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Current RuAF light fighter projects

Levsha

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It would be nice if they could reproduce the success of the mig-21 with a single-engine economical stealth aircraft. The f-16 is a modern mig-21 in my opinion, but it is getting expensive.

Such an aircraft already exists: it's called the JF-17.

Then there is also the SAAB JAS 39 Gripen and the HAL Tejas as well.

Reproducing the sales of the MiG-21 is going to be a lot more difficult this time round for financial and political reasons.
 

FighterJock

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It would be nice if they could reproduce the success of the mig-21 with a single-engine economical stealth aircraft. The f-16 is a modern mig-21 in my opinion, but it is getting expensive.

Such an aircraft already exists: it's called the JF-17.

Then there is also the SAAB JAS 39 Gripen and the HAL Tejas as well.

Reproducing the sales of the MiG-21 is going to be a lot more difficult this time round for financial and political reasons.

And MiG doesn't have the financial backing that it once had, unlike Sukhoi which had money from selling the Flanker series of fighters.
 

AGS-1787

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I have seen at least two Mig-29 accidents in which one engine blows up and they still had to eject because of a fire. So I guess if you don't have a catastrophic engine failure you can still make it.
 

LMFS

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The supposed ban of single engines in VKS is a thing of the 90's, when they barely had money to keep some planes in the air and maintenance suffered badly, so they removed from service the older single engine jets they had. There is no single reference I have found about any such Russian doctrine being in place, maybe I am wrong but I have not found anything. And on the contrary, the references to single engine light fighters proposed in the last 20-30 years are numerous, the last one coming from Chemezov and then the model at Borisov's desk being more than probably a single engined jet too.

BTW, does anybody have any idea (and can/want to say something about it) of what that model can be related to? Was it shown previously, is it maybe related to old proposals we already knew about? How likely is it, that there is a real program behind that model?
 

GARGEAN

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NK-32-02 is in the sky, so just about time to build a fighter around it.
 

kaiserd

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Further to preceding comments on this topic exactly how many Soviet/ Russian produced MIG-21s, MIG-23s and even MIG-29s remain in service around the world?
And of those operators how many are really likely to look to Russia rather than the West if they have any real choice in the matter (or are producing their own, like India and the LCA)?
And of those that can’t look to the West or produce their own how many wouldn’t be at least as likely, if not more likely, to look to China?
There appears to be no large or particularly viable export market for a new Russian light weight fighter apart from a longer term replacement for relatively new export Flankers, and this would inevitably cannibalise potential export Su-57 sales.
And as other contributors have noted given the current shape and constitution of the Russian fighter fleet and other related projects their doesn’t appear to be a particular need, niche or budget for such a programme (or aircraft) anyway, except at the direct expense of the Su-57 (i.e. the Su-57 can’t or won’t replace a very significant proportion of relatively young Flankers variants currently in use).
 

Anduriel

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NK-32-02 is in the sky, so just about time to build a fighter around it.
Um, no. Mass effectiveness of NK-32 is low and not for fighter-sized aircraft. Plus said mass is for additinal spool intended for long AFB flight, which fughter doesn't need.
If you're going to make an single-engine aircraft, - Izd.30 is a best choice. If it has 180kN thrust as advertised, it's the best contender. Plus unification with Su-57 which would lower overall cost.
 

LMFS

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Um, no. Mass effectiveness of NK-32 is low and not for fighter-sized aircraft. Plus said mass is for additinal spool intended for long AFB flight, which fughter doesn't need.
If you're going to make an single-engine aircraft, - Izd.30 is a best choice. If it has 180kN thrust as advertised, it's the best contender. Plus unification with Su-57 which would lower overall cost.
In case izd. 30 is a specialised engine for supercruising with low BPR and high SFC, izd. 117 is already a serious engine, it has the same thrust as the combined M88 on the Rafale for instance. I hope the izd. 30 is way more than a Russian F119, but even if it is, they would have a reasonable alternative, with the advantage that apparently all Flankers and Okhotnik are going to receive a similar engine, so it should get even cheaper and more convenient.

Further to preceding comments on this topic exactly how many Soviet/ Russian produced MIG-21s, MIG-23s and even MIG-29s remain in service around the world?
And of those operators how many are really likely to look to Russia rather than the West if they have any real choice in the matter (or are producing their own, like India and the LCA)?
And of those that can’t look to the West or produce their own how many wouldn’t be at least as likely, if not more likely, to look to China?
There appears to be no large or particularly viable export market for a new Russian light weight fighter apart from a longer term replacement for relatively new export Flankers, and this would inevitably cannibalise potential export Su-57 sales.
And as other contributors have noted given the current shape and constitution of the Russian fighter fleet and other related projects their doesn’t appear to be a particular need, niche or budget for such a programme (or aircraft) anyway, except at the direct expense of the Su-57 (i.e. the Su-57 can’t or won’t replace a very significant proportion of relatively young Flankers variants currently in use).
You talk as if countries around the world were waiting in line for the privilege of spending their money in Western weapons LOL. Or maybe with "real choice" you mean, if countries were not blackmailed with CAATSA and other US sanctions?

There are indeed many countries that have dated aircraft like MiG-21, MiG-29, MiG-27/23, Su-17/22 etc and would be more than happy to get a replacement for a good price and without strings attached. Not to talk about non-aligned countries that would never buy Western. Chinese armament does not still have the reputation of Russian one, it is easy to understand given the difference in experience and the fact that even Chinese export planes use Russian engines. There will always be a market for such a plane abroad. Even if not, given the development costs in Russia are an order of magnitude lower than in the West, it will end up being developed for the VKS regardless.
 

kaiserd

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There are very very few operational MIG-21, MIG-23/27 and Su-17/ 22 users left. The boat has very much already sailed on their replacements, especially if their supposed replacement is to be a Russian JSF-equivalent a decade or more in the future.
And to be polite it is self evident that Russian fighter aircraft exports have been primarily to countries that had a narrow range of options available to them; who are these non-aligned countries who “would never buy Western fighters” and how many fighter aircraft are they realistically to be buying in the foreseeable future?
And China has been making increasing in roads into this (small, not very lucrative) market segment.
And isn’t one of the main underlying rationale for a new light weight Russian fighter that it’s increasingly difficult to get anyone to even pretend to think about buying MIG-29s and variants there of?
 

LMFS

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There are very very few operational MIG-21, MIG-23/27 and Su-17/ 22 users left. The boat has very much already sailed on their replacements, especially if their supposed replacement is to be a Russian JSF-equivalent a decade or more in the future.
And to be polite it is self evident that Russian fighter aircraft exports have been primarily to countries that had a narrow range of options available to them; who are these non-aligned countries who “would never buy Western fighters” and how many fighter aircraft are they realistically to be buying in the foreseeable future?
And China has been making increasing in roads into this (small, not very lucrative) market segment.
And isn’t one of the main underlying rationale for a new light weight Russian fighter that it’s increasingly difficult to get anyone to even pretend to think about buying MIG-29s and variants there of?
The West openly threatens countries if they buy Russian and you talk about freedom of choice and preference for Western weapons, is that a joke?

To the case in point: there are like 30 current or past operators of the MiG-29 alone, you can find online relatively easily how many of those old planes I mentioned are operating if you want, you will see there are some substantial numbers and a market, not to talk about potential new customers in developing countries. Ruble is strongly undervalued and therefore even at relatively low prices they still can get a profit where Western manufacturers would not. No need to agree, time will say who is right and who is wrong.

Just as a sample, picture of current (blue) and former (red) operators of MiG-21

 
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riggerrob

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Even if the Russian Air Force does not want a single-engined fighter, dozens of her poorer allies and former customers would cheerfully buy them. Then the question becomes whether Third World countries want to depend upon Russian or America supply chains of spare parts. Shortage of a single, high-wear, spare part can ground and entire air force.
 

haavarla

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Even if the Russian Air Force does not want a single-engined fighter, dozens of her poorer allies and former customers would cheerfully buy them. Then the question becomes whether Third World countries want to depend upon Russian or America supply chains of spare parts. Shortage of a single, high-wear, spare part can ground and entire air force.

Exactly whom would buy them(singel engine fighters)? Pls be precise.
 
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totoro

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I'll use a list originally made for Chinese plane exports. But there's enough interesting data here so it can be applied to Russian prospects as well.

I thought I'd make a detailed list of countries that might see some exports of Chinese fighter jets (no UAVs in this analysis though) in the next decade or so.

To start it off, some elimination. Certain countries are simply unlikely to even consider buying Chinese. That's basically the west-aligned countries.

Also, certain countries don't have even jet trainers in their air forces (if they can afford an air force at all). So those would be off the list as well.

Of course, very poor countries aren't even a possibility. So any country with GDP of less than $20 billion per year isn't considered.

