Russia surpassed U.S. in production of new combat planes, Russian United Aircraft Corporation says

Dec 17 2014 - 32 Comments

According to the Joint Stock Company UAC (United Aircraft-building Corporation), Russia has produced more combat aircraft than the U.S., in 2014.

As reported by Russian media outlets, in an interview with Ekho Moskvy radio station, Vladislav Goncharenko, deputy head of the military aviation programmes department at UAC (the a Russian holding which encompasses Irkut, Mikoyan, Sukhoi, Ilyushin, Tupolev, Beriev and Yakovlev), Moscow has surpassed the U.S. in the number of produced combat aircraft.

Whilst in 2013, UAC companies delivered 68 planes, 100 aircraft, 95 of those are combat planes for the Russian Air Force were produced and delivered in 2014.

Along with the production of more planes, UAC subsidiaries have carried out the modernization of existing aircraft and the development of new weapons systems, Goncharenko said.

Even though we don’t know the corresponding U.S. figures, the number of new aircraft delivered to the front-line units of the Russian Air Force is a clear sign Moscow is strongly supporting its renascent military power.

For sure “quantity” does not always come with “quality” and, most probably, U.S. technology will still be ahead of Russian (or Chinese) one for several decades. However, it’s impossible to foresee the outcome of a dogfight in which few, advanced American 6th Generation fighter jets, face outnumbering Russian 5th Generation warplanes.

In the meanwhile, PAK-FA T-50 prototypes have been quipped with Himalayas EW defense systems to increase jamming resistance and self-protection capabilities. The delivery of the first production PAK-FA 5th Generation stealth jet to the Air Force is planned for 2016 whereas new type of combat and reconnaissance drone will appear by 2018. 6th Generation aircraft are being studied as well.

By 2020, 55 PAK-FA fighters will be in service with the Russian Air Force.

H/T to @Missilito for the heads-up

Image credit: Tony Lovelock


  • kusanagi no tsurugi

    Small achievement, with the oil price and their local currency falling , Russia will get bankrupt in a blink of an eye

    • tjohn6041

      We all will. The oil prices hurt most of us just as much. I personally think there is about to be another major war in the middle east to spike the prices, because OPEC committed a cardinal sin, pissing off Russia and the USA at the same time.

  • Roland Lawrence

    Interesting. Though the Chinese are selling some quite good drones for cash today. Instead of waiting till 2018 to deploy some, they should get the cheque book out now. Setting up an An70 production line in Russia would be a good idea too. That Il-476 is a bit long in the tooth. Also while the Su35BM and the Mig35 are great aircraft, Russia should get all those Tu160s back in the air. Seems to scare the b-jesus out of the Americans. Certainly gets loads of TV coverage over there when it flies past to visit South America. Russia needs to spend wise here, America will always have more cash to blow on weapons.

    • tjohn6041

      Unless Russia continues to produce and the oil prices rise again. Russia is set to surpass the US in military sales.

    • Frith

      You seem to be a Russian sympathizer and seeing the “mighty” Tu160 fly close to the US and over fly neighboring countries to “show the flag.” If you are not from there already, please stay in Moscow and comment in Pravda.

      • Roland Lawrence

        Well if im the commie stooge which is what i think you are aiming at then you must be general ripper! As for “showing the flag”, the USA has bases in 130 countries at over 900 bases. Plenty of opportunity for sticking it to everyone else.

  • Business traveller

    “For sure “quantity” does not always come with “quality” and, most
    probably, U.S. technology will still be ahead of Russian (or Chinese)
    one for several decades. However, it’s impossible to foresee the outcome
    of a dogfight in which few, advanced American 6th Generation fighter jets, face outnumbering Russian 5th Generation warplanes.”

    Can´t say that i agree too much on that one. You can say that the chinese are behind the curve in regards to building aircraft. At least of indigenous design. And we also know that they suffer from reliability issues alot.
    But to say that the russians are several decades behind the US on technology issues is a bit of an overstatement. Yes they can still improve the reliability on their equipment, and some of their planes are showing their age, just as in the west. But PAK-FA is also showing how far they have come. And this despite their economy was completely shattered twice in the past two decades.
    I believe that eg.russian radar equipment is at least on par, and might surpass western radars in some aspects.

    Russian ground to air missile systems are also very advanced, and cover a much larger spectrum than the west.
    Besides, if the americans keep producing aircraft like the F-35, then all bets are off. It has to be one of the most, if not the most problematic aircraft ever build. Years behind schedule, filled with problems even to this day with over 100 delivered so far.
    Whereas the F-22 has shown it is a very capable fighter, maybe even the best at the moment, it has also been produced in very limited numbers. And other figher producers are bound to surpass it´s capabilities at some point. In my oppinion, the US has to start soon in it´s efforts to pursue a 6th gen fighter if it´s going to lead in aviation technology. But upon seeing how the F-35 is being mismanaged i have my doubts.

