When American fifth-generation fighters, the F-35 in particular, have 419 deficiencies, the Russian test pilot might actually not be spreading propaganda.
On April 11, 2016, the pro-Kremlin media outlet Pravda.ru published an interview with Anatoly Kvochur, a distinguished Russian test pilot, who started his career in the Soviet forces and is currently deputy chief of the Gromov Flight Research Institute at Zhukovsky airbase. In the interview, Kvochur states that Russia has developed successful fifth-generation fighter aircraft – as opposed to the U.S., whose F-22 and F-35 fifth-generation fighter jets should, he claims, be considered a “failure.” He also asserts that Russia’s “military doctrine is purely defensive,” whereas U.S. military doctrine is “a doctrine of global domination.”
On March 2, 2016, Russian Aerospace Forces commander Viktor Bondarev announced that Russia’s sixth-generation fighter is being developed in both manned and unmanned versions.
The following are excerpts from Kvochur’s interview with Pravda.ru:
The Russian Air Force After The Collapse Of The USSR
Q: “What happened to Russian aviation after the breakup of the Soviet Union, and where are we going now?”
Fifth-Generation Fighter Aircraft
Q: “Russia has even surpassed foreign competitors at this point.”
Q: “They [the U.S.] find themselves in a situation where they have no fifth-generation aircraft.”
A: “They had a failed project, so they did not start building another aircraft of the same category. Unlike the U.S., Russia has created a fundamentally different aircraft known as the PAK FA T-50. In addition, Russia has launched serial production of the Su-35 – an intermediate variant, which is a heavily optimized and improved copy of the Su-27. Super-maneuverability, extensive flight range, qualitatively improved on board sighting and navigation systems – all this indicates that parity is likely to be restored.”
Q: “The [U.S.] F-35 is also said to be an unsuccessful project. Australian specialists compared the F-35 to Russia’s T-50 and Su-35. As a result, the F-35 was described as a third-generation aircraft with elements of a fifth-generation fighter jet.“
A: “First, the F-35 is designed as a land-based, vertical takeoff and landing, short takeoff and landing, and deck-based aircraft. The USSR had a similar jet – it was called the Yak-41. Yakovlev Design Bureau was the only bureau that had the vertical takeoff and landing technology. They built the Yak-38 airplane for aircraft carriers. It could be a supersonic aircraft that, like the F-35, could activate the afterburner. The project was shelved when the USSR halted its development… The Americans had no vertical takeoff and landing technology. They used the Harrier, a British plane. The U.K. is a very strong country in the aircraft-building industry.
A: “…There was a unique MiG-31M aircraft. This aircraft had a supersonic cruising speed of 2,500 km/h. No competitors here! The maximum speed was 3,000 km/h. The MiG-31M could lift 10 tons – six large missiles with a range of 300 km. There was powerful radar that could scan territory with a range of 300 km. In 1994, the project was halted, and no one said why.”
Q: “As far as we know, the MiG-31 project has been brought back to life. And there is the MiG-41 project.”
Q: “We know that the Chinese are working on a fifth-generation fighter too.”
A: “Yes, they have two fighter jets – they are both single-engine aircraft, but the power of the engines is different. Judging from press reports, China is testing its fifth-generation aircraft.”
Q: “What can you say about the Chinese fifth-generation fighter, specifically?”
A: “What can I say? China is the workshop of the world. They have everything – all the equipment and all the technology. After all, all electronic devices are made in China.”