Thursday, February 11, 2010

New stealth jet tipping strategic balance

From WorldNetDaily
Key to be 'if the Russians are able to build enough of them'

By Michael Carl

Posted: February 09, 2010 ~ 9:49 pm Eastern

© 2010 WorldNetDaily

A new fighter jet has completed a 45-minute test flight, giving Russia a boost in its effort to obtain a fifth-generation craft that can avoid radar detection with stealth technology and still perform at high levels.

The test of the Sukhoi-manufactured T-50 fighter plane just days ago raises new questions for Russia's neighbors who may be worried about strategic advantages.

The Economist magazine's former Moscow correspondent Edward Lucas said the balance of power now will depend on Russia's productivity.

"There's no doubt that the Russians have the technological know-how to build new state of the art planes," Lucas said, "They showed that by having the 45-minute test.

"The key to whether the new plane will make a difference is if the Russians are able to build enough of them to make a difference," Lucas said.

Retired Brig. Gen. Kevin Ryan says Prime Minister Vladimir Putin "is extremely interested in redeveloping Russia's industrial capacity."

"Russia's major exports to other countries have always been military hardware," Ryan said. "With the Migs they showed they could build planes. Their interest in reasserting their capability is important here."

The plane has a maximum speed of 1,305 miles per hour and a maximum range of about 3,500 miles. It uses stealth technology to reduce its "signature."


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