    • Chris Duffy

      If there is a ‘dogfight’……somebody screwed up. Even fifteen year old US technology should be able to pop obsolete MiGs and Sukhois out of the sky long before they see them, or get anywhere close to dogfight them.

      • Caribbean Critic

        Lets face facts for once! The F22 and F35 are the fifteen year old Tech and useless the F22 still restricted to height and speed falls out of the sky in rain and asphyxiates the pilots. the F35 is years away from being combat ready and is a hangar queen spends most of it’s time in maintainance! The F15 F16 etc are 40 years out of date produced in the 70’s. One SU 25 with jamming tech destroyed the Donald Lame duck ( Donald Cook) in the black Sea)Russia’s Digital Interference radar tech blanks Americas Their Jet Engine and Missile rocket tech is the only advanced equipment on the planet!

    • Frith

      This is an arms race that is not even necessary. This is exactly how the Cold War played out. Fortunately, at the end, we did not end up killing each other, but were both left with trillions in debt and a pile of worhtless junk.

  • FlyingBarrister

    It will be interesting to see how the concerted effort to lower oil prices works out for Russia and how nascent its military will be in the next few years. I’d wager the aircraft business will be more of an export proposition in the short term. This era is reminiscent of the oil bust of 30 years ago and decline of the USSR.

    Russia does not have a strong, honest representative democracy with a diverse economy, it is an oligarchy with a hydrocarbon based economy. The hydrocarbon prices have declines precipitously in a short period and Russia is in trouble and the ruble has virtually collapsed. Russia will only have so many monetary and fiscal tricks up its sleeve to try to bolster its economy and currency. It will get much worse for Russia and the average Russian if countries discreetly work together to sell off Russian bonds and the ruble while opening new energy sources on which Europe can rely.

    Putin has likely overplayed his hand with Georgia, then Crimea and Ukraine, and apparent sight on Estonia. The more they suffer, the more Russians will come to believe that Pooty Poot is their problem.

    • Frith

      You forgot to mention that these oligarchs have the largest nuclear arsenal on the planet, and has violated the START treaty on intermediate range ballistic missiles, and has engaged in making threats to use them. With this kind of power, there may be no end to them now unless they also implode like the old Soviet Union. But they are not the Soviet Union. Russia today is being run by anarchists and mafia style thugs and for their own benefit. In the days of the Soviet Union, the Politiburo at least desired to create a better world “genociding” its own people. Putin & Co. is about to make his move to “genocide” us. We better be ready.

  • Unable Pown

    Too bad the rubles the workers are getting paid are worth less each day

  • Gee… This is a shocker. Not belittling the article in any way, but why would this be big news for the Russians to put out? They STILL want bragging rights? The US doesn’t care about the production of planes per year methinks. And even if they did, they would most likely include commercial aircraft as well and i’m fairly certain the US production would outstrip Russian production by an order of magnitude.

    • tjohn6041

      Commercial aircraft are made from parts all over the world, as are many military aircraft. It is a bit like buying a Lego set, assembling it in Canada, then slapping a “Made in Canada” Sticker on it.

    • John Schaeffer

      “The US doesn’t care about the production of planes per year methinks”

      You thinks wrong. I think people in DC and all over the US are paying close attention to how many aircraft, submarines, and surface combatants are being refitted, produced, and exported. Also, their comparison of their production to the US does not make it a message (strictly) TO the US, necessarily.

      If I were a country debating whether to buy Saab Gripen or SU-33, I would care about production capacity of a supplier. (Long term support-ability, timely delivery, etc.)

  • Andrew Tubbiolo

    I have serious doubts America’s 4th generation of fighters are up to contending with the Russian 4th + standard of the Su-27 and Mig-3X series. If those developments are installed across the Russian inventory, I’d have some serious doubts about the US’ ability to hold it’s own on a machine for machine basis. What might be our saving grace is the cadre of pilots and aviators. Does anyone know if the Russians have elevated their flight hours/year per pilot to Western levels? And at the same time, have the Americans forgotten ACM in their training since we’ve spent the past two decades dropping bombs on people who can’t shoot back?

    • Pedro Alcontes

      Consider the fact that in an possible war scenario (not considering nuclear war) US will not fight alone but in a NATO environment with a lot of allied assets (i.e. 4+ gen eurocanards, NATO AWACS force, tankers etc) while Russia would be probably alone

      • Andrew Tubbiolo

        I agree 100%. But the statement that the Russians are decades behind the US is just not true anymore. The Russians have done an excellent job of closing the gap. And as you point out the excellent European systems have come online and are deployed. But the US has almost stood still. And with the F-35 it seems we have taken steps backwards at great cost.

