Being jointly developed by India and Russia in $10-billion project
The Sukhoi fifth-generation stealth fighter, which Russia is jointly developing with India, made its public debut at a Moscow airshow on Wednesday.
Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, accompanied by federal Ministers and military brass, looked on as two T-50 prototype aircraft soared into the air, performing aerobatic manoeuvres and skimming low over the runway in a 15-minute demonstration flight.
The T-50 has been making test flights since January 2010, but it is the fighter's first appearance at an airshow. After the demonstration flight the fighter jets were whisked away as they are still classified and are not displayed on the ground. The T-50 resembles Russia's best-selling Su-30 fighter jet but will have all its weapons hidden inside its body and wings to avoid radar detection and will fly at supersonic cruising speeds. The aircraft will also boast ultra manoeuvrability and high-technology avionics.
The Russian Air Force will begin testing the Perspective Frontline Aviation Complex, as the plane is called in Russia, in 2013 and will start inducting its mass-produced version from 2014, said the Russian Air Chief at the show.
It is India's biggest-ever defence project and its largest defence deal with Russia. India and Russia are jointly designing two versions of the plane — a single-seater for the Russian Air Force and a two-seat version for the IAF. India will contribute about 30 per cent of the total design in the project, including composite components with the stealth function and some avionics, electronic warfare systems and cockpit displays. The total cost of the project is estimated at $10 billion.
The Indo-Russian fighter jet is expected to rival the U.S. F-22 Raptor and will cost just over half its price — less than $100 million apiece.
PTI reports from Moscow:
Working on the hypersonic version of its supersonic cruise missile, BrahMos Aerospace on Tuesday signed a MoU with Russian aviation institutions to establish a centre of excellence for developing technology for high-speed aircraft and missiles.
The MoU was inked here with the Moscow Aviation Institute (MAI) and NPO Mashinostroyeniya (NPOM) corporation on the first day of the MAKS, 2011 (Moscow air show). The MoU was signed by BrahMos CEO A. Sivathanu Pillai, Rector of MAI A.N. Geraschenko and Chief of NPOM Corporation Alexander Leonov.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Pillai said: “It is a remarkable step for BrahMos, NPOM and MAI to come together and work in this field.”