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. Gary Sea

    The airframe and external mounts are virtually identical to the F-22 Raptor because its essentially a copy of the Raptor made from stolen plans. The primary difference is the instrumentation and all other markings will be in the Russinal language. Incidentally, India is ethically bankrupt when it comes to loyalty to its 'friends'.

    August 17, 2011 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • TJHolmes

      Yup!! US is a role model when it comes to Ethics. hahaha!!!!

      August 17, 2011 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • elope123

      Afghanistan would rekindle your memory mate........ when you talk about "loyalty" and "ethics"

      August 17, 2011 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Sid

    For all those who are drawing comparisons.
    When was the last time F-22 raptor was used in a combat?
    Answer : Never

    August 17, 2011 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • wing

      what enemy wants to deal with the F22, they cant win and thats the point

      August 17, 2011 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Richard

    The T-50 is way better than the F-22 and F-35 because it can fly and the US planes can't because of problems and they are grounded!

    August 17, 2011 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
  4. fero7

    none of you commentors have great writing skills, and your thoughts are the least interesting. nice picture of an airplane though.

    August 17, 2011 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
  5. ReeferPower

    This plane is not an "exact" copy of the F22. I reviewed the two plane profiles. As some have noted the engines are farther apart on this plane. The F22 tail is different, the wings are different.

    There is no radar antenna hanging out – one Russian fellow – who seems to know what he's talking about (Illya) said that the radar and non-stealth engines featured above are still in development – so it's not the end product.

    Also, the plane DOES have weapons bays on the wings. You can't see it here, but I've see other pictures where the weapons flaps are open. It's hard to tell from that angle and because of the paint job.

    My bet is that F22 is still better – but for 5 times the price it's not that much better.

    August 17, 2011 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Barry

      With the money we give India every year "BILLIONS", we should have just given them some of our F22s and saved some money

      August 17, 2011 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tony

      Believe India doesn't get any money from US . India has stop accepting aid from other Countries . Believe You confused between India and Pakistan . Pakistan does get aid from us . And F 22 being such an advance aircraft only a select countries qualify to obtain them . India is definitely not one of them .

      August 17, 2011 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • mike

      The F-22 also has vectored thrust. By the looks of the nozzles on the T-50, it lacks this feature (which is the key to the F-22's ridiculous maneuverability).

      But yeah, my guess is the cost-benefit of the T-50 is much better. Eisenhower warned us of the military-industrial complex. The F-22 is the poster child for it.

      August 17, 2011 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Superman1232132123

      barry u either read your news from a calculator or your a 94 year old gradmom.US hasnt ever given India a single penny on the contrary it has funded Pakistan with billions in military aid..In case your didnt know pakistan and india are enemies

      August 17, 2011 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Bazoing

    About two billion from India, a country full of starvation and wretchedness. Do they really need this when they can just buy a bunch of good planes for a few hundred million. Looks like more corruption.
    However, in a relative sense, this is not much different from the US which has a larger defense budget than the rest or the world put together. Also smacks of some sort of corruption.

    August 17, 2011 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jason

      You should have been there during Kargil war..oops sorry you must have been sipping some rich wine at that time.

      August 17, 2011 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sid

      Only difference is India's GDP is on the rise every year. They create jobs through technology, but is overburdened by population. US on the other hand is over 300 million people, ghettos and those slum projects have never changed where people shoot for little money. Highest prison population in the world.

      August 17, 2011 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • TheTruth

      2 billion will barely buy you 16 raptors considering the cost is 140 mill a peice. not including spares etc. 2 billion is a good investment for a good fighter. when you have pakistan and china hand in glove with each other on the border. also US never shares any tech plus the multiple export restrictions to deal with.. so all in all not a bad deal. if you see what china is doing on the other side.

      August 17, 2011 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
  7. sapsxy

    well the biggest threat against humanity is those all those from fanatical religion and ofcourse china.

    August 17, 2011 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Jonny Wexler

    yes...let's all keep pouring our finite natural resources into killing machines instead of into creating a peaceful and sustainable planet...i for one am happy...

    August 17, 2011 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Barry

    We give India BILLIONS of dollars a year to be our friends.....and they buy Russian airplanes!

    August 17, 2011 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hugo

      Maybe we should have kept the billions and invested them in US workers that could then build F35s....

      August 17, 2011 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sparambath

      India is not a recipient of any form US Military Aid. India may still have poverty..but that does not prevent from India developing technologies intended for its own defence.

      August 17, 2011 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • suresh

      mixing pakistan for India ..are we?

      August 17, 2011 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jason

      You need to go back to elementary school. You cannot differentiate between Pakistan and india

      August 17, 2011 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • SKS_US

      You need to correct your facts.. India is not receiving any aid from US but paid over $10 billion for military supplies. Next time read your newspaper carefully..

      August 17, 2011 at 4:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sid

      India does not get any military aid from US. Billions go to Pakistan for military. US-Russia defense alliance is 50 year history. If you were reading news and history, this won't be a news to you. Pakistan is America's military recipient since 1948.

