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Looking for Aviation Week article on 'new' USSR a/c from '78 or '79 & '83 or '84

famvburg

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I'm looking for copies of an article from an issue of AW&ST from either 1978 or 1979, I think December, maybe the 17th or 18th. It's on "Soviet Union to Field 3 New Fighters" or something like that with artist concepts of the RAM-J, -K & -L, which were later the MiG-29 & Su-25 & -27. The concepts show them in flight & are among the earliest iterations showing the F-18ish MiG-29, the Su-25 with straight wings & fuselage mounted engines like the A-10 & what I call an enlarged, swing-wing F-18ish Su-27. I believe these are the basis (bases?) for the drawings in one of Bill Gunston's books on military a/c from the early '80s & their color profiles which already found here on SP. I had photcopies but they got wet & ruined & unsuable/unreadable. The local USG facility library had all of the AW&ST issues on microfilm but they deteriorated & were discarded a few years ago & my local library can't seem to get interlibrary loans any more. :( So, if anyone here could give me a hand it'd be appreciated. Also, there was a similar issue from late '83 or early '84 with sort of an update, but it included info on the MiG-31 & Tu-160. I'm surprised AW&ST doesn't have a set-up similar to Flight Int. or back issues on CD. Thanks for the read & any help.
 

Bruno Anthony

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Sorry no pics:

Aviation Week & Space Technology

March 26, 1979

Soviets to Field 3 New Fighters in Aviation Modernization Drive

BYLINE: By Clarence A. Robinson, Jr.


SECTION: AERONAUTICAL ENGINEERING; Pg. 14

LENGTH: 1777 words

DATELINE: Washington



Soviet Union is preparing to field three new fighter aircraft as it continues its drive to modernize offensive aviation and air defense forces with 5,800 new aircraft by 1983.

The three new aircraft are:

* Model K -- A variable-geometry-wing air superiority fighter with an interceptor mission. The USSR is flying a prototype of this aircraft from Ramenskoye, and it is a close approximation of the U.S. Navy/Grumman F-14 fighter. Believed to be a follow-on to the MiG-25 Foxbat, the Model K is expected to be equipped with the look-down, shoot-down radar system now being tested against target drones at Vladimirovka (AW&ST Oct. 23, 1978, p. 13).

* Model L -- A Sukhoi fighter analagous to the Navy/McDonnell Douglas/Northrop F-18. A single-place, twin turbojet fighter with a takeoff gross weight of 25,000 lb., the aircraft is expected by U.S. officials to operate with air-to-air missiles in the radar-guided AIM-7F Sparrow category, or with improved performance along the lines of the advanced medium range air-to-air missile (AMRAAM) now in early development in the U.S. The radar in the Soviet L fighter is believed to be in the 40-naut. mi.-range category.


* Model J -- A small ground attack aircraft designed for close air support with an antitank gun system. This Russian strike fighter, also known in some circles as the T-58, is further along in the development cycle than Models K or L and is already in production, with deployment imminent. The Soviets have been testing the aircraft with both 23-mm. and 30-mm. gun systems for use against armored targets and appear to have settled on the 30-mm. system. The new attack aircraft is similar in design to the Northrop A-9, the competitor that lost to the Fairchild A-10 in USAF's close-support aircraft program.

The Soviets are making enormous strides in technology, according to U.S. analysts, and the trend now is toward complex weapon systems and more expensive fighter aircraft. While there is still a lag in on-board computational and data processing capabilities, that gap is closing rapidly, U.S. officials believe. They cite recent developments in a number of systems that include:

* Terrain-avoidance radar.

* Doppler navigation equipment.

* Gatling-type guns mounted in pods.

* Side-looking airborne radar (SLAR).

* Real-time electro-optical (television) surveillance for reconnaissance.

* Laser-guided weapons.

* New families of air-to-air and air-to-surface missiles and bombs designed to crater and destroy airfield runways.

Of all the aircraft systems and weapons, the look-down, shoot-down radar system still being tested against the Soviet UR-1 target drone, a 5-meter-square Mach 2-3 drone, embodies the surge in new Soviet technology, according to U.S. officials.

