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One of only two new aeroplanes developed by the Russians since the demise of the Soviet Union, the stealth T-50 is expected to make its first public appearance at the 2011 Moscow International Aviation and Space Salon this week.Sustained largely through Chinese and Indian defence spending since 1991, the Associated Press reports Russia’s ailing aircraft industry is expecting business to expand locally.
Mikhail Pogosian, head of Russia’s United Aircraft Building Corporation, a state-controlled entity that includes aircraft manufacturers Sukhoi and MiG says domestic military orders will make up more than 50 per cent of the new combat planes produced, adding the Russian air force plans to expand its fleet by 20 planes annually in the coming years.
But the T-50, undoubtedly part of this new addition at some point, still lacks modern engines, electronics systems, and serial production isn’t expected until 2015.
Helping secure production, the fighter will now be developed in cooperation with India, establishing a solid export market when it is complete.
The T-50 was designed to compete with the U.S. F-22 Raptor fleet, which has been grounded since May.
Also at the airshow are the U.S. Air Force with a string of planes including a B-52 strategic bomber, Boeing, and Airbus.