iRead, iLearn, iWrite. Hence, iBlog.

For Indian Military, Nuclear & Space matters, visit:

Sunday, August 02, 2015

This Neat Poster Highlights The PAK FA T-50 Aircraft's [Possible] Weaponries

The Russian fifth generation fighter with it complement of air, land & sea-targeting munitions.

Graphic artist Anton Egorov has prepared this useful illustration, depicting the possible weapons that the Russian 5th-gen aircraft would be capable of firing. Unlike the American F-22 'Raptor', the PAK-FA T-50 would have external hardpoints, in addition to its internal bay. Thus, if its operators were to plan a non-stealthy mission, those external weapon stations would come in handy for slinging armaments under the aircraft for additional firepower.

click on the image to view it in larger size

Its doubtful, though, that the Izdeliye 810 & K-100 missiles would, both, be made part of the T-50's capabilities. The smaller-sized+lighter 400 km range Izdeliye 810 missile, could be its preferred long-range Air-to-Air missile, over the heavier & lengthier K-100, having the same range. Similarly, with the Izdeliye 760 & Izdeliye 270 Missiles currently under development, integration of the K-74M2 & K-77M missiles, respectively, could also be questionable. One, however, can't rule them out completely.

All said and done, the term "possible weapons" is significant here, given inherent uncertainties owing to the contradictory/scaling-down news emanating from Russia w.r.t this project, despite impressive gains. Current plans for the program include adding 3 more prototypes to the PAK-FA's flight-test fleet by 2017, bringing the total number to 8. It plans to induct 12 PAK-FA into the Russian Air Force [RuAF], starting 2016-2017. Going by the common Russian practice of inducting aircrafts into the RuAF, even while flight-tests continue, as seen with the Sukhoi Su-35 & Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-29 fighters, it is likely that the initial fleet of 12 airframes, in RuAF service, includes the 8 airframes earmarked as prototype.

Interestingly, the poster shows a variant of the Indo-Russian BrahMos supersonic cruise missile, the BrahMos-NG, as a possible weapon for the aircraft. India, that seeks to develop a variant of the PAK-FA, referred to as the Perspective Multi-role Fighter Aircraft [PMFA], had expressed dissatisfaction with the program. This is said to stem from factors like its workshare in the program, design of the existing prototypes & lack of information forthcoming from their Russian counterparts.

In the Parliament, recently, India's Defence Minister said that no further contracts had been signed after the 18-month long 'Preliminary Design [PD]' phase, signed in 2010. Following the completion of the agreement in June 2013, after 30 months, the 2 sides are said to be engaged in negotiations for the 'Research & Development [R&D]' phase contract, "to define the total scope; the work share and responsibilities of each side; and the financial implications of the programme".
Following protracted talks, there are indications that both sides are approaching a common ground, that will culminate in the signing of the follow-on contract when the country's Prime Minister visits Russia in November 2015. Will be interesting to see what emerges from the agreement.