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Russian T-50 Program Sees Funding Cuts

F-35 Competitor Has Seen Cost Overruns, Development Issues

The budget for the Russian's 5th Generation fighter intended to rival the F-35 has been slashed by the Kremlin, as the Russian military has reduced its order for the T-50 from 52 to just 12 airplanes.

The Christian Science Monitor reports that the T-50 has seen cost overruns and other development problems, causing Moscow to sharply curtail the program. The Moscow daily newspaper Kommersant reports that  Deputy Defense Minister Yuriy Borisov said "Given the new economic conditions, the original plans may have to be adjusted."

The T-50 was to have been part of Russian President Vladimir Putin's $800 billion rearmament program.

Independent military analyst Alexander Golts told the CSM that while it is difficult to get solid information out of Russia, it is likely that technical problems are at the root of the cutbacks. He said the prototypes of the T-50 have been flying with an older engine, and whether an engine specific to the T-50 has been developed is not known.

India has been partly funding development of the T-50.

It is also not known whether Russia's plans for a super-sized aircraft carrier, or a supersonic military transport plane that could carry up to 400 tanks, will continue to be funded.

(Image from YouTube video)



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