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RUSSIAN HELICOPTERS OBORONPROM group february 2009 • Special edition for Aero India 2009

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Sukhoi fighters in India [p.8]

Vikramaditya back in water [p.12]

New helicopters entering service OBORONPROM United Industrial Corporation OJSC 27, Stromynka str., Moscow, 107076, Russia e-mail: oboronprom@oboronprom.ru www.oboronprom.ru

[p.28]

MiG-35 favourite of MMRCA tender Russian airliners production in 2008

[p.38]

[p.18]


february 2009 Editor-in-Chief Andrey Fomin

Deputy Editor-in-Chief Vladimir Shcherbakov

Editor Yevgeny Yerokhin

Columnist Alexander Velovich

Special correspondents Alexey Mikheyev, Vladimir Karnozov, Victor Drushlyakov, Andrey Zinchuk, Valery Ageyev, Alina Chernoivanova, Natalya Pechorina, Marina Lystseva, Dmirty Pichugin, Sergey Krivchikov, Sergey Popsuyevich, Piotr Butowski, Alexander Mladenov, Miroslav Gyurosi

Design and pre-press Grigory Butrin

Web support Georgy Fedoseyev

Translation Yevgeny Ozhogin

Cover picture Piotr Butowski

Publisher

Director General Andrey Fomin

Deputy Director General Nadezhda Kashirina

Marketing Director George Smirnov

Director for international projects Alexander Velovich

News items for “In Brief” columns are prepared by editorial staff based on reports of our special correspondents, press releases of production companies as well as by using information distributed by ITAR-TASS, ARMS-TASS, Interfax-AVN, RIA Novosti, RBC news agencies and published at www.aviaport.ru, www.avia.ru, www.gazeta.ru, www.cosmoworld.ru web sites Items in the magazine placed on this colour background or supplied with a note “Commercial” are published on a commercial basis. Editorial staff does not bear responsibility for the contents of such items. The magazine is registered by the Federal Service for supervision of observation of legislation in the sphere of mass media and protection of cultural heritage of the Russian Federation. Registration certificate PI FS77-19017 dated 29 November 2004

© Aeromedia, 2009

P.O. Box 7, Moscow, 125475, Russia Tel. +7 (495) 644-17-33, 798-81-19 Fax +7 (495) 644-17-33 E-mail: info@take-off.ru http://www.take-off.ru

Dear reader, You are holding a new issue of the Take-Off magazine, a supplement to Russian national monthly aerospace magazine VZLET. This issue has been timed with Aero India 2009 air show to be held in the “capital city” of India’s aviation – Bangalore. By tradition, the aerospace show in Bangalore has been attended by numerous Russian participants and businessmen. Small wonder, since India has long been among the main partners of our country in the field of arms trade, specifically, in aerospace sphere. Russian aircraft have been delivered to India for almost half century. Since the 1960s, the bulk of the Indian Air Force’s fighter and fighterbomber fleets has been made up by MiG and Sukhoi warplanes, with a large number of the MiG-21 fighters and MiG-27 fighter-bombers were made by India under Soviet licence and assembly of one of the world’s best fighters, the Su-30MKI, having kicked off in India recently. Licence production of the Russian combat aircraft is only one of the signs of the surging cooperation between the two countries. Ten years ago Indo-Russian joint venture BrahMos Aerospace, a developer and manufacturer of cutting-edge BrahMos supersonic cruise missile system, launched its operations. Later on, a range of other important agreements concerning joint aerospace programmes have been signed with an intergovernmental agreement on co-development and co-production of the prospective fifth generation fighter by Russia’s Sukhoi company and India’s HAL corporation is one of the most important among them. At present, Russia’s MiG Corp. is fulfilling the contract on developing, manufacturing and delivering a batch of MiG-29K/KUB carrierborne fighters to the Indian Navy to equip the air wing of the Vikramaditya carrier now under repair and modernisation in Russia also. The customer’s representatives have been immediately engaged in the programme. Next key steps along the path of the Russian-Indian militarytechnical cooperation may be the acquisition of advanced MiG-35 Generation 4++ fighters offered by Russian side for the IAF tender for 126 medium multirole combat aircraft (MMRCA). All these programmes of Russian-Indian aerospace cooperation became the main topics of this issue. By tradition, you can find also here a brief rundown on some other recent news and achievements of the Russian aerospace industry over past several months. I wish all the exhibitors and visitors of Aero India 2009 interesting meetings, useful contacts and lucrative contracts! See you again at next air shows! Sincerely,

Andrey Fomin Editor-in-chief Take-Off magazine


contents

CONTRACTS AND DELIVERIES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Beriev and Vega carry on with AEW systems Ka-226T is ready for Indian tender AL-55I trials on MiG-AT started First An-74TK-300 built for Libya Indian An-32 upgrade may start this year

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Sukhoi fighters in India Sukhoi fighters have flown in the Indian skies for 40 years. The story dates back to the late ‘60s, when the Indian Air Force bought a large batch of Su-7BMK fighter-bombers that became the first supersonic strike aircraft in service with IAF, giving it new tactical qualities, and proven themselves in the 1971 Indo-Pakistan war conflict. Su-7BMK had long been the mainstay of IAF’s fighter-bomber fleet, but time flies and they started being phased out gradually in the mid-’80. Nonetheless, IAF did not abandon the Sukhoi brand name. Moreover, Sukhoi jets are the service’s backbone now. The unique Su-30MKI supermanoeuvrable multirole fighter, which has spawned a whole family of derivatives and sold well on the global market, owes its emergence to an Indian order. The Su-30MKI has been in service with IAF since 2002 and repeatedly displayed its superiority to the cream of the crop of West European and US fighters on several combined exercises. To cap it all, the Su-30MKI has become, essentially, Sukhoi’s first project implemented through large-scale cooperation with manufacturers of both the customer country and major third-party companies. Mention should be made that the Su-30MKI delivery was just the first step towards the Russian-Indian cooperation in warplane development. The scope of the cooperation expanded with the kick-off of the large-scale Sukhoi licence production programme, under which HAL was to make 140 Su-30MKIs in India. A new phase of the cooperation may be the unprecedented contract for joint development of a fifth-generation multirole fighter by Sukhoi and HAL, which is being drafted now.

Vikramaditya gets launched while Indian pilots master MiG-29K

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The implementation of the Russian-Indian contract on overhauling and upgrading the Admiral Gorshkov through-deck aircraft carrying cruiser, which is turning into a classic aircraft carrier and will be commissioned by the Indian Navy as Vikramaditya, passed another key milestone on 4 December 2008. On that day after three years of repairs in a drained flooding dock of the Sevmash yard, the ship got back in its element – the dock was flooded and the carrier was taken out of it to the fitting-out wharf of the Severodvinsk-based company for completion and outfitting. There have been important developments out of Moscow as well. Indian military pilots have begun to learn the ropes on the main weapon of the advanced Indian aircraft carrier – the MiG-29K and MiG-29KUB carrierborne fighters. Last year, the Lukhovitsy Production Centre of the MiG Corp. built, tested and prepared the first four production aircraft for delivery. In November and December, the warplanes were used heavily in Lukhovitsy as part of the conversion training of the lead team of Indian pilots who had completed their ground school and sharpened their flying skills in piloting the fighter on the high-tech MiG-29K simulator developed and made by the MiG Corp. under the same contract.

Su-30MKI + BrahMos = new capabilities of Indian Air Force

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Today, Su-30MKI two-seat multirole supermanoeuvrable fighters are the image warplanes of the Indian Air Force and the cutting-edge weapon in the service’s inventory. To date, Irkut Corp. has delivered over 50 aircraft like that to IAF, while the ongoing licence production of the fighter by HAL’s manufacturing plants, coupled with new deliveries from Russia, will enable IAF by the middle of next decade to operate as many as 230 aircraft, most of which will have remained in the inventory until 2030–40. The Su-30MKI programme is not sitting on its hands. Because the Su-30MKI production and deliveries are to go on for at least five years more and its service for at least a quarter of the century, the question of its further refinement is on the agenda now. Fitting the IAF Su-30MKI fleet with the sophisticated BrahMos-A precision-guided long-range multirole air-to-surface missile under development by the Russian-Indian joint venture is seen as a priority as part of such work. The venture has developed and delivered the shipborne and land-based BrahMos missile systems to the Indian Navy and Army. What new capabilities can the BrahMos offer, once fitted with the Su-30MKI?

MILITARY AVIATION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 MiG-35: favourite of MMRCA tender

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28 August 2007 saw the official kickoff of a largest-scale combat aircraft acquisition tender – the Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) programme estimated at $11 billion and providing for the Indian Air Force to buy 126 medium multirole fighters. On that day, the Indian government issued official request for proposals to the bidders. The preliminary stage shortlisted several contenders for the multibillion-dollar order. Six companies from the United States, Western Europe and Russia indicated their willingness to throw their hats in the ring – Lockheed Martin and Boeing with their F-16 Block 70 and F-18E/F fighters, SAAB offering its Gripen IN, Eurofighter with its EF2000 Typhoon and MiG Corp. with its MiG-35 fighter. According to expert opinion, the Generation 4++ MiG-35 multirole fighter under development by MiG Corp. will become among the favourites of the Indian tender. The MiG-35 demonstrator was derived from the MiG-29M2 prototype two years ago. It was displayed at the Aero India 2007 air show in Bangalore in February 2007, having become one of its zests. At the same time, the US and West European fighters offered by the competitors are very formidable rivals, and a minor upgrade of the current MiG-29 would not be enough to beat them in the tender. Therefore, despite the MiG-35’s similarity of appearance to the current production-standard MiG-29, its design and capabilities embody several drastically novel features attributing the fighter to Generation 4++.

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Advanced helicopters entering service Mi-28N and Ansat-U cleared for fielding while Ka-52 enters production

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Bombs without rival Bazalt’s weapons surpass JDAM and JSOW

On 26 December 2008, the Russian Helicopters’ Flight Test Centre in Chkalovsky, Moscow Region, hosted the final meeting of the enlarged session of the State commission that considered the outcome of the official trials of the advanced Mil Mi-28N and Kamov Ka-52 combat helicopters and Kazan Helicopters Ansat-U trainer helicopter and the status of their production. During the session, the report on the successful completion of the Mi-28N and Ansat-U official trials was signed and the “confirmation of the suitability of the helicopters and all of their components for entering service with the Russian Defence Ministry and for launching their production” was issued. At the same time, the first stage of the official trials of the Ka-52 helicopter was pronounced a success, which served the base for issuing a positive preliminary opinion recommending the manufacture of a pre-production batch.

Despite the growing importance of the role of guided missiles, ‘iron’ bombs remain in the inventories of the air forces throughout the world. One of the ways to enhance the capabilities of air bombs is the fitting them with special tail kits increasing their accuracy and range or the developing of advanced cluster bombs with homing submunitions. The best-known results of such modernisation are US smart bomb JDAM and glide bomb JSOW. However, they have run into worthy competition on the global market – air bombs from the Bazalt state scientific production company that has for decades been a leader in developing air bombs of all types.

Yak-130 clears another test phase Su-25 upgrade goes on in Kubinka

CIVIL AVIATION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 Two Sukhoi SuperJets under certification tests

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In the run-up to recovery Russian civil aircraft industry in 2008 By tradition, early in the year we analyse the basic results produced by the Russian aircraft industry in making and selling airliners and transport aircraft in the previous year. The establishment of the United Aircraft Corporation and forming its range of models as well as several recent contracts and agreements signed with Russian and foreign customers served the reason for hoping for a considerable improvement in this field starting from 2008. However, last year’s results indicate that, unfortunately, it would be a bit premature to say that the Russian commercial aircraft makers have passed the turning point. Although there have been objective and subjective reasons to that, the fact is that the advanced civil aircraft output and deliveries have not improved substantially and the Russian aircraft industry built in 2008 mere 13 new planes, of which only six have been delivered to Russian customers. But last year revealed some positive trends, albeit timid ones. The aircraft industry managed to deliver six new airliners of the Tu-204/214 family following a long lull, the Sukhoi SuperJet 100 kicked off its certification test programme and some progress was made in exporting Russian civil aircraft, with new prospects cropping up. Let us not lose heart and let us see what the Russian aircraft industry managed to accomplish last year and what can be expected from it in the near future.

INDUSTRY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44

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Tikhomirov’s radars: from phased array to AESA Interview of Tikhomirov-NIIP Director General Yuri Bely A key component of formidable combat capabilities of advanced fighters is the sophisticated fire control system wrapped around an efficient radar. All Sukhoi Su-27/Su-30 family fighters – both exported and in service with the Russian Air Force – are fitted with fire control systems developed by the Tikhomirov-NIIP research institute. Tikhomirov-NIIP became a pioneer in developing phased-array radars. Its first airborne phased-array radar debuted on the MiG-31 interceptor, and starting with the Su-30MKI these radars have been equipping Sukhoi fighters. Last year, the advanced Su-35 multirole fighter entered the trials, with Tikhomirov-NIIP developing the Irbis-E passive phased array radar – the most refined in its class – to fit it. As far as the future fifth-generation fighter is concerned, the company is developing its first active electronically scanned array radar (AESA). To learn the status of the programmes, Take-off’s editor Andrey Fomin met Tikhomirov-NIIP Director General Yuri Bely who was kind enough to grant us an interview.

Ivchenko-Progress advanced aero engines JSC “558 Aircraft Repair Plant”

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contracts and deliveries | news

III The ARMS-TASS news agency reported on 6 December 2008 that during Russian President Dmitry Medvedev’s visit to India, the Indian Defence Ministry’s acquisition department and Rosoboronexport corporation clinched a major deal on 80 Mil Mi-17V-5 helicopters for the Indian Air Force. The contract was signed in a ceremony attended by the Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. The deliveries of all 80 machines produced by Kazan Helicopters are slated for 2010–2013. III An important result that crowned Russian President Dmitry Medvedev’s official visit to Brazil in November 2008 was the Russian-Brazilian military technical cooperation intergovernmental agreement. The memorandum signed by presidents Dmitry Medvedev and Luis Inacio da Silva includes an agreement on delivery of 12 Mil Mi-35M attack helicopters being produced by Rostvertol plant to the Brazilian Air Force. The agreement became the first deal on Russian combat helicopters for Brazil.

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Rami Mizrahi

MiG Corp. has launched work under the 7 March 2008 contract on upgrading 64 MiG-29 fighters in service with the Indian Air Force. Last summer, the first six IAF fighters were ferried to Russia for upgrade, with four MiG-29 singleseaters coming to MiG Corp.’s Production Centre in Lukhovitsy and two MiG-29UB combat trainers to the Sokol plant in Nizhny Novgorod. The upgrade will furnish the IAF MiG-29s with advanced Phazotron-NIIR Zhuk-M2E radars, advanced NIIPP infrared search and track (IRST) sensors, up-to-date navigation, display and communications gear and an expanded array of weapons. The first six upgraded fighters are slated for delivery in late 2009. The rest of the aircraft are to be upgraded in India.

Beriev and Vega carry on with AEW systems

The Vega radio-electronic concern has maintained a long-time partnership with Beriev company in developing airborne early warning and control systems (AEW&C). The A-50 AEW&C aircraft developed by the tandem have been in service with the Russian Air Force for almost a quarter of century (by the way, last year marked the 30th anniversary of the maiden flight of the first prototype A-50 that took place on 19 December 1978). These days, Beriev and Vega have been cooperating in two principal fields – the A-50EI programme for the Indian Air Force (IAF) and the A-50 upgrade programme for the Russian Air Force. Take-off has already covered the status of the Russian-Israeli-Indian contract on three A-50EI aircraft for IAF, estimated at $1.1 billion. As is known, the first A-50EI derived by Beriev from a TAPC-built Ilyushin Il-76TD airlifter airframe and fitted with four PS-90A-76 engines from Perm Motors completed its maiden mission in Taganrog on 29 November 2007 and was ferried to Israel on 20 January 2008 for installation of the radar system and conduct of the full set of improvements and tests. The guidance and communications equipment for the aircraft was supplied by Russian concern Vega. The aircraft is now in Israel where

the Phalcon radar from Elta has been mounted and tested on it. The flight trials of the first A-50EI carrying the Israeli-made Phalcon radar kicked off in Tel Aviv on 5 June 2008. According to Vega’s chief Vladimir Verba speaking at Gidroaviasalon 2008 airshow last September, the first A-50EI is slated for delivery to India in the beginning of 2009 (the aircraft will arrive to the customer directly from Israel). The remaining two aircraft will be delivered during the subsequent two years. The second A-50EI airframe made its maiden flight in Taganrog on 11 January 2009 and is slated to be transferred to Israel for Phalcon system installation soon. Vladimir Verba stressed that “there may be more orders for the aircraft”. During the Gidroaviasalon 2008 show, Beriev, Rosoboronexport, Perm Motors and Vega clinched a deal on launching the establishment of

the A-50EI aftersales maintenance system for IAF. Vega’s chief also said the company in cooperation with Beriev carried on with upgrading the airborne warning and control systems of the A-50s in service with RusAF. The first aircraft has been upgraded and, according to Mr. Verba, “is undergoing the official trials with success”. Vega’s leader did not go into detail, confining himself to a statement that “the upgraded system will be on a par with the best international achievements in the field, and they surpass their Western-made analogues in a number of ways”. In addition, Vega also works on other types of AEW systems. “At present, the Vega concern has been working proactively on developing such a system based on a medium-haul aircraft due to the interest shown by several Southeast Asia countries”, Vladimir Verba said. A.F.

Rami MIzrahi

in brief III

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contracts and deliveries | news

It became known in September last year that the Kamov company, a subsidiary of the Russian Helicopters holding, was gearing up for competing in a major tender issued by the Indian Defence Ministry earlier last year and estimated to be worth almost $2 billion for replacing the obsolete Cheetah and Chetak light helicopters in the Indian Army Aviation’s and Air Force’s (IAF) inventories with advanced light multirole machines. Indian Defence Ministry officially stated its decision on issue a new helicopter tender in April 2008, several months after the $600 million programme on buying and licence-producing 197 Eurocopter AS550C3 helicopters for the Indian Army Aviation had been cancelled in December 2007 (60 machines were to be imported, with the rest to be licence-produced by India’s HAL corporation). The Indian military’s requirement for advanced light helicopters have now been estimated at 384 units, of which 259 are to be received by the Army Aviation and 125 top go to IAF, with the offsets hiking to 50 per cent. A considerable part of the helicopters is to be licence-produced by HAL. Requests for proposals for this

tender were issued to Eurocopter, Bell Textron, MD Helicopters, AgustaWestland and Kamov who offered their AS550, Bell 407, MD520N, A109 (A119) and Ka-226T models respectively. The final decision on the winner is slated to be taken in 2010 after comparison tests of all the helicopters offered for the tender. Kamov joins the tender as a division of the Russian Helicopters holding company, pitching its upgraded Ka-226T helicopter that differs from the earlier Ka-226 model in being powered by Turbomeca Arrius 2G1 engines. The engines boost the machine’s performance, especially when operating in the ‘high and hot’ environment. A prototype Ka-226T was re-engined with Turbomeca Arrius as far back as late 2004. The prototype’s tests have displayed a considerable improvement in its flight characteristics. To implement the programme, Russian Helicopters is launching the Ka-226T large-series production on the premises of another of its subsidiaries, the Kumertau Aircraft Production Plant (KumAPP). To this end, Vnesheconombank in September 2008 issued it a

Alexey Mikheyev

Ka-226T is ready for Indian tender

$95 million loan. The measures being taken may result already by late 2011 in KumAPP churning out up to 70 Ka-226s annually, including at least 50 Ka-226Ts. Under the company’s business plan, KumAPP will have built 398 machines by 2020, with their worth estimated at $4–5 million. According to Kamov company Executive Director Roman Chernyshev, in addition to the potential lucrative Indian contract, the Ka-226 order book includes 120 more aircraft

ordered, including firm orders for 40 machines. Following an additional work under the updated specification, an updated contract with the Gazpromavia company for 40 Ka-226AG is to be signed. In addition, helicopters of the type remain in demand with the Russian Emergencies Ministry, Federal Security Service and Ministry of Interior. Negotiations also are in progress with several foreign customers, covering, inter alia, the Ka-226’s licence production abroad. A.F.

convergent jet nozzle. Its takeoff thrust equals 1,760 kg. NPO Saturn’s spokesperson stressed that the basic engine core could be used to derive a family of four various applications with a thrust varying from 1,700 to 3,500 kg to be competitive on the Russian and foreign markets. The AL-55I is under development on order from Indian corporation

HAL to power its HJT-36 trainers under NPO Saturn’s international contract that came in force on 1 August 2005. NPO Saturn and UMPO joint stock companies have teamed up on the parity basis to productionise the prototype engine batch, have the engine certificated and provide its licence production in India. A.F.

