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. Rick from LA

    Any bets on how long it will take China to copy it and export it as a low cost alternative to this original? Kinda of how they are saying the J-15 is an original design even though it is identical to the SU-33?

    August 17, 2011 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • nimesh

      It has already been copied. Soon China will be selling russia a better than the original copy.

      August 17, 2011 at 12:47 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Adrian

    I see lot of Pakistanis are running for cover and do not like India to have T-50 (PAK-FA). And thus venting their frustration. Keep it going I love to watch pakis crying and weeping for help.

    August 17, 2011 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Land of Indus

      We couldn't care less. Indians can barely make their donkey carts move. This plane is too sophisticated for them to operate. They might shoot themselves in the foot, or worse.

      August 17, 2011 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Billy Mitchell, III

      Guess that's why we outsource there, heck every boy becomes an eningeer & the Rooskies are all drunks, it's an Indian plane, copied from the F-22 design. look @it, also already obsolete!

      August 17, 2011 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |

      Can you prove it Phunnie boy, or is that just more right-wing drivel that you made up? The reason you right-wingers can't prove anything is because it's not true in the first place!!!

      August 17, 2011 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |

      More right-wing bla-bla-bla here without a word of truth in it!!!

      August 17, 2011 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ann Marie

      Billy Mitchell as in THE Billy Mitchell, CMOH? Anyway, our F-35 blows this out of the water.

      August 17, 2011 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • ralphiec88

      F-35 is intended for a different mission.

      August 17, 2011 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bruce

      Obsolete for what, exactly?

      August 17, 2011 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • D

      So far the most moronic post here. Congratz!!!!

      August 17, 2011 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • absolutemarine1


      August 17, 2011 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • sea jay

      soon the us will require donkey carts the way their economy is going.

      August 17, 2011 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alex Gessong

      @sea jay: yes, the US is only the world's leading economy. Our GDP is only the greatest in the world. We're only the most efficient productive economic engine on the planet. How are things going in your country's economy? What is your per capita income? The US is a "first world" nation. How about your country? These are things you really ought to think about before you talk about our economy. By the way, nice plane! It's much like the ones we've been building for several years. Have fun trying to catch up with us.

      August 17, 2011 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Spendlove


      August 17, 2011 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Toolbag

      I won't use a donkey because that's mean. I will lash together two Democrats and use the Republican as my wagon. It's both parties fault that the country is so jacked up. I'm glad I invested in dirt and water, not money and stocks.

      August 17, 2011 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • land of morons

      too sophisticated for indians? 40% of NASA is made up of indian scientists. do you still think its too sophisticated for the indians?

      August 17, 2011 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • akhan

      you should look up the latest commonwealth games.

      August 17, 2011 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Info.

      Russians and Chinese flooded into United States, sucking up our technology. A doctor in India doesn't make more than a McDonald employee makes by flipping burgers. The same as in China. Most of high level Chinese scientists living in United States sent by their government on a long mission for stealing sensitive and highly sophisticated technology.

      August 17, 2011 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Don

      too sophisticated for Indians.....not Americans of Indian decent. How is the weather in Mumbai?

      August 17, 2011 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bob Boise

      I was in Germany in the late 60s and there were Indian graduate students studying atomic energy/physics. I am sure they are very capable. Why we support Pakistani fanatics is beyond belief. We should be supporting India.

      August 17, 2011 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • james

      40% of NASA is made up of Indian scientists which is why NASA is a rotting waste of time for the last 25 years. NASA is a joke. India has some very smart people but they produce crap.

      August 17, 2011 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      Not those Indians ya goofball!

      August 17, 2011 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • allaisa

      It may be an urban myth but I see your point.

      August 17, 2011 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sources Needed

      I don't have a dog in this hunt either way as I am sure there are plenty of fine Indian engineers at NASA. However, your claim of 40% requires citation. I feel it is likely you made up that number to support your personal feelings. There are better ways to make your case...

      August 17, 2011 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • retriever2

      Well, there are so many of them there must be a couple of Einsteins out there..............

      August 17, 2011 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • b162000

      Ya.. but where did they get their education from. Most likely in the US or abroad. And if not they still came to the US to work for our government

      August 17, 2011 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • ShovelingSnw

      I bet some of the cold war and call center jokers are chinese, who are scared of an epic gang bang.

