Russia’s new weaponry and military technology have garnered attention from countries all around the world. The formerly communist country has heavily increased its military spending in recent years—in 2015 alone, Russia spent $66.4 billion on arms. These modernization efforts have been made possible by the country’s economic resurgence through oil and gas revenues. While some United States administrations have given little concern to Russia’s threats, what we’re seeing now are many calculated and drastic changes under Vladimir Putin’s administration.
Here’s a roundup of the most notable fighter jets, tanks, and military technologies.
10. The Newest Super Tank
The T-14 Armata super tank is the “most revolutionary tank in a generation,” according to a U.K. Ministry of Defence report.
“For the first time, a fully automated, digitized, unmanned turret has been incorporated into a main battle tank,” the intelligence report added. “And for the first time, a tank crew is embedded within an armored capsule in the hull front.”
9. The Su-35S Multirole Fighter
The Sukhoi Su-35 is a single-seat, twin-engine multirole fighter jet first designed in the 1980s. The first Su-35 prototype took its maiden flight in June 1988. Over the following decades, the jet was modified and eventually modernized. The Russian Air Force ordered 98 production units of the newly revamped jet.
8. The Sukhoi PAK FA T-50
The Sukhoi PAK FA is single-seat, twin-engine fighter jet that’ll be the first aircraft in Russian service using stealth technology. It’s planned to have supercruise, stealth, supermaneuverability, and advanced avionics. It lines up with the United States F-22 fighter jet—more on that later.
Take a look at the pilot helmet in the next photo…
7. The Advanced T-50 Pilot Helmet
Inside the T-50’s glass cockpit are an ejection seat, life support system, and oxygen generating system that’s capable of producing an unlimited oxygen supply. A new helmet, pictured here, has a mounted sight and display. The helmet also features target designation and display systems, night vision goggles, and much more.
6. Supersonic Flight And Radar
The T-50 is equipped to sustain supersonic flight and has a supersonic range of 930 miles. At subsonic speeds, that range rises to over 2,000 miles. The jet has positioning radars in its wings and, while they’re useful for determining the position of other stealth fighters, the radars make this plane highly observable on other radar systems when they’re activated.
5. Inside The Engine
The Saturn AL-31 family of military turbofan engines power all Su-27 fighter jet derivatives. The engine provides a thrust of 123 kN (27,600 pounds). The latest engine, the Izdeliye 30, is expected to come off the production line between 2025 and 2027. Compared to American stealth fighters, the PAK FA is a bit underpowered.
4. Comparisons To The F-22 Raptor
The U.S. stealth fighter, the F-22 Raptor, reaches speeds of Mach 1.8—just a bit over the T-50’s top speed of Mach 1.6. The T-50 is more maneuverable and has advanced helmet-mounted targeting capabilities, though, which might give it an advantage in short-range combat.
3. An Acrobatic Plane
The T-50 is an aerobatic plane with a life support system that can sustain 9G maneuvers for up to half a minute. Pilot ejection is possible from an altitude of 60,000 feet. The United States spent billions of dollars and decades of effort to develop the F-22’s sophisticated technology, though, and the T-50 may need some more work to catch up.
2. Long Range Fighting
In a long-range battle, the T-50 may be unable to operate with stealth for too long. Its three-dimensional thrust vector nozzles could easily give away the jet’s location to an F-22 pilot and enable them to attack from miles away.
The F-22 can carry six AIM-120 missiles compared to the T-50’s maximum load of four.
1. What’s Next For Russia?
All in all, Russia has started to increase its military spending in the past decade in ways it hasn’t before. The country is still gripped by extreme economic inequality and rising homelessness. What’s next for a country with billboards of Trump and Putin encouraging citizens to “make the world great again”?