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

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


About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.


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

    • 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.

  2. 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.

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

    • 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.

      • 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.

  3. “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.

    • 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.

      • 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!

    • 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.

  4. 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.

    • 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.

    • “Russia does not have a strong, honest representative democracy with a diverse economy, it is an oligarchy with a hydrocarbon based economy.”

      You’re wrong on every point, but you lack the wisdom to realise it. For example, oil & gas is only ~14% of Russian GDP. It is exactly this reason that Russia continues to confound US pundits predictions – your “knowledge” is based on inaccurate narratives, and no amount of wishful thinking and repetition of falsehoods will force reality to conform to your wishes.

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