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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

INDO-RUSSIAN TIES: T-50 stealth fighter to be unveiled!

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Press Trust Of India / / Posted on Aug 16, 2011 at 08:54pm IST.

Moscow: T-50 stealth fighter jointly developed by Russia and India will make its first international public appearance at the MAKS airshow 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 $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 airforce 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.

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