Russia considers funding MiG-29 successor

crabanero

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Russia is to build a new lightweight fighter, deputy prime minister Dmitry Rogozin told parliamentary deputies on 11 December.
“There already is the task in our rearmament programme of creating a future light fighter, and it will be built,” Rogozin said in response to a question from a Duma deputy. “Light fighters are always in demand from the point of view of export potential. Look at the [RAC] MiG-29, for example; it outperforms heavy fighters.”
Russia has always produced a mix of heavy and light fighters, notes Rogozin, who oversees the defence industry. It is currently manufacturing derivatives of the Sukhoi Su-27, designated for its forces, as well as the advanced Sukhoi T-50 stealth fighter, to replace the early-variant Su-27s in service. There is no apparent replacement, however, for the hundreds of MiG-29 fighters in use.
RAC MiG has not had a clear designated successor for the MiG-29 since the demise of the twin-engined Article 1.44 demonstrator in the 1990s. It revived the concept for such a light tactical fighter with initial interest from India around 2001, but New Delhi later opted for the developmental T-50.
Previous Russian air force commanders have referred to a single-engined light fighter sharing the same engine, radar and weapons as the T-50.
RAC MiG is likely to be out of production work once a current batch of MiG-29K naval fighters is completed for the Russian navy. The first four have already been delivered.
Air force commander Lt Gen Viktor Bondarev said in April 2013 that a heavy replacement will be also be built for the service’s modernised MiG-31BM interceptors, with a planned in-service date of 2028.
Funding the construction of another new fighter design, let alone two, would be problematic for the Russian government, which said earlier this month that its budget in the next decade is likely to fall well short of earlier projections.
 

Matej

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Good decision that is delayed only some 30 years. But the markets for a single engine russian fighter are already occupied by Gripen, will be occupied by JF-17 and possibly by J-31 or are definitely lost in favor of light turboprops like Super Tucano. Not to mention a bunch of cheap refurbished F-16s after the F-35 takes their place. Russia already lost that opportunity by not proceeding with the MiG izdelije 33.
 

Triton

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Matej said:
Good decision that is delayed only some 30 years. But the markets for a single engine russian fighter are already occupied by Gripen, will be occupied by JF-17 and possibly by J-31 or are definitely lost in favor of light turboprops like Super Tucano. Not to mention a bunch of cheap refurbished F-16s after the F-35 takes their place. Russia already lost that opportunity by not proceeding with the MiG izdelije 33.

Those comments presume that the project needs export customers to be economically viable. The Russian Federation now has money for a military build-up and I doubt that they would buy the Shenyang J-31 or refurbished F-16 fighters. Moscow also has allies that probably would not buy western or Chinese-manufactured fighters. Perhaps proposed members of the Eurasian Union, India, Egypt, and Venezuela are potential customers of the MiG-29 successor.
 

yasotay

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Given how long it takes to develop a new aircraft these days (twenty years), by the time they have a finished product all of those second hand Vipers and others will be worn out. Perhaps its not such a silly idea.
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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Back in the late 1980s the plan was to built a roughly 3/4 scale MFI with one AL-41F engine as the LFI, sharing all technical solutions and equipment where possible. I wonder how viable this is today with the T-50?


It could be T-37.5 :)
 

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E X A C T L Y ! ! !



Triton said:
Matej said:
Good decision that is delayed only some 30 years. But the markets for a single engine russian fighter are already occupied by Gripen, will be occupied by JF-17 and possibly by J-31 or are definitely lost in favor of light turboprops like Super Tucano. Not to mention a bunch of cheap refurbished F-16s after the F-35 takes their place. Russia already lost that opportunity by not proceeding with the MiG izdelije 33.

Those comments presume that the project needs export customers to be economically viable. The Russian Federation now has money for a military build-up and I doubt that they would buy the Shenyang J-31 or refurbished F-16 fighters. Moscow also has allies that probably would not buy western or Chinese-manufactured fighters. Perhaps proposed members of the Eurasian Union, India, Egypt, and Venezuela are potential customers of the MiG-29 successor.
 

kcran567

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I would guess that like the Su-27 and Mig-29 had very similar Aerodynamic layouts, the LWF they produce will look very much like a single engine smaller Pakfa. Similar wing planform, stealth shaping, Levcons, single engine with a wide glove extending outboard of the fuselage. Anyone else care to speculate? I would also guess on a smaller AESA radar and stinger.
 

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Triton said:
Those comments presume that the project needs export customers to be economically viable. The Russian Federation now has money for a military build-up and I doubt that they would buy the Shenyang J-31 or refurbished F-16 fighters. Moscow also has allies that probably would not buy western or Chinese-manufactured fighters. Perhaps proposed members of the Eurasian Union, India, Egypt, and Venezuela are potential customers of the MiG-29 successor.

