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. Kyr-Roger St-Denis

    II don't think they're that worried about China; I think they see an opportunity to undercut. They can make a plane that looks like an F-22 and sell it abroad for millions per copy, and millions less per copy than the Raptor; AND they'll sell it to people we wouldn't let get near it. And who knows: it may perform as well as a Raptor, it may be more reliable, it may be cheaper to operate. I wouldn't count on it, but it's possible. And lots of cash-strapped governments will much rather pay $X millions for a T-50 than $2X millions for a Raptor, if it's available to them at all.

    August 17, 2011 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
  2. MobiusEight

    Well good, they've caught up to our manned fighters. Problem is we've already moved on from that and are now massing an advanced fleet of drones. Manned fighters won't be of much use soon.

    August 17, 2011 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • oake

      Obama cancelled the F-22 so, that is not a threat to them but they still need to catch up with the F-35 unless Obama cancels that one also!!! That boy HATES our military being strong!!!

      August 17, 2011 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
  3. moufpuncha

    Well, you can look at the F-22 and F-35 and see what the basic concept is about, but there's a lot more to it than just the shape. Sure this thing looks like an F-22, but what about its functionality? You can't just hack together an F-22 clone. Anyway, good job to them for pumping this thing out. I believe this is about a year earlier than forecast? Beautiful plane. I hope we never have to go up against it.

    August 17, 2011 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Paul

    yes, that is true ... every other aircraft manufacturer copies from the US leadership when it comes to war airplanes ... you can say it's Americanism .. but it is so that in the last 60 years, the US has lead the pack .. with no exception and has lead with quite a lead ... it's so evident it's not even argued by anyone in the industry.
    Now, when it comes to airliners ... the US industry is only second to Airbus .. and not all the time anyway. Airbus (or BEA) got better marks for the Concorde (the US industry never managed to come even close to the Concorde) and the A380

    August 17, 2011 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
  5. BB Blinker

    The Chinese copied the YF-23 already.

    The F-35 is a lesser aircraft then the F-22 for air defence.

    And . . of course new robotics will or has evolve the UAV into the air weapon of choice.

    I don't expect Russia will buy very many of these aircraft. But, India could use them very succesfully against Pakistan.

    August 17, 2011 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Agent Orange

      I suspect you are corrrect. this will be an Indian plane not a Russian plane.
      Russia often partners with other countries to cover most of the development costs and they gain the technology.
      two examples – North Korea and the failed development of the T-95 MBT
      – China and the development of thier new J-20 fighter.

      August 17, 2011 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kashmir7

      China can't even copy the iPhone properly. How do you expect them to copy a stealth aircraft? A similar outward appearance does not imply a similar degree of functionality – with aircraft or anything else. Umanned fighters may turn out to be the future weapon of choice in some scenarios, but they are likely to complement manned aircraft rather than replace them.

      You don't expect that Russia will buy very many T-50s.... based on what?

      August 17, 2011 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Layne

    If India gets this Pakistan is going to want something to match it, China will be willing to supply it to Pakistan, and we'll probably lose our only overland supply rout to Afghanistan. This plane changes everything – not by it's performance, but merely by its existence.

    August 17, 2011 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
  7. BC

    sup people

    August 17, 2011 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Born on the 4th of july

    America F*** yeah

    August 17, 2011 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
  9. David

    "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."
    We give aid and work to our "ally" and they fund research and development with Russia for a fighter to match our latest fighter. What's wrong with this picture?

    August 17, 2011 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • American-Indian

      David, you are probably confusing Pakistan with India. India does not receive any US aid unlike Pakistan. So please stop acting like the 'terribly mis-informed King!!

      August 17, 2011 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • AD

      You need to improve of knowledge of US aid provided to other countries. India has not been provided aid directly by the USA.
      US has provided aid to Pakistan to be used for 'other' reasons/causes.


      August 17, 2011 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Layne

      Maybe this is exactly what we wanted. After all, nobody can profit from an arms race if only one side is playing the game.

      August 17, 2011 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • kiran

      india was never an ally of USA , we never allowed US to refuel etc ....... during any war in asia pacific region........

      u sound like an typical ignorant american ................ know the facts

      August 17, 2011 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      Don't know about "aid" per se, but India does receive military technology from the U.S. See

      August 17, 2011 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Big Poppa Pump

      kiran – India has long been a military (if not political) ally of the United States. If you don't think so, then why do we have the COPE INDIA exercise every year, and invite Indian pilots to participate in Red Flag among other things? The fact that India doesn't allow us to refuel our aircraft in their sovereign airspace is simply a political statement because they don't want to be seen as agreeing with any position that Pakistan takes. So before you spout off about ignorance, please understand the geopolitical landscape. Oh, and please stop butchering our grammar and language when trying to call someone out. You simply make yourself look more foolish...

      August 17, 2011 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
  10. jegg

    Ok now start bombard innocent families. STOP THIS BLODDY WARS!!!!

    August 17, 2011 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Pancho

    The majority of people don't know nothing about the aviation field, so why the he'll are they talking caca about Russia's aviation industry "planes".....
    Keep in mind the f22 is old technology and its grounded because of it's oxygen system is caca or that's what they are telling us.

    August 17, 2011 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Ralph

    The F-22 Raptor can not be considered more advanced because it has been grounded indefinitely. I doubt it qualifies for anything anymore.

    August 17, 2011 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Nate

    $6 billion, eh? I'll bet that is at least $300 billion dollars less than the United States spent developing the now cancelled F-22 Raptor equivalent.

    August 17, 2011 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Jimbob

    Yeaaa! More ways to kill humans! Just what we need in the world.

    August 17, 2011 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
  15. FU

    Haha, rival the F-22? Build an plane without use of function, go way over budget and cut the O2 to the pilots mid flight and you have a rival! Can't wait to see one of these plough into the crowd at an airshow near you though.....

    August 17, 2011 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
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