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T-50

   

Multiple role stealth fighter

Ô-50 (PAK FA). © Sukhoi

Ô-50 (PAK FA). © Sukhoi

© Redstar

PAKFA - (Advanced Frontline Aviation Complex)

A fifth generation aircraft in service right now, is only available to the Americans (F-22 Raptor), while the Russians still develop their own.

The official Airforce code name of the project is “Advanced Frontline Aviation Complex”, while the developing company, Sukhoi, prefers to call it “T-50”. It's a “heavy duty” aircraft.

Maiden flight PAKFA, 29 January 2010 (©KNAAPO)
Maiden flight PAKFA, 29 January 2010 (© KNAAPO)

After many years of delay, and overcoming quite a few technical problems, the first Russian 5th generation aircraft took to the air, on January the 29th of 2010, for the first time, with test pilot Sergei Bogdan in the cockpit. It fulfilled a 45 minute testing flight at the Komsomolsk-na-Amour air base, at the Russian Far East.

As usual the purpose of the first flight, was to raw test the major flight systems and in general the ability of the machine to comply with the main objectives of the design. The flight was described as successful, in a laconic announcement from the developing firm.

Developing chronicle of the PAK FA program:
1998   The HQ of the Russian Armed Air Forces shows interest for the development of a stealth 5th generation aircraft  LFI/LFS  (today PAK FA)
1999   Sukhoi officially takes on to develop a 5th generation aircraft, naming the project Ô-50
2000   The project changes code name and is now baptized “Intermediate Front Line Fighter”, which is actually PAK FA
2001   VVS (Russian Air Force) defines the technical specifications for the PAK FA program
2002   Sukhoi wins the competition for the development of PAK FA
2003   Presentation of the PAK FA early designs to the VVS
2004   Sukhoi seeks a partner in developing the aircraft and comes to terms with the Indian Air Force
2005   Sukhoi continues development of PAK FA, while its engine AL-41F (izd.117A, izd.117S), is also being developed
2006   Tests in TsAGI aerodynamic tunnel are concluded
2007   Construction of the first PAK FA prototype commences
2008   High rank officials announce that during the PAK FA program development, there are two versions being designed, one heavy duty craft by Sukhoi and one lighter version by MiG
2008   The ÍÁPĎ aircraft manufacturing plant refuses to construct the PAK FA, reporting that it is already overloaded with other aircrafts construction
12.02.2009   “PAK FA will, within the year start test flights, while a naval two-seat version is being developed” according to M. Pogosian comments
1 Éďőíßďő 2009   First Ô-50 for static tests is delivered
4 Äĺęĺěâńßďő 2009   PAK FA fuselage construction is completed
24.12.2009   Runway tests at the Komsomolsk-na-Amure air base
04.01.2010   The static tests aircraft is dyed dark gray, while the Ô-50(1) remains unpainted
22.01.2010   The Ô-50 makes high speed runway tests with a slight elevation of the front wheel and the use of break parachute
29.01.2010   Maiden flight of the T-50 (PAK FA) is performed


General Description

Sukhoi's new aircraft project code name is Ô-50, while according to the Russian Air Force, the aircraft will be called É-21 and the “construction” code will be “Izdelie 701”.

PAK FA (T-50) . © Konstantinos Panitsidis   PAK FA (T-50) . © Konstantinos Panitsidis
PAK FA (T-50) . © Konstantinos Panitsidis (Click on the image)

The first designs of the twin engine fighter present a concept with constructive stealth considerations, mainly due to internal positioning of its weapon payload. Besides that though, the Ô-50 will be capable of conducting air superiority missions, thanks to its great maneuverability. It will also take on missions against ground and naval targets, with super-cruising capabilities. Furthermore, it's capable of operating from semi-prepared short runways, something attested by its main landing wheels diameter. The new Russian aircraft is expected to be equipped with the latest electronic and radio-navigational systems that have already been tested on previous projects, like the MFI, the MiG 1.44 and the Su-47. It is estimated that it will carry a number of AESA radars on the front part. Finally it will later be equipped with more powerful engines, with RAM materials, a fully digital cockpit (e-cockpit), infrared reconnaissance systems. The structure is made up to 25% from composites.

