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New Russian Fighter Not Up To Western Standards

timothy posted about 8 months ago | from the does-this-come-with-the-xm-radio? dept.

The Military 354

schwit1 writes "Despite initial high expectations, the Indian Air Force appears to be souring on a joint development deal with Russia for a new fifth-generation fighter jet, according to the Business Standard, a major Indian business publication. The Russian prototype is 'unreliable, its radar inadequate, its stealth features badly engineered,' said Indian Air Force Deputy Air Marshall S Sukumar at a Jan. 15 meeting, according to minutes obtained by the Business Standard. 'They're very good at building airplanes,' Cordesman said. 'The problem that Russia, since the collapse of the former Soviet Union, has been putting out the military equivalent of show cars. They look good, but it isn't always clear how practical they are and how many of the specifications they can actually meet.'"

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Hrm... (5, Insightful)

Adam Colley (3026155) | about 8 months ago | (#46073189)

From model villages to model aircraft eh?

Re:Hrm...fuck off (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46073537)

Fuck off back to Facebook so you can grab your ankles and have advertisements shoved into your rancid shitty asshole. They will be accompanied by many black cocks I am sure.

Re:Hrm...fuck off (5, Insightful)

Gorshkov (932507) | about 8 months ago | (#46074147)

model villages to model aircraft - an (obvious, I think) reference to Potemkin Villages. And a damned good comparison, at that.

Re:Hrm... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46073753)

You're a facebook nigger.

BUT THE DAMN BEST EJECTION SEAT !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46073197)

Hands down !! It has to be !!

To be fair (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46073223)

They haven't had quite as much opportunities to field-test their designs as the Americans.

Re:To be fair (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46073871)

Yup, all those wars in the Mid East serve as great testing grounds. It's a pity loads of troops die in the process of testing, but hey you can't let morals get in the way of profits.

So a good match... (4, Insightful)

TWX (665546) | about 8 months ago | (#46073227)

...for the current development level of the F-35?

In all seriousness, as compromised as the F-35 has been in what's been delivered to customers so far, it sounds like it'd be a fairly even match. Compromised plane against compromised plane.

And don't rule out older designs, the military used to train pilots in new planes by pitting them against experienced pilots in F4s and other older jets, and routinely the older jets would get kills against the new ones.

Re:So a good match... (3, Funny)

DerekLyons (302214) | about 8 months ago | (#46073311)

And don't rule out older designs, the military used to train pilots in new planes by pitting them against experienced pilots in F4s and other older jets, and routinely the older jets would get kills against the new ones.

So long as your Air Force is made up of nothing but experienced pilots, you'll do fine then.

We''l just recruit new pilots from Lake Wobegon.

Re:So a good match... (5, Interesting)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about 8 months ago | (#46073481)

So long as your Air Force is made up of nothing but experienced pilots, you'll do fine then.

One (of many) reasons that the US military sucks up so much money is that our pilots train continuously. In the C17, pilots do not reach the Aircraft Commander level until 4 or 5 *years* after putting on wings. Obviously, fighters have a different training program, but clearly huge amounts of continuous training are involved. So, yes, in practical terms, the operational Air Force is made up of almost nothing but experienced pilots.

Re:So a good match... (5, Informative)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | about 8 months ago | (#46073739)

And if you can afford it, it really pays off. Take a good look at what the highly trained, badly outnumbered Israeli air force did to to the Egyptian, Syrian, and Iraqi air force during the Six Day War. The Soviet trainers of those national air forces there were explicitly prevented from providing extensive training and from keeping the aircraft fully fueled and armed. The constant concern was that educated, trained local pilots would steal the planes and fly to NATO airbases, for both economic and political reasons. The list of successful pilot defections during the time is quite long:

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L... [wikipedia.org]

It's an amazing list, and purchasers of Soviet aircraft of the era were constantly handicapped by the risk of the best trained and educated pilots defecting.

Re:So a good match... (4, Insightful)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 8 months ago | (#46073793)

One (of many) reasons that the US military sucks up so much money is that our pilots train continuously.

Yet another reason to move to pilotless planes. Drones don't need training, they just need to be programmed.

Re:So a good match... (5, Informative)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about 8 months ago | (#46074117)

Yet another reason to move to pilotless planes. Drones don't need training, they just need to be programmed.

*Some* drones are pilot-less, mostly high altitude reconesonce drones. *Most* US drones in fact have qualified pilots at the controls, sitting in control rooms at places like Creech Air Force Base, outside of Las Vegas. Creech is both a training / testing base for drones, as well as a Command and Control location where actual pilots sit in rooms controlling drones in "real-time".

