On Jan. 29, Russia officially tested its fifth-generation fighter plane - T-50 PAK FA. The video of the flight shows that the aircraft bears a strong resemblance to the American F-22 stealth aircraft. Russian official sources stated that it would take additional 4 to 5 years to finally test the plane before it would be in service by the country's air force.
Alexander Golts of Russia's "Yezhedenvniy Zhurnal" offers a stinging critique of what appears to be Moscow's slow path towards high-tech air force parity with the United States.
Meanwhile, Russia does not seem to have any luck trying to get its domestically-produced UAV's off the ground - its new plane, dubbed "Aist" - Flying Crane - could not take off properly during its flight test and crashed. "Aist" was supposed to be the base model for the creation of "Julia-E" UAV that would have provided data and information to the "Iskander" missile complex. At this point, any further development of the military "Julia" UAV is postponed indefinitely.
The article nostalgically points out that "30 years ago, USSR was an undisputed global UAV leader, having produced almost 1,000 Tu-143 "Reis" UAVs between 1972 and 1989."
submitted by Yevgeny Bendersky