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Aero India 2023

New design solution enhances T-50 fighter stealth capabilities

Russian fifth-generation T-50 fighter. Photo: Sukhoi Company

MOSCOW (BNS): A new design solution has moved the Russian fifth- generation fighter T-50 ahead of the American F-22 in its stealth capabilities, according to PAK FA chief designer.

The T-50 (PAK FA) fighter jet is equipped a number of technologies produced by Rostec companies that make the plane even less visible to the enemy radar.

The aircraft maker Sukhoi has managed to greatly reduce the effective surface scattering of the T-50 fighter, which is the basic element for visibility on aircraft radars.

The average value of this indicator for the PAK FA fighter is between 0.1 and 1 square metre, Rostec said in a statement.

In order to achieve this level of stealth, designers moved all weapons to the inside of the plane and also changed the shape of the air intake channels, also lining its walls with a material that absorbs radio waves, it said.

PAK FA chief designer Alexander Davidenko said the T-50 is now ahead of not only all other fighters of the Russian Army, but also foreign models. For example, the visibility of the American fifth-generation F-22 fighter is 0.3-0.4 square meters, he added.

Rostec enterprises produced the main parts of the T-50. The company Radioelectronic Technologies created the avionics and other radio-electronic needs for the fifth-generation aircraft.

RT-Khimkompozit produces the canopy and panelling. The T-50 is the first Russian combat aircraft made from a high proportion of composite materials, making up 25% of the mass of the aircraft and covering 70% of its surface, it said.

The United Engine Corporation is designing the propulsion system for the fighter jet. The work for the fifth-generation engine is taking place at the company 'Engines for Combat Aircraft.'

The T-50 prototype is already testing the first-phase AL-41F1 engines, a turbofan engine with afterburner and thrust vector control. With this engine the aircraft is capable of supersonic speeds without afterburner effects.

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