The Indian-Russian PAK FA (or T-50) might become a blockbuster in 5th-generation-fighter category according to these arguments:
- It would be far less expensive than its direct competitors (up to 3 times cheaper)
- The PAK FA’s range would be superior by 70% compared to the F-22 one
- Bigger in its wing surface and lighter than the F-22, it should be more maneuverable than the Raptor
- It would be between 14 and 20% faster than the F-22
- The PAK FA would have a 20% thrust-to-weight-ratio advance
As far as radar, system, and stealth are concerned, the Raptor must be over any other fighter aircraft considering its heavy program cost (around $65 billion) compared to the PAK FA one which should not exceed $8 billion.
However, the main problem in such comparison is that crucial assets such as stealth are not visible, and kept secret. Moreover other factors can change the balance: weaponry performance, pilots’ training, and data links among others. For instance, the Russian military are not likely to purchase more than 10 PAK FAs by 2012, and around 50 only by 2016.
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