Wednesday, October 09, 2013

China just got the engines for its stealth fighters.

Thanks Slowman!

via Want China Times.
The Saturn AL-41F — a Russian-built variable-bypass ratio turbofan engine — is likely to be sold to China together with advanced Su-35 fighters under the contract signed last November, reports Kanwa Defense Review operated by Andrei Chang also known as Pinkov, a military analyst based in Canada.
A source within Russia's aviation industry told Kanwa that he opposed the sale of the sensitive systems to China. Even though Russia will only provide 24 Su-35 fighters, the official stressed that he does not know their true intentions for wanting to purchase the Russian aircraft, adding that China may be able to steal Russian technology through the deal.
Alexander Mikheev, the deputy CEO of Rosoboronexport, Russia's state intermediary agency for exporting and importing defense-related products, stated that an initial agreement had been reached between Beijing and Moscow regarding the sale of the Su-35s. However, the formal contract will not be signed until next year. To prevent China from stealing Russian technology, Mikheev admitted that an additional agreement was signed to defend Russian intellectual property rights back in 2008.

China's J-15 carrier-based fighter is based on Russian blueprints, and many in Russia believe that a second agreement must be signed to protect Russia's interests. However, Mikheev told Kanwa that if China is willing to follow the first agreement then a second agreement is not necessary. Russian aerospace company Sukhoi estimated that among the 200 aircraft it produces, 100 will be sold to foreign nations, the report said.
China just got the basis for the engines to fit its 5th generation fighters.

Now, if you consider the stolen tech from Lockheed Martin and BAE, along with this development, it becomes obvious that the F-35 is just not going to be good enough in the fighter role to stay in production.

We're selling our airmen and allies a lie.

The F-35 won't hold up and stealth won't be enough to counter high flying, fast and long ranged Chinese 4th gen fighters, much less 5th gens coming out.

Time to admit that this has turned out badly.  Stop throwing good money after bad...and start on a 6th gen fighter design that can rule the skies. 


  1. I am confused here. Some of your previous posts point out we should stop investing so much time and money into stealth technology because you feel like future weapon threats will make the technology inferior. You're also saying we should totally abandon 5th generation technology - which according to you we have failed on delivering in the form of the F-35 (besides the F-22), and immediately shift efforts to start design production on a 6th generation fighter. With that mentality we will fail creating 6th generation technology because we haven't fully solved our 5th generation problems, our spirally cost control issues, our project security (china just steals everything) and worse let China win by spending ourselves into bankruptcy.

    You are assuming the F-35 isn't going to work by already declaring it a failure. The project gets high press and heavy criticism - I get that and rightfully so with how many resources the project has tied up and the delay times, but with all that is invested in the F-35 - the F-35 is here to stay and will be made to work. No politician is going to kill the F-35 at this point no matter how unpopular it is, there are too many states involved that have their hand in the development (buzz word - jobs!).

    1. The F-35 has its role as a NATO bomb truck and a naval jet; it will not allow its operator to counter the PLAAF's high end fleet of Su-35 and J-20 in the 2020s and onward in the AirSea battle, simply because the most of the battleground is ocean where there is little need for bomb trucks but lots A2A jets for air dominance and fleet protection against the Chinese airforce jets. And no, not even the USAF plans to fly over mainland China during the AirSea battle, so the F-35 is useless in those combat scenarios.

    2. you mean China's 48, at best, Su-35s?

      That J-20 looks cool, but there are only 3 flying, and we still don't know if the Chinese can produce a fighter size AESA radar yet.

      As for overflying China, that's what cruise missiles, the B-2, and the NGB are for

    3. David,

      The Su-35 will eat the F-35 for breakfast, because it can evade incoming AMRAAMs simply by climbing above 65000 feet and accelerating. The AL-41F makes this happen easily. The Su-35 may even get a first shot at the F-35 because of its very powerful Irbis-E radar and EO targeting, against which stealth doesn't work.

      And like you said, the USAF plans to strike at mainland China with air-launched cruise missiles only, because Chinese can shoot down B-2s before it arrives China's coastline.

