At the end of the last century in the United States to update the tactical aviation programs have been launched to create two planes. Level pledged technologies allow to speak about a new, fifth-generation fighters. They are in the 21st century should be the cornerstones of the U.S. Air Force. These two cars had to complement each other in air operations, fulfilling its function of each. Under the program of ATF (Advanced Tactical Fighter — advanced tactical fighter) plane was created, mainly for air combat and gain air superiority. According to the program JSF (Joint Strike Fighter — a single strike fighter) — aircraft for attacks on ground targets. I must say, the principle was absolutely right, as "versatile breed of pilots" have not yet bred, modern aircraft and pilots still have, or "bomber" or "extermination" specialization. Equally well to deal with both problems can only unique pilots. Much the same can be said about the planes: features of the tasks dictate the shape and characteristics of the aircraft. However, both programs during its implementation have undergone significant changes in the direction of greater flexibility. In the end, the program gave ATF F-22 Raptor and JSF — F-35.
The F-22 was the first aircraft to have fulfilled the requirements of the "fifth generation", the most important of which are the following: low visibility (in the radar and infrared), excellent flight characteristics of its predecessors ("maneuverability" and the supersonic speed regime besforsazhny engines), a perfect complex avionics equipment (avionics) and weapons. Despite any criticism (including the exorbitant cost, do not allow the aircraft mass) — Raptor meet these requirements, and is one of the best air combat fighter. As for the function of attacking ground targets, it came into his problems early enough in the adjustment of the project, as additional features. The fact that these problems were not major, has led to a rather modest set of tools against ground targets: two 450-pound bombs GBU-32 JDAM bombs or eight GBU-39, weighing 113 kg. Place a serious set of weapons, "air-to-surface" the small size of the internal weapons bays, designed primarily for missiles "air-to-air." A suspension on external sites negates the advantages — deprives the plane low radar signature and high maneuverability characteristics.
Meanwhile, over time, the shock features were considered for the F-22 key as U.S. Air Force took part in the fighting with the enemy, who almost did not have its own aircraft. With the disaster of the Soviet Union seemed to Raptor did not see in the sky a worthy opponent. And the air was a fighter bomber with weak capacity to work the land, and strong, but in reality unnecessary features air targets. But a change in the balance of power and led to another interesting fact — the main enemy aircraft was not another plane, and air defense systems, the main achievements in the creation of which belong to us. Here low visibility and the possibility of avionics, of course, very welcome. But the chances of Raptor in action against enemy air defense, came up against the fact that the plane was not originally designed for it. For example, the absence in the arsenal of anti-radar missiles AGM-88 HARM, offset by the perfection of complex airborne reconnaissance. But to defeat air defense facilities, the Raptor will have to rely on corrected bombs, which have a shorter range. That is, it will have to come closer to the means of enemy air defenses, instead of a missile launch from a distance of 100 km. However, as we all remember, it was in the time of disclosure wings weapon bay, came under the distribution of one of the two * "stealth» F-117 shot down in the skies of Yugoslavia ceased at this point to be "invisible." And all the statistics from the actual combat says that most of the loss occurs not at the stage of the search target or closer to it, but on the way out of the attack. From this point of view, the work of "invisible" in the near zone defense looks suicidal, despite the excellence of avionics and low visibility. And the Raptor is still working on the ground in an area already cleared of air defense system, with a limited set of weapons. But this task can cope much more simple machines. Thus, F-22 fighter air combat is what was planned originally. A shock of the problem and break / destruction defense should mostly fall on some other machine.
Well, for the attack functions, like the plane created by the program JSF. However, and this program has undergone many changes from the original plan. First, almost immediately to take part in it hooked partner countries the United States, who wanted to have a full multi-plane in a ban on the export of the F-22. Second, the Americans wanted a new car to replace almost all types of quite a motley fleet (F-15, F-16 and A-10 — in the Air Force; F-18 and EA-6 "Prauler" — in the Navy; AV- 8 "Harrier" — in ILC). As a result, the F-35 of all three versions (for three customers — Air Force, Navy and USMC) the following new tactical problems: attacks on ground targets, air superiority and provide close air support for the troops. Because of the low-profile attack aircraft, he began to be a versatile aircraft, which had become a fighter too. In this case, a legacy from his shock of specialization F-35 was limited maneuverability and flight characteristics that do not allow us to consider it the fifth-generation aircraft, but only so-called "4 +". Let’s see how the F-35 has to cope with their new challenges.
