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. Brady

    HAH!,,,, Match the US F-22 Raptor i Highly doubt that, nor will i believe it to bad they are 15 Years behind our technology when we developed the F-22 what ashame

    August 17, 2011 at 5:38 pm | Report abuse |
  2. irock

    Why not save 6 billion and wait to buy a raptor in a few years when they are out dated. Let the stupid American government foot the bill on the prototypes, Then steal it like china does. America has plenty of money, They will just print somemore.

    August 17, 2011 at 5:38 pm | Report abuse |
  3. crow bait

    when was the last time we were in a dogfight? Duuh

    August 17, 2011 at 5:42 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Fight them all

    good! Now the F-22 has something to shoot at!

    August 17, 2011 at 5:42 pm | Report abuse |
  5. MUHAMMAD SALEEM

    I don't know why governments put a lot of money on the manufacturing of weapons in order to trade with other countries. This is a stupid act, should be over now . Everybody wants to live in peace which is the demand of the hour. Governments need to create equal opportunities of education and employment for the youth.

    August 17, 2011 at 5:45 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Save Your Money

    they should have just saved their money and feed their kids. this war stuff is just a crazy sink hole.

    August 17, 2011 at 5:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • guy

      +1 sir! PLUS ONE! /cheer

      August 17, 2011 at 6:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jack Myhogoff

      You understand that money just doesn't disappear when it's invested in the military, correct? Think about the people who had jobs because of that $6B investment. I suppose that you would rather just give people money for doing nothing – oh wait, that's what we do in this country...

      August 17, 2011 at 6:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Smart

      You are a fool

      August 17, 2011 at 6:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jams

      I'm thinking about the $6.1B worth of jobs that produced nothing of value except some tools of international thuggery. So much wasted effort. Think of what else that labor could have produced.

      August 17, 2011 at 6:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • tiddingwright

      We just fall further and further behind while our government fiddles while the country burns.

      August 17, 2011 at 6:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Desi

      Jack .. you are right that spending on Military produces employment .. but think about the same money being spent on schools, universities, hospitals .. they can provide employment too!

      August 17, 2011 at 6:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kostya

      @Jack Myhogoff: You understand that money doesn't just appear, it has to be taken from somewhere. It was borrowed from Chinese and now has to be paid back by raising your taxes.

      August 17, 2011 at 6:36 pm | Report abuse |
  7. eugene

    wow, Sid that reality is so scary. For all the pom and gradiosity of this USA, our kids are being left behing to be educated by ipods, play stations, and xbox connect. Any wonder why children form dirt poor countries are doing better than our kids in every area of education except for fashion and operations of these new gadgets. God Bless America, the empire is crumbling.

    August 17, 2011 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • aliandsons

      Our kids learn very well how to have girlfriends and boyfriends right from grade on. How we can expect them to be innovative and technically shining star. Way before the age of 18 they have girlfriend / boyfriend one child out of their flirting love, they both become high school dropout and working rest of their life to survive, how we can expect shining star innovators in our country.

      August 17, 2011 at 5:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Most everything you said (being left behind to be educated by ipods, play stations, and xbox connect, fashion, etc.) is controlled by parent choice.

      August 17, 2011 at 6:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • miguel

      Gone...gone to Hell!

      August 17, 2011 at 6:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ape Lincoln

      You know the people that are hero's in past soviet countries are Cosmonauts, Soldiers and Scientist. My Wife is a Aerospace engineer from that part of the world and she talks about Cosmonautics Day. Witch is not a day but a week long celebration of all aspects of sciences, but mostly space and aerospace astonishment. In america we will not have any such thing, we teach our children that the nethanderal man are our only real heros such basketball and football players. You can decide for yourself who is really behind the curve.

      August 17, 2011 at 6:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hoola

      Its Xbox Kinect.

      August 17, 2011 at 6:31 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Phil

    Just in time..of course, this is now old tech. in warfare. The U.S. now orders more drones than manned aircraft. Too little, too late! Congratulations Russia!

    August 17, 2011 at 5:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • D

      So why is US developing F-35?

