Wednesday, June 23, 2010

T-50 fighter jet makes another test flight

Russia’s fifth generation fighter jet T-50, also known as the Russian stealth fighter, has made another test flight at the aircraft industry centre in the city of Zhukovsky outside Moscow. It is also known as the Russian stealth.

Sukhoi T-50 is a monoplane with far apart engines and two fins which are strongly deviated from the axial axis. The Russian fighter jet is up to par with and even surpasses the American jets of the same class, such as F-22 Raptor and F-35, especially in manoeuverability, says the former head of the air force, General Anatoly Kornukov.

“The T-50 is capable of making manoeuvers at any engine regime,” says Anatoly Kornukov. “In fact, not all jets can do so. There is a concept known as the acceptable minimum speed, which is the lowest for this jet. For one, Sukhoi-27 can fly at the speed of a car, which is something that Americans have yet to achieve. They cannot keep the plane flying at large attack angles without draft. The Russian plane can do this. This is good for dodging and manoeuvering. The jet is unlike to wage a close fight, and this will do so at medium or long ranges. Firstly, a long-range missile will be launched and then a short-range one will be fired. When all missiles have been launched, the cannon will be used. In this case, the most manoeuverable plane can attack from the back,” Anatoly Kornukov said.

In fact, super- maneouverability is one of the key tasks set by the American Defence Department before the designers.

The T-50 fighter jet can hardly be detected by radars, and it is also impossible to locate by its heat emissions. This has been achieved by using composite materials and special coating, and a special design of the plane and measures aimed at lowering the jet’s visibility at various frequencies. When T-50 made its maiden flight in January, foreign military experts said that the U.S. monopoly on stealth was over. According to experts, American F-35 has problems competing with Russia’s Su-35 whose radius of radar reflection is the size of a tennis ball. Most likely, T-50 has a much smaller area than this.

T-50 fighter jet will complete its test programme by 2015, says the head of the Sukhoi Company, Mikhail Pogosyan. “I believe that experience gained by the company in developing the Su-30 and Su-35 fighter jets will be a good basis for promoting the programme successfully,” Mikhail Pogosyan said.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin arrived in Zhukovsky to watch the T-50 test flight. Talking with the test-pilot Sergei Bogdan, he said that the fifth generation fighter jet will be 2.5 to 3 times cheaper than its foreign analogues. The new Russian jets will determine the potential of the country’s air force in the next decades.

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