A 5th generation jet fighter is a fighter aircraft classification used in the US encompassing the most advanced generation of fighter aircraft. 5th generation aircraft are the most advanced as of 2011, designed to incorporate numerous technological advancements over the class similarly dubbed fourth generation, including

  •  all-aspect stealth even when armed,
  • Low Probability of Intercept Radar (LPIR),
  • high-performance air frames, advanced avionics features, and

highly integrated computer systems capable of networking with other elements within the theatre of war in order to achieve an advantage in situational awareness.

The only currently combat-ready 5th generation fighter, the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor, entered service with the U.S. Air Force in 2005.

Induction from outside:

  • The induction of 126 Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) will enhance the capability of the Indian Air Force which will be procuring the 5th generation fighters by 2017 and by 2027.
  • The country will then have 42 to 45 squadrons as compared to present 34 squadrons,

lAF’s Sukhoi jets to be upgraded to fifth generation fighters:

India’s air superiority Sukhoi-30MKI fighters will soon be converted into “Super Sukhois” by upgrading them with fifth generation combat jet features, the Russian original equipment manufacturer Irkut Corporation will handle the upgradation. The upgrade will include a new cockpit, an upgraded radar and advanced stealth characteristics to make the plane less visible to enemy radar than the existing Indian Air Force (IAF) Sukhoi-30 fleet.

The fleet is under licensed production at the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), Bangalore and the entire fleet will be upgraded to the ‘Super Sukhoi’ configuration. Most significantly, the aircraft will be able to carry a heavier weapon load, including the airborne version of the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile.


  • India will have a fleet of 200 to 250 fifth generation fighter aircraft, which it is planning to jointly develop with Russia over the next 10 years.
  • India has finalized a preliminary design contract (PDC) with Russia after years of deliberations and will jointly develop a fifth-generation stealth fighter with Russia.
  • Each fifth generation fighter is likely to cost India about 100 million dollars.



The Sukhoi fifth-generation stealth fighter, is jointly being developed by Russia with India. The Sukhoi PAK FA “Prospective Airborne Complex of Frontline Aviation” is a twin-engine jet fighter being developed by Sukhoi for the Russian Air Force. The Sukhoi T-50 is the prototype for PAK FA and made its public debut at a Moscow airshow in August 2011. The T-50 has been making test flights since January 2010, but it was the fighter’s first appearance at an airshow.

THE PARTNERSHIP: It is India’s biggest-ever defence project and its largest defence deal with Russia. India and Russia are jointly designing two versions of the plane – a single-seater for the Russian Air Force and a two- seat version for the IAF. India will contribute about 30 % of the total design in the project, including composite components with the stealth function and some avionics, electronic warfare systems and cockpit displays. The total cost of the project is estimated at $10 billion.

THE COMPETETION: The Indo-Russian fighter jet is expected to rival the U.S. F-22 Raptor and will cost just over half its price – less than $100 million apiece. The first production standard T-50 is due to enter service with the Russian Air Force by 2015, and the first evaluation example by 2013.


  • The Chengdu J-20 is a purported fifth generation, stealth, twin-engine fighter aircraft prototype developed by Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group for the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force. In late 2010, the J-20 underwent high speed taxiing tests.
  • J-20s will be the tactical equal of U.S. F-22A Raptors as well as F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, and be capable of delivering large “glide bombs” that will “remain unseen through the whole delivery manoeuvre, effecting complete surprise.”
  • The J-20 is a single-seat, twin-engine aircraft which appears to be somewhat larger and heavier than the comparable Sukhoi T-50 and Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor. With no radar arrays capable of picking up a stealth fighter, the J-20 will be undetectable to all air defense systems in the U.S., and on all its allied bases in the Asia-Pacific region.


The General Atomics MQ-1 Predator is an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) used primarily by the United States Air Force (USAF) and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). The Predator and its family of UAV vehicles are referred to as “drones.” The Predator originally was intended as a reconnaisance aircraft and carried cameras and other sensors but has been modified and upgraded to carry and fire two Hellfire missiles or other munitions. The aircraft, in use since 1995, has seen combat over Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bosnia, Serbia, Iraq, and Yemen. Following 2001, the Predator drone became the primary UAV used for offensive operations by the USAF and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in Afghanistan and the Pakistani tribal areas.


  • Varyag is an ex-Soviet Navy aircraft carrier constructed in the 1980s. The vessel construction stopped in 1992 after the breakup of the Soviet Union. It remained in the Ukrainian shipyard unfinished until 1998 when a Macau-based Chinese company bought it for US$20 million. In
  • March 2002, the vessel arrived in the Dalian Shipyard in northern China for refurbishment and has been stationed there since then. System installation of the vessel finally began in 2010/2011, and the vessel is expected to enter service with the PLA Navy as a training carrier around 2012.


