29 January 2010

Russia's first stealth fighter

and I'm sure they'll build more than 186 of them

so anyway, this is just perfect:

"MOSCOW – Russia's first stealth fighter intended to match the latest U.S. design made its maiden flight Friday, boosting the country's efforts to modernize its rusting Soviet-built arsenals.....The Sukhoi T-50's flight comes nearly two decades after the first prototype of the U.S. F-22 Raptor took to the air, and Russian officials said it will take another five years for the new jet to enter service. Still, the flight marked a major step in Russia's efforts to burnish the faded glory of its aviation industries and strengthen a beleaguered military."

The SORP (Start of Regular Production, a little Stupid Business lingo) for T-50 isn't until 2015, and like I said in the sub-head, they'll certainly build more that 186 of them. No, they'll build a flaming metric ass-load of them for themselves and a second flaming metric ass-load to sell to their client countries.

As for why the number "186" is important:
"The U.S. [Obama - ed] administration decided to quit buying the F-22 Raptor, the world's most expensive fighter jet at more than $140 million apiece, effectively capping its production at the 186 already ordered."
Back in April 2009, Stephen "VodkaPundit" Green had this to say about the effect of the Obama administration's decision to stop buying the F-22:
".....That difference is even more real when you consider that 187 Raptors are to replace 483 F-15C Eagles — a reduction-in-force of over 60%, coming quick on the heels of a nearly 50% RIF throughout the ’90s. Shortly, those 187 planes will be our only manned air supremacy fighters....."
The VodkaPundit also has a good primer on the F-22 Raptor. Read the whole thing.

more soon

(ps. yes, I know there's a discrepancy regarding how many Raptors we have. The story on the T-50 mentions 186, Green's post references 187. I do know that one of the Raptors crashed in March of 2009, maybe that explains the difference)

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