Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
The Military Transportation Technology

India's First Stealth Fighter To Fly In 4 Months 611

Posted by timothy
from the but-now-everyone-knows-about-it dept.
xmpcray writes "Less than four months from now, India's first stealth fighter will fly for the first time. It is called the Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft, or FGFA, and is being developed in Russia by Sukhoi. Several of the technologies being developed for the stealth fighter have evolved from those used in the Sukhoi 30 MKI. Considered the most maneuverable fighter in the world, the Sukhoi 30 MKI uses thrust vectored engines, which deflect the exhaust from its engines to extreme angles, enabling the jet to pull off violent maneuvers like a flat spin — where the jet literally spins around on its axis."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

India's First Stealth Fighter To Fly In 4 Months

Comments Filter:
  • by BlueBoxSW.com (745855) on Sunday August 30, 2009 @10:39PM (#29256533) Homepage

    That would be one way to mix a martini, yes.

  • Interesting stuff (Score:5, Interesting)

    by stoolpigeon (454276) * <bittercode@gmail> on Sunday August 30, 2009 @10:40PM (#29256545) Homepage Journal

    The end of last year, a couple videos came out with an American F-15 pilot talking about what it was like going up against the Indian Air Force Su-30MKI. It was quite interesting, as the vectored thrust did offer additional maneuverability but it came at a cost. That isn't to say that this new jet and training wont overcome that advantage, but it was a glimpse into the world of air to air combat I don't think makes it out into the civilian world all that often. The clips were put up on youtube - I'll link to both.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WKEa-R37PeU [youtube.com]
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ibgAQ7lv0w [youtube.com]
    Basically if I understand it correctly the vectored thrust allowed them to turn, but they would lose airspeed and altitude in the process. As the fighter types say - speed is life - and once it happened they were apparently easy pickings. This FlightGlobal writeup about it [flightglobal.com] may do a better job of explaining.

    But I wonder is how much longer this will matter. The Lockheed video on their DAS [youtube.com] for the F-35 pretty much asserts that the system makes maneuverability irrelevant. I realize that it's a vendor sales presentation, but at the same time I know off-bore-sight missiles are pretty much a done deal. Stealthiness helps some, but I doubt it would be enough as these systems keep improving. It seems soon the primary factor in air to air combat will be the quality of radar and missiles that are available.
     
    When I bring this up with current military folks, they say they think rules of engagement will keep it from going that far. I can see that in situations where one side has complete air superiority - but if it comes to evenly matched sides, I think ROE will be out the window when sticking to it means losing. The whole thing is rather disconcerting as we seem to be developing better ways to kill just as quickly as all our other tech is advancing but I don't see leaps in our ability to live peacefully or get along keeping up with it all.

    • by interkin3tic (1469267) on Sunday August 30, 2009 @10:49PM (#29256605)

      But I wonder is how much longer this will matter. The Lockheed video on their DAS [youtube.com] for the F-35 pretty much asserts that the system makes maneuverability irrelevant. I realize that it's a vendor sales presentation, but at the same time I know off-bore-sight missiles are pretty much a done deal. Stealthiness helps some, but I doubt it would be enough as these systems keep improving. It seems soon the primary factor in air to air combat will be the quality of radar and missiles that are available.

      Something Lockheed makes makes India's planes' maneuverability irrelevant? How so? We're going to be fighting each other or something? Is Lockheed going to be selling their stuff to Pakistan?

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by _Sprocket_ (42527)

        In the paragraph you quoted, there is no mention of India. It says "makes maneuverability irrelevant." India isn't the only ones looking at this sort of capability.

      • Dangerous Thinking (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Roger W Moore (538166) on Monday August 31, 2009 @12:24AM (#29257155) Journal

        Something Lockheed makes makes India's planes' maneuverability(sic) irrelevant? How so?

        I very much doubt that maneouverability will become irrelevant. The last time someone put all their trust in weaponry at the expense of maneouverability it did not go so well [wikipedia.org] for them.

