Wed, Mar 03, 2010
Prime Minister Putin Says Russia Must Upgrade Aging Military
heels of the first flight of Russia's new T-50 Stealth Fighter,
Prime Minister Vladimir Putin (pictured, right) said the country
will begin work on another new aircraft. "We won't limit ourselves
to just one new model," Putin said at a government meeting that
focused on military aviation. "We must start work on a prospective
long-range aircraft, our new strategic bomber."
While no plans or sketches of the new bomber have been seen,
insiders say it may resemble Boeing's B-2 bomber which first flew
more than 20 years ago. The T-50 bears a resemblance to the F-22
Raptor, which has also been flying for two decades.
The Associated Press reports that in Putin's televised remarks,
he said that development of new construction materials and
electronics will be top priorities for the Russian military. He
said the bomber must follow the new fighter as the country strives
to modernize its aging arsenal. Maj. Gen. Anatoly Zhikharev,
the head of Russia's long-range aviation program, said earlier this
year that the new bomber would be needed to replace the
Soviet-built Tu-95 and Tu-160 by 2025-2030.
Military analysts say post-Soviet industrial degradation have
slowed down new developments in Russia's weapons programs, and
production quality has suffered as well.
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