MiG-AT prototype No. 823 (side number 83) with one of its organic French-made Larzac engines had been replaced with an advanced NPO Saturn AL-55I completed its maiden flight from LII’s airfield in Zhukovsky (Moscow Region) on 28 July 2008. The plane was flown by MiG Corp. test pilot Oleg Antonovich. On the 31 min maiden mission at an altitude of up to 3,000 m and at a speed of up to 610 km/h, Antonovich tested the powerplant in various modes. According to MiG Corp. Chief Designer – MiG-AT programme manager Vassily Shtykalo, the AL-55I operated smoothly and proved all of manufacturer’s performance rating, the aircraft systems worked like clockwork too and the mission task was fulfilled.

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The first stage of the AL-55I flight test programme implies 30 test flights on MiG-AT No. 823. According to NPO Saturn’s spokesperson, six missions had been flown by 19 August 2008, during which the AL-55I’s start-up at various altitudes and its operation in various modes, including in the negative g-load mode, were tested. The test missions were flown on both engines and on the AL-55I alone. With the Larzac running, the AL-55I was used for start-up tests in autorotation mode. The AL-55I proved the manufacturer’s performance rating in all operating modes. Test pilot Oleg Antonovich specifically mentioned the excellent controllability of the new engine. The AL-55I is a twin-shaft turbofan with the subsonic non-variable-area

Alexey Mikheyev

AL-55I trials on MiG-AT started

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A new administrative aircraft, An-74TK-300D (c/n 22-03), designed for export to Libya, made its first flight from the airfield of the Kharkov State Aircraft Manufacturing Company (KSAMC) on 21 November 2008. The aircraft was flown by the crew made up of Antonov’s leading test pilot Alexey Kruts (pilot), KSAMC’s leading test pilot Vadim Balaban (co-pilot), navigator Dmitry Chernyshov and leading flight test engineer Sergey Chernyshov. An-74TK-300D c/n 22-03 is the first aircraft completed over the past three years by the company facing considerable problems. The previous KSAMC-built aircraft, An-74T-200A (c/n 19-04), was made and exported to Egypt as far back as September 2005. The recent An-74TK-300D was completed at the expense of KSAMC with the proactive assistance of the Motor Sich joint stock company that provided two D-36 Series 4A engines, as well as Antonov and other partners under the programme. The aircraft is fitted with an improved navigation suite wrapped around

Andrey Marienko

First An-74TK-300 built for Libya

Ukrainian-made satnav gear, with the Buran research institute, Orizon-Navigation, UkrNIIRA, Aviacontrol JSC and other Ukrainian avionics manufacturers. The new An-74TK-300D was given Ukrainian registration UR-PAV for the duration of the trials. The aircraft will be delivered to the Libyan customer once it has completed its factory and certification tests. It is the second aircraft of the An-74TK-300 version, differing from the An-74T baseline model in the

powerplant layout (the engines have become under-wing) and improved cruising speed and range. The first plane (c/n 19-10, UR-YVA) first flew on 20 April 2001 and was delivered to the Ukraina state-owned aviation company in January 2004. KSAMC now has contracts for a dozen An-74-family aircraft, awarded by several foreign customers. All of the aircraft have been at different stages of completion in the assembly shop, but the financing problems plaguing the company have not

derailed their assembly. The aircraft include two more An-74TK-200S medevac planes for Libya, an An-74TK-300 for the Laotian government, a couple of An-74TK-200A transports for the Egyptian Air Force, several planes for a Sudanese air company, etc. Hopefully, the return of Anatoly Myalitsa to KSAMC as Director General and the measures being taken to improve the situation at the plant will, at long last, kick-start the assembly and launch timely deliveries of the aircraft. A.F.

Andrey Fomin

Indian An-32 upgrade may start this year

Ukrainian aircraft industry sources say Ukraine and India are close to making an agreement on upgrading the Indian An-32 aircraft fleet. Since its inception, the An-32 has been linked with India, which government in the late ‘70s issued tenders for the development of a medium transport aircraft designed to oust the obsolete DC-3 and C-119 freighters and capable of operating from

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airfields in mountainous terrain at up to 4,200 m above sea level. The hard work from 1984 to 1990 resulted in the delivery to India of 118 An-32s developed by the Antonov design bureau and built by the Aviant plant in Kiev. The flight operation of the planes proved to be successful and in September 2001, following the approval by the Indian parliamentary defence committee, India launched

talks with Ukraine on the terms of the programme on the upgrade and life extension of the whole fleet of Indian An-32s. Due to delays in deciding on the Russian-Indian MTA medium transport aircraft development programme and due to the Indian An-32s having approached the limits of their service lives by 2005, the overhaul, life extension, operability and reliability improvement as well as upgrade of the An-32s under the current ICAO standards have become an Indian Air Force (IAF) priority. The requirements, which had been coordinated with the Antonov design bureau at the time, boiled down to extending the service life from the current 25 years to 40 years, assigned life up to 20,000 hr (15,000 landings) and time between overhaul up to 4,000 hr (3,500 landings). The 105 An-32 modernisation programme provided for extending

the service life and overhauling 40 aircraft by the manufacturer and the rest by the BRD-1 plant in the city of Kanpur in India. The avionics upgrade is to include installation of the TCAS/ACAS II system, EGPWS system with two multifunction displays, ELT emergency beacon, GPS/ GLONASS satnav receiver, new VOR/ ILS gear, upgraded weather radar with the multifunction display and is also to include improvements to the shortwave and VHF/UHF communications with provision of wireless intercom for all crew members. The hydraulic, fire suppressant and oxygen systems and crew seats are to be upgraded as well. Now, plans are being drawn up to upgrade several An-32 batches. Each of the five-ship batches is to be upgraded in 180 days. With the upgrade complete, the Indian aircraft will have remained in service until 2031 or longer. N.P.

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Sergey Krivchikov

contracts and deliveries | cooperation

SUKHOI FIGHTERS Sukhoi fighters have flown in the Indian skies for 40 years. The story dates back to the late ‘60s, when the Indian Air Force (IAF) bought a large batch of Su-7BMK fighter-bombers that became the first supersonic strike aircraft in service with IAF, giving it new tactical qualities, and proven themselves in the 1971 Indo-Pakistan war conflict. Su-7BMK had long been the mainstay of IAF’s fighter-bomber fleet, but time flies and they started being phased out gradually in the mid-’80. Nonetheless, IAF did not abandon the Sukhoi brand name. Moreover, Sukhoi jets are the service’s backbone now. The unique Su-30MKI supermanoeuvrable multirole fighter, which has spawned a whole family of derivatives and sold well on the global market, owes its emergence to an Indian order. The Su-30MKI has been in service with IAF since 2002 and repeatedly displayed its superiority to the cream of the crop of West European and US fighters on several combined exercises. To cap it all, the Su-30MKI has become, essentially, Sukhoi’s first project implemented through large-scale cooperation with manufacturers of both the customer country and major third-party companies.

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Mention should be made that the Su-30MKI delivery was just the first step towards the Russian-Indian cooperation in warplane development. The scope of the cooperation expanded with the kick-off of the large-scale Sukhoi licence production programme, under which HAL was to make 140 Su-30MKIs in India. A new phase of the cooperation may be the unprecedented contract for joint development of a fifth-generation multirole fighter by Sukhoi and HAL, which is being drafted now. “A high technological level in terms of both airframe designing and individual aircraft systems has been reached within the Su-30MKI licence production by India. Therefore, our cooperation with India will allow the success of the fifth-generation aircraft development programme”, Sukhoi Director General Mikhail Pogosyan says in this connection. One could add that Mikhail Pogosyan’s donning the second hat in late December 2008 as Director General of MiG Corp., which aircraft have been operated extensively by India for over 45 years, signified a decisive step towards setting up within the United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) a single combat aircraft division specialising in developing and making tactical warplanes, on the one hand, and towards facilitating more proactively the promotion of Russian fighters of both makes on the market, particularly, in India, on the other hand. www.take-off.ru


contracts and deliveries | cooperation

Andrey FOMIN

soon afterwards. The aircraft would be shipped by sea from the aircraft factory in Komsomolsk-on-Amur to Bombay (Mumbai) and, once assembled, be fielded with IAF air squadrons from March 1968. IAF’s conversion to the advanced warplane was very quick: a second squadron got its Su-7Bs in July and a third one in August of the same year. During the next year, India ordered more aircraft, driving the total number of Su-7Bs up to 140. Overall, the Sukhoi fighter-bombers were fielded with six IAF air squadrons within 18 months, affording the units drastically novel fighting capabilities. IAF used its Su-7BMK supersonic fighter-bombers in the close air support (CAS), air superiority, strike and tactical reconnaissance roles. The aircraft bought about supersonic speeds to IAF, because they could accelerate to 1,700 km/h and had high rate of climb – over 150 m/s. In spite of the Su-7B had been operated by 15 air forces worldwide by the early ‘70s, it is the IAF aircraft of the type that saw the baptism of fire. This happened in December 1971, when the six Su-7BMK squadrons were committed to the quickly escalating conflict between India and Pakistan. During the fortnight-long hostilities, the Sukhois, which were used in the ground attack, counter-air, CAS and tactical recce roles, logged about 1,500 sorties, having displayed good enough survivability. Damaged Su-7BMKs are known to have safely returned to base after being hit by Sidewinder air-to-air missiles.

bharat-rakshak.com

IN INDIA 40 years of keeping company with Sukhoi Sukhoi’s first aircraft adopted by IAF was the Su-7B supersonic jet-powered fighter-bomber. In summer 1966, the India turned to the Soviet government for this aircraft, and a year later, a group of Indian pilots flew a number of familiarisation sorties on the Su-7B that impressed them much. The first contract on 90 Su-7BMK single-seat fighter-bombers and Su-7UMK two-seat combat trainers for IAF was signed www.take-off.ru

With the 1971 Indo-Pakistan war over, the Su-7BMK fighter-bombers had remained IAF’s frontline aircraft for over a decade. Still, time had its course, and they started retiring gradually in the ‘80s. The last Su-7BMK squadrons converted to the more advanced MiG-27M fighter-bomber in 1984–85, with the type’s licence production mastered by India some time later. The Sukhoi fighter-bombers contributed much to IAF, and the experience gained from operating them later stood in

good stead to the pilots of more sophisticated combat aircraft.

New times – new planes India indicated its interest in buying Su-27-family fighters as far back as the mid-‘90s. The IAF chief of staff first publicly voiced the service’s intent to procure aircraft like that in February 1994. The statement was followed by a series of visits by Indian delegations to Moscow and Irkutsk, reciprocated by a group of Russian leaders and experts to a plant of Indian aircraft manufacturer HAL in Nasik in January 1995. Nasik was eyed as a possible licence production site at the time. The Indians took interest in the upgraded twin-seat fighter that had been advertised since 1993 as Su-30MK – the aircraft differing from the Su-27SK production export variant in extended range and endurance owing to the midair refuelling capability and an impressive weapons suite including air-to-surface homing precision guided munitions, in addition to its two crewmembers instead of one. The delivery from Irkutsk to India was supposed to commence soon after the signing of the contract. The customer first was to be provided with production two-seat Su-30K twin-seat fighters still lacking new PGMs. With the tests over, they were to be followed by Su-30MK multirole aircraft. During the talks, Sukhoi design bureau leaders offered the Indians not to limit themselves to the demonstrator variant of the Su-30MK, rather to buy a far more formidable aircraft. A number of advanced solutions being tested on then-latest Su-27 derivatives could determine its capabilities. The solutions included an improved aerodynamic configuration with the canards, a sophisticated fly-by-wire control system and a thrust vector controlled (TVC) engines. As a result, India could get a fighter second to none worldwide in terms of manoeuvrability and tactical performance. India took the offer with enthusiasm and agreed to finance the development of the dedicated Indian version designated as Su-30MKI. At the same time, it made a few additional requests. The principal of them were about the internalisation of the fighter’s avionics suite that was to include French, Israeli and indigenous Indian systems in addition to the Russian ones. The non-Russian gear was to include the navigation, display and electronic countermeasures (ECM) systems, with the computer system to be wrapped around Indian-made processors. For Indian pilots to convert to the new fighter as soon as possible, the programme was to be phased. At the first stage, they were to learn flying production-standard Su-30Ks. Then, as the advanced systems got tested, India was to take delivery of the aircraft ever more resembling the Su-30MKI standard from batch take-off february 2009

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Sergey Krivchikov

contracts and deliveries | cooperation

to batch. This approach was stipulated by the contact made in Irkutsk on 30 November 1996 on delivery of 40 Su-30MKIs to India, with the customer to receive the first eight fighters in the Su-30K configuration. Four sorties by An-124 Ruslan airlifters brought the first eight Su-30Ks from Irkutsk to India right on schedule, in spring 1997, and they were formally adopted by IAF in a ceremony at Pune air base on 11 July 1997. The first Su-30MKI prototype was completed at the same time the first Su-30K batch was shipped to India. The aircraft first flew on 1 July 1997. The thrust vector control, advanced aerodynamic configuration and efficient FBW control system furnished the Su-30MKI with the unique manoeuvrability. Test pilot Vyacheslav Averyanov learnt to pull off a set of aerobatic on the Su-30MKI, which no other aircraft in the world could repeat. He displayed the aerobatics brilliantly at the Aero India air show in Bangalore in early December 1998, delighting the crowd. When the deal was made, Su-30MKI prototypes were supposed to start testing advanced foreign-made avionics already in 1998. However, the customer took time to decide on the final configuration of the avionics suite. The test schedule slipped as a result, and a decision was taken to adjust the delivery schedule. At the same time, a contract was signed in December 1998 on shipping an additional 10-ship Su-30K batch to plug the gap between the deliveries of the first eight Su-30Ks and early Su-30MKIs. These aircraft were delivered in 1999.

International avionics The final decision on the foreign-made components of the avionics suite was taken in 1998. In line with the customer-approved configuration of the fighter, the core of its fire control system was to be Russian-made

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gear – the Tikhomirov-NIIP Bars phased-array radar, UOMZ OLS-30I infrared search-and-track (IRST) sensor and helmet-mounted target designator. The display system (three multifunction LCDs for the pilot and four for the weapons systems officer is supplied by Thales (France) and the inertial and satellite navigation systems as well. The head-up display (HUD) is made in Israel. The Su-30MKI’s computer system employs two Indian digital processors from Defence Avionics Research Establishment (DARE), a subsidiary of the governmental Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). The same company developed an effective radar warning receiver (RWR), Tarang. The communications aids and IFF systems are Indian-made too. They were developed by the Hyderabad Division of HAL. The ECM system was ordered from Israel. In addition, to enable the aircraft to operate round the clock in the ground attack mode, it is to be fitted with the Israeli-made Litening podded optronic targeting/navigation system. The rest of the avionics are Russian-made. Russia also integrated all the foreign-made avionics. “No air force in the world has fielded a production-standard fighter powered by engines with thrust vector control. The Bars radar uses the phased array. Finally, Russia has for the first time exported the aircraft whose avionics suite resulted from cooperation with Indian, French and Israeli compnaies”, says Alexander Barkovsky, technical director, Sukhoi design bureau, about the peculiarities of the Su-30MKI programme. “The Sukhoi design bureau has done a huge job in cooperation with the subcontractors that exceed 100… At the development stage, the design bureau established close cooperation with an Indian development team in Moscow to integrate the

customer-selected foreign-made systems with the Russian avionics”.

Deliveries and exercises An-124 Ruslan freighters airlifted the first batch of 10 production-standard Su-30MKIs to India during June through August 2002. On 27 September, Pune air base hosted their service-entry ceremony attended by the Indian defence minister. The pilots already qualified in flying the Su-30Ks based at the same airfield were cleared for mastering the new type. Owing to this solution, IAF personnel were quick to master the Su-30MKI. At the Aero India 2003 air show, Indian pilots flew Su-30MKIs, displaying the aerobatics that only Russian test pilots had performed on the aircraft like that before. The second batch of 12 Su-30MKIs delivery took place in December 2003, with the last 10 aircraft arriving in late 2004. Thus, all 32 Su-30MKIs and 18 Su-30Ks were delivered under the 1996 and 1998 contracts. The delivery of the second and third batches prompted the Su-30MKI conversion of another IAF squadron. In 2004, IAF Su-30MKI pilots learnt midair refuelling from Ilyushin Il-78MKI tanker planes that had been delivered by the Tashkent Aircraft Production Corp. not long before that. Following a years-long interruption, there was a combined Indian-US exercise that year, during which Indian pilots on Su-30Ks beat USAF F-15Cs both hands down in mock battles. It is believed that the result would have been even more impressive, had the Indians used their Su-30MKIs at the exercise. This was proven a few years later, when IAF Su-30MKIs locked horns with up-to-date US and West European warplanes in mock battles as part of combined exercises in India and abroad. For instance, IAF’s Su-30MKI fighters displayed their superiority over USAF fighters in www.take-off.ru


contracts and deliveries | cooperation

the course of Exercise Cope India 2005 in India from 7 to 18 November 2005, according to the Boston newspaper Christian Science Monitor citing the participants in the exercise. “Russian fighter Su-30MKI is better than main US fighter, the F-15C Eagle. The air forces of the countries operating the Sukhoi enjoy a certain superiority and may threaten the US air preponderance in the future”, ironically, the Americans themselves drew the categorical conclusion, having admitted the superiority of the Su-30MKI over the F-15C during Indo-US Exercise Red Flag held last August in the United States. Under the scenario, the Su-30MKIs fought dogfights and medium-range engagements, simulating missile launches against aerial and ground targets. Despite their operating with one hand tied behind their back (IAF command ordered the pilots not to use their radar equipment in full so as not to reveal its actual capabilities), the Su-30MKIs kept on beating the opposition.

Licence production At the same time with the completion of the 1996 contract, HAL’s plant in Nasik launched the licence production of the Su-30MKI in 2004. Overall, 140 fighters shall have been built there under the contract made on 28 December 2000. Along with the planes, HAL, supported by Russian companies, is productionising the AL-31FP engine and associated avionics. HAL is learning to licence-produce the Su-30MKI in a phased manner with the gradual transition to its own production. The first phase provided for Indian assembly of all-Russian fighters. At the second phase, the customers receive ready-made components and systems, units and parts at the third phase and only materials and raw materials at the fourth one, while the manufacture of the parts, units, components and systems and the final assembly take place in India. www.take-off.ru

The first Su-30MKIs assembled at Phase I of the licence production from kits supplied from Russia were complete in autumn 2004. The lead HAL-assembled fighter flew its maiden mission on 1 October 2004, and the acceptance of the first two licence-produced Su-30MKIs took place in a ceremony in Nasik on 28 November of the same year. The number of licence-produced Su-30MKIs in the IAF inventory exceeded two dozen in 2007. The same year saw the signing of two more contracts on beefing up IAF’s fleet of the aircraft of the type. In exchange for 18 Su-30Ks returned to Russia, India received the same number of Su-30MKIs in 2007 under one of them and is taking delivery of extra 40 fighters of the type now under the other. The success of the licence production programme will allow IAF to operate by the later 2010s a fleet of as many as 230 Su-30MKI fighters, most of which will have remained in service until 2030–40s or longer, influencing the balance of forces in the region heavily. The Su-30MKI programme is not twiddling its thumbs, rather progressing steadily. The first aircraft imported by India are undergoing modernisation of their fire control software to the new-build fighter standard. Plans provide for introducing more sophisticated avionics and expanding the weapons suite to incorporate cutting-edge precision guided weapons. Special mention should be made in this connection about the recently-spurred programme on equipping IAF’s Su-30MKIs with another fruit of the Russian-Indian cooperation – the unique BrahMos supersonic antiship missile developed by the Indo-Russian BrahMos Aerospace joint venture.

