August 18th, 2011
Econintersect: Russia and India have jointly developed a stealth fighter. The design is completed, with the first test flights secretly completed in January, 2010. The prototype of the plane has flown publicly at the 2011 Moscow air show. The exact start date for production of the Sukhoi T-50 (pictured) has not been announced, but the BBC says full production is expected by 2015. The aircraft is expected to compete with the 20 year old U.S. F-22 Raptor, produced jointly by Lockheed Martin and Boeing, but at a lower cost for the Russian fighter. The F-22 costs $140 million per pop, while the T-50 is expected to sell for less than $100 million. Follow up:
Follow up:The Sukhoi T-50 will be manufactured by the Russian state-owned United Aircraft Corporation. A total production of 1,000 units is planned, with India and Russia expected to purchase 200 each.
According to the BBC, official Russian statements have indicated that about $10 billion will be invested in developing the aircraft. The Russians have also indicated that the T-50 aims to match the latest US design with handling maneuvers that are impossible for older aircraft. However, the BBC reports that some analysts have expressed doubts that the Russian jet represents any great advance.
The F-22 Raptor is pictured below:
Hat tip to Sanjeev Kulkarni