    • Chris Duffy

      The US just deployed a f—-ing laser that can shoot down aircraft. You can’t debate if it will shoot down a Russian aircraft, from how far out and how successfully because that’s still all classified and you don’t know. You’re making comparisons on 20 year old tech at best. The weapons that will win are still secret.

      • Avatar

        Chris ,you are in denial . Politically correctness is killing America and you know it.

  • Makes one go hmmmmmm
    The Kashin Class Destroyers and Kresta Class Cruisers of the Cold War Era were similar………………Armed to the teeth but the compartmentalization was lacking. Our ships stood a better chance of survival against all adversarial surface combatants. The Tu-95 was a possible but the tactics were the issue.

  • anon

    They should attack us now while we’re in the mood to give into terrorist demands and make buddys with bad people. We will prob just roll over

  • big john ok

    This pace will not continue as Russia’s economy collapses, unless they turn back to communism.

  • Nied

    It’s tough finding exact numbers for US production and I suspect that’s how

    UAC are claiming this “win” but after a little digging I found Boeing’s production numbers for FY14 here:

    Even if you don’t count all the Apache helicopters built I see 97 combat aircraft delivered to their customers and with the Apaches it’s up to 137. So all of Russia is being beaten by Boeing alone. Lockheed’s numbers are much tougher to find but there are 36 F-35s due this year, add those to the unknown number of F-16s still being built and the and US production numbers are pushing 200.

  • Frith

    Work and production for this re-armament surge started years ago. The implcations are that Putin and his “novoroissiya” PLANNED to become an aggressor. This is part of the war plan by Russia to “re-take” territories ceded when the Soviet Union fell apart. Every damned time something “comes out of Russia” its always aggressive, war-like, threatening, etc. Purin and his Russia today are behaving passive-aggressive, they are an aggressor then they are the victim and back and forth, to confound and elicit sympathy while they continue to re-tool for war at a feverish pace. The end-game is a dangerously aggressive Russia that is clearly scoping out its options. If they attack a NATO alliance nation or openly invade another country, the results will be disasterous for us all.

    The only power that can prevent a golobal war lies in the hands of the Russian people. It is UP TO THEM to change the destructive course of their country. Russians adore and idolatize Vladimir Putin, but he is only going to bring them (and us) nothing but death, destruction, and grief. Possibly the end of civilization.

  • bMclovin

    These numbers mean nothing because the US has an invincible secret weapon. If the US is ever in peril DIck Cheney will strap special rocket engines to his back and fly into battle destroying all the evil communists and terrorists. Most data of the Cheney Strike Fighter is classified but I think it’s armed with a shotgun, water-boarding cannon, and has engines that are powered by a lot of hot air. (But personally I think it’s really powered by the darkest fires of hell).

    • Cocidius

      Funny! Last I heard the Dick Cheney strike fighter engines are powered by “dark matter”. :-)

  • Andrew Bennett

    The Sukhoi SU-35 Will pick NATO’s bones clean.

    And any illusions the West has of a different outcome, Is just that, An illusion.

    With 15% of US shale gas producers are already losing money because of the Obama regimes secret deal with Saudi Arabia, this report warns, up to half of all of Americas shale operations will face financial ruin if oil prices slip below $55 a barrel leaving millions without jobs in an already collapsing economy.

    To the ability of the Federation withstanding a “Samson Defense” economic war against the US and EU, It should be noted that the current debt of the US stands at a staggering $18 trillion an amount so large it is now mathematically impossible to ever pay back while the EU is, likewise, at a equally staggering amount of €12 trillion ($15 trillion).

    Compared to the combined US-EU debt of $30 trillion, Russia has only $678 billion in foreign debt, has very little outstanding debt and its public debt to gross domestic product ratio is 10% – an excellent figure compared to the EU’s dismal average ratio of 90.9 and the US’s 71.8%.

    Likewise to note, MED analysts report that while Russia’s debt to GDP is roughly 14%, the EU currently stands at 90.9%, the US at 80.2%, and Japan’s at 227%, meaning, simply, that the Federation can withstand any economic hardship the Western alliance puts against it.

    Also, and as independent analysts confirm, Moscow‘s coffers are well-filled, giving Russia the durability to weather a double external shock – tanking oil prices and Western sanctions.

    Russia will not cut its oil production against the headwinds of collapsing prices, and may, indeed, increase its amount as the plunging ruble, combined with a rising US dollar, actually makes Federation oil the most affordable in the world.

    • Anthony Evans

      No it wont. GO away putin.

  • Russians do not want war, although always ready for it. But we are fed up with US policy.

  • Anthony Evans

    US military is also buying less. Why build more if they wont buy them?