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Can Russia's deadly PAK-FA fighter plane outsmart the best in the world?
Aug 15, 2013, 19:21 PM IST
Moscow: So far 11 projects to develop Fifth Generation Fighter Planes are underway across the globe. From South Korea to America, countries have been trying to outsmart each other in the race for the superior machine of the future- The Fifth Generation Fighter Plane.
So far, there is only one fifth generation plane that is ready for warfare, i.e. America's F-22 Raptor.
Russia's PAK FA is currently being developed by Sukhoi OKB. The PAK FA present s a real and clear danger to America's F-22 and F-35 (currently under development).
Russian-built PAK FA has out rightly challenged America's supremacy in the arena of Fifth Generation Plane.
Once developed, it will replace Russia's ageing fleet of MiG fighter planes. Incidentally, India's very own Fifth Generation Fighter plane will be developed jointly in collaboration with Russian program. Named as FGFA (Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft), Russia will provide 250 planes by the end of the project as per the deal.
The advanced active phased radar array system capabilities will allow for the tracking and engagement of multiple targets simultaneously, be they ground- or air-based. The cockpit will be "all-glass" in nature and perhaps most digitally-centered cockpit than anything ever placed in Russian service.
As an air superiority fighter, the PAK FA will be installed with the proven Russian 30mm GSh-30-1 cannon for close-in work. Various existing and new-design air-to-air missiles will also feature prominently in the lethal tool box of the new fighter.
For ground strike it will convert to a multi-role strike aircraft mentality and make use of existing and new-design air-to-surface missiles and guided bombs as needed.
The program has been kept under wrap for decades. It was only recently that Russian government released its first authentic video of its first maiden test flight.
The race to develop the most advanced fifth generation fighter plane is getting competitive with each passing day. Apart from India, Russia, China and America, several other countries are in the process of developing state-of-the-art fifth generation fighter plane.
Japan is in the process of developing an indigenous 5th Generation Fighter plane, named ATD-X Shinshin.
The highly-optimistic plan is expected to remain only on paper and is a concept demonstrator-only design and not intended for formal serial production.
Japan ventured into 5th Generation Fighter Plane race after its request for F-22 Raptor was rebuffed by US government.
The idea of the plane is being developed under Mitsubishi Heavy Industry label. Its Powerplant (engine) is being developed by Ishikawajima-Harima Heavy Industries (IHI). The engine is expected to have a thrust of 20,000 lbs, way below the power generated by its competitors.
If the plan, for the development of the plane, comes across it would be designated as Mitsubishi F-3.
So far, Turkey relied on western military technology to boost its defence. The 1980s deal with US, under which it procured the rights for license production of F-16 Fighting Falcon lightweight 4th Generation Fighter.
Considering its military forces future requirement, Turkey has decided to develop indigenous Fifth Generation Fighter Plane.
The initiative launched under the "TFX" program, puts Turkey in league with nations like, America, Russia, China, India and South Korea.
The new plane is expected to act as a successor to F-4 Phantom II and early-model F-16 platforms. Turkey has sought assistance from Sweden's arms manufacturer Saab to assist it in achieving the ambitious project.
The TFX program shares all the fine details mandatory for a fifth generation plane- Stealth, Electronically-Scanned Array (AEDA) radar facility and superior air-to-air combat abilities.
Another rather ambitious program goal will be integration from the cockpit to accompanying UAVs through a protected datalink connection.
The TFX program will be subjected to a final review in 2013. The review will help the Turkish government decide, whether to pursue the program further, or not?
With this, we come to the end of our 10 episode series on Fifth Generation Fighter Planes across the globe.
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