Re:So a good match... (1, Informative)

DerekLyons (302214) | about 8 months ago | (#46073945)

One (of many) reasons that the US military sucks up so much money is that our pilots train continuously. In the C17, pilots do not reach the Aircraft Commander level until 4 or 5 *years* after putting on wings. Obviously, fighters have a different training program, but clearly huge amounts of continuous training are involved. So, yes, in practical terms, the operational Air Force is made up of almost nothing but experienced pilots.

In practical terms, no, the operational Air Force is anything *but* made up of experienced pilots. You have a significant fraction that are relatively new (less than two or three years experience). You also have a significant fraction that have (within a year or so) just returned from non-flying duties.
 
Not to mention the "experienced" pilots in the OP are either pilots with notable air combat experience, or long (twelve to fifteen years plus) service experience.

Re:So a good match... (4, Insightful)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about 8 months ago | (#46074137)

In practical terms, no, the operational Air Force is anything *but* made up of experienced pilots. You have a significant fraction that are relatively new (less than two or three years experience). You also have a significant fraction that have (within a year or so) just returned from non-flying duties.

I disagree. But hey, I've only worked in operational flying for the USAF for around 20 years. Maybe I'm wrong.

Re:So a good match... (1)

SpankiMonki (3493987) | about 8 months ago | (#46074225)

Another true story ruined by an eye-witness!

BTW, thanks for your service (hope that doesn't sound glib).

Re:So a good match... (3, Informative)

SpankiMonki (3493987) | about 8 months ago | (#46074169)

One (of many) reasons that the US military sucks up so much money is that our pilots train continuously.

Off topic, but the USAF flight training budget for FY2014 represents just over 1/2 of 1 percent of the total USAF budget. In terms of money suckers, flight training is way way down the list.

Total budget = $144,425B (page 4 here [af.mil] )

Flight training budget = $792M (page 1 here [af.mil] )

Re:So a good match... (3, Funny)

Rick Zeman (15628) | about 8 months ago | (#46073607)

And don't rule out older designs, the military used to train pilots in new planes by pitting them against experienced pilots in F4s and other older jets, and routinely the older jets would get kills against the new ones.

So long as your Air Force is made up of nothing but experienced pilots, you'll do fine then.

We''l just recruit new pilots from Lake Wobegon.

Yeah, all the pilots are above average there.

Re:So a good match... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46073811)

We''l just recruit new pilots from Lake Wobegon.

Yeah, all the pilots are above average there.

Well, all the women are strong from there.

Re:So a good match... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46073361)

And don't rule out older designs, the military used to train pilots in new planes by pitting them against experienced pilots in F4s and other older jets, and routinely the older jets would get kills against the new ones.

In some kinds of training, yes... but for many modern missions, it's more plane against ground radar, not plane against plane.

Re:So a good match... (2)

Truekaiser (724672) | about 8 months ago | (#46073387)

As long as it costs less than 1 trillion(the f-35's current running total) it is not only a match but a good counter.

Re:So a good match... (2)

Waffle Iron (339739) | about 8 months ago | (#46073417)

And don't rule out older designs, the military used to train pilots in new planes by pitting them against experienced pilots in F4s and other older jets, and routinely the older jets would get kills against the new ones.

Now wait a minute... I seem to recall one of those rah-rah! documentaries on cable, where they were boasting about an exercise where the latest plane (probably an F-22) knocked out a whole squadron of F-16s before they could even detect it. I'm not sure how pilot skill comes into play there, unless "camping" is frowned upon in a real war.

Re:So a good match... (5, Informative)

0123456 (636235) | about 8 months ago | (#46073507)

If you read the history books, you'll also see how the F-4 was going to destroy all opposing aircraft with missiles, so it would never need a gun because they'd never get close enough.

Once it actually got into actual combat in the actual real world, there were sudden orders for a gun pod for close-in dogfights.

The F-22 may be able to hit less stealthy aircraft with missiles from well beyond visual range, but that doesn't help if the rules of engagement won't let them fire missiles at random dots on a radar screen. Also, I was reading recently about new IR trackers which can detect F-22s from well beyond radar range, making radar stealth far less useful.

