I don't think the maintenance will really be that bad. The composites are strong and the avionics and engines going into it are supposed to be fully digital self diagnostics. It won't be as easy as F-22 or latest Western fighters, but it is a huge improvement from Su-27/30 and so forth. The maneuvarability is a big question, the wide engine base and the small canted fins looks like they made some compromises in the design. I don't see heat signature reduction anywhere. As for what India wants, a 5th generation strike fighter, I think it will be one of the best out there. Supercruise is obvious with this design, LO technology, internal weapons bay, TVC engines, huge AESA radar, modern OLS, maybe some L-band wingtip radar, and a huge combat radius. Everything India could want, not exactly what Russia needs.
A lot of tech will be developed and shared with the Su-35, that can share the development costs, first few prototypes will concentrate on flight performance (obviously), afterwards i think they will include rest of their radar absorbing developments (which have been quoted in the media for some time now).
I guess a more modern optical locaiton system design (like the EOTS on F-35) would be desirable, however like with western cars the more features you add, the more expensive the plane becomes, and the primary market would not want a expensive plane, (especially as India will share some of the development costs and sale profits, and PRC will go for its own platform).
Yes. Those are for tests. Even the YF-22 had some when it was tested like, accelerometers and that big pointy probe like thing on the nose. Still a far cry from just being a modified flanker. It is a whole new beast. Sukhoi delivered big time.
Today in Komsomolsk - on - Amur hosted the first flight of an experienced aviation complex of the fifth generation.
The plane was piloted honored test pilot Sergei Bogdan Russia. Prototype PAK FA spent 47 minutes in the air and landed on the runway of the factory airfield.The flight was successful, in full accordance with the flight plan. "During the flight we had a primary assessment of controllability of the aircraft, engine and major systems, the aircraft made a full-time cleaning and landing gear. The aircraft proved itself well in all phases of our intended flight program.They easily and comfortably manage ", - said Sergey Bogdan. Compared with previous generations of fighters, PAK FA has several unique features, combining the functions of attack aircraft and fighter.
Fifth generation fighter aircraft equipped with a fundamentally new avionics, the integrating function of e-pilot, and promising radar with a phased antenna array.This significantly reduces the load on the pilot and allows you to concentrate on the implementation of tactical tasks. On-board equipment of a new aircraft enables the exchange of data in real time as a land-management systems, and within the aviation group.
The use of composite materials and innovative technology, aerodynamic design aircraft, measures to reduce the visibility of the engine provides unprecedented low level of radar, optical and infrared visibility.This allows you to significantly improve the combat effectiveness in the work, both by air and ground targets, at any time of day, in simple and adverse weather conditions. "Today we started a program of flight tests of fifth generation fighter aircraft. This is a great success of Russia's science and engineering thought.For this achievement is worth more than a hundred co-operatives allied enterprises, our strategic partners. PAK FA program displays Russia's aircraft manufacturing and related industries on a qualitatively new technological level.These planes, along with modernized aviation system of the fourth generation will determine the potential of Russian military aircraft in the coming decades. The plans of the Company "Sukhoi" is included and further development of the Program PAK FA, on which we will work with Indian partners.I am confident that our joint project will surpass the Western counterparts by the criterion of cost-effectiveness and will not only strengthen the defensive power of the Air Force of Russia and India, but will take its place in the world market ", - said General Director of JSC" Sukhoi "Mikhail Pogosyan,Commenting on the start of flight testing.
Summary of fifth generation fighter aircraft. Compared with previous generations of fighters, the fifth generation has several unique features, combining the functions of attack aircraft and fighter.Fifth generation fighter aircraft equipped with a fundamentally new avionics, the integrating function of the e-pilot, and promising radar with a phased antenna array.This significantly reduces the load on the pilot and allows you to concentrate on the implementation of tactical tasks.
