Sukhoi T-50 PAK FA (Su-57)

The PAK FA (Russian: ПАК ФА, Russian: Перспективный авиационный комплекс фронтовой авиации, Perspektivny Aviatsionny Kompleks Frontovoy Aviatsii, literally “Prospective Airborne Complex of Frontline Aviation”) is a fifth-generation fighter programme of the Russian Air Force. The T-50 is the name of the prototype aircraft (though it is unlikely it will be the name for the production aircraft) designed by Sukhoi for the PAK FA programme. The aircraft is a stealthy, single-seat, twin-engine jet fighter, and will be the first operational aircraft in Russian service to use stealth technology. It is a multirole fighter designed for air superiority and attack roles. The fighter is planned to have supercruise, stealth, supermaneuverability, and advanced avionics to overcome the prior generation of fighter aircraft as well as ground and maritime defences.

First prototype of the PAK-FA, B/N 51, during an early test flights, January and February 2010 (Sukhoi images)

The PAK FA is intended to be the successor to the MiG-29 and Su-27 in the Russian Air Force and serve as the basis for the Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA) being co-developed by Sukhoi and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for the Indian Air Force. The T-50 prototype first flew on 29 January 2010 and the first production aircraft is slated for delivery to the Russian Air Force starting in late 2016 or early 2017.

The 117S powerplant   (© 2009 Vitaliy V. Kuzmin)

The prototypes and initial production batch will be delivered with a highly upgraded variant of the AL-31F used by the Su-27 family as interim engines while a new clean-sheet design powerplant is currently under development. The aircraft is expected to have a service life of up to 35 years.

PAK FA “051”

Sukhoi Makes Her Move? 

“Stealth aircraft require jamming support aircraft to accompany them so they can be stealthy. A stealth fighter is simply a design trend that will burn out (like the 1950s-60s era ‘all-missile’ fighter without a gun did) in another decade or so.”  

It is now clear that the Russian Sukhoi PAK-FA fighter is not to be an all-aspect stealth machine but rather a counter-stealth machine. While it has some stealthy features (just enough) to exploit the poorer target-detect performance of opposing stealth-fighters only equipped with radar (like F-22A) T-50 is also equipped with some decidedly “non-stealthy” sensors like OLS (and second spherical ball behind the cockpit) to detect/attack F-22 outside the radio spectrum. This misread of T-50 has produced some bizarre statements/analysis on the PAK-FA from Western stealth-fighter proponents, including:

“The Electro-Optical System (OLS) turret employed on the prototype is likely the Su-35S OLS, and is incompatible with a VLO design, as it is a broadband spherical reflector. We can expect to see a faceted VLO fairing similar to that designed for the canceled F-22A AIRST (Advanced IRST) in a production PAK-FA configuration.”

These types of observations by western stealth-fighter proponents – are nonsense. The western argument prefers the Russians to copy the west (with all aspect stealth) to validate the overall F-22 concept (that the Americans have yet again set the design trend(s) for high visibility military technology). Otherwise, the western argument will conclude: “they can’t because its too expensive.” The hard facts are that F-22A will never reach supporters expectations due to basic physics – that have nothing to do with program cost(s).  – Posted 14-Jan 2014



In the late 1980s, the Soviet Union outlined a need for a next-generation aircraft intended to enter service in the 1990s. The project was designated the I-90 (Russian: Истребитель, Istrebitel, “Fighter”) and required the fighter to have substantial ground attack capabilities and would eventually replace the MiG-29s and Su-27s in frontline tactical aviation service. The subsequent program designed to meet these requirements, the MFI (Russian: МФИ, Russian: Многофункциональный фронтовой истребитель, Mnogofunksionalni Frontovoy Istrebitel, “Multifunctional Frontline Fighter”), resulted in Mikoyan’s selection to develop the MiG 1.44.

MiG 1.44

File photo of MiG-1.44

During the mid to late 1990s the aviation community was tantalised by the impending debut of Russia’s first fifth-generation fighter, the Mikoyan MFI. The MFI was developed to counter the threat posed by the ATF programme under which the F-22 was created. Mikoyan claims that the MFI’s combination of aerodynamic properties, armament and avionics render it superior to any contemporary fighter, including the F-22A.

The aircraft rolled out in 1999 is apparently designated MiG 1.44 and is understood to be a demonstrator only. The planned production MFI was referred to as the 1.42. and would have a slightly different air intake design, an internal weapons bay (faired over on the 1.44) and, possibly, cranked-delta wings. The 1.44/1.42 is the first Russian fighter to employ a tail-first configuration. Weapons are mostly carried in an internal bay in the centre fuselage (faired over on the 1.44).

It is believed, that the MFI is equipped with a pulse-Doppler fire control radar persistently referred to as NO-14. This phased-array unit is designed for beyond visual range combat and has the ability to attack six targets at a time.

Prototype construction began in 1989, and after lengthy ground tests, the 1.44 made its first high-speed run in late 1994. Unfortunately, the programme had to be suspended before the 1.44 could become airborne due to ANPK MiG’s dire financial problems. The 1.44 remained classified by the Russian Defense Ministry until it was finally publicly unveiled in January 1999. After great delay, the 1.44 finally made its brief but important first flight in January 2001. The future of the MFI remains unclear, and the line between it and the 1.44 remains equally blurred. It seems that the MFI programme was abandoned. The Russian air force’s officially selected the new Sukhoi PAK FA as its new fifth-generation fighter.

However in 2010 photos of the new Chinese J-20 stealthy multi-role fighter appeared, which is very similar to the MiG 1.42. It is speculated, that development of the J-20 was assisted by the MiG aviation company.

Left: MiG 1.44; Right: J-20

Entered service


1 men

Dimensions and weight


22.83 m

Wing span

17.03 m


5.72 m

Weight (empty)


Weight (maximum take off)

35 t

Engines and performance


2 x Saturn AL-41F turbojets

Traction (with afterburning)

2 x 175 kN (estimated)

Maximum speed

2 760 km/h

Service ceiling

20 km


4 500 km



unspecified type of cannon


R-77 (AA-12 ‘Adder’) air-to-air missiles and new air-to-surface missiles



See details of Chinese J-20: HERE

Though not a participant in the MFI, Sukhoi started its own program in the early 1990s to develop technologies for a next-generation fighter aircraft, resulting in the S-37, later designated as the Su-47. Due to a lack of funds after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the MiG 1.44 program was repeatedly delayed and the first flight of the prototype did not occur until 2000, nine years behind schedule.


Sukhoi Su-47/S-37


The Su-47 is of similar dimensions to previous large Sukhoi fighters, such as the Su-35.To reduce development costs, the Su-47 borrowed the forward fuselage, vertical tails, and landing gear of the Su-27 family. Nonetheless, the aircraft includes an internal weapons bay, and space set aside for an advanced radar.

Though similar in overall concept to the Grumman X-29 research aircraft of the 1980s, the Su-47 is larger and far closer to an actual combat aircraft than its US counterpart.

Like its immediate predecessor, the Su-37, the Su-47 is of tandem-triple layout, with canards ahead of wings and tailplanes. Interestingly, the Su-47 has two tailbooms of unequal length outboard of the exhaust nozzles. The shorter boom, on the left-hand side, houses rear-facing radar, while the longer boom houses a brake parachute.


The Su-47 has extremely high agility at subsonic speeds, enabling the aircraft to alter its angle of attack and its flight path very quickly while retaining maneuverability in supersonic flight. The Su-47 has a maximum speed of Mach 1.6 at high altitudes and a 9g capability.

The swept-forward wing, compared to a swept-back wing of the same area, provides a number of advantages:

  • higher lift-to-drag ratio
  • better agility in dogfight situations
  • higher range at subsonic speed
  • improved stall resistance and anti-spin characteristics
  • improved stability at high angles of attack
  • a lower minimum flight speed
  • a shorter take-off and landing distance


The forward-swept midwing gives the Su-47 its unconventional appearance. A substantial part of the lift generated by the forward-swept wing occurs at the inner portion of the wingspan. This inboard lift is not restricted by wingtip stall and the lift-induced wingtip vortex generation is thus reduced. The ailerons—the wing’s control surfaces—remain effective at the highest angles of attack, and controllability of the aircraft is retained even in the event of airflow separating from the remainder of the wings’ surface.

A downside of such a forward-swept wing design is that it geometrically produces wing twisting as it bends under load, resulting in greater stress on the wing than for a similar straight or aft-swept wing. This requires the wing be designed to twist as it bends—opposite to the geometric twisting. This is done by the use of composites wing skins laid-up to twist. Despite this, the plane was initially limited to Mach 1.6.

As of FY 2013, several engineering modifications have raised the maximum speed parameter limit to Mach 1.8. / Mach 2.2.

As of FY 2014 this new maximum speed limit data is yet to be confirmed by an official confirmation communiqué by Sukhoi.

Thrust vectoring

The thrust vectoring (with PFU engine modification) of ±20° at 30°/second in pitch and yaw will greatly support the agility gained by other aspects of the design. Source

Sukhoi Su-47/S-37 cutaway

S-37/S-32 vital statistics

Wingspan: 16.7 m
Length overall: 22.6 m
Height overall 6.40 m
Weight empty, equipped : 24,000 kg (52,910 lb)
Max T-O weight : 34,000 kg (74,960 lb)
Max level speed at height : 2,500 km/h (1,350 knots)
Max level speed at S/L : 1,400 km/h (756 knots)
Service ceiling : 18,000 m (59,050 ft)
Range with max fuel at height : 1,782 nm (3,300 km/2,050 miles)
Number of hardpoints: 14: 2 wingtip, 6-8 under wing, 6-4 conformal under fuselage
Air-to-air : R-77, R-77PD, R-73, K-74
Air-to-surface: X-29T, X-29L, X-59M, X-31P, X-31A, KAB-500, KAB-1500


The MiG 1.44 was subsequently canceled and a new program for a next-generation fighter, PAK FA, was initiated. The program requirements reflected the capabilities of Western fighter aircraft, such as the Eurofighter Typhoon and F-22 Raptor.

See details of F-22 Raptor: HERE

Following a competition between Sukhoi, Mikoyan, and Yakovlev, in 2002, Sukhoi was selected as the winner of the PAK FA competition and selected to lead the design of the new aircraft.

To reduce the PAK FA’s developmental risk and spread out associated costs, as well as to bridge the gap between it and older previous generation fighters, some of its technology and features, such as propulsion and avionics, were implemented in the Sukhoi Su-35S fighter, an advanced variant of the Su-27.

See details of Su-35: HERE

The Novosibirsk Aircraft Production Association (NAPO) is manufacturing the new multirole fighter at Komsomol’sk-on-Amur along with Komsomolsk-on-Amur Aircraft Production Association (KnAAPO), and final assembly is to take place at Komsomol’sk-on-Amur. Following a competition held in 2003, the Tekhnokompleks Scientific and Production Center, Ramenskoye Instrument Building Design Bureau, the Tikhomirov Scientific Research Institute of Instrument Design (NIIP), the Ural Optical and Mechanical Plant (UOMZ) in Yekaterinburg, the Polet firm in Nizhny Novgorod and the Central Scientific Research Radio Engineering Institute in Moscow were selected for the development of the PAK-FA’s avionics suite. NPO Saturn is the lead contractor for the interim engines; Saturn and MMPP Salyut will compete for the definitive second stage engines.


On 8 August 2007, Russian Air Force Commander-in-Chief (CinC) Alexander Zelin was quoted by Russian news agencies that the program’s development stage was complete and construction of the first aircraft for flight testing would begin, and that by 2009 there would be three fifth-generation aircraft ready. In 2009, the aircraft’s design was officially approved.

Su-57 Stealth Fighters deployed to Syria

5th Gen Development

Conventional thinking in the planning of air campaigns, empirically observable from the Blitzkrieg campaigns of the 1940s through to the recent United States led air campaigns since 1991, places a heavy emphasis on the defeat of opposing airfields by aerial attack, to deny an opponent the opportunity to contest airspace. To achieve this effect, an attacker needs the capability to repeatedly penetrate defended airspace to shut down airfields, keep them shut down, and inflict attrition upon opposing aircraft on the ground.

