Putin Declares New Russian Built PAK-FA Stealth Fighter Better Than F-22 Raptor

So, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin watched a test flight yesterday of the Sukhoi built T-50 PAK-FA fighter, nosed around its cockpit, and promptly declared it better than the F-22 Raptor. Now that’s an impressive marketing campaign; although, I’m not sure how much real cred the Putin seal of approval carries. I do know the Russians are desperate to revive the fortunes of a flagging defense industry whose products must now compete globally with low cost Chinese knock-offs.

“This machine will be superior to our main competitor, the F-22, in terms of maneuverability, weaponry and range,” Putin told the pilot after the flight, according to an account on the government website.

Putin said the plane would cost up to three times less than similar aircraft in the West and could remain in service for 30 to 35 years with upgrades, according to the report.”

I wonder if the F-22 loving (and JSF hating) Air Power Australia folks have anything to say about the PAK-FA versus the Raptor. Oh, look, here’s a comparison:

“Fights between the F-22A and the PAK-FA will be close, high, fast and lethal. The F-22A may get ‘first look’ with the APG-77, the Advanced Infra Red Search and Track (AIRST) sensor having been deleted to save money, but the PAK-FA may get ‘first look’ using its advanced infrared sensor. Then, the engagement becomes a supersonic equivalent of the Battle of Britain or air combat over North Korea. The outcome will be difficult to predict as it will depend a lot on the combat skills of the pilots and the capabilities of the missiles for end-game kills. There is no guarantee that the F-22 will prevail every time.”

(Video of the test flight below).

Now, while the Air Power Australia guys put together some often impressive analyses, they are a very biased source:

“In basic grand strategy terms, the arrival of the PAK-FA leaves the United States with only one viable option if it intends to remain viable in the global air power game – build enough F-22 Raptors to replace most of the US legacy fighter fleet, and terminate the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter as soon as possible, as the F-35 will no longer be a usable combat aircraft for roles other than Counter Insurgency (COIN), though more cost effective and more appropriate solutions already exist for this role.”

I think we’ll have to await further testing and some closer looks at the PAK-FA before making any conclusions.

— Greg Grant

  • Maxtrue

    “It meets all the requirements for internal carriage for those types of platforms [such as the stealthy F-22]. We have not shot NCADE from a UAV yet, but it is on our horizon.”

    Raytheon, Darpa and Air Force officials will not discuss ranges, but those with insight into the technology say radar ranges vary from around 90 mi. with an F-16-size AESA radar to perhaps 150 mi. with an F-15 size antenna. Missile ranges are well over 100 mi. That kind of performance, mixed with new algorithms and advanced datalinks could subsequently make the combination of the faster, higher-flying F-22 and improved air-to-air missile a viable weapon against SRBMs in the terminal phase and possibly low-flying satellites, says a senior U.S. Air Force official.” Ares

    A role for F-22s? With so few F-22s why even debate? It seems that Gates misreads the future mission profiles including counters to his threat assessment today regarding the proliferation of missiles (see above), the difference between one and two engines (F-35 isn’t even a concern for Putin), the capabilities of new fighters and the markets for them in Asia and elsewhere. So again, what does it matter? 130 Raptors won’t be much of a threat to greater numbers of very capable aircraft…..

    The solution would be to continue Raptors with improvements until we have alternatives or another fighter program.

    • mike p

      Well it looks like the russians ahd lots of pictures of the YF-23 and F-22 and they kopykatted us again just look at the history the F-86 and the Mig -15
      the F-15 and the MIG-25 Foxbat and the F-18 and the mig-29 see where i am getting at?

      • Donnell

        To Mike P, A guy sorry to bust your bubble but, the Mig-15 was in service before the F-86 and the Mig-25 was in service before the F-15. The F-18 started out as a Northrop plane called the YF-17 Cobra which lost a fly off between the F-16.The Mig-29 was well on its way in development before the F-18, which was redesigned by McDonnellDouglas after they aquired the plans from Northrop’s YF-17.You don’t have to take my word for it, just check the history of those planes. Now I do agree with you and everyone else on this post that, the new Russian fighter is a Cheap copy of the F-22

        • Enthusiast

          Sorry, this is ********. New Russian fighter does not looks like a copy of anything. If you look precisely on both designs, you see that “Raptorsky” actually have MORE DIFFERENCES THAN SIMILARITIES compared to American stealth designs.

      • Longshot

        Yes, I see we’re just rambling or speaking with no knowledge. The MIG29 design has nothing to do with the with the F18 design.
        Similar development technologies, and committed or similar requirements, lead to similar design lines. That does not mean copy.

        Anyway, espionage exists, but not just for the Russians. Sorry.
        As I said in this post-for example, the Bell X5 is a copy of a WWII German model. And there are several models from several countries with similarities, some copies, and other similar only for their usage requirements, and similar technologies of the time.

        Besides all this, when you compare models P-Mike-you should check some dates, because the models that your name, just the Russians entered service before the U.S. models.

        In the case of PAK-FA, I think it has similarities to the U.S. stealth models, but with the characteristic signature of Soviet designs. I don´t see this model as a copy, but as duties and similar requirements that sometimes lead to similar designs.
        For example, the F117 uses very characteristic profiles. B2 Then, apply other profiles and rounded shapes, such as the F22. Perhaps these forms best serve the stealth mission. Then, when another nation makes a stealth aircraft, it makes sense to use similar profiles, because their efficiency. Not to say that is a copy, although it is possible to use part of the experience of other models already in use, or their own studies conducts to similar results.

  • Tad

    Not sure it matters which airplane is better. If you can buy 3 or 4 of the Russian plane for each F22, then that means you can have planes covering areas in which there might be no F22’s because the enemy could not afford enough of them to provide coverage everywhere.

  • roland

    Al this things will rust and will not last forever, but our life with Jesus Christ will last forever.

