PAK-FA: IDA’s unclassified analysis now online

UPDATE 2: Steeljaw Scribe has removed the brief from Scribd. As the brief is now firmly in the public domain, with probably dozens — if not hundreds — of downloads, I’m reposting my own copy here using Apture’s embed tool. (Be patient if it takes a minute or two to upload the first time.)

UPDATE: Markov and Hull have done work for Institute for Defense Analyses in the past, but this brief may be an independent effort.

Uploaded here today by Steeljaw Scribe:

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21 Responses to PAK-FA: IDA’s unclassified analysis now online

  1. Vladimir 12 April, 2010 at 1:08 am #

    @page 18,67:

    Plasma port!!!

    O RLY…?

  2. Stephen Trimble 12 April, 2010 at 1:21 am #

    Great spot, Vladimir. The infamous Russian plasma stealth/esm/dircm lives … well, maybe anyway.

  3. Steeljaw Scribe 12 April, 2010 at 3:40 am #

    More so than the plasma, I think, is the implication of a breakthrough in stealth coatings and what that might mean for gen 4/4.5 aircraft… (see slide 66)
    w/r, SJS

  4. chris 12 April, 2010 at 6:09 am #

    Three things that jump out at me…

    1) IRST is potentially a great equalizer if you can remain LO yourself.

    2) The YF-23 sure was sexy. The ATF competition was the last time that we saw two teams come up with what we would hope that the best and brightest would propose.

    3) I hope that we don’t end up with 187 vs 250 as a ratio.

  5. Dave 12 April, 2010 at 7:00 am #

    Interesting… If the Russians are right about IRST being the first sensor to pick up a stealthy aircraft- does the F-35 have a better shot at this thing than the Raptor? I doubt it personally…the Russians underestimate the Raptor and I think they’re overconfident about their own LO work.

  6. VS 12 April, 2010 at 10:40 am #

    Seems to be more a rough copy paste of all the drawings and pics floating around rather than any serious attempt at analysis.

  7. Distiller 12 April, 2010 at 11:16 am #

    Cut’n paste job.

    They aren’t serious about the LERX hydraulics, are they??

  8. Firefox 12 April, 2010 at 11:23 am #

    This is no analysis, but various images that have been available on the net for the past three months or so. Worth of two days work of 14 years old aviation geek with access to internet and sufficient supply of Ben and Jerry´s. Analysis looks more like this:
    I hope nobody paid for this IDA random collection of “stuff”.

  9. Weaponhead 12 April, 2010 at 5:10 pm #


    How about a downloadable PDF?

  10. aeroxavier 12 April, 2010 at 5:12 pm #

    this plane can’t be compares to other today because he was ready in 2020. in 10 years technology can make new factors of power.

  11. Stephen Trimble 12 April, 2010 at 5:17 pm #

    Weaponhead: Click the “download” button on the left corner of the Scribd box.

  12. Nobody 13 April, 2010 at 2:20 pm #

    That’s a piece of c… . One can’t call that an analysis, like ‘Firefox’ on April 12, 2010 11:23 AM said. It’s like a ‘joke’, a propaganda, a way to get money from India … you name it.

    Even it contain pieces of information that are true that does not change the fact that is full of b… .

    As for, one can find opinions, with arguments, about that analysis on the internet. And are not favorable/positive opinions about that post.

    But people belief weird thinks, why not belief what Dr. Carlo Kopp and Peter Goon write as analysis: unsustainable, with the conclusion in mind, with no respect for reality (even it contain some truth in it, but just some …).

    Btw, here a picture about the PAK-FA:
    How stealth can be that engine? Off course, the final a/c can be different.

  13. BDF 13 April, 2010 at 11:18 pm #

    I’d agree with some posters that this “briefing” is much more like speculation than any serious technical analysis. A lot of the slides come enthusiasts speculations and many have already been disproven; e.g. the inlet geometry. I’m skeptical that a production vehicle will be so much bigger than the F-22 and not weigh more.

    I’m also skeptical about IRST claims. There’s a big difference between blob detection and developing an engageable track. Brochure claims tend to overstate actual nominal performance, I’ve been told a good rule of thumb is taking that range and cut it down by 1/3rd to 1/2. IR is generally affected substantially by spectral conditions and no doubt brochure ranges are closer to ideal conditions than say an average spectral day.

    It’s interesting that the Russians are claiming 100km for an “F-22 like” supercruiser which is twice their claimed 50km head on target. The USAF has said in the past that the F-22 has a “low IR signature under sustained supercruise conditions” and LM has also said in the past that the F-22 was designed with balanced observables; i.e. detection ranges for Radar and IR will be similar. Balance this all out with what little is known about TOPCOAT. Some info was leaked during EMD. It has been purported to be a thermalchromic coating, attenuating as much as 70% of IR emissions in the 3-5 and 8-12 micron bands. It’s also been speculated to be a selectively emissive coating. In this case it’d shift its emissions to ranges that are easily attenuated in the atmosphere. Lastly its been speculated that the F-22 employs active cooling measures such as leading edge cooling (via fuel) and exhaust mixing.

    If the above is indeed correct, Russian estimates could very well be optimistic, perhaps 40-50km might be the most expected under good to ideal spectral conditions on the F-22. The F-22 should still receive and AIRST as well as the cheek arrays IMO but I don’t think the PAK-FA’s signature is nearly as refined as the F-22’s and perhaps not as much as the F-35’s. So I think it’s not quite a boogie man but not to be taken lightly either.

  14. Vibayo 19 April, 2010 at 10:19 pm #

    Is there any chance we can get the presentation to our Hard drives? Megaupload, Rapidshare, whatever works.

    Thank you very much

  15. RAF 20 April, 2010 at 3:25 pm #

    About the stealthy inlet:
    Look at the X-32, there you can see (something that looks like) the engine face from the air intake, and that is supposed to be stealthy. And if you look at the YF-23, same thing.
    Most of the stealth comes from the material in a duct.

  16. FigtherFan 6 May, 2010 at 1:42 am #

    Good points about the F-22′s IR and balanced signature reduction measures; they came to mind when I came to the part about the performance claims for the IRST.

    The F-22′s main weakness vs. T-50 may be its armament: only 6 BVR missiles, and the Amraam’s real world Pk hasn’t been impressive. The forthcoming AIM-120D may improve on the kinematics, but what about guidance improvements against threats employing advanced countermeasures?

    USAF and LM should consider developing a folding-fin “AIM-120E”, coupled with more compact vertical eject launchers and bulged weapon bay doors, maybe this could fit 5 missiles per bay instead of the current 3.

    I’d like to see a similar analysis of the T-50 vs. the Euro-canards, but maybe that’s a no-brainer?

    RAF – the device you can see in the X-32′s inlet is actually the “radar blocker vane” that shields the engine compressor face. It’s also used on the F/A-18E/F.

  17. PKW Autoteile 3 June, 2010 at 12:07 pm #

    Ich bin schon lange sehr zufrieden, will jedoch im grunde gedanklich folgen. Und obwohl ich eine voellig andere Meinung habe!Es ist voellig richtig und ich vergleiche das wie folgt, seit ich alte Ersatzteile fuer unser Auto kaufen kommen wir mit unserem Geld besser aus

  18. Google 8 July, 2010 at 6:27 am #

    Heyy, Sweet post! I will definatley be coming back soon!=)

  19. flyff penya 17 July, 2010 at 3:20 pm #

    I truly appreciate you taking the time to post this. I really liked reading it and am looking forward to more posts from you! Keep ‘em coming.

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