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. alphalion

    now chinks will copy and make some 3 rd class copy and sell junk to pakies

    August 17, 2011 at 11:12 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Kyle H. Davis

    So... what we are seeing is China's next "new" fighter jet?

    August 17, 2011 at 11:38 pm | Report abuse |

    its okay that moscow Minsk still does what the USSR did because the Soviet Union never ended just the cold war did now its the hot war to brun allied faces in Europe and across the Atlantic. and Remember slate russia and the slate Ukraine and slate Latvia never Legally were in the USSR thats why slovakia was never a enemy state

    August 18, 2011 at 1:01 am | Report abuse |
  4. Lyndsie Graham

    I wonder just how much technology did we steal from the Russians. As I remember, during the Korean conflict back in the 1950's how American and British technicians tried awfully hard to learn the secrets of how the Russian MIGs were built and they eventually succeeded in that endeavor. For all those right-wing nutjobs who belly-ache about stolen technology, it's a two-way street and not always fronm the West to the East, but vice-versa!!!

    August 18, 2011 at 1:37 am | Report abuse |
  5. FighterGuru

    I come here seeing what people say about the T-50 PA-FA hoping people would have learned more about this plane in the year & half it's been flying, but it seems people are still ignorant about it. So I going to try once more to educate people about the T-50 PAK-FA Prototype.

    First off, it is NOT a F-22 rip. Nor is it a really modified Su-27 Flanker as I've seen stated many times. It is a from-the-wheels-up new design developed by the Sukhoi Design Bureau, a part of the Russian State-Owned United Aircraft Corporation(UAC). Its overall design is influenced by the knowledge learned from Su-27 Flanker & Su-47 Berkut. It is being 35% funded by India, who is co-developing the PAK-FA to be the basis for their Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft(FGFA), which is to be a two seater version. And as part of the deal, India will buy 50 of the straight Russian PAK-FA and Russia will buy 50 of the FGFA. The technical details of the aircraft is still classified, which means the Indian contribution to the Avionics that's been stated above is very much in question.

    Secondly, Russia has clearly stated this is not going to be an F-22 class Stealth Fighter. The goal is to be between the F-22 & F-35, which is very much in the capabilities of Russia. It will have Thrust Vectoring(TVC), but if it'll be stealthy 2D TVC like the F-22 or non-stealthy 3D TVC remains to be seen. But reports from Sukhoi has shown a leaning towards Stealthy 2D, maybe 3D will be an option for Exports.

    And as for the Chinese stealing the PAK-FA design, no. They've opted to go American it seems, Chinese Hackers hacked into the F-35 Program Computers and stole Terabytes of data, then several months later the J-20 comes out of the woods with a DSI inlet much like the one on the F-35. While it's a short time yes, there's still a very good chance it has been used on J-20.

    And before anyone berates me for being 'wrong', just know I have done my homework on this plane and I have read on it from reliable sources such as AviationWeekly, SecretProjects, & others.

    August 18, 2011 at 1:49 am | Report abuse |
  6. AlphaLori

    Author made a huge mistake.

    Current (single-seat) T-50 version has been entirely funded and developed by Russians.

    Another aircraft based on T-50 (dual-seat) called HAL/FGFA will be funded by Indians. FGFA will be equipped with Indian avionics and is positioned to be sold to another countries. FGFA is planned to be presented far after 2016, while T-50 becomes to be operational in 2014-15.

    August 18, 2011 at 1:53 am | Report abuse |
    • RegVeg

      Both the T-50 as the FGFA have heavy Indian involvement. Indian involvement started at the design tables decades ago, before the prototype even flew. Indian involvement will continue throughout the lifecycle, after sales, and even in the exports to other nations. Similar projects on al fronts are going on, including space exploration, missiles and civil transport.

      August 18, 2011 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Anil

    Going by the comments posted here, I had no idea that Indian intelligence was viewed in such poor light by the Americans. Maybe all those stories that I heard about Indians being the real brains behind NASA, Boeing, Silicon Valley, Washington and even the US Banking system are false?

    August 18, 2011 at 2:00 am | Report abuse |
  8. Paul

    Probably been said before – but this looks EXACTLY the same shape as an F-22.

    August 18, 2011 at 3:03 am | Report abuse |
    • FighterGuru

      No it doesn't, here: Look at that, doesn't look like an F-22.

      August 18, 2011 at 4:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Fighters-R-Us

      Fighter Guru, I work for a magazine that features fighter jets and various other military aircraft, and this is VERY similar aircraft to the F22. Is it the same? No. But the Russians have a long history of copying the critical elements of modern fighters and support aircraft developed by US defense contractors. I will give them credit for the first really successful vectored thrust fighter, but you can't deny the similarities. They're more striking and obvious than the features that make them different.

      August 18, 2011 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |
    • RegVeg

      People look alike too. They have two legs, two arms, two eyes, two ear, a nose, face, body, etc. Why should a stealth plane look different , just for the sake of looking different? Beyond the surface, I'm sure the internals of the jet are vastly different from any other jet, esp.the sub-sytem design philosophy and integration. Both Russia and USA have been spying on each other since decades, so why be suprised at any technical commonalities. Besides it's not so easy to spy from USA.