Re:So a good match... (2)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about 8 months ago | (#46073959)

If the F-4 actually had had good missiles, it wouldn't have needed its cannon. The Sparrow missile however was a piece of shit, and it didn't help that it never occurred to the designers that it would be used in a tropical environment. F-4 pilots got into the habit of firing two at a time, because they knew one of them would fail to light and fall into the jungle, or immediately go straight and fail to track, or some other problem.

Re:So a good match... (3, Interesting)

Alarash (746254) | about 8 months ago | (#46073685)

And I heard stories of the Dassault Rafale shooting down F-22 with their canon. There'll always be stories of "plane X shot plane Y so plane X is better than plane Y" but that overlooks individual skills (dog fighting), tactical conditions (can't shoot from beyond visual range if the target is flying low in a mountain range) or even strategic considerations (can you afford, both money and time wise, to replace your planes when they go down or need maintenance). The whole problem of military design is to find the right balance between high-technology and affordability. And it seems that lately the US have been shifting a lot more towards the former. Keep in mind that you can live using credits only for so long, and during war times it becomes even more critical.

Re:So a good match... (5, Interesting)

Luckyo (1726890) | about 8 months ago | (#46073941)

That one is actually feasible. The most distinguishing feature of Rafale is that they have a fully integrated (advertised as) revolutionary electronic warfare suite called SPECTRA. This proved itself well in Libya, where there were two kinds of NATO attack sorties. Those where aircraft were escorted by dedicated electronic warfare aircraft like Prowlers and Growlers, and those where Rafales went in without. The task of electronic warfare aircraft is to jam enemy radar guided missiles. They are the main force responsible for high survivability of NATO aircraft in recent conflicts.

F-22 is highly reliant on its radar guided missiles to do the job. It's a pretty bad dogfighter as dogfighting would put emphasis on maneuvreability and F-22 is designed for stealth first and foremost. Rafale is designed for speed and superagility, so it's meant for dogfights. If Rafale's integrated electronic warfare suite is indeed powerful enough to disrupt F-22's radar guided missiles as it's rumoured to be, F-22 is going to be boned very hard in a duel against it. If both sides are able to render radar guided missile attacks useless, guns and IR seekers come into play and that puts F-22 at a massive disadvantage.

The historic analogy here is ninja vs samurai. If a ninja could get a sneak kill, he would win. But a frontal fight against a heavily armoured and armed samurai is a suicide for a ninja.

Re:So a good match... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46073577)

For as long as you can afford to keep the F-35 running, sure. But its costs/flight underarmed firepower, and horrible maintence records means that you're going to run out of important ports. Like *wheels to land on*.

For a $400 million dollar kamikaze plane, it's fabulous.

Re:So a good match... (5, Insightful)

hairyfeet (841228) | about 8 months ago | (#46073653)

And its all because of that damned stealth which cripples the HELL out of the aircraft! The ONLY advantage it gives you is on sneaking up, that's it, and in return for the sneaking up? 1.- no external hardpoints means you can't carry shit for stores, 2.- this cuts down loiter times to joke levels, 3.- it limits your new toy to a couple of missiles at best, 4.- it drives the costs to insane levels thanks to the exotic materials and perfectly flush seams required.

Frankly we are making the same mistake that Germany made in WWII, as we are making planes that are extremely complex, have very low flight to maintenance ratios, spend more time on the ground being worked on than anything else,can't afford to have more than a handful built making spare parts costs soar, and are ignoring the fact that any potential enemies are gonna be able to pick up the MiG 29s and SU35s for a song thus enabling them to "plane spam" us with planes that can carry a hell of a lot more stores than our techno turkies ever can.

If we HAVE to buy stealth toys? The stealth eagle can be had for a song, eagles are reliable, when you don't need the stealth it can carry a ton of stores and most importantly we get the line cranked we could easily have 2 or even 3 of those for every F35 which they STILL haven't been able to show will actually work with any reliability. Its the F22 all over again and all TFA does is show me that stealth is just a bad idea with current tech. the Chinese are likewise finding this out, with their F22 copy ending up on the "for sale cheap" pile because after trying it the Chinese air force don't want it.

Re:So a good match... (2)

MightyYar (622222) | about 8 months ago | (#46073769)

F-35 has external hardpoints. So does the F-22. They can carry fuel or missiles.

Re:So a good match... (4, Insightful)

Luckyo (1726890) | about 8 months ago | (#46073965)

Doing so makes them into very expensive and very inefficient fighters. Not to even mention F-35 which has massive issues with its external hardpoints right now, ranging from not having enough thrust to function as a fighter with full external loadout to actually destroying its engine trying to achieve maneuvreability and acceleration on par with F-4, much less a modern 4th gen aircraft.