    • Re:Interesting stuff (Score:4, Interesting)

      by MichaelSmith (789609) on Sunday August 30, 2009 @10:52PM (#29256619) Homepage Journal

      Just like the Harrier. Against the Argentinians the British pilots would effectively slam on the brakes and attack the other aircraft from behind.

      • Re:Interesting stuff (Score:5, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 30, 2009 @11:25PM (#29256827)

        An F-16 pilot friend refers to this as "getting stuffed", and they train to counter the technique. It would be foolish to assume that it's like in "Top Gun" where "slamming on the brakes" totally surprises an opponent.

        In air to air combat, killing your opponent before they get anywhere close to you is the goal. Aviation Week wrote years ago about the ratio of losses "at the merge" (i.e. when the two opposing forces actually pass each other and engage at close range). The goal of the F-22 is to end the battle before the merge. Launch radar guided missiles from well outside the opposing force's missile range, clean up the remnants with infrared missiles at closer range, and not need to deal with a messy knife-fight. All the while, your stealth prevents the opponent from getting a good missile shot.

        • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Monday August 31, 2009 @02:10AM (#29257691) Journal

          In air to air combat, killing your opponent before they get anywhere close to you is the goal. Aviation Week wrote years ago about the ratio of losses "at the merge" (i.e. when the two opposing forces actually pass each other and engage at close range). The goal of the F-22 is to end the battle before the merge. Launch radar guided missiles from well outside the opposing force's missile range, clean up the remnants with infrared missiles at closer range, and not need to deal with a messy knife-fight. All the while, your stealth prevents the opponent from getting a good missile shot.

          What if enemy also has stealth?

          Also, keep in mind that stealth didn't prevent one F-117 from getting shot down by a missile in combat. It can't be 100% stealthy in the end, so there's always a way around.

          So far as I know, AA missiles are the end-all-be-all mostly in theory so far; in practice, even in more recent conflicts with fighter jets on both sides, most air fights tend to end in close-range dogfights using cannons mostly (well, unless you have a major generation gap - like a MiG-15 on one side and an F-16 on another).

          Still, when all is said and done, F-22 is 5th gen, while Su-30 is "4.5". I've no doubt which one would win a dogfight - missiles, cannons, whatever.

          • by Fred_A (10934) <fred AT fredshome DOT org> on Monday August 31, 2009 @04:24AM (#29258257) Homepage

            What if enemy also has stealth?

            I'll have to check but I don't think he's allowed to.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            People tend to think of stealth a this thing that keeps missile lockons, and you from being seen on radar. That's jsut not true. stealth is there to help us get in and get our without being seen. When they plan an airstrike with B2 bombers, they go through tons of prep to know where the radar is beforehand to be far away from it. I would imagine that even on a fighter, stealth isn't worth squat once you're to close to the radar.
      • Re:Interesting stuff (Score:4, Informative)

        by DerekLyons (302214) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (retawriaf)> on Monday August 31, 2009 @12:54AM (#29257321) Homepage

        Just like the Harrier. Against the Argentinians the British pilots would effectively slam on the brakes and attack the other aircraft from behind.

        That's the urban legend - but not only is that virtually impossible, it was never done in the Falklands.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by MichaelSmith (789609)

          I recall reading about it at the time. The pilots called it "VIFFing".

          • Re:Interesting stuff (Score:5, Informative)

            by DerekLyons (302214) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (retawriaf)> on Monday August 31, 2009 @02:16AM (#29257711) Homepage

            VIFF is the correct term, and yes it was widely bandied about during the Falklands war... But postwar research hasn't discovered a single instance of it being used in combat during the war.

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by cherokee158 (701472)

              That is correct. VIFFing, or vectoring in forward flight, is rarely used in air combat, because it results in a complete loss of airspeed, leaving the Harrier a sitting duck. The RNAF cleaned the Argentinian's clocks using AIM-9L missiles, which did not require being anywhere near the enemy aircraft's six o'clock. They could hit them head-on. (The Argentines, on the other hand, still needed to engage from behind)

              Modern missiles are so lethal that dogfights today are the exception, not the rule. Our pilots s

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by lawpoop (604919)

      When I bring this up with current military folks, they say they think rules of engagement will keep it from going that far. I can see that in situations where one side has complete air superiority - but if it comes to evenly matched sides, I think ROE will be out the window when sticking to it means losing. The whole thing is rather disconcerting as we seem to be developing better ways to kill just as quickly as all our other tech is advancing but I don't see leaps in our ability to live peacefully or get along keeping up with it all.