PAK FA (T-50). © Konstantinos Panitsidis F-22 A Raptor. © Konstantinos Panitsidis
PAK FA (T-50). © Konstantinos Panitsidis
F-22 A Raptor. © Konstantinos Panitsidis

Concluding from the first designs and photographs that have becoma available up to now, the front part of the aircraft has a rhombus-like shape, analog to the American F-22 «Raptor», while striking to the eye is the absence of frontal canards, a feature common to many Sukhoi projects for many years now. Instead, there are movable LERX surfaces, in front of the wings, thus minimizing the electromagnetic signature of the structure and at the same time increasing the maneuverability of the aircraft, even in supersonic speeds. At the rear, there are two small fully movable, almost vertical (about 25o), tails. This configuration of the tail section also contributes in decreasing the electromagnetic signature, while it can also serve as an air-brake (which can be justified by the absence of an air-break at the top of the fuselage).


Ejection Seat. © Konstantinos Panitsidis
Ejection Seat. © Konstantinos Panitsidis


The cockpit windshield of the aircraft is reinforced with a metallic frame, which most likely decreases backwards visibility for the pilot (the cockpit windshield will probably be redesigned, but this another sign that the plane will carry out frontline bombing missions as well, hence the name PAKFA “Advanced Frontline Aviation Complex»

Electronic equipment

Radar IRBIS-T, modified under PAK FA (Í050 AESA), band «×». © Konstantinos Panitsidis. MAKS-2007
   
AESA radar in slat «L» band. © Konstantinos Panitsidis. MAKS-2007
AESA, fragment «X» band.© Konstantinos Panitsidis. MAKS-2007
   
 
Optical detection pod for thw PAK FA (OLS). © Konstantinos Panitsidis. MAKS-2007
 

 

© Panitsidis Konstantinos

© Konstantinos Panitsidis (Click on the image)

Interconnection and information display are provided to the pilot through two 15-inch multiple display LCD monitors, by “ĎĘÂ Elektroavtomatika” and a holographic HUD on the cockpit windshield. The Ô-50 has a fully digitized cockpit (e-cockpit).

Weaponry

The standard weapon of the aircraft will most likely be a 30 mm gun, (GSh-301) on the right side of the fuselage. The gun's firing rate is about 1500 cartridges per minute and has a 150 cartridge stock. The main weapon of course, will be the air-to-air missiles “Izdelie 810”. This missile is an improvement of the R-37 from Vympel and in theory at least, can destroy a target more than 420 klm away. It can also carry the improved medium range missile “Izdelie 180”, which is an evolution of the R-77 missile. This missile has an infrared guidance sensor (IIR), while the orthogonal winglets will probably be replaced with conventional ones. The maximum range is estimated about 150-240 klm and will be implemented within 2010. A new “all aspect” medium range version of the Ę-MD (Izdelie 300), is reported to be under development. It will be used mainly for dog fights and close range combat, and is thought to exceed in performance and technical characteristics the ASRAAM and Sidewinder-9X missiles.

PAK FA Potential weapons configurations.

PAK FA Potential weapons configurations.© Konstantinos Panitsidis.

Kh-38 ME. © Konstantinos Panitsidis  
Family of Air-Launched Short-Range Modular Missiles

 

Kh-58UShKE. © Konstantinos Panitsidis

Kh-58UShKE. © Konstantinos Panitsidis

Anti-radar missile

Kh-59MK © Konstantinos Panitsidis

Improved-range missile

PAK FA © Konstantinos Panitsidis (Click on the image)

 

PAK FA - Weapons

R-73 © Konstantinos Panitsidis RVV-MD © Konstantinos Panitsidis
R-73 © Konstantinos Panitsidis RVV-MD © Konstantinos Panitsidis
   
RVV-AE © Konstantinos Panitsidis RVV-SD © Konstantinos Panitsidis
RVV-AE © Konstantinos Panitsidis RVV-SD © Konstantinos Panitsidis
   
