RuAF News and development Thread part 15

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Question: What is so wrong with the Russian military-industrial complex that it has continued to very obviously fail to produce a simple UCAV according to the Predator/Reaper model ... even though a need for something like that has been around since those eight days in Georgia eight years ago ... and even though the Chinese, Turks and god knows who else is making them and putting them in the field.

Simple Russian UCAVs would transform the intervention in Syria (which could also be a testing ground for the operation of UCAVs on a large scale) and yet there has been nothing.

The Russians - however successfully - have been fighting the war in Syria with much the same technology the USAF deployed in Iraq in 1991.

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UCAV can't transform battlespace as it will drain critical resources and real estate at one make shift airbase. UCAV unreliable for high tempo operations and carry very less payload and make much more noise.They already using 100 small UAVs. That give critical support to ground strike forces.

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Question: What is so wrong with the Russian military-industrial complex that it has continued to very obviously fail to produce a simple UCAV according to the Predator/Reaper model

Nothing. We just never tried.
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Yep. Simply priority and money has not gone into UAVs, but traditional war fighting means. If a measure of comfort due to new air-frames, or experience in Syria proves to influence VKS decision making, we will find out soon.

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Fund for what? Ru has already a potent trainer fleet. It's all about Yacks, no? This one looks sexy with shape borrowed everywhere that flatter any enthusiast imagination but the construction methods are archaic. I do agree however that with a potent budget and partnerships for improved materials, it would do a nice private jet.

Ru training situation under the Yak-130 is getting into decrepit old territory. Old prop Yaks and increasingly ancient L-39s.
Now, I am not saying SR-10 is desperately needed or wanted by VKS or that it will be some smashing success in civie market/DOSAAF/whatever. Just that I would like to see funding extended to a privately funded effort like this, could bring much needed employment to struggling regions and for once some innovation could come from the bottom up. Given how much funding the gov shoves making market failures like Il-114 and Tu-204 and whatever else hobble along, I don't think it would be too much of a drain.

Plus, established "big dogs" like Yakovlev are not always the best way to go. The Yak-152 (VKS choice for training before Yak-130) should be a simple make but has been in the pipeline forever.

I am also reminded of the 80s, when Yakovlev was asked to make a new bird for the aerobatic team (Yak-55). From family involved in the drama, Yak was apparently pretty arrogant about being the only real choice for the team, despite pilot objections and demands. They went with Sukhoi instead (Su-26). Granted Sukhoi was hardly a startup at the time, but Yakolvev OWNED that "market" inside the USSR.

Re. construction methods, well what else can you expect, it is made by a small team of guys working with almost no funding and in their backyard garage. I am exaggerating, but not by much.

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Yep. Simply priority and money has not gone into UAVs, but traditional war fighting means. If a measure of comfort due to new air-frames, or experience in Syria proves to influence VKS decision making, we will find out soon.

Well, it seems like a massive error from where I'm sitting. If only because golden opportunities to gain experience and start working UCAVs into doctrine are being missed. Even a small, experimental unit would go a long way to changing this and yet no efforts appear to be expended in this direction.

Perhaps the experiences of allies (the Iranians and Iraqis) might shift things along a bit... perhaps.

For me, it sits right shoulder to shoulder with reliance on dumb munitions - i.e. what appears, falsely, to be a short-term saving that will have knock on effects in the long-term.

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Dumb munitions are not as much of an issue, since orders for new weapons have been placed.

Regarding UCAVs, I don't disagree, but I think it has to do with utter lack of new air-frames mesmerizing AF staff, plus critical industry employers wanting money to make what they know how to make, which is traditional tactical birds.

They are operating UAVs in Syria, Israeli Forposts and lighter Russian units. Not so much in the way of domestic UCAV, but keep in mind how few UAVs Russia was fielding just a few years ago.
There were only 180 complexes of all types (according to MOD) in 2011, rising to 1720 by 2015.

I'd personally cut back on tactical birds (from MiG, for example) and focus on moving in the UCAV direction exclusively with them.
Also buy Chinese UCAVs and copy them for now ;) .

