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Russia planning development of VTOL jet

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Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov. A file photo

ZHUKOVSKY, MOSCOW (TASS-DEFENSE): Russia's Defence Ministry is currently in talks with aircraft makers to discuss the development of a promising vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) plane for a future aircraft carrier, Deputy Defence Minister Yuri Borisov has said.

The fighter jet will derive from a group of vertical take-off and landing planes manufactured by the Yakovlev Company, he added.

"The Defence Ministry is planning to launch the construction of an advanced aircraft carrier (for Russian Navy) in the distant future, at the final stage of the 2018-2025 state armament programme. Of course, the production of new-generation aircraft will begin by that time," Borisov said at the MAKS 2017 international airshow.

"Today, the Sukhoi Su-33 and Mikoyan MiG-29 fighter jets are the basic planes for aircraft carriers, in particular, the ship Admiral Kuznetsov.

"The Defence Ministry is planning to develop a promising reduced take-off and landing or, probably, vertical take-off and landing plane and we are discussing this issue with aircraft producers," he added.

"The plane will be a derivative of vertical take-off and landing aircraft developed by the Yakovlev Design Bureau, which are no longer produced. There are such plans and we are discussing them.

"The groundwork laid may be used to develop a new plane for aircraft carriers," the Minister said.

The Yakovlev Design Bureau started developing the Yakovlev Yak-141 multi-role supersonic VTOL fighter jet in the mid-1970s.

The plane performed its first flight in 1987. The Yak-141 aircraft were planned to make part of the air wing of the heavy aircraft carriers, the Novorossiysk, Baku (the future ship Admiral Gorshkov), Tbilisi (currently known as the Admiral Kuznetsov), Riga (the future ship Varyag) and Ulyanovsk.

The Yak-141 plane landed on an aircraft carrier for the first time in 1991. The production of the aircraft was ceased in 2003.

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