Russia is set to unveil its own ‘F-35 fighter jet’ on the first day of the MAKS-2021 air show on July 20. The “promising combat aircraft” will compete with the US fifth-generation fighter F-35, a Russian aviation industry expert said.
On July 14, Russia’s Rostec State Corporation released a cryptic teaser saying, “The new product developed by UAC specialists should arouse genuine interest not only in our country but also in other regions of the world, including our competitors abroad”.
Oleg Panteleev, executive director of the branch agency “Aviaport ”, told reporters (translated from Russian to English): The recent video published by Rostec – all this indicates that the domestic light fighter is entering into competition with the American F-35 in foreign markets.
I am sure that the demonstration of the aircraft at MAKS-2021 will have a positive effect. It was not for nothing that Rosoboronexport invited over 120 delegations from 65 countries to the exhibition.”
According to the expert, quoted by Russian news agency TASS, little is known about the technical characteristics of the aircraft. It is believed the new fighter has low visibility in various ranges, a high thrust-to-weight ratio, a high combat load, and an advanced set of aviation weapons.
“There is no doubt that in this decade Russia will be able to restore a tandem of promising aviation systems: the heavy Su-57 and a new light aircraft designed to solve tactical problems,” Panteleev added.
On July 13, Rostec said that the United Aircraft Corporation (UAC), part of Rostec, will unveil a new military aircraft on July 20. UAC is best known for the Sukhoi multirole jet fighters and the Tupolev Tu-160 Blackjack strategic bomber.
The UAC has employed an approach full of intrigue and suspense to the project’s marketing campaign. According to sources in the aircraft industry, Russia’s first-ever single-engine light tactical fighter with supersonic speed and low radar signature is being developed by Sukhoi (part of the United Aircraft Corporation of the Rostec State Corporation), TASS added in its report.
— Fighter-pictures (@fighterpics) November 30, 2020
Earlier, The EurAsian Times had reported that Russia’s Sukhoi began work on the creation of a tactical single-engine, fifth-gen fighter jet which will be built using stealth technologies and a Su-57 platform. To date, all fighters made in Russia, including the state-of-the-art Su-57, are equipped with double engines.
“Sukhoi design bureau, on its own initiative, is conducting research work to create a light multipurpose single-engine fighter jet of the 5th generation,” Sputnik News said quoting some sources.
“During the development of the aircraft, it is planned to widely use the groundwork developed in the framework of the creation of the Su-57, including the state-of-the-art product 30 engine, radio-absorbing coatings, onboard radio-electronic equipment, and a weapon system.”
Currently, single-engine fighters are widely used in the world. The American F-16 and F-35 fighters, the Swedish JAS-39 Gripen, and China’s J-10 are some of the leading single-engine fighter planes. The presence of only one engine significantly reduces the cost of production, operation and maintenance of an aircraft.
Contributed by Kashish Tandon and Anshruta Banerjee