Basically the Russians built the MiG-23 to fight F-105s, F-104s, F-4s, Mirage IIIs and as a technological response to the USAF`s needs for a variable geometry fighter in the form of a cheap soviet F-111sky. The Americans responded with the F-15 and F-14 and much later with the F-16 and F-18, this prompted the development of the Su-27 and MiG-29 and the west then designed the Eurofighter, Rafale Gripen and F-22 to counter the MiG-29 and Su-27 threat.

The F-22A may get ‘first look’ with the APG-77, the Advanced Infra Red Search and Track (AIRST) sensor having been deleted to save money, but the PAK-FA may get ‘first look’ using its advanced infra-red sensor.  A radar cross section of only -20 dBSM would deny early Beyond Visual Range (BVR) missile shots using the AIM-120C/D AMRAAM to all current and planned US fighters. Doing any better, like -30 dBSM or -40 dBSM, simply increases the level of difficulty in prosecuting long range missile attacks. The consequence of this is that missile combat will be compressed into shorter distances and shorter timelines. A larger portion of engagements will be at visual range, and most BVR engagements will end up taking place inside 30 nautical miles. Then, the engagement becomes a supersonic equivalent of the Battle of Britain or air combat over North Korea.  The outcome will be difficult to predict and will depend on missile capabilities zone and the pilots.

Information superiority aims at reducing one’s own observation to action loop (Observation-Orientation-Decision-Action) while elongating the enemy’s loop.  Posted on 26/10/2013 Surajit Sarma

‘Carbon Ghosts’: How Coal Plastic Will Help Russian Planes to Dodge Enemy Radar: Here


Composite materials are all the rage today with Russia’s fifth-generation T-50 fighters and, Ka-52 and Ka-62 helicopters making extensive use of polymeric carbon plastics and other high-strength materials, rendering them virtually invisible to enemy radar. Sputnik looked at the way composites can help planes fly better and dodge enemy radar.

It is reported that the serial version of the T-50 fighter received the official name of the Su-57: Here


The latest issue of Air & Cosmos publishes an article by Piotr Butowski and Antony Angrand entitled Du PAK FA au Su-57 , which provides interesting information on the Russian program for the creation of a fifth-generation fighter on the PAK FA theme. Our blog translates this material.

PAK FA will soon receive a new name, now the fifth generation fighter will be called Su-57. However, the production of this twin-engine fighter was revised downward. For two years, the prototype fighter aircraft have undergone the procedure of strengthening the airframe, as well as a number of improvements.

Su-57 fighter jets will have enhanced artificial intellect capabilities

Russia’s fifth-generation Su-57 fighter jets will have enhanced artificial intellect capabilities, bringing it a step closer to the next-generation unmanned fighters, a source in aviation industry told Sputnik.”There are plans to equip Su-57 warplanes with an AI system that will bring it closer to a sixth-generation unmanned aircraft,” the source said.

The Sukhoi aircraft maker will deliver two of these stealthy fighters to the Russian armed forces under contract signed Wednesday at the Army-2018 military tech forum in Kubinka near Moscow.

The multirole fighter jet, which made its maiden flight back in 2010, will also have fully-automated control, vision and weapon guidance systems, according to the source.

Previously, President of the United Aircraft Corporation Yuri Slyusar said that two Su-57 jets had undergone their combat debut in Syria and successfully completed all their assignments.

Later, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu reported that tests of new cutting edge cruise missiles had been conducted using Su-57. Source

Configuration after installation of electronic equipment

Arrangement of elements of avionics of the Su-57 fighter (with) Piotr Butowski / Air & Cosmos

The last copy of T-50-9 has a set of on-board equipment, which will be installed on the serial Su-57. On previous prototypes, the kit was installed partially, so some cars carried only fake electronic equipment.


In 2007, Russia and India agreed to jointly develop the Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft Programme (FGFA) for India. In September 2010, it was reported that India and Russia had agreed on a preliminary design contract where each country invests $6 billion; development of the FGFA fighter was expected to take 8–10 years. The agreement on the preliminary design was to be signed in December 2010.

Planned deliveries and development

The Russian Air Force is expected to procure more than 150 PAK FA aircraft, the first of which is slated to be delivered in 2016. India plans on acquiring modified PAK FA as a part of its Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA) program. It originally planned on buying 166 single-seat and 44 two-seat variants, but this has been reduced to 130-145 single-seat aircraft and the requirement for 45-50 twin-seat fighters has been dropped by 2014. The Russian Defence Ministry plan on purchasing the first 10 evaluation example aircraft after 2012 and then 60 production standard aircraft after 2016.

In December 2014, the Russian Air Force planned to receive 55 fighters by 2020. But Yuri Borisov, Russia’s deputy minister of defence for armaments stated in March 2015 that the Air Force will slow PAK FA production and reduce its initial order to 12 jets due to the nation’s deteriorating economy. Due to the aircraft’s complexity and rising costs, the Russian Air Force will retain large fleets of fourth-generation Sukhoi Su-27 and Su-35S.

Flight testing

The T-50’s maiden flight was repeatedly postponed from early 2007 after encountering unspecified technical problems. In August 2009, Alexander Zelin acknowledged that problems with the engine and in technical research remained unsolved. On 28 February 2009, Mikhail Pogosyan announced that the airframe was almost finished and that the first prototype should be ready by August 2009.

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

The first taxi test was successfully completed on 24 December 2009. Flight testing of the T-50 began with T-50-1, the first prototype aircraft, on 29 January 2010. Piloted by Hero of the Russian Federation Sergey Bogdan, the aircraft’s 47-minute maiden flight took place at KnAAPO’s Dzemgi Airport in the Russian Far East.

On 3 March 2011, the second T-50 completed a 44-minute test flight. The first two prototypes lacked radar and weapon control systems; the third and fourth aircraft, first flown in 2011 and 2012, are fully functional test aircraft. On 14 March 2011, the T-50 achieved supersonic flight at a test range near Komsomolsk-on-Amur.

The T-50 was displayed publicly for the first time at the 2011 MAKS Airshow, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin was in attendance. On 3 November 2011, the T-50 reportedly performed its 100th flight. More than 20 test flights were made in the next nine months.

The third prototype, T-50-3, was the first prototype to fly with an AESA radar. Originally scheduled for the end of 2011, these flights occurred in August 2012, and showed performance comparable to existing radars. On 22 November 2011, T-50-3 took its first flight from KnAAPO’s airfield in Komsomolsk-on-Amur, piloted by Sergey Bogdan. The aircraft spent over an hour in the air, and was subjected to basic stability and powerplant checks. It differs from the other prototypes in the way it lacks a pitot tube. All 14 test aircraft are scheduled to fly by 2015.

The fourth prototype had its first flight on 12 December 2012 and joined the other three aircraft in testing near Moscow a month later. By the end of 2013, five T-50 prototypes were flown, with the fifth prototype having its first flight on 27 October 2013; with this flight the program has amassed more than 450 flights. The first aircraft for State testing was delivered on 21 February 2014. However the VVS lacks facilities for testing some of the aircraft’s performance parameters.

The fifth flying prototype T-50 ‘055’ was severely damaged by an engine fire after landing in June 2014. The aircraft was returned to flying condition after cannibalizing components from the unfinished sixth prototype.

Note covered AL-41F1s & jagged edges around vent grilles on  T-50-9

Two-seater Sukhoi PAK FA (T-50) fifth-generation fighter aircraft



The PAK FA is a fifth generation multirole fighter aircraft and the first operational stealth aircraft for the Russian Air Force. Although most information is classified, sources within the Sukhoi company and Defense Ministry have openly stated that the aircraft will be stealthy, supermaneuverable, have supercruise capability, incorporate substantial amounts of composite materials, and possess advanced avionics such as active phased array radar and sensor fusion.

t50 (21)PAK FA design by paraplay – Image defence.pknishaPAK FA design by paraplay

The T-50 has a blended wing body fuselage and incorporates all-moving horizontal and vertical stabilizers; the vertical stabilizers toe inwards to serve as the aircraft’s airbrake.

Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft, T-50 PAK-FA design & testing: Updates 

Patent submitted for the PAK-FA

  • Important features of the aircraft – blended body aerodynamic configuration
Layout diagram of the T-50 PAK-FA Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft [FGFA]
  1. Lift-generating fuselage
  2. Fuselage extension
  3. Outer wing extension
  4. All-moving horizontal stabilizer
  5. All-moving vertical stabilizer [fins]. They can rotate along with the horizontal empennage or independently. The fins also act as air brakes.
  6. Engines are housed in the wide-spaced nacelles
  7. Engine air intakes
  8. Leading edge extensions [LEX or LERX]
  9. Leading edge flap
  10. Ailerons
  11. Flaperons
  12. Stub-pylons for mounting the vertical fins
  13. Air-intakes for engine bay cooling & air-conditioning
  14. Engine nozzles. They can either be directed in the same direction or even independently

Characteristic features of the T-50 PAK-FA:

  1. Small Radar Cross-Section [RCS]
  2. Super manoeuvrability at high Angles-of-Attack [AoA]
  3. High lift-to-drag ratio at Supersonic speed [retaining high value at subsonic speed]
  4. Large size internal weapons bay carriage
  • Widely housed engine bays allow for a large size internal weapon bay along with greater deflection of engine nozzles.
  • Greater nozzle deflection also allows aircraft control about vertical & longitudinal axes at low speeds.
  • Engines are mounted at an angle to the longitudinal axis of the aircraft. In case of a single engine failure, the direction of thrust of the other engine is closer to the centre of gravity of the aircraft. This makes it easier to control the aircraft with a single engine.
  • Reduced Radar Cross-Section [RCS] is achieved by articulating leading edges of the wings, tail planes & LEX parallel to each other. Additional RCS features include faceted fuselage sides & oblique engine air intakes. Source

Sukhoi completes initial flight tests on T-50

The Russian aircraft manufacturer Sukhoi has declared a flight test milestone for the T-50, before handing over the fifth-generation fighter to the Russian government for additional testing.

Sukhoi completed more than 700 flight tests, which confirmed aircraft requirements set by the Russian ministry of defense, United Aircraft Company said in a July 7 post on Facebook. The company has submitted the T-50 prototypes of the prospective aviation complex front-line aviation (PAK FA) programme for state joint tests, UAC states.

Sukhoi completed first flight of the T-50 29 January 2010 in Komsomolsk-on-Amur, the home of Russia’s KNAAZ aircraft manufacturing complex.

With stealthy features and advanced electronics, the supersonic fighter was designed to rival the US Lockheed Martin F-22 fifth-generation fighter. Russia is on track to procure 55 T-50s through 2020, depending on the initial aircraft’s performance, FlightGlobal previously reported. Posted 07 July 2016

PAK FA “054” – dinamicaglobal.files.wordpress.comAdjustable leading edge vortex controllers (LEVCONs) PAK FA “055”

PAK FA T-50 fifth-generation fighter will start arriving for the country’s Armed Forces in 2019: Here


Russia’s PAK FA (Perspective Aviation Complex of Frontline Aviation) fighter jets (T-50) will start arriving for the country’s Armed Forces in 2019 while the deliveries of the most advanced S-500 surface-to-air missile systems will begin in 2020, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Wednesday.

Russian defense contractor to supply 12 fifth-generation fighters in pre-production batch: Here


The pre-production batch of T-50 fifth-generation fighter jets will equal 12 planes, United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) Head Yuri Slyusar said at the MAKS-2017 international airshow on Wednesday.

The aircraft incorporates thrust vectoring and has adjustable leading edge vortex controllers (LEVCONs) designed to control vortices generated by the leading edge root extensions, and can provide trim and improve high angle of attack behaviour, including a quick stall recovery if the thrust vectoring system fails.

Телеканал Звезда YouTube

The advanced flight control system and thrust vectoring nozzles make the aircraft departure resistant and highly maneuverable in both pitch and yaw, enabling the aircraft to perform very high angles of attack maneuvers such as the Pugachev’s Cobra and the Bell maneuver, along with doing flat rotations with little altitude loss. The aircraft’s high cruising speed and normal operating altitude is also expected to give it a significant kinematic advantage over prior generations of aircraft.


The T-50 makes extensive use of composites, comprising 25% of the structural weight and almost 70% of the outer surface. Weapons are housed in two tandem main weapons bays between the engine nacelles and smaller bulged, triangular-section bays near the wing root. Internal weapons carriage eliminates drag from external stores and enables higher performance compared to external carriage.