When both of those are excluded, what we're left with is:

Cuba
Has soviet planes, old, but in reality they seem to have given up on having an active air force. Unsure if politically US pressure may be too great for China to have any chance of selling high tech arms there. I'd rate it as a no for chinese jets.

Colombia
has us, brazilian and israel jets. Seems pretty much western leaning. I'd say no for chinese jets.

Venezuela
Has russian jets which, especially since the country is bankrupt, will likely be held onto for over a decade more. Has some F16s which could need replacement. And two dozen chinese K8 trainers. Politically, Chinese stuff might have a good chance. And some planes are only getting older. But given the lack of money I don't see anything but perhaps a dozen or two cheap trainers or at best combat L15 jets as a possibility here. Perhaps during the 2030s there might be some more expensive plane purchases but that's beyond the scope of this analysis.

Ecuador
South african and us, european stuff. Under the US sphere, I'd say. a no go.

Peru
Has soviet and french m2000. In theory this might go, though I'm sure the US would cry foul and threaten sanctions. Doubtful that anything other than jet trainers, perhaps a dozen would go through. If even that.

Uruguay
has some chinese transports, but has only western trainers and light attack planes. I guess possible, but again, unlikely. And if a sale does happen, L15 class plane is probably the most that can be sold. Probably not even a dozen.

Argentina
Has no air force, though it isn't a poor country. but the military is one of the last things they're spending money on. And they seem to be western leaning more than anything else. Could go either way i guess, depending on new governments in the future, so anything from a L15 to even JF-17 is possible. Theoretically even J-10. But it's too hard to call. They could just as easily (or even more likely) go western and/or decide to stick to very low numbers. Perhaps be content with second hand f16s or just a dozen Gripens or Korean T50s or whatever.

Serbia
Has a dozen refurbished mig29. Has no money so will likely stick to those up to 2030. Perhaps some chinese jet trainers are possible. maybe up to half a dozen? But yak130 may be even more likely, due to political ties.

tunisia -
only western so far, US influence is pretty strong. I'd say a no go.

Algeria
buying russian currently. su30 and new mig29 and rumors say maybe even su32. Maybe some trainers left for china? Though russian ties are stronger so I'd say unlikely purchase here.

Uganda
Has some mig21, 8 su30. I guess they could go for several JF17. And/or perhaps more likely chinese trainers. Perhaps even a dozen? Theoretically Russia might stop the purchase via engines but then again, I don't see them talking Uganda into getting mig29 so they might not.

Cambodia
Has some L39. has some Y12, so precedent for chinese is there. Could in theory get chinese trainers.

Laos
20 yak130 on order. Unlikely they'll need anything else and expensive.

Senegal
4 L39 on order. some russian helos, some european planes. Again unlikely they'll expand in the next decade.

Zambia
has some mig21, may not fly. has chinese transports. has L15. Possible that a few more L15 will be bought. Perhaps combat L15 will be bought on top of those. Or even half a dozen JF17. who knows.

Yemen
has west and east planes. possibly a few dozen soviet ones. Might enjoy replacement planes but it's politically sensitive stuff. China or Russia don't want to anger Saudis over Yemen. So until there's a regime change in Yemen this may be on hold. If regime change does happen - we may indeed see a dozen trainers and a dozen cheap jets like JF17. But Russia might stall that purchase through the blocked engine sale so they can sell their own planes.

sudan
has russian 29/25. has j7. could be a candidate. Perhaps half a dozen trainers and a dozen JF17 class jets. Not sure Russia would even try to intervene here and stop jf17 sales.

libya
soviet planes two dozen, on paper. May need rebuilding. Could be a race between Russia and China to help them rebuild. Some chances for a dozen trainers and two dozen cheap jets. If there'd be no russian limits on JF17, i'd say china has even some greater chances here.

cameroon.
Has some chinese transports. some russian, some us. has 6 alpha jets. There might be need for half a dozen new trainers, so China may have some chance there.

turkmenistan
Old soviet migs and sukhois 29/25 40 pcs on paper. Could need replacements but Central asia is quite under russian influence. I guess some chance for l15/jf17 or even j10 does exist - but it's small.


azerbaijan
old soviet planes 29/25 25 pcs, 12 l39 trainers. Some replacements are quite likely. Russia prefers Armenia to Azerbaijan, so China might have some room here. Perhaps a dozen trainers and two dozen cheap jet fighters are possible.

congo
6 soviet jet fighters. possibly don't fly. Don't see they'd go for more than some trainers.

syria
100+ fighters on paper. 36 yak130 on order, some mig29M2 on order. might need more, but might have no money. And russian influence is pretty strong. I'd say Chinese sales are not likely. If they do materialize, perhaps combat L15s seem most likely, but not over a dozen or two. I guess jf17 class planes are also possible, but if Russia doesn't block the sale.

uzbekistan
39 mig29, 27 su27, 20 su25. they all might need replacement. but russian influence might lower chinese chances. Even if they do buy chinese, i don't see them not buying russian as well. So only a piece of the cake. again smaller jets and trainers.

belarus.
soviet. 12 su30 on order. has yak130. Strong russian influence. I'd say a no go.

tanzania.
has chinese planes. 5 jl8, 5 j7. Might go for some modernization. but only a few trainer class planes.

myanmar.
has chinese. 10 jf17 on order, su30 on order. jl8 and yak130 on order. They're probably done ordering stuff for the next decade. Maaaybe a small top up order of Jf17 could be expected.

ghana
has 4 k8 trainers. 5 coin planes on order. Possible L15 order, but half a dozen at most.

sri lanka
some j7 and kfir. has chinese stuff. some jl8. They could actually go for a decent buy, if there was no Indian factor and political pressure. half a dozen trainers, perhaps up to a dozen light fighters. But given the India factor - who knows.

ethiopia
has l39 10 pcs, has 25-50 soviet planes. could indeed go for chinese in the next 10 years. Perhaps 6-12 trainers, double that number of light jets? J10 theoretically possible but I'd say unlikely due to cost.

angola
9 czech trainers. soviet helos. 10 su30 on order. a few dozen soviet fighters. Is already ordering russian. though given the large flankers, there may be room for some JF17 or L15 orders. Probably not more than a dozen each.

kenya.
has chinese transport and helos and us transport and euro helos. has 17 f5. Could go Chinese. Maybe a dozen cheap planes?


ukraine
This is an interesting one. I can't see them buying russian, due to internal politics. They might want to buy western but likely have no money. And we've actually seen reluctance to the west arming Ukraine, when it comes to hand me downs. So china MAY have some chances here. But their money situation may be so bad and western pressure so great that again flashy purchases like J10 are unlikely. I could see chinese trainers, though. Not sure about JF17. Hard to assess numbers. A dozen? Several dozen?

kazakhstan
20 su30 on order. a dozen soviet more. has old l39 trainers. Likely done buying fighter jets. Likely will go for yak130. Don't think China will be able to squeeze in.

iraq.
recently got new stuff. f16, t50, l159. perhaps su25 can be replaced? Chinese stuff has been bought before so politically it's not an issue. But other than L15 class planes, a dozen or so, I don't think it's likely.

Vietnam
has a few dozen soviet. 30 su30. has 30 l39. Due to politics with China, i'd say any purchase is unlikely. They will stick to Russia.

Pakistan
JF17 program goes well, though I'd assume China earns less on each JF17 made/assembled in Pakistan for Pakistan than on any export JF17s (which I assume China may get 50% on?) Still, we'll likely see several dozen more JF17s procured.
And heavier jets are quite likely as well. Will those be J10 or even something FC31 related - remains to be seen. A dozen or two before the 2030s seems quite likely to me. And a few dozen trainers likely.

Egypt
A dozen alpha jets. mig29 and rafale order. 200 f16 will need gradual replacement though. has 119 k8 trainers! and l39 trainers. Egypt will need a steady stream of new planes. Russia will definitely try to sell its own. and possibly even stop jf17 sales if the engine can be blocked. I'd say China has good chances of selling trainers in 2030s but not before 2030s, as K8s will likely last. Still, there's a decent chance of either JF17, J10 or even FC31 related planes to be sold. Depends on whether there will be further rafale purchases which could prevent the FC31 idea. Perhaps up to dozens of Jf17 or J10 could be sold though.

bangladesh
36 j7, 8 su30 ordered, 8 mig29., 14 yak130 but 10 k8 and some l39. Seems to be buying both russian and chinese so some JF17 and trainers are possible. Perhaps even 2-3 dozen? Not sure about J10 as money may not be there after Su30 purchases.


Philippines
recently got t50. don't seem to be keen on expanding.

South africa
gripens. western influence is strong. i'd say no go for chinese purchase.