      Do you think the world will see serious war against major powers in the near future? When was the last time we had real out-and-out dog fights? Gulf War I? I keep thinking that the future of warfare is basically going to be these anti-terrorism wars, where global powers are fighting villagers getting financed by someone.

      • by Daniel Dvorkin (106857) * on Sunday August 30, 2009 @11:03PM (#29256669) Homepage Journal

        Since the beginning of the Cold War, people have kept predicting the end of dogfighting ... and they've kept being proven wrong.

        More generally, people keep predicting that whichever type of war is being fought at the moment is the future of warfare and all other types are obsolete ... and they keep being proven wrong.

        • by eln (21727) on Monday August 31, 2009 @12:13AM (#29257099) Homepage
          When was the last time you saw a major naval battle between surface ships, particularly battleships? It doesn't happen anymore because submarines and aircraft carriers made it obsolete. When was the last time you saw two armies face each other across a field in two long lines and start firing at each other? Not since the invention of the rifled barrel made that tactic obsolete. Similarly, in theory better smart missile and radar technology will eventually make dogfighting obsolete.

          Trench warfare was once the future of warfare. Standing in a line firing muskets at each other was once the height of battle tactics. Weapons and tactics become obsolete in warfare all the time. Virtually every war is fought differently than the previous ones. So, while people may be wrong about any particular thing becoming the "future of warfare", they're very often right about tactics and weapons becoming obsolete. If you hold on to old and outmoded battle tactics and weapons and prepare for the next war as if it will be fought like the last one, you get run over.
          • by Admiral Ag (829695) on Monday August 31, 2009 @01:05AM (#29257377)

            "When was the last time you saw two armies face each other across a field in two long lines and start firing at each other?"

            The Democratic caucus factions have been doing that for the last 30 years.

          • Re:Interesting stuff (Score:5, Interesting)

            by Mashiki (184564) <mashiki@NOsPam.gmail.com> on Monday August 31, 2009 @03:27AM (#29258047) Homepage

            I remember my old history teacher saying "Old technology becomes obsolete, until someone figures out a better way to kill with it."

            Yeah he was right, sure the battleship is obsolete now because of what it was designed for at the time. Surface, and fleet engagement. You can knock a billion dollar ship out of the water with a $400k missile. That doesn't make surface fleets obsolete either. I figure oh 10 years, and you'll see the reintroduction of battleships in long-range bombardment and support. As the use of missiles will become obsolete from surface ships. Easier to shoot down a missile with a laser, than it is to shoot down a metal slug traveling 50x the speed of sound hurtled by a battleship's railgun.

        • Re:Interesting stuff (Score:5, Interesting)

          by smash (1351) on Monday August 31, 2009 @12:42AM (#29257257) Homepage Journal
          I remember a quote from somewhere (think it may have been one of the falcon manuals) that went something along the lines of "after 2 days, all your smart weapons are expended, and you'll have to fall back to basics" (paraphrased).

          Put it this way, despite the might of the US military, they still haven't found/dealt with some arab dude by the name of Obama living in a cave. Advanced weaponry is not the be all and end all of combat. Another example is Vietnam - the ROE simply did not permit the more advanced hardware to be fully utilized due to BS political reasons (i.e. air-air required visual ID, thus totally negating the USAF's BVR missiles and forcing pilots into close range dogfights to which the MiGs were generally better suited)

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Kjella (173770)

        Do you think the world will see serious war against major powers in the near future? When was the last time we had real out-and-out dog fights? Gulf War I? I keep thinking that the future of warfare is basically going to be these anti-terrorism wars, where global powers are fighting villagers getting financed by someone.