Advanced engines and aerodynamics enable the T-50 to supercruise, sustained supersonic flight without using afterburners. Combined with a high fuel load, the T-50 has a supersonic range of over 1,500 km, more than twice that of the Su-27. In the T-50’s design, Sukhoi addressed what it considered to be the F-22’s limitations, such as its inability to use thrust vectoring to induce roll and yaw moments and a lack of space for weapons bays between the engines, and complications for stall recovery if thrust vectoring fails.

5th Gen Development

A mature production PAK-FA design has the potential to compete with the F-22A Raptor in VLO performance from key aspects, and will outperform the F-22A Raptor aerodynamically and kinematically. The PAK FA uses planform alignment to get invisible to radar. Therefore, from a technological strategy perspective,  the PAK-FA renders all legacy US fighter aircraft, and the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter, strategically irrelevant and non-viable. The T-50 is not meant to be a direct rival for the F-22 or B-2 because the Russian aircraft is not as stealthy as either. But if the maneuverability and advanced electronics live up to the promises, the aircraft would be more than a match for every fighter out there other than the F-22. PAK-FA makes a clear statement, which diverges fundamentally from Western thinking, that the idea that the Within-Visual-Range (WVR) and Beyond-Visual-Range (BVR) air combat are much alike. The principal  difference is that the latter relies more heavily on long range sensors and its ability to defeat countermeasures and low observability. Posted on 26/10/2013 by Surajit Sarma  

Preliminary PAK-FA Performance Specifications


81,600 lb

Max Speed

1,400 KTAS (Mach 2.44 ~36kft, ISA)1

Supercruise Envelope

700 KTAS to 920 KTAS (1.22M to 1.6M >36kft, ISA), though analysis suggests a likely higher top end point of ~1.9M.

Maximum Initial Climb Rate

69,000 fpm

Climb Ceiling

65,000 ft2

Sources: Sukhoi via Russian media, preliminary APA analysis
1 – supersonic flight duration not specified
2 – ceiling constraints not specified



Laith Jobran @flickr – cropped

The T-50 will be the first operational aircraft in Russian Air Force service to use stealth technology. Similar to other stealth fighters such as the F-22, the airframe incorporates planform edge alignment to reduce its radar cross-section (RCS); the leading and trailing edges of the wings and control surfaces and the serrated edges of skin panels are carefully aligned at several specific angles in order to reduce the number of directions the radar waves can be reflected.

Weapons are carried internally in weapons bays within the airframe, and antennas are recessed from the surface of the skin to preserve the aircraft’s stealthy shape. The IRST housing is turned backwards when not in use, and its rear is treated with radar-absorbent material (RAM) to reduce its radar return.

To mask the significant RCS contribution of the engine face, the partial serpentine inlet obscures most, but not all, of the engine’s fan and inlet guide-vanes (IGV). The production aircraft incorporates radar blockers similar in principle to those used on the F/A-18E/F in front of the engine fan to hide it from all angles. The aircraft uses RAM to absorb radar emissions and reduce their reflection back to the source, and the canopy is treated with a coating to minimize the radar return of the cockpit and pilot.

Vadim Savitsky

The T-50’s design emphasizes frontal stealth, with RCS-reducing features most apparent in the forward hemisphere; the shaping of the aft fuselage is much less optimized for radar stealth compared to the F-22. The combined effect of airframe shape and RAM of the production aircraft is estimated to have reduced the aircraft’s RCS to a value thirty times smaller than that of the Su-27. Sukhoi’s patent of the T-50’s stealth features cites an average RCS of the aircraft of approximately 0.1-1 square meters.



The radar cross section ( RCS ) is a measure of how detectable an object is with radar. The bigger the RCS, the easier the detection. Its unit of measure is in square meters ( m² ) or decibels relative to one square meter  ( dBsm ). Depending on its shape, an object can have different RCS when illuminated from different directions. The RCS can also vary based on the illuminating frequency of the radar. In air combat, the frontal RCS of an aircraft is the most relevant for obvious reasons. The table below compares the RCS ( frontal by default ) of different aircrafts and objects in the X-Band :


RCS in m²

RCS in dBsm

Boeing B-52 Stratofortress



Sukhoi Su-35 Super Flanker






Dassault Rafale



Tomahawk SLCM






Sukhoi PAK-FA



Lockheed Martin F-35 Side/Rear



Lockheed F-117A Nighthawk



Lockheed Martin F-35 Frontal






Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit



Lockheed Martin F-22A Raptor



Boeing X-45 UCAV



The PAK-FA is thought to have an all-aspect RCS of 0.01m² or -20dBsm. These are merely analytical estimates based on publicly available images of the prototype which may differ from the final production version. It is also worth noting that the prototypes may not necessary have the full VLO treatment like RAM coatings which is not needed when performing non-stealth related tests like weapons integration and may lead to falsely optimistic conclusions by Western defense analysts.

It would seem at first glance that the PAK-FA is less stealthy compared with the F-22 and the F-35 but in reality, the Russian designers gave up some stealth in exchange for aerodynamic agility. At -20dBsm, the PAK-FA is still several magnitudes more stealthy than legacy 4th and 4++ generation fighters like the Rafale or the US Teen-series fighters. It will probably be stealthy enough to delay detection by advanced AESA radars like the F-22’s APG-77 until the enemy fighter is within its BVR missile range.

Also, unlike the F-35 where the -30dBsm RCS holds true only for the frontal aspect ( the rear and profile RCS is much higher due to less radar shielding to save costs ), the RCS of the PAK-FA is more or less the same when viewed from all angles ( all-aspect ). So less stealthy than the F-22 but enough to pose a tough challenge for its opponents. Source


However, like other stealth fighters, the T-50’s low observability measures are chiefly effective against high frequency (between 3 and 30 GHz) radars, usually found on other aircraft. The effects of Rayleigh scattering and resonance mean that low-frequency radars, employed by weather radars and early-warning radars are more likely to detect the T-50 due to its physical size. However, such radars are also large, susceptible to clutter, and are less precise.


Pre-production and initial production batches of the T-50 will use interim engines, a pair of NPO Saturn izdeliye 117, or AL-41F1. Closely related to the Saturn 117S engine used by the Su-35S, the 117 engine is a highly improved and uprated variant of the AL-31 that powers the Su-27 family of aircraft. The 117 engine produces 93.1 kN (21,000 lbf) of dry thrust, 147.1 kN (33,067 lbf) of thrust in afterburner, and has a thrust to weight ratio of 10.5:1. The engines have full authority digital engine control (FADEC) and are integrated into the flight control system to facilitate maneuverability and handling.

Item 117 (AL-41F1) Engine – Fiery Heart of the Pak Fa fighter / Изд. 117 (АЛ-41Ф1)

The Saturn-Lyulka 117S is equipped with modern high and low-pressure turbines, an all-new digital control system, thrust-vectoring nozzles and fan with diameter of 932mm. The lifespan and mean time between overhaul (MTBO) of the engine are 4,000 hours and 1,000 hours respectively. Source

Highly upgraded variant of the AL-31F 117S used by the Su-27 family as interim engines (© 2009 Vitaliy V. Kuzmin)

The existing PAK-FA prototype effort is clearly focussed on minimising risk during the initial process of proving the aerodynamic, airframe and systems design. Russian open sources have stated that the prototypes are powered by the existing production Al-31F 117S, often labelled for marketing reasons as the Al-41F1A, variant 19,400/32,000  lbf (8,800/14,500 kp) engine, employed in the Su-35S. While this engine lacks the performance rating of the earlier  developmental Al-41F series and its likely derivatives, it is capable of supercruise and thus permits significant flight test and flight control system development to be performed without the high risks characteristic of  the concurrent use of a developmental engine and developmental airframe.

The cited TVC capability of the 117S engine is ±15° in the vertical plane, and ±8° in the horizontal plane, with deflection angle rates of now up to 60 °/sec, putting them in the same onset rate category as fighter-type aerodynamic flight control surfaces. The engine employs a larger diameter fan, at 932 mm vs. the 905 mm fan in the earlier Al-31FP TVC engine. Key hot end components in the core were redesigned to employ the cooling system technology developed in the 1990s Al-41F, permitting much higher TIT ratings and a commensurately reduced thrust lapse rate with altitude, in turn permitting supercruise operation.

Laith Jobran @flickr

Harmonisation of the digital flight control laws with the precision 3D TVC nozzle system requires a robust and reliable 3D TVC nozzle equipped powerplant.

Uncertainties remain in terms of the capabilities and design of the intended powerplant for Full Rate Production aircraft. Saturn have been developing a new engine for the PAK-FA since 2006, labelled as the “Fifth Generation Fighter Engine”. Clearly this will employ technology from the existing 39,600 lbf class Al-41F, developed initially for the MFI.

Above: workshare breakdown for the developmental fifth generation engine; below: intended applications for same. The Russian language legend shows a common core [Basic Gas Generator] exploited for  a range of other applications, including maritime surface combatant powerplants, and  fixed power station or gasline pumping applications (NPO Saturn).

Public comments by Russian parliamentary scientific advisor Konstantin Makienko, in a recent media interview, indicate that the Russians envisage the PAK-FA project in terms of a 40 – 50 year operational life cycle, reflecting historical experience with the T-10, which entered development during the early 1970s.

Against such timescales, it is a certainty that production PAK-FA aircraft will see two or three generations of powerplant fitted to the design, which further explains the employment of the large, seemingly oversize propulsion system intakes. Clearly, the Sukhoi penchant for alternate intakes in Flanker designs continues with the PAK-FA design.

Production PAK-FA aircraft will therefore at some stage acquire a high variable bypass supercruising engine with a variable cycle core and augmenter, as the diverse needs of long range/persistence and supercruise dictate this design approach. When the US dropped the variable cycle YF-120 from the ATF program during the early 1990s, it was for fear of development risks impacting deployment timelines, leaving the production F-22A Raptor with a much more basic F119-PW-100 engine design. Source

GTDE-117M / GTDE-117-1M APU

YGypgA gas turbine engine-power center GTDE-117M / GTDE-117-1M ( )

The auxiliary power unit and the starters for the T-50 aircraft designed and manufactured by the factory “Red October” (St. Petersburg). Probably, on the T-50 model is used, the gas turbine engine power unit GTDE-117M / GTDE-117-1M, which is a turboshaft engine with free turbine, has a modular design. Turbocharger module – single shaft with a single-stage centrifugal compressor and turbine. Reducer power turbine is made by a two-stage multi-threading scheme. Purpose: providing standalone preflight preparation of the aircraft without starting the main engines and their subsequent launch ..

Power in starter mode – 110 hp
Dimensions – 680 x 260 mm
Weight – 40 kg

Телеканал Звезда YouTube

The two 117 engines incorporate thrust vectoring (TVC) nozzles whose rotational axes are each canted at an angle, similar to the nozzle arrangement of the Su-35S. This configuration allows the aircraft to produce thrust vectoring moments about all three rotational axes, pitch, yaw and roll. Thrust vectoring nozzles themselves operate in only one plane; the canting allows the aircraft to produce both roll and yaw by vectoring each engine nozzle differently. The engine inlet incorporates variable intake ramps for increased supersonic efficiency and retractable mesh screens to prevent foreign object debris being ingested by the engines.

The 117 engine is to also incorporate infrared and RCS reduction measures. In 2014, the Indian Air Force openly expressed concerns over the reliability and performance of the 117 engines; during the 2011 Moscow Air Show, a T-50 suffered a compressor stall that forced the aircraft to abort takeoff.

Production T-50 from 2020 onward will be equipped with a more powerful engine known as the izdeliye 30, a clean sheet design engine that will supersede the 117. NPO Saturn and MMPP Salyut are competing to supply this definitive second stage engine. Compared to the 117, the new powerplant will have increased thrust and fuel efficiency, greater reliability, and lower costs.

Pavel Myth YB

The izdeliye 30 has fewer fan and compressor stages than the 117, thus reducing the number of parts compared to its predecessor. The engine is designed to produce approximately 107 kN (24,050 lbf) of dry thrust and up to 167 kN (37,500 lbf) in afterburner. Full scale development began in 2011 and the engine’s compressor began bench testing in December 2014. The first test engines are planned to be completed in 2016, and flight testing is projected to begin in 2017. The new powerplant is designed to be a drop-in replacement for the 117 with minimal changes to the airframe.