    • Fred

      I agree, and “this” things will help His enemies see Jesus early.

    • Mike

      Amen!!!

    • hamchuck

      Unless JC resurrects himself as an a**-kicking fighter pilot, this means somewhere less than squat.

    • WarScientist

      Sorry to break it to you buddy but it won’t. You just rot in the ground.

    • Hårek Sagen

      I have no idea what you are talking about. I don’t know who Jesus Christ is. I believe in nature, everything.

    • Tim

      Hate to break it to you, but he is just a dead dude. If he even existed in the first place

  • Jeff M

    The United States has always been 10 or 20 years ahead of the Russians, even when you thought the Russians were a match-up they were just pretending (such as the ICBM race). I’d be surprised if this thing ever even makes it off of the assembly line, all they had to do was make something that looked like an F-22 and say it was just as good, fly it around real fast and they can feel secure.

    The F-35B has an internal space to carry a turbofan for VTOL but it is also thought to contain a laser. When the 100kw+ energy weapon stored inside this bay becomes a reality it will change everything. What then?

    Queue the sharks with lasers on their heads jokes…

    • A. Nonymous

      The space where the lift fan goes on an F-35B contains a fuel tank on the F-35A and F-35C. You’ll have to find some where else to store your ill-tempered, laser-equipped sea bass (places pinkie finger near edge of mouth and laughs evilly).

    • kim

      Yep, and we were first sending people into space too.

      • blight

        …wasn’t that the Russians?

    • Locarno

      “The United States has always been 10 or 20 years ahead of the Russians”

      Which would mean that this comparison would be valid if the Raptor was a design from 10 to 20 years ago.

      The first production standard aircraft flight was 1997.

    • Brave Anonymous

      Thats right! a lazer!
      Where would we put the batteries you may ask!
      Well, we’ll just stuff in a nuclear reactor inside aswell thats how! Didn’t expect that you manji commies?!

    • ihl

      F-35 is a copy of the russian Yak-41 with some improvements,russians sold Yak-41 to the americans…..thats how the F-35 program started, even Yak-41 had some “Stealth” characteristics such as having weapon bays internally to lowed its radar profile….
      And for the stealth overall- russians had the knowledge back in 1960’s,after some 10 years the technollogy was allowed into USA, and after some more years the F-117 is born ……

      • ihl

        so all the so called air superiority USA has and other bragging about stealth advances is owed to the russians, so noone can say USA is 10-20 years ahead of russians…it can only be the opposite way …. im not an USA hater or something but the fact is USA can thank russia for everything they have now …..Another example: even the F-14 that gaining glory and fame with its “revolutionary” sweep wing mechanism – russian Mig-23 had it 3 years before F-14 …. so it was not that revolutionary if u ask me….the list of examples goes on and on…but i dont want to go of topic too much , …. so Pak-fa vs F-22,F-35 …

        • ihl

          F-35 would prolly lose coz its mailny a multi role fighter,built to be good in everything, but that means it cannot exceed in anything, the F22 is a different story its a great machine and every pilot in it can surely say they can take down russian Pak fa…. but the same goes to Pak fa pilot against F-22 …. so the only real advantage that is sure and a fact is the plane’s priceand in a real life its more than sure that an F-22 would me out numbered if a fight ever happens……today with stealth air battles will turn into WW1&2 air battles but with more speed in aircrafts and only thing that will count will be piloting skills…i tried to be objective in this reply and not to offend anyone,but if i did im sorry….
          – F-22 & Pak-FA are both extraordinary planes and will be the pride of their origin countries and they have the right to be proud

          • ihl

            only one more thing for all those who say Pak FA is a raptor copy……. Pak FA has the classic Sukhoi plane part coverage like most of the others like su-27,37 …. if u take a closer look into the other suu planes u will see that even if u dont have an eye for details… only similarity is stealth demands in exterior shape of the plane so they cant really look much different from one another…and all other “Stealths” from other nations will look like these ones

          • blight

            Russians were initially doing experiments on plasma to disrupt radar returns. A google search on “plasma stealth” reveals a few tidbits.

        • guessst

          stupid. f-14 wasn’t based on mig-23, but f-111 aardvark. ignorance is bliss.

          • Longshot

            Is true, the F14 was based in F111, and also true that the Russians applied before that configuration of wings in the MiG-23.

    • Willi

      Cynicism, selective amnesia adn fraud have landed us adn economy where we are today, fift among nations worldwide economically. If or not we like it Russia has been way ahead of us despite what our elected “leaders” continue telling us while they pad their corporate military suppliers pockets with taxpayer money. Russia broke the barrier as far back as 1957 with Aputnik and has not looked back since. It only has two active military bases worldwide outside its territory and one storage facility while we’re supporting 800 worldwide at extreme costs we can ill afford. If we’re so much better what be the need for so much military spending? Give it a break!

  • Donnell

    Better than the Raptor and 2 to 3 times less cost. We call that where I’m from “talk is cheap” The Russians have been tauting there planes as better than everyone else’s, well the combat records speak for themselfs and according to my score card they are losing. Not that I’m doubting the word of Prime Minister Putin, I just don’t believe him. because did’nt the Russians say that about the SU27, SU37, SU47 and now this Raptor copy. Only time and combat will tell and I have to go with history and cast my doubts about this thing.

  • Bob

    In WWII, the Germans had arguably the best tanks in the Panther and Tiger. Only problem, they were expensive and hard to produce. We had the Sherman, which was obsolete and not very good, but we had a zillion of them. They were cheap and quick to produce. The Russians had the T-34 which had a good gun and armor, was cheap and quick to produce. The Germans lost the armor war.
    Our miltary industrial complex allows perfect to be the enemy of cheap and good enough to get by.

    • Patrick

      Bravo sir

  • William C.

    Really, the Russians think they can build 3 of these for the price of a F-22, F-35, or F-15SE? That and the idea it will enter service two years from now are insanity.

