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This is why Russia is such an interesting place. The country that first put mankind outside of earth’s atmosphere also made this fucking pile of stinking shit because they’re having trouble building modern processors and computer chips domestically.

Since the invasion of Georgia in 2008, sanctions placed on Russia have prevented them importing these computer chips, so they’ve had to create their industry from the ground up in a little over a decade. This is why I don’t believe much of their bragging about the sensor capabilities of their new fighters.

Nah, that’s why the sukhois are so fucking massive too. I love the things for their sweet curves lmao, but in that air frame is all sorts of mechanical shit we in the west wouldn’t even put in a mid range PC rig. Actually Russia is getting a lot of that tech for civilian use from the Netherlands.

Russia has developed ONE active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar for a fighter. The Byelka (squirrel) system is used on the SU-57 Felon, pretty much because without an AESA they would have no hope to ever claim it as 5th gen. Russian fanboys will claim until they’re red in the face that the Byelka must be as good as the F-22 radar because the predecessor (the PESA radar in the SU-35, the IRBIS system) has a claimed 400km range, equal to the F-22’s APG-77, therefore the AESA must be superior. This is, simply put, bullshit.

IRBIS has a claimed 400km range against a 3sqm target, because it’s a huge panel, with very high operating power. In this mode, an SU-35 would be a lighthouse, seen on passive radio detection equipment long before it could lock onto a fighter. The F-22’s APG-77-1 on the other hand, has a 400km range against a 1sqm target, with vastly lower detection chance and jamming risk in return. These are some of the key advantages of an AESA radar.

America has gone through three generations of airborne AESA radars, over some 30+ years now. A 4th generation is emerging soon, in Europe and the USA, and will likely be fitred as and when a need arises, but we have the technology already.

Russia has only just stepped into their first AESA that’s roughly 2nd generation comparable. They also lack the quality of microprocessors to domestically produce computers of high enough power to properly “fuse” the huge amounts of data a modern fighter needs, and present it to the pilot efficiently, nowhere near as good as the F-35 does this job, or even western 4.5th gen aircraft like Typhoon and Rafale.

Russian cockpits have always been awkward and badly laid out, with high pilot workload. As it stands now, I don’t see SU-57 achieving any better sensor fusion than what F-22 achieved in the late 90s/ early 2000s, using now heavily outdated computers (fast but graphically incapable.) Whilst the F-22’s single minded focus on air-air makes this an acceptable flaw, the SU-57’s multi role ambitions leave its avionics and sensor fusion likely lacking severely behind the F-35, and I have significant doubt about the maturity of the Byelka radar, with Russia struggling to keep any promises for other AESA radars for the rest of their fleet, or export orders.

Conservative Russian Engineering