[News] Raptorski: sara’ la volta buona?

Copio e incollo dall’agenzia Reuters:

Russian “stealth” fighter to fly by end-Jan

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia will test fly by the end of January a new “fifth generation” stealth fighter that aims to challenge the United States for technical superiority, an aviation industry source told Reuters on Wednesday.

This would be the first all-new military aircraft Russia has built since the Soviet Union collapsed two decades ago and is crucial to showing that Moscow still has advanced technologies of its own, defense analysts said.

However, it would probably take five to seven years before Russia’s military finally got to fly the first of these fighters, they said.

Fifth-generation jets are invisible to radar, have advanced on-board flight and weapons control systems and can cruise at supersonic speeds. Russia currently builds military aircraft based on designs dating from the Soviet era.

Asked when the new fighter, built by the Sukhoi company, would make its maiden flight, the industry source said: “By the end of this month.”

Sukhoi is Russia’s largest exporter of military planes and accounts for a quarter of the country’s annual arms sales. It has foreign orders worth billions of dollars, with India its biggest client.

A spokesman for Sukhoi said the plane would fly “in the near future.”

Interfax news agency quoted a source in the Far Eastern city of Komsomolsk-on-Amur, where the first prototype plane has been built, as saying its first flight could take place “in two or three days, depending on the actual weather.”

DELAYED JET IS MOSCOW’S PRIDE

The warplane is seen as Moscow’s challenge to the U.S.-built F-22 Raptor stealth fighter, which first flew in 1997.

“The importance of this project is huge. This is the first and principally new plane built in Russia after the fall of communism,” said Alexander Khramchikhin, chief analyst at the Moscow-based Institute of Military and Political Analysis.

“This is good for Russia’s defense capability, because so far only the United States has built such a jet.”

But Khramchikhin said he was not starry-eyed about the plane, recalling delayed deliveries to Russia’s armed forces of much-publicized new diesel submarines and the formidable Iskander tactical missiles.

A series of failed tests of the newest, submarine-launched Bulava (Mace) intercontinental nuclear missile, touted by the Kremlin as a perfect weapon able to pierce any air defense, has only added to Moscow’s embarrassment in recent years.

“In an optimistic scenario, Russian air forces meanwhile will probably rely strongly on supplies of the less advanced Sukhoi Su-35 jet fighter whose deliveries are due to start this year,” the Moscow-based Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies (CAST) said in an analytical note sent to Reuters.

“It appears the new jet will take years to be fine-tuned, and its delivery to the armed forces would take between five and seven years at least.” It said Russia was likely to produce the new jet jointly with its close partner India.

CAST said the mass output of the fifth-generation fighter and its future modifications would attract young engineers to the aviation sector and boost Moscow’s military exports after the market for the current Su-30 had been saturated.

“The fifth-generation plane could easily occupy a niche of at least one third of the world market for this type of output,” CAST said. “Europe is not building such jets, and China’s would-be copycat planes will not match the high standards.”

Potential exports of U.S. fifth-generation jets may be limited by Washington’s security considerations, reducing sales to a narrow circle of close U.S. allies such as Israel, Saudi Arabia and Japan, CAST said.

(Reporting by Gleb Stolyarov and Dmitry Solovyov; writing by Steve Gutterman and Dmitry Solovyov; editing by David Stamp)

PS : ma non siamo gia’ a fine gennaio?
PPS: degnarsi di mostrare una fottutissima thumbnail? No, eh?
PPPS: per me ci pigliano nuovamente per i fondelli :-D


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