    I am no fan of APA and for the most part I think they are crazy, although I do support the idea of resuming production of an improved F-22C featuring EOTS or AIRST, side AESA arrays, and other upgrades mostly related to avionics. A system like the F-35’s AN/AAQ-37 DAS would also be useful but may be too difficult to integrate.

    I would also like to see a ramjet assisted AMRAAM replacement like the concept Raytheon was showing back around 2005 IIRC.

    • Paul

      The truth is that is a Flanker wih a bunch of wanna b low observables stuck to it. Putin is dreaming, they are years (as in many for all of you posting replies) from serious production and even so they may be able to pitch this stuff to India and China but the rest of the world will be buying American. Why? Because it is IN PRODUCTION AND IT IS BETTER…….. DREAMERS

    • Chuck Haas

      My thoughts exactly, if we kept the F-22 in low rate “lean” production, making long lead buys of some parts so we could close out small parts suppliers, we could continue to produce better F-22s, complicating our enemies planning. Does this F-22 have the side array AESA or not? EOTS or not? Also, it is not surprising the the PAK-FA did not show up until after the F-22 was placed out of production. Think how much smarter it would be to keep the Russians and Chinese guessing as to how long we will keep the F-22 production line going.

  • Tuberski

    The issue I have with Bob’s take is that the limiting factor in Air combat would seem to be really good pilots, not the aircrafts themselves. A society can produce almost unlimited numbers of tank crews, but not so with really good or even exceptional pilots. Matching top pilots with the best technology and great war planning will give us a great chance of success.

  • roland

    That looks like our US Northrop F-23 or YF-23 Black Wisow II fighter jets. http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=f-23+fighter&

  • Tim

    Really? The Russians also bragged how their superb tanks such as the T-80s/T-90s could eat the Abrams for lunch until the Desert Storm I proved otherwise… and recently they decided to talk to Thales about buying night vision equipment for their… tanks… because they lacked that capability. Putin himself has never seen an F-22 up close, much less looking at the cockpit, so saying that seemed farcical. Russia is not the same Soviet Union, so it will never be able to field 2, 3 times more than the number of our current F-22s. Dream on, comrades!

    • enthusiast

      Iraq never had T-80/T-90. Most of their tanks were T-55 from 1950s(!) era. Also, they had small amount of “monkey model” T-72 tanks ((dowgraded version with obsolete ammunion from early 1970s, without night optics, with simple steel armor etc.).
      Why you think that US tech should be superior in every way?

    • dude

      Iraq doesnt own any T-80 or T-90 dumbass! get your facts straight. so what, no american has seen a PAK FA from close range. besides, even the su37 is more manoeuvrable.

    • Willi

      Forget Putin, even though I’m certain they as with the west have acquired either drawings or other imagery of the aircraft in their entirety. There are a number of western military sources who’ve evaluated the SU PAK FA T50 and hold that it has advantages over even the F 22 Raptor, especially in the area of climb and turn radius. It has been determined that due the ability of the SUkoi fighters ability to be upgraded it represents a serious threat. Let’s not forget that both the F35 and F 22 have been removed from service due air worthiness issues. The F 22 was just held out of service for wing related problems. I don;t think you could get more serious of a problem than this. Apparently, even the Russian SU 27 was able to do flat stalls without damaging or cracking its wings, Drops from the sky without risk to pilot of aaircraft and engine restarts afterwards without flameouts. They’ve been able to perform in this manner for three decades…

  • Brian

    I mean lets be serious about this, did anyone expect Putin to say “Hey its a cheap knockoff of the F-22, and will be shot out of the sky in any realistic scenario for 2/3 rds the price”

    If anything Putin just gave the free world more reason to buy the F-35 since the F-18, F-15 and F-16 will judged to be outclassed as adequate front line fighters. If anyone thinks the cheap crap they build their fighters with is going to be anywhere as near as stealthy as a F-35 or an F-22 your out of your mind. In this new world of aircombat, if your detected within missile range before you can detect the other guy, YOUR DEAD.

    This new Russian fighter is just a flying coffin, unfit to be used against any moderately advanced western nation.

  • roland

    It’s just a nutcraker. Anyone in the market world would say mine is better than them. It looks like they copy some of our F-23 design prototype qualities. On the end the original design is better and will outlast the copycat.

  • Ebbe

    The PAK-FA seems to be showing a lot of rivets all over it’s body. That can’t help its stealth, can it? At least it indicates that it’s not made of advanced materials.

    • Rus

      Not to be a biased russian but every comment I read screams stereotypes and underestimation. The same mistakes as by Dzin Gis Han, Karl Gustav, Napoleon, Hitler…

      It does not have to look “sexy” or “cool” to be a good weapon. American weapon system are complex and look sophisticated because they have to attract the attention of the potential buyer who acting like a “savvy” buyer also pays attention to how well it looks…

      M-16 looked so modern and sexy and sophisticated when it came out and it still does.. now go ahead and try to make someone in the world buy it over an ugly, uncool, unsexy AK…but which one is a better weapon..? Which one is on the flags of five nations…

      • Sev

        Those nations with they Ak on the flag dont seem to be doin so well. We live pretty well due to American invention and innovation. The Ak is popular because its a cheapa$$ pos that cant hit the side of a barn at 150 yards. The M16 I believe was designed for conscripts in Vietnam. It fires a small bullet so that the conscripts could carry more ammo and pray n spray. I believe the M14 was superior to the Ak in every way, so thats the gun we should’ve kept.

    • So?

      They are not rivets.

