Vetrov-Kazakov VeK-44

From Atlas
Vetrov-Kazakov VeK-44
VeK-44 template 2.png
VeK-44K of the AV-MF and VeK-44M of the VVS.
Role Stealth Multirole Air superiority fighter
National origin  Stasnov
Manufacturer VeK Design Bureau
various aircraft plants
First flight 2004
Introduction 2006
Status In service
Primary user Stasnovan Revolutionary Air Force
Produced 2004-present
Number built 390+

The Vetrov and Kazakov VeK-44 (Stasnovan: Ветров-Казаков ВеК-44) is a Stasnovan canard delta wing, twin-tailed, 4.5-generation generation air superiority multi-role all-weather tactical fighter utilising stealth technology developed by the Vetrov-and-Kazakov Design Bureau during the 90s and entered service with the Stasnovan Revolutionary Air Force in 2006.

Origins and development[edit]

The 90s brought a new type of fighter into play; the stealth fighter. The Stasnovan VVS had no fighter of such type in its arsenal, though several experimental projects existed since the 80s. However, expensive fighters were against the Stasnovan doctrine of cheap, reliable, mass produced while capable aircraft. As years passed however, the Stasnovan leadership saw that if they wouldn't develop a fighter of their own, they would be left behind in a new arms race. Thusly, funding was granted to the Vetrov-Kazakov and Lyukov Design Bureaus to begin the development of an advanced multi-role fighter with stealth characteristics.

Design[edit]

Airframe[edit]

The airframe of the VeK-44 is a canard delta wing, twin-tailed design, utilising some stealth characteristics. The delta wing design provides a high stall angle, and is also much more simple and cheap when comparared to conventional designs. The canards allow for significantly lower minimum landing and flight speeds, enabling the VeK-44 to operate from both standard and STOBAR aircraft carriers without the need for modifications. The canards also have a leading-edge sweep of 58° and a prominent dogtooth which improve airflow over the wings at high alpha (angles of attack). Meanwhile, the delta wings have a wing leading edge sweep of 52°. The VeK-44 airframe makes extended use of aluminum-lithium and steel and titanium alloys, and composites. The airframe's unconventional design increases the aircraft's maneuverability, however, it makes it almost impossible to fly without fly-by-wire (VeK-44A) or fly-by-optics (VeK-44M) systems to make it controllable.

Stealth[edit]

The nozzle's inner petals were lined with ceramic tiles to reduce infrared signature. Active cooling of the exhaust gas emitted by the VeK-44 Krasna AL-50M afterburning turbofan engines also significantly reduces the infrared signature of the aircraft. The unorthodox design, use of radar-absorbent materials (RAM), and internally mounted weapons, give it a very effective RCS.

Engines[edit]

The VeK-29s uses the Krasna AL-50M afterburning turbofan engines, vector thrusting in three dimension, which is an improved version of the AL-41, which were originally used on the original VeK-44A. The AL-50M provides the aircraft with a maximum speed of Mach 2.5. The AL-50M also provides the ability to the VeK-44 to supercruise at Mach 2.24.

Electronics and Avionics[edit]

The original VeK-44A used the Irbis-E multi-mode, hybrid passive electronically scanned array. Meanwhile, he VeK-44M main sensor system is the N040 Nalka advanced active electronically scanned array radar. The N040 consists of the main nose-mounted N040-1-01 X band AESA Radar and two side-looking N040 B-1-01 X-band AESA radars embedded in the cheeks of the forward fuselage for increased angular coverage. The suite also has two N040L-1-01 L band arrays on the wing's leading edge extensions that are not only used to handle the N040Sh friend-or-foe identification system but also for electronic warfare purposes. When working in concert with one another, the system provides the VeK-44 an azimuth of 360°.

The VeK-44M also features the ESRA-M1 electro-optical Distributed Aperture System (DAS). The ESRA-M1 is a multifunctional missile warning, ultraviolet and infra-red search-and-tracking, missile reporting and aircraft detection system, that consists of multiple, infra-red, ultraviolet and electro-optical sensors in such a way as to provide unobstructed spherical coverage and functions around the aircraft without any pilot input or aiming required.

Comparison[edit]

Comparison with other Atlasian fifth-generation fighters
Stasnov VeK-44 Gorbatov ViS-18 Bierkut Granzery V-12 Tempest Vazandia KFZ-9 Schwarzervogel
Role Multirole fighter Multirole fighter Multirole fighter Multirole fighter
Empty weight 18,000 kg 18,500 kg 19,700 kg 13,154 kg
Powerplant 2 × Krasna AL-50M 3D thrust-vectoring afterburning turbofans 2 × Sobchak AL-50M2 3D thrust-vectoring afterburning turbofans 2 × Sava TBA pitch thrust-vectoring afterburning turbofans 2 x Oberfeld Energie AG OE-850 afterburning turbofans
Maximum speed Mach 2.5 Mach 2.5 Mach 2.5 Mach 2.2
Combat radius 2,000 km 2,000 km 1,450 km 1,287 km
Service ceiling 20,000 m 20,000 m 20,000 m 20,000 m
Rate of climb 315 m/s 360 m/s 350 m/s 360 m/s
Guns 1 × 30 mm GSh-30-1 autocannon 1 × 30 mm SHK-18 autocannon 1 x 20 mm 081M 6-barrel rotary cannon 1 x 20 mm K-20 6-barrel rotary cannon
Hardpoints 12 internal and 8 external hardpoints 10 internal and 8 external hardpoints 6 internal and 4 external hardpoints 8 internal and 4 external hardpoints
Radar Krasna Nalka AESA Radar Ignatik Vichor AESA Radar Vertega Advanced Weapons Lab VAW/LoR-03 AESA Radar Kaiserliche Waffenkammer XBPr-99 LPIR AESA Radar