      August 17, 2011 at 6:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • RickBTX

      @D You been living under a rock? The F-35 has been under developement for 20 years!

      August 17, 2011 at 6:22 pm | Report abuse |
  9. aliandsons

    Our kids learn very well how to have girlfriends and boyfriends right from grade one. How we can expect them to be innovative and technically shining star. Way before the age of 18 they have girlfriend / boyfriend one child out of their flirting love, they both become high school dropout and working rest of their life to survive, how we can expect shining star innovators in our country.

    August 17, 2011 at 6:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Who Learned U?

      I'm sorry, but where on Earth did you learn English? This is the apparent afterbirth of Rosetta Stone.

      August 17, 2011 at 6:15 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Guderian255

    I'm certainly no expert, but there seem to be a few knowledgeable guys on this thread, so I'll put my question to one of them;
    – Would a heat-signature cause a plane to be detected by radar? I thought high-tech materials and pioneering aerodynamics caused planes to appear 'stealthy'. Isn't a heat-signature only something that a missile would detect and follow? (I personally don't know and am always willing to learn)

    My own opinion is that while such machines are truly fascinating and impressive in what they can do, we shouldn't forget what these machines are really for – killing other people (or one nation imposing it's will over another) – and in the broader picture I don't think we should get too excited when we see such great technology applied to one of the biggest failings of the Human Species – War against eachother.
    talk of 'defense' is great, but it's not often that the World's bigger powers are defending themselves – they're usually the aggressors, and if India is buying weapons to protect itself against China then, for me, that just goes to show how unwise governments are and we are as a race. Just my 10c worth for the day! 🙂

    August 17, 2011 at 6:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • AlexanderAF

      A heat signature would be detectable by IR but not radar. Radar emits beams that reflect off the object back to the radar. Radar absorbing material and angular surfaces prevent the radar from getting a read.

      The F-22 and the T-50 (I would assume) use both IR and radar stealth to prevent detection. Advanced sensors (large radar dishes) will still get a small read, but equipment in the field and from other aircraft will not.

      August 17, 2011 at 6:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Heat signatures are certainly identifiable via Infra Red. That's how AIM-9L Sidewinder missiles operate. You'll notice that the F-117 and B-2 have internal baffles to mix cooler air with exhaust, and the exhaust is spread out across the trailing edge of the wing. Those two planes also don't have afterburners. The F-22 and F-35 are less careful about hiding their heat signatures.

      You're right that the weapons themselves are morally problematic, but defense-related research has brought us a wealth of scientific and technical discoveries.

      August 17, 2011 at 6:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Umesh Tgb

      India has two aggressive neighbors in China and Pakistan hence the need to always be prepared.
      It's not really a choice but a hand that was forced.

      August 17, 2011 at 6:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Aaradimian

      Guderian, glad to see someone who likes learning on a thread for a change! Radar and "heat signature" aka infrared are two forms of electromagnetic radiation (as is visible light). Just as our eyes are attuned to see visible light, a detector like a radar station or the one on the tip of a Sidewinder must be able to "see" the radiation. It's interesting to note also that the detection between the two frequencies you mention is done differently between radar and infrared. With radar, a pulse is sent from the station, reflects off the plane, and then returns to a sensor at the radar site. This is active detection. The Sidewinder picks up the infrared emitted by the plane's engines (or the heated gasses coming from them) and homes in on them (passive detection). HTH

      August 17, 2011 at 7:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Aaradimian

      And before someone trolls me, I should clarify that all the radiation I mentioned is the same: electromagnetic. It's just different frequencies of it. The names are simply what we have defined certain ranges of frequencies to be. Other forms include ultraviolet, x-ray, gamma ray, etc

      August 17, 2011 at 7:03 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Dreamer96

    Manned Fighter planes are on the way out my friend, a remotely controled fighter drone, or stand alone AI fighter drone, can pull higher G's, evade enemy missles, radars, and surface to air missles...so who really cares about Russia's, and China's new fighters

    August 17, 2011 at 6:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • War Troll

      5th Gen fighters like the PAK-FA/FGFA/T-50, J-20, F-22 and F-35 are going to be at the frontline for quite awhile. Unmanned fighters are still concepts. Unmanned bombers are going to be fielded sooner than any unmanned fighter.