    • enthusiast

      1. Not “rivets” actually
      2. Look at the surface of F-35 or F-22 (at their production stage).

  • jack

    Too much vodka ;)

    • Brave Anonymous

      Yes! Perestroika! Gorbachev! too much vodka drinking!
      Da! Komite Gosudarvene Zopasnstky!
      Zhopa!
      I am so funny Russian

  • CRS

    The day the Ruskies come up with a stealth dogfighter, is that day the US should be concerned. Most of the US fleet is intended for long range engagement, with the ability to dogfight if needed. The Russians have always gone for dogfighter first, and they’re current fleet of Migs and SUs are world class close in. Now they are stealthy too, our long range capability becomes mute. I don’t know, we’ll see if they can get the flight our in, keep them fueled and operational in enough numbers.

  • roland

    I’d say just continue to develop and mass produce F-35 and YF-23 and add recoinnaissance and monitor on it. These two jets are excellent in manurability. And I believe it can beat the Russian latest jet PAK-FA Stealth Fighter.

    • Mike62

      Sorry to burst your bubble but both those planes are dogs and i don’t mean the fighting variety. A 60’s era F4 could make mincemeat out of both of them. But they do look cool…kinda.

    • So?

      The YF-23 is long dead. What a beauty it was though.

  • guest

    Well I’m in for numbers over perfection…. its a newer frame, our secrets have undoubtedly leaked, and our goverment is corrupt and dysfunctional. For all but the gov’t comment, Thank you Obama supporters. A-holes.

  • WillyPete

    Notice what the man said!
    It will be faster, have longer range, and be more maneverable than the F-22…
    Not that it would have better stealth, better weapons, or any of a whole host of other characteristics!
    Of course, we ALL know how trustworthy Comrade Putin is… :->

  • Alex

    If this aircraft is better than the F-22 than we need to really push our engineers to the limit and manufacture cheap, advanced, and affordable Stealth Fighters. Also manufacturing these new fighters has to automated. In conventional war you must beat the others guys capacity to replace his machines. In other words the U.S. has to use the formula of the Russians. MASS PRODUCE AS MANY AS YOU CAN CHEAPLY AND ONLY USE WHAT WORKS IN COMBAT!!!!! NO FANCY EXTRAS!!!

    • Matt Payne

      The US defence industy would collapse if we did that. Same way how germans had problems because they had too many different air craft and not enough interchangable parts between them.

    • Guest

      I agree. That is a good method. It helped us in WW2, (sherman vs panzer), and it will help us again.

      • blight_

        We’re not at war though. It’s expensive to build and store tanks, only to have to trash them once they go obsolete. We would not have built and stored M48’s and M60’s and now M1’s in peacetime. It took several Shock Armies of tanks in East Germany to encourage that kind of spending.

  • jsallison

    And there’s the problem. Way too many senior rankers on the uniformed and civilian sides of the acquisition process that can’t be told to STFU, STFD and keep your f’n peapickers off the project.

    There no longer seems to be a point where a design is locked down for production as ‘good enough’ with future R&D pointed at a later version. Advances in computer tech over the years have made it way too easy to jump in and ‘just one more thing’ a design to death.

    We need some gold-plated SOBs in the system that can stop these jackholes. And it isn’t just aircraft, the Navy’s ship program is just as fubar’d for the same reasons. We’d be lots better off with a steady rain of base hits instead of perpetually striving for home run or bust.

    • Matthe payne

      Problem is…some thing new comes out and we dont put on the shelf tell next year. Personally I would eather see a better VLS system on ships then see them stick a rail gun on the next ship like they are talking and see it blow up in our face due to lack of development. We also need to stop devlopment of weapons for specfic platforms and make them so they are usable by multiple ships or aircraft.

  • roland

    Thinking of reducing the cost for F-22,F-35 and F-23 and making it more competative than PAK-FA ? Here are few tips how:There are five ways we can reduce the cost to manufacture F-22, F-23, F-35 and other planes and thereby make more productions at lower cost. 1. Have all materials, services, technology and assembly here in the United States. The reason why F-22 and F-35 cost too high because some of the materials and services/ assembly are imported (From Europe). 2. Either we make it here or have our asian ally ( Singapore, Thailand or Philippines) manufacture it for us. Asian currency are 40 times lower than our currency thereby making the material and services at low price. 3. If we’re going to manufacture all the parts and assembly here (USA), make sure there is a fix contract with JSF, so the price will not change at any time of the year. 4. Make sure we have the capital to create this planes. 5. Use materials we already used before on our other stealth planes for the body frame or use materials or experiment with spider webs (Spider webs are known to be stronger then steel).

  • Good thing they can’t afford the damn thing. But maybe China can… ****.

  • DevilPup

    i have serious doubts about the T-50 being able to go toe to toe with the Raptor. however, if Russia manages to Mass produce, we are royally ********. the tiny number of F-22’s we bough is hardly enough. and the F-35 isnt a competetor in this category, its designed to go against old strike fighters like the Mig-29. the Raptor and T-50 are in the category of the F-15 and Su-35 as air superiority fighters. a multirole fighter will never be as good as a dedicated airframe, thats just the rule. much as Obama and Gates dont like it, we need the F-22, and a fair number of them.

  • Benjamin

    I think the biggest problem we will have is numbers. If they can produce even 1 1/2 per every 1 (F-22 or F-35) we have it will result in the loss of U.S. support aircraft (i.e. tankers) in a fight and this will make things far harder for us. I think the answer to this is buy (50-100) more F-22’s, cancel the F-35A and produce more F-35B’s for the Air Force. The F-35B’s can operate closer to the front while the F-22 can operate from a greater distance without refueling.

  • Armchair Warlord

    Why the F-35 hate? The F-22 has one advantage over the F-35 (it goes somewhat faster – exactly how much is unknown) and many disadvantages (range, weapons carriage, size, avionics, sensor suite, maintainability, cost). According to test pilots the aircraft handle about the same in the air so it appears the F-22’s only advantage over the -35 is its ability to disengage at a higher speed – thanks to engines that are optimized for supercruise instead of subsonic maneuver.

