Monday, February 1, 2010
What about the 126 Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft deal?
A friend of mine rose an interesting question when he wrote: "But perhaps the strongest link with the Russian aerospace industry will be the recently concluded 50:50 partnership agreement to develop and manufacture the fifth generation combat aircraft designated as the PAK FA [or Sukhoi T-50]. In fact the PAK FA has been under development in Russia for sometime and is expected to fly this year. The PAK FA is slated to enter service by 2015 which is also the predicted time frame by which the fourth generation MMRCA is expected to be available to the IAF. Timely induction of the fifth generation fighter aircraft and delay in the MMRCA induction could render the latter appear illogical and irrelevant, an unwelcome possibility for the global aerospace majors vying for the lucrative contract."
This should perhaps be taken into consideration by the MoD before spending 12 billions dollars. The Chinese will also have their home-made fifth generation in 2020.
A new stealth fighter has made its maiden flight in Russia's far east.
The Sukhoi T-50 jet spent 47 minutes in the air over Komsomolsk-on-Amur and test pilot Sergei Bogdan said "it is easy and comfortable to pilot".
The jet - also known by the Russian designation PAK FA - is seen as a potential rival to the US F-22 Raptor, which first flew in 1997.
The "fifth generation" jet is designed to be invisible to radar. Russia's air force hopes to acquire it in 2015.
The new jet has been developed in partnership with India. It is seen as a significant milestone in Russia's efforts to modernise its Soviet-era military hardware.
Sukhoi's director Mikhail Pogosyan said he was convinced that the project would "excel its Western rivals in cost-effectiveness and will not only allow strengthening of the defence power of the Russian and Indian air forces, but also gain a significant share of the world market".
The company says the jet's stealth features considerably enhance its combat effectiveness in all weathers.
Its features include: all-weather capability, ability to use a take-off strip of just 300-400 metres, capacity for sustained supersonic flight including repeated in-flight refuelling, advanced avionics, simultaneous attacks on air and ground targets.
Posted by Claude Arpi