Russia Is Currently Not Developing A Light Fifth-Generation Stealth Fighter

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The development of light fifth-generation fighter is not one of the top-priority projects of Russian United Aircraft Corporation .

Although Russia don’t eliminate the possibility of developing a light fifth-generation aircraft, but currently this project is not included in the roadmap of United Aircraft Corporation UAC. In the near-term UAC will continue the expansion of MiG-29 fighter’s capabilities and then upgrade it to MiG-35 version.

The contracts with Russian and Indian Ministries of Defense for delivery of MiG-29K/KUB aircraft make UAC focus on production of these fighters, the corporation’s president added.

Head of UAC also said that a vector of development will be defined after completion of work on MiG-29K/35 Family: the corporation will then choose between development of a UCAV and a light fifth-generation fighter concept.

Japan's Indigenous Stealth Fighter Prototype ATD-X To Fly By the End Of 2014

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Japanese Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera has reaffirmed the nation's plan for a 2014 first flight of the Advanced Technology Demonstrator-X (ATD-X) fighter: a prototype for a future fighter to replace the Japan Air Self-Defence Force's Mitsubishi F-2.

"In February I myself visited at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries' (MHI's) Komaki Minami plant where the ATD-X is being built," Onodera told the Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee of the Upper House on 10 April. "There I was briefed that the first flight will take place this year."

The ATD-X, also known as Shinshin ('Heart of God'), is being developed by the ministry's Technical Research and Development Institute (TRDI), with the main contractor of the project being MHI. It has been designed to be a stealthy air-superiority fighter with enhanced manoeuvrability. The Japanese Ministry of Defence (MoD) will use it to research advanced technologies and system integration, after which it plans to produce a 'sixth-generation' fighter encompassing i3 (informed, intelligent and instantaneous) concepts and counter-stealth capabilities.

Japan ATD-X Stealth Fighter
Japan ATD-X Stealth Fighter

"Originally MHI planned to roll-out the ATD-X before the media in May, soon after Japan's Golden Week holidays, followed by the first test fight."Now it is several months behind schedule."

Russia Finalises PAK-DA Bomber Design

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Tupolev have completed the design of Russia's PAK-DA next-generation bomber aircraft, according to the head of United Aircraft Corporation (UAC), Mikhail Pogosyan.

Pogosyan made the remarks during a briefing with the Russian aerospace press, according to individuals familiar with the presentation who briefed IHS Jane's on the details. He is understood to have confirmed that the "on-paper" design of the PAK-DA has now been completed by the Tupolev design bureau.

The PAK-DA project will now transition into an intermediate phase between the completion of the aircraft's design and prototype construction, with the beginning of fabrication of some of the component modules for the aircraft.

 PAK-DA Bomber
 PAK-DA Bomber

Despite speculation about whether the PAK-DA will be of a flying-wing design, Pogosyan declined to discuss details of the aircraft's configuration. UAC, which holds the contract for the PAK-DA programme, has overall responsibility for the design of the new bomber. However, the programme is being developed by UAC's new subsidiary formed by the merger of the Tupolev design bureau and the KAPO production plant in Kazan.

Meanwhile, the Sukhoi T-50 PAK-FA fifth-generation fighter continues to add more flight test aircraft to the programme, with five prototypes now undergoing validation flights. One more prototype will be delivered for the flight test schedule in 2014 and then two more in 2015. In 2016 the programme is scheduled to begin a low rate of deliveries to operational units, but this is still open to change due to a lack of any concrete facilities within the Russian Air Force (VVS) for the testing of some of the aircraft's performance parameters.

Because of the phased introduction into service and the number of improvements being planned beyond the original configuration the T-50 is probably headed for a very long service life. Projections are, said Pogosyan, that it would be in service well after 2050.

Russia Needs Time To Build Capable Air Force and Naval Force

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Personnel is a major problem for the Russian military. Efforts to move from a conscription army to “contract-employed” soldiers (such as the U.S. volunteer force) have not been successful.
The military forces that Russian President Vladimir Putin has threatened to use “as a last resort” in eastern Ukraine are in the early stages of a major, seven-year modernization program that is not expected to be completed before 2020.

Starved for funds in the 1990s and early 2000s, Moscow’s “troop readiness, training, morale, and discipline suffered, and most arms industries became antiquated,” according to a Congressional Research Service (CRS) report released Wednesday.