F-35 program is a complete mess right now, and honestly not a good comparison point to anything that is actually functional. Same goes for most post USSR Russian military aircraft development.

Re:So a good match... (1)

khallow (566160) | about 8 months ago | (#46074143)

And its all because of that damned stealth which cripples the HELL out of the aircraft!

They have a role. What carried more stuff and has a longer loiter time, a stealth fighter or a smoking hole in the ground? Once you have air superiority, that stark choice no longer exists. But you have to get to that point. Using a lot of gimped stealth planes is the current US approach.

Re:So a good match... (4, Insightful)

rotorbudd (1242864) | about 8 months ago | (#46074157)

Wasn't it Stalin that said "Quantity has a quality all it's own" when the Allies told him USSR's equipment was inferior?

Re:So a good match... (3, Insightful)

MightyYar (622222) | about 8 months ago | (#46073747)

pitting them against experienced pilots in F4s and other older jets

Sometimes the older jets are quite nimble performers, but lack some other quality which renders them obsolete. Maybe they have poor loiter time, low ordinance capacity, or limited range. Maybe they simply cost too much to maintain, or are unreliable. Thus they might still make excellent dog-fighting opponents on a training course where the scenario specifically evens the playing field.

There is more to a jet's war-fighting ability than simply being good in a dogfight or the ability to go really fast.

Re:So a good match... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46074175)

what's been delivered to customers so far

No operational F-35s have been delivered to anyone. Training aircraft have been delivered to the US Navy and the UK. These are incomplete aircraft lacking key equipment and software.

I've looked at the stuff the F-35 critics have been writing. They do a lot of bitching about being over budget, how it can't possibly meet its cost per unit target, how late it is (for various definitions of on-time,) and they speculate a lot about things for which they have no actual data, and in particular they moan about software.

All non-wartime weapon development is over-budget and late. SOP. All military aircraft fail to meet some naive and downplayed cost-per-unit target floated 15 years before they enter serial production. SOP. Software is hard. It's also fixable at our leisure and eventually a non-issue. I don't believe the claims that the F-35 will perform poorly; the design doesn't appear to have any obvious flaws in terms of aerodynamics, power-to-weight, etc. It should be fast, durable and effective.

Armchair weaponeers to have been panning and deriding new designs since we started sharping metal. It's easy to pick some spec (whether real or downplayed by the designers for obvious reasons) of a new aircraft design and say "See! It's not as good as a 50 year old such-and-such." Fact is matching the absolute top speed of a MIG-25 while its disintegrating its own turbine isn't particularly important.

Every time our designs go up against the competition the result is a bunch of smoking holes filled with Soviet era relics. The F-35 will continue that tradition.

On par with F22 and F35 (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46073229)

Re:On par with F22 and F35 (1)

WindBourne (631190) | about 8 months ago | (#46073527)

not even close to the F22. OTOH, the F35 .... meh.

Re:On par with F22 and F35 (2)

amiga3D (567632) | about 8 months ago | (#46073567)

The F22 is certainly impressive. A maintenance nightmare but bad ass in a fight. The F35? A single engine fighter? Just what we needed, another lawn dart to replace the F16.

Re:On par with F22 and F35 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46073701)

A maintenance nightmare but bad ass in a fight.

Searching on the internet I get from 30 to 45 hours of maintenance for every hour of flight. There are 187 operational fighters. That means on average 6 f22 in the air simulataneously. Of course, for air shows and planned exercises, it's not a problem as you can plan the maintenance so all aircraft are operational at the same time. For real war, what are 6 f22 going to do against thousands of world war 2 fighters?

Re:On par with F22 and F35 (2)

WindBourne (631190) | about 8 months ago | (#46073745)

Oh, I think that we need a cheap single engine fighter to replace the F-16. Sadly, the F-35 is a nightmare.

not invented here. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46073235)

It's a Russian fighter. Why are we hearing criticism from the Indian Air Force, and not the Russian Air Force?

Re:not invented here. (4, Funny)

PPH (736903) | about 8 months ago | (#46073479)

Perhaps because members of the Russian Air Force don't like working in labor camps in Siberia.

Re:not invented here. (2)

WindBourne (631190) | about 8 months ago | (#46073517)

because it was developed by BOTH Indians and Russian and both are flying it.

Re:not invented here. (1)

aliquis (678370) | about 8 months ago | (#46073549)

Because India is looking into buying planes and compare them?