New engine being designed for fifth-generation Russian fighter aircraft: Here


The United Engine Corp., part of Rostec state holding company, successfully conducted the first ground-based ignition of the second stage of the engine for the Prospective Airborne Complex of Frontline Aviation (PAK FA T-50 aircraft).

In order to carry out the testing, gas generators had to be prepared for it, in addition to the demonstrator engine.

Russia to test-fly PAK FA fighter powered with Phase II engine in late 2017

The first flight of the Russian fifth-generation fighter (Russian acronym – PAK FA) powered by the Phase II engine is slated for late 2017, Yevgeny Marchukov, general designer/director, Lyulka Design Bureau (an affiliate of the Ufa Engine Production Association, UMPO), told TASS on Thursday, March 10, 2016.

“If all goes to plan, the Phase II engine’s fight flight on the flying testbed will take place late in 2017, with a T-50 (PAKFA) prototype to act as flying testbed,” the general designer said.

“One of the flying testbed’s engine nacelles will house a Phase I engine and the other the advanced one,” he added.

According to Marchukov, the Phase II engine is in the prototype manufacture, demonstrator assembly and core engine test stages. The first core engine has been tested, with good enough results produced. The second core engine’s assembly is nearing the end. “We will test the engine demonstrator this summer,” Marchukov said.

The general designer emphasized: “The Phase II engine designed for the PAK FA is a Generation 5+ design, even a Generation 5++ one.” The engine is 15-20% superior to the previous ones in terms of specific characteristics.

“The engine’s characteristics have been refined through a sharp improvement in the operating cycle parameters, efficiency of units and introduction of advanced technologies and materials in the first place. It features higher thrust and a sizeable reduction in specific fuel consumption in virtually all operating modes, i.e. not only in the cruising range mode, but in the acceleration and afterburning modes as well – the modes the aircraft is normally flown in. This implies a life cycle cost reduction,” the general designer explained. “In addition, a hefty specific weight reduction through advanced technologies and materials has been planned.”

According to Marchukov, “there have been difficulties in the development of the advanced engine, because not all of the materials have been certificated, and we may not use them for now. Therefore, the early prototypes will be somewhat different to the ones used in the official trials. We are working on the powerplant in cooperation with the plane’s designers, including the work on the air intake, because it is an all-new engine designed to remain in service for 30 years at the least.”

“We plan to use the advanced engine’s core engine to derive a whole spectrum of advanced powerplants for aviation and power generation applications,” the general designer concluded. Source

First public photo of the second stage engine “product 30” for the fifth-generation Russian aircraft Su-57: Here

Военный Осведомитель Military Informant

Developed from scratch over the course of almost a decade at the Saturn Tool-Making Plant in Rybinsk, central Russia, Izdeliye 30 features improved thrust characteristics (19,000 kgf vs. 15,000 kgf in the AL-41F1), better fuel efficiency, fewer moving parts, and subsequently improved reliability and lower maintenance costs. Source

Su-57 fitted with new Product 30 engine first flight: Here


The fifth-generation fighter Su-57 (also known as the T-50) made its first flight with a second-stage engine. This was reported to journalists in the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation.

“On December 5, 2017, the newest Russian fighter of the fifth generation T-50 with the engine of the second stage made its first flight to the Gromov Flight Research Institute,” the Ministry of Industry and Trade reported.

The flight was carried out by the chief-pilot of the firm “Sukhoi” (included in the UAC) Sergei Bogdan. The flight duration was 17 minutes. “The flight was regular, in accordance with the conditions of the flight assignment,” the ministry said.



The T-50 has two tandem main internal weapon bays each approximately 4.6 m (15.1 ft) long and 1.0 m (3.3 ft) wide and two small triangular-section weapon bays that protrude under the fuselage near the wing root. Internal carriage of weapons preserves the aircraft’s stealth and significantly reduces aerodynamic drag, thus preserving kinematic performance compared to performance with external stores. The T-50’s high cruising speed is expected to substantially increase weapon effectiveness compared to its predecessors. Vympel is developing two ejection launchers for the main bays: the UVKU-50L for missiles weighing up to 300 kg (660 lb) and the UVKU-50U for ordnance weighing up to 700 kg (1,500 lb). The aircraft has an internally mounted 9A1-4071K (GSh-301) 30 mm cannon near the right LEVCON root.

UVKU-50L ejection launcherslarge_sukhoi_pak-fa_t-50_stealth_fighter_jet_3d_model_max__9b680d02-0964-4186-8a08-f53a37979697.jpg PAK FA main weapons bays

The primary medium-range missile is the active radar-homing K-77M (izdeliye 180), an upgraded R-77 variant with AESA seeker and conventional rear fins. The short-range missile is the infrared-homing (“heat seeking”) K-74M2 (izdeliye 760), an upgraded R-74 variant with reduced cross-section for internal carriage. A clean-sheet design short-range missile designated K-MD (izdeliye 300) is being developed to eventually replace the K-74M2. For longer ranged applications, four large izdeliye 810 beyond-visual-range missiles can be carried, with two in each main weapons bay.


PAK-FA Weapons Capabilities

Very little has been disclosed to date on the intended weapons suite for the PAK-FA. The internal bays are claimed to fit eight AAMs. The limited width of the centre fuselage bays indicates that most likely these would each fit three staggered RVV-SD rounds, this being the latest variant of the R-77 / AA-12 Adder and a direct equivalent to the US AIM-120 AMRAAM series. To date only the active radar seeker equipped RVV-SD variant has been displayed, the intended heatseeking and anti-radiation variants have yet to be seen in mockup form or marketing literature.

While a new WVR AAM has been planned, it is likely that a derivative of the RVV-MD / R-74 Archer series will be used with early PAK-FA variants.

For very close air combat, a 30 mm gun mounted in the starboard forward fuselage will be employed – the type has not been disclosed to date but it is likely to be a variant of the GSh-30 series carried by the Su-35S Flanker.

With eight stations cited for external stores, and the diversity of guided bombs, ASMs and cruise missiles available for the Su-30MK/Su-35S Flanker series, there is no shortage of alternatives for external carriage by the PAK-FA.

Internal weapons for strike roles are a much more interesting consideration, due to the limited volume of the internal bays. Recent designs known to have folding surfaces for internal carriage include the new KTRV Kh-38 and Kh-58UShKE Kilter.

It is likely, but yet to be confirmed, that KTRV are developing an analogue to the GBU-39/B Small Diameter Bomb.

Given the well established and managed aerodynamics of this area of the Flanker designs, weapon clearances from the internal bays across the whole of the PAK-FA’s operational envelope should be achieved with little, if any, difficulties, and without the need for employment of exotic and heavy techniques such as aero-acoustic local flow control and shaping or similar. Source

9A1-4071K (GSh-301) 30 mm cannon

There were test firing 9A1-4071K aircraft cannon for the Russian fifth generation fighter T-50 (PAK FA) for scientific test range aircraft systems, located near the village of Faustovo Moscow region.

 Aerogun tests were on the test bench, loading 30-mm ammunition in the input tray, and test firing, according to “Rossiyskaya Gazeta “.
It is known that the gun 9A1-4071K for the Sukhoi PAK FA (PAK FA) has been developed by specialists of JSC “Instrument Design Bureau” in late 2014. Because open source is known, that it is an upgraded version of the high-velocity gun GS-30-1.

The gun is ideal for aircraft: its weight of only 50 kilograms, it is considered to be the easiest in the world of 30-millimeter cannon. Unique automation scheme has allowed the base to give 9A1-4071K highest for this type of weapon rate per barrel – up to 1,800 rounds per minute. Feature of the gun is also a stand-alone system vodoisparitelnogo cooling barrel. Its principle of operation is simple: the gun in the casing is water, which is heated in the barrel (during firing) is converted into steam.

Fire from the new gun will be conducted high-explosive-incendiary projectiles and armor-piercing tracer shells, capable of striking even lightly armored ground, surface and air targets. On ground targets gun is effective when shooting at a distance of 1800 meters, in the air – to 1200. Previously 9A1-4071K gun was tested in a multi-purpose fighter Su-27SM. T-50 (PAK FA project) – a fifth-generation aircraft equipped with a fundamentally new avionics suite and promising radar with a phased antenna array. Source

Magazine Capacity: 150

Number of Barrels: 1


Caliber: 30 millimeter


Max Range: 1,800 meter (5,906 foot)

Min Range: 200 meter


Max Rate of Fire: 1,500 round per minute


Muzzle Velocity: 860 mps


Cartridge Weight: 0.83 kilogram

Combat Weight: 50 kilogram (110 pound)

Projectile Weight: 0.39 kilogram


Russia’s New T-50 get cannon shells that feature synthetic polymer navigation equipment: Here

K-77M (izdeliye 180)

aimg_0084x500x160__aa-12_adder_missileMedium-range missile is the active radar-homing K-77M (izdeliye 180), an upgraded R-77 variant with AESA seeker and conventional rear fins

The Vympel NPO R-77 missile (NATO reporting name: AA-12 Adder) is a Russian medium range, active radar homing air-to-air missile system. It is also known by its export model designation RVV-AE. It is the Russian counterpart to the American AIM-120 AMRAAM missile.


Another improvement program was designated the R-77M, which made the missile longer and heavier, making use of a two-stage motor as well as an improved seeker. A further product-improvement of the R-77, designated the R-77M1 and then the R-77-PD, was to feature a ramjet propulsion device. This missile was destined for the MiG 1.44 that for the MFI program. The weapon has a laser fuse and an expanding rod warhead that can destroy the variable sized targets. However, due to funding shortage and eventual cancellation of the MiG 1.44, development of this model may have stopped by 1999; no information or announcement regarding the R-77M and R-77-PD has appeared since.

According to specifications, the R-77-1 and its export variant RVV-SD is 15 kg (33 lb) heavier than the basic R-77 / RVV-AE, weighing 190 kg (420 lb) rather than 175 kg (386 lb). Maximum range is increased to 110 km (68 mi) from 80 km (50 mi). The missile is also slightly longer at 3.71 metres (12.2 ft), rather than the 3.6 metres (11.8 ft) of the basic variant. Additional improvements include upgrades to the missile’s radar seeker and boat tail rear section to reduce drag. Russian missile manufacturer Agat previously confirmed it was working on seeker upgrades for the R-77, implying that at least two projects were underway, one for export and one for the Russian air force.

K-77M (izdeliye 180) – Highly improved variant for the PAK FA with AESA seeker, conventional fins, and two-pulse motor.

K-77ME (izdeliye 180-BD) – Ramjet model of the K-77M.


r77ramjetR-77M-PD –


K-74M2 (izdeliye 760)

For the PAK FA, Vympel is developing two new missiles based on R-73/R-74 technology. The first of these is izdeliye 760. Based on the K-74M, this is intended to match the performance of the MBDA Advanced Short-Range Air-to-Air Missile (ASRAAM) and the Raytheon AIM-9X Sidewinder. It will have an improved IR seeker, an inertial control system, a datalink receiver for target updates and an advanced rocket motor with a longer burn time. To make the missile suitable for internal carriage, its cross-section will be reduced to 320×320 mm.

To maximise the weapon’s coverage, it can be fired in lock-on-after-launch (LOAL) mode, starting under inertial control before achieving in-flight lock-on. It will be able to engage targets up to 160ⅹ from the aircraft’s heading.

According to a Vympel representative, izdeliye 760 is about to begin flight tests. Development is due to be completed in 2010.

The follow-on K-MD (izdeliye 300) is intended to outperform the ASRAAM and AIM-9X. Although it will draw on the experience gained with the R-73/R-74 series, for most practical purposes it will be an all-new missile.

