T-50 aircraft

A Russian military delegation is planning to offer the Brazilian Ministry of Defence (MoD) the joint development of a fifth-generation fighter aircraft during its ongoing visit to the country, an unnamed delegation member has revealed.

The member was quoted by RIA Novosti as saying that, ”during the talks in Brazil, we are ready to offer our partners deliveries of ready-for-sale advanced aircraft like the Su-35, but also joint development of a next-generation [combat] aircraft of the T-50 type.”

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Led by Russian defence minister Sergei Shoigu, the delegation is currently on a three-day visit to Brazil and Peru to promote sales of the domestic weaponry to the two countries.

The offer appears as Russia’s attempt to sweeten its proposal of selling the Su-35 fighters or similar aircraft to Brazil outside the framework of the national air force’s multi-billion dollar F-X2 tender.

"The offer appears as Russia’s attempt to sweeten its proposal of selling the Su-35 fighters or similar aircraft to Brazil."

The Su-35 was rejected by the Brazilian Air Force (FAB) for the $4bn F-X2 tender, which seeks procurement of 36 fourth-generation aircraft to help replace the service’s ageing Northrop Grumman-built F-5 and Dassault Mirage fighters, according to the news agency.

Saab Gripen NG, Dassault Aviation Rafale and Boeing FA-18E/F Super Hornet aircraft are competing for the long-running contract, which has reportedly been postponed by FAB until 2015.

Manufactured as part of Moscow’s future aviation system for the tactical air force (PAK FA) programme, the Sukhoi T-50 jet fighter is equipped with radar-evading stealth technology, and can also perform supersonic flights at speeds of more than 2,000km/h, and in-flight refuelling missions.

Powered by two Saturn-Lyulka 117S turbofan engines, the fifth-generation aircraft is scheduled to serve as a successor to the Russian Air Force’s ageing MiG-29 Fulcrum and Su-27 Flanker aircraft fleet.

Image: Russia is planning to offer joint development of a next-generation T-50 type combat aircraft to Brazil. Photo: courtesy of Alex Beltyukov.

Defence Technology