      August 17, 2011 at 4:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sid

      I meant India-Russia defense alliance.

      August 17, 2011 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • EatThemUpYum

      You think US elementary schools cover the difference between Pakistan and India? Other than maybe forcing the kids to memorize their locations, most Americans don't know or care about the differences and this ignorance has ZERO impact on their lives. Sorry if this hurts Indian or Pakistani feelings, but it is the truth. And I seriously doubt this plane is the equal of the F22... Maybe give the F35 a run for it's money, but not the '22.

      August 17, 2011 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Boomer

      No one remember when was the last time US gave billions to India....I hope atleast you can remember that..

      August 17, 2011 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • KMSandiego75

      Do not comment on something you have partial information. Aid is tied up a specific initiative and not necessarily buy military equipment. Do your research before posting comment.

      August 17, 2011 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • VB

      Please educate yourself. US pays Pakistan in billions. As opposed to that, just in 2009 alone, India bought $2.1 billion worth of arms and ammunition from the US. Now that trade has gone up even more. And this trade creates jobs in the US. It is important for the US, India and Russia to work together to tame China.

      August 17, 2011 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse |
  10. David M

    Nice looking aircraft. The Russians do build them pretty, even if it does favor the F-22.

    Of course, it's a shame that India spent that much money on development. They need to spend that money of feeding people and trying to improve their crumbling infrastructure. Actually, crumbling infrastructure is not quite correct. In most cases, they don't have infrastructure. I don't understand how a country that can turn out so many extremely smart people is still wallowing in poverty. Makes no sense.

    August 17, 2011 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • TheTruth

      Defence of ones country is more important. because if the country exists then can you think of infrastructure. If US had 2 hostile countries on its borders, one a 800 pound gorilla and the a nagging pomerian, you would know what is more important.

      August 17, 2011 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sid

      US got Independence from Britishers 172 years before India. Think about if US got autonomy in 1947. How would the country look like? Reading history is important.

      August 17, 2011 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
  11. A Oei

    Big problem for the US.... Our wonderfully expensive and over-priced F22 is grounded... has been so for months!!! And it has yet to see a day in combat because is can't network with existing fighters. For now... it is next to a useless toy.... might as well junk the F22.

    August 17, 2011 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sid

      F-22 has been used as an escort and in airshows. Never been used in combat.
      But by far, coolest thing ever.

      August 17, 2011 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Barry

    Don't worry...Russian planes crash like 50% of the time they fly

    August 17, 2011 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Big_D

    Forget about our strategic dominance now that the GOP has put taxes off the table.

    August 17, 2011 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Enzo

      We have enough nuclear weapons to blow up the world 10x over. We are safe. The US military budget could easily be cut in half.

      August 17, 2011 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
  14. George

    I sure hope we'll be able to manufacture some parts for these for Russia's air force. I really need a job.

    August 17, 2011 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Alex

    India who cant feed itself, takes billions from us in aid and helps those fun loving Russians build a copy of our plane F22 with modification with our cash. What a great idea.

    August 17, 2011 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sparambath

      This is hypocracy..No americans shares the same concern for India's poor when India spends billions of dollars buying military equipments from the US or its allies. Why does it become concern for you guys when India invests in developing the indigenious military technologies, i know you guys are concerned that US Companies like Boeing and Lockheed Martin will multi billion dollars from India.

      August 17, 2011 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jason

      Another one who did not pay attention during geography lessons, or did yo mean pakistan

      August 17, 2011 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sid

      I have seen slum neighborhoods and projects in US. Dirty and filthy, ridden with crime and starvation.

      August 17, 2011 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • TheTruth

      Billions? India does not receive any aid from US.

      August 17, 2011 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sid

      And you need to attend 6th grade Geography class, you are confusing Pakistan with India.

      August 17, 2011 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Get_your_facts_Right

      Dude – India does not get any military aid from US. Actually, India is working on creating a $2bn aid pool for third world countries. Surprised? Next time get your facts right and dont mix double-crossing Pakistanis with Indians.

      August 17, 2011 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Get_your_facts_Right

      Read this – courtesy The Economist – BETWEEN 1951 and 1992 India received about $55 billion in foreign aid, making it the largest recipient in history. Now it seems on the verge of setting up its own aid-giving body. A spokesman for the foreign ministry says the government is in “active discussions” to create an India Agency for Partnership in Development (IAPD), an equivalent of America’s Agency for International Development (USAID) or Britain’s Department for International Development (DFID). Bureaucrats in other ministries are dragging their feet but Gurpreet Singh of RIS, a Delhi think-tank, says the government will announce the body within months, and give it $11.3 billion to spend over the next five years (about $2 billion a year)

      August 17, 2011 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • India

      if US stop supplying weapons to a rogue nation like India, then perhaps India will feel much safer, I am unhappy that because of our neighbors we are forced to invest so much into defense.

      Unfortunately, if we do not, India will be wiped out of the map.

      In the long term I hope India would completely shift to nuclear deterrence, have a few nukes (+missiles) and get rid of the conventional army.

      That way we shall save lots of money.

      August 17, 2011 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
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