Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Russia Scales Back Orders For It's Next-Gen Fighter

Fred Weir, CSM: Grounded? Russia's answer to US next-gen fighter hits the skids.

The Kremlin is cutting its initial production of the Sukhoi T-50 fighter by 75 percent amid cost overruns and rumored technical concerns – the same kind of issues that have plagued US development of the F-35.

Moscow — Russia's ambitious T-50 fighter plane project was meant to develop a rival to two futuristic US jetfighters, the F-22 Raptor and the planned F-35 Lightning-II.

But now, the T-50 appears to be rivaling the F-35 another way: in development troubles. The Kremlin is slamming the brakes on its "fifth generation" fighter program and cutting its initial rollout to a quarter of those originally planned.

The decision seems a setback for Vladimir Putin's sweeping $800 billion rearmament program, a vital component of the wider effort to restore Russia to its Soviet-era status as a major global superpower. However, the sharp slowdown in plans to procure the sophisticated new jet may represent an outbreak of wisdom on the part of Russian military chiefs, who will remember how the USSR was driven into bankruptcy by engaging in an all-out arms race with the US.

Update #1: Mass production of T-50 fighters to start in 2016 -- RBTH
Update #2: With the U.S. F-35 Grounded, Putin’s New Jet Beats Us Hands-Down -- Rob Garver, The Fiscal Times

WNU Editor: These new weapons programs are not cheap .... and the T-50 is the most expensive item on Russia's current procurement list.

1 comment:

James said...

The money will go to other military needs that are more pressing.