That radar system is being tested in the two-place Super MiG-25 using the new AA-X-9 radar-guided missile. The system, U.S. officials believe, is being produced for use with the new Model K interceptor. All three of the new aircraft are referred to as the Ram J, K or L because of their initial location at Ramenskoye.

The U.S. first learned of the radar's existence from the Soviet defector, Lt. Viktor Belenko, when he flew his MiG-25 into Japan in 1976 (AW&ST Sept. 27, 1976, p. 11). Tests with the system in a series of live firings have been monitored by the U.S. since August, 1977. The radar system has the capability to track four targets simultaneously while handling 20 targets, identifying them in ground clutter.

During evaluation and development testing, the Soviets have fired the missile against four drones within 40 sec. All of the targets were operating at different altitudes. Ranges up to 25 naut. mi. to the targets have been observed, but analysts believe the range capability to be about 40 naut. mi.

The Soviets are known to be developing a new fire control system for the Ram K, and possibly for use with the Ram L, that will handle a new, larger, longer-range interceptor missile.

"The Russians appear to have settled on complexity in their aircraft development program, and they are moving away from daylight fighters. It appears they have made a conscious decision to produce aircraft for the inventory with a better capability than the USAF [General Dynamics] F-16," one Pentagon official said. All of the new fighter designs have significant growth potential, according to another observer of Soviet aviation.

As an example, the prototype Ram K is a 60,000-lb. takeoff gross weight aircraft. The fuselage is 20 meters long, and it has a wing span of 12.5 meters. While the aircraft is now being tested with variable-sweep wings, U.S. officials believe it will be produced eventually with wings in a fixed position, and that a second cockpit will be added for a weapons system officer.

The F-14-like aircraft would operate by cruising a high altitude and engage targets in the look-down, shoot-down mode, or dive to lower altitudes for aerial combat engagements. "But it looks to us as though the Russians intend to take advantage of our experience in the Aimval/Aceval [air intercept missile evaluation/air combat evaluation] and engage targets in long-range standoff modes with radar-guided weapons," one official explained (AW&ST Apr. 4, 1977, p. 12).

The Ram L, according to analysts, is an aircraft that could utilize the AA-X-9 missile with its active terminal seeker or a new, smaller, lighter weight air-to-air missile now in early development. "As close as we can figure, it has the performance of the F-18," one official said.

The Ram L is 15.5 meters long, has a 10.5-meter wing span and a single-place bubble canopy. It is powered by twin turbojet engines.

The Ram J attack aircraft has an empty weight of approximately 20,000 lb. and a gross weight of about 36,000 lb. It has radar warning systems and is equipped with laser-guided weapons and the new AS-9 antiradar missile that homes on air defense radar emissions.

Not only have the Soviets moved into a new era with the technology in the three new aircraft, but they are continuing also to improve aircraft already in frontal aviation units with a number of technology advances.

The U.S. estimates that by 1983 almost 6,000 fighters will be built, with about 25% earmarked for export to Warsaw Pact nations. Annual production rates are about 1,100 for USSR fighters as compared to approximately 600 annually for the U.S., but close to half of the U.S. fighter production goes for export sales.

The MiG-23 Flogger aircraft is only one example of both the quantity and the new quality in Russian production, according to U.S. officials.

The MiG-23B interceptor variant of the Flogger is replacing older MiG-21 Fishbeds. It operates with a data link system and the newer AA-7 Apex and AA-8 Aphid air-to-air missiles, and with multiple ejection racks for ordnance.

U.S. officials emphasized that an important consideration in assessing future Soviet fighter production is the USSR's emphasis on dual-mission aircraft with ground attack capabilities beyond the primary counter-air mission.

The MiG-27 Flogger D is an aircraft with a 750-naut.-mi. radius, and it operates with a gross takeoff weight of about 45,000 lb., including fuel tanks. It carries a six-barrel 30 mm. Gatling-type podded gun system. The MiG-27's maximum speed is Mach 1.7 with its single Tumansky R-29B turbofan engine. The aircraft is deployed in Cuba and has a low-level nuclear weapons penetration capability.