Let’s start with the support of the troops. In the Commission fulfills this function Harrier, the main advantage of which can be considered a vertical landing. The disadvantages include a small combat radius and poor security (which is very important for a stormtrooper). But the range of weapons Harrier is diverse svobodnopadayuschih rockets and bombs, cluster bombs, guided missiles "air-to-surface» AGM-65 "Maverick", corrected bombs and even rockets "air-to-air" melee AIM-9. The Navy F-18 — most versatile aircraft, which besides the main destination (bomber and ground attack aircraft) has good opportunities for air combat and attack ships. In the Air Force had a clean A-10 attack aircraft designed specifically to support the troops on the battlefield, which had besides the respective tasks of arms, good protection.
F-35 — the car is quite difficult and expensive. As well as the F-22, which has a perfect and complex set of avionics, low visibility, as well as, information-control field cab, significantly facilitates the work of the pilot. However, the technology of low visibility and limited in size (the requirement of the Navy, the Commission and foreign customers) are not allowed to make a plane secured or structurally, or by reservation. In addition, F-35 — the plane "tight layout", that is a lot of complex systems are packaged in a fairly modest size, which further increases its vulnerability even from lung lesions. And the attack has to work at the forefront of a low-altitude, long time, being in the battle zone and making for one flight on several visits to different goals. Here, he will be under fire anti-aircraft missiles and melee flak for which the technology of "stealth" is not an obstacle, since the fire is directly observable on purpose or in the visible range, with optical guidance. For example, domestic ZRPK "Tunguska" and "Shell" are able to hit targets in the passive mode, the radar, auto-capture, support and guidance on the television optical channel (capture optica
lly contrasting goals against the sky or moving against the horizon / terrain if the target is at low altitude). Modern Western MANPADS have no infrared homing, and working in semi-automatic mode with a laser or radio command guidance.
The range of weapons F-35 although wider than the Raptor, but it is not so much to support the troops on the battlefield, but for strike missions, requiring a short stay in the attacking zone, which is understandable, given the vulnerability of the machine. Weapons bays F-35A and F-35C can hold more correctable and svobodnopadayuschih bombs (two on the 900-pound, or four 450-kg or more of the lungs). In F-35B they have almost half the capacity. However, the suspension of the main weapons for ground attack (unguided rockets and anti-tank) is possible on the external sites that just as in the case of the F-22 makes the aircraft radio-and degrades performance characteristics, thereby undermining its advantage. When this is not the aircraft survivability attack, and application, e.g., helicopter antitank missiles "Brimstone" (in Russian version) supersonic machine is only possible under sterile field conditions.
To strike operations on a pre-explored targets, F-35 has a larger arsenal than the F-22. Ability to survive without a long-term presence in the area of the defense, going to the goal of pre-calculated rates and heights, and trying to avoid defeat after bomb release, approximately similar to the Raptor. Here expensive avionics and technology "stealth" justified. But the weapons bays again not intended for "the long arm of weapons", which means the same F-15, F-16 and F-18, do not have low signature, but can operate with greater range, will address the same tasks with less risk. The external suspension almost equalizes opportunities F-35 and the cheaper previous generation machines. The development of high-precision weapons, more aircraft makes only a platform for delivery. And internal suspension only two tons of ammunition small size limits the use of the F-35 in the face of strong defense but particularly important point goals. At the same time, anti-air defense will be a little predictable, or will be borne by other means (such as stealth attack drones, which are still only designed, and efficiency is the next generation of anti-air defense, is still an open question).
