KLIMOV IS DEVELOPING two thrust-vectoring-engine designs, the RD-133 and the RD-333, for an advanced derivative of the MAPO-MiG MiG-29 Fulcrum, dubbed the MiG-35 (Flight International, 12-19 June).
The engine-design bureau says that the RD-133 is based on the RD-33 which powers the Fulcrum, fitted with axisymmetric nozzles. The RD-333, however, is a fifth-generation engine design.
The RD-133 will be ready for ground-test runs by the end of this year, with test flights of a thrust-vectoring MiG-29 due to begin by around the end of 1997. This programme is being viewed as a technology demonstrator, although, if the RD-333 project is delayed, the RD-133 could become the production-standard engine.
The RD-133 produces a maximum 83kN (18,600lb) of thrust in re-heat, while the RD-333 is intended to produce 98kN. The RD-333 is expected to be ready for the start of ground-test runs in around three years. Both engines are intended to have design lives of up to 2,000h. The thrust-vectoring-engine programme is being financially supported by the VPK-MAPO defence industrial consortium, of which Klimov recently became a member.
The MiG-35 programme supersedes the MiG-29M project as the focus of future development. Unlike the thrust-vectoring nozzles fitted to the Su-27M, the Fulcrum design operates in the horizontal and vertical planes. The Su-27M's Lyulka Saturn AL-37FU engines are fitted with round nozzles, which operate only in the vertical plane. Lateral movement is inhibited by the Su-27's tail sting.