Soviets beat Northrop with F-20 idea?

Soviets received the F-5E from Vietnam in 1976, eveluated it favorably, copied some ideas for Su-27 (nothing major - like cockpit illumitaion and how the engine is fixed to the fuselage - but still), and left it be.
So let's say Soviets actually carry on with the F-5 idea, however they try it with RD-33 engine, and like it. Decision is made to make the resulting fighter in series, with a Soviet engine in the back, electronics, missiles etc, along with allowing for license production in countries than might do it (India, Poland, Czechoslovakia). Series production starting in 1983.

@CalBear : please, could you move this in the 'Post 1900' sub-forum :)
 
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So, essentially a single-engine MiG-29.

Well, the first and biggest problem, besides the documented preference by the Soviets of a twin-engine aircraft for the VVS role, is that 1976 is too late to start development of an all-new Soviet fighter. By 1976, both the fighter design bureaus are neck-deep in development work for the MiG-29 and Su-27, and in fact the former is a year away from its first flight. It's likely the design resources simply aren't there for this aircraft.

As far as license production, Poland and Czechoslovakia aren't up to the task. They weren't for the MiG-23, after all. India, maybe. They're in the market for an F-16 counter and a BVR-capable light fighter would be appealing for that. But see above for the development issues.
 
By 1976, both the fighter design bureaus are neck-deep in development work for the MiG-29 and Su-27, and in fact the former is a year away from its first flight. It's likely the design resources simply aren't there for this aircraft.

For the needs of this thread, let's asume that Yakovlev design bureau does the modification and testing.

As far as license production, Poland and Czechoslovakia aren't up to the task. They weren't for the MiG-23, after all. India, maybe. They're in the market for an F-16 counter and a BVR-capable light fighter would be appealing for that.

MiG-23 was a bigger, heavier and more complex aircraft than F-5.
India (and others) can have a BVR fighter in the 'Soviet F-20'.

So it’s starting production around the same time as mig29, I’m assuming fulcrum is not produced in this timeline?

MiG-29 is proceeded with.
 
Well in that case it would give Yakovlev its first simi successful fighter design since world war 2, aside from the Yak 38 (yes it had issues but it was the only other VSTOL fighter to see production in during the cold war.) and maybe gives them the money to complete my favorite what if fighter the Yak 141.
 
But what role will this fighter perform?
and mig23 production ramping up
Why not produce another 800 or so M/ML?

Or more mig21bis with upgraded engine and BVR missiles
 
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Well in that case it would give Yakovlev its first simi successful fighter design since world war 2, aside from the Yak 38 (yes it had issues but it was the only other VSTOL fighter to see production in during the cold war.) and maybe gives them the money to complete my favorite what if fighter the Yak 141.
What purpose will yak 141 serve ?
 
MiG-23 was a bigger, heavier and more complex aircraft than F-5.
India (and others) can have a BVR fighter in the 'Soviet F-20'.
The F-20 was also bigger, heavier, and more complex than the F-5. In particular, for a low-cost light fighter it had pretty sophisticated avionics, with a full-on phased-array radar system, among other things. There was a heads-up display, a laser gyroscope, significant use of composite materials...

The last fighter the Poles and Czechs license-built was the MiG-21, and I'm fairly confident in saying the F-20 was a good deal more sophisticated.

Further, the Soviet equivalent would most likely be running the same avionics as the MiG-29, as that's really the only way to replicate F-20 performance. When I said it would be a single-engine MiG-29 I meant it, and given the Soviets had trouble building the MiG-29 the Poles and Czechs have very little chance.

But what role will this fighter perform?
and mig23 production ramping up
Why not produce another 800 or so M/ML?

Or more mig21bis with upgraded engine and BVR missiles
This strikes me as a WARPAC fighter to replace their mass of MiG-21s. They never got many MiG-23s - Poland got 42 and East Germany 56 - and their MiG-29s were delivered very late in the Cold War. Getting this fighter out the door in 1983 gives the Soviets a chance to re-equip their client states with a fighter that can actually stand up to the F-16 and wholly outclasses the older NATO fighters still in the inventory.
 
