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Is the Su-57 project effectively toast?

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posted on Jul, 16 2018 @ 01:18 PM
It's only been five months and my position hasn't changed much or at all.

It was in trouble already. They are massively over budget and behind schedule. Then after they got India to pile in a little more capital they suddenly asked for another 7B to continue the arrangement. India understandably is a bit put off. That doesn't mean it's dead. The whole program is only 17 years old. Took ten years to go from program start to a preproduction model. They are still working out the kinks. 
Compare that to the F-35 whose origin dates from CALF/JAST studies started in 1992! When CALF and JAST combined three years later to form JSF, LM put out the X-35 as a demonstrator in eight years from the paper study genesis. Another 6 years to get a preproduction in the air. Another nine, ten (and a not even done yet) years to service introduction. 

So it's hardly surprising the Russians aren't in full scale production. They're well ahead of the curve compared to the F-35 though. The real questions are can they afford to keep up development and at what pace.

ETA: here's another from last year

originally posted by: RadioRobert

"Coming out in 2019" must mean different things here and there. If you expect them to be in service and under serial production with the new engines in 2019, I'd suggest you prepare for disappointment. Some sort of OT&E will probably be taking place, I'm sure, but even extremely aggressive inflight testing of the new engine is going to take a year before they'd want to introduce it. My guess is that they'll have production problems when they switch from hand-built engines to serial production, as well as your common problems in turbofan development (they are legion- the F-135 is essentially a derivative of the F119 core, and it's still having occasional issues with cracking blades, etc and being tweaked and improved. This is new Russian engine is a clean sheet design). Mass production of engines is a difficult thing. Traditionally, Russian engine reliability and performance has lagged the West's ability. That doesn't mean it couldn't change, but it'd be a huge step, and not a gap I'd think likely accomolished in one short-hop to a brand new revolutionary new design.
The engines aren't going to be completelt interchangeable. The math on 30% increases in some performance parameters dictates increased air-flow. That generally means a larger diameter fan. That almost certainly means a larger, heavier engine bay that will need structural testing. Even if the airframe was first modified from the new engine sizings to seat the AL31's, you will still need flight testing for CG verification, etc before production. It's also a whole new flight regime test for the new engine, as some engines deal with odd and adverse airflow ingestion (such as in high AOA flight or with heavy yaw) much more forgivingly than others. You will also probably need larger/different intakes to take advantage of the capability. And intake airflow is voodoo. Especially when you start jamming obstructions like an RCS blocker in them.
That's just potential engine-related roadblocks to operational aircraft in the next 13 months. It ignores sensor and weapon integration, etc. They're going to have their work cut out for them. Also losing the foreign currency from India is going to necessitate more money allocated internally to keep the same testing and industrial pace.

edit on 16-7-2018 by RadioRobert because: (no reason given)

posted on Jul, 17 2018 @ 04:11 AM
The Russians simply don't have the money to bring the Su-57 and all these programs to fruition in their initial timeframes:

Borei class submarine
Bulava SLBM
Husky class submarine family
PAK-DA stealth bomber
ARMATA tank system
LIDER class destroyer
Project 23000E class supercarrier

And there are MANY more than the above.

All of these are advanced, new generation weapons systems...and they cost a fortune to develop, not much less money to iron out the bugs, then to build, train and maintain. When oil was USD 150 a barrel, maybe they could come close, but with sanctions, oil half that price and maybe likely to come down more - no way on earth will they even get half these programs finished, and the rest will have to be pared back in capability and stretched out in delivery. The Su-57 had some good characteristics, but it was clear that it had too many problems to resolve and too limited a budget for the near term. And a delay of another decade or so will means by the time the type would have been rolling out in any appreciable numbers, then US 6th generation aircraft would have likely been defined and maybe even prototypes started flying, by which time the Russian budget would have been hammered.

Makes sense to slow down the Su-57 to a crawl, use it as a testbed for some 6th gen tech - even if it is more face saving than anything - and spend the money elsewhere.

posted on Jul, 18 2018 @ 09:54 PM
a reply to: Borys

They're watching us. Always watching.

posted on Jul, 19 2018 @ 04:37 PM
a reply to: anzha


Russia has no plans for mass-producing the PAK/FA Sukhoi Su-57 fighter jet, the country’s first indigenously designed and built fifth-generation stealth fighter aircraft, Russian Deputy Defense Minister, Yuri Borisov, said during an appearance on Russian television on July 2.

I'm going to sound like Robert and suggest people are reading too much into the statements. I have a feeling the DepDefMin was just stating it wasn't necessary at this second and the development needs more work. Don't start before its ready, essentially, just like Robert said. However, several places have picked up the The Diplomat's line the SU-57 is utterly toast. It remains to be seen.

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