      August 17, 2011 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Just me

      No there are many smart Indians. I mean, when there are a billion of ya, I hope at least 1/2 dozen are smart.

      August 17, 2011 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • ronniq

      NASA probably does have 30% indians, if you count all the janitorial staff, food servers etc. You get the idea

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

      And those 40% are braindrilled numskulls who couldn't conjure up a single original thought, and neither do they have the TRUE spirit of adventure like those of German, English and Scandinavian descent. This is because the latter are descended from warriors, seafarers, Vikings, conquerers, rulers and true masters, while Indians are descended from a race of slaves and have inferior bodies and inferior natural stamina. The Russians too would be NOTHING without the influx of ideas from Europe and the US, as evidenced by this pathetic replica of the F-22 Raptor.

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

      In terms of stamina slaves should have more of it just like u brainless worthless americans

      August 19, 2011 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
    • bubba

      indians smell like curry

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

      Your mom must have fed you some E-coli tainted, drugs and alcohol infused br-milk when you were young which is why you turned out to be so dumb. Indians are the ones having a significant role in driving your countries economy you moron.

      August 17, 2011 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • martin

      Hey you leave E. coli out of this!

      August 17, 2011 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan

      only because we let our industries go to india because you folks pay 10 cents an hour!!

      August 17, 2011 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • indeed

      "...your countries economy you moron." Don't you mean: "... your country's economy, you moron." ? Throw stones in glass houses much?

      August 17, 2011 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • SpkListnFix

      AHA! and here we were pointing our fingers at Washington!!...Even our economic doom has been outsourced, moan!!!

      August 17, 2011 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Proud Indian

      Looks like you are one of that American Toad in the well. Still showing arrogance when the country is going bust. Come out man else you will looking for Indian Visa to work over there. God bless.

      August 17, 2011 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • sam

      maybe, but who wants to work for a dollar a day?

      August 17, 2011 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • sam

      not for a dollar a day!

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

      my only problem is why are Indians so smart b!

      August 17, 2011 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Emigdio

      Why would we need a visa for your polluted country?

      August 17, 2011 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tool bag

      Screw living in India. I'm going to Pakistan where they'll pay me in shiny rocks and dust. India would pay me in raw sewage and STDs.

      August 17, 2011 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
  3. nimesh

    My question for Lockheed and the Pentagon is how can russia develop a plane for $6 billion?
    Unless the F-22 is exponentially better, this question needs to be asked.

    August 17, 2011 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Starstuff

      Good question, I just googled for the F-22 and the project cost is $66 BILLION that is ten times more than the T-50 which BTW looks great! The project costs doesn't include 'upgrades' which will drive the cost even higher.

      As a pilot I love the looks of the T-50, efficient the T-50 is a plane I would love to own 😉

      August 17, 2011 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • LetsGetReal

      There are a lot of potential answers here. Let's start with:
      - The work is done where labor is cheaper in relation to the dollar.
      - Regulations for safety (both work and product) are not be as strict ... reducing the overall cost
      - The $ may be an estimate or not take into consideration other cost involved (flight tests, fuel, etc ... )

      August 17, 2011 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Carl F Thelin

      Surely it helps to have something on which to model your version. The US have published a lot of info about F-22 and F-35.

      August 17, 2011 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • googabee

      It's pretty easy when you steal the plans for the F22 Raptor. That's the way its been done for years. Just look in any Jane's All the World's Aircraft and compare our aircraft to theirs and you'll see. I know this because I had to learn to identify all the aircraft as an Air Defense Soldier in the US Army.

      August 17, 2011 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • james

      I should hope the T-50 costs 1/10th as much – since most of it is ripped off.

      August 17, 2011 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sources Needed

      There is a big difference between the way a stealth plane looks on the outside and the systems: propulsion, electronics, etc. on the inside. The outside is easy to copy, the inside not so much

      August 17, 2011 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • D

      No one copied anything. Even from outside planes look completely different. Yes both got wings and sharp angles but that's about it. Avionics and engines are completely different. Just by looking at pics you can tell that.

      August 17, 2011 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • ralphiec88

      googabee if you can't tell the difference between a T-50 and an F-22, it's probably just as well you're no longer in the military.