But maybe, F-35 is able to replace a full-fledged fighter in a dogfight? After all, his complex avionics and weapons "air-air" Opportunity is not much inferior to the F-22. However, it is far behind the Raptor on the flight characteristics, which does not consider it, as stated above, a full fifth-generation fighter. It turned out that in a dogfight, the perfection of the avionics and low visibility are not able to replace them. In August 2008, Hawaii was simulated air combat F-35 with Russian Machines (having characteristics similar to some of the Su-30). On the virtual air war attended the Australians as customers F-35. Of course, the simulation results are closed, and the Americans repeatedly denied the failure of the F-35. However, the results led to the freezing of the purchase of these aircraft by Australia, and are familiar with the report of a member of the Liberal Party, Dennis Jensen, without disclosing details, said the "Dry" beat the F-35, as the penguins! "However, similar results have been quite open teachings Australia and Malaysia in which the Malaysian Su-30 won the Australian F-18, all 32 of dueling air combat, as well as four of the five fights "two for one". Perhaps the odds against the F-35 Su-30 is slightly higher than that of non-the-art equipment of Australian aircraft, which led only to freeze, but not canceling the purchase. Nevertheless, it is clear that the F-35 is not able to excel in a dogfight even fourth-generation aircraft, despite the perfection of aircraft systems and low visibility.
Thus, F-35 as well as the F-22 remains at the recess to which the initially planned. These aircraft systems can complement each other in the air operation where surgical strikes on the ground F-35, cover themselves from enemy aircraft F-22. At the same for both machines will represent the greatest threat air defense systems, combat aircraft which both can not fully. Realizing this, the Americans launch a program to develop a new universal missile NGM. It is created on the basis of rockets "air-to-air" medium-range AIM-120 AMRAAM, which is the basis of anti-aircraft weapons F-22 and F-35. The new missile should have a greater range than the AMRAAM and the possibility of anti-air defense radars, while retaining overall dimensions (in order to fit in the weapons bays of both aircraft). Perhaps her appearance will change once the current position. However, if the developers ("Lockheed" and "Raytheon" on a competitive basis) will be able to meet the requirement of universality, without losing the efficiency of each of the tasks and maintaining the same size. Oh, and if the means of defense will not develop, and even slightly degraded compared to current capabilities.
Now the Americans themselves admit that their fleet was not in a situation like the present one, for the entire post-war history. The average age of the fleet is about 25 years. In the foreseeable future to be written off a large number of combat aircraft for various purposes. In this case, replace them with new ones is not a near-term as the production of F-22 dropped and the F-35 is not yet a "brought to mind" machine, also causing a lot of criticism. Replacing the many types of aircraft on the F-35, even if it happens in optimistic terms and with a good pace, not be complete, because its functionality is questionable. In the most difficult situations will be the Navy and USMC. In the case of complete replacement of naval aviation only on the F-35 fleet will lose the previous strike capabilities (particularly in naval operations against enemy forces). And since all the programs shipborne fighter air superiority collapsed with the hope of F-35 — will weaken and Air component of the U.S. aircraft carrier battle groups. The Marine Corps has already lost hope for new machines and extends the life of the Harriers (for Discontinued) 2030, having bought the British 72 decommissioned aircraft for spare parts for analysis. Out of the current situation, the Americans will be carrying out major repairs and upgrading the existing fleet, of course, where possible, and likely, buying new machines fourth generation.
Against this background, it is not bad looking prospects of other countries in developing their own programs of military aviation. U.S. partners in the North Atlantic Alliance, which did not rely on the U.S. F-35, may be the owners of quite modern and capable aircraft fleet, even without the "fifth generation". Thus France, which has become the locomotive of the air operation in the skies of Libya, was the owner of his own fighter of "4 +" Rafale, which combat capabilities is at least as F-35. Own programs develop fifth generation fighter Japan, China, South Korea and jointly Indonesia and Russia together with India. These programs were initiated after the U.S., consider the American experience and mistakes, as well as the latest technological advances.
Russia, like the United States, has a large fleet of aircraft with a close to the ultimate service life. His readiness is also supported overhaul and modernization. Americans are on the brink of making a decision: whether to continue to pull the F-35, or to return to the procurement of new aircraft of an old design, or combine both solutions. The latter two options compromising the F-35 on the foreign market, and in the case of cancellation of the procurement partners, makes the cost of a new aircraft excessive and useless. Unlike the Americans, we have already launched a rearmament program for the Air Force aircraft gen
eration "4 +", which is at least not inferior to the combat capabilities of the F-35 (Su-34, Su-30cm, Su-35 and updated versions of the MiG-29 ). The program is a fifth generation fighter PAK FA has a number of advantages over the U.S..
