lot less then Flankers so everything was more expensive for MiG-29M then for Flanker, basing new stealth on Flanker was right decision.
'

I think that's absolutely laughable given what we have seen from PAK-Fa. You must be on some strong vodka to think that was the right call, and more to the point, we are again "suddenly" promoting a Lightweight fighter?

Did they not get the memo that PAK-FA was the the "right decision"??

The mind truly boggles.

Even if new engine don't deliver then still have two big AL-41 engines.

Now when AL-51 engine is near serial production (Su-67 to call it) they can work on its single engine stealth. And market could be quite good. Asian countries which already use Flankers don't need another big fighter but would like something compatible with Flanker, Su-30 will surely get AL-51 and some other Su-57/Su-67 tech.


You once again assume the argument and then attempt others to choose. You don't need to perfectly replicate F-35, and thus need a F135 engine. They could have gone with something much simpler, and lighter (one example would be smaller internal bays that would cut weight) It doesn't need to STOVL or land on a carrier right?

and am I correct that AL-41 is roughly equivalent to F110/F100 class engine?

If we want to argue that the engine tech wasn't there for an F110/F100 level thrust lightweight stealth fighter to replace the thousands of MiGs out there, I welcome it, but I'm also going to laughing pretty hard. That sure seems like well within the capability of Mighty Russia. To hear they couldn't make a fifth gen or 4.5 Gen F-16/Gripen NG bird until the mid 2020s would make me laugh until I cry, so I hope you stick with that argument.

The big critiscm of F-35 was the sheer amount of jobs and requirements it had. A light weight stealthy fighter without so much to do would seem like what we call in America a "slam dunk"

Other buyers which can't buy F-35 would have interesting option.


Indeed, and its only 20+years plus late, which is my point. There was a slug of nations with old outdated MiGs that the West gladly gobbled up in aircraft sales, while the "superbly selling" SU-30 was being sold in a small handful in Africa, because its "success" is that the Mig-29 is equally expensive. For some reason the "3rd option" that this thread is about, and that I am saying they should have done decades ago, and before PAKFA, was never considered.

You're going to blame the engines, I'm going to laugh.
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milosh

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Unread post07 Jun 2021, 20:18

XanderCrews wrote:You once again assume the argument and then attempt others to choose. You don't need to perfectly replicate F-35, and thus need a F135 engine. They could have gone with something much simpler, and lighter (one example would be smaller internal bays that would cut weight) It doesn't need to STOVL or land on a carrier right?

and am I correct that AL-41 is roughly equivalent to F110/F100 class engine?


To have similar agility as F-35, LWF with AL-41 would need to weight 9.5tons empty that is modern F-16 weight, where are weapon bays? Were is RAM? Were is heavier stealth nozzle? PESA or AESA radars aren't light at all if you want decent capabilities.

And if you look other medium stealths they all have two medium engines which is just additional proof you can't build decent stealth using one GE F132 like engine.

So nope without totally new engine russian stealth lwf is impossible.

XanderCrews wrote:Indeed, and its only 20+years plus late, which is my point. There was a slug of nations with old outdated MiGs that the West gladly gobbled up in aircraft sales, while the "superbly selling" SU-30 was being sold in a small handful in Africa, because its "success" is that the Mig-29 is equally expensive. For some reason the "3rd option" that this thread is about, and that I am saying they should have done decades ago, and before PAKFA, was never considered.


They couldn't done it decades ago, Russian aircraft industry in 1990s was total mess, it is little miracle they are even able to build decent planes if you look impact of 1990s.

So in 1990s nothing new could be developed. Sukhoi and MiG only sell what USSR left them and that is Su-27/30 and MiG-29, because Sukhoi got lot of money from China and India to developed modern Su-30 and build those Su-30 for them. That is on what Sukhoi was focused and on upgrades for Su-30 in future. MiG on other hand well wasn't able even to build new MiG-29 for Algeria they build planes with parts which stood in warehouse for long so when Algerians find that they return MIG-29 and Russia gave them Su-30 instead.
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Unread post08 Jun 2021, 02:56

Their won't be either a US 4.5+ Generation Fighter. Nor, a Russian 5th Generation Light Weight Stealth Fighter. Because one no funding and two they would be obsolete by time they arrived.....(i.e. 2040)
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madrat

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Unread post08 Jun 2021, 11:15

For all the agility of MiG-29 its MMI in export versions was very poor. MiG-21 and MiG-23 came in packages within a larger air defense strategy whereas the former didn't. Relatively rugged and inexpensive GCI logistics directed the older fighters in to deliver. MiG-29 came intended for a more modern GCI that was never exported or simply failed to get necessary support. Users expected so much than MiG-29 monkey models could deliver and its performance reflects that lack of support. MiG-29 came with modern weapons that also failed at way too high of rates, whereas MiG-21 and MiG-23 had success with obsolete hardware because it was simple, cheap, and actually worked.

