Yesterday at the Voice of Russia a round table discussion was heldthat was dedicated to the 100-year anniversary of the Russian AirForce and the prospects for development of Russian militaryaviation and the aviation industry. Well-known Russian militaryprofessionals and defense industry experts took part in the event. In the course of perfecting the technical equipment of the RussianAir Force and developing new aviation technologies, Russian expertsare looking at the international experience in the area. IvanKudishin, editor-in-chief of the “Aviation and rocket technologies”weekly has produced a report on the main trends in the globalaviation industry.
Over the last ten years the subject of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles(UAVs) has become very popular. If in the early 2000s it concernedonly aircraft designed for reconnaissance missions (of all weightcategories – from super light to heavy), the focus has movedtowards UAVs capable of performing reconnaissance and attackmissions. A good example is a tender held by the US Navy UCLASS todevelop an unmanned attack aircraft – a carrier-based bomber. Taking part are firms like Northtrop Grumman (the unofficialfavorite), Boeing, General Atomics and Lockheed Martin. Thedevelopment of a carrier-based UAV is an extremely difficult task -it has to be able to land not on an airfield with set coordinatesand location, but also on a moving aircraft carrier.
The creation of reusable or non-reusable UAVs to be launched for avariety of mobile platforms, including submarines and patrolaircraft is today the key direction in this area. The Russian military has resumed the development of a bomber andreconnaissance aircraft of a new generation which is expected toreplace the outdated hardware of the B-1B and B-52H after the year2025. It is planned that the aircraft will be low observable,subsonic and as an option manner (piloted). It means that it could be used as either a UAV or a pilotedaircraft if needed. Alloy Steel Seamless Pipe
The vehicle will be equipped with a fairlylarge variety of high precision aviation armaments with lowobservability. As far as the fifth generation aircraft go, the USexperience in their development has been largely negative. Only 187 F-22 jets, which have an excellent upgrade and developmentpotential, have been built by Lockheed Martin. Of those, twoaircraft have been lost in accidents and one due to the faultypilot life support system. Stainless Steel Bright Annealed Tube Manufacturer
About 160 aircraft are in active use,but only 55-65% of those are in full combat readiness. The new F-35 aircraft that is currently undergoing tests suffersfrom two incurable ‘diseases’ at once: excessive universalizationand an uncontrolled rise in costs of research and experimentaldesign work. While it possesses excellent, cutting-edge avionics and a reducedradar perceptibility, the aircraft does not possess a supersoniccruise speed, has limited agility and dynamic characteristics, aswell as very limited possibilities of combat load placement ininternal cargo bays. Due to a number of serious design defects, the programs of thedeck-based modification F-35C and STOVL (short take off andvertical landing) F-35B aircraft are under the threat of closure. At present, the price of a single F-35A aircraft when shipped forexport is $ 122.8 million (while initially, the aircraft wasmarketed as a cheap one and intended for mass production – costingup to $ 60-70 million, and a series of more than 2000 aircrafts),and the cost of a STOVL F-35B aircraft, according to the currentyear’s estimates, exceeds $ 190 million. API 5CT Manufacturer
As an alternative, “Boeing” and “Lockheed Martin” offersignificantly modified models of existing F-15, F-16 and F/A-18E/Faircraft with significantly reduced radar visibility and enhancedcombat capabilities. The former is achieved by the placement of weapons in conformal orsuspended containers, the latter – by the installation of cuttingedge radars with an active phased antenna array (AESA radar), animprovement in other sensors and avionics, as well as integrationof all the combat aircraft in the theater of military operationsinto a single virtual network with the possibility of free exchangeof tactical information. Currently, the production of strategic medium-range militarytransport aircraft (MTA) Boeing C-17 continues (for export). It isnot planned to close the assembly line, so the prospect of the USair force supplies remains a possibility.
Mass production of ?-130J Super Hercules aircrafts continues, andit has a good export potential. But in the near future a MTA/fueltanker Embraer KC-390 will enter into a competition with it. Thisaircraft is intended to enter into service in the Brazilian airforce in 2014. The price for a C-130 is $ 67 million, and thedeclared price of a KC-390 (with comparable payload parameters andsignificantly higher cruising speed) is $ 50 million. Active scientific research and experimental design work intohypersonic aircrafts are carried out under the auspices of theDARPA Agency.
As a result, a fundamentally new and virtuallyindestructible means of destruction with a global range of 4 – 18thousand km is expected to be constructed. Today several world leaders in helicopter engineering (includingthe EADS) are conducting work on the construction of an activerotor, which could adapt to specific conditions of a flight. Thecontrolled flaps technology is actively used. Tests of rotary-wing aircrafts of new generation are beingsuccessfully completed or have been completed in the US and inEurope. In the USA a conception tested by a real aircraft hasreceived development, which is called the “conception of anadvancing blade”.
According to it, advancing blades of two aircraft’s propellers turntheir blades in the direction of air flow, as a result the aircraftbecomes a quasi-normal helicopter with one rotor, all the blades ofwhich are moving backwards. Such a scheme has restrictionsregarding cyclic pitch control, therefore, an additional propulsiveagent was needed – a screw with five blades. Source: Voice of Russia.