        The lack of a world war since 1945 isn't exactly stunning evidence, two in ~30 years had better be an exception. Maybe we should at least outlast the Roman empire [wikipedia.org] with 200+ years of essentially peace first. I don't see many credible scenarios for WWIII though as the US and EU won't, Japan, Russia and India I think can't and that really only leaves China and some kind of pebbles-into-avalanche Muslim vs Christian war. Sure, India and Pakistan might have another go, Israel and the Arabs likewise and there's r

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by phantomfive (622387)

      The whole thing is rather disconcerting as we seem to be developing better ways to kill just as quickly as all our other tech is advancing but I don't see leaps in our ability to live peacefully or get along keeping up with it all.

      A lot of people feel this way, but fortunately it is not true. Sure there are some isolated conflicts, but consider what the world was like 25 years ago: a couple different wars in Central American countries, an arms escalation war with between the US an Soviet Union which sometimes became violent in places like Afghanistan, England had just finished a war with Argentina, Africa was in war all over the place, South Africa had apartheid, the specter of global thermonuclear warfare still hung over our heads.

      • by ScentCone (795499) on Sunday August 30, 2009 @11:12PM (#29256729)
        we now only have a guy like Hugo Chavez who tries to rig elections

        And... sends troops across borders, and provides weapons and cash to murderous FARC militants, and jails his political opponents, and provides support to places like Cuba (who jail their own people for trying to leave). Chavez is a lot more than an election-rigger. He's a totalitarian socialist thug who has oil cash to play with.
        • by phantomfive (622387) on Sunday August 30, 2009 @11:25PM (#29256833) Journal
          Yeah man, talk bad about Chavez all you want, most of it's deserved, but once again, if you consider how much better the region is compared to some of the other leaders in the past, he's like a little kitten.

          I mean, come on, has he destroyed entire villages? Has he tied up his own son in a bag and thrown him in the river as punishment for insubordination? Has he killed nuns? These are the kinds of things you expect from a good latin American dictator. I don't even think there's any evidence of him torturing people. The dictators have gotten soft.
        • by Black Sabbath (118110) on Sunday August 30, 2009 @11:26PM (#29256843) Homepage

          Hahaha! Spoken like a true gringo! Dude, get your head out of your arse for just a second and ask, well, just about ANYONE from just about anywhere in South or Central America who was born before 1980, about your country's wonderful record in that region over say the last 100 years. From arming, funding and training murderous bastards to propping up dictators that "disappeared" thousands of their own people, to rigging elections, to assassinating elected leaders. Oh yeah, Hugo has a wonderful precedent, in fact, almost "template" to follow that was created by your country.
          Tthere's only so much hypocrisy the rest of the world can handle. Or is this yet another case of do as I say, not as I do?

          Jeez Louise!

          • by R3d M3rcury (871886) on Monday August 31, 2009 @02:05AM (#29257667) Journal

            Yeah, yeah, yeah. Look, they may have been murderous bastards, but they were our murderous bastards.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ShakaUVM (157947)

      The whole thing is rather disconcerting as we seem to be developing better ways to kill just as quickly as all our other tech is advancing but I don't see leaps in our ability to live peacefully or get along keeping up with it all.

      Si vis pacem, para bellum

    • Re:Interesting stuff (Score:5, Interesting)

      by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@gma i l . com> on Monday August 31, 2009 @12:48AM (#29257283) Journal

      Actually while both the F-35 and the Su-30 are impressive, i think the next big air battle will be fought with one or maybe even both sides using UAVs. Pilots are hard to train, and they are expensive too. Much better to lose an unmanned than to risk the millions of dollars we have invested in the pilot. Plus you have to figure in the psychological of the UAV, which really shouldn't be underestimated. After all, you can shoot them down all damned day long, and like the terminator we can just keep them rolling off the assembly line and straight into your airspace. Eventually they WILL get you.