From import and licences to joint development At the Aero India 2007 air show, Sukhoi’s Director General Mikhail Pogosyan said, “The Su-30MKI programme is unprecedented

in the history of the defence cooperation of Russia and India in terms of technology. The programme is bringing the technological base of the Indian and Russian aircraft industries closer – from design schools of thought to production technologies”. According to Mr. Pogosyan, the Russian participants in the Su-30MKI programme “have gained the unique experience in integrating the best foreign products in the combat aircraft field – the experience that can be used under any other joint programme pursued together with India, including, possibly, the development of the fifth-generation fighter. The latter necessitates huge financial and technological resources. It is such a daring programme that is in the interest of our strategic partnership”. Thus, Sukhoi’s leader made it clear that Russia and India could develop and make combat aircraft of the next generation together. In this respect, the signing of the Russian-Indian intergovernmental agreement on joint development and production of the future multirole fighter on 18 October 2007 became a milestone. Sukhoi and HAL were earmarked as contractors under the agreement. Since then, Indian delegations have repeatedly come Russia, visiting both Sukhoi and KnAAPO, with the latter having been making the early Russian fifth-generation fighter prototypes since December 2007. Sukhoi’s representatives, in turn, have been several times in India, visiting HAL. The recent talks have hashed out the basic issues of joint advanced aircraft development and production, and the parties may make a final contract in this field in the near future. The Russian-Indian next-generation combat aircraft programme implies not only joint funding, but joint production by Sukhoi and HAL as well. Co-produced aircraft are expected to be delivered not only to India, but to third countries as well. take-off february 2009

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VIKRAMADITYA GETS LAUNCHED while Indian pilots master MiG-29K The implementation of the Russian-Indian contract on overhauling and upgrading the Admiral Gorshkov through-deck aircraft carrying cruiser, which is turning into a classic aircraft carrier and will be commissioned by the Indian Navy as Vikramaditya, passed another key milestone on 4 December 2008. On that day after three years of repairs in a drained flooding dock of the Sevmash yard, the ship got back in its element – the dock was flooded and the carrier was taken out of it to the fitting-out wharf of the Severodvinsk-based company for completion and outfitting. This became possible also because the seemingly deadlocked Russian-Indian talks on revision of the contract value, which turned out to be far higher than stipulated by the 2004 deal, have displayed some progress – India has agreed to discuss the Vikramaditya price increase in principle and a team of experts is to arrive to Russia to discuss contentious issues. Now, there is a reason to hope for resolution of most of the thorny issues and for the ship to join the Indian Navy eventually. However, the Vikramaditya will hardly have set off for the Indian Ocean before 2012 (the initial date was 2008). There have been important developments out of Moscow as well. Indian military pilots have begun to learn the ropes on the main weapon of the advanced Indian aircraft carrier – the MiG-29K and MiG-29KUB carrierborne fighters. Last year, the Lukhovitsy Production Centre of the MiG Corp. built, tested and prepared the first four production aircraft for delivery. In November and December, the warplanes, some of which had been given the peculiar Indian Navy paintjob, were used heavily in Lukhovitsy as part of the conversion training of the lead team of Indian pilots who had completed their ground school and sharpened their flying skills in piloting the fighter on the high-tech MiG-29K simulator developed and made by the MiG Corp. under the same contract.

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Gorshkov changes hands As is known, the contract signed on 20 January 2004 by the then Russian Defence Minister Sergey Ivanov and his Indian opposite number of that time, George Fernandes, stipulates overhaul and retrofitting of the decommissioned Russian through-deck cruiser Admiral Gorshkov, conduct of all relevant tests and training of her Indian complement and technical personnel. Over two dozen subcontracts on delivery of advanced weapons and equipment, set up technical and tactical training system and establish a simulator base in India were signed under the package contract. Among them, contracting the MiG Corp. on developing and delivery of 16 MiG-29K and MiG-29KUB fighters with an option for 30 more aircraft to be delivered prior to 2015 has been a most important one. The conversion of the ship had been planned to be completed within 52 months from the date the contract came into effect (9 April 2004), i.e. the aircraft carrier had been slated for commissioning with the Indian Navy in August 2008 (e.g. this was said by the Indian Defence Ministry news www.take-off.ru


contracts and deliveries | project the ship’s equipment, making the rigging, erecting warehouses and drawing up relevant documentation. In addition to the overhaul of the hull proper, the key measures to be taken during the conversion of the Project 1143.4 Admiral Gorshkov through-deck cruiser into the Project 11430 Vikramaditya aircraft carrier (she was named after a legendary ancient Indian king who ruled from 375 to 413 A.D. and whose name is Sanskrit for ‘mighty as the Sun’) included the dismounting of all offensive and defensive missile and gunnery weapons and obsolete radar and electronics, introduction of an advanced flight deck with the ski-jump ramp in the bow and arresting gear, as well as installation of sophisticated shipboard systems, equipment, air defence weapons, etc.

Vladimir SHCHERBAKOV

release dated 21 July 2004). The first batch of the 16 MiG-29K and MiG-29KUB fighters ordered had been planned for delivery in 2007–09. The value of the contract accounted for $1.67 billion, of which sum about $750 million were earmarked for the ship herself. The carrier was to be given to India free of charge, and the money were paid only for her overhaul and retrofitting as well as for modifying shore installations and ship repair facilities in Indian cities, devising the maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) documentation, training the crew and technicians, providing after-sales and warranty services and supplying spares, tools and accessories for 20 years of the carrier’s service. The contract for developing and delivering 16 MiG-29K and MiG-29KUB aircraft was worth $740 million. On March 2004, Severodvinsk, where the Gorshkov had been stored prior to overhaul and upgrade since July 1999, hosted the official ceremony of handing the ship over to the Indian Navy. Almost at once since the signature of the contract, Sevmash launched work, setting up new bays to repair www.take-off.ru

Sergey Kuznetsov

Heart of matter Unfortunately, the optimistic hopes of our partners were not destined to come true so quickly: the work on overhauling and converting the ship dragged its feet, and Russia has put off the term of delivery from 2008 to 2012. The main cause of that is believed to be the lack of money for overhauling and upgrading the ship, since the cost of that proved to be far greater than expected. This led to the Russian military and political leaders deciding to present the customer with the fait accompli, asking it to pay $1.2 billion more – the sum of the error made when the initial agreement was signed. At first, New Delhi dug in its heels unwilling even to discuss any additional payments, but then softened its approach and agreed to pay about $600 million of the original billion-plus sum, going for as many as $800 million February 2008. The sum resulted from the ‘independent estimate’ by Indian experts of the amount of work needed to be done under the contract indeed. In November 2008, Sevmash head Nikolay Kalistratov said in his interview with the RIA Novosti news agency, “The work on the ship will be completed in 2010, and the trials will begin in 2011, with the ship to be delivered to the Indian Navy in 2012”. Mr. Kalistratov added that the ship was 49 per cent complete at the time. However, the work was to be completed only in case of the full-fledged financing of the effort by the customer. He also mentioned that the work done by Sevmash by then had been worth over $1.7 billion, i.e. a billion more than the sum stipulated by the 2004 contract. “An aircraft carrier like that costs between three and four billion dollars on the market. The overhaul being performed by Sevmash totals 60–70 per cent of the cost of a new aircraft carrier – roughly $2 billion… When

the contract was signed, no comprehensive survey of defects was performed, no equipment was dismounted and no laboratory tests of the cables were done… Essentially, we are building a new aircraft carrier at the open-air slipways of Sevmash… and the work has been funded only by means of internal crediting over the past two years”, Sevmash Deputy Director General Sergey Novosyolov told the media. To assess the real amount of the work done and pending, Indian delegation would come to Sevmash one after another. The money issue had remained unresolved for a long time, and, therefore, Russian Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov led a delegation to New Delhi in September 2008 to participate in another session of the intergovernmental military technical cooperation commission. Serdyukov had to discuss with his opposite number A.K. Antony several complicated issues at once – reappraisal of the aircraft carrier contract, cooperative development of the fifth-generation fighter and medium airlifter, etc. Meanwhile, according to several Russian and Indian media, the sum of additional payments had grown up to $2.2 billion by the time the new Russian president, Dmitry Medvedev, went on his official visit to India, during which the Gorshkov issue was to be discussed too. Nonetheless, in the run-up to the Russian president’s visit on 2 December 2008, the governmental Security Committee approved the request of the Indian Defence Ministry to hold talks on revising the cost of work under the contract. An Indian Navy spokesman told the Indian Express daily that the new (or additional, to be precise) agreement with Rosoboronexport was to be signed within three months after the approval by the committee.

Vikramaditya back in water As was said above, Sevmash launched the preparations for overhauling the Gorshkov and dismounting her obsolete systems and weapons as far back as 2004 following the Russian-Indian contract coming into force. They were conducted when the ship was still afloat by the fitting-out wharf. Then she was taken to the flooding dock and had rested upon a solid base since December 2005 when the water was drained from the flooding dock: the dock work had been under way there for almost three years, with the upgrade of the upper deck through installation of the bow ski-jump ramp running concurrently. Initially, the ship was to be brought back to the fitting-out wharf in November 2006 following the completion of the hull work, large-scale gear installation and basic life support systems assembly. However, it turned take-off february 2009

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contracts and deliveries | project Meanwhile, near Moscow…

of the ship instead of a bottle of champagne traditional to the Western naval ceremony. “We hope that this beautiful reliable ship will be in service for a long time to glorify the friendship between Russia and India”, Sevmash Director General Nikolay Kalistratov stressed. “However, our leaders need to come to an agreement and find funds for completing the job”. Thus, probably the most difficult and labour-intensive phase of overhauling and converting the former through-deck cruiser has been completed. The ship has begun to

While the above transformation of the former Gorshkov into the Vikramaditya was taking place in the northern Russian city of Severodvinsk, the lead team of Indian pilots in the Moscow Region started mastering the main weapon of the future Indian aircraft carrier, the MiG-29K multirole carrierborne fighter. As was reported by Take-off, the MiG Corp. built two MiG-29K/KUB prototypes and submitted them for trials in 2007. The MiG-29KUB two-seat prototype with

Alexey Mikheyev

Alexey Mikheyev

Sergey Kuznetsov

out to be that the amount of overhaul work had been underestimated and the money paid by the Indian side insufficient for completing the conversion planned. Consequently, the contractor managed to start taking the ship out of the flooding dock only in late autumn 2008. The flooding of the dock started on 11 November, and 25 November saw the Vikramaditya’s keel lift off the dock’s supports and the ship ‘taste’ water for the first time in the three years. Then, the company had to wait for fine weather for 10 more days to take the ship out of the dock, because the difficult operation was made even more difficult by the carrier’s large dimensions: the distance between her sides and the walls of the dock measured just a few metres when she was being taken out. Finally, the time came, and the aircraft carrier was tugged out of the flooding dock on 4 December 2008 to the fitting-out wharf. Interestingly, the Vikramaditya, the future joy and pride of the Indian Navy, was launched on the Indian Navy Day celebrated on 4 December to commemorate that day in 1971 when the Indian Navy raided the enemy coast and defeated the enemy’s main force in the Karachi Naval Base during the Indian-Pakistani war. “We are certain that the aircraft carrier will become the flagship of the Indian Navy”, Commodore Sailidran Madusudanan, head of

the Indian Navy monitor team in Severodvinsk, emphasised on the day the carrier was taken to the fitting-out wharf. In the run-up to filling the flooding dock with water, the Indian Navy monitor team had conducted in the dock a traditional ceremony – a praying rite to the god named Ganesha: the future operators of the aircraft carrier placed lamps, incense sticks, fruit and flowers beside the ship so that the Indian god was kind to the Vikramaditya and her complement. Then, the Indian sailors broke a coconut against a side

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look like a typical aircraft carrier intended for short takeoff and arrested landing flight operations of supersonic fighters, with her flight deck area increased, ski-jump ramp installed, etc. In addition, quite a job has been done to install part of the shipboard systems, prepare the installation of various types of equipment, paint ship structures, etc. Now, the aircraft carrier is in Sevmash’s fitting-out wharf, and gantry cranes will load heavy and bulky equipment and some other work will be done in the coming months.

side number 947 flew its maiden flight on 20 January and the MiG-29K single-seat prototype first flew on 25 June 2007. While they were undergoing tests and debugging of their systems, construction of the early production fighters for the customer was in full swing at the MiG Corp.’s Lukhovitsy Aircraft Production Complex. The first production MiG-29K completed its maiden sortie in Lukhovitsy on 18 March 2008, and as many as four production fighters – two single-seaters and two twin-seaters – had www.take-off.ru


contracts and deliveries | project been assembled and check-tested by autumn 2008. The twin-seaters were used in autumn by the Indian naval pilots to start their flight training following the completion of their ground school for the aircraft that was new to them. By then, the pilots had logged the required ‘flight’ hours on the MiG-29K flight simulator developed by the MiG Corp. under the same contract and being among the best ones in its class, by the way. The first four production MiG-29Ks and MiG-29KUBs are slated for delivery in early 2009. Within the year, they will be followed by more production aircraft now in various stages of construction at the MiG Corp.’s plant in Lukhovitsy. The whole of the first contract for 16 fighters could be fulfilled this year. More Indian naval pilots are to convert to the MiG-29K and MiG-29KUB in India. However, the location for ski-jump-assisted takeoff and arrested landing training has not been selected yet: this can be done so far only

the military’s request for 30 carrierborne MiG-29Ks more (the paper mentioned 29 aircraft) that would enable the Indian Navy to activate three MiG-29K/KUB air squadrons totalling almost 50 aircraft in the future. However, to turn the option into a firm order, the parties will have to iron out their disagreements over the growing cost of the deal, just like they did as far as the Vikramaditya is concerned.

Indian Nitka In November 2008, the mainstream Indian media reported that to speed up the training of naval pilots, the Indian Navy command was pondering the construction of a land-based training facility of its own for the MiG-29K/KUB and future naval version of the Indian-made Tejas light combat aircraft (LCA) pilots to train in carrierborne operations. Previously, New Delhi had planned to have its carrierborne MiG pilots

sea and simulating the bow section of the flight deck. Goa Shipyard Ltd. has been building it with assistance on the part of the Bangalore-based Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA). Should the programme on the Indian variant of the Nitka facility be a success, the country will become the third one in the world to have a land-based carrierborne pilot training facility like that. The other two facilities are in the United States and Ukraine. Meanwhile, plans for building a similar training facility in Russia have been unveiled recently. On 15 January, the ITAR-TASS news agency quoted its source in the Russian Navy’s Main Staff as saying that the country could have a ‘Nitka’ of its own already in 2011. “In line with the decision taken by the Russian government, the feasibility study and design work are under way to establish a land-based carrierborne pilot training facility in the town of Yeisk (Krasnodar Region). The efforts have been funded, and the facility will be built in three years”, the Russian Navy Main Staff source told ITAR-TASS. “The construction of the facility will enable this country to get rid of its dependence on Ukraine in terms of training pilots for the Admiral Kuznetsov through-deck cruiser. For years, we have had to lease the only Soviet-built carrierborne aviation training facility near the town of Saki in the Crimea”, the sources said, according to the news agency. It is worth mentioning that the facility in Yeisk will be able to be used by foreign customers’ personnel as well, because arresting gear should be part and parcel of any land-based flight deck simulator; however, it is unlikely that the arresting gear similar to that being fitted to the Vikramaditya will emerge in Goa in the coming years.

Instead of the afterword

at the famous Nitka facility in the Crimea, but according to media reports, a decision has been made to build similar training facilities in both Russia and India (see below). It looks like India is going to make a new contract for additional MiG-29K/KUB fighters under the option for 30 aircraft more, provided for by the 2004 contract. For instance, on 19 September 2008, the Indian Express daily quoted its sources in the Indian Naval Staff is saying that the government’s Defence Acquisition Committee had approved www.take-off.ru

trained by Russian instructor-pilots at the Nitka facility near the Crimean town of Saki (Ukraine). On 9 November, the Times of India daily reported that the training facility was to be erected in the maritime state of Goa near Indian Navy Station (INS) Hansa where the fighter and training air squadrons operating Sea Harrier STOL fighters are based along other units. According to the Times of India, the training facility will be fitted with a ski-jump ramp facing the

On 6 January, a number of the Indian media, quoting ‘reliable sources’ in the Indian Navy command, reported that New Delhi had decided to dispatch a team of experts to Moscow in the near future, with the experts “authorised to resolve the problem of the price” of the Vikramaditya aircraft carrier. A major Indian newspaper, Hindu, wrote about it in detail, in particular. According to Hindu, if the problem is resolved, top Indian leaders will come to Russia to determine the final terms of the additional agreement and delivery date. Hopefully, following many months of talks, the Gorshkov issue will be settled and the carrierborne MiG fighters will make it to the flight deck of the carrier in several years. take-off february 2009

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Andrey Fomin

contracts and deliveries | weapons Today, Su-30MKI two-seat multirole supermanoeuvrable fighters are the image warplanes of the Indian Air Force (IAF) and the cutting-edge weapon in the service’s inventory. To date, Irkut Corp. has delivered over 50 aircraft like that to IAF, while the ongoing licence production of the fighter by HAL’s manufacturing plants, coupled with new deliveries from Russia, will enable IAF by the middle of next decade to operate as many as 230 such aircraft, most of which will have remained in the inventory until 2030–40. The Su-30MKI programme is not sitting on its hands with the current fighters received by IAF differing from the first batches of the early 2000s in a more capable fire control system owing to advanced operating modes and enhanced avionics. Because the Su-30MKI production and deliveries are to go on for at least five years more and its service for at least a quarter of the century, the question of its further refinement is on the agenda now. Fitting the IAF Su-30MKI fleet with the advanced BrahMos-A precision-guided long-range multirole air-to-surface missile under development by the Russian-Indian joint venture BrahMos Aerospace is seen as a priority as part of such work. The venture has developed and beeing delivering the shipborne and land-based BrahMos missile systems to the Indian Navy and Army and now developing its airborne version. So, what new capabilities can the BrahMos offer, once fitted to the Su-30MKI?

Su-30MKI + BrahMos

= new capabilities of Indian Air Force First, a few words are due about the missile itself. The development of the BrahMos versatile multirole supersonic cruise missile, capable of taking out radio-contrast targets up to 300 km, has become a most significant Russian-Indian arms development programme of late. This year, the programme marks its tenth anniversary: the BrahMos development deal was clinched in July 1999, succeeding the February 1998 intergovernmental agreement. The missile was co-developed by Russian and Indian designers as a derivative of the Yakhont antiship missile from NPOMash (Reutov, Moscow Region), in several variants at once – the naval (for surface ship and submarine basing), land-based (for mobile and stationary launchers) and air-launched ones. To run the programme, the two coun-

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tries set up the BrahMos joint venture (the name is the abbreviation of the names of the Indian and Russian rivers Brahmaputra and Moskva respectively) that pooled personnel of NPOMash and India’s Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO). The first test launch of the BrahMos cruise missile by an experimental ground launcher took place on 13 June 2001, and the first sea launch by the INS Rajput guided missile destroyer followed on 13 February 2003. Following the completion of the test programme, the BrahMos missile system’s antiship version entered service with the Indian Navy and fitted Rajput-class GM destroyers, with surface ships in other classes (destroyers and frigates) to be equipped with it later. The same missile system may equip Indian Navy submarines as well.