Re:not invented here. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46073663)

It's the dissatisfied customer haggling technique.

Re:not invented here. (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | about 8 months ago | (#46073979)

Money. India is the main buyer and it wants good deals.

Also culture. Russian military culture doesn't support airing their dirty laundry in public.

When an F22 can't give its pilots oxygen... (1)

Ken_g6 (775014) | about 8 months ago | (#46073249)

This is different how?

The F22 and F35 also seem like impractical boondoggles.

Re:When an F22 can't give its pilots oxygen... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46073285)

F22 at least tries to its own nation's pilots rather than export customer's.

Re:When an F22 can't give its pilots oxygen... (5, Informative)

DMUTPeregrine (612791) | about 8 months ago | (#46073437)

Essentially it seems to be a problem with the entire concept of "fifth generation" fighters. The idea that you can have useful all-aspect stealth without sacrificing performance in other areas is ridiculous with current technology. The PAK FA (Russian version) sacrifices stealth for performance, the HAL/PMF (Indian version) changes the avionics and tries to add more stealth features. No 5th gen fighter has lived up to its manufacturer's promises of "invisible, supermanuverable ultra plane!!! At a reasonable price!!!" They're all over budget with worse performance than promised. The F-35 is an un-stealthy brick, in the variants that actually work. It also costs as much as an F-22, if not more. The F-22 was cancelled because it cost too much. The PAK FA is a 4th gen fighter with some front-aspect stealth tacked on, and better avionics, including anti-stealth radar. It's probably also going to be the cheapest of the lot.

Perhaps It's A Game? (3, Interesting)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about 8 months ago | (#46073509)

Your argument is very good. But also consider the possibility that the Indians are simply manipulating Russia and the US to their advantage? It's like Company X publicly announcing they will dump their entire Microsoft IT infrastructure for Linux - until Microsoft offers them a sweet deal. Perhaps they are simply playing Russia against the US for better arms deals?

Re:Perhaps It's A Game? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46073557)

I would agree with the manipulation and complaining behavior by the Indians based upon their flag carrier Air India and their government. cf 787 purchase financing and protectionism and refusing A380 landing rights. No wonder they can't even pay their employees on time.

Re:Perhaps It's A Game? (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | about 8 months ago | (#46074015)

Not really. India is a long term partner of Russia in terms of arms deals. They're not fishing for a better deal elsewhere. At most they are trying to push their prices down.

You can't just switch your military supplier. Not even US has the ability to do so. Afghanistan and Iraq made excellent examples - US military industrial complex pulled all stops it could to get those two countries' military build up to be on their tech. It failed completely. The cost and more importantly time that would be necessary to switch was prohibitive even to the long-term involvement like Afghanistan. So both were supplied with Russian technology bought from Russia or used technology sourced from third countries.

Re:When an F22 can't give its pilots oxygen... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46074007)

77 comments in and I've reached the 5th circlejerk about American planes in a story about Indian planes. Circlejerk harder, slashdot. Circlejerk harder.

Admittedly... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46073261)

it does only cost a quarter of what the F-35 costs.

Engineering judgement (-1, Flamebait)

amightywind (691887) | about 8 months ago | (#46073267)

But the Indians rejected upgraded F-15 and F-18's so what does that say for their engineering judgement?

Re:Engineering judgement (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | about 8 months ago | (#46074035)

That they are as smart as US folks who chose Russian tech for arming Afghan and Iraqi armies, because they like their American counterparts understood that switching supplier would mean tearing up most of infrastructure and starting from scratch. Even for Afghanistan, where material infrastructure was all but destroyed, the cost was deemed to be excessive, even in light of the massive budgets involved. For an intact country like India, the cost would be beyond astronomical.

Reap what you sow (4, Interesting)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 8 months ago | (#46073269)

While no nation's government is free of political graft, Mother Russia is a Kleptocracy of the highest order.

Not that long ago, the Soviets were on the leading edge of science and technology. Nowadays, a fat military contract gets lean in a hurry once all the palms are greased.

Re:Reap what you sow (4, Funny)

PPH (736903) | about 8 months ago | (#46073317)

So the Russians are learning lessons well from the decadent western capitalists.

Re:Reap what you sow (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46073665)

So the Russians are learning lessons well from the decadent western capitalists.

Why do you assume they learned from us and not the other way around?

Re:Reap what you sow (2)

PPH (736903) | about 8 months ago | (#46073735)

Because our Germans are better than their Germans.