Sukhoi Su-35S
Sukhoi Su-35S

The number of combat-capable aircraft dropped from 1,600 in 2010 to 1,460 in 2012, according to the Swedish study. The new Russian defense minister, Sergey Shoygu, has said that the air force was concentrated in too few locations and required more bases.
He also spoke publicly about increasing the number of rounds that artillery and tank crews fire in exercises. “Our colleagues in other countries shoot 160 shells a year per crew. We have to increase our indicator at least five times,” he said.

This is not the Russia of the Cold War, and it has few allies who would join it should Putin try to move into eastern Ukraine.

As Gorenburg put it Sunday, any such move would lead “to a quite bloody and potentially long-lasting conflict,” and “even though Russia would win such a war, the result would be long-term instability on Russia’s immediate border, with guerrilla warfare likely for some time.”

Chinese President Urges For Stronger Air Force (PLAAF)

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Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday said modernization and regularization in the airforce should be accelerated to build a stronger military.

Xiwho is also chairman of the Central Military Commissiontold troops to speed up airspace integration and sharpen their offensive and defensive capabilities while inspecting the air force's command headquarters.

During the visitthe president said efforts should not slacken in the search for the missing Malaysian plane MH370 while debriefing airmen in the mission via video link.

As a strategic military servicethe air force plays a vital role in safeguarding national securityXi saidurging the army to strengthen exercises and be prepared for combatso as to quickly respond to emergencies.

He called on military leaders to run the military in accordance with the law and enforce strict discipline to improve scientific management of troops.

Pakistan Deal for Chinese J-10 Fighters Delayed

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Tough IMF conditions on Pakistan and others concern ( PAF busy in the further development of JF-17)  likely will delay Islamabad's plan to buy 36 J-10B Vigorous Dragon multirole fighters from China under a $1.4 billion deal signed in 2009, analysts said.

Current economic conditions "preclude any possibility of acquiring new weapon systems in the next two to three years, at least," said retired Pakistani Air Commodore Kaiser Tufail, a veteran fighter and test pilot who is now an independent military analyst in Lahore.

Under IMF loan terms, the government faces harsh conditions on raising revenue and controlling spending, including on military equipment.

A Chinese defense delegation visited Pakistan the last week of September to discuss the status of stalled defense deals. Whether this included the J-10 order is unclear.

PLAAF J-10B Multirole Fighter
PLAAF J-10B Multirole Fighter

The J-10B Super-10 is an advanced variant of the J-10A, first fielded in late 2003 with China's Air Force. The new Super-10 will reportedly be powered by the Chinese-designed WS-10A turbofan engine, which will replace the J-10A's Russian Saturn AL-31FN. Built by Chengdu Aircraft Industries, the jet is based on Israel's Lavi indigenous fighter program by Israel Aerospace Industries that was canceled in 1987.

Even if a friendly Arab Gulf state provided financing, Tufail said more used Lockheed Martin F-16Cs from US stocks are preferable, "rather than trying out a new weapon system that is an unknown commodity in the realm of modern-day combat."

Tufail questioned the wisdom of buying one squadron of J-10s.

To be cost effective "at least three to four squadrons would justify the additional wherewithal and maintenance facilities that would be needed," he said.

Over-reliance on US high-technology equipment like fighters worries Pakistani officials, and while Tufail said diversification "be explored fully, with China and Russia as suitable sources," in the case of the fighter, the government may not have another option.

Should a deal occur, however, Tufail foresees no problems with directly or indirectly acquiring Russian equipment such as the J-10's AL-31FN engine.

The J-10B was first revealed to the public in early 2009. Images appearing on Chinese-language military websites indicate the J-10B had a new nose configuration with an infrared search and tracking system and a "new Diverterless Supersonic Intake configured engine air intake," also seen on the Chengdu FC-1 Xiaolong (Fierce Dragon), which is co-produced in Pakistan as the JF-17 Thunder, said Richard Fisher, a senior fellow of Asian military affairs at the International Assessment and Strategy Center.

At least one prototype J-10B has featured the indigenous Shenyang-Liming WS-10A turbofan engine, but it remains to be seen whether all production J-10Bs will feature the WS-10A or the Russian Saturn AL-31F turbofan," Fisher said.

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