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Back in 2013, when Canaduh was on friendlier terms with Russia:

http://www.rcaf-arc.forces.gc.ca/assets/AIRFORCE_Internet/images/news-nouvelles/2013/08/FA2013-5100-14.jpg

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About the SR-10 and the training of russian pilots it's convenient to compare it to what Aermacchi. owning the western twins of Yak -130 is actually doing.
It has developed an advanced version of the Siai Marchetti 211/311 with the name of M-345 and a turboprop version of SF-260 adn shifted their respective part toward the high.
So the primary trainer would eat up a part of the former basic phase, the basic one a part of the advanced one and the LIFT would take the rest plus a consistent part of the one previously made on the OCU version operative planes.
So even if there would be three different trainer instead off MB-339 coveringboth basic and advanced training there would be huge savings until the two third of advanced program and even more in the OCU one, final numbers of flight hours to have an operative pilot would be optimized also.
So there would be definitely a place for SR-10 in such a perspective.

About the UCAV thing, it seems that the operative result of RuAF are going in the complete opposite direction both for what concern them tham generally about the real utility of a western like all PGM arsenal.

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Question: What is so wrong with the Russian military-industrial complex that it has continued to very obviously fail to produce a simple UCAV according to the Predator/Reaper model ... even though a need for something like that has been around since those eight days in Georgia eight years ago ... and even though the Chinese, Turks and god knows who else is making them and putting them in the field.

Simple Russian UCAVs would transform the intervention in Syria (which could also be a testing ground for the operation of UCAVs on a large scale) and yet there has been nothing.

Russia is going through a serious and consistent UAV development and procurement program. They have started from the small ones like Grusha and gone through Zastava, Eleron-3SV, Granat-4, Orlan-10 to Forpost, which is a 500kg machine. Russia also didn't shy away from help as they used Israeli know-how to gain insight into modern UAV standards, they even fill some roles with Russian assembled Israeli drones (Zastava and Forpost). In the last 5 years we have seen a revolution of drone use in Russian armed forces, from 180 UAVs in 2011 to 1720 in 2015. This has been very visible also over the battlefield as we have seen in Ukraine and now in Syria. The program and the process is by no means over. Russia has been testing a Reaper-class UAV Altius-M* for a while now and multiple other projects exists. A Predator-class UAV named Inokhodets is supposed to go in to production in 2017 and we know by name 2 other large UAVs Gonshchik from MiG and Okhotnik from Sukhoi. Also TASS reported at the end of the last year of tests done with UCAV that had 800km/h flight speed and a 250kg payload. They didn't name the machine in the article, but it might be a mid-range combat drone named Zenitsa.

Russia is already using a large number of UAVs for reconnaissance, target designation and damage assessment. I think RuMoD mentioned that they were using at least 70 drones every day to monitor the situation in Syria. This is the most important thing UAVs bring to the table. UCAVs would be useful in some ways with that high endurance, but they are also slow and carry a light payload. I fail to see how those would transform anything.

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I'd personally cut back on tactical birds (from MiG, for example) and focus on moving in the UCAV direction exclusively with them.
Also buy Chinese UCAVs and copy them for now.

The issue I see is that in the long term MiG could struggle without orders from VKS. In the last few years a few contracts have been signed, but no customer for advanced MiG-35 with AESA/advanced engines.

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Russia is already using a large number of UAVs for reconnaissance, target designation and damage assessment. I think RuMoD mentioned that they were using at least 70 drones every day to monitor the situation in Syria. This is the most important thing UAVs bring to the table. UCAVs would be useful in some ways with that high endurance, but they are also slow and carry a light payload. I fail to see how those would transform anything

I havent seen bunker busting and thermoboric bombs in UCAV in size that can make a difference. smaller individual targets attack chopper with 30mm cannon and rockets more efficient. they dont need large runways.
Plus you will always need big radars and pods of fighters for self protection. plus UCAV are not reliable for high tempo operations where load and reload several times a day for fast strikes. do UCAV steep dive for attack?. Fighters have much bigger payloads they dont need so much sorties.
UCAV is more hinderance than transform anything in current form.

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First modernised Il-76MD. IL-76MDM - the project of modernization of aircraft Il-76M and Il-76MD designed to "Ilyushin" on the technical task of the Air Force issued in 2011 (ROC "Kuznetsk").

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. .
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Russian Aerospace Forces in Syria and Beyond

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