Friday, January 16, 2009

Reuben and the "Raptorski"

Longtime Russian (and Soviet) military affairs writer Reuben F. Johnson, writing in the Weekly Standard online, attempts to take the measure of Russia's quest for a "fifth generation" fighter. In the story, Johnson leaves no doubt that he believes Russia is hot on the trail of its own Raptorski--designated T-50.

"Metal is being cut at the KNAAPO plant" and the plan is now for the aircraft to fly in 2009 or 2010 at the latest, said a source knowledgeable of the program.

Maybe. We've heard such things before. And Johnson soils himself with this gratuitous--and cockeyed--remark: "[T]he US Air Force ... has long sought to use the specter of such a program to justify increased procurement of the F 22A and funding for the F 35." Really? We thought the Air Force was talking mostly about the proliferation of double-digit Russian-made SAMs and Gen. 4.5+ fighters. Johnson doesn't attempt to describe the aircraft's putative capabilities relative to the F-22A. Any additional information welcome.

1 comment:

GB said...

So when the Russkies and the Chinese are turning out hundreds of twin-engine, hi-altitude Raptorskis per year that are threatening our single engine, med altitude F-35 force do you think anyone will remember that it was the village idiots Cambone/ Gates/ England/ JYoung who did this crime to the country in the name of saving $10B? Where's the outrage? Where are the Billy Mitchells? CSAF Schwartz--why are you silent? The new Admin is going to spend $1.00 Trillion on giveaways, post offices and carbon recapture science projects and meanwhile our Air Superiority lessons and asymmetric advantages built over 50 years will vanish, all to save Mr. "This War" Gates a paltry $10B.