Russia’s New Fighter Jet Is “100% Digital” Say Officials

Russia’s New Fighter Jet Is “100% Digital” Say Officials

According to Russian defense officials the PAK-FA fighter jet is far more than a 5th-generation plane, it introduces completely new ideas.

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Russia continues to invest heavily in its domestic arms industry, and the PAK-FA fighter jet is the latest effort. Also known as the T-50, the single-seat, twin-engine fighter jet is the first in the Russian Air Force Fleet to fully utilize stealth technology, according to RT.

New digital capabilities will assist pilots

Defense industry officials claim that the PAK-FA is 100% digital, and will feature a “smart covering” that provides the pilot with an all-round combat picture from within the cockpit. The system will also help the pilot to maneuver with increased efficiency.

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The so-called “smart covering” is in fact a number of universal antenna systems which provide information about objects that are present on all sides of the aircraft. This 360 degree view is projected onto his helmet or onto the cockpit, said Igor Nasenkov, deputy general director of Russia’s KRET corporation.

“The PAK-FA fighter jet is not simply a fifth-generation aircraft as brand new ideas were installed. In other words, it is a 100-percent digital aircraft which not only delivers information at the pilot’s request, but also ensures full-fledged situation awareness,” Nasenkov said.

Russia’s new technology could give PAK-FA the edge against U.S.-built rivals

The PAK-FA is set to compete with U.S. aircraft including the F-22 Raptor and F-35 Lightning II, and is also capable of attacking ground and sea defenses. The jet is the fifth-generation warplane designed by Sukhoi.

Not only will the PAK-FA be capable of engaging in dogfights, it can be used to attack other defenses. Its design ensures stealth, maneuverability and advanced avionics. According to Nasenkov its radar systems “are capable of surveillance functions and active radiolocation also serving as a tool of electronic warfare.”

The official also claimed that the new aircraft would be ahead of the competition thanks to digital control systems and an exemplary level of pilot comfort. Attendees at the Moscow Air Show in August were treated to a display of the aircraft’s extreme maneuverability as a PAK-FA carried out a number of technically demanding stunts.

Russian and Indian Air Forces to use new fighter jet

Pilots in the Russian Air Force are expected to be able to use the first production models of the new aircraft in 2016. The PAK-FA will be tested in a number of military exercises, according to Russian Air and Space Forces Commander Col. Gen. Viktor Bondarev.

“The first T-50s should enter into service in 2016. We haven’t drafter the drill plans for next year yet, but, believe me, it [the plane]…will be immediately tested in all its capabilities in all the different types of exercises,” he said.

Delivery for the first series is scheduled for 2017, although the high cost of each jet is thought to have made the Russian government scale back its orders. In contrast the Indian government is set to order a number of PAK-FA jets as part of the joint FGFA initiative between the two countries. The plane is known as FGFA in India, and will be developed to carry weapons manufactured by Indian companies.

Indian defense minister Manohar Parrikar said that Russia and India have spent around $230 million on the FGFA aircraft, which is based on the PAK-FA. The Indian version will be able to fly at 2,300 kilometers per hour and boast a range of 3,800 kilometers.

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While studying economics, Brendan found himself comfortably falling down the rabbit hole of restaurant work, ultimately opening a consulting business and working as a private wine buyer. On a whim, he moved to China, and in his first week following a triumphant pub quiz victory, he found himself bleeding on the floor based on his arrogance. The same man who put him there offered him a job lecturing for the University of Wales in various sister universities throughout the Middle Kingdom. While primarily lecturing in descriptive and comparative statistics, Brendan simultaneously earned an Msc in Banking and International Finance from the University of Wales-Bangor. He's presently doing something he hates, respecting French people. Well, two, his wife and her mother in the lovely town of Antigua, Guatemala. <i>To contact Brendan or give him an exclusive, please contact him at</i>
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  1. One thing is for sure. Soviets/Russians were always strong in fundamental sciences (math, physics and other math-based fields such as computer sciences, algorithms etc) and theoretical disciplines. Nowadays chinese are also. With that kind of academic knowledge base and experience, I think it’s just a matter of time Russia and/or China quickly catches up.

  2. if f35 is taking a mountain to climb, the russians is projecting an easy walk to produce this plane? are they better than u s engineers?

  3. yawn. This aircraft will never amount to anything. Russian aviation lost its edge in 89′. Ever since then, they’ve been playing catch up. India already backed out of this turd. Who wants a digital turd?

  4. Santa Clous, do you in reality think Russians unveiled all the capabilyties of their T-50? They installed on them a microwave cannon that render into nothing all teh Raptor’s avionics , stealth and network.

  5. Dude, the F-22 has a fully automated pilot integration system. Same as the PAK, do you think it’s a fly by wire like the -16 or the -18? The dam control stick don’t even move, it senses how much pressure the pilot is applying to the control, if that’s not digital, than I must be an idiot. The F-18 has a digital HUD, as does the -22 -35 and the PAK, everything aircraft is digital, unless your flying a piper cub.

  6. And how is the F-35 not fully digital? A single F-35 has over 24 million lines of code in it. That pretty much makes it a flying computer. How many does the PAK-FA have?

    Plus, the stealth on the PAK-FA is crap. The Indians themselves said so. It’s basically a glorified Su-27 with some stealth features tacked on. Both the F-22 and the F-35 are designed for stealth from the ground up, which is reflected in the shape of the planes.

    The only advantage the PAK has over the Raptor or the Lightning is that it’s more maneuverable (and in the case of the Raptor, only slightly more so). Big whoop. There hasn’t been an actual dogfight since 1988. These are the days of long range missiles and stealth. Whoever sees the enemy first is the one who wins the fight. And my money’s on the Raptor and the Lightning with their superior avionics, stealth, and networking. That’s what wins battles in the 21st century. Not fancy turns and flips.

  7. Too bad it doesn’t have an engine powerful enough for it yet and won’t for some time. By the time this plane gets fully operational, the U.S. will have already produced a sixth generation plane.

  8. In short Russia wants to sell their new toy to gullible ones who’d wish to buy F-35 but couldn’t, borrows JSFs well characterized “situational awareness” capability provided to the pilot’s mounted helmet display. Russia wants to showcase their stealth weapons quite badly and desperately needs the money.

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