    I believe the real reason F-22 production was shut down is because analysis indicated that the F-22 is not a better air superiority machine than the F-35, and in fact is probably at a significant disadvantage when facing stealthy aircraft with IR sensors thanks to its size, hot engines and lack of its own IR sensors – a threat environment the F-35 would dominate in. It appears the Russians are trying to build an airplane we already have a countermeasure for – the F-35.

  • tim UK

    More Putin BS , if they manage to build thirty in the next ten years I would be greatly surprised . The Eurofighter would make mince meat of this piece of Ruskie Crap never mind the F22 on a sunny day .

    I’m sure all the commie lovers will tell us the end is nigh and that the Chinese and Ruskies with unreliable engines/missiles/awacs/avionics and poor training and logistics are going to wipe out the US airforce .

    Sorry but they are years behind the RAF nevermind the US airforce .

    • Donnell

      Well said mate!

  • Chuck Haas

    First, did you notice the screws or rivets holding the sheet metal in place as they showed the planes BORT number! The slots in the screws will show up like headlights to every fighter radar out there. They had an amazing number of wires, pitot tubes, antennas and other features that are not stealthy in the least. It is not clear if they have even figured out how to prevent radar from penetrating into the cockpit. Obviously, this is still just a pprototype with a lot of work before it is a finished produce. Actually, it is at a lower state than when we put out the YF-22 and YF-23 on the early 90s. Only thing that worrys me about this plane is the wing mounted radars, which are something of a new feature. That said, I think the electronic warfare systems on the F-22 will help them avoid radar detection, while the Russian radas will just serve to give away their positions.

  • Andy

    I hope it’s a good plane because the russians may very well turn out to be ” the enemy of my enemy”.

  • Donnell

    Hey man there is no F-23, The F-22 was chosen over it. The two prototypes don’t even fly anymore.1 is sitting in a museum on display and the other one was dis-assembled.

  • chaos0xomega

    Anyone that doesn’t accept the possibility that Putin was speaking the truth is a fool. Likewise, anyone who readily accepts what Putin said as gospel truth is a fool. The fact of the matter is we don’t know, and we probably won’t know for a few more years yet. The Russians have had their fair share of successes over the years, its always possible that this may be one of them.

    Furthermore, there is a distinct possibility that through economies of scale, this could very well be an F-22 equivalent. Half the price of the F-22 is what the cost of an F-22 would have been if the original quantities were ordered. Russia could easily get those quantities, maybe even by multiple times, if it can build itself a quality aircraft that is up to spec.

    Remember, there are a lot of countries out there that want the F-22, but can’t have it. They are being told to settle for the F-35, an aircraft of questionable capability which is behind schedule and drastically over priced, and facing an uncertain future. If Russia is fast enough with the design, and it is a good enough design, it may well win over some customers. Remember, its not the Cold War era, much of the stigma in arms purchasing is gone. We could rely on a lot of nations buying from us or the Russians exclusively, thats simply not the case anymore.

    Even if Russia only ends up with 30 planes… what if China purchases another 300? If this plane is as good as they say, none of our allies, barring maybe the Europeans, will have a plane capable of engaging it in a 1-on-1 situation…

    And finally, I would like to throw in something that a now retired Air Force Colonel once told me: “People forget about the missiles.” The Russians have longer ranged, faster flying, and more maneuverable missiles than we do, and american stealth is not-fool proof. Don’t get me wrong, its good, but its not a 100% safety net. I have spoken with F-15/22 pilots down at (Eustis-)Langley AFB who train against each other regularly. While its not common, the F-15 pilots do manage missile kills vs the F-22.

    And I’m going to throw my lot in with the YF-23 crowd. That is the plane we should have purchased. The only advantage the F-22 had over it was maneuverability (and as I understand it, the difference was questionable). And it would have been a cheaper plane too, as it used parts that shared commonality with the F-15.

  • dicksauce

    Haha I love how everyone’s commenting like we are a war with Russia or something…. The day I worry about whether or not an F-22 or F-35 could ‘win’ in a dogfight against this new aircraft is the day I’ll wish I had built a bomb shelter. We both have ICBM’s remember.. Mutually assured destruction ring a bell? I just don’t see how this is in anyway relevant. peace

    • roland

      I agree. Back at you. Peace man.

      But it is always good to be prepared. Ever wondered if North Korea over South Korea, Iran over it’s nuke and Israel, and China over Taiwan will wage war against us? And who are their allies?

      The famous writer Mark Twain once said “It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.”

    • I think the concern is exports. Russia has shown a willingness to sell relatively advanced systems to mid-level allies simply to counter-balance U.S. power in their region. If Russia buys fifty of these, it’s not a game-changing event. If they do something more drastic, like strip off some of the fancy radars and sell three-hundred airframes to Iran, well.. that’s a problem.

  • Quietwolf

    Why should Putin’s opinion even matter? All he’s done is watch the airshow and looked in the cockpit! If he burps at a meal should we all start a round table discussion on the cooks performance or just take him out and shoot him for serving a “bad” meal? This is a former KGB guy do you think he’s interested in offering constructive criticism? If there are flaws in our designs then they will be corrected, if we need more planes, we will build them. How do you think we got to this point in history? Not by second guessing our enemies but by ALWAYS finding a way to kill them. Improvise Adapt Overcome.

  • Andres

    the speed of a jet-fighter in dogfight situation is frequently near supersonic (the advantage of the height, to reach that advantage you need to climb fast you need speed an thrust for that). There is no way to fight an enemy fighter just with your eyes at those speeds hence modern dogfighting relies on radar and avionics. Stealth is not just in a BVR scenario a useful tool. I see a big advantage for the F-22A even in the close-in combat…

  • 3rdGroupDad

    Sure everything is bigger and better in RUSSIA, we’ve been hearing that crap for decades. If its that way why did we basically kick there asses in the air war. Why are items limited for purchase and who bailed them out duringf WW!!. They didn’t do it on there own as they would have you to believe. Once a Commie always a Commie. Putin is still KGB.