Following the Indian Navy’s footsteps, the Indian Army adopted the ground-to-ground version. The first launches of the mobile system took place in December 2004, and in May 2006, the Indian Army awarded the contract for the first BrahMos battalion operating the mobile variant based on the Tatra truck’s wheeled vehicle licence-produced by Indian industry. Deliveries of the BrahMos surfaceto-surface version to the Indian Army kicked off in 2007. “Our missile is, essentially, universal”, says Dr. Sivathanu Pillai, head of Indo-Russian joint venture BrahMos Aerospace, “and the tests we have subjected it to have been used a universal missile effective against various types of targets. Simply put, the BrahMos is effective against radio-contrast targets – both ground and naval. The current seeker with www.take-off.ru


contracts and deliveries | weapons software package of the missile’s control system to fit the avionics suite of the carrier. The air-launched variant’s launch weight dropped down to 2,500 kg with the warhead weight and maximum range remaining the same – 300 kg and 290 km respectively. Initially, the Su-30MKI is supposed to carry a single BrahMos-A on the weapons station between its engine nacelles. Later, the maximum load could be increased to three missiles through addition of two missiles mounted under wing (the company has displayed a Su-30MKI model with three BrahMos missiles at several international air shows). So, how can the fitting of the Su-30MKIs with BrahMos missiles benefit IAF? As is known, by now the Su-30MKI’s weapons suite includes only one type of antiship guided missiles, the Kh-31A, with a range of 70 km. The Kh-31A has a launch weight of 610 kg and a 94kg warhead and rushes to the target at Mach 3 owing to its combined rocket/ramjet engine. The BrahMos-A antiship missile’s introduction into the Su-30MKI’s weapons suite will give quite a boost to IAF’s ability to deal with large-size naval threats both owing to the threefold-plus increase in the lethality of the warhead over the Kh-31A and due to the fourfold hike in max range. The latter consideration, coupled with the high supersonic flight speed, will allow, on the one hand, the reaction time against surface threats to be reduced and, on the other, the launch aircraft’s survivability to be enhanced because the standoff missile will be launched outside the reach of the enemy’s longest-range SAM systems and fighter planes. In such a case, when the target range exceeds the maximum acquisition range of the launch aircraft’s radar, the BrahMos-A’s guidance system will be fed target designation by a AEW&C plane or helicopter, naval patrol aircraft nearby or shipborne radars. Given the BrahMos’s versatility in terms of targets it can handle, the BrahMos-A air-launched variant can be also employed against large radio-contrast ground targets at

a long range, if the weapon’s software is set accordingly. Today, the Su-30MKI carries the Kh-59ME missile with TV-command guidance to deal with such threats. The Kh-59ME’s maximum range is 115 km, subsonic flight speed equals Mach 0.72–0.88, launch weight measures 930 kg and warhead weight accounts for 280 kg or 320 kg depending on its type. Thus, introducing the BrahMos-A into the upgraded Su-30MKI’s weapons suite may extend the fighter’s reach for radio-contrast ground targets by 2.5 times, while slashing the reaction time by far (the missile’s speed of flight towards the target is 3.5–4 times higher) and sharply improving the carrier aircraft’s survivability both through launching at standoff range and maximising the launch-and-leave capability. Adding the BrahMos-A to the IAF Su-30MKI’s weapons suite may be regarded as a phase of a further upgrade of the fighter, being pondered by India. Keeping in mind that the fighter fleet will remain in production in India for at least five years, designers are looking into equipping them in the future with a more powerful fire control radar featuring enhanced tactical performance, new combat modes and, in the longer run, the AESA. The improvements, coupled with beefing the Su-30MKI’s weapons suite with BrahMos-A versatile supersonic cruise missiles with the 300km range, will enhance IAF’s ability to repeal any naval and air aggression. Adaptation of the BrahMos-A to IAF’s Su-30MKIs will allow their carriage by other Indian platforms as well with minimal modification. It also opens bright vistas for fitting the weapon to other Su-30-family warplanes that are being exported to several countries now. BrahMos Aerospace head Dr. Pillai said on 22 October 2008, that the Indian Air Force intends to field the early BrahMos-A air-launched missiles by 2012, while the first launches by Su-30MKIs may take place prior to 2011. Andrey Fomin

improved software does not require modifications to the hardware to attack surface threats”. The launch weight of the naval and land-based variants stands at about 3,000 kg, with the warhead weighing in the neighbourhood of 300 kg. The weapon is launched from its launch tube and carries a combined guidance system ensuring INS-controlled flight with initial leg updates and terminal homing by means of the active radar homer. The propulsion plant comprises the booster motor and ramjet engine propelling the missile to a supersonic speed of Mach 2.8–3. The maximum range accounts for 290 km. The BrahMos measures 8.4 m in length and 0.6 m in diameter. With the Army version of the BrahMos adopted for use, the company focused its efforts on developing the air-launched variant. “Next field for us to explore is the development of the air-launched variant to fit the fighter fleet of the Indian Air Force. We set our choice on the Su-30MKI and have already completed the bulk of R&D. A number of sceptical military experts doubted that a massive missile like that could be integrated with fighters. However, we presented our calculations, and IAF commanders were satisfied with them. Therefore, we have started testing relevant equipment, and I am certain we will succeed”, Dr. Pillai said. In the future, the air-launched version of the BrahMos could be adapted to other types of carriers, e.g. the Il-38SD and Tu-142ME maritime patrol aircraft. The former can haul two such missiles and the latter up to six. However, the advanced cruise missile’s priority platform earmarked by IAF is the Su-30MKI multirole fighter. The BrahMos air-launched version development dates back several years. The efforts have been focused on introducing a more simple and lighter booster motor and a new nosecone as well as tailoring the missile for the fighter (unlike the naval and land-based variants, the air-launched weapon will be used without launch tubes) and modifying the

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MiG-35 favourite of MMRCA tender

Piotr Butowski

Andrey FOMIN

28 August 2007 saw the official kickoff of a largest-scale combat aircraft acquisition tender – the Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) programme estimated at $11 billion and providing for the Indian Air Force (IAF) to buy 126 medium multirole fighters. On that day, the Indian government issued official request for proposals (RFP) to the bidders. Before that, only requests for information had been issued. The preliminary stage shortlisted several contenders for the multibillion-dollar order. Six companies from the United States, Western Europe and Russia indicated their willingness to throw their hats in the ring – Lockheed Martin and Boeing with their F-16 Block 70 and F-18E/F fighters, SAAB (Gripen International) offering its Gripen IN, Eurofighter with its EF2000 Typhoon and MiG Corp. with its MiG-35 fighter. According to expert opinion, the Generation 4++ MiG-35 multirole fighter under development by MiG Corp. will become among the favourites of the Indian tender. The MiG-35 demonstrator was derived from the MiG-29M2 prototype (No. 154) two years ago. It was displayed at the Aero India 2007 air show in Bangalore in February 2007, having become one of its zests. At the same time, the US and West European fighters offered by the competitors are very formidable rivals, and a minor upgrade of the current MiG-29 would not be enough to beat them in the tender. Therefore, despite the MiG-35’s similarity of appearance to the current production-standard MiG-29, its design and capabilities embody several drastically novel features attributing the fighter to Generation 4++. www.take-off.ru


military aviation | project Tasks and objectives

- supermanoeuvrability through the use of the reduced longitudinal stability aerodynamic configuration, fly-by-wire control system and powerful engines, especially if the latter are fitted with the thrust vector control system; - extended range by means of a larger internal and external fuel capacity and the in-flight refuelling capability; - high survivability due to reduced observability, up-to-date self-defence suite, aircraft system redundancy, etc.; - enhanced reliability owing to time-proven technical and design solutions, integral systems ’health’ monitoring and failure forecasting.

Design features In terms of design, the MiG-35 is a derivative of the upgraded two-seat MiG-29M2 fighter that was, in turn, derived in 2001 from the MiG-29M prototype (No. 154). It has an upgraded sharp-LERX aerodynamic configuration and a quadruple-redundant 3D digital fly-by-wire control system ensuring good stability and controllability in the manual and automatic flight modes, including automated mid-air refuelling and supermanoeuvrability at poststall angles of attack. At the same time, the MiG-35 will be radically different from both the production MiG-29 and MiG-29SMT, on the one hand, and the MiG-29M and MiG-29M2 prototypes, on the other, in terms of manufacturability. It will embody large welded structures of the basic airframe load-bearing elements and feature a radically increased use of composites. On the one hand, this will allow a hike in its assigned life and service life (up to 6,000 flight hours and 40 years) and, on the other, this will facilitate the reduction in its radar signature. An advanced larger wing has been developed to fit the MiG-35. Its span and design are similar to those of the wing of the MiG-29K/KUB, but the wing has more modest high-lift devices and, naturally, does

not fold. The advanced wing allows two more hardpoints to be fixed on its lower surface. As a result, the MiG-35 will be able to haul various air-launched weapons with a total weight of 6,500 kg on 11 hardpoints – 10 under the wing and one under the belly. The aircraft also will feature enlarged vertical tails of modified configuration and ditch the air brake, whose job will be shouldered by the differentially-deflected rudders.

Powerplant The MiG-35 will be powered by upgraded Klimov RD-33MK engines featuring a far extended life (assigned life – 4,000 hours, time before first overhaul – 1,000 hours) and an afterburning thrust of 9,000 kgf each (5,400 kgf each at maximum rating). At the customer’s request, the fighter can be fitted with RD-33MKV thrust vector control engines whose nozzles can swivel ±20° all-aspect. Thrust vector control engines have been refined on the MiG-29M-OVT prototype (No. 156). The RD-33MK differs from the production RD-33 Series 3 in both an extended service life and the BARK-42 digital automatic monitoring and control system usage, and are fitted with so-called smokeless combustors as well. The RD-33MK was developed by the Klimov company in St. Petersburg and has been in full-rate production by Chernyshev MMP since 2006 to fit the MiG-29K/KUB carrierborne fighters on order from the Indian Navy. Klimov works to hone the engine still further, which could yield a version boasting even better characteristics. The MiG-35 is to be fitted with the advanced KSA-33M double accessory gearbox with sharply enhanced reliability equipped with advanced VK-100 turbine starters. The accessory gearbox was developed by Klimov and manufactured by Krasny Octiabr. The fighter’s internal fuel capacity is to increase by about 1.5 times over that of the standard MiG-29 (up to 4,800 kg) through

Sergey Krivchikov

The MiG-35 multirole tactical fighter is designed for round-the-clock elimination of aerial and surface threats in any weather in the face of the enemy’s active and passive electronic countermeasures (ECM). Its objectives include aerial threat interception, air superiority, interdiction, suppression of enemy air defences, close air support and naval threat elimination. The MiG-35 is being derived from the MiG-29K multirole carrierborne fighter developed on order from the Indian Navy and, together with it, will make up the family of MiG-29 tactical fighter new-generation derivatives, which entered production in 2006. The family is expected to be made up of by at least four commonised versions – the MiG-29K and MiG-29KUB multirole shipborne fighters in the single-seat and two-seat configurations respectively and the single-seat MiG-35 and twin-seat MiG-35D multirole tactical fighters carrying the new-generation avionics and weapons suites. In addition, to meet the requirements of some of the customers, there will be production of the MiG-29M and MiG-29M2 multirole tactical fighters commonised with the MiG-35 and MiG-35D in terms of airframe and basic aircraft systems, but featuring somewhat more modest capabilities in terms of avionics and weapons that are to be commonised with the MiG-29SMT and MiG-29K/KUB. Each pair of the fighters features a 90-per cent or more degree of commonality, with the singleseater and twinseater having the same design of their fuselage forward sections and cockpit canopy with the singleseater’s rear combat station occupied by an extra fuel tank or additional avionics units, if the customer wishes so. Compared to the existing MiG-29, the basic new features of the MiG-35 and MiG-35D are going to be the following:

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military aviation | project

Zhuk-AE – the AESA radar for MiG-35 Having pondered several designs of the AESA, Phazotron-NIIR Corp. decided to reduce the technical risk and speed up the development by borrowing some technical solutions and systems proven in the Zhuk-family radars, e.g. the computing system comprising the data processor and signal processor,

Piotr Butowski

A feature of the MiG-35 multirole combat aircraft setting it apart from the previous members of the MiG-29 family is its multimode active phased-array radar – the Zhuk-AE. The radar was developed by the Phazotron-NIIR corporation, with its first example fitted to the MiG-35 technology demonstrator in late 2006. The Zhuk-AE AESA radar’s basic strengths over the exiting slotted-array radars (e.g. the Zhuk-ME of the MiG-29SMT and MiG-29K/KUB fighters) is an expanded waveband, a greater number of acquired and tracked threats, simultaneous lookup/lookdown capability, an extended acquisition range, enhanced terrain-mapping resolution, etc. The principal advantage of the AESA (including that over the existing passive phased-array radars) is a quantum leap in survivability and reliability, which is due to the very philosophy of AESA. Unlike all other type of airborne radars, AESA consists of about 1,000 self-contained transmit/receive modules (TR). Therefore, failure of several dozens or even hundred of TRs due to a technical glitch or combat damage entails no failure of the whole radar. At the same time, developing an AESA is very difficult thing to do in terms of technology due to the need of developing relatively inexpensive reliable miniature TRs. Phazotron-NIIR, whose radars fit all MiG-29s took up the development of such a radar to equip the MiG-35. Tomsk-based Micran company and Semiconductor Instrument Research Institute were contracted to develop and manufacture the TRs.

exciter with the synchroniser, etc. The main radically novel and the most sophisticated module of the radar is the phased array proper, which includes the radiating field of radiating elements, up to thousand TRs connected with them, cooling system, power distribution and TR control system, microwave energy TR distribution system used of subsequent amplification and phasing, backup power supply and beam control unit. Based on an extensive research into the phased array design for the Zhuk-AE radar, a choice was made of the equidistant hexagonal radiating module distribution, with a decision taken to make TRs in groups of four. The first version of the Zhuk-AE radar, designated FGA-29, measuring 600 mm in diameter (array

In the cockpit of MiG-35 technology demonstrator

diameter – about 500 mm) and having 680 TRs, was made in 2006, completed the test programme at Phazotron-NIIR’s test bench and was fitted to the MiG-35 demonstrator. FGA-29’s flight tests began in summer 2008. Its air target acquisition range is expected to measure 130 km in the forward hemisphere and 60 km in the rear hemisphere while surface targets are to be detected at the range up to 200 km. The maximum beam deflection angle is ±60 deg. in azimuth and elevation with max pulse power stands for 3.4 kW. Operating in the air-to-air mode, the Zhuk-AE will be able to automatically acquire and track at least 30 threats, while being able to simultaneously engage 2–6 of them with dogfight and medium-range missiles, keeping an eye on the airspace at the same time. The radar will also be able to cue radar homing missiles on to the targets, feed target designation to the helmet-mounted sighting and indication system, etc. In the air-to-ground mode, it will be able to pinpoint moving and static surface threats, generate firing solutions for air-to-ground missiles and guided bombs with various guidance systems and map the terrain in several modes. There are plans to switch later to a larger-diameter AESA (about 700 mm), with the number of TRs to slightly exceed 1,000 and the acquisition range to extend to 250 km in air-to-air and air-to-surface modes. Concurrently, the computer system and wide-band exciter are to be improved. Such a modified version of the Zhuk-AE (FGA-35) will fit the production MiG-35 fighters.

reconfiguring the existing fuel cells within the airframe and introducing new ones. In addition, the aircraft will have an integral in-flight refuelling system and larger drop tanks (capacity of the underbelly tank will rise from 1,520 to 2,150 litres with MiG-35 will be able to carry up to five drop fuel tanks). The single-seat variant has an extra fuel cell of about 620 litres in place of the backseater’s combat station. Fitted with the PAZ-MK detachable refuelling unit, the MiG-35 fighter will be able to top up other aircraft of the type in flight.

New-generation avionics suite

Sergey Krivchikov

The new-generation avionics suite of the MiG-35 fighter is an open-architecture design using a MIL-STD-1553B-compliant multiplex data bus. This provides the aircraft with multirole combat capability and simplifies integration of new Russian and foreign avionics and weapons, including podded ones. The HOTAS capability is designed to control weapons. The MiG-35’s fire control system is wrapped around the advanced Zhuk-AE

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military aviation | project

Top: Missile warning system. The aircraft carries two modules for the lookup and lookdown functions behind the cockpit canopy and in a conformal container under the left engine nacelle respectively. The detection range for incoming air-to-air missiles is 30 km, SAMs – 50 km and shoulder-fired SAMs – 10 km. The hardware weighs 9.5 kg.

those of the fifth-generation aircraft airborne systems. The PrNK-35 targeting/navigation suite from the Ramenskoye Instrument Design Bureau (RPKB) comprises up-to-date inertial and satellite navigation aids. The aircraft offered for the IAF tender is to have its navigation and communication suites fitted with both Russian and foreign systems, i.e. the latter including those from French companies Sagem or Thales and India’s HAL and Bharat. In terms of the cockpit management system layout, the MiG-35 and MiG-35D are similar enough to the MIG-29K and MiG-29KUB (the pilot is provided with three large 6x8” multifunction liquid-crystal displays and a wide-angle head-up display; the rear seat of the twinseater is furnished with four LCDs), but its LCDs’ resolution and operating speed is to be enhanced. The self-defence suite includes the L-150 ELINT station, missile launch warning and laser illumination warning receivers, SAP-518 and KS-418 active ECM stations (both integral and podded ones) and a chaff/flare

dispenser. The MiG-35’s wingtips and tips of its vertical tails house the antennas of the L-150 ELINT station from the Avtomatika design bureau (Omsk). The sensors of the NIIPP-produced missile warning system are fitted to the upper fuselage behind the cockpit and in the conformal container under the left air duct. The sensors of the NIIPP laser warning system are at the ends of the wingtips. The ECM station from the Kaluga-based KNIRTI Radiotechnical Research Institute is housed both by the fuselage (high-frequency units) with the antennas in the LERXes and fuselage tail section and by a pod attached under the left wing panel (medium-frequency units). At the Bangalore air show in February 2007, it was announced that MiG Corp. and Italian company Elettronica S.p.A. reached agreement and cooperated on adapting Elettronica S.p.A’s ELT/568(V)2 active jammer to the MiG-35. The jammer comprises several units – the main unit with two HF emitters is situated in the aft-cockpit bay and the emitting

Piotr Butowski

Piotr Butowski

Top left: OLS-UEM forward-looking IRST capable of scanning airspace, acquire and track aerial targets within the ±90 deg. bracket in azimuth and within –15/+60 deg. bracket in elevation. The IRST comprises the infrared, TV and laser capabilities. The rear-hemisphere aerial target acquisition range is 45 km, while the front-hemisphere one stands at 15 km, with the laser rangefinder ranges threats out to 15 km. Bottom left: OLS-K all-round look-down IRST. It comprises the IR and TV sensors, laser rangefinder/target designator and laser spot sensor. The devices acquires tank-sized targets at 20 km and boat-sized ones out to 40 km, with the ranging distance being up to 20 km. The OLS-K IRST paints ground targets with the laser beam for precision-guided munitions (PGM) and detects hostile laser illumination. The IRST pod weighs 110 kg. Bottom: Laser warning system which detects hostile laser illumination within the 1.06-1.57 micrometres. The aircraft mounts two laser warning system modules – one in each wingtip providing virtually 360 deg. coverage. Their laser detection range equals 30 km, with the weight accounting for 800 g.

Piotr Butowski

Piotr Butowski

Fifth-generation optronics on board MiG-35 fighter

AESA radar, OLS-UEM forward-looking IRST system, OLS-K 360-deg. lookdown IRST in a conformal pod under the straboard air duct and a helmet-mounted target designation and indication system. The Phazotron-NIIR corporation is developing the Zhuk-AE AESA radar and the NIIPP Semiconductor Device Research Institute is handling the development of the OLS-UEM and OLS-K optronic systems and a number of optronic self-defence sensors as well. At the customer’s request, the upper mentioned optronics set can be replaced with the upgraded KOLS-13SM IRST and podded Sapsan-E IR/laser targeting system from the UOMZ Ural Optical and Mechanical Plant. The MiG-35 offered for the IAF tender is to be fitted with the Topsight helmet-mounted target designator from Thales (France). Using a similar helmet-mounted target designator under development by Geofizika (Moscow) is being mulled over. Mention should be made that the characteristics of the MiG-35’s AESA radar, optronic systems, helmet-mounted designator and cockpit display system meet www.take-off.ru

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military aviation | project antennas in the LERXes, with another unit in the fuselage tail section with its antenna in the right fin under the rudder, while the additional unit is podded under the left wing panel and fitted with the medium-frequency emitter (its antennas are set in the front and rear tips of the pod). The technical matters of adapting the ELT/568(V)2 to the MiG-35 have been resolved, and the Italian system will be fitted to the fighter if the customer wishes so. The defence aids suite of IAF’s MiG-35 fighter may be equipped with Indian-made systems as well. To enhance pilot training and flight safety, the MiG-35 will be outfitted with the Karat-B-35 flight data recorder, SVR-23M1K video recorder and Trenazh-29 weapon simulation and effectiveness control system.

