Fri, Jan 29, 2010
Says New Airplane Is A Competitor To The F-22 Raptor
Russia says it plans to test fly a new fifth generation
fighter by the end of the month, and that the new aircraft will
challenge U.S.-made aircraft for technical superiority.
Reuters reports that the Russians hope to prove they can compete
with the U.S. on stealth technology, and that Moscow can develop
such technologies on its own. But even if the new airplane flies in
the next few days, it would be five to sever years before the new
aircraft would be in production.
The aircraft is considered by Moscow to be Russia's answer to
the F-22 Raptor, which first flew over a decade ago. "The
importance of this project is huge. This is the first and
principally new plane built in Russia after the fall of communism,"
said Alexander Khramchikhin, chief analyst at the Moscow-based
Institute of Military and Political Analysis. "This is good for
Russia's defense capability, because so far only the United States
has built such a jet."
The aircraft is being developed by the Sukhoi company in the far
eastern city of Komsomolsk-on-Amur. The Interfax news agency
reported that a source there said the first flight could be any
time, "depending on the actual weather."
The Moscow-based Center for Analysis of Strategies and
Technologies (CAST) said in a report that "The fifth-generation
plane could easily occupy a niche of at least one third of the
world market for this type of output. Europe is not building such
jets, and China's would-be copycat planes will not match the high
standards." The U.S. is limiting its export of fifth-generation
fighters for reasons of security.
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