Malaysia
18 su30, 8 hornets, 12 hawk. 12 hawk macchi trainers. Could see them buying Chinese L15 class trainers. perhaps even up to two dozen.

nigeria
12 alpha jets. 9 j7. 3 jf17 on order. 20 jet trainers need replacement. I'd say they'll top up the JF17 order, so another 6-9 planes are quite likely. Perhaps up to two dozen trainer jets could also be bought.

thailand
19 alpha jets. 30 f5. l39 trainers. some t50 ordered. has lots of f16s, gripens
Goes both ways, as it has bought chinese stuff before. And does have planes to replace. China should have a decent chance of taking a piece of the pie. Perhaps selling a few dozen trainers. Perhaps even a few dozen JF17 or J10. If J10, I don't see more than two dozen.

indonesia
5 su27, 11 su30. 15 t50. 24 hawk 200. has chinese uavs. They could go for Chinese. so two dozen L15s and even half a dozen or a dozen J10s might be possible.
russia
Will buy own stuff.

india
Due to politics with China, is a no go for chinese purchases.
Saudi Arabia
Sometimes it's labeled as a potential buyer for FC31 derived plane, as the west allegedly won't sell F35. But frankly, i don't think it's likely. And any other class is likely not needed, and would be procured from the west.

Iran
The big unknown. It all very much depends on international politics. could remain under sanctions for another decade. or Russia and China could sell it LOTS of planes. If they, say, split the buy, I see a need and money to buy perhaps 100-200 planes. So a few dozen trainers and a few dozen J17 or J10 class planes are quite possible. Theoretically even FC31 is possible.
turkey
Will likely be flying the f16s into the 2030s but dozens of them will be 40-ish years old by 2030. and 40ish F4 need urgent replacement. While a lot depends on whether the political leaning away from the west continues, i do believe Turkey will keep away from the west (and west from turkey). So russia and china are obvious choices here. Turkish own aerospace can't produce a fighter jet in the next 10 years.
If we assume Russia and China both have 50-50 chances, perhaps we might see a split buy. So heavier planes from Russia and J-10 buys from china? Perhaps several dozen ? Also, lots of trainers might need replacements. So again some dozens of L15 class planes possible.

Keep in mind, buying something up to 2030 doesn't mean getting planes delivered, but merely signing the contract. So in some of these cases deliveries might take to 2035 or later.

I'll try to sum all this up now:
Without counting Iran and Turkey, as the two big unknowns,
I can sum it up to:
144 to 264 possible JF17 sales (also doesn't count Pakistan orders)
36-96 possible J10 sales
12-24 possible FC31 related sales
24-36 combat L15/ftc2000 sales
228-288 jet trainer sales (L15 and other)

Turkey and Iran would increase those by
72 jet trainers
72 j10s
0 to 48 FC31 related sales

Of course - all of these figures are just theoretical UPPER limits. All those countries may go western, or russian or even decide not to buy as many, due to limited budget.

So... if one thinks that China can get one third of the said market,
then the actual sold/contracted planes list might look like this:
48 to 98 JF17 (excluding Pakistan)
12 to 32 J10
4 to 8 FC31 related
8 to 12 combat L15/ftc2000 sales
76 to 96 jet trainers

And if one ADDS the Turkey and Iran possibility as a 100% chance (since we already excluded the west and already split the buy with the Russia) those might change to:
48 to 98 JF17 (excluding Pakistan)
84 to 104 J10
4 to 56 FC31 related
8 to 12 combat L15/ftc2000 sales
148 to 168 jet trainers

Of course, as all this is conjecture - China might end up selling more or less than that number. But even so, at least a few hundred jet aircraft does seem like a likely minimum to be exported by 2030.


****

Now to get back to my post - applying this to Russia could, very roughly speaking, yield that one third of the market (without Turkey and Iran split buy) so that's also
48 to 98 JF17 class planes
12 to 32 J10 class planes
4 to 8 FC31 class plane
The cheap/trainer class plane I did not count.

Without Turkey and Iran, that's basically poor prospects.
The countries that might buy JF17 class plane will almost definitely not go for a stealthy next gen fighter. They simply have no money for that.
Countries that might buy J10 class planes might buy stealthy next gens though as Russian cost of work is likely less than Chinese one, so a stealthy next gen might not be that much more expensive than a J10C class plane. So some of those 12 to 32 sold plane prospects might indeed stretch a bit more and go for a pricier but more potent russian plane.
Of course, all 4 to 8 FC31 class planes are likely to convert to russian next gen stealthy plane.

Still, that's only 40 or so planes sold, in the best case scenario. So Iran and/or Turkey are crucial. Add those two one can get:
84 to 104 J10 plane class required airframes and 4 to 56 FC31 plane class required airframes. For a total of 86 to 160 russian stealthy next gen single engined planes sold abroad, outside russia.

Added issue is other russian products. Some country that might go for the next gen fighter might decide that a Su-35 is enough for them or that it is more cost efficient. Others might prefer Su-57. So Even those 86 to 160 fighters sold might be somewhat of an over reach.

Now... does it even make sense to develop a whole new plane to sell only 80 to 150 fighters abroad? Developing a whole new plane from scratch can easily cost 40 billion $ in the west. Of course, russian costs are much lower, so lets say it can cost just 15 billion. And lets say that lots of Su-57 development (like engine and some stuff) can be leveraged and final development cost is just 10 billion $.

To be competitive with the Chinese, the russians would need to keep their products quite cheap. So instead of selling a stealthy fighter (with all the long term support) for 150 million or 200 million, like the west does, the actual price might have to be closer to 60 or 80 million. Selling 100 of those at 70 million, then, would yield 7 billion. So it might take the whole possible market to cover just the 10 billion that the development cost. And since every plane has its own production cost - those 150 fighters would in reality cost 10 billion for development plus 7+ billion to manufacture them.

In reality, at such prices, it'd take a market of 400 planes sold to simply cover all the expenses. 400 planes * 46 million per plane plus 10 billion development. Is 28 billion. So 400 planes * 70 million retail price to simply get even.

Now, all these money figures are extremely sketch, I am aware of that. It might easily be that only 300 planes are enough to cover the expenses. Or even theoretically that even 250 or 200 are enough. But I do believe that's already pushing it. But EVEN THAT would be more planes needed than there is an attainable market for. And even if someone does break even - that's a horrible investment. Who in their right mind would want to risk a few tens of billions, over more than a decade, probably closer to 2 decades - not to see ANY meaningful return on their investment? There's a zillion better ways to invest money, with less risk, than go into development and marketing a new single engined plane.

Which is why there is ZERO chance such a plane from russia can happen without the Russian state ordering a few hundred planes first, and basically paying for the development of such a plane on their own. So only then the manufacturer could try to risk and keep the price for russian Air force procurement unusually low - counting on export airframes to pick up the slack and actually make them money.

Now - will the Russian government pay for development and procurement (Even at literally manufacture price) of, say, 300 airframes? I'd say unlikely. At least in the next decade or two. there is Su-57 to pay off first, there are existing legacy airframe orders to fulfill, there's the constant talks of Mig31 needing replacement (Which whatever it will be, it most certainly wont be a single engined small-ish plane).

Joining the development and marketing with china might be very prudent. If that's possible. (it might not be). But going at it alone - There's simply no math in there to really justify such a project for Russia for some time to come.
 

helmutkohl

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^ nice list, very thorough.
Thinking from the perspective of Russian sales, I think likely markets for any future light fighter from Russia could be (depending on what kind of aircraft they actually produce)..

Likely:
Kazakhstan - firmly in the Russian orbit. has funds.
Uzbekistan - economy is getting better under its new leader, maybe they'll finally invest in new equipment. A bit more neutral compared to Kazakhstan politically, but militarily i dont see them moving out of the Russian gear
Algeria - its in a constant arms race with Morocco. Perhaps the most likely country
Turkmenistan - has the money, and they've bought new Russian tanks.


Maybe:
Egypt - I would say they are likely but they recently just bought a ton of new aircraft from France and Russia. may not be in the market for yet another new type.
Azerbaijan - The Russia-Armenia link is not as strong as people think, as evident in the recent war. Russia is probably willing to sell to Azerbaijan, provided they don't use it on Armenia proper. Will Azerbaijan buy it? would they opt for whatever Turkey makes with its TFX? or neither and settle for 4th gen aircraft.
Ethiopia - another market for Russian aircraft, but I can see China making inroads here.
India - perhaps as a MiG-29 replacement one day
Malaysia - its hard to predict which way they would go because it depends on who is the leader. but they've always tried to buy from both the west and Russia
Indonesia - they may order a small batch of 5-10 to go with their other small batches of Eurofighters, Rafales, KFX, Flankers, F-16s, etc.
 
