Russia selling new fighter jet


On Thursday, the new Russian fighter jet called the T-50 performed a test flight (not the first one) and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin was on hand and even sat in the cockpit of the aircraft. This plane is said to be the first warplane Russia has made since the Soviet Union collapsed about 20 years ago. The T-50 is supposed to rival the current king of fighter jets, the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor which only the U.S. military has.

Russia will be developing and building this jet with the help of India and they say it will be less expensive yet still better than the American F-22. However, if they wouldn’t say those things then it really wouldn’t make any sense to build it in the first place. The current plan is to build 1,000 T-50′s over the next few years with both Russia and India owning 200 each and then sell the remaining 600 to other countries. Russia’s traditional military equipment customers are many of the unfriendly nations that the U.S. military equipment is designed to fight against. These countries include Syria, Iran and other enemy countries. There is no word right now if they plan to sell those countries the T-50, but the U.S. and their allies will probably be lobbying them to not sell them those jets.

For Russia, building a jet that can compete with the best plane in the world and be one of the most advanced war machines in the world helps boost the reputation of all their military equipment. It is the equivalent of a car company building a super car in that they often don’t actually make money on that model but it attracts people to the other cars in the product line because the super car shows that the company can build really good, expensive and advanced vehicles. It also builds brand equity which is important for the customer and for that customer’s confidence in the brand after the sale.

It will be interesting to see how this new Russian jet compares to the F-22 once it is ready for production. There is a good chance that a situation will never occur where the two planes will be in a dog fight against each other but by looking at the specs and the track record both planes will set for themselves, a fair comparison will be easy to make.