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. jay

    It appears, much like the Chinese version, a direct knock off of American Technology. Remember a certain Bill Clinton that thought it fair and correct to sell China, American technology?? Now the Russian version. Note if you will, that it is "proposed" to have thrust vectoring technology, something the Russians have already developed, but are probably having difficulty with getting it embedded in the fusalage of the craft.

    Neither craft is really ready, but you have to show what you got regardless..

    August 17, 2011 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rick101

      Wait till the Chinese are finished analyzing the radar absorbing material from the Stealth Helicopter that our ALLY Pakistan gave them access to following the elimination of Osama.

      August 17, 2011 at 5:16 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Agent Orange

    too many posts, too many opinions, too many sensitive nerves.
    Bottom line nice new plane. looks promising. Lets see how it will do.
    US won't develop a sixth gen for decades.(no cash)
    Russia has drones codenamed "Skat" means " Manta Ray" looks like a mini B2.
    Toolbag is probably unemployed making him the biggest tool and not to be taken seriously
    Its 5 PM & i'm out of here.

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

    For all the guessers out there, there are differences...

    August 17, 2011 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Robert

    Suppsedly Vietnam is getting some of these planes too... a little later. This makes things interesting because 3 countries around China will soon have fighter planes more advanced than the Chinese have. I wonder how long it will take the Chinese to to come up with something to match? Or will they swap some of the US debt for F-22s?

    August 17, 2011 at 5:06 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Nick

    Once again Russia steals our design and simply copies it. A practice they've been doing since before WWII....Let them build it, whio cares. How long has the F-22 been out now 7- 8- 10 years? I'm sure we have an even better jet waiting in the wings.....

    Just like Russia....always a day late and dollar short.....

    August 17, 2011 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |

    I see India is following the same couse of stupidity that the USA has already learned to master. That being spending and wasting your nations precious monies and resources when it could be used on more useful endeavors. How about educating the masses in India, Tearing down social caste system so that the nearly billion citizen base can push your country forward in the next century because of their high education claibre. How about building the road and highway infrastructure so that the country can be more unified. How about working on the water system which is tainted with parisites and other water bourn illness or working on the power and electrical grid system which is consistently unstable for delivering power to homes and business 24 hours day. How about using that money to clean up the corruption throughout the national police system and implement laws that make the country safer and equal in justice. I guess it's too much to ask to try to use the monies to make the people healthier, more united, and more prosperous. That's suggestions are only the tip of the iceberg of things that these moneies could have been used for. Instead, lets waste fortunes on development of instruments of war and destruction and project mass production which will cost 100s of Billions of Dollars. "We can always use the National Defense excuse if probed too hard." Well no excuse for India from where I look. Now I might understand Russia, they've now become the war brokers for the world and the development of this plane would surely bolster the pockets with $$$ rubbles may it be in strategic arms sales worldwide. Still, not too long ago Russia was in the midst of DEPRESSION..... has anything really changed???

    August 17, 2011 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sam

      "russia become the war brokers for the world". How dear they! It is US rightful place.

      August 17, 2011 at 5:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bryan

      Most would just be happy with a toilet.

      August 17, 2011 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Vivek G.

      I absolutely agree with you Dave. As you also agree, shunning war and reducing defense budget to spend only on human development is wishful thinking. In the real world it just doesn't for US or even for India especially when we have neighbors like China and Pakistan. Only if US can stop selling its F-16s thru F-22s and other weaponry, India can breathe ease and work towards modern development. But, I bet US will not stop selling its weaponry to Pakistan as they might look towards China for help plus US will loose jobs at home front (at Lockheed, GE, Boeing etc. defense contractors). What do you think?

      August 17, 2011 at 5:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      David, if the USA hadn't spent a tremendous amount on military technology and weapons over its history, you'd be writing your diatribe in German, Chinese, or Russian. You only have the freedom to write your opinion because brave men have used those weapons to defend your rights (and sometimes died while doing so).

      August 17, 2011 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kniz

      Actually the original nuke plans were stolen from captured german scientists so.... i guess if stealing counts towards investing in military then sure/

      August 17, 2011 at 5:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Amit-Atlanta-USA

      I disagree!

      It's only over the past few years that India has begun to spend on upgrading its vintage military infrastructure. It's absolutely necessary given India's strategic location with a PERPETUALLY HOSTILE TERRORIST neighbor to the West (Pakistan), a cold, calculative unfriendly neighbor to the North (China) and an off & on friendly/not so friendly neighbor to the east (Bangladesh) with all of whom India has either fought a full scale war or engaged in hostilities.

      While Pakistan's armed forces may be much smaller than India's they are much more modern than India's (thanks to liberal US & some Chinese aid) and their armed forces only need to focus on the eastern border (discounting the NOTIONAL war they are PURPORTEDLY fighting on their western flank for which they don't need advanced fighter/bombers), while India's forces are spread thin over a much wider area.

      So, commensurate with India's new found stature, it surely needs to invest in a strong, robust army both to protect itself as well as play a leading role to counter Chinese influence in the area.

      That's a startegy even Hillary Clinton advised India to embark on.


      August 17, 2011 at 5:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Spartacus

      Dear David, you have pressed for valid points, just one point you are forgetting, that there has been no century in the known history, when India was not attacked by a foreign invader, Mongols, Turks, Brits etc, you name it. India should be the last country who could ignore their national security. You know two lovely nations, who manage to give you headache from eastern hemisphere, are India's neighbors, yup, you are right Pakistan and China; nevertheless undeserved poverty stricken society of India couldn't be ignored, with Regards.

