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Is the Su-57 project effectively toast?

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posted on Jul, 16 2018 @ 01:18 PM
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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
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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
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a reply to: Borys

They're watching us. Always watching.

www.thedrive.com...



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

And!


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.


thediplomat.com...

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.



posted on Aug, 1 2018 @ 04:43 AM
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a reply to: anzha

I think the program will be toast as a full production aircraft: there simply is not the money or the technical expertise to bring the programme into fruition. But, it makes sense to continue work on these planes as test beds, slowly learning, then using the knowledge for smaller, cheaper 5th generation drones and all the while keeping focus on 6th generation aircraft. The world largely went out of kilter with the F-22 and the F-35: only the US and (debatably) China with the J-20 have true 5th gen platforms in operation. Creating a new one now will be risky: by the time it comes to fruition, the US will have moved the goalposts again with the 6th gen. Tens of billions of dollars and diverted resources for something that will be obsolete by the time it appears. Pass...



posted on Aug, 1 2018 @ 05:57 AM
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I think they will sink it and move onto something else.A tech demonstrator that struggled to reach production.Reminds me of the Black Eagle tank fiasco.Build a few in the hopes it will change warfare.Realize it doesnt work after costing billions then try something new.Unless they seriously get their engines working properly.



posted on Aug, 1 2018 @ 05:48 PM
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a reply to: Blackfinger

Something to always keep in mind with weapons system is just that: they are systems, collections of different types of technologies that when combined in the right way bring a capability. The trouble is, the more different systems you have, the greater the risk that all of them will not individually work as well as you expected, or they will be hard to integrate together, or that they will not prove reliable in the field, or that they will be very hard to fix and upgrade...sometimes all of the above. A tabk offering next generation capability needs countless systems/sub-systems in things like armour, detection, stealth, fire control, engines etc etc...

The Russians are great theoreticians: brilliant in mathematics and related fields. They come up with great concepts. But where they are way behind in is in production engineering: making reliable systems at scale. That is a real skill that Western companies are light years ahead in. The Black Eagle was a great concept...but it just never could get the money to work out the kinks. And even the new Aramata, whilst having some real advancements in armour, main gun and a few other areas, is reportedly having huge issues with target detection, firing solution computation and overall reliability of all its e-warfare systems. And given the fact that one of my UK clients recently hired a very capable Russian engineer, I got a good perspective on why. He said that simply, the best and brightest engineers in Russia are all either in the EU or the US, getting paid multiples of what they'd get in Russia. There has been a real brain drain and will continue to be so. Whilst of course there are still very smart people in Russia, they are stretched thin compared to requirements.



posted on Aug, 2 2018 @ 04:18 AM
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Something to always keep in mind with weapons system is just that: they are systems, collections of different types of technologies that when combined in the right way bring a capability. The trouble is, the more different systems you have, the greater the risk that all of them will not individually work as well as you expected, or they will be hard to integrate together, or that they will not prove reliable in the field, or that they will be very hard to fix and upgrade...sometimes all of the above. A tabk offering next generation capability needs countless systems/sub-systems in things like armour, detection, stealth, fire control, engines etc etc...

We had the same trouble with the much crippled EuroTiger program here in Australia.A lot of the systems just didnt work as well together as what was initially thought.Costing a lot more money and time only to have it being finally declared "not working" and a replacement being sought.



posted on Aug, 2 2018 @ 02:37 PM
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a reply to: Blackfinger

The Russians are now stating they are not buying more T-14s for the time being. This smells at lot like what they said about the SU-57. While there are rumors there are issues with the T-14s, little is out there. A T-14 tank is far cheaper than an SU-57. So, what say you, ATS avnerds. Is this a pattern indicating a bigger financial problem, a case where Russia had several projects far more complex than expected, or just a smart slow down?

www.thedrive.com...



posted on Aug, 2 2018 @ 02:49 PM
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a reply to: anzha

All three. They aren't either/or.


Money is tight and they want to recapitalize basically across the board in every branch. If you want a large scale recap quickly and you're on a budget, something has to go. And the obvious answer is focusing on projects that are ready.

Complex new systems are always harder than expected or advertised. Look at the F-35 program. Or the Army's FCS for analogues. One was cancelled, and it's easy to argue there was a time cancelling the other was appropriate.

It's also smart to slow down the program when your engines (and possibly other aspects) are not mature. Why devote time and money to expand production for what are essentially still development airframes? Especially when you're on a tight budget and have other priorities.



posted on Aug, 2 2018 @ 02:58 PM
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a reply to: RadioRobert

They are continuing the order updated versions of the other tanks though. That money could be spent on furthering the T-14. Is that industry pork, maintaining the industry base, or a sign of weakness for the T-14?



posted on Aug, 2 2018 @ 03:08 PM
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a reply to: anzha

Maybe its just like they said, the realized they actually don't need 2000+ Armatas by 2020 afterall.
Guess the invasion of the Baltics has been pushed back or something.

