Russia Listeni/ˈrʌʃə/ or /ˈrʊʃə/ (Russian: Россия, tr. Rossiya, IPA: [rɐˈsʲijə] ( listen)), also officially known as the Russian Federation (Russian: Российская Федерация, tr. Rossiyskaya Federatsiya, IPA: [rɐˈsʲijskəjə fʲɪdʲɪˈrat͡sɨjə] ( listen)), is a country in northern Eurasia.[8
The Sukhoi PAK FA (Russian: Сухой ПАК ФА, Russian: Перспективный авиационный комплекс фронтовой авиации, Perspektivny Aviatsionny Kompleks Frontovoy Aviatsii, literally “Prospective Airborne Complex of Frontline Aviation”) is a twin-engine jet fighter being developed by Sukhoi for the Russian Air Force. The Sukhoi T-50 is the prototype for PAK FA. The PAK FA is one of only a handful of stealth jet programs worldwide.
The PAK FA, a fifth generation jet fighter, is intended to be the successor to the MiG-29 and Su-27 in the Russian inventory and serve as the basis of the Sukhoi/HAL FGFA being developed with India. The T-50 prototype performed its first flight 29 January 2010.
The Russian Defence Ministry will purchase the first 10 evaluation example aircraft after 2012 and then 60 production standard aircraft after 2016. The first batch of fighters will be delivered with current technology engines. The PAK-FA is expected to have a service life of about 30–35 years.
Although most information about the PAK FA is classified, sources within in the Russian Air Force and Defense Ministry have openly stated that it features stealth technology and has the capability to supercruise, and incorporate advanced avionics such as an Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar and an artificial intelligence system. It is to be outfitted with the next generation of air-to-air, air-to-surface, and air-to-ship missiles.
The T-50 has a blended wing-body design and incorporates all-moving vertical stabilizers and horizontal elevators. The aircraft has wing leading-edge devices above the jet engine (LEVCONs) designed to control vortices generated by the leading edge for improved behaviour at high AOA. The two engines incorporate 2D thrust vectoring nozzles canted at an angle, similar to the configuration on the Su-35S. Differential actuation of these nozzles can produce a rolling and yawing moment. The aircraft inlet incorporates variable intake ramps for increased supersonic engine efficiency and retractable mesh screens to prevent foreign object debris from being ingested into the engines.
Composites are used extensively on the T-50 and comprise 25% of its weight and almost 70% of the outer surface. Weapons are housed in two tandem missile bays, each estimated to be between 4.6-4.7 m long. The main bays are augmented by bulged, triangular-section bays at the wing root.
The T-50 will be the first operational stealth aircraft in Russian service. Similar to Western stealth fighters like the F-22, the airframe incorporates planform alignment in its leading and trailing edges and sawtooth edges for its skin panels. The serpentine inlet obscures most, but not all, of the compressor face of the engine. The production aircraft will incorporate radar blockers similar in principle to that of the F/A-18E/F to hide the compressor face from all angles. The T-50’s stealthy features are most apparent in the forward hemisphere; the shaping of the aft fuselage is much less conducive to radar stealth. The production T-50 is estimated to have reduced the radar cross-section to that of a tennis ball from optimal angles.
The T-50’s avionics consists of the Sh121 multifunctional integrated radio electronic system (MIRES) and the 101KS electro-optical system. The Sh121 consists of the N036 radar complex and L402 electronic countermeasures system. The N036 radar complex is developed by Tikhomirov NIIP Institute and consists of a main nose-mounted X-band AESA radar with 1522 T/R modules, designated the N036-1-01, and two smaller L-band AESA radars with 358 T/R modules mounted on the sides of the forward fuselage designated N036B-1-01. The suite also has two N036L-1-01 L-band arrays on the wing’s leading edge extensions that are not only used for friend-or-foe identification but also for ground and aerial target detection. Computer processing of the X- and L-band signals enable the systems information to be significantly enhanced.
The radar will reduce pilot load and make use of a new data link to share information between aircraft. In 2012 ground tests began on the third aircraft of the Tikhomirov Scientific Research Institute of Instrument Design’s AESA radar. The L402 electronic countermeasures (ECM) suite made by the KNIRTI institute uses both its own arrays and that of the N036 radar. One of its arrays is mounted in the dorsal sting between the two engines.