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LMFS

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@totoro:

I don't quite agree with your conclusions but that at least was a nice effort. My comments:

Your list is based on current possible sales of Chinese planes and does not quite fit the goal of listing future possible Russian sales of a single engine fighter. Some examples below, this is a rough search based on Wiki so it may not be 100% reliable

> Vietnam: 34 Su-22, they operated a big number of MiG-21 in the past.
> India: 54 MiG-21, 118 Jaguar, 65 (+21) MiG-29, 45 M2000
> Angola: 23 MiG-21 in operation
> Cuba: 12 MiG-21
> Egypt: 216 F-16 + almost 100 Mirage, they are solidly buying Russian as of late.
> North Korea: operates almost 400 old Russian and Chinese licensed fighters
> Iran: needs to rebuild its air forces, complete
> Syria, Libya, Afghanistan, Iraq: more of the same, depending on when they are allowed to. Syria alone should have almost 200 old fighters, These are all hot spots where there is an acute need for strong military development.
> Sudan: 80 old Russian and Chinese fighters
> Venezuela: they have huge reserves of oil, so their ability to pay depends on being allowed to sell abroad or finding the ways to bypass sanctions. They need to replace the F-16. The involvement of Russia to help with sanctions will increase with their ability to project power through VMF.
> UAE: signed an agreement with Russia to cooperate in the development of a light 5G fighter
> Algeria: almost 50 MiG-29, 13 MiG-25, 39 Su-24, their air forces are probably going to grow in the future.
> CIS countries

The list is far from exhaustive, there are a number of countries where alignment is not stable but that may lean East relatively easy. Say Argentina, South Africa and others. The process towards multipolarity and the development of the world outside of the West, plus the push of organizations like SCO or BRICS can create and/or open up markets for Russia and China. We are seeing some serious shifting in geopolitics, with NATO partners like Turkey buying Russian, KSA hinting about it too and so on. All in all, there are many hundreds of potential sales.

The biggest disagreement would be the assumption that Russia will not develop such a plane unless they make a lot of money the way a Western company would. It is different to allow state run companies (UAC-Rostec) to move their asses a bit and secure additional support for a program, from sacrificing the development of the industry and military to short-sighted commercial interests, which is not what Russia does, at all. There are strategic development goals at play here.

The logic behind the development roadmap of the military aviation in Russia is quite transparent: the first priority after the 90's was to consolidate and optimize the industry operationally, eliminate the debt burden and to bring them to a position where they could be sustainable. From a point of view of technological and military needs, the program in charge of dragging the whole industry forward and to re-equip the VKS was the PAK-FA. Once this is done, the next obvious step is a light fighter that:

- Will allow to increase the number of combat squadrons at a much better cost than doing it with heavy fighters only
- Will profit from the technology, engines, systems and weapons developed for the PAK-FA, decreasing notably the development time and cost
- Can be sold abroad in way bigger numbers than the Su-57

So yes, I think it will be done at some point in the future, they are already talking about manned and unmanned version so they are clearly not in a hurry and planing for the transition towards unmanned platforms that will start in most airforces in the next decade or so.
 

Geo

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Summa summarum:
There will be no (other) light&cheap single-engine manned (or optionally) stealth platform on world markets for the next decades.
Rostec knows it.
 

totoro

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Of course the previous list, tailored for the Chinese prospects, is not accurate enough for Russian prospects. So i made a new one here.
IF a country isn't mentioned at all - it means I believe either the politics make it impossible for that country to buy russian stuff or that the country has no money and no ambition to go for single engine stealthy jet from Russia.

All the plane figures mentioned are prospects of the said single engine stealthy jet from Russia. But prospects don't equal sales.

Venezuela.
Due to economic situation, likely not going to get much stuff in the coming years. Possibly an afforable requirement for two dozen jets from 2030 to 2040, though.

Peru.
Might be getting three dozen or so planes in the 2020s and 2030s to replace its Mirage 2000s and ex soviet planes.

Argentina.
Unlikely to splurge on high tech stuff for a few decades. High end trainers used as fighters, second hand 4th gen fighters or at best JF17 class planes likely.

Serbia.
Similar to Argentina. Stealthy planes not likely.

Algeria.
Is already buying previous gen planes, or has procured them in the last 10 years. So stealthy plane procurements unlikely before 2030 even if the plane would be available to buy. Even then, meaningful numbers unlikely before 2040s, when all the Su30s/mig29s would need retirement. So, possibly a few dozen planes in the 2040s and a few dozen more in 2050s.

Uganda.
Has a small number of Su30 that are fairly young. Even if a purchase of stealthy planes happens, it likely won't be before 2040 and it likely won't even be a full dozen.

Sudan.
Has old mig 29 and su25 and chinese J7. Unlikely to spend on stealthy planes. Will more likely spend on 4th gen planes before 2030, thus negating much of the need for added planes past 2030.
At best, like, uganda, a token force of stealthy planes possible as 2040 approaches.

Libya.
Who knows. Could even go Western, as politics are unsure. Right now afforable requirements are pretty much zero airframes. But i guess IF there's peace, IF there's a functioning state and IF the oil production makes money - in 20 years time there may be a requirement for new planes. So it's not completely impossible that, for example, two dozen planes are needed.

Turkmenistan.
Has old soviet planes but has also been buying some european stuff.
But reallistically, at its GDP, it's unlikely there's going to be money for steathly jets. Much more likely are second hand 4th gen jets or any other smaller, cheaper jets. Still, I guess one can't discount up to one dozen stealthy jets in the coming decades.

Azerbaijan.
Has been buying from everyone, so Russian sourced planes are possible. Still, it does seem the air force is not high on their list, given their current roster of old and not numerous fighters. I guess a dozen or two stealthy jets in the 2030-2050 period is possible.

Syria.
Doesn't really have the money, has been buying older stuff. One can never discount a push for a dozen or two stealthy jets in the long term up to 2050, though.

Uzbekistan.
Is reportedly in negotiations for some (Dozens?) of Su30sm. So it's unlikely many stealth planes will also be likely before those get retired. At best, at some point a dozen or so stealthy jets might become affordable, after 2040.

Belarus.
Getting new Su30sm, like above. Will likely get more eventaully,
through the decades.
But defense budget is quite small, merely $800 in 2019, and land component has a much greater priority. I guess a dozen stealthy jets in the long term is still possible.

Myanmar.
Seems to be replacing old chinese and soviet planes
with newly built su30sm and JF17. Which pretty much means there's
no room for stealthy planes until 2050 or so.

Angola.
Has old soviet planes and Su30 on order. Likely won't choose to afford itself stealthy planes.

Kazakhstan.
Has a few dozen su30sm on order. It's possible it might also get stealthy planes, if those become available, after 2030. Still, Can't see their requirement be over two dozen.

Iraq.
Has very recently gotten new stuff but there may be some room for growth in the long term. Perhaps a dozen jets possible ?

Vietnam.
Very likely will replace Su30 at some point, after 2030s. And older
su27 and su22 will need some kind of replacement even earlier. European or even US purchases are quite possible though. Hard to
tell how many russian planes they might get, and of what kind. Could be a dozen or three dozen, delivered in 2030s and 2040s.

Pakistan.
Unlikely to get Russian made planes. Will likely stick with Chinese.

Egypt.
One more country balancing between Russian/Chinese/Western
procurement. But they did get 20 F16s, 24 Rafales, and some russian planes in the last 10 years. With dozens more Mig35s and su35 still due to be delivered in the 2020s. I guess the biggest question is what the 160+ strong f16 fleet (ones delivered ub 1980s and early 1990s) will be replaced with. One can't expect most of those to be replaced with high tech stealthy jets.
Still, definitely even two dozen stealthy jets per decade from 2030 to 2050 is plausible.

Bangladesh.
Has ordered a token su30 force, possibly to replace old mig29s. has lots of cheap old chinese fighters, which would be most logically replaced with jf17 class fighter. Unlikely to get stealthy planes.

Malaysia.
Caters both to the West and Russia, but has a very small air force. Can't see more than a dozen jets in the future.

Nigeria.
Doesn't look like splurging on an air force, they seem to be content with a token JF17 force.

Thailand.
Has western stuff, also has a tendency to buy Chinese stuff. Russian planes are possible but I'd say unlikely over a dozen or two dozen in the long run.

Indonesia.
Will likely get some of the planes they have spent money with the Koreans. Given that they operate just 16 proper jets - it might be that all of those will be replaced with KFX. Though, if that deal does fall through, i could see them getting a dozen russian stealths in the 2030s.

