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Indo-Russian stealth fighter makes debut

Last Updated: Wednesday, August 17, 2011 - 19:31

Zhukovsky (Moscow): Russia on Wednesday unveiled
its first stealth fighter here, lifting the curtain on the
secret project being developed at a fraction of the cost of
American F-22 and F-35 fighters.

The Sukhoi T-50 fifth generation fighter took to the
skies at the MAKS 2011 air show in the presence of Prime
Minister Vladimir Putin and the Russian Air Force chief
announced that new fighters will enter service in 2014-15.

The sleek silver prototypes fighter performed aerobatic
stunts for 15 minutes for Putin and top Russian and Indian
brass, in a show indicating that Moscow is pushing for a full
scale revival of its military aviation industry.

"The new stealth fighter will provide the backbone not
only of the Russian air force but also of the Indian air
force," Mikhail Pogosyan, president of the United Aircraft
Corporation (UAC), the makers of the plane declared after the
show.

Pogosyan said that Russia`s cooperation with India on
this key project will help to push the stealth fighter in the
foreign market.

The new fighter is being jointly developed by India and
Russia under the 2007 FGFA agreement signed by Defence
Minister AK Antony during his Moscow visit.

Under the agreement, India will get up to 200 T-50
fighters, while the Russians are planning to order 150. The
T-50 jets are being developed at an estimated cost of USD 10
billion of which India would invest USD 600 million.

But even taking into cost of escalation, Russian media
said the new stealth fighters would be far economical than the
US made F-22 Raptor and the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

PTI

First Published: Wednesday, August 17, 2011 - 19:31

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