  • Kayaker

    ANYTHING that the Russians make is a copy cat model of the West. Thats PRE and POST Cold War. Putin, the infamous KGB thug that he is is still fighting the COLD WAR and the WEST. Once a Communist, ALWAYS a Communist.

  • Matt

    People really give the F35 too little credit… Ok so its not the perfect dogfighter; well niether was the F16 and it was alright… The F35A/C can carry 6 AIM120s in each of its to weapons bay… It has the HMD; the PAKFA cant match that… Russia talks about sensors; the F35 has better ones… I do think the F22 is needed and who knows mabye it will be treated like the B1 was… More to the point the AF will start getting F35s in FY2011 and already have F22s; russia is behind in production and qualtity… plus as for numbers 2000+ F35s is higher than what russias realitivly small budget can do because even with cuts USA still spends 40% of all world military spending and more than the EU, china, and russia combined (think though that last part may have changed)…

  • 609Gunner

    Looks like the lovechild of an F-22 and a Flanker.

  • Since the US cancelled the F22, i have always said that the US will now fall behind in Air superiority. Gates has no clue and is focused only on the here and now, he is not focused on the future. Think about this, If gates were in charge back in the 70’s and 80’s we would have never built the F15,F16,F18 that we have now, because he would have felt that the F4 phantoms and F5 were enough for the US. Well good thing he wasnt in charge then because we wouldhave fought the First Gulf war, The 2nd gulf war and Afghanistan with F4’s and F5 tigersharks. It is stupid, Russia and china are currently building there 5th gen fighters and we cancel ours, and Gates wants to moth ball 2 aircraft carriers. The F35 is not and cannot do what the F22 can. Iran, NK and China are going to be a problem, and we are going to be stuck trying to provide security with F15’s and F16’s “two less Carriers” against SU27’s, J-10’s and the Pakfa 50. I think Gates and obama are destroying us from inside out.

    • Brave Anonymous

      Looks like a job for The Money Printer!

  • danf

    What good is all this speculation. Gates is tasked with disarming America. No tech can replace the loss of will to dominate. Obama hates America and American power and Gates, being a good corporate drone , is only to happy to manage American power down – after all he is just doing his job…and that seems to be the most important criteria in the chain of command….

  • STemplar

    We are worried about Russia now?? I think they took their shot when they were called the USSR and lost badly. Everyone gets on here with their Xbox scenarios and comparing the specs of aircraft which is all pointless. It boils down to logistics, period. Amateurs talk capabilities, pros talk logistics. How many can they really afford to build? What will they be able to maintain? How can they deploy? What kind of realistic training and flight time will their pilots receive? Will they receive proper combat support ie EW? Sorry but with 180 F22s deployed, a F35 production about to gear up, additional F18s with upgrades in the pipe, and extremely capable modern iterations of the F15 and F16 available for production, I consider the Russians and the Chinese both a big fat joke. There are those that love to inflate the threat for the purpose of selling more weapons, but at the end ot the day we are going to both numerically and technologically dwarf Russia and China, to say nothing of quality of training and logistics. Putin is a Cold War throw back clown, period.

  • Tony C

    The F-22A is the benchmark for 5th generation fighter design and the Russian’s know it is a very high bar to meet. The F-22A has features to defeat both radar and infrared sensors, so the first shot first kill scenario is a gamble at best for either fighter. The costs of stealth is too high for large numbers of F-22A’s to have been produced and there are those in the DOD who belive the time of manned fighters is over. If a large fleet of PAK-FA’s is produced then the US will have to consider their options again. Right now 187 F-22A’s appears to be enough if they are supplemented with F-35’s for sufficient umbers. The F-35 is a not an air dominance fighter, but could make a good decoy for the F-22A in a battle!

  • Wifey

    I continue to see comments about how we shouldn’t be afraid of Russia…Do we REALLY believe that the Russians will be the only country using this if it is even 75% of Putin’s claims? Unlikely…

  • Jay

    ugh, just look as those engine intakes. I’m no engineer but I would not be shocked if the RCS from each is those gaping maws is more than the entire F-22

  • The problem is they are going to shut down F22 plants all together. So when the US finally realizes they made another ooppsy and russia has 300-400 pakfas to our 187 raptors, the us will notbe able to just start making more F22. The day will come when we will all wish obama and gates were never in charge

  • Mitch

    Isn’t this what the russians said about the T-72 vs the Abrahms tank? Isn’t this what the russians said about thier Legacy Fighter vs the F-16 ? Isn’t this what the russians said about thier subs vs our subs ? Isn’t this what the russians said about…………
    Talk is cheap. What did you expect him to say people?

  • chaos0xomega

    Except the T-72 was a major threat. After the fall of the Soviet Union German and US engineers found that the T-72s armor was impenetrable by the Abrams and Leopard 2’s cannons (even when firing HEAT/other AT rounds). If you’re using the POS Iraqi T-72s to make that judgement, then you have to realize that those are not the same as a Russian T-72.

    As for fighters, both the Flanker and Fulcrum are very capable aircraft. The Fulcrum (in German hands) was a nightmare for American f-15 and f-18 pilots (primarily due to the Fulcrum’s helmet sight which wasn’t available to the USAF/USN until 2003).

    Likewise, Russian subs are dangerous. I don’t know about the Typhoon,but the Akula (attack sub) was rightly feared by many american submariners. They were quieter, faster, and more agile than the Los Angeles class

  • STemplar

    Again comparing capabilities alone is looking at the issue through a straw, at the end of the day, anything that Russia had that was decent didn’t do them a darn bit of good. The point is the nation buckled and collapsed. We also know Russian soldiers had to forage for their own food in garrison in East Germany, pray tell how would they be able to sustain operations under combat conditions if they can’t even feed their own people while in garrison, it doesn’t get easier when the shooting starts.