The Flogger D has a pulse Doppler radar system that operates in J-band, according to U.S. officials, and the aircraft uses AS-7 and AS-9 air-to-surface missiles. The Soviets have produced laser-guided missiles for the aircraft and are developing fuel-air explosives for use with the MiG-27 or the Ram J.

During the past two years, the Soviets have been upgrading frontal aviation units in the central region in East Germany, Poland and Czechoslovakia, converting them to newer aircraft. The Russians also are improving southern flank forces by deploying Floggers to Soviet units in Hungary, to Bulgarian national forces and to Czech and East German forces.

Construction of reinforced concrete hangarettes continues with about 1,800 in East Germany, Poland and Czechoslovakia. Underground fuel depots are located in the hangarette areas.

Warsaw Pact tactical fighter/bombers based from the Baltic to the Turkish border number about 5,500, or about 75 U.S. wing-size units, formed in aviation regiments with about 50 aircraft per unit. This includes fighters in all non-Soviet Warsaw Pact countries as well as those in the Baltic, Byelorusian, Carpathian, Leningrad, Odessa and Transcaucasus military districts.

The force structure still relies heavily on late series MiG-21 Fishbed aircraft, with modifications to enhance its performance. One of the newer versions is the Fishbed N, with engine and avionics improvements to enhance its air defense role in frontal aviation units. Flogger fighters, however, are destined to be the backbone for Soviet tactical aviation, and conversion to this aircraft in recent years has been significant, averaging one regiment every 2 1/2 months, according to Western observers.

While Soviet forces in the central region of the Warsaw Pact have been virtually modernized, U.S. officials expect that six air defense [counterair] and 10 ground-attack regiments will be reequipped with the Ram L fighter and Ram J attack aircraft, respectively.

Additional Tupolev Backfire aircraft, referred to as the Tu-26/30 by NATO forces but not by the U.S., will be available to support tactical aviation operations, improving deep strike and payload capabilities.

Like the trend in the MiG-27, the Ram J ground-attack aircraft is aimed at simplicity, ruggedness and payload increases. The use of multiple ejector racks increases payloads for both the Flogger D and the Fencer. Flogger Ds can carry up to 18 550-lb. bombs, while the Fencer doubles its payload and approaches the capability of the Tu-16 Badger bomber.

Soviet aircraft production is unmatched in modern times, and the quality and complexity of high technology systems now emerging are cause for alarm, one U.S. official said. It provides:

* Double the number of aircraft capable of performing long-range deep interdiction offensive strikes to 550 naut. mi., high-low-high mission profiles.

* Greatly multiplied payload capability and delivery potential for offensive air assets.

* Long-range air intercepts using radar-guided weapons to provide standoff target kills while avoiding aerial combat with short-range missiles.
 

Bruno Anthony

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Aviation Week & Space Technology

November 28, 1983

Soviets Deploying New Fighters

BYLINE: By Clarence A. Robinson, Jr.


SECTION: AERONAUTICAL ENGINEERING; Pg. 18

LENGTH: 1417 words

DATELINE: Washington

HIGHLIGHT: New interceptor, follow-on to MiG-25 Foxbat, is in regimental service; MiG-29, Su-27 fighters to be operational next spring



The Soviet Union is rapidly deploying the new Mikoyan MiG-31 Foxhound interceptor aircraft equipped with a look-down, shoot-down radar capability and has four operational regiments.

Two other new Soviet fighters -- the MiG-29 Fulcrum and Sukhoi Su-27 Flanker -- are scheduled to begin operations in the spring armed with a mediumrange air-to-air missile with active terminal guidance. These will be equipped with a pulse Doppler look-down, shootdown weapons system, infrared search and track set, digital data link and headup display.

Both of the new fighters now in production will take advantage of state-of-the-art avionics evolving from systems designed originally for the Foxhound. The extended range and track-while-scan radar capability for the aircraft was developed and tested extensively in the MiG-31 against a variety of targets including drones simulating cruise missiles at Vladimirovka, a test site on the Caspian Sea.


The Foxhound is a two-seat improved version of the MiG-25 Foxbat aircraft with new engines and avionics and an extended range capability. The Foxhound, which has a range of 1,025 naut. mi., is scheduled to replace the Tupolev Tu-28P Fiddler.

