A delighted-looking Vladimir Putin was seen at an air show inspecting the fighter plane that can fly at twice the speed of sound and use artificial intelligence to chase targets.
In a promotional video released before its unveiling, the new stealth jet can be seen unrolled under a tarp – with a bizarre ad asking, “Do you want to see me naked?” “
Another advertisement teasing the fifth-generation Sukhoi sarcastically shows the Royal Navy warship HMS Defender in the aircraft’s sights with the caption: “See you soon.”
The British destroyer was embroiled in a confrontation with the Russian military as it passed Crimea last month.
Moscow said one of its warships fired warning shots and a warplane dropped bombs on the ship’s route to force it to leave an area near the Crimean Peninsula, which Russia annexed in 2014.
At the event, a proud but impassive Putin said: “Russian aviation has great potential for development.
Experts said the plane, which was unveiled at an aviation show in Zhukovsky near Moscow on Tuesday, was designed to compete with the US F-35 fighter.
It appears similar in design to Lockheed’s F-35 series – which the Royal Navy bought for its two new aircraft carriers – and China’s J-31 stealth jet.
Last week, Putin was accused of arming rebels fighting in the breakaway Donbass region since 2014, when Russia illegally annexed Crimea.
Last week, the president fueled controversy in an article claiming that Russians and Ukrainians are “one people”.
He also said that Kiev “does not need” the Donbass industrial region which is currently under the control of pro-Kremlin forces.
Putin’s spokesman refused to rule out Russia taking back the Donbass, telling reporters: “I will leave this question unanswered. “
In recent military exercises, Putin has sent more than 100,000 troops to the border with Ukraine, raising fears that a large-scale invasion is imminent.
The numbers are then reduced, but Russian heavy military equipment remains close to the border.