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

      @nimesh: you answered your own question really: the F-22 is exponentially better. So is the F-35. If you want the best, you have to spend the big money.

      August 17, 2011 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Canadian Genius

    I hate to nitpick, but if the prototype won't be ready until 2013, what exactly were they flying at the airshow?

    August 17, 2011 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • lou

      This was a "mock" prototype. teh pilot was a manikin and the plane was an
      RC styrofoam model. I thought everyone knew that. If not, their statement makes no sense with the "prototype" flying at the show.

      August 17, 2011 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Zeta411

      That.... is a good question.

      August 17, 2011 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • BigGMFan

      That’s a good question! Maybe what they were flying at the air show was a Cessna with one of those T-50 fiberglass body kits … similar to what’s used when people make toyota MR2’s look like Ferraris. Haha!

      August 17, 2011 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • mike

      the difference is that a flying proto is what this is. then they do the one with all the systems that it needs for war

      August 17, 2011 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      LOL...Great point!!

      I would GUESS that the referenced prototype for 2013 would be the FINAL prototype...(?)
      I would imagine they expect some developmental modifications along the way...

      August 17, 2011 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bruce

      I'm guessing that they are using "prototype" in the manufacturing sense, in that what was flying in the airshow cannot be mass-produced as-is and can only be custom-built.

      August 17, 2011 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Toolbag

      The one at the airshow was made of a special composite resin designed to melt just higher than the heat of the exhaust. The pilot is actually a distant cousin of that Russian dog that got shot into space, and the fuel is good ole fashion vodka. Oh, and the plane didn't cost 6 billion. That is just the Russians trying to make themselves look good after spending far more on a plane that will most likely fall apart as it tumbles down the runway.

      August 17, 2011 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
  5. bachmanntwit


    August 17, 2011 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
  6. humtake

    Another country can't even develop their own jet without it becoming an American political debate. Sad.

    August 17, 2011 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Teja

    US tries to ally with India but India allies herself with Rusia. India scares with China and Pakistan. Rusia scares with US and China......interestiong equations.
    Where all these money come from.....foreign aids to the poor in India? It's better feed the poor...don't learn from our mistakes with HUGE defense budget....for what ? POLICE of the world. The irony is all these PRIDE to be superpower cost us dearly (THE BIGGEST DEBTOR IN THE WORLD).
    US with huge defense budget but people are suffering and no jobs.
    Where all these jobs go to? IT jobs go to India plus HUNDRED THOUSANDS H-1 visa allocated for Indian with high-tech workers to US. Low skill job go to China.
    What I am seeing now...India tries to play RUSIA and US cards.
    At the end....US will suffer from her debt and high cost being a POLICEMAN of the world.
    RUSIA and CHINA will be the winner.

    August 17, 2011 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Victor

      Teja.. your name is Indian, your grammar is pathetic, and you're liberally bashing the US and India. Either you are Pakistani or Chinese. I suggest you drink some cold water or tea right now and take it easy.

      August 17, 2011 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Don

      Victor such lashing...are you Indian....should i say Vikram?

      August 17, 2011 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • allaisa

      I am sure he is Chinese ashamed to use his real name. Pakistani English is somewhat better.

      August 17, 2011 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alex Gessong

      @Teja: The US is not alone in having problems. Despite them, the US is still the richest nation on Earth. The US is still the world's leading economy. The US is the engine of global capitalism. China has bought a huge amount of US debt because the Chinese leaders understand how strong the US economy is. You don't buy debt from weak economies. China can only win if the US continues to win. By buying US debt, China is betting that the US will remain exactly what it is: economic superpower. Take a look at the GDP of US, Russia, and China. US is the winner. Russia and China will prosper, yes. So will the US. China will eventually become the biggest economy, but that's to be expected since China has four times the population of the US. Converting to capitalism is working well for China and Russia. US has been capitalist for over 200 years and is very good at it. USA is here to stay, no worries.

      August 17, 2011 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • SpkListnFix

      Almost 5pm can't wait to put the top down in my new car and "suffer" home to my pool, yawn...EnJoY! (Think i will grill up a big slab of cow to ease my suffering)

      August 17, 2011 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Harvey

    Doesn't really matter if the new Russian aircraft looks like the US F-22 Raptor. It's not like the shape of the F-22 has been a secret. The physics of the flying characteristic of both aircraft would be the same. I suspect the internals of the two craft are totally different as that is where the secrets lie.

