Anadolu AgencyGetty Images
- Russia’s Sukhoi Design Bureau is reportedly developing a new fighter jet.
- The single-engine fighter would be in the same size class as the American F-16.
- A lightweight, inexpensive fighter would help Russia modernize its fighter force while proving popular abroad.
Russia’s famed Sukhoi Design Bureau is reportedly working on a brand-new, fifth-generation fighter jet: a lightweight fighter capable of flying faster than Mach 2.
✈ You love badass planes. So do we. Let’s nerd out over them together.
The unnamed fighter would likely complement the larger, heavier Su-57 fighter jet (pictured above) and would use at least some of the same components.
According to an industry source via Russian state media’s RIA Novosti, the fifth-gen fighter will have one engine, a reduced radar signature, “super maneuverability,” and thrust vectoring capabilities. The source also said the plane could be offered in manned and unmanned versions.
Thrust vectoring involves the use of rotating exhaust nozzles. Most fighter jets can only generate thrust in the direction in which the nozzles are pointed (in the same plane as the airplane’s nose). But a jet equipped with thrust vectoring nozzles, a Sukhoi specialty, can produce thrust in different directions. This allows for some incredible maneuvering—just watch what a Sukhoi Su-35 did at the 2013 Paris Air Show:
This content is imported from YouTube. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.
The skill is extremely useful in dogfighting, as pilots can use it to gain a positional advantage on their adversaries. Thrust vectoring can also shorten a fighter’s takeoff distance, since it allows the plane to point its nozzles slightly downward.
RIA Novosti claims the new fighter will be “hypersonic,” but also says the fighter will max out at a very non-hypersonic speed of above Mach 2. Russian analyst Rob Lee says the fighter will use the same Izdeliye 30 afterburning turbofan engines Sukhoi uses on the Su-57 fighter jet. An 18-ton jet with the Izdeliye 30 engines will be Mach 2 fast, but it won’t be Mach 5 fast.
Now, Russia’s state media often makes sweeping claims about the state of the country’s defense industry, and many developments often go the way of vaporware. However, BMPD analyzed a recent photo that shows the nose of a new fighter jet design on the desk of Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov. The nose resembles that of a Su-57, but with a F-16-style, chin-mounted air intake.
This content is imported from Twitter. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.
This suggests the mysterious plane uses a single engine. Could it be a model of the new Sukhoi jet? Only Borisov knows.
Sukhoi, which dates back to 1939, is one of the oldest aviation companies in the world. The manufacturer churned out fighter and attack jets for the Soviet Union during the Cold War, including the Su-27 “Flanker” fighter in 1977, the Soviet response to the F-15 Eagle. Like the Eagle, Russia has steadily upgraded the Flanker through the decades and spun it off into a variety of variants, including the Su-33 carrier-based strike fighter, Su-34 bomber, and the latest version, the Su-35 “Flanker-E.”
The new fighter will fill an important niche in Russia’s fighter portfolio. Russia’s two fighter design bureaus, Sukhoi and Mikoyan-Gurevich (MiG), have concentrated their limited post-Cold War resources on developing twin-engine fighters. That’s good for Russia, which is so vast that it covers 12 time zones. But single-engine fighters are useful, too—and could sell well abroad. A Russian version of the F-35 might very well prove popular, so long as it’s cheaper to buy and fly.
The new Sukhoi jet enters an increasingly crowded field of fighters set to debut in the 2030s.
The U.S. plans to roll out the Air Force’s Next Generation Air Dominance (NGAD) fighter, the Navy’s NGAD, and a new, multi-role fighter (MR-X). France and Germany, meanwhile, are teaming up on the FCAS fighter, and Britain is developing the Tempest fighter. Japan is also building a new air-superiority fighter with help from Lockheed Martin, and South Korea and Indonesia are jointly developing the Boramae (“Falcon”) fighter.
🎥 Now Watch This:
This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io