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International Military News and Discussion

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International Military News and Discussion
#25
Some info on Russian Development on RCS reduction ( via keypubs/coolien099 )



Quote:Andrey Lagarjkov, Director General of the United Institute of High Temperatures of the Russian Academy of Sciences (and an Associate Member of the Academy), talks about Russian stealth technology in the following interview with the Russia/CIS Observer.



Until recently, all Russian developments in the field of stealth technologies were strictly classified. There weren't any reports made concerning research institutes dealing with these issues. The veil was raised somewhat last year when it was announced for the first time that the United Institute of High Temperatures of the Russian Academy of Sciences was carrying out research in the domain of reduced aircraft visibility. The information was rather sketchy. It was reported that the institute is specialized in creating materials with new properties, in particular with ferromagnetics and so-called artificial magnetics. It was pointed out that technologies developed by the institute were used in designing and manufacturing the Sukhoi Su-27M and Su-37 (Su-47). Director General Lagarjkov, who hasn't spoken about such matters in public before, told Sergey Sokut about work of his institute in greater detail.



How does Russia's way of making aircraft stealthy differ from the American technology?



- The Americans have two approaches. The first, and earliest one, was used for the F-117 and B-2. The low radar cross-section (RCS) was achieved through the shape of the aircraft and the use of radar-absorbing materials to cover the airframe. In this application, the principle of minimal level of visibility was a cornerstone - and other characteristics had to be sacrificed. For example, both aircraft are subsonic. Later the Americans tried another approach: modern radar absorbing materials are applied to F-16 and F-18, as well as to 5th generation F-22 and JSF combat aircraft, which have a traditional shape. The low level of visibility is achieved through different techniques, which Mikhail Pogosyan, director of Sukhoi, and I are going to reveal in the near future. We and the Americans are close to each other in this type of technology. Russia possesses the technology for upgrading in-service aircraft with modern stealth characteristics, and moreover, this technology is demanded by foreign operators of Russian aircraft. We, together with Sukhoi, have achieved world-class results in this area, which are confirmed by tests of real aircraft. We also can optimize the shape of the aircraft to lower the level of visibility, but I still wouldn't like to speak about the use of our techniques for 5th generation aircraft.



When would it be possible to speak about achieved results?



- Some discussion is possible today. The exact results of radar cross-section reduction will never be disclosed, neither here in Russia nor abroad. But sometime ago it was announced that the RCS of a MiG-21 fighter after its treatment by our institute is approximately 0.25 sq m. This corresponds to the characteristics of a cruise missile.



How far is it possible to go in reducing visibility of the 4th generation aircraft, and what additional improvements can be achieved in the next generation?



- My MiG-21 example demonstrates that the RCS of upgraded/modernized aircraft can be reduced 12-15 times. If we speak about new designed models, I wouldn't want to discuss the numbers publically.



In the press, information has been published about exotic technologies for providing low visibility, for example, plasma. How effective is it?



- We use plasma in solving the problems of RCS of an aircraft's nosecone. In general, plasma technologies are very useful at flight altitudes of more than 25 km. At low altitudes it is impossible to use them, because there is not enough power on board.



What is the share of stealth technologies in the total aircraft cost?



- If stringent, but reasonable requirements for visibility are implemented in the project from the very beginning, it won't be too large. I'd like to point out here that at my institue, we have carried out advanced work in fundamental research. I also want to stress here that we had to do this without governmental support - funding our research from out-of-budget sources during the last 10-15 years.



It is known that you cooperate closely with Sukhoi. What about the institute's work with other design bureaus?



- Recently, we have started cooperating intensively with the others as well.



If we compare achievements of different countries in the reduction of aircraft visibility, who would the leaders be? Obviously, the Americans would hit the top, wouldn't they?



- The Americans are no. 1 because of the application of stealth to a large volume of real products. But considering the understanding of the whole problem in general - and the potential - I don't think the Americans are better than we are. We are able to achieve, and already have achieved, the same - and even in some areas, we have had somewhat better results. Another plus for the Americans is their broader application of stealth. In particular, they are entering the world market with the stealthy aircraft. Similar developments are being made in Europe, but the level of these countries is not so high. The French are tackling this problem as well. They have very good research equipment - anechoic chambers, for example. Their Rafale fighter is advertised as an aircraft with a low radar cross-section.
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