    At any rate, the next generation of fighter aircraft will be totally unmanned. Without having the carry the pilot and his life support systems, the plane would be smaller, faster, and could execute maneuvers that would kill a human. I suspect the United States, Russia, and other nations are well on their way to developing such craft.

    Look for more UFO reports from Area 51 and from other secret U.S. bases whose locations are not widely known.

    August 17, 2011 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
  9. ilya

    As far as I know (I am Russian)-this T-50 show was mostly for India partners.
    The engines (as many here have noticed) are still in development, so they use an older type. The radar system is not ready yet. That is why they are talking that the production may start only in 2013-2015. 20 years gap is easy to explain-USSR has collapsed in 1991 and for 10-12 years there were no financing in this sector at all.
    Regarding drones: the main aim of this particular stealth project was to support and restore aircraft production in Russia, and you can not get as much money for the development of new drones (there are new Predator-like drones on this exhibition as well). So, you may consider this project as a huge stimulus, partially financed by Indian partners.

    August 17, 2011 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alex Gessong

      @ilya: great, insightful comments. Thanks! It will be interesting to watch the development of this aircraft. So far, it looks very good.

      August 17, 2011 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
  10. AK

    If any of you had taken the time to compare the T-50 to an F22 before posting it would have been obvious that it is clearly NOT a stolen design or copy of the F-22. Aside from the general similarities of configuration there are countless differences in the designs of the two planes.

    August 17, 2011 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Land of Indus

    While USA was crying "spilt milk" over the "stealth" helicopter tail rotor assembly in Pakistan getting eyeballed by China, the Indians were quietly stealing F-22 designs and passing them over to Russia. Have a nice day.

    August 17, 2011 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Richard

      You sound like a jealous pakistan guy. LMAO. The F-22 images and videos are all available online. If you just google the F-22 you can get tonnes of content. There is nothing much to steal in that.

      August 17, 2011 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Victor

      Yeah right Land of Indus, we know where you're from, LOL!

      August 17, 2011 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Don

      Victor i know where you are from as well....wanna go for some chaat afterwards?

      August 17, 2011 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Martin J. Stab, Author

    Whoopy do! When will their pilots not be too drunk to fly it??? They'll probably test it out on a civilian air liner...again!

    August 17, 2011 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Kevin

    Excellent observation Nate! This plane is missing the most deadly feature of the F-22, Thrust Vector. Without it, and the multiple factors I could point out on how this plane isn't in the same ball park of being a true stealth plane like the F-22. No need to worry for about 5-8 more years.

    August 17, 2011 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alex Gessong

      @Kevin: no need to worry even then. The US, India, and Russia are more likely to be confronting China than confronting each other. Besides, US aircraft systems will continue to advance, too. We're ahead now, wand e'll be ahead 5-8 years from now, too. Our military budget is greater than Russia's, China's, and all of our NATO allies', combined. Pays for a lot of Air Force R&D.

      August 17, 2011 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Gene

    Interesting. In the past, the Soviets have built relatively unsophisticated, crude warplanes that can take off and land in sandstorms, whereas the U.S. has built super-advanced sophisticated planes that can't fly in the rain and spend more hours in repair than flying. Who has been smarter?

    August 17, 2011 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • victor

      Who has been smarter? The one who won the Cold War, dummy.

      August 17, 2011 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Just me

      You are correct. Clearly all the world should bow down to the Soviet intellectual hive. Actually, I might give some credibility to your comment if the Soviets had learned to make dust storms or rain. The best thing to come out of Russia in the last 20 years is their internet p0rn.

      August 17, 2011 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
  15. GimpCollector

    Seeing how the US is tripping over itself to produce unmanned attack vehicles and are ahead of the game on stealth and unmanned tech. I would argue that it's in the best interest of other countries to not build a knock off of stealth, I would invest my money and tech into shooting down the satellites that relay commands to these drones. Shoot down our satellites, black out the unmanned vehicles, they become worthless. Money well spent.

    August 17, 2011 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
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