India.
Who the heck knows. Ideally, India would like to buy only their own stuff. Su-57 deal falling through doesn't bode well for future stealth either. I guess it will all really depend on their own stealth jet. If that goes nowhere in 2030s, alternatives will be needed quicky. But politics of the moment does seem to indicate a large deal with the US also possible. Impossible to tell. Could be zero stealths, could be 200, by 2050.

Iran.
Another very hard to guesstimate item. Current politics does make it seem as if Iran will be buying new planes in the next decades. But who from and in what quantities - impossible to tell.
So could be dozens of russian jets, could be over a 100.

Turkey.
They'd like their home made jet in big numbers, of course. But whether it will be ready by 2030s is a big unknown. And will it be cheap enough to replace f16s? Another big unknown. Most likely it won't be. Politics could also change by 2030. It's just as likely that Turkey gets back in the western fold as it's likely that is goes out or gets kicked out of NATO. So, impossible to give a good projection.
Could be zero russian jets, could be over a 100.


So, assuming a single engined stealthy fighter is in the works and it appears in the next few years and it starts to sell by 2030, with deliveries starting a few years after that, by the year 2050 I see possible this many sales - in the BEST Case scenario:

264 to 396 not counting Turkey, Iran and India.

That BEST case however assumes ALL those countries will go for russian and not Western or Chinese planes. And that some of them will go for stealthy planes, when in fact they might decide those are not needed or are too expensive.

So, to get a more realistic projection, one might be inclined to use a 30%, 50% or 70% figure. Of course, it's impossible to tell which one would be the true figure.
Using the simple 50% modifier, we're down to 132 - 198 airframes.

Adding in the big unknowns of Iran, Turkey and India, prospects may increase more than two fold. Or they may not. It's really impossible to predict the geopolitics of it all.
A few dozen are likely at a minimum, but the maximum could also be over 400 more. So suddenly we are at anywhere from 150 to over 600 airframes. It's just way too hard to make the call.

And that's just by 2050. Anything later than that I won't even attempt to predict as who knows what'll happen in such long term timeframes spanning more than 3 decades in the future.

On that other note - while the US and Russia do work differently when it comes to giving their aerospace sectors work - planes themselves still won't get developed on either side unless there is money out there to develop it. And money won't be there unless there's need. Making models and concepts is fine - that doesn't really take up resources and those companies are still getting paid by Russian government to keep some of the know-how maintained. But to actually go from a concept to a working prototype with myriad of brand new subystems - that takes something like ten billion, even for Russia.

So with such great uncertainty, without Russia seeing the need for a single engined stealth fighter, and paying for development of almost all of it - such fighter will not come to the market. From russia at least.

It's still possible some other western producer might make a low budget/low capability stealth plane. Or that chinese make one. FC31 derived plane is still unsure when it comes to PLAAF.
And no one can tell what the future will bring. If there'll be an arms race, where both Russia and China, for example, decide they want to increase their air forces by 50% over the next few decades. Such moves may very well increase a need for single engined stealthy planes on both sides.
 

LMFS

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Adding in the big unknowns of Iran, Turkey and India, prospects may increase more than two fold. Or they may not. It's really impossible to predict the geopolitics of it all.
A few dozen are likely at a minimum, but the maximum could also be over 400 more. So suddenly we are at anywhere from 150 to over 600 airframes. It's just way too hard to make the call.
Well that is the key of the issue. If the West manages to keep pressure on some of those countries mentioned above, they will have enough with bringing food at their people's tables. If not, they could pump billions into buying weapons.

That is one of the main reasons why Russian manufacturers always say that their primary target is to provide the domestic customer, they know they cannot make plans that rely entirely on export markets, because they are simply too volatile.

But to actually go from a concept to a working prototype with myriad of brand new subystems - that takes something like ten billion, even for Russia.
That was the budget for the whole PAK-FA program. If this fighter would reuse engines, basic systems, weapons and materials, it could be substantially cheaper. I am not counting inflation here. As said, UAE signed an agreement with them, and as they are trying to build up aerospace competences, they have signed some more and have even bough a significant share of VR Technologies IIRC. India thought 5 Billion for intellectual rights on the FGFA was too much, maybe UAE thinks 1 B for participating in the development and /or production of a lighter fighter is ok, who knows. It would already help, but as said, the development of the Russian aerospace industry is not contingent on such issues.

The main comment I would have to your evaluation of the different countries is that you repeatedly refer to the need for "stealthy planes" as if they were some kind of boutique item only some militaries may need. If you look at the trends, signature management is a must in every new or modernized plane, even if they dont have planform alignment or other elements commonly related to LO design. Any new plane designed in this age is going to include such considerations, and some of them are not going to make the plane intrinsically more expensive. Also it is not clear that a new Russian 5G light fighter is going to put the focus on stealth the way the West publicises it, or that it will not be tailored to the needs and possibilities of richer and poorer countries, that would be one of the key elements of designing an export plane today.
 

haavarla

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What is more important for Russian VKS capability foreward?

- A new light fighter, with engine and avionics from PakFa program

- A new Ultra Heavy Interceptor like Mig-31K, that can launch Kinzhal and R-37M or similar weapons

- A new Hellduck Su-54, based on the PakFa design/program, able to use the Full Arsenal of new weapons and have a ridiculous good mission range, reduced RCS

Something tells me, when Russia is done with PakFa and heavy drone, it most likely is PakDa time, and quite possible one of the above.
But a light singel engine fighter is not on my top2get list for Russian MoD.

Pls take your pick..
 

LMFS

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What is more important for Russian VKS capability foreward?

- A new light fighter, with engine and avionics from PakFa program

- A new Ultra Heavy Interceptor like Mig-31K, that can launch Kinzhal and R-37M or similar weapons

- A new Hellduck Su-54, based on the PakFa design/program, able to use the Full Arsenal of new weapons and have a ridiculous good mission range, reduced RCS

Something tells me, when Russia is done with PakFa and heavy drone, it most likely is PakDa time, and quite possible one of the above.
But a light singel engine fighter is not on my top2get list for Russian MoD.

Pls take your pick..
They have several programs running at the same time. PAK-DA has been ongoing for the last ten years at the same time PAK-FA was being tested, it it is being built now and will probably fly until 2025. PAK-DP is also under discussion, as well as PAK-KA and the new STOVL plane (it is not clear whether the two are the same). A light fighter has been under conceptual study by MiG for ages.

The biggest prio is PAK-DA, maybe not so urgent now due to the production of the Tu-160 being successfully restarted, but this is a work Tupolev (UAC special aviation) will take care of, UAC military is now finishing PAK-FA so it makes sense to start using the results before they get old. MiG needs to close testing of the -35 and get to work on something new finally.

I see the Okhotnik as a plane that makes the development of a Su-34 substitute rather unnecessary in the long term, and in the medium one, the Su-34M is on the making now, those planes should be serving beyond 2040.
 

haavarla

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What is more important for Russian VKS capability foreward?

- A new light fighter, with engine and avionics from PakFa program

- A new Ultra Heavy Interceptor like Mig-31K, that can launch Kinzhal and R-37M or similar weapons

- A new Hellduck Su-54, based on the PakFa design/program, able to use the Full Arsenal of new weapons and have a ridiculous good mission range, reduced RCS

Something tells me, when Russia is done with PakFa and heavy drone, it most likely is PakDa time, and quite possible one of the above.
But a light singel engine fighter is not on my top2get list for Russian MoD.

Pls take your pick..
They have several programs running at the same time. PAK-DA has been ongoing for the last ten years at the same time PAK-FA was being tested, it it is being built now and will probably fly until 2025. PAK-DP is also under discussion, as well as PAK-KA and the new STOVL plane (it is not clear whether the two are the same). A light fighter has been under conceptual study by MiG for ages.

The biggest prio is PAK-DA, maybe not so urgent now due to the production of the Tu-160 being successfully restarted, but this is a work Tupolev (UAC special aviation) will take care of, UAC military is now finishing PAK-FA so it makes sense to start using the results before they get old. MiG needs to close testing of the -35 and get to work on something new finally.

I see the Okhotnik as a plane that makes the development of a Su-34 substitute rather unnecessary in the long term, and in the medium one, the Su-34M is on the making now, those planes should be serving beyond 2040.

PakDa has been reported for years now, but very little has been disclosed, only that they chose to get Tu-160M2 up nd going first, so in this light i have my doubt that the PakDa program has really seen any "Full Get Go" from State Funding.
Most likely, Tupolev are using inhouse funding at a slow pace on PakDa.
Time table and "official" progress in Russia as you all know is somewhat relative. We don't really know at this stage.

Mig-31K will not stay in service forever, and they do have Kinzhal for which other platform?
Not Okhotnik for sure. Could the Tu-22M3 be rebuild for Kinzhal, yes surly but i think it will not.
PakDa? Who knows, like 2-3 decades from now.

