The military is likely to buy fewer fifth generation T-50 fighters, scaling back requirements to 12 after initially planning for 52, due to economic considerations, Deputy Defence Minister Yuri Borisov has said.
Russia will buy only 12 fighters initially and, after their operational testing and commissioning, will decide on how many more aircraft of this type it can afford. They had previously made commitments to acquire 52 aircraft according to the State Armament Program until 2020.
Russia will be ready to start mass production of the fifth generation fighter starting in 2016. However, the Deputy Minister added, the Ministry of Defence reserves the right to revise the number of units purchased. “Given the new economic conditions, the original plans may have to be adjusted,” he explained. “It is better to have the PAK FA kept as a reserve, and later move forward, while squeezing everything possible for now out of the 4+ generation fighters (Su-30 and Su-35 – Kommersant).
Russia had plans for a $130 billion air force modernization effort that was set to last through 2020. The multi-billion dollar initiative was meant to reinforce Russia’s aging military with modern aircraft, the fifth-generation T-50, helicopters, and air defense systems.
SOURCE – Russia and India Report, Business Insider
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