    In all these scenarios people talk about it is always some video game head to head match up. Even were the Chinese to deploy some credible aircraft with pilots that were anywhere near the level of ours, why would l engage them is some silly dogfight, when l can send my nuclear attack subs to sever the flow of oil from the Persian Gulf and collapse their economy?

    • Brave Anonymous

      Soviet Russia? or Union? or … all commies so no difference there right!?

      Collapse whose economy there? cuz, like, for a moment I thought that… nvm

  • Skysoldier173

    Well, lets find out, 1 day we really will find out. Putin is a gangster, wtf does he know about aircraft? the Russians are so broken they cannot afford thier own fighter planes. The best Sukoi’s go to market, while the JUNK stays home. Sell the Raptor to our allies, keep the line OPEN . Wat are they doing w/ the F-15SE? Is it going to active air wings? OR are they selling it? Don’t hear about it no more. ANYBODY KNOW?

  • Infidel4LIFE

    Hope they sell them to IRAN, since they eventually will be bombed by the Israelis, the US, UK, or a combination of NATO air. Hard to believe the “Supreme” Leader, appointed by the “Big Guy” Himself, would go against his own people, torturing and MURDERING God’s people. WAT A SHAM!! Cyrus the Great must be spinning in his grave. F-ing USURPERS, DIE DIE DIE!!!!!!

  • Anthony Wilson

    its just a cheap copy of f-22. typical russians…. the f-22 looks better by looking at it. the engine nozels of the f-22 look way more cool than on pak fa.

  • Tim

    I know Tornado Pilots who tell me that the Russian Radar and Missiles are hopeless along with their counter measures . By the time the Russians see a Tornado on their radar they will have a couple of Amramms seconds away .

    Don’t believe the Ruskie ? Chines Crap they are just trying to get the USA to bankrupt itslef on MIlitary projects .

  • Infidel4LIFE

    in 1991 i saw hundreds of burning hulks of t-72’s BMP’s etc. NOTHING has changed, we could still clean thier clock, Iraqis, Russians, it don’t matter. Our worst enemy are stupid politicians, we never really needed to go back and occupy Iraq. BUSH destabilized the whole region. Thanx Dubya…

  • enthusiast

    “In this new world of aircombat, if your detected within missile range before you can detect the other guy, YOUR DEAD.”

    Myth. Long range missiles could be jammed or avoided. Dogfight is still very real scenario for air combat. Russian stealth fighter got major advantages in terms of aerodynamics and maneuverability – airframe with better aerodynamics, engine with 3D thrust vectroing , LERX feature, all-movable vertical tails.
    But Russians designers did not forget about beyond visual range combat as well. PAK-FA should have better BVR capabilities (than both F-35 and F-22) with its 5 (five) AESA-radars – one big X-Band AESA radar (1500 elements, a way more powerful than F-35’s radar, much more modern than Raptor’s APG-77), two smaller side looking radars, and also, it will have two L-Band radars. Some speculations speaks, that L-Band radar is specially designed for much easier detection of stealth aircraft. Because radar absorbent materials (which are used on stealth aircraft) does not work very well against L-Band waves.

  • enthusiast

    As for air-air missile, PAK-FA have bigger and longer internal weapons bays. What does it mean? Missiles with much longer range (for example, “AWACS-killer” missiles with nearly 400 km range) which PAK-FA will be able to carry internally…

  • soroush

    russians have always proved they have upon hand over americans later due to the financial problems but better they have upon hand in helicopters by ka-52 and mi28n comparing to apache rh-64. tank t 95 vs abrahams. borei class submarine. all models of missels from balestic missels (topol m)to airdefence (s400)ones from bulava to shekval torpido and so on. now there is no wonder in creating a better 5th gen with plasma tecnology then f22 or f35(with less efficiency). look at the previous gen isn t su 30mk su34 su 35 mig ovt better than f18 superhornet f15e or f16c

  • They cant even build a decent UAV, they have to go buy from Israel and do the reverse engineering, but still they cant make it now. And now some one tell me they are going to build a better 5th gen? Cheap talk!

    • enthusiast

      You have not clue what you talking about.

  • PMARTIN

    PUTIN, He could only hope. The F-22 is a far better aircraft than the Russian have, They can only hope there plane can stand up to our’s. The F-22 is a far better war fighter and winner.

    • Brave Anonymous

      Yes! a winner! take that PUTIN!

  • Richard

    if they would have picked the right plane in the first place this wouldn’t have happened. F-23 was a better plane than the raptor. period

    • blight

      How so?

  • Rich

    to the guy blaming obama. hate to tell you those sercets leaked way before he was pres. get a******* clue

  • Dfens

    It’s too bad the F-22 wasn’t even the best of the 3 ATF options. The Grumman forward swept wing airplane would have turned better, but was killed by the General who said that there would be no canard equiped aircraft in his Air Force. Then the YF-23 showed its stuff too late in the fly off. There should have never been a “too late” but that’s all history now. And finally, who would have guessed that it would take so damn long for Lockheed and Boeing to build the F-22? What a waste! Missed opportunities at every turn. Waste, fraud, and abuse galore. It would not surprise me at all if the Russian aircraft was better than the F-22. It should certainly have better range and speed. Its advantages there are obvious just from looking at a picture of the airplane.

  • Brad

    There’s a lot of talk about just how much more advanced US aircraft, especially F-35 and F-22, are against Russian counterparts. Perhaps so, but it would be a terrible mistake to underestimate Russian aircraft capability and, especially, their missile hardware. Allowing for the Russian doctrine that states “quantity has a quality all its own” and, that Russian aircraft designs are some years behind that of the western nations, Putin’s comments should not be summarily dismissed. The Su and Mig bureaus are manufacturing some outstanding aircraft. The latest blocks can almost certainly outperform F-15s and F-16s in dogfight maneuvering and missile performance. Certainly, the only qualitative difference between such airframes is the training of the men in the cockpit.