Re:Reap what you sow (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | about 8 months ago | (#46074047)

Because they had to tear their own system apart in 1990s and replace it with whatever we told them to replace it with.

Funny you should mention that (1)

dbIII (701233) | about 8 months ago | (#46073477)

... since most of the corruption in the US seems to be in the arms trade.

Re:Funny you should mention that (1)

amiga3D (567632) | about 8 months ago | (#46073573)

mostly in Washington D.C. you mean.

Re:Funny you should mention that (1)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | about 8 months ago | (#46073827)

> .. since most of the corruption in the US

Oh my goodness. Do you ever attend hardware purchase meetings? Or contractor bid proposals? Please believe me when I say that corruption exists in most fields. The _scale_ of it may be higher in military manufacture.

Re:Reap what you sow (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46073837)

>leading edge of science and technology.
I don't want to break it to you, but... we really, really weren't.

and you have to think in Russian to use it (4, Funny)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 8 months ago | (#46073335)

and you have to think in Russian to use it

In Soviet Russia.... (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 8 months ago | (#46073343)

In Soviet Russia We Show You!

In post-Soviet Russia, bank robs YOU! (4, Interesting)

Chas (5144) | about 8 months ago | (#46073351)

In one of the articles about this, I read that Russia has done the equivalent of building show cars.

Sure, the prototypes look great.

But they're not sustainable, serviceable or even functional most of the time.
And there's no way in hell they can be delivered for what the Russians are charging.

What they're REALLY doing is playing the long con. They hook you up front. Then gradually bleed more and more money out of you to deliver what you promised.

Ask India about the Admiral Gorshkov [wikipedia.org] .

And since they're holding all the cards, and you've sunk all that money into it already...

They've been pulling this crap for the last 25-30 years.

The only time you get your money's worth is when you want something cheap, simple and produced in massive quantities. Essentially, disposable.

Then, the Russian defense industry can churn stuff out faster than anyone but maybe China or the US.

Re: In post-Soviet Russia, bank robs YOU! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46073447)

Doesn't Lockhead Martin have a patent on that business strategy?

Re: In post-Soviet Russia, bank robs YOU! (1)

amiga3D (567632) | about 8 months ago | (#46073587)

They licensed it from General Dynamics.

Re: In post-Soviet Russia, bank robs YOU! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46073851)

And Boeing's version is subject to Chinese IP law.

Re:In post-Soviet Russia, bank robs YOU! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46073493)

Sure, the prototypes look great.

But they're not sustainable, serviceable or even functional most of the time.

Man, can you believe that shit? This is 2014. Someone out there still thinks they can make customers fall for this kind of tactic?

David Axe is a joke (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46073363)

It is safe to say David Axe is the least reliable military analyst in the internet. Move on, nothing to see here.

PAKFA (2)

Clived (106409) | about 8 months ago | (#46073381)

Well to be honest, I just think the Russians ran out of money as this aircraft project would have never moved along without the Indian $. Judging from the points in this article, they had to cut corners, older engines, half assed "stealth" profile. Not surprising, as Sukhoi has built some fantastic planes, SU-35, SU-37, SU-47, but they only built a few as demonstrators for air shows (eg. annual Paris Airshow), not having the dollars to put them into active service. They built and marketed the SU-30 to a variety of nations (Sukhoi 30 MKI to India as an example)but the Indians reportedly found them to be inferior based on proposed adversaries, and are planning (as reported) to buy some French Rafales as their front line military interceptor.

As thye say, money talks !

But it sure is pretty (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46073391)

Sukhoi makes the prettiest planes by far. This is the best looking plane since the SU27.

Propaganda article. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46073461)

This proves it. Slashdot, a former nerds blog had become a political weapon with false propaganda daily.

Why is this article even here?

To be on topic, both T50 and SU35 are exceptional fifth gen fighters with T50 boasting advanced technology no other fighters have as of yet. To see a Zionist backed article bash a masterpiece is nothing new and makes me laugh. The similar critic was given to P42 concept (Su27) during cold war and then when it won all competitions the propaganda machine died slowly. Jst like Su27 became worlds best and longest serving interceptor so will T 50 and Su35.

As a sayng goes, haters gonna hate. Wellk eep on hating because that's all you can do literally.

The bear, badly beaten by the Zion that obliterates US today is back up again, what couldn't kill it made it stronger. Just watch and you shall see.

