New fighter jet to bolster Russian air force
The T-50 performs during the MAKS 2011 air show outside Moscow. It is meant to rival the U.S. F-22 Raptor.
August 17th, 2011
11:44 AM ET

New fighter jet to bolster Russian air force

Russia's new stealth fighter jet made its public debut Tuesday, according to state-run news source RIA Novosti.

The Sukhoi T-50, developed collaboratively by Russia and India, appeared at the MAKS 2011 air show in Zhukovsky, outside Moscow.

Gen. Alexander Zelin, head of the Russian air force, told RIA Novosti he expects the T-50 prototype to be ready in 2013, with "mass-produced aircraft" arriving in 2014 or 2015.

The aircraft is expected to become a staple of airborne defense for both Russia and India, Mikhail Pogosyan, head of Russia's United Aircraft Corp., told RIA Novosti.

"The T-50 will be the newest main plane both for the Russian and the Indian air force," Pogosyan said.

The article from the state-run media source says the Sukhoi T-50 cost the two governments about $6 billion to develop, with India shouldering about 35% of the cost. It is intended to match the U.S. F-22 raptor.

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Filed under: Aviation • India • Military • Russia • World
soundoff (1,547 Responses)
  1. ex air force

    F22 total program cost of $62 billion, around $339 million per aircraft.

    August 17, 2011 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Shaun

    Oh that's a beauty.

    August 17, 2011 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Brian

    For all those who think this looks like a F-22, look closer. It looks like a F-16, not a F-22. Primarily, look at the engine separation. The F-22 engines are right next to each other while this plane's engines are not. The engine spacing is similar to the F-16's.

    August 17, 2011 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Paul

      An F-16 only has one engine.

      August 17, 2011 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • magoga

      this plane has two engines, but the f16 has one.....

      are you talking about the f15?

      August 17, 2011 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Actually, the F-16 has only one engine. Are you thinking of the F-15 perhaps? The placement and design of the engines and intakes looks very reminiscent of the MIG-29. But I don't think that anyone is can really tell anything about this plane's performance against the F-22 based on this one picture.

      August 17, 2011 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kevin

      I think you mean the F-15 as the F-16 is a single engine

      August 17, 2011 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Grant

      I think you mean the T-50's engine configuration is closer to that of the American F-15. The F-16 only has one engine.

      August 17, 2011 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • munokhoi

      Brian...The F-16 is single engine A/C. In planform, the T-50 is indeed similar to the F-22, with the tail boom being the largest visible difference from below, followed by the lack of a blended belly internal weapons storage design. To be clear, internally stowed bays are visible, they are just recessed between the engines, as opposed to the "clean" belly of the F-22.

      August 17, 2011 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Sharm

    A lot of it depends on how good the pilot is, and WE ARE THE BEST!!!!

    August 17, 2011 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  5. rm1007

    EUREKA......India has not shed its communist skin of USSR vintage yet collaborating with Russians now and stealing american design. I though they were buddies of americans????!!!! Is that what the Indians do in USA on H1B visas....steal american industrial and military secrets????? WHAT AN EYE OPENER!!!

    August 17, 2011 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • George Patton

      Can you prove it, rm1007? I bet not since it's not true anyway!!!

      August 17, 2011 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sid

      America has provided weapons to Pakistan since 1948. Russia and Israel are India's largest military partners.
      India and US are 'friendly' but not friends. Pakistan has been ally and receiver of military aid from US. Live with it.

      August 17, 2011 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Aletheya

      Everyone spies on everyone. What do you expect India to do? The U.S. chose Pakistan as it's partner, and India and Pakistan are enemies. Of course India works with Russia, since the U.S. works with their enemy.

      Oh, and news flash, Russia isn't primarily communist any more.

      August 17, 2011 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
  6. George Patton

    Very good news indeed, but not for these ignorant, right-wing blowhards here who keep on bragging about our superiority in the air. We really need a counterweight to the West who now vastly abuse their power!!!

    August 17, 2011 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • gousofa

      you are a idiot

      August 17, 2011 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Menos

      @ George - Regarding your claim to the West's abuse of power - what a ridiculous proposition given that the U.S. has been bleeding blood and treasure for years now without benefiting from the spoils of war. The restraint of the U.S., in light if it's overwhelming military power, is literally unprecendented in the history of warfare. We have acquired no territory, not a single American colony has been established in recent conflicts. We didn't even win any oil contracts in Iraq! War historically was an investment expected to bring in a significant return in investment / expansion of resources for the aggressors. That is clearly not the case in how Americans approach their military strategy. We spend billions, spill priceless blood, and by policy forbid the planting of an American flags. Raping, razing, and pillaging is an abuse of power - fighting for years in God forsaken places and giving each gain back to native peoples and helping them nation build is a lot of things (naive perhaps, fiscally irresponsible, etc.) but definitely not an abuse of power relative to any other example in the long history of armed conflict. So drop your ideological idiocy and pick up a history book and work with facts - not blind, partisan ignorance. The debate should really be about why America should spend so much and gain so little from our military / global policing endeavors.