For sure they need an export customers such as any other country/manufacturer in todays world. Take a look at the Dassault as an example. They built a fighter mostly by their own but in the late 90s/early 00s they realized, that it is absolutely necessary to find also other customer except French air force and Navy. Also the current reborn Eurofighter development is driven mostly by export customers.

You are right that Russia now has the money to begin the development of the lightweight fighter but as has been already said, the development takes at least 20 years. Will the Russia have enough money also in 2030?. Europe not so far ago in 2007 also had a bunch of money for various things. Take a look at it now. You need to consider the russian military doctrine and requirements as well: they have a large territory with concentrated population and industrial areas and that shapes the performance, mission and weapons systems of a new plane. they simply need a long range air superiority cruiser. In the same way that US needs an air dominance fighter (F-22) as Europe needs multirole fighter/bomber (Eurofighter, Rafale), as China needs air superiority/anti surface vessels attack aircraft (J-31)...

I am sure that Russia is technologically capable to build a new lightweight fighter in the same way as I am sure they need to join forces with other countries/potential customers to make the project economically survivable.
 

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The deputy PM's announcement comes as a surprise. Only the other day I read an article by Piotr Butowski on the future of the Russian Air Force where it said that indeed a planned LMFS ( Russian acronym for light multirole aircraft)was envisioned, but funding for it was likely to be cancelled.
Also, it said that neither the Russian aviation industry( OAK), busy developing the T-50, nor the Russian Air Force, prefering large, twin-engined fighters ( the shrinking fleet of MiG-29s in RuAF service provides evidence) were interested in another fifth-gen airframe.
Of interest is the fact that the current head of OAK used to manage the Sukhoi OKB, for which MiG, the most likely designer of LMFS, were competitors for state funds.
Personally, I can't see how the Russians would handle this project financially on their own. China is developing her own stealth planes, India is already involved in the local derivative of the T-50, the countries somebody mentioned here wouldn't be able to provide enough money necessary to even launch the project, not to mention its development and production.
 

Geo

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Foxglove said:
The deputy PM's announcement comes as a surprise. Only the other day I read an article by Piotr Butowski on the future of the Russian Air Force where it said that indeed a planned LMFS ( Russian acronym for light multirole aircraft)was envisioned, but funding for it was likely to be cancelled.
Also, it said that neither the Russian aviation industry( OAK), busy developing the T-50, nor the Russian Air Force, prefering large, twin-engined fighters ( the shrinking fleet of MiG-29s in RuAF service provides evidence) were interested in another fifth-gen airframe.
Of interest is the fact that the current head of OAK used to manage the Sukhoi OKB, for which MiG, the most likely designer of LMFS, were competitors for state funds.
Personally, I can't see how the Russians would handle this project financially on their own. China is developing her own stealth planes, India is already involved in the local derivative of the T-50, the countries somebody mentioned here wouldn't be able to provide enough money necessary to even launch the project, not to mention its development and production.


The Butowski's article is older than Rogozin's statement in Duma. The article is based on "Zelin's table" from august. According Rogozin (december) the light fighter is now included in the state programme of rearming.
 

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RAC MiG boss eyes fifth-generation fighter

RAC MiG is contemplating building a fifth-generation fighter which would use its current MiG-35 platform as a "foundation" for the introduction of new technologies.

Sergey Korotkov, general director of the Russian firm, says concepts for a new aircraft have already been worked on by company engineers.

"I know this is one of the ideas, one of the directions, that is in the pockets of the design bureau," he says, speaking through an interpreter. "I do hope that we shall stick to this direction more seriously very soon."

Although he does not detail how advanced its studies are, Korotkov believes it is "very likely" that the new combat type will be developed. However, he says "the most important thing is that it should be ordered".
Such a "time-consuming" project, which requires "quite a big amount of money", would need to have a defined end user before it commenced, he says.

Korotkov plays down suggestions that any work on a fifth-generation fighter would bring MiG into conflict with its sister airframer Sukhoi, which is developing its own stealthy type, the T-50/PAK-FA.

The two aircraft are "are quite different projects and each would be targeted to resolve their own mission", he says.

The maximum take-off weight of the current MiG-35 is around 5t lighter than that of the larger T-50, and Korotkov suggests it will provide greater efficiency for the majority of projected missions.

"We consider that the MiG-35 is that very platform which might, in the future, form the foundation of a fifth-generation fighter," he says.

However, in the meantime RAC MiG is still waiting for confirmation of a long-awaited order from Russia's defence ministry for the present MiG-35.