      Finally we seem to be getting to the point of diminishing returns with manned aircraft. There are only so many G-forces a human can withstand, whereas the UAV can survive maneuvers that would kill any human being. And of course there is no risk of having a UAV pilot getting put on a propaganda video with a gun to his head if the UAV gets shot down. So when you figure together the lower price, removing the risk of pilot injury and death, and the ability of the UAV to withstand stresses the human piloted vehicles can't it just makes sense to go with the UAV. Sure there will always be a place for human piloted vehicles, but it just makes more sense to leave the really nasty, super high risk jobs to the robot. As the solider explaining the Fire Scout UAV [wikipedia.org] on an episode of Lock And Load described it the three D's-dull, dirty, and dangerous, are what the UAVs like the scout and Predator excel at.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by KZigurs (638781)

        There is only one problem. UAVs on their own are pretty useless or we are talking about skynet teritory, but any kind of remote control is pretty easily distracted by good old white noise. Lots of it. And I am rather sure that good ol boys in their hidden cities have long ago figured out how to drown out all those fancy frequency-hopping/multi-modulation/line-of-sight radio signals that these things do rely on.

  • No thanks. (Score:5, Funny)

    by w0mprat (1317953) on Sunday August 30, 2009 @10:41PM (#29256553)
    A flat spin killed Goose.
  • In Flight School (Score:4, Informative)

    by Penguinshit (591885) on Sunday August 30, 2009 @10:42PM (#29256561) Homepage Journal
    I was told that a flat spin was a bad thing.
    • by superdana (1211758) on Sunday August 30, 2009 @11:15PM (#29256759)
      You were told that because you're flying airplanes in which getting out of a flat spin is practically impossible. It is quite possible to get out of a flat spin if your engines have vectored thrust.
  • by mi (197448) on Sunday August 30, 2009 @10:44PM (#29256575) Homepage

    Although I'd rather everybody were coming to American companies for such technology — rather than to Russia, as the Indians did for this fighter — a strong India is good for US.

    Their values are the closest to ours in that neighborhood and it is good to have a counterweight to the ambitious China.

    And, hey, maybe, the Indians will share some of the load world-wide, that Americans (and the British) are currently managing almost entirely on our own. Perhaps, people will even begin blaming them (and burn their flag), when they screw up [umb.edu]...

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by HangingChad (677530)

      And, hey, maybe, the Indians will share some of the load world-wide, that Americans (and the British) are currently managing almost entirely on our own.

      I really don't think it will be all that great. It could just as easily check our power in the region. Personally, I think we need to be checked. We really need to start thinking about our budget priorities. Just because we can project power around the world doesn't mean we can afford to keep doing it. Aircraft like that would be a threat to our very

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by CronoCloud (590650)

      Well it all starts with Indian Independence, at first they make do with leftover British stuff, but then they want their own, better stuff. But really don't have the capacity to make it. So they ask around. The US stuff costs too much so the they go with mostly Russian stuff that they can afford, and repair themselves. The also let Russian advisors in (just to teach them what they need to know, that was it), which really pisses off the US, enough for the US to become all buddy buddy with Pakistan and su

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 30, 2009 @11:03PM (#29256679)

    And if no one can see them, that means they are extra stealthy.

    It's certainly a lot cheaper than actually making them.

  • Stealthy? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by 1zenerdiode (777004) on Sunday August 30, 2009 @11:05PM (#29256695)
    Am I the only one that looked at the thing and thought "it doesn't look very stealthy." No, I'm not talking about the paint. Just the fact that the intakes and some other features look like they are going to be big scatterers and contribute significantly to RCS. My understanding is that vectored thrust also has a significant thermal and radar signature... This sort of seems like Russia trying maintain prestige and credibility against F-22 with someone else conveniently picking up a big chunk of the tab. Then again, India is probably buying them to neutralize Pakastani F-16's, so it may be worth the investment in their minds. I'd have a hard time believing that these would give even F-15E's or Super Hornets a tough time.
    • Re:Stealthy? (Score:4, Informative)

