Sukhoi T-50 Shows Flight-Control Innovations

By Bill Sweetman
Source: Aviation Week & Space Technology

More details of the fighter's weapons may be revealed at MAKS, but it appears that the T-50 is designed to carry variants of in-service missiles initially. Tactical Missiles Corporation General Director Boris Obnosov identified several T-50 weapons in an interview early in 2012, including the existing Kh-35UE anti-ship missile, Kh-38ME air-to-surface weapon and the RVV-MD, an improved version of the R-73E short-range air-to-air missile with an enlarged seeker field of view and a claimed 30% range increase. A significant development is the new Kh-58UShKE, a long-range (up to 245 km), Mach 4-capable anti-radar missile originally produced for the MiG-25BM Foxbat-E, fitted with folding wings for internal carriage.

However, Obnosov identified these specifically as being weapons at service entry, which he projected in 2014. There is still no definitive information about the T-50's internal weapons capability, but it seems likely that there are four separate weapon bays. Two bays outboard of the inlets each accommodate a single RVV-MD. Tandem bays between the engines each hold two missiles, but it is likely that the forward bay is deeper to house weapons such as the Kh-58UShKE, with the aft bay dedicated to air-to-air missiles in the R-77 family.

Tap the icon in the digital edition of AW&ST to see the T-50 performing sustained-altitude, flat-rotation maneuvers and high-angle-of-attack turns, or go to AviationWeek.com/video


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