Russian secret aircraft designs revealed

These are some interesting images that reveal a variety of secret Russian prototypes, some of which appear to be stealth bombers and fighters. In 2002, Russia television aired a documentary featuring footage of these interesting aircraft. From

While wind-tunnel models are not equivalent to real hardware, and while known sensitive material wouldn’t have been shown, the models are a real indication of Russian industry and government thinking.

Controversy continues among experts as to whether a MaRV is fitted to the Topol-M road-mobile/silo-launched ICBM. President Vladimir Putin claimed that a February 2004 missile test demonstrated a system capable of “hitting targets at an intercontinental depth…with a hypersonic speed, high precision and the opportunity of deep manoeuvre in terms of height and course”.

MaRVs can do that, and the technology was demonstrated in the US in the late 1970s under McDonnell Douglas’ Advanced MaRV program. The keys are thermal protection - the gliding MaRV sees a higher heat load than the conventional RV - and control technology, which is where TsAGI’s huge hypersonic tunnel complex is crucial.

Contrary to some opinions, a MaRV does not need an engine - what determines its cross-range performance, and its ability to penetrate defenses (that is, how far from the target it can start to maneuver) is the time that it can glide before its thermal protection system gives out.

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