Mikoyan Project 1.44

The Mikoyan Project 1.44/1.42 (Russian: Микоян МиГ-1.44; NATO reporting name: Flatpack) was a technology demonstrator developed by the Mikoyan design bureau. It was the Soviet Union's answer to the U.S.'s Advanced Tactical Fighter (ATF), incorporating many fifth-generation jet fighter aspects such as advanced avionics, stealth technology, supermaneuverability, and supercruise. The design’s development was a protracted one, characterized by repeated and lengthy postponements due to a chronic lack of funds; the MiG 1.44 made its maiden flight in February 2000, nine years behind schedule, and was cancelled later that year.


Country Name Origin Year
Russia (USSR) 2000
ManufacturerName Production From Production To Quantity
Mikoyan and Gurevich View

The MiG MFI was a delta wing, twin-tailed, fifth-generation air superiority/strike fighter design that incorporated advanced technology to theoretically give the aircraft excellent stealth and fighting attributes. It was of a tail-first (canards) layout which, when working in concert with the engines, gave the aircraft remarkable manoeuvrability. It had a tricycle landing gear system, with a single, dual-wheel landing gear in the front, and two single wheels in the rear. The MFI was controlled by a fly-by-wire flight control system, without which the aircraft was almost impossible to fly because of the statically unstable nature of the MFI. Mikoyan made use of weight-saving materials in the construction of the aircraft, with aluminium-lithium alloys making up 35% of the empty weight, steel and titanium alloys (30%), composites (30%) and others (5%).

The MiG MFI was unconventional in its layout, in an effort to improve in-flight efficiency and stealth characteristics. Efforts were made to minimise surface-area, possibly to reduce drag. The wings were of delta planform, with leading-edge sweep at 52°. At the tips were dielectric fairings which housed electronic countermeasures/electronic support measures. The wings had full-span leading edge. The canards, meanwhile, had a leading-edge sweep of 58°, and had prominent dogtooth which improve airflow over the wings at high alpha (angles of attack). Russian aviation experts claim that the unorthodox design, use of radar-absorbent materials (RAM), and internally mounted weapons, gave an RCS comparable to that of the F-22.

Two Lyul'ka Saturn AL-41F afterburning turbofans produced 177 kN (39,020 lbf) of thrust, giving the MFI a top speed of Mach 2.35. The engines also allowed the jet to supercruise. The axisymmetrical engines could be vectored in both pitch and yaw planes. The nozzle's inner petals were lined with ceramic tiles to reduce infrared signature. The engines, through serpentine ducts covered in RAM, were fed by a double intake ramp with Splitter plate (aeronautics) underneath the front fuselage. Weapons and fuel drop tanks could be carried under the wings as well.

The fighter is equipped with a glass cockpit and features a Pulse-Doppler radar with a passive electronically scanned array antenna. The radar system is linked to a fire-control system. The 1.42/1.44 fighter is believed to have evolved into the Mikoyan LMFS fifth-generation light fighter project.

Role Technology demonstrator
National origin Soviet Union
Russia
Manufacturer Mikoyan
First flight 29 February 2000
Status Classified


General characteristics

  • Crew: 1
  • Length: 19 m (63 ft)
  • Wingspan: 15 m (50 ft)
  • Height: 4.50 m (15 ft)
  • Empty weight: 18,000 kg (40,000 lb)
  • Loaded weight: 28,000 kg (62,000 lb)
  • Max. takeoff weight: 35,000 kg (77,000 lb)
  • Powerplant: 2 × Lyulka AL-41F afterburning turbofans, 176 kN (39,680 lb) each

Performance

  • Maximum speed: Mach 2.6 [28] (2,760 km/h, 1,725 mph)
  • Range: 4,000 km (2,500 mi)
  • Service ceiling: 21,555 m (70,720 ft)

Armament

  • Guns: 1× 30 mm Izhmash GSh-301 cannon, 250 rounds
  • Missiles: R-77 (AA-12 Adder) medium-range radar-guided missiles, R-73 (AA-11 Archer) short-range IR-guided missiles, K-37 long-range radar-guided missiles, K-74 short-range IR-guided missiles
  • Payload: likely any AGM or small-diameter free fall bomb in the Russian inventory

End notes