On March 29 of last year (2009), DefenseReview published a story stating that we disagreed with the cancellation of the F-22 Raptor program, and calling for at least 1,000 Raptors, total, to be built and fielded. This is because we knew that advanced Russian and Chinese Gen 5 (5th-Generation) fighters have been under development for quite some time, and will likely pose either a grave military threat to the United States or undermine our power around the world when dealing with Rogue Islamic states/countries.
Well, three days ago, the AFP and other international news sources reported that the Russians have just test-flown their latest 5th-Gen, low-observable/stealth fighter aircraft, the Sukhoi PAK FA ((Prospective Aviation System of Frontline Aviation) prototype, called the T-50, for 47 minutes. Under development since the 1990s, the PAK-FA/T-50 is billed by the Russians as matching up well against the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor. “It’s going to be no worse than an F-22. I’ve been in an F-22 and I know,” said Anatoly Kornukov, ex-commander of the Russian air force.
Like the F-22, the PAK FA Sukhoi T-50 fighter is capable of supercruise, and should significantly outperform all of our 4th-generation fighters like the F-15, F-16, and F/A-18 series aircraft.