PakDP and PakKa are paper project, not likely to ever leave any drawingboard.
 
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LMFS

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PakDa has been reported for years now, but very little has been disclosed, only that they chose to get Tu-160M2 up nd going first, so in this light i have my doubt that the PakDa program has really seen any "Full Get Go" from State Funding.
Most likely, Tupolev are using inhouse funding at a slow pace on PakDa.
Not at all, PAK-DA is in full swing and is one of the main state weapons programs:

Source: several PAK DA are assembled in Russia for flight and ground tests at once
https://tass.ru/armiya-i-opk/10341363

Engine tests for promising missile carrier PAK DA will begin in 2021
https://tass.ru/armiya-i-opk/10330055

Consider that is TASS, so any "leak" there is as official as it gets. Krivoruchko also said the design had been approved already.
Mig-31K will not stay in service forever, and they do have Kinzhal for which other platform?
The fact that they are restarting the engine production, modernization of Sokol plant and the repeated statements from designers abut the modernization potential being far from being exhausted, plus the slow progress with PAK-DP indicate the plane will stay in service for many, many years. There is simply nothing that comes close, so why to dump it? Replace the stuffing, if you want, put supercruising engines inside... it would be a massively performing platform for low cost. I think in fact that the DP will probably be on a different level altogether, so the -31 will be modernized and used in parallel to a great extent. The role of the DP should be ASAT, anti-hypersonic weapons, maybe ABM. In short, fighting against hypersonic and near space assets is becoming increasingly important and a really specialised (very fast, big and high flying) platform is needed for that, allowing the launched weapons to have necessary kinematic advantages to make them viable against near space targets.

Kinzhal is a stop gap measure, in the future smaller and more effective weapons will be available for other carriers. In the meantime, the fleet of -31 is enough.

Re. modernization of the -31:

http://www.aviationunion.ru/news_second.php?new=18338

Honored military pilot of Russia Vladimir Popov believes that the main task of the promising aircraft, as well as its predecessor, will be to patrol and defend the Northern territories of Russia.

"The designers have the possibility of deep modernization of the MiG-31 fighter at the expense of new engines," says Popov. — The interceptor will be able to fly at supersonic speed for a long time without an afterburner. It will barrage in economy mode at a high altitude in the waiting area. Such vehicles will help very quickly repel the attack of any means of air attack — cruise, ballistic or tactical missiles, drones and bombers."

PakDP and PakKa are paper project, not likely to ever leave any drawingboard.
No Russian state companies waste money which is ultimately of the state on doing unsanctioned crap. Such programs have been mentioned not by the MIC but by the MoD, so they may be in early stages but I do not think they are fake ones. Remember the time when the saying was the same for the PAK-FA? The DP is necessary against the new, way faster and more dangerous hypersonic and space-based threats, the KA is needed for the naval aviation. They need to be done.
 

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Of course the previous list, tailored for the Chinese prospects, is not accurate enough for Russian prospects. So i made a new one here.
IF a country isn't mentioned at all - it means I believe either the politics make it impossible for that country to buy russian stuff or that the country has no money and no ambition to go for single engine stealthy jet from Russia.

All the plane figures mentioned are prospects of the said single engine stealthy jet from Russia. But prospects don't equal sales.

Venezuela.
Due to economic situation, likely not going to get much stuff in the coming years. Possibly an afforable requirement for two dozen jets from 2030 to 2040, though.

Peru.
Might be getting three dozen or so planes in the 2020s and 2030s to replace its Mirage 2000s and ex soviet planes.

Argentina.
Unlikely to splurge on high tech stuff for a few decades. High end trainers used as fighters, second hand 4th gen fighters or at best JF17 class planes likely.

Serbia.
Similar to Argentina. Stealthy planes not likely.

Algeria.
Is already buying previous gen planes, or has procured them in the last 10 years. So stealthy plane procurements unlikely before 2030 even if the plane would be available to buy. Even then, meaningful numbers unlikely before 2040s, when all the Su30s/mig29s would need retirement. So, possibly a few dozen planes in the 2040s and a few dozen more in 2050s.

Uganda.
Has a small number of Su30 that are fairly young. Even if a purchase of stealthy planes happens, it likely won't be before 2040 and it likely won't even be a full dozen.

Sudan.
Has old mig 29 and su25 and chinese J7. Unlikely to spend on stealthy planes. Will more likely spend on 4th gen planes before 2030, thus negating much of the need for added planes past 2030.
At best, like, uganda, a token force of stealthy planes possible as 2040 approaches.

Libya.
Who knows. Could even go Western, as politics are unsure. Right now afforable requirements are pretty much zero airframes. But i guess IF there's peace, IF there's a functioning state and IF the oil production makes money - in 20 years time there may be a requirement for new planes. So it's not completely impossible that, for example, two dozen planes are needed.

Turkmenistan.
Has old soviet planes but has also been buying some european stuff.
But reallistically, at its GDP, it's unlikely there's going to be money for steathly jets. Much more likely are second hand 4th gen jets or any other smaller, cheaper jets. Still, I guess one can't discount up to one dozen stealthy jets in the coming decades.

Azerbaijan.
Has been buying from everyone, so Russian sourced planes are possible. Still, it does seem the air force is not high on their list, given their current roster of old and not numerous fighters. I guess a dozen or two stealthy jets in the 2030-2050 period is possible.

Syria.
Doesn't really have the money, has been buying older stuff. One can never discount a push for a dozen or two stealthy jets in the long term up to 2050, though.

Uzbekistan.
Is reportedly in negotiations for some (Dozens?) of Su30sm. So it's unlikely many stealth planes will also be likely before those get retired. At best, at some point a dozen or so stealthy jets might become affordable, after 2040.

Belarus.
Getting new Su30sm, like above. Will likely get more eventaully,
through the decades.
But defense budget is quite small, merely $800 in 2019, and land component has a much greater priority. I guess a dozen stealthy jets in the long term is still possible.

Myanmar.
Seems to be replacing old chinese and soviet planes
with newly built su30sm and JF17. Which pretty much means there's
no room for stealthy planes until 2050 or so.

Angola.
Has old soviet planes and Su30 on order. Likely won't choose to afford itself stealthy planes.

Kazakhstan.
Has a few dozen su30sm on order. It's possible it might also get stealthy planes, if those become available, after 2030. Still, Can't see their requirement be over two dozen.

Iraq.
Has very recently gotten new stuff but there may be some room for growth in the long term. Perhaps a dozen jets possible ?

Vietnam.
Very likely will replace Su30 at some point, after 2030s. And older
su27 and su22 will need some kind of replacement even earlier. European or even US purchases are quite possible though. Hard to
tell how many russian planes they might get, and of what kind. Could be a dozen or three dozen, delivered in 2030s and 2040s.

Pakistan.
Unlikely to get Russian made planes. Will likely stick with Chinese.

Egypt.
One more country balancing between Russian/Chinese/Western
procurement. But they did get 20 F16s, 24 Rafales, and some russian planes in the last 10 years. With dozens more Mig35s and su35 still due to be delivered in the 2020s. I guess the biggest question is what the 160+ strong f16 fleet (ones delivered ub 1980s and early 1990s) will be replaced with. One can't expect most of those to be replaced with high tech stealthy jets.
Still, definitely even two dozen stealthy jets per decade from 2030 to 2050 is plausible.

Bangladesh.
Has ordered a token su30 force, possibly to replace old mig29s. has lots of cheap old chinese fighters, which would be most logically replaced with jf17 class fighter. Unlikely to get stealthy planes.

Malaysia.
Caters both to the West and Russia, but has a very small air force. Can't see more than a dozen jets in the future.

Nigeria.
Doesn't look like splurging on an air force, they seem to be content with a token JF17 force.

Thailand.
Has western stuff, also has a tendency to buy Chinese stuff. Russian planes are possible but I'd say unlikely over a dozen or two dozen in the long run.

Indonesia.
Will likely get some of the planes they have spent money with the Koreans. Given that they operate just 16 proper jets - it might be that all of those will be replaced with KFX. Though, if that deal does fall through, i could see them getting a dozen russian stealths in the 2030s.

India.
Who the heck knows. Ideally, India would like to buy only their own stuff. Su-57 deal falling through doesn't bode well for future stealth either. I guess it will all really depend on their own stealth jet. If that goes nowhere in 2030s, alternatives will be needed quicky. But politics of the moment does seem to indicate a large deal with the US also possible. Impossible to tell. Could be zero stealths, could be 200, by 2050.

Iran.
Another very hard to guesstimate item. Current politics does make it seem as if Iran will be buying new planes in the next decades. But who from and in what quantities - impossible to tell.
So could be dozens of russian jets, could be over a 100.