      August 17, 2011 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Bruce

    Newsflash people: it is 2011, not 1985. The technology of the T-50 is outdated only by the apparently resilient Cold War perspectives of most of the comments here.

    Stop thinking of a dogfight between the T-50 and the F-22. Get it out of your mind. We're not in the danger zone any more, Mav...

    August 17, 2011 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Medardus

      You should really schedule a procedure to correct the rectal/cranial inversion you have.

      August 17, 2011 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bruce

      Yeah, I'll schedule it right after I bag Kelly McGillis in the bathroom. Now excuse me while I drink enough to lose those inhibitions that keep me from making a fool out of myself so I can go serenade her, you know, before someone else beats me to it...

      August 17, 2011 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Stephen

    I see, India stole (hacked) the design and Russia builds it, of course China would say; been there done that.

    August 17, 2011 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  9. John R. De Lude

    Maybe I am mistaken, but this "RUSSIAN" plane sure looks an awful lot like a U.S. Navy F-4 Phantom to me. In 1963, I was attending an 8 week navy school at a base near Norfolk, Virginia, and was scheduled to move on to Charleston S.C. after the school. For that reason, and the total lack of temporary military housing for wife & a 6 month old baby, I chose to rent a room in a local motel as that was all I could find that would rent for only two months, This was on a Sunday afternoon after driving from New London, Ct. I found out the next morning (Monday) (to my chagrin) that the motel was about 1000-2000 ft from the end of a runway (configured to resemble an Aircraft Carrier Flight Deck, (Arresting gear an all) from which these very F-4's were practicing "Touch & Go take-offs & landings for all hours of the day & night, going straight up, with the afterburners going full blast.

    August 17, 2011 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • D

      Just google T-50 images before posting, will help a lot.

      August 17, 2011 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Research First

      Umm, this thing looks NOTHING like a Phantom.

      August 17, 2011 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Illuminarch

      You are mistaken and perhaps also blind. This looks nothing at all like the F4 Phantom, a plane that has been obsolete for 20 years.

      August 17, 2011 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Actually, it looks absolutely nothing like an F-4 Phantom. It does however closely resemble our F-22 Raptor.

      August 17, 2011 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
  10. chris

    How these articles about air planes and fighter jets turn into political debate I can never understand. Are people just so dumb and immature and incapable of intellectual conversation that you feel the need to talk up political garbage. Please do us all a favor and jump off the nearest cliff.

    August 17, 2011 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Brian

    Sorry, I meant this looks more like an F-15 than an F-22, but even the engine separation on the F-15 is closer than this one. With the mass of those engines so far from the center axis, this plane must be a beast to turn.

    August 17, 2011 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Medardus

      It has three-dimensional thrust vectoring (which the F-22 doesn't). This thing can turn on a dime.

      August 17, 2011 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lorne D. Gilsig

      Actually, from below it looks more like an F-14 than an F-15.

      However, you are right about one thing. With the engines outboard of the center of roll, roll inertia has to be an issue. Maybe they've got asymetrical thrust vectoring to off-set the problem.

      August 17, 2011 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Lokari

    If the T-50 prototype will be ready in 2013, what exactly are they actually displaying off at the air show? Is someone not clear on the definition of 'prototype'?

    August 17, 2011 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Bruce

      In this case I think they are talking of "prototype" in the manufacturable sense–that is, a design that can be mass-produced as-is. What's flying in that airshow is not (yet) mass-produceable.

      August 17, 2011 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Cyril

    Ever wonder why all other country's new military aircraft look just like ours? Hmmmm

    August 17, 2011 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • D

      Not even close

      August 17, 2011 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
  14. sam the moslem

    I can't wait to see India use some of that firepower on Pakistan. Fun times ahead. Run, my fellow moslems, run!

    August 17, 2011 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Col

    They developed this aircraft on a 6 billion budget..... The F22 cost 66.7 billion. ... This is why our economy is crumbling...

    August 17, 2011 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jeremy

      The Russian/Soviet military has a reputation for cutting corners, especially in the area of safety. When an accident does happen it is typically not released to the public until decades later. Take a look at their space program as an example.

      August 17, 2011 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lorne D. Gilsig

      Building a single prototype of an aircraft that might not go into productions, and if/when it does go into production might not work, is cheap.

      Building a 130 world beating aircraft is expensive...

      August 17, 2011 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
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