Weapons options On air-to-air missions, the MiG-35 relies on the RVV-AE medium-range active radar-guided missiles and R-73E dogfight IR-guided missiles. According to MiG Corp.’s advertisements circulated at the ILA 2008 air show in Berlin, they are supposed to be complemented by the advanced RVV-SD medium-range and RVV-MD short-range air-to-air missiles. To deal with ground targets, it uses the Kh-29TE TV-guided missiles, KAB-500Kr (OD) and KAB-1500Kr TV-guided bombs or KAB-500L and KAB-1500L-F laser-guided bombs along with such ‘dumb’ weapons as 80mm and 122mm S-8 and S-13 rockets and 100-1,500kg gravity bombs. Elimination of naval threats is achieved by means of Kh-31A and Kh-35E antiship missiles. Hostile radars are dealt with by using Kh-31P antiradiation missiles.

In the future, the MiG-35 can be equipped with prosprective precision guided weapons. For instance, the MiG Corp.’s advertisements at ILA 2008 in June 2008 read that the MiG-35’s weapons suite would incorporate the advanced Kh-38ME modular tactical air-to-surface missiles with a range of 40 km (Kh-38MAE active radar homing, Kh-38MTE thermal-imaging, Kh-38MLE semiactive laser guided and Kh-38MKE satnav-cued terminally-guided missiles); Kh-59MK2 missiles with the 285km range and combined satnav/optical terminal guidance system to take out ground targets with present coordinates; 3M-14AE active radar-homing cruise missiles with the 300km range as well as Kh-59MK and 3M-54AE1 active radar-homing antiship missiles with a range of up to 300 km. The guided bomb inventory may be beefed up with the

Tactical Missiles Corp. offers new weapons for MiG-35 fighters

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Kh-38ME

Yevgeny Yerokhin

Last year, the Tactical Missiles Corp. launched a campaign to promote a number of latest air-launched precision guided munitions on the market. The weapons promoted include the new-generation Kh-38ME air-launched modular guided missile and several heavy upgrades, including Kh-59MK2 air-to-surface missile with a self-contained target area recognition capability as well as KAB-1500LG-F-E laser beam-riding smart bomb. All these weapons will be incorporated in MiG-35’s weapon suite being available for other new Russia’s combat aircraft as well. Among the latest designs from Tactical Missiles Corp., the family of new-generation Kh-38ME modular multirole short-range air-to-surface missiles under development by the corporation’s head plant that are designed to kill a wide range of armoured, hard and soft single and multiple ground targets and surface threats in the littorals as well. The model line includes four basic versions with combined guidance systems: Kh-38MLE (with INS and semiactive laser homing head), Kh-38MKE (with INS and satnav update capability), Kh-38MTE (with INS and heat-seeker), and Kh-38MAE (with INS and active radar homer). Over time, the Kh-38ME missiles are to oust the corporation’s existing versions of the Kh-25M and Kh-29 ASMs from Russian warplanes’ weapons suites. In terms of the dimensions, the new weapon is to occupy a niche between them, with the Kh-38ME’s launch weight to equal 520 kg. Its 250kg warhead is to have various types of payload. The missile measures 4.2 m in length and 310 mm in diameter. Its maximum firing range will be 40 km. Another Tactical Missiles Corp. novelty is the Kh-59MK2 medium-range air-to-surface missile being derived by the Raduga JSC from the Kh-59MK radar homing anti-ship missile.

The Kh-59MK2 can be used in any season, under the 10-3–105 lux condition and in any terrain. The weapon is designed to kill a wide range of static ground targets with known coordinates, including those with no radar, infrared and optical signatures. The missile is a fire-and-forget weapon reliant on autonomous target area identification. The low-altitude route is downloaded to the missile together with its mission. The Kh-59MK2’s navigation and self-contained control system is wrapped around the strapdown inertial navigation system, satnav receiver and optronic system. It provides a circular error probable (CEP) of 3–5 m. The Kh-59MK2 will have a launch weight of up to 900 kg, with the weight of the penetrator-type or cluster bomb warheads to be 320 kg and 283 kg respectively. The missile is 5.7 m long, with its diameter measuring 380 mm (nose section – 420 mm) and its wingspan standing at 1.3 m. The maximum range is estimated at 285 km. The weapon can be fired within the 200–11,000m altitude bracket with the launch

platform travelling at a speed of Mach 0.5–0.9. The target aspect angle at launch may be up to ±45 deg. After launch, the Kh-59MK2 will fly at a speed of 900–1,050 km/h and at an altitude of 50–300 m depending on the relief. Tactical Missiles Corp. recently also provided information on an advanced 1,500kg guided bomb, the KAB-1500LG-F-E with the gyro-stabilised laser homing head (its predecessor, the KAB-1500L, mounts the so-called ‘feathering’ gimballed laser homer). The 1,525kg bomb with the 1,170kg HE warhead (HE fill weighs 440 kg) is reported to be designed for eliminating stationary surface pinpoint targets (reinforced-concrete shelters, railway and motorway bridges, military and industrial installations, ships, ammunition dumps, rail junctions, etc.). The CEP is 4–7 m. The bomb is 4.28 m long and 580 mm in diameter with the 0.85m and 1.3m wing span in the folded-wing and extended-wing configurations respectively. The KAB-1500LG-F-E is released from an altitude ranging from 1 km to 8 km at the carrier’s speed from 550 to 1,100 km/h. www.take-off.ru


Sergey Krivchikov

military aviation | project

advanced KAB-1500LG, KAB-500LG and KAB-250L semiactive laser-homing smart bombs and KAB-500S-E and KAB-250S-E satnav-guided smart bombs. The number of hardpoints on the MiG-35 will increase to 11 and its maximum payload to 6,500 kg. The MiG-35 is to retain the 30mm GSh-301 integral rapid-fire automatic cannon standard to all MiG-29-family fighters.

Flying crew training and aircraft maintenance To train flying and ground crews in operating and maintaining the MiG-35, a multilevel training regimen is to be established to make use of an automated interactive training system and procedural, flight/navigation, combat and integrated simulators. In addition, the MiG Corp. offers to introduce its Il-103 initial and MiG-AT basic training aircraft to the flying crew training arrangements. The final conversion and training of flying crews can be conducted using the MiG-35D twinseaters. To ensure effective MiG-35 operation, personnel training and logistics, an information system compatible with NATO standards is being introduced. Spare supply and service provision are to rest on the direct-to-home principle at regional MRO centres. The MiG-35 is to be subject to on-condition maintenance, which is to allow a considerable reduction in the operating costs of the customer.

Programme status By the year of 2007 the MiG Corp. has prepared a technology demonstrator under the MiG-35 programme. It has been converted from the MiG-29M2 (No. 154) twinseater used heavily in 2002–06 to hone the design and aerodynamics of the new forward fuselage www.take-off.ru

section, advanced cockpit management system and a number of avionics systems. All of these are to be embodied in the future production MIG-35 and MiG-35D fighters. In 2006, the advanced OLS-UEM IRST was fitted to and tested on the plane, followed by the OLS-K pod-mounted optronic targeting system. Early 2007 saw the aircraft fitted with a Zhuk-AE AESA radar demonstrator. After a variety of bench and ground tests last summer flight testing of the new radar onboard MiG-35 demonstrator began. The first flight of the MiG-35 demonstrator fitted with the full-scale Zhuk-AE AESA radar equipped with the full set of transmitter/receiver modules, including turning it on in flight, took place in late October 2008. MiG Corp. test pilot Mikhail Belyayev, who piloted the demonstrator together with Nikolay Diorditsa, said, “The radar produced good results from the outset. We are certain of its great capabilities. The radar fitted with the AESA operates in various modes in a stable manner, acquiring and tracking aerial and ground targets. The flight and ground tests have proven that the concept and basic technical solutions had been right and that the operability and effectiveness of the radar’s subsystems were as good as required. Given the high degree of commonality between the MiG-35 and MiG-29K, a large part of the test flights completed under the carrierborne fighter’s test programme, including those involving the MiG-29M2 prototype, MiG-29SMT and MiG-29UB flying testbeds as well as MiG-29M-OVT supermanoeuvrable prototype, could be taken into account of MiG-35 certification tests. The technology demonstrator is to be followed soon by the first MiG-35 prototype

under construction now at MiG Corp.’s plant in Lukhovitsy. Its maiden flight is slated for this year. Production of the MiG-35 fighters is to be run by the team that is manufacturing now the MiG-29K/KUB fighters ordered by the Indian Navy. Some large airframe parts are to be made by the Sokol plant in Nizhny Novgorod, with the rest of them and the final assembly to be handled by the MiG Corp.’s Production Centre in Lukhovitsy. Under the terms of the tender, the winner shall make the lead batch, and the remaining 85 per cent of fighters shall be assembled in the customer country. According to the Indian press soon after the tender’s RFP was issued in August 2007, a final decision on selecting a winner and launching the fighter’s production shall have taken place prior to 2012–14. Until then, the contenders will have had to clear several stages of comparative and evaluation tests. In mid-January 2009, the IAF chief of staff Air Chief Marshal Fali Homi Major said that the service was going to launch the comparative tests of all the six aircraft in April or May this year. The tests will result in a shortlist of two to three contenders. The final decision is to be taken based on the final evaluation of the remaining contenders. That stage will mostly be focused on the commercial side of the deal, particularly, offset programmes offered by the seller, which at the Indian government’s request should total 50 per cent of the contract’s value. With a decision taken, a contract is to be awarded to a winner that will deliver 18 fighters to IAF, with the remaining 108 to be licence-produced by Indian corporation HAL. take-off february 2009

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military aviation | project

MiG-35 multirole fighter distinctive features Drawing by Alexey Mikheyev

Elimination of upper air intakes (foreign objects damage protection grills introduced in main air ducts)

Pilots cockpit new information management system with three multifunctional colour liquid crystal displays and wide-angle head-up display in the forward cockpit and four multifunctional colour LCDs in the second one Unified forward fuselage section for both single-seat and two-seat aircraft (in the single-seat version the second pilot’s cockpit is replaced with an additional fuel tank/optional equipment units)

OLS-UEM forward-looking optronic search-and-track system with IR, TV and laser range-finder/ target illumination channels

Integrated in-flight refueling system

Strengthened undercarriage providing take-off at max T/O weight of 23,500 kg and landing with max landing weight of 16,800 kg Kh-29T/TE TV-guided air-to-surface missile Integrated GSh-301 cannon of 30 mm caliber with ammo load of 150 rounds

Kh-38ĐœE tactical air-to-surface missile

Zhuk-AE multimode active phased array radar KAB-500Kr TV-guided bomb

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military aviation | project

Increased internal fuel tanks of approx. 1,5 times higher fuel capacity if compared with production MiG-29 fighters Wing of greater span and area featuring 10 hardpoints for different weapons

RD-33MK upgraded turbofans with 9,000 kgf thrust in full afterburner mode, BARK-42 digital automatic monitoring and control system and extended life (assigned life 4,000 hours, time before first overhaul 1,000 hours). Under the customers request, MiG-35 could be fitted with RD-33MKV thrust vector control engines whose nozzles can swivel ¹20° all-aspect

KSA-33M advanced double accessory gearbox with enhanced reliability and advanced VK-100 turbine starter

Quadruple-redundant three-axis digital fly-by-wire control system ensuring good stability and controllability in the manual and automatic flight modes, including automated in-flight refuelling and supermanoeuvrability at poststall angles of attack

RVV-AE medium range active radar-guided air-to-air missile

3M-14AE active radar-guided cruise missile Kh-31A antiship active radar-guided missile

Kh-59MK2 satnav-optronic guided air-to-surface missile

Kh-35 antiship active radar-guided missile KAB-500S-E satnav-guided bomb www.take-off.ru

KAB-500LG laser-guided bomb take-off february 2009

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military aviation | project

MiG-35 multirole fighter technology demonstrator Drawing by Andrey Zhirnov MiG-35 basic specifications (with MiG-35D data in brackets) Crew ......................................................................................1 (2) Overall length, m .................................................................... 17.3 Wingspan, m ....................................................................... 11.99 Height, m .................................................................................. 4.5 Takeoff weight, kg: - normal ................................................................17,500 (17,800) - maximum .......................................................................... 23,500 Maximum combat load, kg ................................................... 6,500 Maximum speed, km/h: - at sea level ......................................................................... 1,400 - at high altitude .................................................................... 2,100 Service ceiling, m ............................................................... 17,500 Maximum g-load .......................................................................... 9 Maximum range, km: - without drop fuel tanks ...........................................2,000 (1,700) - with 3 drop tanks ...................................................3,000 (2,700) - with 3 drop tanks and 1 mid-air refuelling .............6,000 (5,700)

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military aviation | project

www.take-off.ru

take-off february 2009

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military aviation | report

ADVANCED HELICOPTERS ENTERING SERVICE Mi-28N and Ansat-U cleared for fielding while Ka-52 enters production

On 26 December 2008, the Russian Helicopters joint stock company’s Flight Test Centre in Chkalovsky, Moscow Region, hosted the final meeting of the enlarged session of the State commission that considered the outcome of the official trials of the advanced Mil Mi-28N and Kamov Ka-52 combat helicopters and Ansat-U trainer helicopter and the status of their production. During the session, the report on the successful completion of the Mi-28N and Kazan Helicopters Ansat-U official trials was signed and the “confirmation of the suitability of the helicopters and all of their components for entering service with the Russian Defence Ministry and for launching their production” was issued. At the same time, the first stage of the official trials of the Ka-52 helicopter was pronounced a success, which served the base for issuing a positive preliminary opinion recommending the manufacture of a pre-production batch.

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Alexey Mikheyev

Yevgeny YEROKHIN

The expanded session of the state commission was attended by Russian Defence Ministry and defence industry representatives and chaired by Russian Air Force commander Col.-Gen. Alexander Zelin. In his opening address, the service chief said, “The Air Force has seen a historical phase in the Army Aviation development – the phase of re-equipping and fielding advanced aircraft, which will allow the branch to complete its upgrade by 2015–20”. The more proactive productionising of the advanced machines and preparations for their service entry has resulted from the efforts made

by the Oboronprom corporation’s Russian Helicopters subsidiary set up as a managing company under the Russian president’s decree in 2006. The Russian Helicopters company has established control over all major Russia’s helicopter manufacturers, came up with a set of helicopter models approved by the customer and launched helicopter development, production and sales programmes. As far as the Defence Ministry is concerned, the company’s priorities are the advanced main combat helicopter from Mil, the Mi-28N, for the Russian Defence Ministry, Kamov Ka-52 combat helicopter for special forces and the www.take-off.ru


Alexey Mikheyev

Yevgeny Yerokhin

military aviation | report

advanced Kazan Helicopters Ansat-U trainer designed for initial flight training. The three machines underwent stringent official tests last year, with the Mi-28N and Ansat-U intended to complete them before 2008 year-end so as the machines start fielding in 2009. The objective was met. The state commission at its 26 December session approved the reports on the successful completion of the Mi-28N and Ansat-U official trials and confirmed “the suitability of the helicopters and all of their components for entering service with the Russian Defence Ministry and for launching their production”. www.take-off.ru

The decision on adopting the helicopter for service is expected in the near future. The Mi-28N has been productionised by the Rostvertol joint stock company and the Ansat by the Kazan Helicopters. The state commission also recognised “the successful completion of the official trials of the Ka-52 combat helicopter. Proceeding from the results of the trials, a preliminary opinion was issued as to the feasibility of manufacturing the Ka-52 pre-production batch”. The Ka-52’s official trials are set to be completed in 2009, after which its fielding may begin. The Progress aircraft plant in the town of

Arsenyev, Russian Far East, has completed the productionising of the Ka-52 in 2008, having submitted the second prototype and the preproduction machine of the type. In addition to the above rotorcraft, the Russian Defence Ministry will continue to buy production-standard Mi-8MTV-5 troop-carrying helicopters made by the Kazan Helicopters. According to RusAF commander Col.-Gen. Alexander Zelin, upwards of hundred combat and trainer helicopters are slated for delivery in the coming four years. He believes this will “increase the combat take-off february 2009

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Ka-252RLD prototype

capabilities of the Army Aviation by 2.5–3 times through the introduction of “the capability of fighting round the clock in all weather and in mountainous and flat terrain”. According to the Vedomosti daily, the defence ministry plans to buy about 50 Mi-28N and 12 Ka-52 combat helicopters, as well as 12 Ansat-U trainers and up to 30

Mi-8MTV troop-carrier helicopters prior to 2012. The session of the state commission was accompanied by the demonstration of the helicopters in question to the attendees and mass media at the static display area of the Flight Test Centre. The Russian Army’s prospective main combat

Ansat-U The Ansat-U trainer helicopter has been derived under the specifications requirement by the Russian Defence Ministry from the production-standard Ansat light helicopter in full-rate production by the Kazan Helicopters. The trainer version’s key features making it different to the baseline model are the two sets of flight controls (the baseline Ansat is flown by a single pilot), relevant modification to the integrated fly-by-wire system and wheeled landing gear instead of the ski-type one. The Ansat’s baseline model, which has been in production by Kazan Helicopters since 2004, is designed to seat nine passengers, 1,000 kg of

cargo in the cabin or 1,300 kg cargo slung under its belly. The Ansat prototype completed its first hover on 17 August 1999 and its first pattern flight on 6 October 1999. The results produced by its tests earned the Ansat light multirole helicopter its AP-29 air rules-compliant type certificate issued by IAC’s Aircraft Registry on 29 December 2004. In 2004–06, six production-standard Ansats were exported to South Korea that became the launch customer for the machine. The prototype of Ansat-U trainer helicopter kicked off its trials in April 2004. It flew to the Defence Ministry State Flight Test Centre for its official tests in October 2006 and completed

helicopter, the Mi-28N, was represented by two preproduction batch machines (side numbers 35 and 36, the latter having a mast-mounted radar, which has not become part of the production model yet, and defence aids suite pods at the wingtips). The Ka-52 designed for “special units of the defence ministry” was represented by both prototypes (side numbers 061 and 062, with the latter fitted with its organic surveillance and targeting systems and defence aids suite that will be integrated with production machines in the future). The displays also included an Ansat-U trainer helicopter, a Mi-8MTV-5 troop carrier and a Kamov Ka-252RLD radar picket helicopter (side number 232). The latter came as a surprise to the media people present. According to the explanatory note nearby, it was equipped with “the radar system handling target acquisition and data-linking target data to ground command posts”. The Ka-252RLD is a derivative of the Ka-31 radar picket helicopter (two machines like that have been operationally evaluated by the Russian Navy and then a nine-ship batch was exported to the Indian Navy) but can be operated by the Army as well.

Ansat-U trainer helicopter main data Length (excl. rotors), m...................................................... 11.18 Main rotor diameter, m ........................................................ 11.5 Overall height, m.................................................................... 3.5 Normal take-off weight, kg ................................................. 3,000 Max take-off weight, kg ...................................................... 3,300 Max payload weight, kg: - in the cabin...................................................................... 1,000 - at the store....................................................................... 1,300 Max speed, km/h .................................................................. 280 Cruising speed, km/h............................................................ 250 Hovering ceiling, m ............................................................ 3,300 Operation ceiling, m ........................................................... 5,700 Range (5% fuel reserve), km ............................................................ 635 Powerplant ................................................................... PW-207K Take-off power, hp..............................................................2x630

Yevgeny Yerokhin

Yevgeny Yerokhin

military aviation | report

Alexey Mikheyev

them with success on 25 November 2008. As was announced at the HeliRussia 2008 air show in Moscow, the manufacturer snagged an order for the first batch of 12 Ansat-Us, of which at least six may be delivered to the Russian Air Force already this year.