      by Comatose51 (687974) on Monday August 31, 2009 @12:00AM (#29257035) Homepage
      Yeah I'm curious about this as well. From the article, it's not clear if is this a new plane or just a more variant of the SU-30 MKI? A lot of the new planes, so called 4.5 generation, have elements of stealth. For example the Chinese Chengdu J-10 [wikipedia.org] and the Eurofighter Typhoon [wikipedia.org] are both more stealthy than planes before them and incorporated elements of stealth design. They could call it a 5 generation all they want but if it's a continuation of the SU-30 MKI, it's still a 4.5 generation aircraft. There's only one 5th generation fighter in production today and that's the F-22. It is way ahead of its competitors in terms of not only maneuverability but also in electronics and avionics, both of which might be more important than maneuverability because missiles and advanced radar/IRIST/detection technology have made dogfights less likely. India and Russia would have to make a gigantic leap in technology and manufacturing know-how to have a fighter comparable to the F-22 or even the F-35. I find it hard to believe the SU-30 MKI can be made stealthy without stowing all its weapons inside like the F-22, F-35, and F-117, the only currently known stealth fighters.
    • Re:Stealthy? (Score:5, Informative)

      by MechaStreisand (585905) on Monday August 31, 2009 @12:11AM (#29257087)
      The picture they're showing is of an Su-30MKI, which is the fighter India currently operates. The stealth fighter that Sukhoi is working on, though, is the PAK-FA (google it), and it seems that it is the only possible fighter they could be referring to. The article is absolutely awful is this is the case and they didn't even mention it by name.

      Me, I've been hearing about the PAK-FA for years, and I had almost given up hope of ever seeing it fly.
  • by sqrt(2) (786011) on Sunday August 30, 2009 @11:14PM (#29256745) Journal

    Almost all new fighter jets (and indeed most military vehicles) incorporate stealth elements. It's one of the considerations you have when designing a combat aircraft these days. It would be unusual for an aircraft to be designed that WASN'T stealthy. "Stealth Fighter" is really just a term used by the media.

  • Vectored exhaust (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Lord Byron II (671689) on Sunday August 30, 2009 @11:14PM (#29256747)
    Vectored exhaust also allows for some incredible stunts. There's a video of a Russian jet flying backwards briefly. It gains a lot of forward speed, then uses the exhaust to flip over.
  • Long term (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ShooterNeo (555040) on Sunday August 30, 2009 @11:25PM (#29256829)

    Long term, are manned aircraft going to be still used for air superiority?

    Cost effectiveness might be a key factor. Drone aircraft don't need to be manufactured to fly for years and thousands of missions. They could be made just good enough to survive 10 to 100 or so sorties, with a 10% failure rate considered acceptable for the first mission. Drone operators could train using simulators and a small number of better quality drone aircraft. For the missions needing drones to loiter over an area for a prolonged period, a different model of drone would be used - you don't need high speed jet interceptors if the enemy has no aircraft left. Also, drones wouldn't need to have the dogfighting performance of an F-35. They could be slower and less maneueverable - but packed with missiles and with a radar system capable of defeating stealth aircraft.

    Drone aircraft wouldn't need to be "recalled" or inspected. If a fault is found that might cause a crash, no point in fixing it unless the problem is severe. You could manufacture thousands of them and leave them stored in special packing canisters. Unpack a few every few years and use them testing them to get empirical measurements of average 'shelf life'.

    I think that with these and other cost saving measures, you could probably manufacture 3 to 5 drone aircraft for the cost of one manned aircraft with similar capabilities. The MQ-9 Reaper is about 1/3 the cost of the Apache helicopter it supplants. As long as you could guarantee that the drones would always work despite enemy jamming (possible with mesh networking, phase array communication antenna and one time pad encryption, I think) then they would be the only game in town.

    • Re:Long term (Score:4, Interesting)

      by TubeSteak (669689) on Monday August 31, 2009 @12:07AM (#29257065) Journal

      As long as you could guarantee that the drones would always work despite enemy jamming (possible with mesh networking, phase array communication antenna and one time pad encryption, I think) then they would be the only game in town.

      You can't guarantee that the drones would always work despite enemy jamming.
      But then again, you don't really need to as long as the drone can stay airborne long enough to send off a missile which will home in on the jammer.

      • Why do you say that? Directional antenna would mean that the drone would only "listen" for communications coming from the positions of other nodes in the mesh network. Unless the enemy can put jammers all around, including in the air and above the drone aircraft, at least some comm would get through. One time pad encryption means the enemy can't hijack the drone. (since the only copies of the encryption key would be one flash drive aboard the aircraft, and it's pair inside the command module for the dro

    • by mjwx (966435)

      Long term, are manned aircraft going to be still used for air superiority?

