Russian Tactical Adaption : Russo-Ukrainian War

New Russian Single Engine Fighter

20-July 2021: A full-size mock-up of the LTS (Light Tactical Aircraft) has been officially unveiled. The mock-up has a very F-22-like (NACA 6 series) wing and an overall Boeing X-32 JSF layout, be it with a traditional engine exhaust nozzle. It appears export customers and low cost are a primary focus (reportedly ~ $20 million per copy). Note that mock-up features IRST as do all Russian "stealth" fighters. Time will tell if foreign sales materialize.

Since no flying example was demonstrated, how committed the Russians are to this design is unclear. Until a flying example appears - further conjecture based on a mock-up is not necessary at this time.

18-July 2021: New images have appeared of the new Russian aircraft. It appears to be similar in layout to the Boeing X-32, but lighter.

[Below] The Boeing X-32. 

The X-32 first flew 18-Sept, 2000.

[Below] The Boeing design was part of the American JSF program, however, the Boeing design was not selected.

Fighter designs that continue to resurrect internal weapons bays pay a price in range and carriage restriction(s).

[Above/Below] The 1960s era Convair F-106A and its internal weapons bays. The combat radius of the F-106A was roughly the same as the Lockheed F-22A. Below are the internal stowed AIM-4 Falcon missiles that armed the F-106.

15-July 2021: Photos appeared of a covered new Russian single-engine fighter at Zhukovsky Airport, near Moscow. The official unveiling of the aircraft will take place during the MAKS-2021 international aerospace show July 20-25.

Whether this is a MiG-41 type design or something else - remains to be seen. It appears to have some features commonly found on stealth fighters and F-35. The aircraft might also be primarily aimed at export markets. Whether the aircraft is headed down the same bumpy road as the Su-57 remains to be seen. Developing combat aircraft is expensive. 

We are going to refrain from further conjecture presently until more information and better images become available.

Here is the official release from TASS

"MOSCOW, July 13. /TASS/. The latest combat plane that Russia will unveil on the first day of the MAKS-2021 aerospace show will rival the US fifth-generation F-35 aircraft, Executive Director of Aviaport Aviation News Agency Oleg Panteleyev said on Tuesday.

"The teasers in English and the regions that the pilots presented in a video released by Rostec [state tech corporation] suggest that the domestic light fighter will be in competition with the US F-35 aircraft on foreign markets. I am certain that the fighter’s demonstration at the MAKS-2021 will create a wow effect. It is not accidental that [Russia’s state arms exporter] Rosoboronexport has invited over 120 delegations from 65 countries of the world to the aerospace show," he said.

Little is known about the plane’s performance characteristics so far, the expert pointed out. According to the data available, the latest fighter features low radar signatures in various bands, a high thrust to weight ratio, a large weapon payload and advanced air-launched armaments, the expert pointed out.

"There is no doubt that in this decade Russia will be able to restore the tandem of breakthrough aircraft platforms: the heavy Su-57 [fifth-generation fighter] and a new light plane designed to cope with tactical assignments," the expert said.

The Rostec press office announced earlier on Tuesday that Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation (UAC, part of Rostec) would feature a fundamentally new military plane on the first day of the MAKS-2021 international aerospace show in the town of Zhukovsky near Moscow. The project's official website was also unveiled, with a midnight countdown to the plane's July 20 premiere.

As a source in the domestic aircraft-building industry told TASS in the spring of this year, the Sukhoi Aircraft Company (part of the United Aircraft Corporation) is developing the first Russian single-engine light tactical fighter with supersonic speed capability and low radar signature."


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  1. Publish date stamp, 16-july 2021

  2. This is probably tied to this project:
    Rostec's teaser video mentioned UAE (together with Argentina, Vietnam and India), so it is highly probably the result of whatever was mentioned in that article.
    It has MiG-21 style air intake (around nose), Al-31/41 family engine (probably Izdelyie 30 from Su-57), vectored thrust and no horizontal stabilizer.
    Probably a lot of electronics from Su-57 including side looking AESA arrays (perhaps a dogfighting machine?).
    But anyway, it seems to be the right way to go, as Soviets did light, single engine fighters very well and the world wanted them.


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