And to you morons thinking Russia is undeveloped come and see with your own blind GMO affected eyes, that is of you can make it past TSA and CIA alive. Russia makes high quality products, the likes of Marussia M2, Yota, Vostok Europe and many other. For one, your precious quality products sold in West are not even made by you but China, who is BTW Russia's great ally.

ÐÐÐÐÐ ÐоÑÑÐÐ, ÐмÐÑÑÑOE ÐÑÐÐмÑÐоРÐмÐÑÐÐÐ .

There is an old anecdote (5, Interesting)

mjwx (966435) | about 8 months ago | (#46073467)

That the AK47 and 74 rifles that the Russians would sell to others would have a chamber that was slightly too small so that if they picked up rounds from dead Russian soldiers they would not work in the foreign soldiers rifles.

I dont know if that was true, but it could easily be the same story here. India is potentially a rising power and with their experience with China, the Russians may be uneasy about providing the Indians with a powerful weapon. In this case the Indians are smart enough to realise it and powerful enough to confront the Russians.

Of course there's still the old adage, never blame malice for what can easily be explained by stupidity. The stealth fighter had very difficult requirements and rather than admit they couldn't produce the goods, it was easier to present the Indians with a fighter that clearly didn't meet the specifications.

In either case, I dont blame the Indians for being upset.

Re:There is an old anecdote (1)

Zocalo (252965) | about 8 months ago | (#46073515)

That the AK47 and 74 rifles that the Russians would sell to others would have a chamber that was slightly too small so that if they picked up rounds from dead Russian soldiers they would not work in the foreign soldiers rifles.

So, what you are saying is that some rounds might be more equal than others...?

Re:There is an old anecdote (1)

jo7hs2 (884069) | about 8 months ago | (#46073667)

I'm impressed by how clever this particular animal is in relation to the others.

Re:There is an old anecdote (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46073711)

I have a hard time believing that because by now collectors with AK47s from various countries would've measured and compared them to investigate such a rumor...

Besides, haven't many AK47 clones been made by measuring and copying the physical thing and not from blueprints obtained one way or another?

Re:There is an old anecdote (1)

wiredlogic (135348) | about 8 months ago | (#46073949)

The Russian T-50 is less advanced than the Indian version which is getting more sophisticated, Indian-developed avionics. There can't be much if any withholding of technology for export models.

Where's the use-case for these toys? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46073489)

Scenario 1: War with some less developed enemy. No matter what it is, technology will beat it. New gear will optimize minimum losses to none. Kind of like wearing protective clothing for seal-clubbing. Not even really a necessary war, it could simply be not fought.

Scenario 2: Fighting a real enemy, developed and armed nations fighting among themselves. Losses on both sides. Production as reinforcement is important, under war conditions. This is much more difficult than long time ago - distance of production facilities from the enemy is practically meaningless, modern toys require highly specialized components produced in special facilities distributed over multiple locations. Production times are insanely long.

Shouldn't there be a development of a fighter that can be produced by mostly untrained workers in barely lit caves from commodity materials in minimum time?

Re:Where's the use-case for these toys? (1)

PPH (736903) | about 8 months ago | (#46073771)

Scenario 2:

Nobody is going to put up with a long term, high intensity war similar to WW II anymore. We will go to war with the resources we have and hope to win it, or at least force a stalemate and negotiations fast. Because if we don't, someone will get desperate and escalate to nukes.

Congressional stupidity in action again. (1)

the_humeister (922869) | about 8 months ago | (#46073495)

If only Congress allowed the F-22 to be purchased by allies. Even a watered down F-22 for other countries would be better than what we have now: an overbudget F-35 program and other countries buying opposing aircraft.

Re:Congressional stupidity in action again. (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | about 8 months ago | (#46074093)

There is a problem with F-22 in that it's not designed for what NATO needs aircraft for - multirole, attack focused aircraft. It's a stealth fighter first, second and third, with potential attack role being an afterthought at best.

So here lies a foreign policy issue for US in addition to stealth technology export issues. US wants its allies to have more ability to attack ground targets in NATO campaigns. Selling them F-22 would consume much of their air force budgets will effectively reducing their air force's effectiveness in ground attack tasks.

American bombers have similar issues (1)

WindBourne (631190) | about 8 months ago | (#46073497)

We need a new bomber, but one that makes sense. A simple idea would be for Boeing to use the BWB as a bomber, and then carry it over to commercial aircraft as well.

Why not read the reference first? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46073535)

And in the reference it says that the Indians have also ordered 18bn's worth of fighters from France, and might be looking to cancel the Russian order to help pay for that, so they could just be leaking made-up concerns as a way to justify dropping the order or lowering the price.

