The Russian aviation concern EKIP has signed an agreement on cooperation with Naval Air Systems Command, U.S. Department of Defense company. Two companies will be developing an aircraft that resembles a flying disk. The flying tests of the aircraft are slated for 2007. Its wholesale manufacture should be launched five years later.
The development of the craft started back in 1992. Despite its initial commitments to allocate funds for the project, the Russian government backed out of the plan in 1995. The company failed to find any Russian investors.
However, things have recently changed. USA and China expressed interest in the EKIP project. The Americans say that the machine will make a perfect plane to combat forest fires and fly over oil pipelines. EKIP will reserve all the rights for the aircraft while its production can be launched both in Russia and in the USA. Negotiations with China are still in progress.
Chinese military experts are confident that there are only three countries of the world - Russia, the United States and China - that are capable of developing and building fifth generation fighter aircraft