Experienced Su-57 with engines of the first stage. Photo UAC / uacrussia.ru
Last year, a contract was signed for the large-scale production of 5th generation Su-57 fighters, and then assembly of the equipment began. This order will take several years to come and will have some interesting features. So, a significant part of the plans is directly related to the promising engine under the code "30".
Earlier it was repeatedly reported that two versions, differing in the composition of equipment and equipment, would eventually go into mass production. First of all, the differences of the series will be in the type of power plant. The aircraft of the first lots will receive existing engines, and later they will begin to equip the equipment with new products.
8 May RIA News published excerpts from an interview with Deputy Minister of Defense Alexei Krivoruchko, including and on the topic of the started production of Su-57 aircraft. The deputy minister spoke about the imminent start of the supply of serial equipment, and also noted that the plans for two-stage serial production remain in force.
As previously reported, the first batch of Su-57 will have “4th generation engines”, i.e. existing serial AL-41F1. Deliveries of equipment in this configuration will continue until the mid-twenties. By this time, it is planned to complete all testing and design activities, as a result of which the 5th generation Product 30 engine will be prepared for the series.
More accurate delivery times, the number of aircraft in one or another configuration, etc. remained unnamed. At the same time, A. Krivoruchko pointed out the advantages of promising engines in the form of a reduced life cycle cost and increased fuel efficiency.
2 + 76 = series
As part of the development work on the PAK FA, 10 flight prototypes were built and tested; three more products were intended for various ground events. To date, all major tests have been completed, which allowed to begin mass production.
Su-57 and experienced UAV S-70. Photo by the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation
In August 2018, a contract was signed at the Army forum for the delivery of the first two serial Su-57s in 2019 and 2020. At the end of June 2019, the Ministry of Defense issued a much larger order. The new agreement provides for the construction of 76 aircraft with delivery in 2020-27. As follows from the available materials, work on the assembly of equipment started in 2018.
In November 2019, a photograph of the Su-57 aircraft with tail number “01 blue” and serial number 51001 in the assembly shop of the Komsomolsk-on-Amur aircraft plant appeared in the domestic media. The Ministry of Defense clarified that by the end of the year the car will be handed over to the aerospace forces. In 2020, the delivery of a second such aircraft was expected. Apparently, it was about fulfilling the order of 2018 for two cars.
Just a few weeks later, on December 24, the 01 Blue crashed during a test flight. The test pilot successfully ejected and was evacuated. The media, citing various sources, published possible causes of the incident, but the results of the official investigation remain unknown. It was announced that they will be taken into account when improving the aircraft.
Currently, several serial Su-57s are already in the KaAAZ workshops at different stages of construction. This is the second aircraft of the contract of 2018, as well as the first aircraft of the second order. VKS must adopt this technique before the end of this year. The next batch will go to the troops already in 2021, and similar processes will continue until 2027.
As noted by A. Krivoruchko in November last year, so far it is only about the supply of single aircraft, but already in 2020-21. construction and commissioning volumes will increase at times. However, both then and in the last interview, the deputy minister did not disclose more accurate figures.
While in production remain the so-called so-called the first stage, having the appropriate composition of on-board equipment and power plant. Both lost last year and the aircraft under construction now are equipped with “117” / AL-41F1 engines. The same units will be used on a significant number of subsequent Su-57s.
Engine "117" / AL-41F1. Photo Bmpd.livejournal.com
The exact number of fighters of the first stage has not yet been disclosed. It is only known that they will be produced until the middle of the decade, after which the so-called second stage of the series. “Products 30” will be installed on all new aircraft until the completion of the second existing order. The share of such equipment in the total expected fleet of aircraft also remains unknown.
Deliveries of serial 30 engines to KnAAZ so far remain a matter of the distant future, but necessary measures are already being taken. Since December 2017, flight tests of a prototype aircraft with a 30 engine have been conducted. It was planned to spend about three years on such tests. As far as we know, while testing a plane with a combined power plant. In the near future he will receive two “Products 30”.
Apparently, the customer and the contractor do not intend to rush and force work on the promising engine. All activities are carried out in accordance with the established schedule and without haste, which could harm the project. The benefits of this approach are obvious.
The Su-57 fighters of the first stage receive AL-41F1 engines, showing very high performance. Products with afterburner thrust of 15 thousand kgf are able to accelerate the aircraft to high supersonic speeds, as well as provide a similar flight without the use of afterburner. The nozzle is equipped with thrust vector control. The control system is fully electronic with a maximum degree of automation. Also, engines are characterized by high efficiency and an outstanding resource.
A modified version of the 117 engine, AL-41F1S, is already being produced in a large series and is actively used by troops on Su-35S fighters. The basic AL-41F1 passed the full test cycle on the experimental T-50 / Su-57 and is recommended for use on production aircraft.
The first flight of the experimental Su-57 with the engine "30" (left). Photo UAC / uacrussia.ru
So far, not much is known about the engine of the second stage "30". It was reported that during the development of the engine, accumulated experience was used, but it is not a direct development of any of the existing structures. Through the use of modern technologies and solutions, it was possible to increase all the main characteristics - although the exact parameters have not yet been disclosed.
It is expected that the new “Product 30” will differ from the AL-41F1 in higher thrust in all modes with lower specific fuel consumption. The engine will receive a fully electronic automatic control system that independently ensures the operation of all units in optimal conditions. The nozzle with UVT will remain.
New engines "30" will provide an increase in thrust-to-weight ratio. When using “117” products, this parameter for the Su-57 with a maximum take-off weight does not exceed 0,85-0,9. The installation of engines “30” will allow to exceed 1. With normal take-off weight, the thrust-to-weight ratio is expected to increase from 1-1,15 to 1,2-1,35. Accordingly, all the main take-off and landing and flight characteristics, carrying capacity, etc. will grow.
Su-57 aircraft with engines of the second stage, as expected, will favorably differ from earlier aircraft in all the basic characteristics that depend on the power plant. However, the equipment of the first stage even without “Products 30” will show very high characteristics, almost beyond the capabilities of aircraft of previous generations.
The expected number of aircraft of the first and second stages is still unknown. Given the announced terms and volumes of the order, you can imagine the approximate pace of production. To have time to hand over 76 cars by 2027 inclusively, industry will have to produce approx. 10 aircraft per year. In this case, starting from the middle of the decade (in 2025-27), it will be possible to produce no more than a few dozen second-stage fighters, and the bulk of the equipment will consist of aircraft with 117 engines.
The tail section of the aircraft close-up. The external differences between the nozzles of the two engines are clearly visible. Product "30" in the foreground. Photo UAC / uacrussia.ru
As far as one can judge, the current contracts for 78 production aircraft will not be the last, and in 2027 the construction of the Su-57 will not be completed. Thus, no later than 2028, we should expect the beginning of the supply of equipment in the following lots. Apparently, they will be in the configuration of the "second stage". Also, it cannot be ruled out that by that time there will be some kind of aircraft modernization project. At the same time, the conventional Su-57M will be equipped with the “Products 30” already familiar for their period, which in our time still remain a distant prospect.
As part of the extensive PAK FA program, it was possible to develop and master in the production a host of new products for various purposes. One of the key components of the program was the promising 30 engine. It remains at the testing stage, but in the foreseeable future the situation will seriously change. The result will be the emergence of the Su-57 in its final configuration - with all the required characteristics and capabilities.