    4. In theory the Irbis-E can pick up 5th generation fighter, but at a very limited range. That being said the SU-35 sticks out like a sore thumb on radar, meaning the F-35 would most likely find the SU-35. So given that assumption, its hard to argue the SU-35 would 'eat' the F-35 for breakfast.

  2. Ha! I know it... they just don't know how build modern high end engine and they will buy it from Russia and copy. Classic China.

  3. So, because the Chinese have access to capable engines, and because they've seen some of our tech, and because their plane has long legs, the F-35 is useless? You beg the question here, and your fallacy lies in the assumption that you understand a complex and classified system based on the unclassified information you've read. Interesting. I've enjoyed your blog for a long time but I think you're getting wrapped around the F-35 axle here.

    1. the difference between being a victim and being a survivor is often to look at information as it is. not as we want it to be.

      open source information tells me a couple of things. first the F-18 is thought to be viable against the Chinese threat into the future. Sweetman reported that several classified projects are either completed or in the works to make that plane a winner even against the latest chinese threats.

      second, i can look at the F-35 program. the data breaches. not megabytes but terabytes of classified information that was stolen from the companies building the airplane. i can look across the pacific and see a virtual clone of the airplane. i can read reports of several systems already going obsolete before the airplane hits the fleet ...and i can look at how much has been spent, how much remains to be done and i become wrapped around the F-35 axle.

      fallacy? l contend that i'm looking at things realistically. i marvel at people that want to 'stay the course' even when the course is leading to failure. i am stunned by people that brag about 'the going gets tough so i get tougher!"


      you do a cost benefit analysis and if the path you're on will lead to little or no reward you bail.

      that's where we're at with the F-35...quite honestly we're past that point but the end product will not be worth the additional funds required to get all the planes up to speed and to put it into production.

      i look at the planes performance and without stealth it'll be a lousy performer. take that stealth away and i believe we're close to seeing stealth nullified and you have a plane that is damn near useless.

      yeah. i say dump this bitch of a plane now.

  4. The whole F-35 concept is based on a faulty and obsolete idea that it was possible to penetrate enemy airspace protected by S-300 type air defense system without having to do SEAD first, based on the US war experience in the Desert Storm and the Kosovo air strikes, and one could mass produce such a stealth strike jet cheaply.

    But the times have changed and this assumption is no longer valid. None of the USAF jets including the F-22 and the B-2 can penetrate the new evil empire China's air space, and all strikes against Chinese targets must be done using long-range stand-off weapons. Furthermore, almost all of the battlegrounds consist of oceans where there is no need for an F/A-117 type stealth penetrator at all.

    So the F-35 is not the right jet to fight in the new reality of the AirSea battle; what the US needs is a stealthy F-16 type jet optimized for air battle with PLAAF jets over the East and South China Sea, and a new generation of supersonic antiship missiles to take on Chinese warships. Think the new Pacific War, not the new Desert Storm.

    1. How do you do SEAD without stealth?
      How do you plan on targeting these standoff weapons?

      "a faulty and obsolete idea that it was possible ..... mass produce such a stealth strike jet cheaply."

      "what the US needs is a stealthy F-16 type jet"

      You question the viability of a cheap bomb truck, but then suggest a fighter, which will somehow be cheaper?

    2. SEAD is with cruise missiles and the next gen Anti-radiation missiles. Targeting is accomplished with UAVs, and don't forget that we have missiles that can knock out electrical systems AND now conduct warfare on computer systems.

      SEAD will be easier than ever. why do you think the USAF is even considering a stealth bomber? but just like Carter cruise missiles will be a cheaper, less expensive cruise missiles but cruise missiles non-the-less.

      we don't need a stealthy F-16. what we need is the next generation F-16 with signature reduction...not stealth but reduction. couple that with improved AESA and much better missiles and we're onto something. make the airshow loadout a real war loadout for anti-air missions and you have a winner. we've built bomb trucks but how about an anti-air truck that can dogfight?

  5. Mark my word, the SU-35 deal will never happen.

  6. Any of you "experts" fly jets? Any fighter pilots here?


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