Friday, June 18th, 2010
Prime Minister Vladimir Putin climbed into the cockpit of Russia’s newest fighter jet on Thursday and said it would trump a U.S.-built rival, the F-22 Raptor.
Putin watched a test flight of a “fifth-generation” stealth fighter, dubbed the T-50 and billed as Russia’s first all-new warplane since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.
“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.