Russian Aircraft

Russia, the US, and China are all working on ideas for a next-generation, or 6th-generation, fighter jet. The USA is leading this race.

China prefers to keep things under wraps until an air show happens, at which point another prototype is shown off. Russia always goes first with high expectations and ambitious intentions, but their efforts rarely pan out.

For a long time, the Izdelie-41 has been hailed as Russia’s sixth-generation fighter. It was designed by Mikoyan and is rumored to be designated “MiG-41.” The Mikoyan PAK DP is the most popular name for it presently. So, a potential air complex for long-distance interception.

According to specific reports, the MiG-41 may make its maiden flight in 2025. It seems even less likely than the immediate cessation of hostilities in Ukraine. Since the conflict began, Russia has been gasping for air. It took all its military spending and put it into the upkeep, modernization, and production of heavy artillery.

 At the same time, the February 24 invasion of Ukraine unleashed the wrath of the world’s leading economic and technological nations. Economic sanctions against Russia have blocked Moscow’s access to advanced technologies, especially semiconductors and microchips. 

Russian President Vladimir Putin would like to see more progress in manufacturing, notably in microchips.

However, what little we know about Izdelie-41 has its share of intriguing elements. Russia has been touting that its next-generation fighter jet will be capable of Mach 4 and Mach 5 speeds as one of its most exciting characteristics. It’s impressive on paper, but that speed has a flaw.

A pilot’s ability to handle the stress of positive and negative G is unknown. Next, we have air friction. Since the object is traveling so quickly, the air friction causes a tremendous amount of heat. The stealth fighter will continue to operate without stealth cover.

That is to say; the stealth disguise will disintegrate during flight. For one, it can negatively impact the plane’s performance, and for another, it would be challenging to build a canopy in such conditions without a stealth cover.

Russian engineers have been charged with developing a stealth covering of components that can endure the heat generated at Mach 4 or Mach 5. The future has no guarantees. 

Thus everything is conceivable now. However, a significant amount of thrust in the airplane is required to achieve such a high speed in flight.

Overheating during operation is a leading cause of machine failure and requires maintenance on many machines. As a result, the cost of repairing planes rises.

A mystery still surrounds how fast the Izdelie-41 can go. To maintain its hypersonic presence in the air, Russia must build what kind of engines? Russian engineers, at least at this point and with the available technology, would employ a linear jet or turbojet engine. Currently, several of Russia’s hypersonic missiles are powered by these engines.

Russian-interceptor-MiG-41
Russian-interceptor-MiG-41

The Izdelie-41 is logically marketed as a hypersonic missile interceptor. There hasn’t been anything resembling this so yet.

Because the launch of the hypersonic Dagger missile is already much more possible if the designers build a working prototype with a quality engine that reaches speeds of Mach 5 and ensures the cooling of the equipment within the aircraft.

Because of this, there’s a significant chance that this plane will be able to intercept a hypersonic missile.

But this leaves Russian engineers with more problems than solutions, and they can only count on some of them on the one hand. The current state of affairs, however, necessitates postponing this endeavor.

That is to say, this super interceptor may appear in the future, but the possibility of its entering mass production decreases every day. 

The reason is that unlike a year ago, when Russia could import these parts from the West, Russia now has to develop them domestically. Izdelie-41 will not advance in the next few years even if hostilities with Ukraine cease.