      August 18, 2011 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • FighterGuru

      Sorry Fighters-R-Us, but copying the F-22 design has nothing to do with why PAK-FA looks extremely superficially like the Raptor. The reason is that there's limited ways to achieve stealth, thus it is natural to have a similar setup, especially since these two planes have the same mission. Until we get our Romulan Cloaking Device(which the Russian are developing, per say), stealth planes will always look similar.

      What's really interesting is the Russian development of RAM, that's where one should look for signs of copying.

      Shaping's easy, it's RAM that's hard.

      August 20, 2011 at 5:03 am | Report abuse |

    Today both India and Russia need to be defended by all the means they have at their disposal, given the unprecedented aggressiveness of both the U.S. and it's NATO allies around the world. This development is truly good news although it upsets a lot of right-wing, uneducated lemming s here!

    August 18, 2011 at 3:08 am | Report abuse |
    • a

      Keep smoking whatever you're smoking.

      August 18, 2011 at 8:57 am | Report abuse |
    • Bob S.

      I've 12+ years of undergrad, grad, and postgrad study, am a lifelong democrat, have 1000's of hours flying fighters, and retired from special ops, and it upsets me.... in reality, it sounds to me like you are the nutcase, versus the rightwing people you so quickly villify....

      August 18, 2011 at 10:22 am | Report abuse |
  10. Luke

    What was India's contribution; the pointy nose ?

    August 18, 2011 at 4:09 am | Report abuse |
    • Sharat

      For your information, India has the fourth largest air force in the world, part of a elite group of 6 countries that launch their own space rockets and satelites. large numbers of Indian are workign in Nasa, Microsoft and many other. India recently has floated the world's biggest tender to buy fighter planes, it is called the mother of all defence deals, for that Indians have rejected American fighters and chose eurofighters, French dassault. so keep quite

      August 18, 2011 at 6:22 am | Report abuse |
    • Walto

      Haters gonna hate.

      August 18, 2011 at 6:44 am | Report abuse |
    • TheKillingWords

      Don't forget their call centers!

      August 18, 2011 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
  11. TV

    This looks advanced at first, but then you look at it and find one piece missing. There isn't any room for significant internal weapon bays. Some analysts say it has plenty, but unless they're in the engines or something, the ones saying there are only some auxilliary bays for short range air to air missiles are very much correct.

    This has some implications. One: the plane will not be very stealthy when armed. Two: it's ability to supercruise will be severely limited, when armed.

    What are two main advantages of F-22 again? Oh that's right – stealth (while armed) and ability to supercruise (also while armed).
    (Another is that it has advanced communications system, it can use radars from other planes as it's own and so on, but there isn't much information about that, so I can't comment on it)

    In any event, comparing the two is like comparing a new and more powerful musket to an assault rifle.

    August 18, 2011 at 4:51 am | Report abuse |
    • FighterGuru

      Remember, this is just a prototype. The YF-22 was changed greatly, mostly internal, during the leap to the production F-22. So the Russians will likely modify the T-50 design for better RCS reduction(stealth).

      As for the current T-50, through the use of scaled drawings that are pretty accurate given what we know of its dimensions, people have easily fitted 3 R-77s(Russia's answer to the US AIM-120 AMRAAM) in each of its two central weapon bays, which are between the engines. The Russians aren't stupid, if they want a stealth fighter, they wouldn't make such obvious mistakes. Now, can it carry large 2000lbs class weapons? I doubt the rear bay can, but the forward bay should be able to, it has plenty of space.

      August 18, 2011 at 5:20 am | Report abuse |
  12. Bob

    Chinese sucks.

    August 18, 2011 at 5:40 am | Report abuse |

      Hey you Bob, I'd thank you not to post your filthy Tea Party commrnts on this web page. They have absolutely no place here nor will ever have!!!

      August 18, 2011 at 6:21 am | Report abuse |
    • Joseph McCarthy

      Thank you, RUFFNUTT. It's annoying enough to put up with the ignorance of these right-wing blowhards here but to read theirTea Party profanity on top of it is a little too much. Besides, I'm pleased with this latest development between Russia and India over this latest aircraft, no matter how much it upsets these right-wing nutjobs here!!!!

      August 18, 2011 at 6:57 am | Report abuse |
  13. CheeseSteak

    With friends like India, we should invite Pakistan to lunch more often

    August 18, 2011 at 7:09 am | Report abuse |
    • indian

      Yeah sure!!
      Pakies: best friends to have....they take ur monies and bomb your supply trucks heading towards Afghanistan.
      Do you read your own media?

      August 18, 2011 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
    • CheekyIndian

      Why make it lunch? Why not them to stay with you? Forever and ever.

      August 19, 2011 at 11:50 pm | Report abuse |
  14. salih

    It seems that Russia wants to close the gap between the America and itself. Americans jet are more sophisticated than the Russians. I think that Russians have to go further if they want to catch Americans jet fighter in the technology. Meanwhile, it is just a prototype, I mean it is not sure whether Russians can embody this prototype as a real jet in 2013. 6 billion dollars is a huge amount for developing this jet. I'm not sure Russia can benefit of this jet in the future.

    August 18, 2011 at 8:25 am | Report abuse |
  15. Cidknee

    looks like the KGB stole the plans to the F22. Yet the F22 inst the front line fighter.

    oh and India? really?I guess someone needs to provide tech support.

    August 18, 2011 at 8:39 am | Report abuse |
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