What purpose will yak 141 serve ?
800px-Yakovlev_Yak-141_at_1992_Farnborough_Airshow_(2).jpg


The yak 141 was gonna be a supersonic vstol aircraft to replace the yak 38 and give the Soviets a credible naval fighter. However it was being developed as the USSR was falling apart. When one of the prototypes crashed in the early 90s the program was canceled. The other was bought by lockeed. If its lift looks like the F35b you can figure out where it came from.
 
But what role will this fighter perform?
and mig23 production ramping up
Why not produce another 800 or so M/ML?

Or more mig21bis with upgraded engine and BVR missiles

MiG-21 production ended years ago. F-5 has a better wing for maneuvering, and can have better air intakes (also a thing when good maneuvering is needed).
Another 800 more of MiG-23s will not cater for thousands of MiG-21s that need to be replaced.

The F-20 was also bigger, heavier, and more complex than the F-5. In particular, for a low-cost light fighter it had pretty sophisticated avionics, with a full-on phased-array radar system, among other things. There was a heads-up display, a laser gyroscope, significant use of composite materials...

F-20 is still lighter, simpler and smaller than MiG-23. F-5 didn't used composite materials, the Soviet sibling can carry on wit materials that Soviets were comfortable with, ditto for electronics suite.

Further, the Soviet equivalent would most likely be running the same avionics as the MiG-29, as that's really the only way to replicate F-20 performance. When I said it would be a single-engine MiG-29 I meant it, and given the Soviets had trouble building the MiG-29 the Poles and Czechs have very little chance.

F-5/RD-33performance will be a product of the F-5 basic airframe and RD-33 engine. MiG-29 was more complicated, heavier and more expensive than the F-5/RD-33 combo.
 
F-20 is still lighter, simpler and smaller than MiG-23. F-5 didn't used composite materials, the Soviet sibling can carry on wit materials that Soviets were comfortable with, ditto for electronics suite.
The question is not whether it's easier to build than the MiG-23. It's whether it's harder to build than the MiG-21. That was the last and most sophisticated fighter Poland and Czechoslovaki built.

F-5/RD-33performance will be a product of the F-5 basic airframe and RD-33 engine. MiG-29 was more complicated, heavier and more expensive than the F-5/RD-33 combo.
Well, then that gets back to the problem of what the point of this is. A re-engined F-5 would get eaten alive in WVR by NATO and Pakistani F-16s, and good luck getting it into WVR against Eagles and Phantoms; as such, it's not an answer to the tactical problems both the Indians and the entire Warsaw Pact face in the air. It's not worth sinking in all this new money for a plane that's basically a more maneuverable MiG-21.

Again: the F-20 is not just a re-engined F-5. It is very much an all-new plane with advanced and capable avionics for the time. What you're proposing is not a Soviet F-20, merely a re-engined F-5 clone - and also a contradiction of other statements of yours regarding BVR capability, which requires considerably more sophisticated avionics than what the stock F-5 carried.
 
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MiG-21 production ended years ago. F-5 has a better wing for maneuvering, and can have better air intakes (also a thing when good maneuvering is needed).
Another 800 more of MiG-23s will not cater for thousands of MiG-21s that need to be replac
Mig21bis production did not start till 1972 IMHO

So you are thinking a mig21 replacement then why design and produce mig29? Produce more su27
 
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The yak 141 was gonna be a supersonic vstol aircraft to replace the yak 38 and give the Soviets a credible naval fighter. However it was being developed as the USSR was falling apart. When one of the prototypes crashed in the early 90s the program was canceled. The other was bought by lockeed. If its lift looks like the F35b you can figure out where it came from.
Soviets do not need a credible naval fighter
To what end ? They are hopelessly outnumbered in naval aircraft if they are planning true blue water operations and most of their naval operations should be within reach of shore based fighters
 
Soviets do not need a credible naval fighter
To what end ? They are hopelessly outnumbered in naval aircraft if they are planning true blue water operations and most of their naval operations should be within reach of shore based fighters
You'd be surprised. This is what the Arctic bastion encompassed:

bastion-defense.png


Note where the bastion defense line itself is: in Norwegian waters outside of the range of most of the USSR's land-based fighters. And in any case, history has shown multiple times that the most efficient way to run fighter defense over a fleet is to bring the air cover yourself.
 