Korotkov says all the relevant documentation covering the deal for an undisclosed number of aircraft is with the ministry, and he hopes it will be concluded "this year".

Export orders are also being pursued, with Egypt recently linked to a commitment for 24 examples of the Klimov RD-33MK-powered type. However, Korotkov declines to comment on the rumours.

Additionally, in April the airframer received an order for 16 additional MiG-29SMTs for the Russian air force, which will keep the production line active until work can start on the newer model.
 

Deino

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Hmmm ... sounds interesting, but honestly "use[ing] its current MiG-35 platform as a "foundation"" could only mean something like a stealthyfied Super-Fulcrum - similar to the Superhornet - and as such not a real fifth generation type or it is meant technology-/avionics-wise (at least I hope so) ?!!

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From Jane's IDR 2001:



Enter the MiG-29XXI
International Defense Review
2001-07-01


Russia's RSK-MiG is developing a new fifth-generation follow-on upgrade to the modernised MiG-29SM and SMT variants, and were promoting it (albeit in a low-key fashion) at Le Bourget.

The MiG-29XXI, as the version is currently known, was conceived late last year and design work has now commenced. The primary thrust of the modernisation will be the replacement of the two Klimov/ Sarkisov RD-33 turbofans. MiG says that the re-engining would increase thrust from about 81.4 to 103kN (19,800 to 24,250 lb st) and help to reduce maintenance time. This upgrade would also introduce a thrust vectoring capability.

The XXI would also receive a new radar, most likely the Phazotron Zhuk-M phased array radar, although other alternatives are being considered. This would be integrated with the 1553 databus and would allow the XXI to carry "almost any armament currently available", according to a RSK-MiG representative.

A possible new engine could be the Klimov VK-10M, due to enter production from 2010. The XXI appears to be related to the MiG-29SMT-II concept that was first reported last year. The SMT-II version involves reduction of the frontal radar cross-section and infrared signature, together with further increases in fuel and payload capacity.

The source gave JDU a wry analogy for the XXI concept. If the MiG-29 was an "apple pie", he said, the XXI would "instead of apples use strawberries... or maybe cherries". "We hope it will be a very good aircraft," he concluded, "but we are now only at the beginning."
 

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Below is from a paper by Ignat I.Ikryanov at Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology in 2000 about "results of appreciation of “Stealth” technology influence on fighter aircraft flight-performance and maneuvering characteristics."

http://www.icas.org/ICAS_ARCHIVE/ICAS2000/PAPERS/ICA0753.PDF

He applied internal weapons, S-shaped ducts and aligned edges to the MiG-29 and compared the original with the stealthed-up versions.

The stealth version reduced the original MiG-29's frontal RCS (against X-band radar?) by 95% and side-on RCS by 88%.
 

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flateric

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from the cover of recent UAC report
 

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Deino

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flateric said:
from the cover of recent UAC report


That round circle behind the canopy ??? ... a hint for a STOVL-version maybe ??


Deino
 

donnage99

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Is that a 1 engine or 2 engine with shielding like yf-23?
 

FighterJock

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flateric said:
from the cover of recent UAC report

Interesting design. I do hope that MiG get the funding, Russia needs a smaller fifth generation fighter to compliment the much larger PAK-FA much like the F-35 and the F-22.
 

flateric

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lastdingo said:
It looks too small, unless a turbojet is involved.

DIRCM/laser or SatCom are possible explanations.
we are good with lift turbojets or at least were...
use simpler way of thinking...lasers...shrug
 

Deino

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Anyway an interesting design. Just if it was not already mentioned: Again from Sukhoi or from Mikoyan ?

Deino
 

flateric

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dunno. smells Sukhoi to me
anyway, it can just be placeholder image
 

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donnage99 said:
Is that a 1 engine or 2 engine with shielding like yf-23?

It looks to me like a single 2D TV nozzle as used on the F-22, though with a higher aspect ratio.
 

flateric

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...or may be T-45, an T-50 predecessor

if you remember at some point there was STOL requirement in RFP with Yakovlev involvement in PAK FA programme at certain period, then requirement was dropped off

we can only guess...
 

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Thanks Flateric. Looks very nice (if it looks right it flies right etc. :) ). The shape of the LERX reminds of the one on S-37, in fact the one one S-37 would be very similar if it didn't have the canards, no?
Also any idea what are the two inverse sweep "elements" of either side of the "circle" behind the canopy, are they suggesting the shape of the intakes under the LERX?
 

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lancer21 said:
Also any idea what are the two inverse sweep "elements" of either side of the "circle" behind the canopy, are they suggesting the shape of the intakes under the LERX?

My guess is that they would be the dorsal intakes used for rough field takeoffs:

mig-29-air-intakes.jpg
 

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