  • Originally named Riga, Varyag is the second hull of the Soviet Navy Project 1143.5 (Admiral Kuznetsov class) aircraft carrier. In late 1990s, the 67,500t vessel was renamed Varyag. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, the ownership of the vessel was transferred to Ukraine. Construction stopped by 1992 as Ukraine was unable to fund the project by itself. By then, 70% of the construction had been finished. The vessel was structurally completed but without weapons, electronics, or propulsion.
  • The unfinished Varyag remained at the dock of the Nikolayev South Shipyard unattended for six years. In the late 1990s, the vessel was put up for auction and it was bought by Chinese company for US$20 million. The company claimed that the vessel would be converted into a floating entertainment centre in Macau, consisting of amusement park, hotel, Casino, restaurant, etc. The contract with Ukraine prohibited the buyer from using the carrier for military purposes. Before handing the ship over, the Ukrainians removed any equipment onboard Varyag that could be used to turn the vessel into a commissionable warship.
  • Varyag finally left the dock of the Nikolayev South Shipyard in 1999, towed by several high-power tug boats. However, the Turkish government refused the vessel to pass through the Bosporus Strait on the ground that without rudder and engine, Varyag posed too great a danger to other ships as well as facilities in the strait. The vessel was stationed near the strait for three years, until the PRC government was involved to resolve the issue. Following some negotiations with the two countries and handing the Turkish government US$1 million as a guarantee bond, Varyag was finally allowed to pass through the Bosporus Strait.


 Varyag arrived in the Dalian Shipyard in northern China in 2002 and has been stationed there under tight security since then. It has become clear that the ship would not become an entertainment centre. Instead the vessel was handed to the PLA Navy for research and restoration. It was speculated that following extensive studies the ship would be finally converted into a fully operational aircraft carrier for training purpose. This was partially confirmed when the ship emerged from a Dalian Shipyard dry dock painted in PLAN grey in 2005. The restoration work was completed in late 2006 and the scaffolding on the ship’s bridge has also been removed.


  • System installation finally began in late 2010. By March 2011 the island of the aircraft carrier was almost complete, with painting finished and scaffolding removed. Among various sensors on the island are a ‘Top-Plate-style’ long-range air/sea search radar on the top of the main mask, and four multifunctional phased array radar panels, possibly similar to those installed on the Type 052C Luyang-II class destroyers.


A cluster bomb, or cluster munition, is a weapon containing multiple explosive submunitions. These containers are dropped from aircraft or fired from the ground and designed to break open in mid-air, releasing the submunitions and saturating an area that can be the size of several football fields. Anybody within that area, be they military of civilian, is very likely to be killed or seriously injured.

PROBLEM: Cluster bombs have killed and injured thousands of civilians during the last 40 years and continue to do so today. They cause widespread harm on impact and yet remain dangerous, killing and injuring civilians long after a conflict has ended. One third of all recorded cluster munitions casualties are children.

As so many of the submunitions fail to work properly, huge quantities are left on the ground and, like landmines, remain a fatal threat to anyone in the area long after a conflict ends. These weapons kill and injure people trying to rebuild their lives after conflict. They stop people from being able to use their land and access hospitals and schools. They can remain a threat for decades. 60% of cluster bomb casualties are injured while undertaking their normal activities.

Air-dropped or ground-launched, they cause two major humanitarian problems and risks to civilians.

  • First, their widespread dispersal means they cannot distinguish between military targets and civilians so the humanitarian impact can be extreme, especially when the weapon is used in or near populated areas.
  • Many submunitions fail to detonate on impact and become de facto antipersonnel mines killing and maiming people long after the conflict has ended These duds are more lethal than antipersonnel mines; incidents involving submunition duds are much more likely to cause death than injury.


In February 2007, 46 governments met in Oslo to endorse a call by Norwegian Foreign Minister

Jonas Gahr Store to conclude a new legally binding instrument in 2008. The Convention’s aims are to prohibit the use, production, transfer and stockpiling of cluster munitions that cause unacceptable harm to civilians, as well as to destroy existing stockpiles of the weapons, clear contaminated areas and assist survivors and affected communities.

Subsequent International Oslo Process meetings were held in Peru (May 2007), Austria (December 2007), and New Zealand (February 2008). Some 107 countries negotiated and adopted a treaty that bans cluster bombs and provides assistance to affected communities in May 2008 in Dublin, Ireland. The treaty was signed by 94 countries at the Signing Conference in Oslo in December 2008 and entered into force as binding international law on 1 August 2010, after it reached the threshold of 30 ratifications in February 2010, just 15 months after it opened for signature. All countries can still accede to the treaty at the United Nations headquarters in New York.

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