Its guidance system will be based on a new IR seeker incorporating a focal-plane array (FPA). This will have more than twice the lock-on range of the izdeliye 760 seeker, a high resistance to countermeasures and a target-recognition capability. Source

The main bays can also accommodate air-to-ground missiles such as the Kh-38M, as well as multiple 250 kg (550 lb) KAB-250 or 500 kg (1,100 lb) KAB-500 precision guided bombs. The aircraft is also expected to carry further developed and modified variants of Kh-35UE (AS-20 “Kayak”) anti-ship missile and Kh-58UShK (AS-11 “Kilter”) anti-radiation missile. For missions that do not require stealth, the T-50 can carry stores on its six external hardpoints. PAK FA chief designer Alexander Davydenko has said that there is a possibility of the installation of BrahMos supersonic cruise missile on the PAK FA and its FGFA derivative; only one or two such missiles may be carried due to heavy weight of the BrahMos.

Kh-38M air-to-ground missiles

Kh-38 air to surface missile

Kh-38ME family consists of the following missiles: Kh-38MAE, Kh-38MKE, Kh-38MLE and Kh-38MTE modular aircraft guided missiles designed to shoot down a broad range of armored, reinforced and soft ground targets, sea surface and coastal targets, as well as groups of targets.

The Kh-38ME series is a comprehensive battlefield weapon, also launched from positions in tactical depth.

Modularity brings high combat effectiveness against a variety of targets owing to the use of different payloads and guidance methods:

– Kh-38MAE – inertial + active radar guidance;

– Kh-38MKE – inertial + satellite guidance;

– Kh-38MLE – inertial + semiactive laser guidance;

– Kh-38MTE – inertial + thermal-imaging guidance.

The 250-kg payload (half of the missile total weght) consists of HE-Frag or penetrating warhead in Kh-38MAE, Kh-38MLE and Kh-38MTE, or a cluster warhead in Kh-38MKE.

Kh-38MLE for Su-57

IMG_7305-620x404The Kh-38MLE shown at MAKS 2017 is fitted with a semi-active laser seeker (ATO.RU)

Russia’s Tactical Missiles Corporation has unveiled a modified design of its Kh-38 family of air-to-surface missiles at MAKS 2017, while also upwardly revising the maximum range of the weapon.

The latest iteration of the Kh-38 shows the missile’s mid-body wing and tail control-surface design to have been notably modified. The large triangular mid-body wing has been replaced by a narrower diameter surface that appears to extend further along the missile body. The tail control surfaces have also been cropped.

The previously shown configuration required that the mid-body and tail surfaces fold for internal carriage in the main bay of the Sukhoi T-50 being developed to meet the Russian Aerospace Forces PAK FA requirement for a multirole fighter. The modified design will almost certainly allow the missile to be carried internally without the need to fold the wing and control surfaces, simplifying the design.

The version on display at the show is the Kh-38MLE, which is fitted with a semi-active laser seeker. The maximum range of the Kh-38 is now said to be at least 50 km, rather than the previously disclosed 40 km. Source

The two-phase solid-propellant motor allows the missile to attain a speed twice as high as the speed of a sound. Kh-38MEs are carried by both FW and RW aircraft.

Delivery set:

• operational missile;
• missile simulator with weight & dimensions of the real missile;
• operating missile for training;
• inert missile;
• cut-in-halves missile for training;
• missile for training in flight

Delivery set also includes:
• operational documentation set;
• ten-year group set of SPTA;
• single set of SPTA.
Ground operation of missiles is supported by arrangement of “Oka-E-1” air means of destruction.


 Launch range envelope, km

 3 – 40

 Launch speed envelope, km/h (max Mach number)


 Max missile turn angle,

 in horizontal plane after launch

 (+;-) 80

 Target destruction probability:

 under enemy’s attack/without enemy’s attack


 Shelf life, years


 Warhead weight, kg

 up to 250

 Fuse type

 contact fuse

 Motor type

 two-phase solid-propellant motor

 Max launch weight, kg


 LengthxDiameterxWing span, m



 aircrafts, helicopters

 Place of missile’s location

 release devices such as AKU or APU

 Launch conditions:

 launch range, m

 speed range, m/c

 200-12 000



KAB-250 precision-guided munition (PGM)

Region JSC’s KAB-250 precision-guided munition (PGM) will soon complete trials, Igor Krylov, director general of Region JSC (a subsidiary of Tactical Missiles Corporation, KTRV), told IHS Jane’s at the Russian Defence Ministry Innovation Day 2015.

Krylov also stated that there are two versions of the 250 kg Korrektiruyemaya Aviatsionnaya Bomba (KAB): a laser-guided version (the KAB-250LG-E) and the GLONASS/INS-guided KAB-250S-E. Its circular error probable (CEP) for ground targets is 3-5 m.

The KAB-250 is a follow-on to the larger KAB-500 PGM, which made its combat debut in September in Syria.

“The bomb is in trials on the Sukhoi Su-34 [Fullback], with the trials to be completed late this year,” said Krylov.

The KAB-250LG will enter the weapons suite of the PAK FA fifth-generation fighter in 2016, he noted. The KAB-250LG-E can be employed both by 4/4+ generation fighters from external hardpoints or by the PAK FA in its internal weapons bays, according to Krylov. Source

KAB-500 precision guided bombs

KAB-500 precision guided bombs

Size, kg 500
Weight of warhead , kg 380
Guidance system TV correlation
homing head ensuring target lockon
while aboard the carrier
and automatic guidance during fall
Warhead HE concrete-piercing
Combat use conditions in daytime
at visually discernible targets
during level flight or dive
Guidance accuracy (CEP), m up to 4

Size, kg 500
Weight of warhead , kg 250
Guidance system TV correlation
homing head
Warhead fuel-air explosive
Combat use conditions in daytime at visually
discernible targets
during level flight
or dive on the
drop-and-forget principle
Guidance accuracy (CEP), m up to 4


Kh-35UE (AS-20 “Kayak”) anti-ship missile

The Kh-35UE is a subsonic, sea-skimming anti-ship missile designed to engage amphibious assault ships and cargo vessels navigating individually or as part of a convoy from longer ranges than the basic Kh-35 missile. Like its predecessor, the new missile can be released from both fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft. The helicopter version is longer and heavier than the airplane version (4.4 meters versus 3.85 meters and 650 kg versus 550 kg) but can be released at lower altitudes (100-3,500 meters) and airspeeds (0-0.25 Mach). The guidance system has been improved to make the missile system more effective against advanced targets.

The Kh-35UE features an improved propulsion system which doubles the effective range of the cruise missile from 130 km to up to 260 km. It features a high-precision radio-altimeter and an active radar guidance system in the terminal phase of the flight. During the flight the Kh-35UE missile depends on the radio-altimeter and the Inertial Navigation System (INS). It is fitted with a 145 High Explosive (HE) fragmentation, penetration warhead.

Number of Stages: 2
Diameter: 0.42 meter
Length: 3.85 meter (12.6 foot)
Wingspan: 1.33 meter
Max Launch Altitude: 10,000 meter
Max Range: 260 kilometer (140 nautical mile)
Min Launch Altitude: 200 meter

Min Range: 7 kilometer
Cruise Speed: 0.80 mach (956 kph)
Max Launch Airspeed: 0.90 mach (1,076 kph)
Min Launch Airspeed: 0.35 mach (418 kph)
Warhead: 145 kilogram (320 pound)
Weight: 550 kilogram


Kh-58UShK (AS-11 “Kilter”) anti-radiation missile

Kh-58UShK (AS-11 “Kilter”) anti-radiation missile (wings extended)

The Kh-58 (Russian: Х-58; NATO:AS-11 ‘Kilter’) is a Soviet anti-radiation missile with a range of 120 km. As of 2004 the Kh-58U variant was still the primary anti-radiation missile of Russia and its allies. It is being superseded by the Kh-31. The NATO reporting name is “Kilter”, after a pixie in the 1902 book The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus by L. Frank Baum.

It was designed to be used in conjunction with the Su-24’s L-086A “Fantasmagoria A” or L-086B “Fantasmagoria B” target acquisition system. The range achieved depends heavily on the launch altitude, thus the original Kh-58 has a range of 36 km from low level, 120 km from 10,000 m (32,800 ft), and 160 km from 15,000 m (49,200 ft).

Like other Soviet missiles of the time, the Kh-58 could be fitted with a range of seeker heads designed to target specific air defence radars such as MIM-14 Nike-Hercules or MIM-104 Patriot.

The Kh-58 was deployed in 1982 on the Su-24M ‘Fencer D’ in Soviet service. The Kh-58U entered service in 1991 on the Su-24M and Mig-25BM ‘Foxbat-F’. The Kh-58E version can be carried on the Su-22M4 and Su-25TK as well, whilst the Kh-58UshE appears to be intended for Chinese Su-30MKK’s.

Kh-58UShKE(TP) for PAK FA

Kh-58UShKE(TP) – version shown at MAKS 2015 with an added IIR UV seeker


  • Kh-58 (Izdeliye 112) – original version for the Su-24M
  • Kh-58U – improved version with longer range and lock-on-after-launch
  • Kh-58E – export version first offered in 1991 a downgraded Kh-58U
  • Kh-58EM – another version offered for export in the 1990s
  • Kh-58UShE (Uluchshennaya Shirokopolosnaya Exportnaya : ‘improved, wideband, export’) – new wideband seeker in new radome, intended for Su-30
  • Kh-58UShKE – version shown at MAKS 2007 with folding fins for internal carriage in the Sukhoi PAK FA.
  • Kh-58UShKE(TP) – version shown at MAKS 2015 with an added IIR UV seeker.

Some Western sources have referred to a Kh-58A that is either optimised for naval radars or has an active seeker head for use as an anti-shipping missile – it probably represents another name for the Kh-58U. Source


The Kh-59 is a standoff, air-launched, air-to-surface weapon designed to engage ground and surface targets with pinpoint accuracy in optimal weather conditions. Its guidance system consists of an automatic navigation and control system which takes the weapon to the target’s area. A nose-mounted TV-sensor relays target area imagery to the launch airborne platform and the pilot selects the impact point. A bi-directional data link allows the pilot to select the impact point and re-target with the missile already in flight. The Kh-59 was introduced as the the Soviet counterpart to US SLAM standoff missile in the 1980s.

The Kh-59MK2 is a stealth air-launched, fire-and-forget, highly subsonic cruise missile featuring an improved engine which provides a maximum range in excess of 290 kilometers. Its guidance system combines automatic inertial navigation and terrain recognition with one or more target’s area pre-programmed in the flying mission. It is intended to destroy a wide range of stationary targets with no radar or infrared signatures as well as troops and equipment placed in a wide area. The engine is placed inside the main body making the weapon more compact and favoring its stealth profile. The existence of the stealth Kh-59Mk2 cruise missile developed by Raduga, part of Tactical Missiles Corporation, was revealed in October 2015. Source


R-37 (Western designation: AA-13 Arrow, although sometimes AA-X-13 Arrow) RVV-BD


The R-37 (Western designation: AA-13 Arrow, although sometimes AA-X-13 Arrow) is a large, fast, powerful, and extremely long-ranged Russian air-to-air missile. Vympel, a sizeable research and production company, (now part of TRV) designed and built the R-37.

The R-37 was developed to replace the R-33 (Western designation: AA-9 Amos), which was used on the MiG-31. Its main purpose is to shoot down aircraft (particularly high value AWACS—Airborne Warning And Control System—aircraft) and possibly even cruise missiles from such long range that the launch platform is safe from retaliation.


A council of ministers in the USSR started the development of the R-37 in 1983. Testing began six years later in 1989. In 1994, the K-37 (the R-37’s name in development) secured a kill and a record at the same time by hitting its target from 300 kilometers. However, in 1998, the K-37 program was dropped due to its high cost and lack of enough suitable MiG-31 launch platforms. But, in 2006, the Russian government restarted the weapon’s development as part of the MiG-31BM program. The new version is known as R-37M or RVV-BD. It is unknown if this missile has entered service yet, although according to some sources it entered production in 2014.

The R-37M is believed to track its targets with both semi-active and active radar homing. Its radar system is the 9B-1388. The R-37M probably homes on its targets in this way: first, the launch platform detects its target and launches the R-37 towards the target’s hypothesized position. Once the R-37M comes within suitable range of the target, it activates its own radar and homes in on the target. The R-37M can also use a fire-and-forget mode where it is completely independent of its launch platform.

The recent R-37M is a powerful and effective missile. It is much more maneuverable than its predecessor, the R-33. It can engage targets from any altitude between 15 and 25 000 meters, giving it great versatility. Its high explosive fragmentation warhead is huge—60 kilograms—and capable of critically damaging even large AWACS aircraft. It has an incredibly fast speed—Mach 6 or about 7,350 km/h, which is enough to easily catch up with every type of aircraft. Above all, it reportedly has an enormous range— of up to 200.