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military aviation | report

Mi-28N

Yevgeny Yerokhin

The Russian Air Force chose the Mi-28N two-seat night-capable combat helicopter as the basic Army Aviation attack helicopter designed to replace the Mi-24 family helicopters in service since the earlier 1970s. The first Mi-28N assembled at Rostvertol plant completed its maiden flight on 25 March 2004, becoming the second prototype of the type. The first prototype built by the Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant first flew as far back as 14 November 1996.

The Mi-28N is a derivative of the Mi-28 combat helicopter featuring radically advanced integrated avionics allowing it to operate round the clock. For this purpose, the Mi-28N’s avionics suite includes the OPS-28 optronic surveillance/targeting system with the optical, TV and thermal-imaging capabilities integrated with the laser rangefinder and ATGM control system. The Mi-28N’s avionics suite also includes the TOES-521 flight turreted optronic system. To enhance the chopper’s day/night and all-weather performance, it is to be fitted with the N025 mast-mounted radar from the State Ryazan Instrument Plant (GRPZ).

Mi-28N combat helicopter main data Length (excl. rotors), m......................................................17.01 Main rotor diameter, m ........................................................17.2 Overall height (excl. mast-mounted radar), m .............................................3.82 Empty weight, kg................................................................8,600 Normal take-off weight, kg ...............................................11,000 Max take-off weight, kg ....................................................12,100 Max combat load weight, kg ..............................................2,300 Max speed, km/h ..................................................................305 Cruising speed, km/h............................................................270 Hovering ceiling, m ............................................................3,600 Operation ceiling, m ...........................................................5,700 Range (5% fuel reserve), km ............................................................450 Ferry range (with drop tanks), km .........................................................1,100 Powerplant ............................................................ TV3-117VMA Take-off power, hp..........................................................2x2,200

However, the radar is at the development and test stage so far. In 2005–07, the Rostvertol plant made seven low-rate initial production Mi-28Ns, with the full-rate production kicking off in 2007. The first two production-standard Mi-28Ns were delivered to RusAF on 22 January 2008 and were assigned to the Army Aviation Combat and Conversion Training Centre in Torzhok. Rostvertol built and delivered two more production machines to Torzhok during the last year. With the official trials report signed on 26 December 2008, the Defence Ministry is going to take delivery of 10–15 production Mi-28Ns a year.

In 2006, the Russian Defence Ministry chose the Ka-52 multirole combat helicopter, featuring the most sophisticated and effective avionics and weapons suites and several unique flight and tactical characteristics, for service with special forces of the Russian military. The Ka-52 is a derivative of the Ka-50 single-seat attack helicopter adopted for service with the Russian Army under the presidential decree dated 28 August 1995. The Ka-52’s prototype did its first hover on 25 June 1997 and its first pattern flight on 13 August 1997.

Ka-52 combat helicopter main data Length (excl. rotors), m....................................................... 14.2 Main rotor diameter, m ....................................................... 14.5 Overall height, m................................................................... 4.9 Normal take-off weight, kg .............................................. 10,400 Max take-off weight, kg ................................................... 11,300 Max combat load weight, kg ............................................. 2.300 Max speed, km/h ................................................................. 310 Cruising speed, km/h........................................................... 270 Hovering ceiling, m ........................................................... 3.900 Operation ceiling, m .......................................................... 5.300 Range (5% fuel reserve), km ........................................................... 520 Ferry range (with drop tanks), km ........................................................ 1.080 Powerplant ............................................................TV3-117VMA Take-off power, hp......................................................... 2x2,200 Yevgeny Yerokhin

Ka-52

Last year, the Progress plant in the town of Arsenyev made the second prototype that became the standard for future production machines of the type. The Ka-52 features Kamov’s speciality coaxial main rotor configuration and has retractable tricycle landing gear. This affords it excellent flight and technical characteristics, on the one hand, and allows it the ease of operation, on the other. The crew made up of the pilot and weapons system operator is seated side by side in K-37-800 ejection seats. Such an arrangement allows the full command of the advanced ergonomics of the cockpit, simplifies the interaction between the crewmembers, ensures an excellent field of view and a very high probability

Alexey Mikheyev

of survival in battle or in an emergency and makes it possible for the machine to be used for training and conversion with ease. The ceremony of launching the Ka-52’s production at the plant in Arsenyev took place on 29 October 2008. The plant had built the first LRIP machine by then. Now, three next aircraft are being assembled and will be delivered during the year. The Ka-52’s official tests are set to be complete in 2009. www.take-off.ru

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Viktor Drushlyakov

military aviation | weapons

Yevgeny YEROKHIN, Vladimir SHCHERBAKOV

BOMBS WITHOUT RIVAL

Bazalt’s weapons surpass JDAM and JSOW In 1921, Italian General Giulio Douhet published his famous work “The Command of the Air”, in which he maintained that the previous means of armed warfare were to yield to the main and decisive means of the future war – aviation. The subsequent decades proved the quickly rowing might of aviation, availability of which became a must for victory. In the late 20th century, USAF Chief of Staff Gen. Ronald Fogleman stated, “Today, we do not have to occupy an enemy country to attain strategic victory. We can reduce the enemy’s combat capabilities and often defeat his armed forces from the air”. However, the warplane in itself is just a high-tech delivery platforms for weapons. It is the latter that inflict damage on the enemy. Despite the growing importance of the role of guided missiles, ‘iron’ bombs remain in the inventories of the air forces throughout the world. One of the ways to enhance the capabilities of air bombs is the fitting of them with special tail kits increasing their accuracy and range or the developing of advanced cluster bombs with homing submunitions. The best-known results of such modernisation are US smart bomb JDAM and glide bomb JSOW. However, they have run into worthy competition on the global market – air bombs from the Bazalt state scientific production company that has for decades been a leader in developing air bombs of all types.

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PBK-500U: Russian response to JSOW Bazalt launched development of the advanced gliding cluster-bomb dispenser as far back as the mid-1990s to enhance RusAF’s effectiveness and combat capabilities. However, the programme was affected by the economic turmoil in the country and has been re-energised and completed only recently. Flight tests of the advanced weapon at the State Flight Test Centre in Akhtubinsk began last year and the official trials are supposed to take place in 2009. If they prove to be a success, the fielding of the PBK-500U with the Air Force may launch already in 2010. Bazalt’s advanced gliding cluster bomb is, essentially, a Russian analogue of the American JSOW weapons system. Bazalt’s earlier RBK-500 disposal CBU as well as fragmentation, concrete-busting, shaped-charge, incendiary, cluster, homing and mine submunition modules for the KMGU airborne container are an effective means to destroy hostile aircraft, missile systems and armoured vehicles. The lethality of such weapons is several times as that of monoblock bombs. With the same calibre, RBK and PBK need 10 times less munitions to destroy similar targets, with their yield being adaptable to a specific target. The advanced PBK-500U gliding cluster bomb packing SPBE-K homing submunitions is derivative of the RBK-500 series of disposable cluster bomb units, ensuring more effective application by tactical aircraft. It is designed for all-weather round-the-clock standoff employment with precise delivery of submunitions to the target. The gliding CBU has a calibre of 500 mm and kills armour, SAM systems, command posts and other military

installations with the radar or infrared signature giving them away against the underlying terrain in the face of clutter and countermeasures from an altitude ranging from 100 m to 14,000 m at the carrier aircraft’s speed varying from 700 km/ h to 1,100 km/h. The weapon’s range is about 50 km if released from an altitude of 10 km. The CBU is 3,100 mm long and 450 mm in diameter. The baseline model has its submunitions dispenser fitted with the inertial navigation system (INS) and a GPS/GLONASS satnav receiver to ensure accurate delivery www.take-off.ru


military aviation | weapons of submunitions to the target area. This is an all-passive guidance package requiring no information contact with the target neither before, nor after the release, which is important for the survival of the launch platform and for mission accomplishment. The PBK-500U is a launch-and-leave weapon. The PBK-500U can be fitted with various cluster submunitions or monoblock warheads. The baseline model is fitted with SPBE-K combined heat-seeking/radar-homing submunitions wiping out a wide range of military weapons systems and vehicles in various types of terrain. According to Bazalt representatives, even rather old homing submunitions, such as SPBE-D, remain superior to many western analogues, while the new-generation SPBE-K does not even have rivals abroad. A single CBU packing such submunitions can knock off up to six armoured vehicles – both those emitting in the infrared part of the spectrum and those emitting nothing. The SPBE-Ks can be applied against enemy tanks in a close-range armoured free-for-all, since it has the identification friend-or-foe (IFF) capability.

Yevgeny Yerokhin

FAB-500M62 with MPK model

According to Bazalt’s Director General Vladimir Korenkov, in future the PBK-500U is to be fitted with an efficient motor, which will considerably extend the weapon’s controlled flight distance while retaining its precision. This PBK-500U variant will be comparable to the US-made JSOW-ER.

OFZAB-500

The submunitions are expected to be extremely effective even against future armoured threats. A single PBK-500U can wipe out a six-vehicle tank platoon on the battlefield. The CBU’s version filled with BETAB-M concrete-piercing submunitions is superior to all known analogues too. The advantages offered by the commonised gliding CBU over an air-to-surface missile handling similar tasks are its lower cost, much heavier warhead totalling more than 70 per cent of the PBK-500U’s weight and multiple-kill-per-pass capability. www.take-off.ru

Yevgeny Yerokhin

Tailkitted HE bombs: gaining wings Another interesting field of Bazalt’s work is the development of special commonised set of gliding and control kits to be added to ordinary free-fall bombs, e.g. HE bombs and cluster bomb units. Bazalt’s Director General Vladimir Korenkov told Take-off that his company’s development of special commonised glide and guidance kits has been in full swing to fit them to gravity bombs and disposable cluster-bomb dispensers. One or more kit comprising folding wings and guidance, navigation and satellite update packages will be attached to a bomb depending on the mission. Such kits may be fitted to the existing dumb bombs in RusAF’s inventory and all of the future ones. According to Bazalt’s chief, the programme will enhance the precision and functionality of gravity bombs and, depending on the type of kits, create, essentially, precision-guided weapons released from low altitude at a standoff range. Such an approach to aerial bombs upgrade have been used by the United States deriving the GBU-31, GBU-32, GBU-38 and other smart bombs from the production Mk-82, Mk-83, Mk-84 and a number of other 500, 1,000 and 2,000lb gravity bombs under the JDAM programme. However, Bazalt’s upgrade costs far less. Mounting the new guidance and

control package under the JDAM programme involves factory assembly, and any factory assembly jacks up the costs. Bazalt offers a cheaper and more flexible variant: the modular design allows assembly of smart bombs in the required configuration at the airfield, rather than at the factory. “Development of similar-performance missiles or smart bombs to handle the same tasks would have cost 50 times more”, says Bazalt’s Director General Vladimir Korenkov. At present, the design that has advanced farthest is the one providing the tailkitting of a most mass-produced Russian bomb, the FAB-500M-62, remaining in the inventory of many air forces throughout the world. There are four different baseline upgrade variants. The first one provides for equipping a bomb with the so-called ‘simple’ kit. This is a purely aerodynamic solution allowing the bomb to self-stabilise and offset the wind drift and providing for attaching only a simple glide-and-guide module to the bomb’s body without any electronic modules. The kit’s cost will be within the cost of the weapon itself. Aerial bombs in such a configuration can be used at a range of 6–8 km but from a minimum altitude of 50–100 m, rather than 3,000-4,000 m usual for ‘dumb’ HE bombs and making the aircraft vulnerable to hostile air defences. The second option goes for using the standard-issue glide-and-guide module and the small-size INS unit, the latter allowing the bomb’s in-flight stabilisation and arrival to the target area. This variant will ensure a release range of 12–15 km while retaining the required accuracy. take-off february 2009

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military aviation | weapons The third version provides for beefing up the INS-based kit, whose accuracy is not too high, with extra drives and a GPS/GLONASS satnav receiver. The solution will allow release at a range of 40–60 km depending on the carrier aircraft’s flight mode and speed and will ensure a circular error probable (CEP) of at least 10 m. The fourth variant’s kit comprises a pulsed ramjet engine in addition to the glide-and-guide module and guidance package and will have a range of 80–100 km. Upgraded bombs in the ‘glide-and-guide module + INS/GPS’ and ‘glide-and-guide module + INS/GPS + engine’ configurations gain new characteristics turning them into full-fledged standoff PGMs producing a greater bang for a far smaller buck. “An advantage of winged and tailkitted bombs is the payload weight totalling in the neighbourhood of 70 per cent of the launch weight as opposed to 15–20 per cent of a similar-purpose missile”, Vladimir Korenkov told our correspondent. “As far as the new kit cost is concerned, the tailkit would cost only 5 to 10 times more than the bomb, which

is much cheaper than the cost of advanced smart bombs and guided missiles”. The bombs upgraded by Bazalt will feature the following characteristics: 400 mm in diameter, 645–2,000 mm in wingspan and 3,000 mm in length. The ‘winged’ bomb will weigh up to 540 kg, with its warhead weighing 300 kg.

Oldie goldies However, foreign air forces, including those of South Asian countries, may also take interest in such traditional air-launched weapons as the ODAB-500PMV fuel-air explosive (FAE) and OFZAB-500 HE/fragmentation/incendiary bombs. “The ODAB-500PMV FAE bomb is an up-to-date weapon made by our company and being in service with the Russian Air Force. We hope that it will enter the inventory of several foreign air forces; for instance, we have familiarised Indian experts with it recently”, Bazalt Director General Vladimir Korenkov told Take-off. “We have shown them the ODAB-500PMV in action, and according to Indian experts, the bomb is the

best weapon in its class offered on the global market today”. In addition, a new field of Bazalt’s marketing work on the arms market of Asia Pacific and South Asia is the promotion of the OFZAB-500 HE/fragmentation/incendiary bomb. “This is the most formidable HE/incendiary bomb with the FAE filler in its class”, stressed Korenkov, “Actually, the single weapon combines three functions – powerful explosive effect exceeding that of HE bombs of the same weight by an average of 60 per cent, fragmentation effect (high-speed fragments) and incendiary effect”. Since the bomb can be used against military industrial installations, infrastructure and materiel on the battlefield, the OFZAB-500 turns into a versatile weapon, in fact. It has been productionised and, speaking of IAF, can replace a whole range of the Russian or foreign-made air weapons in the inventory”. Another promising sphere of the Russian-Indian cooperation may be the reconditioning and upgrade of IAF’s assault fragmentation air bombs and FAE bombs to ensure their release from any altitude and by any carriers, including combat helicopters.

www.bazalt.ru

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military aviation | news

Yak-130 clears another test phase

Sergey Kuznetsov

The Interfax-AVN news agency reported on 12 January that the Yakovlev Yak-130 advanced combat trainer had completed another phase of its official trials, under which its basic weapons suite was tested. The latter is made up of R-73 air-to-air missiles, 80mm aerial rockets, a total of 3,000 kg of air bombs 50 to 500 kg in calibre and the 23mm GSh-23 automatic gun in UPK-23-250 gun pod. The trials took place in the State Flight Test Centre (GLITs) of the Russian Defence Ministry in Akhtubinsk, and involved the three existing examples of the aircraft – No. 01, 02 and 04.

Sergey Kuznetsov

Yak-130 No. 04 was assembled by the Sokol aircraft plant in Nizhny Novgorod and flown for the first time last July. It has been flown in GLITs since early autumn 2008. According to Interfax-AVN, the three Yak-130s logged about 240 test sorties in 2008. The Yak-130 official test programme is slated to be completed by late 2009, after which deliveries of production aircraft may start. As is known, April 2002 saw the Yak-130 selected as

the basic aircraft for Russian Air Force pilots to train on. RusAF has ordered a 12-ship batch, which construction by Sokol is under way. Concurrently, the Irkut Corporation’s aircraft plant in the city of Irkutsk (Irkut being the parent company to the Yakovlev design bureau as well) is launching full-rate production of aircraft of the type for export. Irkut is fulfilling the first contract for 16 Yak-130s for the Algerian Air Force. A.F.

Su-25 upgrade goes on in Kubinka

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the plant teamed up with Sukhoi Attack Aircraft to upgrade Su-25s in the combat units’ inventory to enhance their tactical performance and efficiency. The first Su-25SM was upgraded in Kubinka in March 2002, which was a milestone heavily influencing the plant’s production programme for years to come. The modernisation of RusAF’s Su-25 attack aircraft to Su-25SM standard allows an increase in the number of the types of weapons carried, implementation of advanced tactical employment modes and complex variants of loading organic weapons, an increase in the payload up to 5 t, an improve of the cockpit management environment through introducing a colour multifunction display (MFD), etc. During 2002–04, the 121st plant assembled four Su-25SM prototypes that kicked off their tests at the Defence Ministry State Flight

Test Centre (GLITs) in Akhtubinsk. Based on the results produced by the tests, the set of improvements was approved for the so-called series upgrade of Su-25s in service with the Russian Air Force. In 2007, two of the four Su-25SM prototypes were transferred to the RusAF’s Combat and Conversion Training Centre (CCTC) in Lipetsk. During 2006, the 121st plant assembled six early ‘series-upgraded Su-25SM attack aircraft that were delivered to the Russian Air Force in a ceremony in December of the

same year. However, actually, the first six Su-25SMs came to RusAF’s combat unit, an attack aircraft regiment in Budyonnovsk, some time later – in mid-2007 – following the full set of acceptance tests. In 2007, the plant upgraded six more attack aircraft that were transferred to the air regiment in Budyonnovsk too. Last year, the plant assembled and delivered four aircraft more, bringing their total number to 20. There are several more aircraft in its workshops, with the work on them being under way. A.K.

Andrey Kozhemyakin

6 December 2008 saw the first flight of the first upgraded Sukhoi Su-25UBM twin-seat attack aircraft combat trainer at the airfield of the 121st Aircraft Repair Plant in Kubinka, Moscow Region. The aircraft was piloted by Sukhoi test pilots Igor Votintsev and Taras Artsebarsky. The 121st Aircraft Repair Plant had upgraded the warplane in cooperation with the Sukhoi Attack Aircraft company led by Su-25 chief designer Vladimir Babak. The cooperation has born fruit: the plant in Kubinka has upgraded 20 Su-25 single-seat attack aircraft for the Russian Air Force over the past three years. The conversion of the attack aircraft regiments to the upgraded aircraft continues. The 121st plant launched the overhaul of the Su-25 attack aircraft in 1999. Since then, it has overhauled more than 50 Su-25s in various variants. In addition to overhaul,

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civil aviation | news

Yuri Kabernik

Two Sukhoi SuperJets under certification tests

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a wide range of tests to gauge their flight and takeoff/landing performance, stability and controllability, and operation of the powerplant and basic systems as well. The two also are to be used for high/low temperature and mountainous environment operation tests. By early this year, the SuperJet’s first flying prototype had logged more than 200 flying hours. “We have done quite a job since May when the first aircraft flew for the first time”, says SCAC senior test pilot Alexander Yablontsev. “During the trials, we, test pilots, also test the aircraft in modes rarely encountered by airline pilots. We ought to make certain that the aircraft will retain controllability in critical situations. In November, we conducted the first stage of stalling and high-alpha tests along with the testing of the systems and flight performance. I would like to emphasise that the aircraft is very predictable and will cause no

problem to airline pilots”, the SCAC senior test pilot commented on the early results of the flight tests. Sukhoi Director General Mikhail Pogosyan told the media during a news conference on New Year’s eve that the third SuperJet flying prototype was slated for entering the test programme in the early second quarter of 2009, with the last prototype, the fourth one, to follow suit in mid-summer. The company still hopes for wrapping up the certification tests by late 2009 to launch deliveries of early production-standard aircraft in early 2010. According to the 23 January official press release by Russian-French joint venture PowerJet in charge of development and production of powerplant for Sukhoi SuperJet, two SaM146 engines to fit the third flying prototype are to be shipped in March or April 2009 and another two to power the fourth flying prototype in June or July 2009. When the press release went to press, the SaM146s

had logged 2,300 flight hours during their flight and ground tests. The second phase of the SaM146 flight trials on board the Il-76LL flying testbed kicked off at Gromov LII flight test institute’s airfield in Zhukovsky, Moscow Region, on 19 December 2008. “The test phase is to involve 150 flying hours”, said NPO Saturn’s SaM146 programme director and PowerJet vice-president Yuri Basyuk. “The flights will test a FADEC software version and prepare it for certification. This is the key objective of this stage of the trials”. In line with the decision by the Snecma company to expedite the development and slash its costs, the SaM146’s Il-76LL flying testbed tests will continue at Gromov LII without the plane’s previously planned ferry flight to the city of Istre where Snecma’s test facility is situated. According to an official statement by an NPO Saturn spokesperson, the EASA certification of the SaM146 engine is slated for September 2009. A.F.