As an interceptor aircraft, the Foxhound is designed and optimized for use with the Soviet Ilyushin I1-76 Mainstay airborne warning and control system, which is expected to become operational by the end of 1984.

The I1-76 closely approximates the U.S. Lockheed C-141 transport in airframe design and performance. The U.S. Air Force originally intended to use the C-141 as the airframe for airborne early warning capability before deciding on the Boeing E-3A.

U.S. officials are concerned that the Foxhound's Mach 2.4 speed and 80,000-ft. service ceiling will outperform the U.S. Air Force/McDonnell Douglas F-15 or the Navy/Grumman F-14 fighters. The MiG-31 is approaching a first-look, firstshot capability, and evolutionary improvements in avionics will appear in the two new fighters -- the Fulcrum and Flanker.

The Soviets have another new fighter in development that is designed to increase detection and track range against fighter aircraft targets. Like the MiG-29 and the Su-27, it would be armed with the new medium-range air-to-air missile in the final stages of development and pilot production by the Soviets.

The Foxhound is designed to cruise at high altitudes and engage fighter targets in the look-down, shoot-down mode with radar-guided missiles. In tests with the Foxhound's weapon system, Soviet pilots successfully intercepted targets with a radar signature under 1 sq. meter at altitudes below 200 ft. while fying at an altitude above 20,000 ft.

The Su-27 Flanker fighter was developed and tested in prototype form with a variable geometry wing. The wing was fixed when the aircraft entered production, and the fighter compares in size and performance to the F-15.

The twin-engine aircraft has a thrust-to-weight ratio of 1.2:1. Thrust of each engine with afterburner engaged is 30,000 lb., and military power thrust is 20,000 lb. The Su-27 has a takeoff gross weight of 63,500 lb. and a nominal combat weight of 44,000 lb.

Sustained turning rate for the Flanker is 17 deg./sec. at Mach 0.9 at an altitude of 15,000 ft. Instantaneous turning rate for the fighter is 23 deg./sec. sustaining 7-9g.

Acceleration for the Flanker is 20% better than with the MiG-23, with a combat speed at sea level of 910 kt. and 1,494 kt. at an altitude of 40,000 ft. Maximum speed in 1g fight at sea level is Mach 1.1, and it is Mach 2.3 at 30,000 ft.

The wing area for the Su-27 is 500 sq. ft., and wing loading is 79 lb./sq. ft. based on an empty weight of 39,000 lb. Other design points for the Flanker are:

* Internal fuel -- 15,500 lb.

* External fuel -- 7,000 lb.

* Range -- 450 naut. mi. at high altitude in a clean configuration. The range is 350 naut. mi. when armed with eight air-to-air missiles and, with 12 bombs, the range is 325 naut. mi. The bombs weigh 500 kg. (1,100 lb.) each.

The aircraft has an internal 23-mm. gun.

The Su-27 formerly was known as the Ram-K, a designation associated with the location where it was first spotted by the U.S. during developmental fight testing at Ramenskoye air base in the Soviet Union. The fuselage of the Su-27 is 20 meters (65.6 ft.) long, and the wing span is 12.5 meters (41 ft.). These measurements compare with a length of 15.5 meters (51 ft.) for the MiG-29 and a wing span of 10.5 meters (34.4 ft.) for the Fulcrum, a twin-engine, single-place aircraft with a bubble canopy.

The Fulcrum is generally compared to the U.S. Air Force/General Dynamics F16 in performance and the McDonnell Douglas/Northrop F/A-18 in size and weight. Design characteristics for the MiG-29 include:

* Thrust -- 19,000 lb. in afterburner, and 13,000 lb. in military power.

* Thrust-to-weight ratio -- 1.2:1.

* Wing area -- 380 sq. ft.

* Wing loading -- 74 lb./sq. ft. based on an empty weight of 28,000 lb.

* Fuel -- 8,800 lb. internal and 2,000 lb. external.

* Takeoff gross weight -- 36,000 lb.

* Sustained turning rate -- 16 deg./sec. at Mach 0.9 at 15,000 ft.

* Instantaneous turning rate -- 21 deg./ sec. pulling 7-9g.

