Posted by: Tim Lincoln | January 29, 2010

Russia’s Fifth-Generation Fighter Flies

Russia’s T-50 fifth-generation fighter logged its first flight this morning at 1119 local time from Komsomolsk-on-Amur. The new twin-engine aircraft features advanced low-observable technology in the infrared, optical, and radar spectrums.

As the flight testing progresses, I will not be surprised if the T-50 will give the F-35 a run for its money. In fact, I expect the T-50 will wind up somewhere between the F-35 and F-22 in total capability.

India is expected to be involved in the program, but only in the later stages. There is no indication that China is involved, though there may be some technology transfer as China is working on its own fifth-generation fighter.

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