Although normally called the R-37, this missile has many other names. In the West it is designated as the AA-X-13, AA-13,  Arrow, or even Andi. In Russia, it is also known as the Izdeliye 610 or RVV-BD (Raketa Vozduh-Vozduh Bolyshoy Dalnosty or English for Long-Range Air-to-Air Missile).

It appears that the R-37M will be used on two types of aircraft. The first is the MiG-31BM, an extremely fast interceptor aircraft. The second is the Su-35S, a powerful multi-role fighter.

Country of origin Russia
Entered service 2016 (?)
Missile length 4.06 m
Missile diameter 0.38 m
Fin span 1.02 m
Missile launch weight 510 kg
Warhead weight 60 kg
Warhead type Conventional
Range of fire up to 200 km
Guidance semi-active and active radar homing


BrahMos supersonic cruise missile

01_jpg602386b7-f2e2-4a89-ad9d-446c73358c1cOriginalBrahMos supersonic cruise missile

The BrahMos (Hindi: ब्रह्ममोस -brahmos, Russian: Брамос) is a short range ramjet supersonic cruise missile that can be launched from submarines, ships, aircraft or land. It is a joint venture between the Russian Federation’s NPO Mashinostroeyenia and India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) who have together formed BrahMos Aerospace Private Limited. It is based on the Russian P-800 Oniks cruise missile and other similar sea-skimming Russian cruise missile technology. The name BrahMos is a portmanteau formed from the names of two rivers, the Brahmaputra of India and the Moskva of Russia.

It is the world’s fastest anti-ship cruise missile in operation. The missile travels at speeds of Mach 2.8 to 3.0. The land-launched and ship-launched versions are already in service, with the air and submarine-launched versions currently in the testing phase. An air-launched variant of BrahMos is planned which came out in 2012. A hypersonic version of the missile, BrahMos-II, is also presently under development with speed of Mach 7 to boost aerial fast strike capability. It is expected to be ready for testing by 2017.

Though India had wanted the BrahMos to be based on a mid range cruise missile like P-700 Granit, Russia opted for the shorter range sister of the missile, P-800 Oniks, in order to comply with Missile Technology Control Regime restrictions, to which Russia is a signatory. Its propulsion is based on the Russian missile, and missile guidance has been developed by BrahMos Aerospace. The missile is expected to reach a total order worth US$13 billion.

Air-launched variant


The BrahMos-A is a modified air-launched variant of the missile which will arm the Su-30MKI of the air force as a standoff weapon. To reduce the missile’s weight to 2.55 tons, many modifications were made like using a smaller booster, adding fins for airborne stability after launch, and relocating the connector. It can be released from the height of 500 to 14,000 meters (1,640 to 46,000 ft). After release, the missile free falls for 100–150 meters, then goes into a cruise phase at 14,000 meters and finally the terminal phase at 15 meters. BrahMos Aerospace plans to deliver the missile to the IAF in 2015, where it is expected to arm at least three squadrons. An Su-30MKI is able to only carry one BrahMos missile.

The missile was also planned to arm the Indian Navy‘s Ilyushin Il-38 and Tupolev Tu-142 maritime patrol and anti-submarine aircraft with 6 missiles per aircraft, but this could not be made possible due to insufficient ground clearance of the IL-38, high cost of modifying the Tu-142 and the questionable benefits of modifying an ageing fleet.

The air-launched version for the Indian Air Force was ready for testing in 2008. An expert committee from the DRDO and the Indian Air Force (IAF) had ruled out any structural modifications to the Sukhoi Su-30MKI to carry the missile. On 22 October 2008, A. Sivathanu Pillai, Chief Controller, R&D, DRDO and CEO and managing director of BrahMos Aerospace, announced that trials and tests were to be carried out by 2011, and the IAF would get its own version of BrahMos by 2012.

On 10 January 2009, it was reported that two Indian Air Force Su-30MKI fighter jets were sent to Russia for a retrofit program that would enable them to launch the missile. On 8 August 2009, Alexander Leonov, Director of the Russian Machine Building Research and Production Center, said “we are ready for test launches.” He also said that a new takeoff engine for launching of the missile in air and at extreme high altitudes had been developed, and the initial test firing of the missile would be undertaken from the Su-30 MKI, but did not specify the dates. On 26 February 2012, A. Sivathanu Pillai said that the air-launched version of BrahMos is being developed and will be tested by the end of 2012. This version of the BrahMos missile will use air breathing scramjet propulsion technology and would be more fuel efficient than a traditional rocket-powered missile.

The purchase of over 200 air-launched BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles for the IAF was cleared by Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) on 19 October 2012, at the cost of ₹60 billion (US$892 million). This would include funds for the integration and testing of the BrahMos on Su-30MKI of the IAF. As per this plan, the first test of the air-launched version of the missile was to be conducted by December 2012. Two Su-30MKI of the IAF would be modified by the HAL at its Nashik facility where they will also be integrated with the missile’s aerial launcher. The trial is now expected to happen in early 2014.

Further developments


BrahMos-II is a hypersonic cruise missile currently under development and is estimated to have a range of 290 km. Like the BrahMos, the range of BrahMos II has also been limited to 290 km to comply with the MTCR. With a speed of Mach 7, it will have double the speed of the current BrahMos missile, and it will be the fastest hypersonic missile in the world. Development could take 7–8 years to complete


BrahMos-NG (Next Generation) is a mini version based on the existing BrahMos, will have same 290 km range and mach 3.5 speed but it will weigh around 1.5 tons, 5 meters in length and 50 cm in diameter, making BrahMos-NG 50 percent lighter and three meters shorter than its predecessor. The system is expected to be inducted in the year 2017. BrahMos-NG will have lesser RCS (radar cross section) compared to its predecessor, making it harder for air defense systems to locate and engage the target. BrahMos-NG will have Land, Air, ship-borne and Submarine tube-launched variants. First test flight is expected to take place in 2017–18. Initially Brahmos-NG was called as Brahmos-M.

The missile will arm the Sukhoi Su-30MKI, MiG-29K and future inductions such as the Dassault Rafale. Submarine launched variant will be capable of being fired from the new P75I class of submarines. A model of the new variant was showcased on 20 February 2013, at the 15th anniversary celebrations of BrahMos Corporations. The Sukhoi SU-30MKI would carry three missiles while other combat aircraft would carry one each.


BrahMos claims it has the capability of attacking surface targets by flying as low as 5 meters in altitude and the maximum altitude it can fly is 14000 meters. It has a diameter of 70 cm and a wing span of 1.7 m It can gain a speed of Mach 2.8, and has a maximum range of 290 km. The ship-launched and land-based missiles can carry a 200 kg warhead, whereas the aircraft-launched variant (BrahMos A) can carry a 300 kg warhead. It has a two-stage propulsion system, with a solid-propellant rocket for initial acceleration and a liquid-fuelled ramjet responsible for sustained supersonic cruise. Air-breathing ramjet propulsion is much more fuel-efficient than rocket propulsion, giving the BrahMos a longer range than a pure rocket-powered missile would achieve. Source

T-50 PAK FAs to be armed with BrahMos light cruise missiles: Here

PAK FA carrying Vympel NPO R-77 missile on external pylon

Kh-31PD anti-radiation missile

The Kh-31P is based on the normal aerodynamic scheme with X-shaped arrangement of the wing and rudder. The missile consists of three compartments. Each compartment is a structurally and functionally complete unit. In the case in a plane bearing surfaces there are four round side supersonic inlet closed in flight discharged plugs conical shape. The Kh-31P is equipped with high-explosive fragmentation warhead, upgraded X-31PD – universal tape, weighing 110 kg, increased lethality.

Engine 31DPK – ramjet, created in the ICD “Soyuz” (city Turaevo Moscow region). It consists of: air intakes, fuel tanks with a system of repression and fuel metering equipment, front-line unit, the combustion chamber with a fixed supersonic nozzle, electrohydraulic control system roszhiga.




Range, km:
– Maximum
– Minimal



flight speed, m / s:
– Maximum
– Mean


Airspeed carrier km / h

600-1250 (0.65 <=””

Height start



Dimensions, mm:
– Length
– Maximum body diameter
– Wingspan
– Swing rudders




Starting weight, kg



Weight of warhead, kg



bearing angle goal at the start:
– Takeover target by carrier
– A takeover target in the path

± 15 °
± 30 °

Aviation launcher AKU-58


IBC “Vympel”

Empty weight PU, kg


Dimensions, mm:
– Length
– Width
– Height





High-explosive incendiary bomb aviation OFZAB-500 was established use in high speed with low altitudes against manpower and easily vulnerable field installations, warehouses and fuel depots. The bomb is intended to replace in the Russian Air Force obsolete FOZAB-500. It is used at altitudes of 300 – 20,000 m at speeds of 100 – 1200 km / h.

OFZAB-500 allows the wearer to carry out maneuvers with large congestion. The bomb can be used on a large number of combat aircraft of Soviet and Russian-made MiG-21, MiG-27, MiG-29, Su-17, Su-22, Su-24, Su-25, Su-27, Tu-95, Tu -16.

Length, m
Diameter, mm
span, m
weight bombs, kg
Weight of explosive, kg
250 kg incendiary + 37.5 kg PF



ODAB-500PMV (ОДАБ-500ПМВ – Объемно-детонирующая авиационная бомба) thermobaric air bomb


Bomb manufactured by the Russian company basalts. Furthermore, the term thermobaric air bomb can meet even the names vacuum bomb, fuel, bomb, aerosol bomb, v detonujúca bomb or a high-explosive bomb.

The bomb is designed to control industrial zones, unprotected or protected by live force (eg. In enclosures, tunnels, caves), nepancierovanej technology and military equipment. The bomb is scheduled for troop (front) airplanes and helicopters. It can be used for the destruction of anti-personnel mines and anti-tank.Planes can toss a bomb from a height of 200 to 12,000 m at speeds of 500-1500 km / hr. Helicopters can toss a bomb from a height of 1100 – 4000 M at speeds of 50-300 km / h.

Bomb has built a lighter.
Diameter Bomb: 500 mm
Length: 2380 mm
Weight bombs: 525 kg
Weight of filling: 193 kg
equivalent of TNT explosions: 1000 kg

Source valka.c


Pavel Myth YB @flickr

The T-50 has a glass cockpit with two 38 cm (15 in) main multi-functional LCD displays similar to the arrangement of the Su-35S. Positioned around the cockpit are three smaller control panel displays. The cockpit has a wide-angle (30° by 22°) head-up display (HUD), and Moscow-based Geofizika-NV provides a new NSTsI-V helmet-mounted sight and display for the ZSh-10 helmet.

t50%20(146)Large wide-angle (30° by 22°) head-up display (HUD)DqqhDСистема индикации на лобовое стекло Т-50 и моделирование изображения ИЛС на компьютерном симуляторе кабины Т-50 в КБ Сухого, г.Москва, 01.03.2010 г. (ТВ-кадры, Display System on the windshield of T-50 and ILS simulation image on a computer simulator cockpit T-50 Sukhoi, Moscow, 01.03.2010 (TV footage,Новости на Первом Канале

NSTsI-V helmet-mounted sight and display

vFzMe8dNSTsI-V helmet-mounted sight and display

Primary controls are the joystick and a pair of throttles. The aircraft uses a two-piece canopy, with the aft section sliding forward and locking into place. The canopy is treated with special coatings to increase the aircraft’s stealth.

The T-50 employs the NPP Zvezda K-36D-5 ejection seat and the SOZhE-50 life support system, which comprises the anti-g and oxygen generating system. The 30 kg (66 lb) oxygen generating system will provide the pilot with unlimited oxygen supply. The life support system will enable pilots to perform 9-g maneuvers for up to 30 seconds at a time, and the new VKK-17 partial pressure suit will allow safe ejection at altitudes of up to 23 km.

