The Sukhoi PAK FA (Perspektivny aviatsionny kompleks frontovoy aviatsii, literally "Prospective Airborne Complex - Frontline Aviation") is a fifth-generation jet fighter being developed by Sukhoi OKB for the Russian Air Force.
The current prototype is Sukhoi's T-50. The PAK FA, when fully developed, is intended to replace the MiG-29 Fulcrum and Su-27 Flanker in the Russian inventory and serve as the basis of the Sukhoi/HAL FGFA project being developed with India. A fifth generation jet fighter, it is designed to directly compete with Lockheed Martin's F-22 Raptor and F-35 Lightning II. The T-50 performed its first flight January 29, 2010. Its second flight was on February 6 and its third on February 12. As of August 31, 2010, it had made 17 flights and by mid November 40 in total. The second prototype was to start its flight test by the end of 2010, but this has been delayed until 2011.
Sukhoi director Mikhail Pogosyan has projected a market for 1,000 aircraft over the next four decades, which will be produced in a joint venture with India, two hundred each for Russia and India and six hundred for other countries. He has also said that the Indian contribution would be in the form of joint work under the current agreement rather than as a joint venture.The Indian Air Force will "acquire 50 single-seater fighters of the Russian version" before the two seat FGFA is developed.The Russian Defense Ministry will purchase the first ten aircraft after 2012 and then 60 after 2016. The first batch of fighters will be delivered without the "Fifth generation" engines. Ruslan Pukhov, director of the Centre for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies, has projected that Vietnam will be the second export customer for the fighter. The PAK-FA is expected to have a service life of about 30–35 years.
MAKS-2009In the late 1980s, the Soviet Union outlined a need for a next-generation aircraft to replace its MiG-29 and Su-27 in frontline service. Two projects were proposed to meet this need, the Sukhoi Su-47 and the Mikoyan Project 1.44. In 2002, Sukhoi was chosen to lead the design for the new combat aircraft, and in the summer of 2009 the design was approved. The PAK FA will incorporate technology from both the Su-47 and the MiG 1.44.
The Tekhnokompleks Scientific and Production Center, Ramenskoye Instrument Building Design Bureau, the Tikhomirov Scientific Research Institute of Instrument Design, the Ural Optical and Mechanical Plant (Yekaterinburg), the Polet firm (Nizhniy Novgorod) and the Central Scientific Research Radio Engineering Institute (Moscow) were pronounced winners in the competition held in the beginning of 2003 for the development of the avionics suite for the fifth-generation airplane. NPO Saturn has been determined the lead executor for work on the engines for this airplane.
The Novosibirsk Chkalov Aviation Production Association (NAPO Chkalov) has begun construction of the fifth-generation multirole fighter. This work is being performed at Komsomol'sk-on-Amur together with Komsomolsk-on-Amur Aircraft Production Association; the enterprise's general director, Fedor Zhdanov reported during a visit to NAPO by Novosibirsk Oblast's governor Viktor Tolokonskiy on 6 March 2007. "Final assembly will take place at Komsomol'sk-on-Amur, and we will be carrying out assembly of the fore body of this airplane," Zhdanov specified.
On 8 August 2007, Russian Air Force Commander Alexander Zelin was quoted by Russian news agencies that the development stage of the PAK FA program is now complete and construction of the first aircraft for flight testing will now begin. Alexander Zelin also said that by 2009 there will be three fifth-generation aircraft ready. "All of them are currently undergoing tests and are more or less ready", he said.
On 11 September 2010, the Business Standard of India reported that Indian and Russian negotiators had agreed on a preliminary design contract that would then be subject to Cabinet approval. The joint development deal would have each country invest $6 billion and take 8 to 10 years to develop the fighter. The agreement on the pre-design of the fighter is scheduled to be signed in December 2010. The preliminary design will cost $295 million and will be complete within 18 months.
Although most of information about the PAK FA is classified, it is believed from interviews with people in the Russian Air Force and Defense Ministry that it will be stealthy,have the ability to supercruise, be outfitted with the next generation of air-to-air, air-to-surface, and air-to-ship missiles, incorporate a fix-mounted AESA radar with a 1,500-element array and have an "artificial intellect".
According to Sukhoi, the new radar will reduce pilot load and the aircraft will have a new data link to share information between aircraft.
Composites are used extensively on the T-50 and comprise 25% of its weight and almost 70% of the outer surface. It is estimated that titanium alloy content of the fuselage is 75%. Sukhoi's concern for minimizing radar cross-section (RCS) and drag is also shown by the provision of two tandem main weapons bays in the centre fuselage, between the engine nacelles. Each is estimated to be between 4.9-5.1m long. The main bays are augmented by bulged, triangular-section bays at the wing root.