We have a new generation of aircraft was originally conceived as the aviation system, consisting of the plane itself and of its armament and avionics, which, depending on the task, will dictate the shape and characteristics of the machine. Which took place in parallel with the U.S., almost similar to the destination program MFI (multi-role fighter) and PRL (light frontline fighter) does not have a real embodiment of the disaster of the Soviet Union. In the early 2000s, it was decided to resume work. At the same time, when it became clear that the new machine should be universal in application, not a pure interceptor or attack aircraft — the previous projects did not stretch to the new requirements, and went to the basket.
On the basic parameters of the PAK FA is not inferior to the Raptor.
Radar visibility is usually calculated as the ESR (effective surface scattering reflected from the plane of electromagnetic radiation) and is expressed in square meters, taking as a reference the reflection from the "ideal sphere", which has the same characteristics of reflection, as the object of study, there will be a measure of the cross-sectional area of the sphere . If the Su-27 ESR will be about 12-13 meters, then the PAK-FA, this value is 0.3-0.4 meters, which was similar to the F-22. Here, however, it should be stipulated that in the real world radar detection means is heavily dependent on the angle of radiation of wavelengths and its changes during irradiation. In general, for the detection of domestic air defense and airborne radar aircraft, machine, made "stealth technology" is not difficult with the discovery. Much more useful, "reflecting a complex form of" actively maneuvering aircraft will be to thwart rocket attack that has radar homing. However, here the domestic weapons are not the first day of preparing for a meeting with the "invisible". So the "invisibility" is not a big advantage, while the Western developers, considering the technology of "stealth" his prerogative, until recently, paid combating neglected.
Board radar system PAK FA — N036 composed of active antenna phased array (AESA) which are arranged in different elements of the airframe (in the nose cone in the slats, socks wings on the side surfaces) may operate in several bands, providing a virtually visibility. This solution is similar to that used on the raptors. Features of the complex is not known, however, the possibility of domestic radar, which are used for aircraft comparable to the previous generation American, or surpass them. Just as the raptors, the complex PAK FA can operate in passive mode, reconnaissance purposes without the radio-emitting its own radiation, as well as determining the coordinates of targets from the reflected signal from other sources, which will interact with the PAK FA on the battlefield. Also in the complex avionics systems included electronic countermeasures. The complex avionics complements optoelectronic integrated system (OEIS) — 101KS product. It consists of a defensive system (KS 101-0), which provides resistance to means of destruction that uses an infrared guidance; vserakursny review system in the ultraviolet spectrum (101 KC-Y) which exhibits the work of jet and rocket engines; quantum (laser) radar system (101 CS-B), which reveals the objectives and determining their coordinates in the optical band, multi-channel optical targeting system (101 KC-H), which provides the use of weapons (mostly on ground targets). All elements of a complex avionics integrated with each other and with external sources, the complex has more computing power and high automation, is made entirely in the domestic element base, including the computational part.
PAK FA flight characteristics superior to the F-22. Although existing at this stage engines behind the U.S. on thrust, even they allow the PAK FA have sufficient thrust and provide supersonic cruising speed besforsazhny mode. Maneuverability of the aircraft superior to the Raptor. It has played a role not very successful design F-22, which is dictated by the requirements of the technology "stealth": wing has a high inductance, its flat sections have poor load-bearing properties, which does not offset by other aerodynamic solutions. Engines are located close to each other, which is made to the frontal projection of the engine compressor blades not cure on the radar (air duct located on the curved wide air intakes on the sides of the fuselage). Coupled with the need to accommodate four internal weapons bays, it has made in the area of the fuselage center section is oversized. In the PAK FA engines are spaced from the longitudinal axis of the aircraft, allowing the assembly to give lift properties, and increase the "shoulder" traction when maneuvering. In addition, it is possible to make a large central compartment can accommodate arms weapons, Raptor inaccessible because of the size of compartments. A cover for the engine compressor in the gondola with respect to the direct air path implements an elegant solution — a radar blocker. This device is made of composite material having a curved blade which permit air flow, but close to the direct illumination radar compressor itself. In terms of aerodynamics, this design is not easy, because the curved radar blocker air streams must be synchronized with the operation of the engine and not have disturbances and seals that prevent its operation in different modes. However, the gain in this case is not only in the field of radar signature, but also the length of the air path in which the smaller, the smaller the "empty" and, accordingly, the amount of design, dimensions and weight. Thanks to all of these decisions, the PAK FA is better than the Raptor turn rate, better handling in vertical and horizontal plane, as at supersonic speed and at low speeds. In addition, the engines are spaced increase aircraft survivability, and the possibility of flying to the failure or defeat of one of the motors is provided by their position relative to the axis of symmetry of the aircraft in the form of the letter «V», so that the thrust vector will be held near the center of gravity of the aircraft.