* Acceleration -- Maximum speed at sea level is Mach 1.2, and it is Mach 2.3 at 30,000 ft.

* Range -- 380 naut. mi. in a clean configuration, 360 naut. mi. armed with four air-to-air missiles and 325 naut. mi. carrying four 500-kg. (1,100-lb.) bombs.

Both the Flanker and Fulcrum are equipped with the latest Soviet head-up display. The system also is in the MiG-31s and MiG-23s coming off the production line. Navigation and attack symbology is displayed on the HUD. Some models of the MiG-23 have no radar scope in the aircraft, with the information displayed as required on the HUD.

The fourth in the series of new fighters in the Soviet Union is the Su-25 Frogfoot, formerly known as the Ram-J. The Frogfoot is a close-support/attack aircraft resembling in performance the U.S. Air Force/Fairchild A-10 and in planform the Northrop A-9, the competitor that lost out in development to the A-10.

The Su-25 entered production in 1979 and was shipped to Afghanistan in 1981, where it is being used in combat operations (AW&ST Apr. 26, 1982, p. 21). The aircraft is armed with a 30-mm. Gatlingtype gun for antiarmor missions and can carry laser-guided munitions.

The Soviet Union is producing fighters at the rate of 1,260 aircraft a year with the average fatigue life approximately five years for each airframe.

Soviet fighter production compares with procurement of 180 aircraft a year for the U.S. Air Force and 172 fighters a year for the Navy.

While production is scheduled to increase for both services in the late 1980s, it still would remain around 200 aircraft a year for each.

In addition to new fighter aircraft production, the Soviet Union is planning to begin production of the new Tupolev Blackjack variable geometry wing bomber. The aircraft will be powered by new turbofan engines and have the capability for low-level weapons delivery. The initial operational capability for the Blackjack is expected to be in 1986.

The Blackjack bomber has a wing span of 177 ft. with the wings spread and 101 ft. swept aft. Design data include:

* Takeoff gross weight -- 590,000 lb.

* Thrust -- 120,000 lb. without afterburner and 200,000 lb. in afterburner.

* Wing loading -- 24 lb./sq. ft.

* Wing area -- 2,500 sq. ft.

* Length -- 175 ft.

* Height -- 45 ft.

Inventory of strategic bombers in the Soviet Union, including the Tupolev Tu22M Backfire, is 260 aircraft. This compares with a total of 297 bombers for the U.S., down from an inventory of 750 aircraft as aging bombers are phased out. Tupolev Tu-95 Bear bombers are still in production in the Soviet Union with new avionics and engines going into aircraft on the production line. Bear D and F bombers are operating from airfields in Cuba on a routine basis.

A supersonic cruise interceptor aircraft that resembles a military version of the Tu-144 supersonic transport is still in development in the Soviet Union and may emerge as a high-altitude supersonic carrier of long-range cruise missiles.

A transport code-named Condor by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization also is being developed by the Soviets. The Condor approximates in size and weight the U.S. Air Force/Lockheed C-5. It has a takeoff gross weight of 800,000 lb. and will be powered by high-bypass-ratio turbofan engines. The aircraft is expected to become operational in 1986.
 

famvburg

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Update: Deino posted my scans here: http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,275.0.html

Thanks to Bruno's detective work with the correct date of the issue, I was able to locate a hard copy of it. I have scans of the articles including the artist concept pics of the Ram-J, -K and -L. I would post them but they are way too big, just under 4MB each and I don't know how to change that, so if anyone is interested, I'll be happy to email them to you or if someone here can reduce them I'll email them and they would be welcome to reduce their sizes and post them for me. FWIW, the drawings are of the same designs as Bill Gunston's profiles that are posted elsewhere in the forum, I think in the Soviiet mis-identification thread or similar. Same designs but black and white, no special markings and shown in flight, so different perspectives on the swing wings of the Ram-K. My next adventure will be the Nov 26, 1983 issue hard copy. Thanks again.
 

famvburg

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Once again, thanks to Bruno and an eBay auction, I now have the Nov. 28, 1983 AW&ST issue. I'm going to see if Deino will post the scans of the article for me as he did for the earlier one.
 
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