      August 17, 2011 at 6:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      Your name fits you Dreamer, and of your your fantasy-induced belief that only American's can produce anything; I've yet to see ANY evidence of actual AI autonomous aircraft or the ability of drones to survive an encounter with enemy aircraft – show me the study.

      August 17, 2011 at 6:13 pm | Report abuse |
  12. War Troll

    I wouldn't exactly call this a "new fighter" more like a fighter that's been sitting around without any funding until India decided it needed something a little more current. As for the T-50 being a 1:1 match? Seeing that our entire F-22 fleet is grounded because of oxygen system problems that single T-50 is more than a match since it's in the air. The Russians can make some great planes, what makes the US Airforce isn't just great planes it's all the training they invest. Take an American pilot, give him the rigous training programs, support and flight time in the T-50 as in any current american plane and he or she will make it a deadly combat system. Any fighter is only as good at the pilots who fly them. Knowing what you are flying, what it can do, what your opponent is flying and what they can do makes a massive difference. So far the US has been fighting 3rd rate pilots in 1st, 3rd or 5th rate planes.

    Also, honestly a comparison of the T-50 to the F-22 isn't realistic since the F-22 is complete the T-50 is in development and the only competent countries with the resources to train and retain good pilots are Russia and India–neither of who are now or will be enemies any time soon (I lump in the Russians because Putin is all about the show).

    August 17, 2011 at 6:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Yeah, this isn't just a defensive battle. Stealth is only part of the equation. What makes the F-22 better so far is its avionics suite, battle management systems, and armaments like the Next Gen AMRAAM. Plus, we don't really know how effective their stealth technology is. Besides, I'm guessing we are already going down the path of doppler-shift-based air turbulence detection or some other radical change in aircraft sensing methods.

      August 17, 2011 at 6:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      WarT: I have been a USAF tac pilot for 29 years. Being a new prototype jet and demonstrating a couple of high smack maneuvers at an airshow is one thing, flying a successful combat sortie is something entirely different. Today and in the future one-v-one engagements will be extremely rare. Therefore, use of the entire strike package (AWACS, JSTARS, fighters, satellites, bombers, attack, etc) with unique and explicit instant data and comm to accentuate situational awareness determine who RTBs or who checks into the auger inn. My money and life are on us. Just my $0.02

      August 17, 2011 at 6:23 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Dave

    Vodka, Mir and Sputnik are the only three thinks the Russians can claim they didn't copy any one else. Then again there not as bad as China were everything they have they copied.

    August 17, 2011 at 6:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • PhooBar

      Stealing a good idea is economically smarter than developing/engineering a new idea.

      And don't fall into the trap of thinking that the Russians can't make decent military hardware.
      Their economic collapse is almost over. Ours is just beginning.

      August 17, 2011 at 6:27 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Ivan Braginski

    Kol Kol!

    August 17, 2011 at 6:08 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Mark

    So far in the conflicts we have been involved in, we have had little worry about enemy aircraft or air defense systems. Yes, we had situations of aircraft losses in the Balkins and the First Gulf War, but nothing really to speak of save a lucky shots at a few of our helicopters. Eventually, however there will come a conflict with someone not afraid to see if they can take on one of our 30 year + older F-15s, F-16s, or F-18s. We have precious few F-22s and who knows when a F-35 is going to be built in enough numbers to furnish even one squadron. Right now it is our training that gives us an edge, more than our equipment. Now, take a look at the new Eurofighter, or even the Swedish Grippen (which Brazil chose to purchase over our F-18s). Those are true fourth generation fighters. If we can't afford such aircraft on are own anymore then perhaps we can get Canada to chip in on a new design (they fly our F-18s for their air force). Perhaps (politics aside), we should consider a joint US-Israeli fighter. They have as much, if not more, air to air experience and equal in sorties flown given their size. What really bothers me is that we have to even consider this, because we can't afford anything anymore. If my politics are a pre-requisit for placing a comment, I consider myself an independent. I still like to think that both sides can bring something to the table, naive as that may read.

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