Kh-31 AD © Konstantinos Panitsidis Kh-35 UE © Konstantinos Panitsidis
Kh-31 AD © Konstantinos Panitsidis Kh-35 UE © Konstantinos Panitsidis
   
KAB-500Kr  (OD) © Konstantinos Panitsidis KAB-1500Kr   © Konstantinos Panitsidis
   

Weapon payload

PAK FA (T-50). © Konstantinos Panitsidis

ll the weapons are carried internally, in the fuselage, in two spacious weapon compartments with dimensions of 5,1m x 1,3 m. It can also carry two more missiles in special containers, of 4,1 m length, which are located at the root of the wings. It will most likely be able to carry future missiles and other weaponry. PAK FA (T-50).
© Konstantinos Panitsidis


Power plant The prototype is equipped with two “Izdelie 117” jet engines, by Saturn (an improvement of the AL-31F Ě1 engine). This version was first presented in MAKS-2007, being tested on a specially modified Su-27LL Flanker.

Su-27 LL Flanker . © Konstantinos Panitsidis. MAKS-2007Su-27 LL Flanker . © Konstantinos Panitsidis. MAKS-2007Su-27 LL Flanker . © Konstantinos Panitsidis. MAKS-2007
Su-27 LL Flanker . © Konstantinos Panitsidis. MAKS-2007

The first test squadrons are programmed to receive the first pre-production aircrafts in 2013 (two squadrons), with the regular deliveries to begin in 2015.

 
 
PAK FA (T-50). © Konstantinos Panitsidis
 
 

T-50/I-21

DESIGNER
OKB Sukhoi
COUNTRY
Russia
TYPE
Multipurpose fighter, stealth
CREW
1
POWER-PLANT
Two bypass engine izdelie 117
Thrust, kg
2 x 14.500 (15.500)
DIMENSIONS
Length, m
20,9
Height, m
4,65
Wing span, m
14,00
Wing area, m2
90
WEIGHT
Maximum take-off, kg
35.480
Normal take-off, kg
26.510/30.610
Empty aircraft, kg
17.500
Internal fuel, kg
11.100
PERFORMANCE
Maximum speed, km/h
2.600
Max speed in low height, km/h
-
Range, km
5.500
Service ceiling, m
20.000
Maximum overload, g
10-11
RCS, m2 0,005 up 0.3
ARMAMENT

Warload-1.840/2.600 kg. Max -10.000 kg

30-mm cannon GSh-301 with 150 rounds
All weapons are carried internally in two arsenal compartments, in the fuselage. It carries two more missiles in two compartments located at the roots of the wings.

     
     

PAK FA (T-50). © Konstantinos PanitsidisPAK FA (T-50). © Konstantinos PanitsidisPAK FA (T-50). © Konstantinos PanitsidisEjection Seat. © Konstantinos PanitsidisRadar IRBIS-T, modified under PAK FA (Í050 AESA), band «×». © Konstantinos Panitsidis.

Radar IRBIS-T, modified under PAK FA (Í050 AESA), band «×». © Konstantinos Panitsidis.AESA radar in slat «L» band. © Konstantinos Panitsidis.AESA, fragment «X» band.© Konstantinos Panitsidis.Optical detection pod for thw PAK FA (OLS).R-73 © Konstantinos Panitsidis

RVV-MD © Konstantinos Panitsidis RVV-SD © Konstantinos PanitsidisKAB-500Kr (OD) © Konstantinos PanitsidisKAB-500Kr (OD) © Konstantinos PanitsidisKh-31 AD © Konstantinos Panitsidis

Kh-35 UE © Konstantinos PanitsidisKh-38 ME. © Konstantinos Panitsidis KAB-1500Kr © Konstantinos PanitsidisRVV-AE © Konstantinos Panitsidis Kh-59MK © Konstantinos Panitsidis

Kh-58UShKE. © Konstantinos PanitsidisAL-31F Ě1 engine. © Konstantinos PanitsidisAL-31F Ě1 engine. © Konstantinos PanitsidisAL-31F Ě1 engine. © Konstantinos Panitsidis

     
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