The Moskovsky Komsomolets reported that the T-50 has been designed to be more maneuverable than the F-22 Raptor at the cost of making it less stealthy than the F-22.
The PAK-FA SH121 radar complex includes three X-Band AESA radars located on the front and sides of the aircraft. These will be accompanied by L-Band radars on the wing leading edges. L-Band radars are proven to have increased effectiveness against very low observable (VLO) targets which are optimized only against X-Band frequencies, but their longer wavelengths reduce their resolution.
The PAK-FA will feature an IRST optical/IR search and tracking system, based on the OLS-35M which is currently in service with the Su-35S.
Sukhoi recently demonstrated cockpit mock-ups, which may relate to both Su-35 or PAK-FA, suggest two very large multi-function displays (MFDs) and a very wide heads-up display (HUD).
Hindustan Aeronautics Limited will reportedly provide the navigation system and the mission computer.
EnginesThe PAK FA was expected to use a pair of Saturn 117S engines on its first flights. The 117S (AL-41F1A) is a major upgrade of the AL-31F based on the AL-41F intended to power the Su-35BM, producing 142 kN (32,000 lb) of thrust in afterburner and 86.3 kN (19,400 lb) dry. In fact, PAK FA already used a completely new engine in its first flight, as stated by NPO Saturn. The engine is not based on the Saturn 117S and is rumoured to be called "127 engine". The engine generates a larger thrust and has a complex automation system, to facilitate flight modes such as maneuverability. Exact specifications of the new engine are still secret. It is expected that each engine will be able to independently vector its thrust upwards, downward or side to side. Vectoring one engine up with the other one down can produce a twisting force. Therefore the PAK FA would be the first fifth generation fighter with full 3-D thrust vectoring along all three aircraft axes: pitch, yaw and roll. These engines will incorporate infrared and RCS reduction measures.
Length: 19.8 m (65.9 ft)
Wingspan: 14 m (46.6 ft)
Height: 6.05 m (19.8 ft)
Wing area: 78.8 m2 (848.1 ft2)
Empty weight: 18,500 kg (40,785 lb)
Loaded weight: 26,000 kg (57,320 lb)
Useful load: 7,500 kg (combat load) (16,534 lb)
Max takeoff weight: 37,000 kg (81,570 lb)
Powerplant: 2× New unnamed engine by NPO Saturn and FNPTS MMPP Salyut of 175 kN each. Prototype with AL-41F1 of 147 kN each, definitive version with new engine >157 kN
Maximum Fuel weight: 10,300 kg (22,711 lb)
Maximum speed: 2,100 - 2,500 km/h (Mach 2)  (1,300 - 1,560 mph) ; at 17,000 m (45,000 ft) altitude
Cruise speed: 1,850 - 2,100 km/h  (1,150 - 1,300 mph)
Ferry range: 5,500 km (3417 miles)
Service ceiling: 20,000 m (65,616 ft)
Rate of climb: 350 m/sec (68,900 ft/min)
Wing loading: 330(normal) - 470(maximum) kg/m2 (67(normal) - 96(maximum) lb/ft2)
Maximum g-load: 10-11 g
Guns: None on prototype. Apparent provision for a cannon (most likely GSh-301).Possible two 30mm cannons
Hardpoints: Two internal bays estimated at 4.6-4.7 metres by 1-1.1 metres.
Other sources suggest two auxiliary internal bays for short range AAMS and 6 external hardpoints.
N050 BRLS AFAR/AESA built by Tikhomirov NIIP and based on Tikhomirov NIIP N035 Irbis-E . It will be the second aircraft based AESA Radar to be built by Russia, the first being the Phazotron NIIR ZHUK-A Radar in the MIG-35.
Two Izdeliye 810 Extended beyond visual range missiles per weapons bay. Multiple Izdeliye 180 / K77M beyond visual range missiles. K74 and K30 within visual range missiles can also be carried.
Two KH38M or KH58 USHK air-to-ground missiles per weapons bay. Multiple 250–500 kg precision guided bombs per weapons bay, with a maximum of ten bombs in internal bays
Other possible loads include one 1500 kg bomb per weapons bay or two 400 km+ range anti-AWACS weapons on external hard-points. A maximum weapons load of 7500 kg is reported.
Source: Ria Novosti-Wikipedia-YouTube