KnAAPO

On 24 December 2008, Komsomolsk-on-Amur saw the maiden flight of the second Sukhoi SuperJet 100 prototype (No. 95003). The aircraft took off from KnAAPO’s airfield and landed safely, having completed a 2 hr 30 min flight at an altitude of 6,000 m. In line with the mission assigned, the aircraft completed the traditional stability and controllability check and checked the operability of all aircraft systems. The Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Company (SCAC) crew of test pilots Leonid Chikunov (crew commander) and Nikolay Pushenko flew the plane. “Having tested the first flying prototype in various modes, we have introduced a number of modifications to the software of SSJ100 No. 95003”, SCAC test pilot Leonid Chikunov said. “Today, the aircraft has shown excellent stability and controllability on its maiden flight owing to the improvements made. Flight test engineers and we are pleased with the results produced by the second SSJ100 flying prototype. The aircraft have completed the flight mission with success, and I expect it to join the certification test programme”. According to official statements by SCAC, the first two Sukhoi SuperJets – No. 95001 that flew its maiden mission on 19 May 2008 and No. 95003 – are together looking at as many as 398 certification sorties. These are the bulk of certification flights, during which both aircraft fitted with the integrated airborne measuring system are to undergo

www.take-off.ru


Andrey Fomin

civil aviation | results

IN THE RUN-UP TO RECOVERY Russian civil aircraft industry in 2008 Andrey FOMIN By tradition, early in the year we analyse the basic results produced by the Russian aircraft industry in making and selling airliners and transport aircraft in the previous year. The establishment of the United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) and forming its range of models as well as several recent contracts and agreements signed with Russian and foreign customers served the reason for hoping for a considerable improvement in this field starting from 2008. There really were reasons for such hopes: UAC’s production plan was approved two years ago, under which over 400 passenger and cargo planes were to be made within five years; the major Russian leasing company, Ilyushin Finance Co. (IFC), awarded several major orders to Russian aircraft manufacturers for the new Il-96, Tu-204 and An-148 airliners; and the delivery of the early Sukhoi SuperJet 100 advanced regional jet promised by Sukhoi Civil Aircraft already in 2008 were anticipated. However, last year’s results indicate that, unfortunately, it would be a bit premature to say that the Russian commercial aircraft makers have passed the turning point. Although there have been objective and subjective reasons

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to that, the fact is that the advanced civil aircraft output and deliveries have not improved substantially and the Russian aircraft industry built in 2008 mere 13 new planes (including two SSJ100 prototypes), of which only six have been delivered to Russian customers. At the same time, Russian carriers kept on snapping up foreign airliners abroad. Last year, they bought a record number of foreign-made planes – a hundred! 19 of them are brand-new right from the assembly lines. This is thrice as many as the domestic aircraft industry managed to offer in 2008. What’s up? Maybe, it is time to harbour illusions and give up the production of passenger aircraft in Russia? I hope it is premature. Last year revealed some positive trends, albeit timid ones. The aircraft industry managed to deliver six new airliners of the Tu-204/214 family following a long lull, the Sukhoi SuperJet 100 kicked off its certification test programme and some progress was made in exporting Russian civil aircraft, with new prospects cropping up. Let us not lose heart and let us see what the Russian aircraft industry managed to accomplish last year and what can be expected from it in the near future.

Domestic market In 2008, Russian air carriers took delivery of six new domestically-developed airliners – five Tupolev Tu-204s from Ulyanovsk-based Aviastar-SP plant and a Tu-214 from Kazan-based KAPO plant. All of them were brand-new, assembled and test-flown last year. Ilyushin Finance Co. paid for the manufacture of the five Ulyanovsk-built planes. The five included two Tu-204-300s delivered to Vladivostok Avia and three of the six Tu-204-100Bs ordered in 2007 by Airlines 400 operating under the Red Wings brand name. The fourth airliner was built for the Red Wings very late last year, so its delivery was put off to early 2009. The only Tu-214 delivered by KAPO in 2008 went to Transaero. It became the second of ten Tu-214s being leased to the carrier by Finance Leasing Company (FLC) under the 2005 contract. In addition, KAPO last year built and mostly tested the first Tu-214SR special aircraft ordered by the Administrative Office of the Russian president. It is slated for delivery in early 2009. The civil airliners built in 2008 include the second Ilyushin Il-96-400T long-haul cargo plane made by the VASO in Voronezh. www.take-off.ru


civil aviation | results

Alexey Mikheyev

New Il-96-300 and Il-96-400T airliners in the assembly hall of the VASO plant, June 2008.

Marina Lystseva

Red Wings’ Tu-204-100B: in 2008 Aviastar plant delivered four such aircraft to the airline

It completed its maiden flight, powered by advanced PS-90A1 turbofan engines and fitted with upgraded avionics, last spring. However, VASO was unable to deliver the Il-96-400T along with another one assembled a year before. Both aircraft were built in Voronezh under the IFC-awarded contract and designed for Atlant-Soyuz airline. However, by the middle of last year, the carrier had reconsidered its cargo business development programme, having postponed its Il-96-400T operations indefinitely. Nonetheless, there was a new customer, Aeroflot Cargo, willing to buy the new aircraft (by the way, IAC’s Aircraft Registry issued the Il-96-400T with the type certificate in May 2008). One of the Ilyushins was quickly given the paintjob of the cargo subsidiary of the Russia’s flag carrier, and the acceptance procedure kicked off in Voronezh in September, but the situation changed yet again, and Aeroflot Cargo has not accepted the two Il-96-400Ts ready for service for a long time. Nevertheless, Alexander Rubtsov, head of IFC, told the media during his traditional pre-New Year news conference that if the disagreements between IFC and Aeroflot Cargo would not have been resolved, the aircraft would enter service this spring anyway with some other carrier, because, says Rubtsov, there have been other customers interested in them. The same goes for the third Il-96-400T, which completion has been put off till early in 2009. VASO was going to deliver one more aircraft last year – another Il-96-300 for the Russian president’s Administrative Office

Sukhoi SuperJet 100 prototypes in the assembly hall of the Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Company in Komsomolsk-on-Amur, May 2008

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Russian airliners production and deliveries in 2008 Production Airctaft type plant

VASO

Aviastar

Il-96-400T Il-96-400T Il-96-400T Il-96-300 An-148-100B Tu-204-300 Tu-204-300 Tu-204-100B Tu-204-100B Tu-204-100B Tu-204-100B Tu-204-120CE Tu-204-120CE Tu-204CE

Customer

Leasing company

Aeroflot Cargo*

IFC

Rossiya Rossiya

IFC IFC

Vladivistik Avia

IFC

Red Wings

IFC

Air China Cargo

Cubana Aviacion

IFC

Registration

c/n

First flight date

Delivery date

RA-96102 RA-96101 RA-96103 RA-96019 n.d.a. RA-64044 RA-64045 RA-64043 RA-64046 RA-64047 RA-64049 B-2871 B-2872

0102 0101 0103 019 4003 64044 64045 64043 64046 64047 64049 64030 64031

14.08.2007 03.2008 – – – 06.2008 29.07.2008 03.2008 09.2008 11.2008 25.12.2008 14.05.2006 –

(2009) (2009) (2009) (2009) (2009) 12.07.2008 16.08.2008 13.08.2008 29.10.2008 12.12.2008 (2009) 27.10.2008 (2009)

CU-C1703

64037

2008

(2009)

Alexey Mikheyev

civil aviation | results

Tu-214 Transaero FLC RA-64549 013 16.08.2008 28.11.2008 Tu-214SR Rossiya – RA-64515 015 27.04.2008 (2009) Tu-154M Russian MoD – n.d.a. н/д – (2009) Aviakor An-140-100 Yakutiya FLC RA-41252 003 – (2009) Irkut Be-200ChS Azeri EMERCOM – FHN-10201 02-03 06.2007 25.04.2008 SSJ100 SCAC** – 97001 95001 19.05.2008 – Sukhoi SSJ100 SCAC** – 95003 95003 24.12.2008 – Il-76TD-90SW Silk Way – 4K-AZ101 93-09 15.05.2008 10.07.2008 TAPC Il-114-100 UK-91105 02-05 29.08.2006 17.08.2008 Uzbekistan Uzavialeasing Airways Il-114-100 UK-91106 02-06 2007 15.09.2008 The table contains information about all new airliners (with seating capacity not less than 15 pax) and cargo planes of Russian origin, produced and/or delivered by Russia’s and Uzbekistan’s aircraft industry in 2008. Those aircraft which assembly was completed in whole by the year end but first flight was moved to 2009 also included Export orders marked with yellow * the customer may be changed ** prototype for certification tests programme

expected to fly the flag of the Rossiya airline. However, its completion and acceptance flight were postponed for early 2009 too. The same goes for the lead An-148-100B, which rollout slipped to the first quarter of 2009. A similar situation is at Russia’s third aircraft manufacturer, Samara-based Aviakor plant, that is not part of the UAC. It sold no new aircraft on the domestic market in 2008, and the rollout of the third An-140-100 for the Yakutiya airline under the contract from FLC was postponed for the beginning of this year. The Tashkent Aircraft Production Corp. (TAPC), which is foreign but gearing up for joining UAC, did not sell aircraft on the Russian market last year either. The main result of 2008 in building Russian civil aircraft for Russian carriers is the obvious success of Ulyanovsk-based Aviastar that made as many as six new Tu-204 aircraft in a calendar year (even seven, considering the transport plane built for Cuba). This is the factory’s record since the Tu-204 full-rate production was launched in Ulyanovsk as far back as 1990. In the later half of 2008, Aviastar reached an average output rate of an aircraft per month, which is the reason for some optimism.

Russian airliners for export Probably, the main export success made by the Russian civil aircraft makers last year was the long-awaited delivery of the lead Tu-204-120CE freighter to Chinese airline Air China Cargo. This happened in Ulyanovsk in late October. Less than three weeks before that,

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Alexey Mikheyev

KAPO

Last year VASO plant and IFC leasing company failed to deliver any Il-96 aircraft. The second Il-96-400T freighter (RA-96101) built in 2008 is shown here in Atlant-Soyuz colours which later decided to suspend its order

on 8 October 2008, the Tu-204-120CE had been the first of Russian aircraft to complete the certification under the EASA rules, having been issued its type certificate. Before that, it had been certificated by the Aircraft Registry of IAC and Chinese aviation authorities. Egyptian company Sirocco ordered five Tu-204-120CE freighters for China as far back as September 2001, and the aircraft shipped to China last October was built in Ulyanovsk and entered its trials in May 2006. Last year, we called the procrastination of its acceptance by the customer a major failure of 2007. Finally, the Sirocco-PRC programme has been given a real impetus for further development, and there are reasons for hoping that the rest of them will soon follow the first aircraft. The airframe of

the second China-destined Tu-204-120CE has long been ready in Ulyanovsk and even painted in the customer’s colour scheme, but it still has been awaiting the delivery of British-made engines and avionics by Sirocco. In 2008, Aviastar completed and submitted for trials another Tupolev transport designed for export – the Tu-204CE built for Cubana Aviacion on order from IFC. The aircraft is to be ferried to the Island of Freedom this year. The Beriev Be-200ChS multirole amphibian delivered to the Azeri Emergencies Ministry in April made its debut on the global market. The aircraft was manufactured by the Irkutsk Aircraft Plant of Irkut Corp. in June 2007. A few words are due about the progress made by the Uzbek aircraft manufacturer. www.take-off.ru


civil aviation | results under the contract in August and September, though they were made in 2006 and 2007 respectively. Summing up the results and failures produced last year, it is the fact that the 2008 output of Russian-made aircraft for foreign customers accounted only for two aircraft, with one of them made in Uzbekistan, to boot. This is twice as little as a year before. The actual exports proved to be higher, totalling five planes as it was in 2007.

To-do list for this year Despite UAC has published no official plans for this year yet, one can outline what can be expected from the Russian commercial aircraft industry in 2009 and several subsequent years, based on press reports about current and brewing contracts and on the statements by plant and leasing company leaders about the production plans of specific manufacturers.

Tu-214 (RA-64549) of Transaero airlines became the only airplane delivered to the customer by KAPO plant in 2008

Yury Kabernik

Last year, TAPC built, tested and delivered to Azeri carrier Silk Way the second of three upgraded Ilyushin Il-76TD-90SW transports ordered in 2005 and powered by advanced Perm Motors PS-90A-76 engines. In addition, the Tashkent-based manufacturer resumed deliveries of Ilyushin Il-114-100 regional turboprop planes to Uzbekistan’s flag carrier. Under the contract made in 2007, TAPC is to deliver six aircraft, powered by Canadian powerplant of two PW-127H engines and the advanced TsPNK-114M avionics suite using Rockwell Collins avionics. Uzbekistan airways took delivery of the first two aircraft

Aviastar is gearing up for making and delivering up to 11 Tupolev Tu-204 aircraft in 2009. The number may include about eight airliners, which construction is being funded by IFC – the last three Tu-204-100Bs for Red Wings under the 2007 contract, two Tu-204-100CB freighters for Volga-Dnepr, another Tu-204CE transport for Cubana Aviacion and several more Tu-204-100Bs for Red Wings under a new deal. In addition, IFC’s Alexander Rubtsov and UAC’s Alexey Fyodorov signed on 15 July 2008 a contract on the leasing company’s 2010–12 acquisition of a total of 31 advanced, heavily upgraded Tu-204-100SM aircraft with the total list price of about $1.5 billion. The near-term export segment of Aviastar’s operations may include the completion of the delivery of the five Tu-204-120CE cargo planes to China, construction of four

Tu-204-300 (RA-64045) became one of two airliners of the type delivered in 2008 by Aviastar plant to Vladivostok Avia

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civil aviation | results year keep on making Tupolev Tu-214-family aircraft for commercial and governmental customers in addition to its work in support of governmental defence procurement. The plan for 2009 makes provision for delivery of at least four new Tu-214s that may include another two airliners for Transaero and two Tu-214SR communications relay aircraft for the Administrative Office of the Russian President. In addition, KAPO will continue to make other special versions of the Tu-214 for the presidential Administrative Office. According to KAPO Director General Vasil Kayumov who spoke with the media on 11 November, there are “over 15 Tu-214 aircraft in various versions and various stages of completeness at the plant and there is a preliminary agreement for five more”. KAPO also will keep on productionising the Tupolev Tu-334 short-haul airliner. Airframe assemblies of its third flying example were brought to Kazan from MiG Corp.’s plant in Lukhovitsy as far back as 2007, and it is possible that the aircraft will have flown before year-end. Last summer, a KAPO spokesperson said the first production Tu-334 could be made in 2010.

Tu-204-100E airliners for Syria and five Tu-204-100SMs for Iran. The latter deal is very important to the plant, leasing company and UAC as a whole because it may pave the way to a large-scale programme on delivering Tu-204-100SMs to Iran and launching the type’s licence production of up to a hundred aircraft there. Another of Aviastar’s key programmes is soon to become construction of Ilyushin Il-76 transports in various versions, so-called Project 476. The decision on shifting the Il-76 production from Tashkent to Ulyanovsk was taken in 2006, so this year will see the continued work on productionising the Il-76 by Aviastar. Finally, a few words about another programme that may be implemented in Ulyanovsk in the coming decade. Last year, UAC decided that Aviastar would take over the future production of the MTA (Il-214) medium transport aircraft from the Irkut Corp.’s Irkutsk Aircraft Plant, with the MTA to be co-developed by Russia and India.

KAPO, which completed its going public in 2008 and is to join UAC soon, will this

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Aviakor makes two types of aircraft now – the medium-haul Tupolev Tu-154M and regional Antonov An-140-100. While the Tu-154M’s production is nearing its end (there is a backlog of three airframes and several more planes in the form of individual assemblies; once they have been completed,

Alexey Mikheyev

VASO plans to deliver as many as six to seven planes of the Ilyushin Il-96 family this year, including two Il-96-400T freighters built earlier but undelivered due to disagreements with the customer, another aircraft like that slated for completion by this spring and the Il-96-300 being built on order from the Administrative Office of the Russian president. In addition, the plant is retrofitting two Il-96-300s made in 2004 and previously operated by the KrasAir airline. They will be delivered to Venezuela in late 2009 or early 2010 after their passenger cabins and avionics have been improved. Another of VASO’s most important programmes in the coming years is to be the full-scale production of the new Antonov An-148-100 regional airliner. The rollout of the lead VASO-made An-148 is expected in the first quarter of 2009, with four aircraft planned for production this year. The Rossiya carrier is the launch customer for VASO-built An-148s, having ordered six aircraft, with an option for six more. In addition, IFC landed contracts for 10 aircraft from the Polyot company and for the same number from the Moskovia carrier. As is known, IFC and VASO went into an agreement in 2007 on the construction of the first 34 production An-148-100s. In 2009, VASO also is going to launch construction of the early prototypes of the future Ilyushin Il-112V light transport. The first Il-112V prototype may be ready for flight tests next year.

will have built six more An-140-100s and have delivered them to Yakutiya on order from the VEB-Leasing company before 2011. As for the Tu-154M, Aviakor will focus its efforts in this field on completing the current backlog ordered by the Defence Ministry and overhauling earlier-built aircraft. Sukhoi will focus its efforts in the civil aircraft sphere in the near term on production of the future Sukhoi SuperJet 100 regional jet. Final assembly and flight tests are being handled by the Komsomolsk-on-Amur-based affiliate of Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Company (SCAC) while production and supply of airframe components by the KnAAPO and NAPO production plants in Komsomolsk-on-Amur and Novosibirsk respectively, the two being subsidiaries of the Sukhoi company. In addition, the cooperation programme involves VASO supplying composite parts. In 2009, SCAC is to assemble and submit for trials two more SSJ100 prototypes and the early production-standard planes, which components KnAAPO and NAPO started making as far back as last year. To date, SCAC has had 98 firm orders for SSJ100s from Russian and foreign customers. Irkut has specialised only in the Beriev Be-200 multirole amphibian until recently as far as civil aircraft production is concerned. Under the current contract with the Russian Emergencies Ministry on seven Be-200ChS amphibians, Irkut is to deliver three more

TAPC-built Ilyushin Il-114-100 (UK-91105) became the first of six upgraded turboprops ordered by Uzbekistan Airway, its delivery took place in August 2008

the Tu-154M production will be discontinued), the plant still have not succeeded in putting the more promising An-140 programme on track yet. In 2008, the Samara-based plant failed to complete the third An-140-100 for the Yakutiya air carrier, with the delivery slipping to early 2009. The aircraft will be the last one received by the carrier from FLC under the 2005 contract. However, Yakutiya plans to continue to buy An-140s. Under the 10 December 2008 agreement, Aviakor www.take-off.ru


civil aviation | results

Beriev company

The first Beriev Be-200ChS exported ever: in April 2008 it was delivered to Azeri EMERCOM

the latter supposed to enter production by the middle of next decade. TAPC is not part of the Russian aircraft industry, but its plans of joining UAC were announced in 2007. The plant mostly builds all versions of the Ilyushin Il-76 freighters and Il-114 regional turboprops. Both are part of the product line of UAC. The Uzbek aircraft maker’s current contracts include the ones for three more Il-76TD-90VD upgrades for Russian carrier Volga-Dnepr and for the third Il-76TD-90SW ordered by Azeri airline Silk Way. The plant also have the contract for six Il-114-100s, awarded by Uzbekistan Airways.

