Next fifth-generation Russian fighter will have a single-engine
MOSCOW, (BM) – Russia is developing a fifth-generation stealth fighter, powered by one engine, not two, as is the engineering tradition in the country so far. This fighter jet will be the first modern Russian fighter powered by only one engine, and Sukhoi will manufacture it. This information was reported by a source in the Russian edition of RIA Novosti.
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According to the spread information, the supposed engine will be Product 30, expected by the Russians, and will appear, according to the plans, in 2022. RIA Novosti claims that the new single-engine fighter will rely on the experience gained in the construction of the Su-57.
It assumes that the fighter will weigh more than 18 tons and will develop a speed of Mach 2, and in the “one engine” variant, the thrust/weight ratio will be one. The source claims that the engineers will keep the current Russian tradition, a fighter coming out of the Sukhoi assembly line to be super maneuverable. What is new is that by changing the engine’s thrust vector, the fighter will have a “shortened takeoff path.”
Many fighters are currently designed for superiority in the air and are powering by a single-engine. The F-22, F-35, F-16, and F-15 are the most commonly used American fighters in the world. Chinese, Pakistani and Swedish aircraft are also equipped with a single-engine.
One engine has advantages in several areas – cheaper production, faster production, achieving almost the same characteristics if the aircraft is equipped with two engines. World statistics show that fighters with one engine have a lower accident rate than others, which is quite logical.
Su-57 will be the 5th-gen soon
The Russian edition Reporter published an article about the new Russian engine’s expectations and stages for the Su-57 fighter. As we have repeatedly mentioned, the Russian Su-57 fighter is still difficult to qualify as a fifth-generation fighter.
Reporter magazine claims that in 2022 Russia will have a new engine for the Russian fighter, known as Product 30 [Izdelie 30]. Precisely in the same period of the new decade, the Russians expect to receive a larger quantity than the ordered dozens of Su-57 fighter jets. With the new engine’s development, Moscow is deliberately slowing down the aircraft’s serial production, the publication claims.
Today, the Su-57 is powered by the AL-41F1 engine, which according to military aeronautical engineers, is an improved version of the AL-41. The AL-41F1 is a good engine. The difference between the F119 engine, which drives the American F-22 fighter, is slight – only 9% less power than its American competitor.
The F119 is currently the most powerful engine in the world for twin-engine power fighters. F135 is the engine that powers the F-35 fighter jet and is also the most powerful in its class.
Why isn’t the Su-57 still a fifth-generation fighter?
In early 2020, Russian engineers and developers of the project experienced difficulties in three areas – stealth technology, engine, and avionics. The Russians solved the problem with the stealth coating.
The second problem was the engine. As we have already explained above, the Russians are serious about solving this problem and expect to have a more powerful engine than their competitors in a year. But the engine played a significant role in the refusal of India and China to participate in the project or buy fighters.
The third problem is avionics. The Russians currently advertise the Su-57 as a fighter with an absolute azimuth, i.e., 360-degree sensitive capacity. So far, we know that such technology is integrated only on American F-35 fighters. There is no confirmed information that the Su-57 has a complete set of sensitive azimuth sensors. This technology is advanced avionics, and Russian R&D has not yet reached its development. Different messages from different institutes say that they are close to its development, but close does not mean ready.
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