MOSCOW (AP) – Russian aircraft manufacturers have announced that they will showcase a potential future fighter jet at a Moscow air show that opens next week.
The new fighter plane hidden under a tarp was pictured being towed to a parking spot through an airfield in Zhukovsky, outside Moscow, where the international aviation and space fair MAKS-2021 opens Tuesday. Russian President Vladimir Putin is about to visit the exhibition opening.
Russian media reported that the new jet was built by aircraft manufacturer Sukhoi as part of a light tactical fighter development program.
Unlike Russia’s last twin-engine stealth fighter Su-57, the new aircraft is smaller and has an engine.
The Su-57 was built to match the American F-22 Raptor stealth fighter, but unlike the American aircraft in service since 2005, its series production has only just begun and a new engine intended to give it the ability to navigate. at supersonic speed the speed is still under development.
The name of the new warplane is unknown, and there is no information on its capacity and prospects for deployment.
The future Russian fighter plane seems destined to compete with the American fighter F-35 Lightning II, which entered service in 2015. Russia hopes to eventually offer the new plane to foreign customers.
Rostec, the state-owned company that includes Russian aircraft manufacturers, said the “fundamentally new military aircraft” will be unveiled at the Moscow airshow on Tuesday. “Russia is one of the few countries in the world with full cycle capabilities to produce advanced aviation systems, as well as a recognized pioneer in the creation of combat aircraft,” he said.
Following Rostec’s announcement, Russian aircraft watchers rushed to Zhukovsky to take photos of the new aircraft – an eerie parallel to the Cold War era when Western spies tried to get a glimpse of the last Soviet warplanes at the tightly guarded airfield that served as the country’s airfield. best military aircraft testing facility.
In an effort to generate public interest ahead of the presentation, Rostec posted a photo of the new plane covered with a tarp with “Do you want to see me naked?” »Written below. He also posted a brief video featuring excited overseas customers and the jet’s vague shadow on the water.
Another teaser photo posted on Rostec’s Facebook account on Saturday showed what appeared to be a reflection of a British Type 45 destroyer in the optical sensor of the new Russian warplane with a “See you soon” inscription. “The black tarp is attractive, but the details are always more interesting,” said Rostec.
A British Type 45 destroyer, HMS Defender, was involved in the June 23 incident in the Black Sea when Russia said one of its warships fired warning shots and an aircraft from War had dropped bombs on the Defender’s path to drive it out of an area near Crimea which Moscow claims as its territorial waters. Britain, which like most other countries did not recognize Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014, insisted the Defender was not targeted and said that he was sailing in Ukrainian waters.
Putin accused the incident with the Defender would not have sparked a global conflict even if Russia had sunk the British ship because the West knows it cannot win such a war, a bold statement that seemed to indicate his determination to rise to the challenge should a similar incident occur again.
The Kremlin has made the modernization of the country’s armed forces a top priority amid bitter tension in relations with the West, which fell to the post-Cold War trough after Moscow’s annexation of the Crimean Peninsula in Ukraine in 2014, accusations of Russian interference in elections, hacking attacks and other irritants.