Ejection seat K-36D

Катапультное кресло К-36Д-3,5 авиация, спасение, фактыPilot ubrany w skafander PPK-7, hełm ZSz-10 wraz z maską KM-36M na fotelu K-36D-5 oraz obok niego system tlenowy KS-50 / Źródło: mycity-military.comPilot dressed in a suit PPK-7 helmet IMS-10 with mask KM-36M on the seat F-36D-5 and next to the oxygen system KS-50 / Source:

Scientific Manufacturing Company Zvezda announced the completion of the tests the state of new life-support systems designed for remote control of the 5th generation fighter T-50 PAK FA.

CEO and chief engineer of the company at the same time, Sergei S. Pozdniakow, at a press conference at the United Aircraft Corporation (OAK) announced the completion of the testing phase of the main elements of life support system remote control, designed for fighter Sukhoi T-50 PAK FA.


It includes:

Multifunctional protective helmet IMS-10; (ZSh-10)
oxygen mask KM-36M;
G-suit PPK-7;
pressure suit JCC-17; (VKK -17)
oxygen system KS-50;
ejection seat K-36D-5.
Hełm ZSz-10 wraz z maską KM-36M / Źródło: mycity-military.comHelmet IMS-10 (ZSh-10) with mask KM-36M / Source:

These facilities helps to keep alive the pilot even in situations where at an altitude of 20,000 meters will decompress the cockpit of the aircraft. The new helmet is also 350 grams lighter than currently used in the Russian Air Force (VVS). Source

Oxygen System KS-50


The KS-50 oxygen system is designed to supply oxygen to the T-50 pilot at the altitudes up to  23.5 km. The oxygen source is the BKDU-50 onboard oxygen-generating system producing oxygen from the compressed air tapped from the aircraft gas turbine compressor.

In comparison with the basic KS-129 oxygen system, the KS-50 system has the lower mass and is more reliable owing to a duplicated gas-analyzing system.

The KS-50 oxygen system comprises the АD-17 anti-G valve featuring the mechanism for anticipating anti-G suit inflation, which is actuated by an electric signal from the onboard information-management system a second prior to the onset of acceleration. Source

Testing of survival equipment for pilots of T-50 fighters has been completed

NPP Zvezda completed production and state testing of survival equipment for pilots of T-50 fifth-generation fighters, Rossiyskaya gazeta reports with reference to the press-service of United Aircraft Corporation.

According to NPP Zvezda Director – General Designer, Sergey Pozdnyakov, the testing of multi-purpose protective helmet ZSh-10, KM-36M oxygen mask, PPK-7 anti-G suit, VKK-17 pressurized suit and KS-50 oxygen system has been successfully completed. Moreover, K-36D-5 ejection seat has also successfully passed the state tests.

It was reported that the new equipment allows saving the pilot’s life in case of cockpit depressurization at an altitude up to 20 km. The new protective helmet is 350 g lighter compared to the previous model thanks to using the new composite material – organoplastic. The helmet is synchronized with a number of instruments located in the cockpit in order to reduce the pilot’s workload.

We remind you that T-50 fifth-generation fighter has 14 weapon stations. It will replace the Su-27 heavy fighter. The primary objective of the new fighter is gaining air superiority. It will be armed with efficient short-, medium- and long-range air-to-air missiles. Posted July 20, 2015 Source

OKB Aviaavtomatika HOTAS controls which Russian sources claim to be most likely design employed in PAK-FA cockpit (Aviaavtomatika)

Russian sources claim that the new OKB Aviaavtomatika HOTAS control set is likely to be used in the PAK-FA, but no formal disclosures by manufacturers have been made to date.

Like the Su-35S, the PAK-FA will employ a dual mode Glonass/GPS receiver and Kalman filter based inertial navigation suite, with an RLG.

As with the Su-35S, the PAK-FA will carry datalinks for bi-directional data transfers. There have been no disclosures at this time on the datalink terminals or waveforms intended.

PAK FA “055” – Оптико-локационная станция 101КС-O комплекса 101КС (Optic-location station 101KS-O from 101KS system) can be seen under and behind the cockit – laser-based countermeasuresComparison of frontal cockpit viewof  Su-35 and PAK FA


The main avionics systems are the Sh121 multifunctional integrated radio electronic system (MIRES) and the 101KS Atoll electro-optical system. The Sh121 consists of the N036 Byelka radar system and L402 Himalayas electronic countermeasures system.

Main nose-mounted N036-1-01 X band active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, or active phased array radar (see below Photonic Radar as new radar for PAK FA)

Developed by Tikhomirov NIIP Institute, the N036 consists of the main nose-mounted N036-1-01 X band active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, or active phased array radar (Russian: Активная фазированная антенная решётка, Aktivnaya Fazirovannaya Antennaya Reshotka, Russian: АФАР, AFAR) in Russian nomenclature, with 1,552 T/R modules and two side-looking N036B-1-01 X-band AESA radars with 358 T/R modules embedded in the cheeks of the forward fuselage for increased angular coverage.

Russian PAK FA to be Equipped With Futuristic Photonic Radar: HERE

Zhuk-AE/FGA-35 modified radar with AESA
Zhuk-AE/FGA-35 modified radar with AESA

Fast electrons

“Photonics is essentially analogous to electronics, but it uses in place of electrons the electromagnetic field of photons. Photons are more common in terms of the number of particles in the universe and, unlike electrons, have no mass or charge. For this reason, photonic systems are not subject to external electromagnetic fields and have a much larger signal transmission range and bandwidth.”

“Today, telecommunications photonics is helping to create a new trend – radio photonics arising from the merger of radio-wave optics, microwave, optoelectronics, and other branches of science and industry.

In other words, radio photonics deals with problems of transmission, reception, and transformation of information using electromagnetic waves of microwave and photonic devices and systems. These photons facilitate the creation of radio frequency parameters unattainable with conventional electronics.”


1.) Electronics based on photonics will have decreased the need for ‘servers’ down to 1/100th the current level, and will increase the data transfer rate by 10 fold!

2.) When fully mature photonics will allow truck based radars to have the same power, resolution, and capability as massive OTH radars!

3.) KRET’s early work in radiophotonics (photonics based radars) are incredibly promising. Developments in the field while it’s in it’s infancy allows airborne radars (AEW while based on photonics) weight to be cut down 1/2 the current weight, and increased the resolution by 10 fold!

4.) Photonic based radars will have it’s ECM resistance grow by several orders of magnitude! Will be heavily resistant to electro-magnetic storms…

5.) By the 2020’s photonic based AESA radars will grow by leaps and bounds in capability. The weight of AESA radar will be cut down by 1.5 to 3 times, increase the reliability and efficiency by 2 to 3 times, and increase the scanning speed and resolution by several dozen times that of contemporary AESA radars!  (KRET creates a laboratory for research in Photonics – Source

Detection range of Phazotron Zhuk ASE radar is much further –

Zhuk-AE/FGA-35 modified radar with AESA

Below quote on the radar from AI article by Piotr Butowski

The basic radar system for the Russian Air Force MiG-35S version is the N041R mechanically scanned, slotted-array radar. The export version is fitted with the Zhuk-ME (FGM229) variant. The Zhuk-M radar is not the latest, but a perfected and more economic design. A more advanced variant – the FGA35 Zhuk-AE with active electronic scanning – has already been flight tested on the MiG-35, tests that have included the launch of missiles.

Zhuk-AE is the first non-american AESA radar for fighter jets ready for use. The latest incarnation of the Zhuk radar family featuring an Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA). Russian industry has crossed the key hurdles of designing and integrating viable GaAs MMICs and performing the overall integration and design of an AESA. From this point we will see increasingly convergence with Western technology for AESAs, as new technologies like Gallium Nitride HEMT transistors are incorporated. The radar is stated to provide a detection range of 130 km for a head on target with up to 30 targets tracked and 6 of those engaged at any one time. As an AESA the radar is liquid cooled, with each transceiver capable of being switched off to prevent damage from overheating and switched on again when cooled. Two variants of the Zhuk-A exist: the FGA-29, and the follow on FGA-35 which will boast an improved detection range of 200 km with 60 targets tracked, the radar will also support a maximum mapping resolution of 1x1m in air to surface mode. The FGA-35 will feature a 700 mm antenna with an increased number of transmit and receive modules to between 1000-1,100, a 20 degree incline and a peak power of 6 kW. Source 5th Gen Development

With new radar the PAK FA fighter can detect any stealth aircraft: HERE

See details of MiG-35: HERE

Russia Designs ‘Friend-or-Foe’ Stealth Recognition System for PAK FA Jets: Here


“The United Instrument Manufacturing Corporation has completed the development of the ‘friend or foe’ radar identification system for advanced and modernized Su-35S, the PAK FA and Il-76 aircraft systems,” the UIMC press service said.

The suite also has two N036L-1-01 L band transceivers on the wing’s leading edge extensions that are not only used to handle the N036Sh Pokosnik (Reaper) friend-or-foe identification system but also for electronic warfare purposes. Computer processing of the X- and L-band signals by the N036UVS computer and processor enable the system’s information to be significantly enhanced.

N036L-1-01 L band transceivers on the wing’s leading edge extensions

0NEwnmilitaryrussia.ruTwo N036L-1-01 L band transceivers on the wing’s leading edge extensions
General data:
Type: Radar Altitude Max: 0 m
Range Max: 222.2 km Altitude Min: 0 m
Range Min: 0.2 km Generation: Late 2000s
Properties: Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) [Side Info], Non-Coperative Target Recognition (NCTR) – Jet Engine Modulation [Class Info], Continous Tracking Capability [Phased Array Radar], Track While Scan (TWS), Pulse Doppler Radar (Full LDSD Capability)
Sensors / EW:
PAK-FA L-Band Wing Radar – Radar
Role: Radar, FCR, Air-to-Air & Air-to-Surface, Medium-Range
Max Range: 222.2 km


1262762_722689081091660_724761613_oTwo side-looking N036B-1-01 X-band AESA radars with 358 T/R modules embedded in the cheeks of the forward fuselage

The radar will reduce pilot load and make use of a new data link to share information between aircraft. The T-50 will have secure communication links to share data with all other friendly aircraft in the area, as well as airborne and ground-based control points. In 2012 ground tests of the N036 radar began on the third T-50 aircraft. The L402 Himalayas electronic countermeasures (ECM) suite made by the KNIRTI institute uses both its own arrays and that of the N036 radar system. One of its arrays is mounted in the dorsal sting between the two engines. The system was mounted on the aircraft in 2014.

L402 Himalayas electronic countermeasures (ECM) suite

The L402 Himalayas developed by the Kaluzhsky Scientific Research Radio-Technical Institute (KNIRTI) is an electronic countermeasures (ECM) suite intended to protect the Russian Air Force PAK FA T-50 fifth generation aircraft. The Himalayas uses the Byelka radar arrays and its own arrays to detect, jam and defeat Radiofrequency (RF)-based systems. One of Himalayas arrays is mounted in the dorsal sting between the two engines. The first L402 system was integrated onto the T-50 in early 2014. Source

General data:
Type: ESM Altitude Max: 0 m
Range Max: 222.2 km Altitude Min: 0 m
Range Min: 0 km Generation: Early 2010s
Sensors / EW:
Himalayas [RWR] – ESM
Role: RWR, Radar Warning Receiver
Max Range: 222.2 km


Optiko-elektronnaya the integrated system (OEIS) of the plane the product 101КС consists of six elements:

t50%20(100)N036UVS computer and processor 

101 KS-0 (About – defensive) – system of counteraction of IK GSN

101 KS-V (In – air) – quantum optical lokatsionny system

101 KS-U (At – ultra-violet) – optical system of delivery of TsU for KS-O

101 KS-N (N – land) – the pendant aim container

Source paralay.nett50 (119)101KS-V infra-red search and track turret

General data:
Type: Infrared Altitude Max: 0 m
Range Max: 185.2 km Altitude Min: 0 m
Range Min: 0 km Generation: Infrared, 3rd Generation Imaging (2000s/2010s, Impr LANTIRN, Litening II/III, ATFLIR)
Properties: Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) [Side Info], Classification [Class Info] / Brilliant Weapon [Automatic Target Aquisition], Continous Tracking Capability [Visual]
Sensors / EW:
PAK-FA KS-B – Infrared
Role: IRST, Imaging Infrared Seach and Track
Max Range: 185.2 km

Laser Rangefinder

Sensors / EW:
PAK-FA KS-B [Laser Rangefinder] – Laser Rangefinder
Role: Laser Rangefinder for Weapon Director
Max Range: 7.4 km


The UOMZ 101KS Atoll electro-optical system includes the 101KS-V infra-red search and track turret mounted on the starboard side in front of the cockpit. This sensor can detect, identify, and track multiple airborne targets simultaneously.