In other words - treat the rumour of faults with the T-50 as just that. A rumour. With no evidence that there's any real problem at all...

Negotiating tactic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46073579)

They are just saying that in order to low-ball the purchase price.

Entire article in summary (1, Funny)

Gothmolly (148874) | about 8 months ago | (#46073591)

"'...unreliable, its radar inadequate, its stealth features badly engineered,' said Indian Air Force..."

Sounds like they're asking the Russians to Do The Needful.

India = 'puppet of the West' (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46073597)

Nothing that comes out of the mouth of an Indian official can be taken at face value. India doesn't have a reputation for being the world's most corrupt nation without good reason.

India is currently involved in an amazing spat with the USA, after American officials broke every diplomatic accord, and abused an Indian diplomat in the most vile way. The mistreatment was a VERY carefully crafted ploy by Obama's administration, with the so-called US legal official that granted permission for the abuse being an Indian born, US naturalised citizen. The whole incident stinks of being a classic Intelligence Operation play, with a public smokescreen crafted to hide a very different situation behind the curtain.

Russia is a major player in the international arms business, and the arms dealers of the West have the CLOSEST relationships with the governments of the West. Bad mouthing Russian tech is good for business, which means VERY good for the bank balance of senior US and UK politicians. Even the most 'innocent' explanation in this case has the Indian government playing one side off against the other to get the best price on a possible deal, but such public outbursts don't suggest the 'innocent' case is the one in play.

Monkey Models (4, Interesting)

Distan (122159) | about 8 months ago | (#46073641)

The Russians have a very long history of selling inferior versions of weaponry to their allies. They call these inferior versions the "monkey models". That's all that is going on here.

Re:Monkey Models (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | about 8 months ago | (#46074101)

These are called "export versions". Every major weapon manufacturing country does this.

drone future? (1)

sociocapitalist (2471722) | about 8 months ago | (#46073743)

How can airplanes that require human pilots remain competitive against (future) drone fighter jets that do not have human limitations of G forces?

Re:drone future? (1)

foobar bazbot (3352433) | about 8 months ago | (#46074151)

By having a local pilot whose not nearly as subject to hacking/jamming as current drones' up- and down-links?

Of course the hacking problems, the not-even-bothering-with-encryption problems, etc. can all be fixed, eventually, but jamming remains impossible to completely prevent with current tech.

Of course one can take measures to reduce susceptibility, but that's just an arms race with the jammers. Unless/until we invent some SF tech like quantum-entangled transceiver pairs or onboard AIs capable of autonomous combat, drones will have jammable communication links, and that disadvantage may or may not outweigh the advantage of high-G maneuverability.

Re:drone future? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46074229)

Drones need pilots too - they just sit in a bunker nearby. But you can disrupt radio signals - they already makes radar/ir guided missiles fail by messing up signals. If drones are deployed en masse against an enemy that can do high tech - you will see so much signal disruption. Ideally, you hack drones to attack the wrong side. That is preventable, but you can always blind the sensors in various ways. You can prevent signals from reaching the drones, and prevent signals from drone to base. That is much harder to do with real pilots - they can fight just fine while disconnected from their base.

Yup, predicted it (3, Insightful)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about 8 months ago | (#46073799)

Before I clicked on the comments, I was convinced that the comments discussing the Russian fighter would be few, and the comments tearing into America would be many. Yup, I nailed it.

Re:Yup, predicted it (1)

Megol (3135005) | about 8 months ago | (#46073909)

And I was convinced that someone would post something like the above! Yup, nailed it! ;)

Re:Yup, predicted it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46073953)

yeah you're sooo clever. Everyone knows enough to bike-shed on russian aircraft but not american politics/aircrafts, well known fact.

Little problem... (1)

JockTroll (996521) | about 8 months ago | (#46073817)

... When you have a couple of dozen advanced superplanes and the enemy throws THOUSANDS of cheaper jets at you, you're going to get busted. WW2 teaches you that. In the end, quantity wins when your enemy is not worried about losses.

T-50 is still a prototype (1)

guacamole (24270) | about 8 months ago | (#46074069)

I am surprised that something life five have already been built. It's a development prototype. Now is the time to voice the concerns, introduce modifications, etc. By the way, how much is the India input in the development, besides the money?

Yet another industry Gay people were needed in (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46074209)

And you thought it was just Restraunts Broadway and Television!

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