So if the Russians want a winner it can be a lighter fighter than Al-51 based. It needs to have an affordable support chain and weapons that can kill modern threats. That ultimately is their challenge.
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mixelflick

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Unread post08 Jun 2021, 16:18

This LWF will probably turn out to be nothing more than a paper airplane. Argument laid out here for why Russia had to use a 2 engine design was valid IMO.They're in the same pickle China and other nations are - they don't have an engine powerful enough, and integrating the advanced avionics has proven vexing.

If anything comes to fruition, it may physically look like the F-35... but will be largely superficial. And let's not forget, they don't even have to solve for the most challenging requirement - STOVL. Quite impressive, when you consider it from that angle.These nations are just now finding out why Lockheed/US struggled so mightily to make the F-35 work.

Ain't easy...
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Unread post09 Jun 2021, 22:34

milosh wrote:
To have similar agility as F-35, LWF with AL-41 would need to weight 9.5tons empty that is modern F-16 weight, where are weapon bays? Were is RAM? Were is heavier stealth nozzle? PESA or AESA radars aren't light at all if you want decent capabilities.

And if you look other medium stealths they all have two medium engines which is just additional proof you can't build decent stealth using one GE F132 like engine.

So nope without totally new engine russian stealth lwf is impossible.


Theres more than one way to do things, especially when it comes to Russia Stronk. Its crazy that they were so completely hamstrung.

Back in the old days Russians used to come with "unconventional" solutions to things. The old ballpoint pen vs Graphite pencil thing that turned out to be completely untrue highlighted this.

The simple fact is that generally speaking, (there are exceptions) that single engine aircraft are less complex, lighter and cheaper, and costs correlate strongly (extremely strongly) to weight.

They should have done some kind of "Warm up" before trying PAKFA and this would have been the oportunity. Maybe an even better plan would have been to develop the engines before anything else. What it looks like now is that PAKFA is under delivering and only after its fallen, is it time to try the lighter/easier airplane.

But as others point out, If I had a dollar for every fun idea Russki plane post 1991 I could retire. From Plasma stealth to super transports, I've "seen it all" while not really seeing much outside of the occasional prototypes and fun CGI images.

They couldn't done it decades ago, Russian aircraft industry in 1990s was total mess, it is little miracle they are even able to build decent planes if you look impact of 1990s.

So in 1990s nothing new could be developed. Sukhoi and MiG only sell what USSR left them and that is Su-27/30 and MiG-29, because Sukhoi got lot of money from China and India to developed modern Su-30 and build those Su-30 for them. That is on what Sukhoi was focused and on upgrades for Su-30 in future. MiG on other hand well wasn't able even to build new MiG-29 for Algeria they build planes with parts which stood in warehouse for long so when Algerians find that they return MIG-29 and Russia gave them Su-30 instead.



They made decisions, how those decisions have played out are widely available to be seen

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oh, Ivan.
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ricnunes

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Unread post10 Jun 2021, 17:53

XanderCrews wrote:The simple fact is that generally speaking, (there are exceptions) that single engine aircraft are less complex, lighter and cheaper, and costs correlate strongly (extremely strongly) to weight.


Exactly!
I wonder if (some) people here have forgotten of ("classic") aircraft like the F-86, Mig-15, Mig-17, Mig-21, Mig-23, Mirage III, Mirage F1, F-8, F-104, F-105, F-106, etc...?

All the aircraft above were successes on their own categories and what did they all have in common? Yes you guessed, they are all single engine!
Some may argue that modern aircraft carry much more equipment such as sensors than those past aircraft and that would be true but then again some of the aircraft above like for example the F-105 and F-106 also had some very complex equipment and since these were old technology they were heavier and bulkier compared to modern equipment and this includes the materials of which airframes and other aircraft parts are made of.

My point is, if people - Russians included - managed to develop and build successful single engine aircraft in the past why wouldn't they be able to do it today with all the new and much lighter and smaller technology currently available??
“Active stealth” is what the ignorant nay sayers call ECM and pretend like it’s new.
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