First Demonstration Flight of Russia’s Su-35 Was Successful
Su-35 fighter jet rocks the sky: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KhvNVekTYSw
Russia’s new G4++ fighter, Su-35, has completed today the first demonstration flight, RIA Novosti reported. The flight lasted six minutes. It was Sukhoi test pilot Sergei Bogdan that flew the jet, having performed a few aerial stunts. The journalists and the guests, including ex-commander of the RF Air Force Vladimir Mikhailov and the company’s chief, applauded when Su-35 took ground. The fighter jet was demonstrated at Sukhoi testing ground in Zhukovsky-town of the Moscow region. The flight completed the first stage of Su-35 testing. Su-35 nears the G5 fighters in terms of combat efficiency and characteristics. It is designed to dominate in the air, hitting the ground and above-the-water targets any time and in any weather conditions. Serial production of the jet and its supplies to Russia’s and overseas clients will begin in 2010 or 2011. Amid peculiarities of the jet are a new avionics complex based on the digital command information system that integrates onboard equipment, a new radar station with phased array antenna, which has longer range of air/ground target detection, enabling to track up to 30 air targets and shoot eight targets simultaneously. Its super maneuvering capability is another advantage. What’s more, the jet may carry up to the 8 tons of combat loading at 12 suspension points.
Russian Air Force may receive fifth-generation fighter in 2013
Russia is expecting a new fifth-generation fighter to enter service in 2013, the Air Force commander said on Monday. "We will begin test flights [of the new fighter] in 2009, and hope to receive the aircraft in 2013," Col. Gen. Alexander Zelin said. The new fighter aircraft, tentatively designated as the Sukhoi PAK FA or T-50, will be built at the Komsomolsk-on-Amur aircraft manufacturing plant in Russia's Far East. The T-50 fighter, equipped with two powerful engines with thrust vectoring, will feature high maneuverability and stealth to ensure air superiority and precision in destroying ground and sea targets. Some experts believe the PAK FA fighter has been designed to be comparable to both the American F-22 Raptor and F-35 Lightning II. It will eventually replace the MiG-29 Fulcrum and Su-27 Flanker fighters in the Russian Air Force and will be exported to other countries.
In related news:
Russia starts large-scale naval exercise in the Pacific
Over 20 combat and auxiliary ships from Russia's Pacific Fleet started on Tuesday a large-scale naval exercise in the Sea of Japan, which includes live firing drills, a fleet spokesman said. "The exercise is part of the summer combat training program," Captain 1st Rank Roman Martov said. "More than 20 combat and auxiliary ships will participate in about 20 individual and group drills." The core of the naval task force participating in the exercise consists of the Varyag, a Russian Slava-class missile cruiser dubbed 'the killer of aircraft carriers,' the Bystry, a Sovremenny class destroyer, and a group of missile boats. According to the exercise scenario, the Russian naval task force and shore-based naval aircraft are tasked with the search and destruction of an 'aggressor force' attempting to establish a beachhead on the Russian coast. The ships will conduct a series of live firing drills against ground, surface, and air targets. During the exercise, the Varyag and the Bystry will test-fire new surface-to-air missiles at a target drone.
Russian warships to patrol Arctic again
Russia announced Monday that it is sending warships to patrol Arctic waters for the first time since the breakup of the Soviet Union — the latest move to increase the country's global military presence. Patrols by the Northern Fleet's Severomorsk submarine destroyer and Marshal Ustinov missile cruiser will begin Thursday, Navy spokesman Igor Dygalo said. Russia began sending aircraft carriers to the Mediterranean Sea in December and resumed long-range bomber patrols in August. "We have been talking for a long time about widening our activity in the Arctic," Dygalo said. "There is nothing aggressive in it — it is in the interests of security." Former President Vladimir Putin expanded Russian military patrols and Dmitry Medvedev, who succeeded Putin in May, appears to be maintaining that course. Moscow-based military analyst Pavel Felgenhauer said security was not Russia's primary motivation in sending the Navy ships to the Arctic. "This is flag-waving and that's basically it," Felgenhauer said. "Sending a couple of patrol boats to the Arctic won't change anything." Russia has also been moving to stake its claim to resources that are increasingly accessible as global warming melts Arctic ice. Moscow recently sent an expedition to plant a Russian flag on the seabed under the North Pole and said research indicates a massive underwater mountain range in the area, which is believed to contain huge oil and gas reserves, is part of Russia's continental shelf. And Russia hopes it can increase access for fishermen who are blocked from seas around the island of Spitsbergen, where Norway claims exclusive rights. Russia does not recognize the 200-mile economic zone delineated by a 1982 U.N. treaty. Dygalo said protecting Russian fisherman was one of the aims of the new Arctic patrols.
Russia needs bombers in Cuba due to NATO expansion
The possible deployment of Russian strategic bombers in Cuba may be an effective response to the placement of NATO bases near Russia's borders, a former Air Force commander said on Monday. Russian daily Izvestia earlier on Monday cited a senior Russian military source as saying that Russian strategic bombers could be stationed again in Cuba, only 90 miles from the U.S. coast, in response to the U.S. missile shield in Europe. "If these plans are being considered, it would be a good response to the attempts to place NATO bases near the Russian borders," Gen. of the Army Pyotr Deinekin told RIA Novosti. "I do not see anything wrong with it because nobody listens to our objections when they place airbases and listening posts near our borders," the general said. However, Deinekin said the possibility of Russian bombers being stationed in Cuba is largely hypothetical, because Russia's Tu-160 Blackjack and Tu-95MS Bear strategic bombers are both capable of reaching the U.S. coast, patrolling the area for about 1.5 hours, and returning to airbases in Russia with mid-air refueling. Russia resumed strategic bomber patrol flights over the Pacific, Atlantic, and Arctic oceans last August, following an order signed by former president Vladimir Putin. Russian bombers have since carried out over 80 strategic patrol flights and have often been escorted by NATO planes. Deinekin suggested that Cuba could be used as a refueling stopover for Russian aircraft rather than as a permanent base, because the Russian political and military leadership would be unlikely to take such a drastic step under current global political conditions. In October 1962, the Cuban Missile Crisis brought U.S. and the U.S.S.R. to the brink of nuclear war when Soviet missiles were stationed in Cuba. The crisis was resolved after 12 days when the Soviet leader, Nikita Khrushchev, backed down and ordered the missiles removed. Moscow had a military presence on Cuba for almost four decades after that, maintaining an electronic listening post at Lourdes, about 20 km (12.5 miles) from Havana, to monitor U.S. military moves and communications. Russia was paying $200 million a year to lease the base, which it closed down in January 2002.