      August 17, 2011 at 5:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rao

      Dave- India spending money on defence is similiar to USA spending money on Iraq/ Afghanisthan. Both are protecting their countries against possible threats. As important it is to spend money educating people, building roads etc, it is important to defend country against attacks too. I am sure there are people who think that US is better off spending that money elsewhere versus spending in Iraq/ Afghanistan. It would be nice if USA took a committment from Pakistan that they will not use US supplied weapons against India. This is not going to happen as US is making money on those sales, and that is how it works in a capitalistic country. So, India has no choice but to partner with Russia, and be prepared. Remember, if there are no sofisticated weapons then you dont need to spend as much on defending against, right?.

      August 17, 2011 at 5:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      I totally agree. I don't believe we should spend all these money on the military given our economy is still in such a bad shape. But you have to realize that not continuing with the development of latest and greatest in military technology is a gamble. Sure the powerful countries are friendly with each other right now but can you predict 20 years or even 10 years from now? What happens when you do actually need the next generation jet fighter? I believe we need to cut military budget by not sending the troops oversea and pick and choose what you really need as far as military development and what's nice to have.

      August 17, 2011 at 6:07 pm | Report abuse |
  7. First Maje

    Probably incorporate transwarp technology in the engine.

    August 17, 2011 at 5:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Godwin's Law

      It does look a little like a Voyager Class starship.

      August 17, 2011 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
  8. nasty 704

    @Xasthur. The Pakistan's not exactly talking to us right now.:-(

    August 17, 2011 at 5:15 pm | Report abuse |
  9. KR

    Well... for the people commenting above.. We need to get our understanding right..

    For those who think India doesn't need military hardware – please google about border disputes with China and Pakistan..
    For those who think India takes Billions from US – please get your statistics right 🙂

    For those who think that infrastructure in India is non existent and that the nation is full of poor and starving people – you need to visit India for a change.

    The baffling question is that in spite of producing engineers and scientists every year, the country has still not come up with a fully indigenous fighter aircraft or helicopter or battle proven tank.
    Little does anyone knows what part of the above aircraft was developed in India 🙂

    August 17, 2011 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ray

      FYI... India has developed an indigenous fighter aircraft :

      August 17, 2011 at 5:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • ReeferPower

      Ray, they built the HAL Tejas but not the engine. The indigenous engine failed. In fact Obama was in India selling them GE engines because their own engines are behind schedule.

      August 17, 2011 at 7:23 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Luke Scientiae

    All that money could have been spent on education, healthcare, vaccinations, infrastructure and a number of other things I'm sure the Indians need much more than a stealth bomber. How inhumane.

    August 17, 2011 at 5:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Carawaigh

      If they do not defend their people from the tangible threats at their doorstep- Pakistan, China, and other happy campers- then food and health care will do those people no good.

      August 17, 2011 at 6:12 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Kweso

    I'm gonna buy me one of them planes from my buddy, Mr. Putin. Say, where's Russia on the map?

    August 17, 2011 at 5:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • PROGRAMER 1951

      Ask Palin, I am sure she can tell you where Russia is. After all she can see it from her home in Alaska and is very well informed as to world affairs.

      August 17, 2011 at 5:24 pm | Report abuse |
  12. ken

    All i want to know is who do they plan on fighting with it. Seriously why does any country build this stuff anymore. Unless they are planning on defending themselves from Aliens, there are no countries invading other countries for expansion purposes anymore. Weapons have become too end of the world scary to even consider it. I just cant help but think you build the toy you are gonna want to play with it. Isnt that what kicked off world war one. The Kaiser had alot of new toys he wanted to try out so he invaded russia or some such (i should know better I am a historian) but that's not the point. Point is no one builds something they dont plan on using eventually so.....

    August 17, 2011 at 5:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • yevtab

      Because countries like US try to push other countries around. I am talking spesificaly about misiles that US wants to or maybe already deployed in Poland. Right next to Russia. For "Defense" as we claim. How do you think Russia should react to this? Would we like if Russia had permision to put some missiles in Canada? I am sure its very benefisial for us to have missiles in Poland but to think there will be no retaliation of some sort is wrong and weak. Always predict what your opponents will do. So better weapons will be created on all sides. Trick is not to use them due to other side having weapons just as potent.

      August 17, 2011 at 8:22 pm | Report abuse |
  13. cliff plasters

    Sorry but our 22s are grounded because we can't get enough oxygen to the pilots to keep them from blacking out at a cost of $410,000,000 each-what a stupid waist-haven't seen any in use in our current 4 wars have ya?

    August 17, 2011 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • darkstar3000

      Hey, our F-22's have been busy. Perhaps you have not seen Transformers I, II, or III. I'm sure those were not the only movies our billions of dollars in tax of dollars have gone towards in military equipment. Oh yeah, Starscream... F22 with tats, I mean how cool is that.

      August 17, 2011 at 5:44 pm | Report abuse |
  14. durkaderp

    well i guess they bought some tech from china..

    August 17, 2011 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Jesse Billingsley

    HEY RUSSIA! How about making your own jet instead of making a knock off version of the F-22 and F-35

    August 17, 2011 at 5:37 pm | Report abuse |
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