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Sukhoi wins Russian tender to develop new fighter jet
 

[Saturday 27th April, 2002]

MOSCOW - The Russian government announced Friday that the Sukhoi company had won a tender to develop a fifth-generation fighter jet - a warplane intended to compete with the latest U.S. and European fighters.
Ilya Klebanov, the minister of industry, science and technology, said that the Yakovlev design bureau and MiG company would also be involved in the project, the Interfax news agency reported.
Klebanov said in a Russian magazine interview earlier this year that the project would cost about dlrs 1.5 billion. Officials have said previously that Russia would pool resources with India to build the new fighter, which is to make its first flight by early 2006 and enter production by 2010. However, no details of the project were reported Friday.
Russia has lagged far behind the United States and Western Europe in developing a so-called fifth-generation fighter, which follows four previous generations of fighter jets developed since World War II.
The U.S. Air Force plans to re-equip with the F-22 Raptor stealth fighter, which has superior maneuverability compared to existing fighters and can make long flights at supersonic speeds. It plans to begin operating the first unit of F-22s in 2005.
While a Raptor prototype first flew in 1997, Russia's response is still on the drawing board.

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