In conclusion, it should be noted better weapons domestic cars. Its versatility and variety, allows the use of the PAK FA as a strike aircraft or fighter, choosing any of the selected tasks appropriate range of weapons and pilots, without compromising the ability.
Arsenal of air combat will include new short-range missiles (presumably K-MD or article "300" MCB "Vympel"), which will be equipped with a matrix seeker with the ability to target recognition (!), Increased twofold range of capture, and automatic adjustment of the avionics aircraft in flight, which is needed in case of failure of capture, starting out of sight of the target (shooting "behind"), or change the priority goal. It is also a means of anti-aircraft defense. Along with it will be more simple and missile modernization of R-73, demonstrated at the last MAKS as RVV-MD (this is — the product "760" of the same "Vympel"). For it is possible not only with the embodiment of an optical seeker, but the radar 9B-1103M diameter of 150 mm, the development of MRI "agate". Until now, the creation of an active RGSN for short-range missiles was considered technically impossible, as its dimensions must be comparable to the optical head. However, it failed to domestic designers.
On the medium-range (about 100 km — for Americans, it’s a big range) will be a new generation of RVV-AE (R-77) — RVV-SD (K-77m or article "
;180"). She has a new multi-mode active-passive seeker that allows the missile to direct sources of interference and emitting radar, flat handlebars instead of the lattice, for ease of placement of weapons in the compartment (agility saved thanks to gas-dynamic control) and also correction of avionics. At long range (up to 200 km.), There are even a few different options. This HAEDAT (a modernized version of the P-37, which in turn — the development of the P-33 — "the main fire," the MiG-31), and RVV-PD with a ramjet engine, and KC-172, developed by NPO " Innovator. "
Arsenal to attack functions, not less impressive. Guided aerial bombs (KAB) is traditional for us calibers 500 and 1500 kg, supplemented by a new, caliber 250 kg. Various options for guidance: inertial, satellite, television, thermal, laser, passive radar, as well as options combined. Essentially, the same options are provided for the guidance of the new short-range missiles (up to 40 km), the X-38. Often demonstrated at trade shows anti-radiation missile X-58USHKE — this version of the well-proven X-58 features a new seeker, increased to 250-km range of up and folding handlebars for placement in the weapons bay. Back in 1992, adopted an antiship version of this missile, wherein the flight path, and warhead seeker. We can assume that for the PAK FA there is such a variant. More information on the new long-range weapons PAK FA is not yet open. However, it can be applied to almost all currently existing aircraft weapon systems, even with the external load, components of which are clearly visible even on the test machines (under the wings and engine nacelles). For example, Indians are involved in the project reported to be preparing a lite version up to two tons of anti-ship missile "BrahMos" (the name of the domestic version — "Onyx", export to third countries — "Yakhont"), especially for placing on the Indian version of the PAK FA.
Now being tested third car, which is already installed part of the avionics (eg, radar). In the fourth PAK FA, which will take off this year, will be tested for a service. At the beginning stage of the assembly has two sides, however, their shape can be changed by passing the test results.
* Despite the fact that the United States has recognized a loss in Yugoslavia only one F-117, in 2008 Pierre Spray (one of the leaders of the project F-16) in an article on the website CDI (Center of Defense Information) spoke specifically about two cars, downed by Yugoslav defense. This information no one has refuted.
The long-awaited new photo boards