Operational history[edit]

Stasno-Dagelian War[edit]

VeK-44M were used both in interdictor/strike and air superiority roles during the conflict. In the first initial aerial face of Operation Kogot (the rapid deployment of Stasnovan troops to Dagelia), VeK-44M provided top cover for strike groups of Lu-24M2s and Lu-34s.

On the second day of operations, a strike formation was jumped by four Dagelian ViS-60Bis fighter-interceptors. A flight of five VeK-44M broke formation and engaged the ViS-60s, shooting three of them down with R-77M medium-range missiles, while the remaining Dagelian fighter turned about and left the area of operations. These were the first official air-to-air kill of the VeK-44 against a fixed-wing aircraft.

Other air-to-air kills by VeKs were 2 Lu-22M4, 2 ViS-70MLs, 1 Lu-25KM, 1 Si-24P, 1 Si-17 and 1 Ye-28. One VeK-44M flown by Major Ilya V. Nikarov was damaged by 9K37 Buk surface-to-air missile system, when the projectile exploded several feet away from the left wing. The VeK-44M succesful returned to base, though its left landing gear leg broke on the landing process, resulting in the aircraft's left wing getting ripped from the plane. The aircraft was later repaired and returned to service.

Variants[edit]

  • VeK-44A: Initial production version; entered service in 2006.
  • VeK-44UB: Initial production two-seat operational conversion trainer.
  • VeK-44E: Export version of the VeK-44A with slightly downgraded radar with multiple target tracking ability and AAM-AE compatibility.
  • VeK-44UBE: Export version of the two-seat operational conversion trainer.
  • VeK-44M: Upgraded version with improved avionics and engines. The program to upgrade the VeK-44As to VeK-44B standards started in 2010.
  • VeK-44K: Carrier-borne variant with folding wings, high-lift devices, and arresting gear. First aircraft delivered to the Naval Aviation in 2014.
  • VeK-44KE: Carrier-borne export variant.
  • VeK-44KUB: Carrier-borne version of the two-seat operational conversion trainer.
  • VeK-44MKB : MKI stands for "Modernizirovannyi, Kommercheskiy, Britiski" meaning "Modernized, Commercial, Brytisc". The MKB is a specialised variant produced for the Confederate Brytisc Fleet, and inlcudes....

Operators[edit]

  •  Stasnov: The Stasnovan Revolutionary Air Force operates 45 VeK-44As and 103 VeK-44Ms, while the Naval Aviation of the Stasnovan Revolutionary Navy operates 72 VeK-44Ks.
  •  Gorbatov: The Proletarian Liberation Air Force operates 120 VeK-44Es and 50 VeK-44UBEs, with an additional order for 50 more aircraft in 2018, but was later cancelled following the introduction of the Voychenko ViS-18 into PLAAF service.
  •  Brytene: The Confederate Brytisc Fleet ordered 120 VeK-44MKB units, with [NUMBER] aircraft delivered as of 2019.

Specifications (VeK-44M)[edit]

VeK-44 template blank.png

General characteristics

  • Crew: 1
  • Length: 17.3 m (56 ft 9 in)
  • Wingspan: 13 m (42 ft 8 in)
  • Height: 4.73 m (15 ft 6 in)
  • Empty weight: 18,000 kg (39,683 lb)
  • Gross weight: 28,000 kg (61,729 lb)
  • Max takeoff weight: 35,200 kg (77,603 lb)
  • Fuel capacity: 11,340 kg (25,000 lb) internally
  • Powerplant: 2 × Krasna AL-50M turbofan engines with 3D thrust vectoring, 106 kN (23,800 lbf) thrust each dry, 176 kN (39,500 lbf) with afterburner

Performance

  • Maximum speed: Mach 2.5 (3,087 km/h; 1,918 mph) at altitude
    • Mach 2.24 (2,765 km/h; 1,718 mph) at supercruise at altitude
  • Range: 4,000 km (2,500 mi, 2,200 nmi)
  • Combat range: 2,000 km (1,200 mi, 1,100 nmi)
  • Service ceiling: 20,000 m (66,000 ft)
  • g limits: +12/-3
  • Rate of climb: 315 m/s (62,000 ft/min)
  • Wing loading: 340 kg/m2 (70 lb/sq ft)
  • Thrust/weight: 1.09

Armament

Avionics

See also[edit]