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Flying the Sucky Skies

January 31st, 2014 - 1:01 pm

StrategyPage has more on India’s complaints about Russia’s T-50 pseudo-stealth fighter:

Indian Air Force officers have had an opportunity to check out a prototype of the new Russian “5th generation” T-50 (or PAK-FA). This is the Russian answer to the U.S. F-22 and according to the Indians, who have contributed $6 billion to development of the T-50, the Russian aircraft is in big trouble. The Indian officers noted that the T-50 as it is currently put together is unreliable. The Russian radar, which promised so much has delivered, according to the Indians, insufficient performance. The Indians also noted that the T-50s stealth features were unsatisfactory.

The T-50 is not meant to be a direct rival for the F-22 because the Russian aircraft is not as stealthy. But if the maneuverability and advanced electronics live up to the promises, the aircraft would be more than a match for every fighter out there except the F-22.

It’s been a while since Russian electronics lived up to any promises, but I could see China buying a few, cloning them, and installing their own electronics suites.

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All Comments   (10)
All Comments   (10)
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That assumes Chinese military electronics are a cut above their Russian counterparts. Save for the ICBM and nuclear technology slick willy gifted them, from what I've heard, it isn't.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment

Bingo. Thus far, I am unimpressed.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment

"...the aircraft would be more than a match for every fighter out there except the F-22."

Ummm, so then shouldn't we, perhaps, I dunno, maybe HAVE BOUGHT A FEW MORE FRICKIN' RAPTORS???
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
Don't. Get me. STARTED!

187 airframes. We'll lose a couple every year to accidents and whatnot, and have absolutely no way to make good those losses.

Crap. You started me. I'll stop now before I really get rolling.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
Or, how about, instead of spending a half a trillion on bleeding edge tech that's two gens ahead of anything on the drawing board, we buy a few hundred brand spankin' new F-15 Silent Eagles. Or an evolved version of the F-16. Or an even more Super Hornet.

But I guess more of the same just a little better than the last version doesn't get your budget signed off on.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
The F-22 is worth the money and we should have ordered a thousand.

The F-35 is almost worth the money, though 90% of its job could have been done better by a thrust-vectoring F-16, which would have been a better aircraft.

We should have so many Silent Eagles built that we're using them as drink coasters.

S/VTOL in a fighter is stupid. The Sikorsky X2 and other high speed helicopter designs are the better, cheaper way to crack that particular nut.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment

The F-35 is a very good airframe. It is a horrible procurement project. The F-35 should have been three airframes--an evolution of the F-16 during the mid-90's, a completely new design F-35 with evolutionary technologies in service by 2005, and an evolution of that as a full-blown F-38 and S/VTOL F-39 with all the bells and whistles coming on-line in 2015.

Must disagree with you on S/VTOL. We're going to need a Harrier replacement. The escort/amphibious carrier isn't going away, and UCAV flights are probably gong to need a human wingman.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
Most S/VTOL aircraft generally don't move around very quickly in practice, at least from what I've seen and heard. I see no reason we couldn't get a pusher-fan, ducted-fan, turbine-thrust-- what have you-- high speed attack helicopter to do that job better than a S/VTOL jet.

We have the rotor technology to make a 400+ knot helicopter, seems silly not to do so.

I've seen what the F-35 can do up close and personal, and the VTOL arrangement is pretty spiffy-- though history tells us that jamming so much junk into a single airframe gets us a very expensive brick for all intents and purposes. I agree the F-35 should have been an evolutionary platform from day one.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
sounds like you're mostly agreeing w/ me. I'm not against the Raptor. I just think it should have evolved from the Eagle rather than reinventing the wheel. Or in this case inventing something better than a wheel.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
The Eagle is a really good platform, but the F-22 offers a number of tricks the 15 couldn't do without a pretty massive redesign of the airframe-- and if you're doing that you're essentially making a new aircraft anyway.

That said, the 15E has quite a lot of life left and we'd be idiots not to take advantage of that.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
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