Russia plans to build a line of ship-borne UAVs based on the “Su-47 upside-down Golden Eagle” for use on future aircraft carriers.
A line of ship unmanned aircraft based on the famous “Su-47 reverse-wing golden eagle” design is being actively researched and manufactured by Russian military engineers.
This information was published by the TASS news agency after citing a source from the State Technology Corporation (Rostec), a day after the Su-47 celebrated the 25th anniversary of its iconic maiden flight.
Currently, there have not been any leaked images of the ship’s UAV prototype with an inverted wing structure similar to the Su-47 Berkut posted, which makes the media extremely curious and looks forward to an answer soon.
Back in the past, the Su-47 Berkut was originally an advanced ship-based fighter project developed by the Sukhoi design institute. The aircraft has an inverted arrow-shaped wing, the fuselage structure uses many composite materials.
The design was originally developed as a fighter for the Soviet Air Force as part of an industry research program in 1983, but the project was closed in 1988.
Then the Soviet Navy became the unit to take over this project. After the collapse of the Soviet Union and the economic crisis in Russia in the 1990s, state funding was cut and the program continued only with Sukhoi’s money.
The aircraft was introduced to the public at MAKS 1999 as the S-37 Berkut, then at MAKS 2001 it was officially named Su-47 Berkut.
The forward wing design of the Su-47 offers a lot of advantages in terms of lift, high maneuverability, maintaining a large angle of attack at very low speeds, and shorter take-off distances. This design was expected to create a revolution in the field of aviation technology.
However, in fact, no reverse wing aircraft model has been put into service as a real fighter, all just stop at the level of technology testing even though the concept has been born for more than 70 years.
With the reverse wing structure, the inward airflow creates a huge torque at the V-angle between the wing and the fuselage. This torque even generates enough force to break the wings of the aircraft at high speed.
This is the biggest reason why no reverse fighter design has been widely used in the militaries of countries around the world.
Although the introduction of composite materials with much higher mechanical strength, it still does not completely eliminate the potential risk of cracking or breaking wings when flying at high speed.
On the other hand, the reverse wing design requires the airframe structure to be very strong to withstand the drag of the wing, which increases the manufacturing cost many times.
Therefore, it is really surprising that Russia intends to build an unmanned aircraft based on Su-47 Berkut for use on aircraft carriers, if all disadvantages are not resolved, the project will potentially very high risk.