Optic-location station 101KS-O

Оптико-локационная станция 101КС-O комплекса 101КС (Optic-location station 101KS-O from 101KS system) – laser-based countermeasures –

DIRCM systems like the PAK-FA’s 101KS-O work by directing a beam of energy towards the incoming heat seeking missile to confuse or destroy its tracking mechanism. In this case the directed energy takes the form of a laser beam. The 101KS-O turrets are located on the dorsal spine and the forward fuselage.

So in essence, the PAK-FA is overflowing with all sorts of sensors spanning a huge swathe of the electro-magnetic spectrum. Source daisetsuzan.blogspot.com111758_263584753_101ks-Atoll-sistem

General data:
Type: Infrared Altitude Max: 0 m
Range Max: 185.2 km Altitude Min: 0 m
Range Min: 0 km Generation: Infrared, 3rd Generation Imaging (2000s/2010s, Impr LANTIRN, Litening II/III, ATFLIR)
Properties: Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) [Side Info], Classification [Class Info] / Brilliant Weapon [Automatic Target Aquisition], Continous Tracking Capability [Visual]
Sensors / EW:
PAK-FA KS-O – (Aft-Facing) Infrared
Role: IRST, Imaging Infrared Seach and Track
Max Range: 185.2 km


101 KS-U (At – ultra-violet) – optical system of delivery of TsU for KS-O – paralay.net101KS-U ultraviolet missile warning sensorsОптико-электронная подсистема 101КС-П комплекса 101КС (Optic-electronic subsystem 101KS-P from 101KS system) –
General data:
Type: Infrared Altitude Max: 0 m
Range Max: 9.3 km Altitude Min: 0 m
Range Min: 0 km Generation: Early 2000s
Properties: Continous Tracking Capability [Visual]
Sensors / EW:
Generic MAWS – Infrared
Role: MAWS, Missile Approach Warning System
Max Range: 9.3 km


The 101KS-O infrared countermeasure system has sensors housed in turrets mounted on the dorsal spine and forward fuselage and uses laser-based countermeasures against heat-seeking missiles. The Atoll complex also includes the 101KS-U ultraviolet missile warning sensors and 101KS-N navigation and targeting pod.

101KS-N navigation and targeting pod

101KS-N navigation and targeting pod (mounted on the underside of the engine air intake)

PAK FA Glonass reciever antennae cover is placed behind the cockpitt50%20(111)AK FA Glonass reciever antennae 

Developed in Solidworks The reicevers are beaming up without giving up the aircraft position…Also its ECM protected. Source


  2. INTRODUCTION • GLONASS acronym for “Global Navigation Satellite System”, is a space-based satellite navigation system operated by the Russian Aerospace Defence Forces. • It provides an alternative to Global Positioning System (GPS) and is the only alternative navigational system in operation with global coverage and of comparable precision. • Development of GLONASS began in the Soviet Union in 1976. • Glonass (a global navigation satellite system) is being built by Reshetnev Information Satellite Systems and is based on the US global positioning system (GPS). • It is currently being operated by the Russian Space Forces on behalf of the Russian Government
  3. DEVELOPMENT • The Soviet Union recognized the need to develop a new satellite-based radio navigation system in the 1970s. • The development of the Glonass satellite system began in 1976 with the aim of achieving global coverage by 1991. • About 43 Glonass satellites, as well as five additional test satellites, were successfully launched from 1982 to 1991. • The Russian Federation took over the development of Glonass upon dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991. • Glonass achieved full deployment in 1995, with 24 satellites positioned in three different orbital planes. • Russia was unable to maintain the system until 2001 due to a financial crisis, which resulted in only eight spacecraft being operational.
  4. COMMUNICATION • The Glonass system transfers data to a ground control station (GCS) using a standard precision (SP) signal and modified high precision (HP) signal. • Real-time data is transmitted to the GCS using a 15-channel frequency division multiple access (FDMA) procedure. • FDMA is a channel access technique which assigns different frequencies to multiple users for communications. • Swepos, the Swedish national network of permanent satellite reference stations, is currently integrating Glonass into its operations.
  5. VARIATIONS • The Glonass system satellites have three versions, namely Glonass, Glonass-M and Glonass-K. • The Glonass was initially designed for a lifespan of 14 months but later this was extended up to two years. • The Glonass-M is an upgraded model which has a lifespan of seven years. • It features 12 primary antennas for L-band transmissions and laser corner-cube reflectors for orbit determination and geodetic research. • Glonass-K is the latest version with a lifespan of ten to 12 years. • The Glonass-K satellite completed thermal vacuum (TVAC) tests at the RISS facility in June 2010. • The satellite is fitted with a precision thermal control system to maintain a temperature of 0.1°C. • It completed acoustic tests in August 2010.
  6. INCEPTION • The first satellite-based radio navigation system developed in the Soviet Union was Tsiklon, which had the purpose of providing ballistic missile submarines a method for accurate positioning. • 31 Tsiklon satellites were launched between 1967 and 1978. • The main problem with the system was that, although highly accurate for stationary or slow- moving ships, it required several hours of observation by the receiving station to fix a position, making it unusable for many navigation purposes and for the guidance of the new generation of ballistic missiles. • In 1968–1969, a new navigation system, which would support not only the navy, but also the air, land and space forces, was conceived. • Formal requirements were completed in 1970; in 1976, the government made a decision to launch development of the “Unified Space Navigation System GLONASS”. Source

BINS-SP2 strapdown inertial navigation system

BINS-SP2 strapdown inertial navigation system, allows the fighters to navigate even in the absence of satellite, land-based, or offshore navigation systems. Source

The BINS-SP2 architecture is based on three laser gyroscopes and three quartz accelerometers. The system can establish the platform’s coordinates and motion variables in the absence of external data inputs.

The system was developed by Moscow Institute of Electromechanics and Automatics, a subsidiary of Radioelectronic Technologies. General director Alexey Kuznetsov says the BINS-SP2 can operate at temperatures between –60° and +60° C, and at altitudes up to 25 km.

Anatoly Chumakov, general director of the BINS-SP2 manufacturer Ramenskoye Instrument Making Plant, predicts great demand for the system from military and civilian customers. Three examples per airframe could be installed on civilian aircraft, and two per airframe on warplanes. The system has a service life of 10,000 hours. It can also be used on sea vessels and road transport.  Source

Operational history

Russian experts upbeat about export prospects for the PAK FA: Here


Sukhoi states that the main export advantage of the PAK FA is its lower cost than current US fifth generation jet fighters. Russia was reported to be offering the PAK FA for South Korea’s next generation jet fighter. South Korea’s defence procurement agency confirmed that the Sukhoi PAK FA was a candidate for the Republic of Korea Air Force’s next-generation fighter (F-X Phase 3) aircraft; however, Sukhoi did not submit a bid by the January 2012 deadline.

Russia’s Centre for Analysis of World Arms Trade predicts that the PAK FA will be available for export in 2025; though this may include the Sukhoi/HAL FGFA for India, the primary export version. Ruslan Pukhov, director of the Centre for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies, has projected that Vietnam will be the second export customer for the fighter. In 2012, Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov said that Russia and India would jointly build the export version of the T-50 starting in 2020. In 2013, United Aircraft Corporation president Mikhail Pogosyan said that the Russian PAK FA and the Sukhoi/HAL FGFA will use “identical onboard systems and avionics”.

In 2013, Russia made an unsolicited call for Brazil to help in developing a next-generation fighter based on the T-50.



The completed joint Indian/Russian versions of the single-seat or two-seat FGFA will differ from the current T-50 flying prototypes in 43 ways with improvements to stealth, supercruise, sensors, networking, and combat avionics.

In March 2010, Sukhoi director Mikhail Pogosyan projected a market for 1,000 fighter aircraft over the next four decades, which will be produced in a joint venture with India, 200 each for Russia and India and 600 for other countries. He has also said that the Indian contribution would be in the form of joint work under the current agreement rather than as a joint venture. In June 2010, the Indian Air Force planned to receive 50 of the single-seat “Russian version” before receiving the two-seat FGFA. Then in an October 2012 interview the Chief of Air Staff of India, NAK Browne, said that the IAF will purchase 144 of the single-seat FGFA. To reduce development costs and timelines, the IAF plans to begin induction of the FGFA in 2020.

Naval and other versions

Navalized Sukhoi T-50 PAK FAs will be deployed on the Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov and future Russian aircraft carriers. There will be a competition between the Sukhoi, Mikoyan and Yakovlev design bureaus to choose the new naval aircraft.

Alexei Fedorov has said that any decision on applying fifth-generation technologies to produce a smaller fighter (comparable to the F-35) must wait until after the heavy fighter, based on the T-50, is completed.

Naval version –

From the model of the carrier it shows PAK FA T-50 so there would definitely be a Naval version.


On 10 June 2014, the fifth flying prototype, aircraft T-50-5, was severely damaged by an engine fire after landing. The pilot managed to escape unharmed. Sukhoi stated that the aircraft will be repaired, and that the fire “will not affect the timing of the T-50 test program”.

Specifications (T-50)

Data from Aviation NewsAviation WeekAir International

General characteristics

  • Crew: 1
  • Length: 19.8 m (65.0 ft)
  • Wingspan: 13.95 m (45.8 ft)
  • Height: 4.74 m (15.6 ft)
  • Wing area: 78.8 m2 (848.1 ft2)
  • Empty weight: 18,000 kg (39,680 lb)
  • Loaded weight: 25,000 kg (55,115 lb) typical mission weight, 29,270 kg (64,530 lb) at full load
  • Max. takeoff weight: 35,000 kg (77,160 lb)
  • Powerplant: 2 × NPO Saturn izdeliye 117 (AL-41F1) for initial production, izdeliye 30 for later production thrust vectoring turbofan
    • Dry thrust: 93.1 kN / 107 kN (21,000 lbf / 24,300 lbf) each
    • Thrust with afterburner: 147 kN / 167 kN (33,067 lbf / 37,500 lbf) each
  • Fuel capacity: 10,300 kg (22,700 lb)


  • Maximum speed:
    • At altitude: Mach 2.3 (2,440 km/h, 1,520 mph)
    • Supercruise: Mach 1.6 (1,700 km/h, 1,060 mph)
  • Range: 3,500 km (2,175 mi) subsonic
    • 1,500 km (930 mi) supersonic
  • Ferry range: 5,500 km (3,420 mi) with one in-flight refueling
  • Service ceiling: 20,000 m (65,000 ft)
  • Wing loading: 317–444 kg/m2 (65–91 lb/ft2)
  • Thrust/weight:
    • Saturn 117: 1.02 (1.19 at typical mission weight)
    • izdeliye 30: 1.16 (1.36 at typical mission weight)
  • Maximum g-load: +9.0 g


  • Guns:30 mm (1.181 in) 9A1-4071K (GSh-301) cannon in right LEVCON root
  • Air to air loadout:
    • K-77M orizdeliye 810
    • K-74M2 orizdeliye 300
  • Air to ground loadout:
    • Kh-38M orKh-58UShK or 8× KAB-250 or 4× KAB-500
    • 2× K-74M2 orizdeliye 300
  • Air to sea loadout:
    • Kh-35
    • 2× K-74M2 orizdeliye 300
  • Hardpoints: Six external hardpoints.


Main material source:

Images are from public domain unless otherwise stated

Main image by Innokenty Grigoriev – AviMedia

Updated Aug 28, 2018

Revised Sep 18, 2020

10 thoughts on “Sukhoi T-50 PAK FA (Su-57)

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  2. Gessler IDF

    Hi, I’m impressed by your article and the amount of data you collected. I’m the guy who made the PAK-FA sensors & systems compilation image you used in your article (Gessler). I’d like to inform you that I’ve made a newer one:

    You may replace the older one, or just add it to the article if you want (in which case best delete this post afterwards). Best wishes and keep up the good work you’re doing with this blog!


  3. Pingback: Russia Testing Fifth-Generation Aircraft to Outmatch Any Rival - The True News

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