      Absolutely. I agree with your point but developing a drone program will take years and cost millions before it starts to produce, India needs aircraft now and has been involved with Sukhoi to make this fighter for well over a decade now. Their fighter is almost done, no point abandoning it for a project that is a decade away from getting off the ground.

      Manned aircraft are going to be around for a while longer, drones are new tech

  • Wrong headline (Score:5, Informative)

    by mjwx (966435) on Sunday August 30, 2009 @11:50PM (#29256985)

    It is called the Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft, or FGFA, and is being developed in Russia by Sukhoi. Several of the technologies being developed for the stealth fighter have evolved from those used in the Sukhoi 30 MKI.

    What the headline should say:
    India will fly it's first Russian stealth fighter in four months.

  • 5th Gen (Score:3, Interesting)

    by plague911 (1292006) on Monday August 31, 2009 @12:42AM (#29257255)
    The Indians and Russians may call it the"Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft" but they are wrong it will not be a 5th generation fighter. Simply put if you use the F-22 as a yardstick there is no other publicly disclosed aircraft that comes close to qualifying as a 5fth generation aircraft the closest you really get is generation 4.5. The F-35 dose not really even come close. A comparison would be the Seawolf ssn and the Virgina ssn. The Virgina class submarine was designed and built at a later point than the Seawolf. However you could easily say the Seawolf is a superior boat The Seawolf and the F-22 were designed to take The Russians at the hight of their power and after the USSRs failure there is no need/very little need for the top shelf equipment. So we are left with the F-35 and Virginia good in the own right but not nearly as bad-ass as the F-22 and The Seawolf. Yes I know the F-35 and F-22 fill different roles so a direct comparison is a little off, but there is a reason why we wont sell the 22 to any other nation not even our closes allies. So back to my point. This fighter will not be a 5th generation aircraft. There is a quick way to tell when a true 5th generation aircraft comes out that isnt from the USA. The US air force would probably triple the number of 22's that they purchase.
    • Re:5th Gen (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Wizard Drongo (712526) <wizard_drongo&yahoo,co,uk> on Monday August 31, 2009 @02:48AM (#29257883)
      Actually, the EFA is probably close to the F22. We'll never know for sure because EFA was a clusterfuck of bad project management, so most of the cooler options have been nixed/mothballed.... And the USA *did* offer the F22 to the RAF, but because of EFA they had to turn it down. I happen to know this for fact, it might not have been high on the public radar, but I spent some down time listening to an RAF fighter pilot who got to fly the F22 on an exchange program setup with the possibility of the British buying some F22's. He was most displeased some dickhead suit in London caused it to fall through. Apparently the USAF were quite looking forward to getting the RAF to take up some slack in Afghanistan etc. with deployment in ~2012 of a few squadrons of F22, but thanks to said nameless suits who have too much tied up in EFA, no go. Pity really, 'cause sure the EFA is a good fighter, and may not even be too bad at Ground Attack, but to have the RAF and USAF both operating the same airframe again would be very helpful. Since the UK's military budget is pretty huge and a lot seems to go on research into shit that never happens, if they changed their priorities, they could licence some US tech, maybe even option to build it in the UK thus saving the political face & jobs, then take the research budget down a few notches and have 5 or 6 more squadrons of fighters, or a few aircraft carriers again....... Dreams are nice, but it'll never happen though...
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        We'd need F22's in Afghanland? Since when do our enemies have jet fighters to begin with? We could use biplanes with modern ASM's with around the same effect as an F22 in Afghanistan.
  • by rehtonAesoohC (954490) on Monday August 31, 2009 @10:31AM (#29260381) Journal
    That must be what they lost the Chandrayaan-1! [wikipedia.org]

    Somebody accidentally hit the prototype stealth button, and POW, satellite gone.

All this wheeling and dealing around, why, it isn't for money, it's for fun. Money's just the way we keep score. -- Henry Tyroon

Working...