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Friday, July 12, 2013

T-50 PAK-FA Updates

Some interesting updates regarding development of this fifth generation fighter aircraft.

Judging from this article & other such articles quoting officials, one could infer that the overall programme is progressing smoothly, so far. Especially interesting it is to read this portion,

"A whole range of the latest polymer carbon plastics have made their debut on the T-50. They weigh 50 percent less than titanium or aluminum of comparable rigidity, and they are 20-25 percent lighter than steel.

New materials cover 70 percent of the fighter’s surface. Its weight has been reduced to just a quarter of that of a fighter made of conventional materials, allowing the designers to increase its combat load."

Such weight saving would prove to be a significant advantage while deriving a Naval variant of this aircraft, one that has been reiterated here in the article too. Seamless communication & data fusion being the cornerstone of any modern combat platform, the PAK-FA claims to be in the game on that count too,

"Several dozen sensors attached to different parts of its hull not only enable it to monitor the surroundings but also to exchange real-time data with ground control and within its airborne unit at the same time.

The T-50’s “e-pilot” functionality is constantly analyzing the situation, offering the pilot several options on which to act."

Availability of periodic updates at regular intervals of time, as is being seen in case of the PAK-FA programme could itself be a positive signal about the health of the programme. Adding to the already positive vibes the article exudes, is also an endorsement of the choices India makes regarding defence acquisition,

"The fact that India has joined in development of the fighter suggests that the program is promising and meets the highest standards. New Delhi has allocated almost $25 billion for this purpose and expects to obtain a proprietary version of the fifth-generation fighter by 2018."

- Russia close to completing its F-22 aircraft rival

IIRC one international publication had made similar assertion about the capability of aircraft that would emerge victorious in the IAF's MMRCA acquisition programme, given its meticulous & rigorous evaluation standards.

Some nicely shot, recent pictures of one of the prototype aircrafts while undergoing flight-tests. Click on the image to reach the photographer's page.



Also Read: Transfer Of Some Critical Technology Being Negotiated For As Part Of India's MMRCA Contract [Illustration]