    If anybody contributing to these posts really thinks that pilots, with the same training, are superior, or even better off, in an F-15c vs. Su-35 or Su-37, then a serious re-alignment of thinking is in order. It is also fair to say that Russian missile technology in air to air combat is at least the equal if not superior to US hardware.

  • genmax

    Time for Russia to start rebuilding its empire…. make a couple thousand of these and the US wouldnt even think of intervening unless Russia attacked western Europe or maybe Poland.

  • Justin H

    Pak-fa is estimated to cost $100mil. How is that cheaper than F-35?

  • Justin H

    I wonder if its too late to retrofit F-22s with IR sensors.

  • Justin H

    The Chinese wont even buy this (they want to build their own) and they are the only real threat we might face in the near future.

  • roberto Quafe

    Fatigue on the wings of the f22 in comparison to constituent of the Raptor flabitnoid is un realistic. We all remember that in the f111 the stress load on the tail wheels was ever encountering to the egypt load and furthermore no one has yet to compete with the radar assembly in either the f22 or the f111 or bitle 116 jato species . so relax folks.

  • Happa Kraut soldier

    US aircraft works period!! Stripped with some elses pilots, avonics, and 0 years dated. logistics we don’t end up without fuel, misslies and training to go with it!! Doctrine ours work period!! No bulshit!!! Add the upgrades, and our training with other countries!! No wonder Isreal, and Japan buys these aircraft!!! (iseral Always take Commie Junk and put good old Western tech and make it work for a quick buck!! Japan and Iseral Avonics are based on ours anyway so take your unreliable equipment wih 4 to 1 ratios,with unproven weapons in combat, no fuel,training or tatics and go back to moscow or take some Aim9L up your tailpipe! Betters to be dead than RED!!

  • croissant

    Of course Putin will market Russian equipment. He needs money; he needs to rebuild their industry. How good or bad PAK FA is in comparison to F22 is too early to judge. Condescending comments about F22 superiority over PAK FA are just as good as Putin’s rambling.

  • Evolve

    U guys are funny :) Let us enjoy the new jet for its technology, please. USA will never ever go to war with Russia, who has nuclear capability to destroy it several times over possibly with very little chance of retaliation. Please, graduate from that war nonsense.

  • theonewhoknows

    Oh and lets not forget…. entire F-22 fleet was grounded. And that was before F-22 saw any combat. So the aircraft itself is already having problems with the reliability of its onboard systems. F-35 is still in development and will remain so for quite some time. But according to the people that do understand the current fighter market F-35 will be already now useless. And we just have to wait when MIG will roll out its answer to the JSF.

  • godzillajet

    Maybe Putin is right with his claiming but only with maneuverability, weaponry and range you cant defeat a plane, the raptor has a published speed of Mach 2.25+ but in reality it is as fast than the f-15 eagle which is on par with the PAK-FA the pilots say the raptor is faster than the eagle (some people say it flies mach 3). The f-22 has a radar cross section of 0.001 and the PAK-FA of 0.5 square meters, the raptors radar has 2300 and the PAK-FA 1500 transmitters and until the PAK-FA gets in service the f-22 will have HMD and IRST on block 40 upgrade. The PAK-FA will supercruise at speeds from mach 1.5-1.8 the f-22 at speeds of mach 1.82 and like the top speed or the maximum thrust the true supercruise is still classified.

  • godzillajet

    All what Putin is saying doesnt matters because the raptor is better and 2025 a 6th gen. fighter will be developed to replace the super hornets and when the f-22 will have a kill rate of 60 per-cent the f-xx will have a kill rate of 90 because it will use high-energy lasers and 6th gen stealth.

  • Mastro

    Russia might have similar problems selling this as the French with the Rafale.

    Rafale is great- but not as good as the F35/Typhoon/Gripen- so only sales to India.

    The people (3rd world types) that have been buying Su27/35’s might pass on this- or still find it too expensive compared to Chinese stuff.

    Russia needs a sales campaign other than “Use it to kill your own people!”

  • Dan

    It will all turn to Remotely controlled aircraft soon anyway. Human meat on a jet craft, guess what is holding the jet back? THE MEAT.

    I see Swarms being the next big thing. Aircraft that is about a foot long with “lighter than air” bladders remotely controlled by a pilot that operates the entire swarm for tactical decisions but the swarm itself is controlled by algorithms. Once over field of operations they expand with 1 – 36 feet of space between them, and using Mesh networking to communicate between. This would then create a large sensor array that is almost impossible to shoot down or detect as they are under radar size limits and would then allow for precision aiming of long range missiles and rail gun Mach 12 artillery to take out airports, bases, etc so that enemy air can not land or refuel.

    They can be dropped from a high altitude bomber or missile and float down.

    That swarm sensor array would be sensitive enough to send intelligence back to remotely controlled drones if you really want to dog fight it out, but that drone can out turn any human air craft.

    Only reason to have F22 or F35 at all now is for display purposes and just in case we get in a fight with a space capable nation that can shoot down our space assets making swarm tactics limited to line of sight or radio. Even then you could use a Swarm to branch out over critical assets and form a type of shield to intercept incoming missiles.

    Or have it send info direct to Army squad leaders forearm computer.

    Basically put, it is becoming stupid to field more then 100 of any direct human controlled aircraft.

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  • dddeeee

    TR3b and X47b are still superior to T50 :p

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  • Brandon

    Meh, outfit a SR7/Blackbirs with couple missiles and let it rip. Mach 3+ coming down on TOP of you from 60 thousand feet like a bird of prey and that Russian won’t know what hit it.
    At those speeds seeing the enemy 90-120 miles out is a moot point IMHO. When a plane can digest five hundred to a thousand miles in a sec? Blink and he’s there.