Archive for August 2011

Kim Jong Il Visits Russia   Leave a comment

North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Il paid a quick visit to one of Russia’s largest hydroelectric power plants on August 21, 2011, and then boarded his armored train bound for Siberia, where he is expected to meet later this week with Russia’s president to press for economic aid.

Mr. Kim, who is said to fear flying, has made armored train his preferred conveyance to Russia in the past. Mr. Kim’s last foray into Russia was a four-day jaunt in Russia’s Far East that was little publicized.

South Korea’s Yonhap news agency said Mr. Kim’s train Sunday left Amur in Russia’s Far East after he visited the power plant, and it is heading to Ulan-Ude for his summit with Mr. Medvedev, which will take place Tuesday at an army base.

Answering the Raptor: The Sukhoi T-50   Leave a comment

Russia’s new stealth fighter jet, the Sukhoi T-50 made its public debut at the MAKS 2011 air show in Zhukovsky, outside Moscow.

General Aleksander Zelin, head of the Russian air force, said he expects the T-50 prototype to be ready in 2013, with “mass-produced aircraft” arriving in 2014 or 2015.

The aircraft is expected to become a staple of airborne defense for both Russia and India, who collaborated on its design, explained Mikhail Pogosyan, head of Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation.

“The T-50 will be the newest main plane both for the Russian and the Indian air force,” Pogosyan said.

The Sukhoi T-50 cost the two governments about $6 billion to develop, with India shouldering about 35% of the cost. It is intended to match the U.S. F-22 raptor.