Turkey.
They'd like their home made jet in big numbers, of course. But whether it will be ready by 2030s is a big unknown. And will it be cheap enough to replace f16s? Another big unknown. Most likely it won't be. Politics could also change by 2030. It's just as likely that Turkey gets back in the western fold as it's likely that is goes out or gets kicked out of NATO. So, impossible to give a good projection.
Could be zero russian jets, could be over a 100.


So, assuming a single engined stealthy fighter is in the works and it appears in the next few years and it starts to sell by 2030, with deliveries starting a few years after that, by the year 2050 I see possible this many sales - in the BEST Case scenario:

264 to 396 not counting Turkey, Iran and India.

That BEST case however assumes ALL those countries will go for russian and not Western or Chinese planes. And that some of them will go for stealthy planes, when in fact they might decide those are not needed or are too expensive.

So, to get a more realistic projection, one might be inclined to use a 30%, 50% or 70% figure. Of course, it's impossible to tell which one would be the true figure.
Using the simple 50% modifier, we're down to 132 - 198 airframes.

Adding in the big unknowns of Iran, Turkey and India, prospects may increase more than two fold. Or they may not. It's really impossible to predict the geopolitics of it all.
A few dozen are likely at a minimum, but the maximum could also be over 400 more. So suddenly we are at anywhere from 150 to over 600 airframes. It's just way too hard to make the call.

And that's just by 2050. Anything later than that I won't even attempt to predict as who knows what'll happen in such long term timeframes spanning more than 3 decades in the future.

On that other note - while the US and Russia do work differently when it comes to giving their aerospace sectors work - planes themselves still won't get developed on either side unless there is money out there to develop it. And money won't be there unless there's need. Making models and concepts is fine - that doesn't really take up resources and those companies are still getting paid by Russian government to keep some of the know-how maintained. But to actually go from a concept to a working prototype with myriad of brand new subystems - that takes something like ten billion, even for Russia.

So with such great uncertainty, without Russia seeing the need for a single engined stealth fighter, and paying for development of almost all of it - such fighter will not come to the market. From russia at least.

It's still possible some other western producer might make a low budget/low capability stealth plane. Or that chinese make one. FC31 derived plane is still unsure when it comes to PLAAF.
And no one can tell what the future will bring. If there'll be an arms race, where both Russia and China, for example, decide they want to increase their air forces by 50% over the next few decades. Such moves may very well increase a need for single engined stealthy planes on both sides.
S-70 flying wing plus Su-57 are the current F-22 plus F-35 combo for Russia, once T-30 engine is ready then we could see a single engined fighter, now it is not possible because Russia has no money.

Su-57 and S-70 can be sold in my opinion, but unless they adopt T-30 engine a single engined fighter makes no sense 117 engines or Al-31s are still too underpowered for a single engine manned fighter.

For S-70 hunter the current Su-35 engines are okay because by being unmanned lots of weights are eliminated and S-70 can go to higher G forces and is far much more stealthy than manned jets.

Only problem of S-70 it can be hacked, but it is far much cheaper so the use of Su-35s as the artillery, Su-57 as a surgical fighter and S-70 as the pawn for high threat targets will mean that is the cheaper option for Russia now.

I would love to see a single engine MiG but i do not see clear evidence.
 

kaiserbill

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.. but unless they adopt T-30 engine a single engined fighter makes no sense 117 engines or Al-31s are still too underpowered for a single engine manned fighter.
The 117 and 117s are engines approaching 10:1 thrust ratio... 9000kg dry, 15 000kg in afterburner, give or take.
Outside of the USA and Russia, there are precisely zero countries with such an engine in service (thrust/weight ratio, thrust bracket, turbine inlet temp etc), or being offered on the market right now, if one discounts the Chinese, of which there is scant hard technical info or data.
Whilst obviously the new Izd 30 would be a better clean sheet design, I cannot see why on earth the 117 engines would be underpowered for a single engined fighter.
 
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LMFS

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@kaiserbill

Totally agree, that is the thrust of the combined 2x M88 in the Rafale, with ca. 400 kg less weight and producing a strongly reduced cross sectional area which would greatly help with excess power. So, of course it could be used on a single engine fighter. Since the engine is going to be used on the Okhotnik too and it could be the base of the new engine for the Flankers, it may become the new "standard" in the VKS.
 

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.. but unless they adopt T-30 engine a single engined fighter makes no sense 117 engines or Al-31s are still too underpowered for a single engine manned fighter.
The 117 and 117s are engines approaching 10:1 thrust ratio... 9000kg dry, 15 000kg in afterburner, give or take.
Outside of the USA and Russia, there are precisely zero countries with such an engine in service (thrust/weight ratio, thrust bracket, turbine inlet temp etc), or being offered on the market right now, if one discounts the Chinese, of which there is scant hard technical info or data.
Whilst obviously the new Izd 30 would be a better clean sheet design, I cannot see why on earth the 117 engines would be underpowered for a single engined fighter.
it depends what fighter.

An F-16 well obviously the current Su-35s 117 is okay, but for a X-35/F-35 no the F-35 has a type 30 engine the f135 and still is not enough to get to the level of F-22 in TWR because stealth increases weight due to the need to have weapons bays.
 
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kaiserbill

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I personally don't regard a multirole fighter that is either heavier, or roughly the same size in most dimensions, as a Buccaneer bomber, F-105 Thunderchief, F-15, or Mirage 4000 (it is heavier than all of these) as a light fighter, but anyway.
I do not want to derail this thread, so enough of that.
 

Acatomic

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What's the conclusion? Can we say that "manned light fighter" as a concept, in this day and age, is dead?
 

LMFS

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it depends what fighter.

An F-16 well obviously the current Su-35s 117 is okay, but for a X-35/F-35 no the F-35 has a type 30 engine the f135 and still is not enough to get to the level of F-22 in TWR because stealth increases weight due to the need to have weapons bays.
There is indeed a bit if weight grow due to moving from 4G to 5G, but the interesting question is how far it needs to go. I dispute that the F-35 has the smallest size a fighter with useful internal weapon bays can be made. It is very big, way heavier than X-35, and F135 also saw a substantial grow from demonstrator phase. I took the time to explore layouts and came to the conclusion that the STOVL influenced arrangement with weapon bays parallel to the main engine was the real bottleneck of the design, where the weight creep started snowballing, because more cross section for useful payload meant more weight and the need of a bigger engine, which was also in turn increasing cross section and weight further. The result is a plane heavier than a F-15 which cannot be called light by any stretch of the imagination. The fact that it does not have the TWR of a F-22, which also has internal bays, indicates that the F-35 problem may be unique to its layout and not necessarily to the 5G.

A layout with the bays in front of the engine can maintain a cross sectional area similar to 4G planes and the intrinsic thrust increase of the engine will compensate for the increased weight, with the advantage of increased fuel capacity due to the increased internal volume. I came to a plane ca. 15.5 m long, 10 t empty. Interestingly Saab did a similar exercise and they came also to the same empty weight. So, it is not that my exercise has any relevance, but that I took the time for it is the reason why I more or less have an opinion on the matter...

This would be a layout with a basic A2A and A2G capacity, that is the implicit compromise of a "light" fighter.

What's the conclusion? Can we say that "manned light fighter" as a concept, in this day and age, is dead?
I don't think so, I think the approach announced by Chemezov is the most reasonable and safe now: create a plane that can be produced in both manned and unmanned versions. So the production and employment can adapt to the real advance of AI and doctrine created according to it, maybe at the beginning only manned airframes are used but later mixed manned / unmanned regiments or even squadrons are created where increasing amounts of unmanned planes are coordinated by manned ones, maybe to the point where manned oversight is found optional some time in the future.
 

Levsha

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.. but unless they adopt T-30 engine a single engined fighter makes no sense 117 engines or Al-31s are still too underpowered for a single engine manned fighter.
The 117 and 117s are engines approaching 10:1 thrust ratio... 9000kg dry, 15 000kg in afterburner, give or take.
Outside of the USA and Russia, there are precisely zero countries with such an engine in service (thrust/weight ratio, thrust bracket, turbine inlet temp etc), or being offered on the market right now, if one discounts the Chinese, of which there is scant hard technical info or data.
Whilst obviously the new Izd 30 would be a better clean sheet design, I cannot see why on earth the 117 engines would be underpowered for a single engined fighter.

I don't think this is correct at all (except for thrust bracket obviously).
Wikipedia says that they all have similar thrust ratios - both the EJ200 and SNECMA's M88 also have good thrust-to-weight ratios - which can be improved with later versions of the engine. The same applies with the turbine inlet temperature.
Frankly I don't see how the western European powerplants are in any way inferior to the Eastern European engines in the level of technologies they employ - I'd say they are about equal.
 