They've got alot on their plate and their armor force is already pretty well equipped. If there are cuts to be made (and obviously they have to) the armor force can take the hit.
Frankly it never made any sense to try and replace all those T-72/T-80/T-90 in the foreseeable future. It just was not neccessary, not with NATO dragging their feet as badly as they did with dwindling armored forces all over Europe.

They actually shot themselves in the foot somewhat with the development and introduction of the T-14 IMO, NATO only started looking into upgrading their tank fleets after the new Russian wonderweapon emerged. I doubt Germany and France would have started development of their future MBT without it for example.

Anyway, if they do have the production capacity to turn out hundreds of tanks every year like they indicated, there is really no reason to build them now if they dont want to invade Europe by 2020. They can just wait and see if NATO ever gets around fielding a nextgen MBT in relevant numbers and go from there.

So i dont think this decision is an indication of them having serious financing issues beyond whats already talked about.



posted on Aug, 2 2018 @ 03:16 PM
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a reply to: anzha

Sure. For the same reasons. You want to expand your capabilities and retire/replace/supplement your beat up machines and do it fast. They slashed the defense budget by a fifth, so now what? Go all in on an immature design and throw the limited money at that project in the hope you can get it ready in the near future? Or slowroll that until it is more mature while you expand new builds of existing and proven, low-risk designs already in service that are popular at home and abroad ? It's easy calculus if money is tight and you have immediate need. One is an investment for the future that carries heavy risk with little or no immediate impact, and the other lets you buy a bunch of new toys that are immediately combat capable at the cost of delaying the new wonder weapons.



posted on Aug, 2 2018 @ 05:03 PM
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They are finding what we thought many years ago.They tried jumping in on the Stealth game late and throwing a lot of scattered money at something that wasnt fully matured in their manufacturing centers.Their engine quality has always been iffy and after the many decades since the Cold War started things haven't been fixed.Wheres Stalin when they need him..



posted on Aug, 4 2018 @ 12:36 AM
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originally posted by: Blackfinger

He he, I can tell you a few stories about that (my homebase used to be Sydney): whilst there is crap talk of "changed requirements", "need for a new capability" and other such rubbish, the reality is just an immature platform and Australian military testing what is really an advanced, pre-production prototype, noty a combat ready operational system. There is now talk of a smaller, cheaper option for Afghan type situations and "something else" for the sprawling Oceans Australia needs to have open for business. Hmmm...



Something to always keep in mind with weapons system is just that: they are systems, collections of different types of technologies that when combined in the right way bring a capability. The trouble is, the more different systems you have, the greater the risk that all of them will not individually work as well as you expected, or they will be hard to integrate together, or that they will not prove reliable in the field, or that they will be very hard to fix and upgrade...sometimes all of the above. A tabk offering next generation capability needs countless systems/sub-systems in things like armour, detection, stealth, fire control, engines etc etc...

We had the same trouble with the much crippled EuroTiger program here in Australia.A lot of the systems just didnt work as well together as what was initially thought.Costing a lot more money and time only to have it being finally declared "not working" and a replacement being sought.



posted on Aug, 4 2018 @ 12:46 AM
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a reply to: mightmight

The smart thing for NATO to do is not so much build a new generation of tanks, but invest in new long range tank killers - something like an MLRS, but with advanced guidance/targetting incorporating multiple sensors and especially a top/down high speed terminal strike capability, that will use very high speed and kinetic energy to attack the most vulnerable part of a tank and one that will prove hard to defeat by any active or passive countermeasures.
edit on 4/8/2018 by Borys because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 4 2018 @ 01:06 AM
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a reply to: Borys
Drop some cones from space on them, I imagine they'd be the ultimate tank killers.



posted on Aug, 4 2018 @ 02:02 AM
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posted on Aug, 4 2018 @ 09:17 AM
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a reply to: Blackfinger

What does this have to do with the su-57?

And we've had ground troops in Syria for a long, long time. It's pretty much an open secret.



posted on Aug, 4 2018 @ 09:42 AM
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originally posted by: Borys
a reply to: mightmight

The smart thing for NATO to do is not so much build a new generation of tanks, but invest in new long range tank killers - something like an MLRS, but with advanced guidance/targetting incorporating multiple sensors and especially a top/down high speed terminal strike capability, that will use very high speed and kinetic energy to attack the most vulnerable part of a tank and one that will prove hard to defeat by any active or passive countermeasures.


This is off topic but you missunderstand the role of western armor in a cronfrontation with Russia. The role of the tank is not to oppose Russian armor in the field. Thats why you have an Air Force. Its an almost trivial exercise to wipe out units from the air caught during movement.
If you look beyond the Baltics - where the main problem is that Russia can just overrun them before western airpower can be massed against them - Russia wont be able to move through Belorussia to confront Nato in East Poland or crazy crap like that. They'll be rendered ineffectual long before they come into contact with Nato Ground Forces.
The role of western armor is actually to provide the neccessary operational mobility (under a strong air cover) to advance through Belorussia to liberate overrun baltic states.
Of course this is all bs and will not happen for a whole lot of reasons.







 
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