posted on Dec, 2 2003 @ 08:46 AM
Thats a 'nice' mock-up of the Iranian/Russian "Shafagh" two-seat trainer.
Iran is going to need all the help they can get.
The PAK-FA project or Project Intregal or Project 701, etc. deal with India:
"18 March INDIA AND RUSSIA PLAN FOR THEIR STATE-OWNED INDUSTRIES TO COLLABORATE ON MAJOR WEAPON PROJECTS. The potential value of the 15-year
collaboration could be as high as $15 bn. Russia sold India $4.4 bn worth of arms in 2001. The partnership will promote joint development and
production of fifth-generation tactical aircraft, Amur-class submarines, multi-role transport planes, minesweepers, and hovercraft.
Modernization of Soviet era air defense systems deployed by the Indian Army and Air Force is also planned. [Vivek Raghuvanshi-New Delhi in Defense
There are a variety of conflicting 'reports' on the PAK-FA and its probablity of being produced beyond technology demonstrator or prototype:
"Despite this, however, the decision is a serious blow for MiG, leaving it without a future fighter program. In the mid-1980s the company had
defeated Sukhoi in winning the competition for a twin-engine heavy multi-role tactical fighter, the MFI (Mnogofunktionalniy Frontovoi Istribitel)
program, intended to succeed the Flanker. MiG eventually flew the prototype, dubbed the Article 1.44, in April 2000, but the program proved
The timetable for the PAK FA is highly ambitious. A draft design of the aircraft is to be established by the end of 2002, with first flight of a
prototype in 2006, with production beginning in 2010."
And then on top that, Russia, later the same year as the above mentioned information was given, decided to "delay" the program and then seek
rejuvinating the "program" by doing a joint venture with India on it, according to this article from the Moscow Times
, dated 03/2002:
"Russia's major aircraft makers were left in suspense this week after the military delayed its decision on a tender to build the country's
next-generation fighter jet.
Air force officials earlier this week met with the Sukhoi, MiG and Yakovlev aircraft companies, which submitted proposals on manufacturing the jet,
but no decision was made, an air force spokesman said.
Russia is planning to build a new-generation jet in response to the U.S. Joint Strike Fighter, which is expected to test fly later this decade.
The air force handed the "tactical and technical task" to build a fifth-generation fighter to the companies last summer, and former air force
commander Anatoly Kornukov in January signed off on a tender commission to consider proposals from the aircraft companies.
Both Defense Ministry officials and Industry, Science and Technology Minister Ilya Klebanov, previously the deputy prime minister in charge of
defense, have said that the winner for the $1.5 billion fighter development project would be named in the first quarter.
Representatives of a tender commission toured the companies in February as part of the decision-making process.
But new air force chief Vladimir Mikhailov, appointed in January, has decided there is no need to rush the tender and that questions remain for the
competing companies, the air force spokesman said.
Some industry players and analysts have questioned the need for the next-generation fighter -- a project spearheaded by MiG and Sukhoi -- saying that
the financing schemes for the project are unclear.
Klebanov has suggested using the winning company's export revenues in addition to state financing to develop the fighter. But the companies
themselves say they badly need those revenues for their own support and development.
India -- expected to be the fighter's main foreign buyer -- also is expected to participate in the project's financing.
During a visit to the Indian capital, New Delhi, last month, Klebanov signed a protocol with Indian Defense Minister George Fernandes on cooperation
in the aviation sector, including development of the fifth-generation fighter.
Defense experts say it may be more worthwhile to concentrate money and efforts on modernizing the country's existing fleet of fighters, a program
already under way.
Marat Kenzhetayev, an expert with the Center for Arms Control, said the defense industry could upgrade radar, avionics and navigation systems on
MiG-29s and Su-27/30s -- leaping over the fifth-generation jet to develop a sixth-generation craft.
Konstantin Makiyenko, deputy head of the Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies, said that "the upgraded fleet of Sukhois and MiGs can
last the air force at least another decade."
However, "the fifth-generation fighter is important as a national program to preserve the design school in the country," Makiyenko said, adding that
the jet "is important as a project that helps increase financing of research and development in the high-tech sector."
The costs alone in financing this project, not counting Russian government production estimates, leave this program in serious "limbo".....:
"The prices and sources of funding will determine the destiny of the whole program. To date officials agree that the program will cost $1.5
billion. However, $1.5 billion is the sum needed for creating a new generation of avionics for the fighter (considering the fact that pre-production
models of the phased array have already been produced, and will soon be tested). Completion of the AL-41F engine (present readiness is 30 percent)
will require, in the opinion of the boss of Rosaviakosmos, 600 - 800 million dollars. Saturn said that launching of production of the AL-41F engine
would take $150 million. An improved version of the AL-31F will be used on the aircraft originally (though it is not clear how these heavy motors are
reconciled with the concept of a 20-ton fighter). The upgrade of these engines will require expenditures of 1.2-1.5 billion dollars. And finally,
designers will have to spend several hundred millions of dollars on creating a new airframe.
State financing will cover not more than 20-22 percent of the cost of the development of the PAK FA. It will thus be necessary to draw extrabudgetary
sources of funding, lending the development program a principle of openness for international cooperation. In the opinion of experts, export income,
if it is taken from the plants, can provide not more than 1 billion dollars. It is maintained that the insufficient amounts can be received from
The plane's development will be conducted with a view of achieving a reasonable compromise between its cost and combat efficiency, and take into
account the market demand. exports sales of the new warplane must reach 500 to 600 fighters at a price of $35 to $40 million each to make production
of the new aircraft profitable.
According to some reports, India and Russia have agreed to jointly develop this fifth-generation fighter, under a scheduled with entery into service
in 2009. This would be the first such joint development venture between the two countries."
Personally and IMHO, the PAK-FA will be a 5th Generation fighter when and if it is produced in quantity in 2009-2012. Being "real" about this, the
US will have substantial numbers of F-22's by then, the F-35 JSF will be in numbers by then and probably the US will be working on a 5.5 or 6th
Generation fighter by then.
Other than that, its a "different" looking aircraft that will be apparently of great design being the Russians are involved.
[Edited on 2-12-2003 by Seekerof]