Russia and China could not help but have been worried in the wake of Operation Desert Storm. During that war, the Coalition led by the United States shot down 42 aircraft – including four MiG-29s.
With the F-22 prototype taking its first flight in late 1990, the two countries found themselves facing a technologically superior foe that could conceivably trash their best fighters if a shooting war broke out anywhere in the world.
With the fall of the Soviet Union, the MiG-29 and, more notably, the Su-27/30 Flanker family began to be widely exported. The Russians were selling anything for hard currency in the 1990s. With the deployment of the F-22, the Russians and Chinese began efforts to develop a contemporary to the American superfighter.
RUSSIA’S F-22 COUNTERPARTS
The Russians have three potential counters to the F-22. Perhaps the furthest along is the Su-47 Berkut – which features a forward-swept wing similar to the Northrop X-29 on an airframe similar to that of the Su-27/30/35 Flanker family.
The Mikoyan design bureau, the descendant of the famous Mikoyan–Gurevich design bureau that produced the MiG-15, MiG-17, MiG-19, and MiG-21s that American pilots faced in Korea and Vietnam, developed the MiG 1.44, code-named the “Flatpack” by NATO.
Featured image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
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