Indo-Russia stealth fighter to make its debut
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Last Updated: Tuesday, August 16, 2011, 19:41
  
Moscow: T-50 stealth fighter jointly developed by Russia and India will make its first international public appearance at the MAKS air show which went underway here, where Moscow unveiled its newest space shuttle, armed drones and a new range of upgraded weapons.

Two prototypes of the single seater jet, estimated to cost USD 6 billion, are expected to fly over Zhukovsky air field on the outskirts of Moscow.

"The co-development projects of the two countries will remain centerpiece of the Russian aviation industry", declared Mikhail Pogosyan, President of the United Aircraft Corporation, makers of the aircraft.

Sukhoi's T-50 made its maiden flight in January 2010 and is expected to enter service by 2015. "The stealth fighter is progressing as planned and the new engine for the plane will be ready in time", Pogosyan said.

The fifth generation Sukhoi T-50, also called the PAK FA for its Russian abbreviations for a perspective frontline aviation complex, is meant to be a rival to the US joint strike fighter F-22 Raptor.

Pogosyan had earlier said that Russia planned to develop upto 1,000 stealth fighters over the coming decade as aviation experts say that the Russian military orders will account for more than 50 per cent of the combat planes' produce.

He said that the Russian Air Force is expected to buy 20 new fighters annually in the coming years.

Top Russian aircraft makers including Sukhoi and Mig have survived thanks to orders from India and China, but steady increase in government defence spending over the past few years have given new incentives to the nation's aircraft industries.

The Indian projects jointly developed by the two countries will remain the centrepiece of the Russian aviation industry, according to a top official.

Speaking with the reporters after the inauguration of the 10th International Aviation and Space Saloon (MAKS-2011), here President of the United Aircraft Corporation Mikhail Pogosyan told that the fifth generation fighter Russia's new stealth fighter jet, which is expected to make its first public appearance during the air show Another static T-50 is expected to be demonstrated to a 'select' group'.

"The T-50 will be the newest main plane both for the Russian and Indian Air Force," Pogosyan said.

The fifth generation Sukhoi T-50, also called the PAK FA for its Russian abbreviations for a perspective frontline aviation complex, is meant to be a rival to the US joint strike fighter F-22 Raptor.

According to the local media reports the Indian version of the FGFA will be a lighter derivative of the PAK FA.

The projects for the joint development of Multimode Transport Aircraft (MTA) and deeper modernisation of Sukhoi Su-30 MKI fighters under the 'Super-30" project are among the key joint Indo-Russian projects.

India has a larger footprint at MAKS-2011, the air show which is held at alternate years, with an expanded presence.

Unlike in the past when BrahMos JV used to display its deadly missiles under the roof of its Russian partner, India has its exclusive stall displaying the models of its cruise missiles, including an outdoor life-size mock-up of BrahMos cruise missile for the Sukhoi fighters.

Hindustan Aeronautics Limited also has a bigger display exhibiting models of the helicopters and planes produced by it.

This year's new entrant is Bharat Electronics, with a whole range of its avionics and force multipliers.

A huge IL-76 Flying Laboratory of Gromov Flight Research Institute with a Kaveri engine fitted on its test bed is also indicative of the scope of bilateral cooperation in cutting edge technologies.

The plane also bears the Seal of India's DRDO, showing an enduring interaction between the two organisations.

In all over 800 Russian and foreign firms, including Boeing and Airbus are taking part in MAKS airshow.

PTI


First Published: Tuesday, August 16, 2011, 19:41


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