Russia Unveils New Photos of 5th Generation T-50 Stealth Fighter Jet

Posted on the manufacturer’s website, the new photos of Russia’s latest aircraft appear to show cold weather testing. Jointly developed between Russia and India, the aircraft will be both countries’ first 5th generation stealth aircraft. The single-seat twin engine jet is designed for air superiority and attack roles analogous to the American F-22 Raptor. The jet is expected to enter mass production in 2017 at a unit price of $50 million, with Russia taking first delivery and India to follow. Subsequent versions are likely to be available for international sale.
The Cipher Take:On paper, the T-50’s stats related to speed, maneuverability, range, firepower, and cost puts it on par or ahead of its U.S. counterparts, the F-35 and F-22. However, at this time there is no way to compare how the T-50’s sensors, electronic warfare, and networking abilities—arguably the most important 5th generation criteria—stack up. The majority of U.S. pilots with F-35 experience agree that the F-35’s advantages in these areas far outweigh its drawbacks. Who needs the biggest gun in the fight if you can eliminate your target from beyond the horizon without showing up on radar?

New pictures of the Russian cutting-edge T-50 prototype fifth-generation fighter jet have been published on the planemaker’s official website.  The images were unveiled by the producing Komsomolsk-on-Amur Aircraft Plant and apparently show a first flight of a prototype model of the T-50 (T-50-8). The plane is being developed by one of Russia’s leading aviation companies, the Sukhoi, to replace its Sukhoi Su-27 fighter currently in service.  The respective test prototype accomplished its first flight on November 17, the BMPD blog, focusing on the defense industry, reported, though the information was not officially confirmed.The fighter jet will come with advanced radar-evading stealth technology and a powerful 9-A1-4071K cannon which has a range of 1,800 meters and can fire at a rate of 1,800 rounds per minute.The cutting-edge aircraft is coming at a cost of $50 million per aircraft, but its capabilities are thought to be worth the hefty price tag. The fighter can reach a top speed of 1,516MPH (2,440kmh) and a battle range of 3,418 miles.Defense industry analysts have made comparisons to the American F-22 Raptor, with the National Interest giving the edge to the T-50 for its high maneuverability: its three-dimensional thrust-vector jets can tilt in any direction to help the pilot execute maneuvers.The Russian Defense Ministry is expected to buy at least one squadron of T-50 next year, the deputy Defense Minister Yury Borisov, announced in September at an international military expo outside Moscow."According to the plan, mass production of the PAK FA (T-50)will start in 2017. We’ll buy at least one squadron of the planes in the first batch,” Borisov said.

Another model of T-50, with some minor modifications and different components, is being developed for export to India.

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