Tu-204-100B (RA-64047) of the Red Wings carrier entered service in December 2008

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Two of them were delivered last year, and the remaining four will be shipped to the customer in 2009–10. In addition, since last year, a new Russian leasing company, Russian Aeroplanes, has been aggressively promoting the Il-114-100 on the domestic and foreign markets, having awarded TAPC an order for the first three aircraft of the type during 2009–10. The first upgraded Il-114-300 powered by Russian-made TV7-117SM engines and equipped with an upgraded avionics suite is to be built in Tashkent in 2009 as well.

Forecast 2009

Alaxey Mikheyev

aircraft. The Irkutsk Aircraft Plant is building two Be-200ChS now. The degree of completion of one of them is rather high, and it will be delivered in 2009. The other will become the last Be-200 made in Irkutsk. Since 2010, the production will be taken over by Taganrog-based TAVIA in cooperation with Beriev company, while the plant in Irkutsk will retain the production of wings and some other components only. The decision on moving the Be-200 production was taken because the Irkutsk Aircraft Plant was going to have its hands full with work under military export contracts soon and with manufacturing the advanced MS-21 short/medium-haul airliner,

Analysing the current orders and the actual capabilities of the Russian production plants, let us try to forecast the feasible volume of production of Russian civil aircraft in 2009. Except for prototypes, let us hope that the aircraft industry will be able to make at least 30 airliners this year. This would be three times as many as was built in 2008. There are reasons for such a projection: if the global crisis does not result in unforeseen catastrophic consequences in economy, major Russian aircraft manufacturers (Aviastar, VASO, KAPO) will be able to meet their annual Il-96 and Tu-204/214 production and sales targets set forth in 2007. Therefore, these aircraft alone may number almost 20. If this forecast comes true, in a year, we will be able to speak not about “another very little step forward”, but about a more solid manifestation of positive dynamics of the results. Until then, let us be patient and keep an eye on what is going on at the Russia’s plants. take-off february 2009

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industry | interview

TIKHOMIROV’S RADARS: from phased array to AESA Interview of Tikhomirov-NIIP Director General Yuri Bely

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given the active phased array advances achieved under the fifth-generation fighter programme. IAF is pondering our proposals, and we hope that it will soon decide on how the Bars should be updated. Now we have reached the name of the game – the programme on the active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar. Just over a year ago, at the MAKS 2007 air show, Tikhomirov-NIIP unveiled full-scale elements of prototypes of active phased arrays. As is known, your institute is the prime contractor for developing the AESA multifunction radio-electronic system to fit the fifth-generation aircraft. What has been achieved in this field? The programme is on schedule under the contract we signed with Sukhoi. Under the schedule, the first full-scale adjusted AESA fitted with the complete set of transmit-receive (T-R) modules was placed on the rig in November last year for mating with the rest units of the radar. The first array has been assembled, completed and handed over for adjustment. The Istok company has launched the production of T-R modules based on monolithic microcircuits. The second array is being fitted with parts and modules, and

Yevgeny Yerokhin

A key component of formidable combat capabilities of advanced fighters is the sophisticated fire control system wrapped around an efficient radar. All Sukhoi Su-27/Su-30 family fighters – both exported and in service with the Russian Air Force – are fitted with fire control systems developed by the Tikhomirov-NIIP research institute. Tikhomirov-NIIP became a pioneer in developing phased-array radars. Its first airborne phased-array radar debuted on the MiG-31 interceptor, and starting with the Su-30MKI these radars have been equipping Sukhoi fighters. Last year, the advanced Su-35 multirole fighter entered the trials, with Tikhomirov-NIIP developing the Irbis-E passive phased array radar – the most refined in its class – to fit it. As far as the future fifth-generation fighter is concerned, the company is developing its first active electronically scanned array radar (AESA). To learn the status of the programmes, Take-off's editor Andrey Fomin met Tikhomirov-NIIP Director General Yuri Bely who was kind enough to grant us an interview.

Mr. Bely, could you please tell us how are the trials of the Irbis-E phased array radar? The programme is going with a swing. We continue to fly the Su-30MK2 flying testbed with an Irbis-E prototype that has a 1kW emitter. We have been doing that for almost a year and a half, having proven most of the radar’s basic characteristics and having tested most of the operating modes, e.g. the multirole lookup, long-range acquisition and low-, medium- and high-resolution lookdown modes. In addition, we have made a set of radar units, including 5kW emitter that is undergoing lab tests slated to wrap up this year. In addition, we have made two complete radar sets for installation on Su-35 prototypes. The first of them lab-tested in house and then by KnAAPO has been mounted on the second Su-35 flying prototype. We will turn it on when the time comes for the radar system flight trials. A vehicular check and repair station has been developed in support of the Irbis-E’s tests on the Su-35, so we will start flying a real aircraft carrying the complete Irbis-E set soon. The second set for the next prototype has been made, checked and accepted, too, and soon will be mounted. Thus, the Irbis-E test programme is in full swing, and the radar will have been developed fully by the time the Su-35 is ready for full-rate production. Are there any improvements planned for the Irbis-E’s predecessor, the Bars fitting the Su-30MKI-family fighters? Is there any future for its further development? There still is room for improvement. Take for instance the Su-30MKI. The current Bars variant has undergone evaluation tests on Su-30MKIs in India, proving that all glitches had been ironed out. Now, the Indian Air Force has raised the question – is it reasonable to license-produce all of 140 aircraft under the programme through 2014 in the variant approved as far back as the late ‘90s? Therefore, they suggest an upgrade of the Bars in the course of the licence production, including introduction of the AESA. We have devised proposals of our own, providing for a two-stage upgrade. At Stage 1, the Bars will retain the passive phased array but the radar’s performance and operating modes will be beefed up. At Stage 2, it will be possible to equip the Bars with the AESA,

Irbis-E phased array radar onboard Sukhoi Su-35 fighter prototype at MAKS 2007 airshow

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industry | interview

www.take-off.ru

Andrey Fomin

Bars phased array radar now under series production for Sukhoi Su-30MKI, Su-30MKM and Su-30MKA fighters being delivered to India, Malaysia and Algeria. License assembly of Bars radars is now developing in India, and Tikhomirov-NIIP is working on its further upgrade

already abandoned, say, in Europe. Just like us, the Americans develop their AESA using monolithic microcircuits with the possibility of enhancing the degree of their integration and switching further down the road to what is called ‘smart skin’, i.e. the arrangement, under which T-R modules can be placed anywhere onboard the aircraft to generate the relevant radiation field. Thus, we are at the cutting edge of global AESA development. Could the technologies emerging from the AESA development under this programme be used in the future for developing radars to fit other aircraft and other materiel whatsoever? Certainly. For instance, sooner or later, there will be the question raised of developing light fifth-generation fighter or fitting upgraded Generation 4+, 4++ fighters with AESA radars. In such a case, instead of reinventing the wheel, it is better to use proven technologies while keeping the manufacturers busy at the same time, because the larger the scale of T-R module production, the less their cost. In this case, the problem boils down to scaling – the very same technologies and components will

remain but the array’s diameter will be diminished. This problem is not scientific, rather a design one. Then, the productionised T-R modules can be used in the radars operated, say, by surface-to-air missile systems. So, the more applications for proven technologies, the better. While in the past, we needed to set up and launch T-R modules production facilities, now a reverse problem may crop up, like, production is in full swing, while consumption is low. The cost of modules can be affordable only in case their production is on a large scale. What do you think about room for both phased array lines – active and passive ones – in the future? Or will the advent of AESA doom passive ones? I believe each line will have a niche of its own in the near future, at the least. AESA may oust passive phased arrays only if their electronic componentry becomes very cheap. So far, at the current level of technological sophistication, the costs of active and passive phased arrays are unlike as chalk and cheese. Thus, it is a bit too soon for passive phased arrays to become a thing of the past.

Fragment of the X-band AESA prototype developed by Tikhomirov-NIIP unveiled at MAKS 2007 airshow in August 2007

Andrey Fomin

the third one has just entered the process. Thus, three arrays are in production now. They will be tested subsequently. AESA is to be fitted to one of the fifth-generation aircraft prototypes under construction by KnAAPO, with its flight tests to kick off in 2010. Today, I can say that all technical problems pertaining to developing and making T-R modules have been resolved. Now, we are working on the radar as a whole, handling such issues as cooling, mating, beam control, etc., but again everything is being done on schedule. As the tests go, we will beef the radar system’s composition gradually first on test benches, then onboard aircraft, achieving the system’s complete set stipulated by the specification requirement in the end. How long may the full cycle of the AESA tests take? As is known, developing an up-to-date radar takes about five to seven years. Starting with 2008 when the real trials of the equipment has begun, our system is to be ready for service entry about 2014–15. The similar situation is abroad: even the AESA radar of the F-22, which has entered service a rather long time ago, has several operating modes that have not been refined yet. In this connection, I have got to mention that Tikhomirov-NIIP has a wealth of experience in phased arrays. The Americans skipped the passive phased array stage and went right from slotted arrays to AESA at once, while we are well versed in passive phased arrays, having developing them for about 40 years (we maintain that the AESA differs from the passive one, essentially, in the emitter technology, while we take the mathematical modelling tools from phased arrays well known to us). This gives us considerable advantages, including those in development time. Nobody else throughout the world has the expertise in phased array we have! You are certainly abreast of the AESA programmes both in Russia and abroad. Would you name some features of your programme setting it apart from others? What are its advantages? Well, it is hard to compare ours with what the Americans have developed, because actual, rather than advertising information is scarce and we can judge only by indirect indications. Still, we believe we have been achieving characteristics that are at least on a par with those of the F-22’s and F-35’s radars and superior to them in some respects. As far as other Russian developers’ programmes, the principal difference between our design and theirs lies in technology. We use the monolithic microwave microcircuit technologies that are at the cutting edge now throughout the world, while our domestic colleagues rely on the so-called hybrid technologies that have been

take-off february 2009

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commercial

industry | company

IVCHENKO-PROGRESS ADVANCED AERO ENGINES Fyodor MURAVCHENKO, Designer General, Doctor of Science (Engineering), Hero of Ukraine, Associate of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine

For more than 60 years Zaporozhye Machine-Building Design Bureau Progress State Enterprise named after Academician A.G. Ivchenko (SE IVCHENKO-PROGRESS) is a leading aero engine designer. Recently SE Ivchenko-Progress has gained a unique experience in design and support in service of a variety of propulsion engines and APUs. For this period of time more than 80,000 engines of various types and modified versions were produced by the series production plants in Ukraine, Russian Federation, Slovak Republic, Poland, China and Iran. They powered more than 30,000 aircraft, helicopters and industrial units. A

lot of the engines are currently operated in more than 100 countries worldwide, their total operating time exceeds 300 million hours. These engines have been installed in various types of Antonov, Yakovlev, Tupolev, Ilyushin and Beriev aircraft, Kamov and Mil helicopters, as well as in aircraft developed by aircraft designers of Czech Republic, Poland, China and Iran. The outstanding achievements of SE Ivchenko-Progress are: the first in the USSR turboprop engine, AI-20, featuring an assigned service life of 22,000 hours, which is installed in the aircraft of eight types, as well as in power stations, hovercrafts, etc; the AI-25 – the first in the USSR turbofan engine for regional aircraft; the D-36 – the first in the USSR three-shaft turbofan engine with a high bypass ratio; the D-18T – the first in the USSR turbofan engine with a thrust of over 20 tons, which powers the world’s largest An-124 Ruslan and An-225 Mryia aircraft; the D-27 – the first in the world high-efficient propulsion propfan engine installed in the An-70 short take-off and landing military cargo aircraft. The mastering of new methods in gas-dynamic calculations, design and production, and also the application of unique experience in engine design, development and operation allow the enterprise to introduce a number of new projects based on the world aviation evolution tendencies. A special emphasis is put on the development of ultra bypass engines, as this is one of the main factors in minimising a fuel consumption per a tonne-kilometer of the carried cargo and reducing aircraft take-off weight. The intensive works are AI-222-25

46

take-off february 2009

AI-450S

Main data of advanced turboprop engines АI-450S АI-450S-2 Takeoff (S/L static; ISA) Nprop, hp 400 700 CN, kg/h/hp 0.291 0.265 Max cruise Nprop, hp 280 450

АI-450S-3 1,000 0.258 593

CN, kg/h/hp 0.290 0.266 0.26 Н, m 3,000 3,000 3,000 V, km/h 250 250 250 Мach * power of propeller is given in ehp ** specific fuel consumption is given in kg/h/ehp

АI-6500TP АI-8000TP 6,500* 0.2**

8,000* 0.189**

2800

3,550

0.171 9,000 0.5029

0.163 9,000 0.5943

carried out on a noise reduction and improvement of ecological characteristics of the engines . Today, SE Ivchenko-Progress develops a new generation of engines in various classes of thrust and expands a nomenclature of their application. A family of AI-222 turbofan engines with a thrust ranged from 2,200 to 4,200 kgf (afterburning versions) to power modern combat trainers is under development now. The advanced AI-222-25 turbofan engine with a thrust of 2,500 kgf is undergoing a programme of official flight testing as installed in the Yak-130 combat trainer of Russian AI-450M

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commercial

industry | company

AI-8000V

Main data of advanced turboshaft engines АI-450 АI-450М Takeoff (S/L static; ISA) Nprop, hp 465 400 CN, kg/h/hp 0.260 0.270 Max cruise (S/L static; ISA) Nprop, hp 300 285 CN, kg/h/hp 0.298 0.304 Emergency (S/L static; ISA) Nprop, hp 550 400*

АI-450-2

АI-8000V

АI-127

630 0.250

7,600 0.192

11,500 0.181

400 0.290

5,700 0.205

6,100 0.210

720

8,000

14,500

aircraft of the An-148T type and short- and medium-haul aircraft of the MS-21 type. The uprated AI-9500F turbofan engine to be used as an integral part of power plants for tactical aircraft is currently designed with implementing a great experience gained in the development of the АI-222-25, АI-222-25F and D-27 engines A latest family of turbofan engines with a high bypass ratio SPM-21 is developed now for short- and medium-haul aircraft and multirole transport aircraft with a thrust ranged from 12,000 to 15,000 kgf.

* power of propeller is flat rated up to tamb=tamb ISA+35°C

Federation, and its modified version designated the AI-222-25F turbofan engine featuring a thrust of 4,200 kgf at afterburning power for advanced trainers is under bench testing now. A development batch of the AI-222-25 engines are manufactured in cooperation with Motor Sich JSC (Ukraine) and MMPP Salut (Russian Federation), and extensive activities on preparation for quantity production are carried out at these plants. A technical proposal for the AI-222-40 turbofan engine with a thrust ranged from 3,500 to 4,150 kgf for commercial aircraft has been studied as based on the baseline engine core. A development of turboprop and turboshaft versions ranged from 7,000 to 8,000 hp for new aircraft is studied now. A small-size AI-450 engine rated at a power of 465 hp has been already developed for powering Ka-226 helicopter. A development batch of these engines is manufactured together with Motor Sich JSC (Ukraine), and preparation for a quantity production is under way now. On the basis of this engine a modified 400hp version designated AI-450M with output shaft intended to power Mi-2M and uprated version AI-450-2 (630–730 hp) for Ansat-type helicopters, turboprop versions of the AI-450S (400 hp) and AI-450S-2 (630–730 hp) for light aircraft of Yak-18, Yak-152, SA-20P, AI-222-25F

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AI-9500F

Main data of advanced turbofan engines АI-450BP(-2) Takeoff (S/L static; ISA) R, kgf

Turbo Finist SM-92T types, modified versions of the AI-450BP (409 kgf) and AI-450BP-2 (560 kgf) turbofan engines for light multi-purpose aircraft and UAVs are currently under designing. The Company’s specialists designed a unique D-27 propfan engine, rated at a maximum power of 14,000 ehp, which is currently under official bench and flight testing as installed in the An-70 STOL military airlifter. On its basis a family of the AI-727 turbofan engines with ultra-high bypass ratio (nearly 13) and thrust ranged from 10,000 to 11,500 kgf fitted with a wide-chord noiseless fan driven by a reduction gear is under development for the new generation of transport

SE IVCHENKO-PROGRESS 2, Ivanova Str., 69068, Zaporozhye, Ukraine Tel.: +38 (0612) 65-03-27 Fax :+38 (0612) 65-46-97, 12-89-22 E-mail: progress@ivchenko-progress.com www.ivchenko-progress.com

CR, kg/h/kgf Cruise

409 (560) 0.37

АI-222-40

АI-9500F АI-727 (М)

3,500

9,5001

0.381

1.81

10,000 (11,000) 0.257 (0.243)

2,2002 (2,300)2 CR, 0.5402 0.65 0.630 0.93 kg/h/kgf (0.534)2 Н, m 11,000 12,000 11,000 11,000 Мach 0.7 0.8 0.8 0.8 1 is maintained up to tamb= tamb+30°C at full afterburning power 2 is maintained up to temperature of tamb= tamb+10°C 3 low fuel calorific value is 10,300 kcal/kg 4 inlet=0.98; Gbleed=2,291 kg/h; N=77 кW 5 inlet=0.995; Gbleed=1,799 kg/h; N=73 кW R, kgf

105 (150)

840

1,200

SPM-21 13,2203 0.274

2,0003 0.5435 11,890 0.8

Today, the Company looks with confidence in the future, it has everything to be one of the world leaders in the development of modern engines featuring a high service life and perfect ecological characteristics. It has its own designing and scientific school, collective staff of highly skilled specialists, powerful production and experimental facilities, splendid resource base, and, a lot of advanced developments. D-27

take-off february 2009

47


industry | results

JSC “558 Aircraft Repair Plant” 558 Aircraft Repair Plant is a powerful enterprise engaged in overhaul and upgrade of modern combat aviation materiel by the orders of Belarusian Air Force and many other foreign countries. “558 ARP” is overhauling Su-17 (22), Su-25, Su-27, MiG-29 aircraft and all versions of Mi-8 and Mi-24 helicopters. The enterprise performs full cycle of overhaul on the airframe and all component items. During overhaul, special attention is paid to fault detection with the use of up-to-date techniques of non-destructive control: magnet, eddy-current, resonance and others. The plant successfully upgrades aviation materiel with the purpose of converting it into multifunctional aircraft (MiG-29, Su-27 and Mi-8 helicopter). Upgraded MiG-29 and Su-27 fighters acquire new features and combat capabilities – they receive improved information-and-control cockpit area, which is complemented by multifunctional colour liquid crystal display, enhanced navigation and radar systems; weaponry range is also being increased. Besides, MiG-29 aircraft is equipped with in-flight refueling system. Upgraded Mi-8 helicopter obtains gyro-stabilized optical-electronic scanning-and-sighting system, night vision equipment, modern system of navigation and electronic indication. New guided striking means are introduced into helicopter’s weaponry range.

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take-off february 2009

The enterprise developed and successfully tested the new equipment: Satellite – system of radio engineering protection and ADROS – infrared protection system. Satellite is an onboard equipment of individual radio engineering protection of the aircraft against high precision radar guided weapons. The principle of its operation is based on creation of interference to goniometrical channels of radar weapon control means. Main advantages of Satellite system are: with high-expectancy it eliminates the possibility of hitting the protected object

commercial

by missiles with radar guided homing heads; jamming is created automatically to all attacking enemy radars; jamming impact is formed at all stages of interception. The equipment can be installed both on combat and civil airplanes either in containers or inside airframe. The enterprise has production facilities for overhaul of the airframe and aircraft systems, it has the complete set of technological testing equipment and all machinery for production of aviation spare parts. Several modern electronic diagnostic systems such as Svityaz, Naroch, UniPro, Vector, control panel of bipolar code, are designed and implemented at “558 ARP”. For our partners’ convenience, we are creating service and training aviation centers at the Customer’s bases. Logistic support center ensures evaluation of technical state of aviation materiel in any climatic and territorial conditions, prompt and high-quality fault tracing, elimination of discovered defects, delivery of spare parts of own production as per Customer’s orders and training of specialists from different countries. Owing to accumulated experience, unique qualification of personnel, advanced production facilities, high quality of service, strict and timely execution of the orders, 558 ARP earned well-deserved authority among airmen of many countries of the world. www.take-off.ru

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