On-board equipment of a new aircraft enables the exchange of data in real time as a land-management systems, and within the aviation group.The use of composite materials and innovative technology, aerodynamic design aircraft, measures to reduce the visibility of the engine provides unprecedented low level of radar, optical and infrared visibility.This allows you to significantly improve the combat effectiveness in the work, both by air and ground targets, at any time of day, in simple and adverse weather conditions.Low visibility, aircraft performance and maneuverability allow to minimize the threat to the pilot, at the expense of the fifth generation fighter aircraft have increased survivability in difficult combat conditions, with the active counter air defense systems.
Increased radius of combat use leads to greater autonomy of the fifth generation fighter aircraft in the implementation of the planned combat missions. Fifth generation fighter aircraft will complement the fleet of modernized aircraft complexes of the fourth generation, as well as to replace the aging fleet of combat aircraft.In the long term availability of the fifth generation aircraft in service will allow customers to optimize and structure of the park, due to repeated increase combat effectiveness and capacity to address a broader range of tasks with a single plane.Program to create long-term aviation system of the fifth generation is a technological breakthrough in the domestic aircraft industry, which allows to maintain a stable leading position of Russia on the international market of combat aircraft.In the world aviation there is a unique analogue of fifth generation fighter aircraft - is the F-35, a product of Lockheed Martin.
The plans of the Company "Sukhoi" is the further development of the Program to create a fifth generation fighter aircraft and the creation of modification of aircraft with Indian partners. The joint project will surpass the Western equivalent to the criterion of cost-effectiveness and will not only strengthen the defensive power of the Air Force of Russia and India, but will take a worthy place in the world market.
MOSCOW, January 29 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's fifth-generation fighter performed its maiden flight on Friday.
* The T-50 is the domestic name of Russia's fifth-generation fighter plane which has been developed as the Advanced Front-Line Aviation Complex (PAK FA) for Russia's Air Force.
* The project started its development by the Sukhoi design bureau since it won the tender in April 2002.
* The Tikhomirov Institute of Instrument Design, which developed the Irbis radar for the Su-35BM Flanker, has been working on the T-50 radar. The new fighter's radar and fire-control system will be designed on the basis of the Su-35BM's systems.
* The new fighter's exterior design was approved on December 10, 2004.
* Last summer, the fighter's design was approved, and the prototype blueprints were delivered to the KNAAPO aircraft building company based in Komsomolsk-on-Amur, where three experimental fighters will be built for testing.
* In February 2009, the first prototype was constructed. After the plane was successfully tested on the runway, a decision was made to stage the maiden flight in Komsomolsk-on-Amur, rather than in Moscow.
* The prototype fifth-generation fighter made a 47-minute maiden flight on January 29, 2010, in Komsomolsk-on-Amur.
* Although T-50 specifications remain classified, fragmentary data on its engines imply that this heavy-duty fighter will have a take-off weight of more than 30 metric tons and will be close in dimension to the well-known Sukhoi Su-27 Flanker.
* The new fighter's exterior was designed using Stealth technology, also known as LO technology (low observable technology).
* The combat aircraft is fitted with 117S (upgraded AL-31) turbofan engines from the Russian aircraft engine manufacturer Saturn.
* The PAK FA can carry either eight next-generation air-to-air R-77 missiles, or two large controllable anti-ship bombs weighing 1,500 kg each.
* The new jet can also carry two long-range missiles developed by the Novator Bureau which can hit targets within a 400 kilometer range.
* The jet can use a take-off strip of just 300-400 meters, and perform sustained supersonic flight at speeds over 2,000 km/h, including repeated in-flight refueling. The highly-maneuverable plane has a range of about 5,500 kilometers.
* The fifth-generation fighter is equipped with advanced avionics to combine an automatic flight control system and a radar locator with a phased array antenna.
This goes to show people who have doubted the Russian aircraft manufacturing body that Russia can and will make great things if they have the support like India gave from day one. A lot of people like to say that Russia is using old stuff from the Soviet Union and their projects are stalled and the engineers are gone. Now after they see the plane they won't say it's "JUST A MODIFIED FLANKER" and maybe their ignorance won't get the best of them now.