MOSCOW — A new composite material with enhanced radar wave absorbing properties was used to make the cockpit canopy of the most advanced Sukhoi Su-57 multirole fighter jet and the Tupolev Tu-160 strategic missile-carrying bomber, Russia’s state hi-tech corporation Rostec told TASS on January 11.
The innovative glass coating has been developed by specialists of the Obninsk-based Technologiya R&D Enterprise (part of RT Chemcomposite Group within Rostec).
“It doubles radar wave absorption and reduces the aircraft cockpit’s radar signature by 30% Currently, the coating is applied to the canopy of T-50 (Su-57 aircraft since August 2017), Su-30, Su-34, Su-35, MiG-29K and Tu-160 planes,” Rostec said.
The coating is made of metal oxide layers 70-90 nm thick. In addition to reducing visibility to enemy radars, it protects the pilot during the flight from the impact of ultraviolet, thermal and other negative factors, Rostec stressed.
“The coating weakens the thermal component of solar radiation by more than three times while the integral transmittance index in the visible range makes up no less than 65% and the impact of the ultraviolet component drops by more than 4-6 times,” the hi-tech corporation said.
As Rostec Industrial Director for the Cluster of Conventional Armament, Ammunition and Special Chemistry Sergei Abramov said earlier, this innovation actually has no weak points: its application helps halve the weight of the cockpit’s glass canopy and increase impact resistance and radar wave absorption from 40% to 80%.
The Su-57 is a fifth-generation multirole fighter designed to destroy all types of air targets at long and short ranges and hit enemy ground and naval targets, overcoming its air defense capabilities.
The Su-57 took to the skies for the first time on January 29, 2010. Compared to its predecessors, the Su-57 combines the functions of an attack plane and a fighter jet while the use of composite materials and innovation technologies and the fighter’s aerodynamic configuration ensure the low level of radar and infrared signature.
The Tu-160 is the biggest plane with a variable-sweep wing and one of the most powerful combat aircraft in the world. In 2015, a decision was announced to restart the production of the upgraded strategic bomber at the Kazan Aircraft Enterprise.
On November 16, 2017, the new plane was delivered from the final assembly workshop to the flight-testing station. Thanks to its upgrade, the efficiency of the Tu-160 bomber is expected to increase by 60%.