Det tror jeg du har veldig rett i. Selv om russerne (og enda mer kineserne) har tilnærmet null åpenhet om utviklingen av sine nye fly, så har det likevel kommet en del tegn på problemer. Det skulle vel bare mangle om de klarer å få til ting riktig på første forsøk. Amerikanerne har 50 år med prøving og feiling bak seg når det kommer til stealth.
Noe har riktignok lekket ut og motorbrannen på russernes nye PAK-FA i 2014 var jo ganske offentlig, men man kan jo bare forestille seg hva som foregår i kulissene:
Russia’s Stealth Fighter Is in Serious Trouble
The first sign something was very wrong appeared last month. [...] Instead of 52 stealth fighters, Russia will build merely 12 of them.
“Given the new economic conditions, the original plans may have to be adjusted,” Borisov said. “It is better to have the PAK FA kept as a reserve, and later move forward, while squeezing everything possible for now out of the 4+ generation fighters.”
For more than a year, the Indian Business Standard newspaper has reported on New Delhi’s misgivings. The Indian version of the T-50 is known as the FGFA. “The FGFA’s current AL-41F1 engines were underpowered, the Russians were reluctant to share critical design information, and the fighter would eventually cost too much,” the paper reported,
A month later, more bad news leaked to the press. India wanted a bigger share of the project. But the engine was still bad, it still cost too much, the plane’s radar was “inadequate” and its “stealth features badly engineered.”
Then in June, a T-50 landed at the Zhukovsky testing grounds near Moscow … and its engine caught fire. Russian officials said the damage was minor — but photographs depicted much of the rear fuselage blackened by the blaze.
“What added to the controversy … was Russia’s refusal to share any details of this failure, to the extent that a technical evaluation team of the Indian Air Force that reportedly was present at the site was refused access to inspect the damaged platform,”
Om vi skal tro at russerne ikke engang vil dele viktig informasjon med sin nærmeste utviklingspartner, er jo det i skarp kontrast til motorhavariet til F-35 for et par år siden, hvor årsaken er publisert i minste detalj i den åpne pressen.
Og kineserenes nye stealth-fly? Der hører vi ingenting. Har de problemer? Garantert. Er det en grunn til at de benytter eldre russiske motorer i utviklingen? Absolutt.