The question is not whether it's easier to build than the MiG-23. It's whether it's harder to build than the MiG-21. That was the last and most sophisticated fighter Poland and Czechoslovaki built.

Time for them to move on.

Well, then that gets back to the problem of what the point of this is. A re-engined F-5 would get eaten alive in WVR by NATO and Pakistani F-16s, and good luck getting it into WVR against Eagles and Phantoms; as such, it's not an answer to the tactical problems both the Indians and the entire Warsaw Pact face in the air. It's not worth sinking in all this new money for a plane that's basically a more maneuverable MiG-21.

Again: the F-20 is not just a re-engined F-5. It is very much an all-new plane with advanced and capable avionics for the time. What you're proposing is not a Soviet F-20, merely a re-engined F-5 clone - and also a contradiction of other statements of yours regarding BVR capability, which requires considerably more sophisticated avionics than what the stock F-5 carried.

Pray tell, what is contradictory in my opinions? That Soviets use their electronics for BVR as they are doing it anyway?
Point of investment: replace the MiG-21s by thousands and fast.
 
Time for them to move on.
What does that have to do with the industrial limitations of both countries?

Pray tell, what is contradictory in my opinions? That Soviets use their electronics for BVR as they are doing it anyway?
Point of investment: replace the MiG-21s by thousands and fast.
Because you keep talking about just re-engining the airframe but also talk about giving the fighter BVR capability.

But okay, you want BVR capability. It's going to be very difficult to fit BVR capability in an F-5 airframe with Soviet avionics of the time. The MiG-29's radar is probably too big, and the MiG-23's is even bigger. Developing a new compact radar is going to add significantly to the development costs and it's entirely possible the Soviet electronics industry, which was behind its Western counterparts, isn't up to the task.
 
What does that have to do with the industrial limitations of both countries?

Same what it had to do with Yugoslavia when they moved from G-2/J-1 to Orao production by late 1970s.

Because you keep talking about just re-engining the airframe but also talk about giving the fighter BVR capability.

Look here, from 1st post:

Decision is made to make the resulting fighter in series, with a Soviet engine in the back, electronics, missiles etc,

But okay, you want BVR capability. It's going to be very difficult to fit BVR capability in an F-5 airframe with Soviet avionics of the time. The MiG-29's radar is probably too big, and the MiG-23's is even bigger. Developing a new compact radar is going to add significantly to the development costs and it's entirely possible the Soviet electronics industry, which was behind its Western counterparts, isn't up to the task.

Okay. So the cannons will vacate the front fuselage in order to make space for electronics.
 
Same what it had to do with Yugoslavia when they moved from G-2/J-1 to Orao production by late 1970s.
And the Orao is also much less sophisticated and easier to build than what you're proposing. What's your point.

Okay. So the cannons will vacate the front fuselage in order to make space for electronics.
That doesn't help much when the nose diameter is the bigger problem.

Look, as you might have noticed in previous posts, I do think this is a good idea overall. But sticking with the straight F-5 airframe, minus whatever modifications needed to fit the RD-33, is IMO not. I think it needs to be expanded somewhat to fit BVR-capable avionics, and from a cost perspective there's significant benefit to being able to recycle as many MiG-29 components as you can manage.
 
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And the Orao is also much less sophisticated and easier to build than what you're proposing. What's your point.

Apart from radar suite, Orao is more complicated. My point is that Czechoslovakia and/or Poland produce the fighter.

That doesn't help much when the nose diameter is the bigger problem.

Indeed. Thus the radome needs to start closer to cockpit than it was the case with F-20 or F-5.
 
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