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There is indeed a bit if weight grow due to moving from 4G to 5G, but the interesting question is how far it needs to go. I dispute that the F-35 has the smallest size a fighter with useful internal weapon bays can be made. It is very big, way heavier than X-35, and F135 also saw a substantial grow from demonstrator phase. I took the time to explore layouts and came to the conclusion that the STOVL influenced arrangement with weapon bays parallel to the main engine was the real bottleneck of the design, where the weight creep started snowballing, because more cross section for useful payload meant more weight and the need of a bigger engine, which was also in turn increasing cross section and weight further. The result is a plane heavier than a F-15 which cannot be called light by any stretch of the imagination. The fact that it does not have the TWR of a F-22, which also has internal bays, indicates that the F-35 problem may be unique to its layout and not necessarily to the 5G.

A layout with the bays in front of the engine can maintain a cross sectional area similar to 4G planes and the intrinsic thrust increase of the engine will compensate for the increased weight, with the advantage of increased fuel capacity due to the increased internal volume. I came to a plane ca. 15.5 m long, 10 t empty. Interestingly Saab did a similar exercise and they came also to the same empty weight. So, it is not that my exercise has any relevance, but that I took the time for it is the reason why I more or less have an opinion on the matter...

This would be a layout with a basic A2A and A2G capacity, that is the implicit compromise of a "light" fighter.
Well I think someone in China would probably disagree with you - the FC-31 seems to half bigger dimensions than the F-35 so presumably a greater empty weight as well. Also there is nothing to wrong with the TWR of the F-35 - it may not be as good as the F-22's but the F-35 has a much greater fuel fraction. In fact the TWR of the F-35 is not a whole lot worse than that of the Su-35.
 

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I'm sure you don't think it is correct at all, knowing your history here and at Keypub over the years about a certain country.
But the facts are the facts, whether you find them inconvenient or not.
I never said anything about inferior or superior.
I said the 117 and 117S is perfectly capable of powering a modern light fighter (say in the 8-10 ton empty weight category) wrt to thrust.
I also said that outside of the USA and "thecountrythatmustbedismissed" there are no other operational, or readily purchasable jet engines in the thrust bracket/thrust-weightratio/ TIT required that we are speaking about.
Talking about "future versions" enlarged or developed not flying or funded is pointless.
Can you point out an available jet engine on the market right now, outside of The USA, and "thatcountry", and possibly China as mentioned, that fits the bill?
 

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Is there an actual official light fighter programme, as there was/is for PAK-FA and PAK-DA?
I know government and industry officials have occasionally mentioned it, but anything beyond that?
 

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I never said anything about inferior or superior.
You damn well did - read your post again.

I said the 117 and 117S is perfectly capable of powering a modern light fighter (say in the 8-10 ton empty weight category) wrt to thrust.
Sure, no doubt about it. It would be smaller than the F-35 or FC-31, but it would still be in same weight and thrust category of the Rafale, so yeah, doable.

It wouldn't have the internal payload capacity of the F-35A, but should have the capacity of the F-35B - so should be able to carry a pair of KAB-500L/S - plus a pair of R-77.

I also said that outside of the USA and "thecountrythatmustbedismissed" there are no other operational, or readily purchasable jet engines in the thrust bracket/thrust-weightratio/ TIT required that we are speaking about.

And what is wrong with using a pair of EJ200s? The Chinese do it with a pair of RD-93, don't they? I would be curious to know what the supercruise performance of the FC-31 is, with RD-93?

Talking about "future versions" enlarged or developed not flying or funded is pointless.

We are discussing the powerplant of a future light stealth fighter which is not "developed not flying or funded" - are we not?
 

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Well I think someone in China would probably disagree with you - the FC-31 seems to half bigger dimensions than the F-35 so presumably a greater empty weight as well.
It has two RD-33 type engines so it should have the rough size of the MiG-29, which is lighter than the F-35. I have no further data. In any case, see kaiserbill's post, he is right in saying that there is no available modern engine beyond US or Russia's izd. 117 in that power class, so China may prefer using two engines. Maybe the plane is specifically created for the navy or maybe the Chinese have other way of thinking, who says they were trying to create a light single engine plane and not a medium, twin engined one?
Also there is nothing to wrong with the TWR of the F-35 - it may not be as good as the F-22's but the F-35 has a much greater fuel fraction. In fact the TWR of the F-35 is not a whole lot worse than that of the Su-35.
It was you that pointed out to that aspect, not me. Su-35's TWR empty should be around 1.6, it could be better than F-22 for what we know. For F-35, between 1.4 and 1.2 depending on the version.

Is there an actual official light fighter programme, as there was/is for PAK-FA and PAK-DA?
I know government and industry officials have occasionally mentioned it, but anything beyond that?
Not yet that I know. MiG has a contract with TsAGI for research in the area, there is the UAE contract and also talks by many oficials for a long while, but that's it. It seems to be early for that. Probably they want to finish the MiG-35 before.

Sure, no doubt about it. It would be smaller than the F-35 or FC-31, but it would still be in same weight and thrust category of the Rafale, so yeah, doable.
Glad that we agree

It wouldn't have the internal payload capacity of the F-35A, but should have the capacity of the F-35B - so should be able to carry a pair of KAB-500L/S - plus a pair of R-77.
Who knows, there are other ways of doing things. As said, the layout of the F-35 s clearly suboptimal due to hardly compatible requirements from different services. But in any case 2 pieces of A2G ordnance and 2 MRAAM is already quite ok IMHO.
 

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Absolutely no point to this when others put words in your mouth.
I said nothing in service or on the market.
Never used the words inferior or superior.
The usual dishonest modus operandi as used over the years.

Anyway, to the other posters... It seems to me that if the 117 and Izd-30 are interchangeable...if this ever came to fruition, might we not see Izd-30 for Russian aircraft, and 117S for export?
I suspect the history of "monkey models" would prevent this these days.
 
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LMFS

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Anyway, to the other posters... It seems to me that if the 117 and Izd-30 are interchangeable...if this ever came to fruition, might we not see Izd-30 for Russian aircraft, and 117S for export?
I suspect the history of "monkey models" would prevent this these days.
Perfectly possible IMHO, who knows for sure if already today izd. 117S is the export model and 117 the domestic one? The 117S was designed with export in mind, from what I have read, and it is still very good indeed to be in demand. 10 years in the future probably it will not be enough.

Izd. 30 is specifically designed for supercruise, there are typically two ways of achieving this: either low BPR or VCE. In the first case I would not see the big benefit for a smaller fighter which will be intrinsically challenged in terms of range of using an engine of higher fuel consumption just for the sake of some SC it is not going to use properly for the lack of fuel and lose useful range in subsonic because of having thirsty engine. In the second case, it could be an ideal engine for any fighter, but the cost may be high, at least at the beginning. But being interchangeable, they could come as a retrofit at a later time.
 

Mirage4000

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.. but unless they adopt T-30 engine a single engined fighter makes no sense 117 engines or Al-31s are still too underpowered for a single engine manned fighter.
The 117 and 117s are engines approaching 10:1 thrust ratio... 9000kg dry, 15 000kg in afterburner, give or take.
Outside of the USA and Russia, there are precisely zero countries with such an engine in service (thrust/weight ratio, thrust bracket, turbine inlet temp etc), or being offered on the market right now, if one discounts the Chinese, of which there is scant hard technical info or data.
Whilst obviously the new Izd 30 would be a better clean sheet design, I cannot see why on earth the 117 engines would be underpowered for a single engined fighter.

I don't think this is correct at all (except for thrust bracket obviously).
Wikipedia says that they all have similar thrust ratios - both the EJ200 and SNECMA's M88 also have good thrust-to-weight ratios - which can be improved with later versions of the engine. The same applies with the turbine inlet temperature.
Frankly I don't see how the western European powerplants are in any way inferior to the Eastern European engines in the level of technologies they employ - I'd say they are about equal.
T-30 it is supposedly has similar dimensions to Al-31/117 but is lighter and more powerful.

I doubt Russia has an engine in the RD-33/93 class to power a twin engine fighter of fifth generation, they lack money, so the only option i see is a T-30 powering a single engined fighter similar to F-35/X-32.

If that is the case, current RD-33/RD-93 are underpowered even for MiG-29 if supercruise is the aim, a twin engined fighter with internal weapons bays should be even heavier than a MiG-35, thus I think Russia will use S-70 as a unmanned substitute of F-35.

Su-35 will fly with lots of AAMs and engage the enemy using S-70 and AWACS as guiding centers, while Su-57 is only used for some operations that requiered a human.

EJ-200 and M88 are fine engines but not for a F-35 type aircraft, in my opinion Russia might make a 5th generation light fighter once the Type 30 is ready; but that might not happen if S-70 shows no need for it
 

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