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A Russian T-50 prototype picture on a snowy runway this winter. Courtesy: Knaapo.ru

The world got a fresh glimpse of Russia’s first stealth fighter jet when the company making the aircraft published some photos on its website, it was reported during the weekend.

The photos show a prototype Russian T-50 fighter jet on a snowy airstrip in an undisclosed location. The images reportedly capture the prototype’s first flight. The jet is being designed and developed by the Sukhoi Co., one of Russia’s top aviation companies.

With the new plane, Russians are hoping to compete with the American F-22 and F-35 stealth jets as well as the Chinese J-20 stealth fighter. The Chinese stealth jet was shown publicly for the first time last month.

The T-50 came “at a bargain basement price and with far greater capabilities when compared to the budgetary eyesore that is America's F-35 stealth fighter,” state-sponsored news site Sputnik News wrote about the $50 million price tag for the new jet.

The images, according to an analysis of the metadata on the files done by CNN, were taken last Thursday.

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The T-50 stealth fighter on a runway in an undisclosed location. Courtesy: knaapo.ru
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The Russian T-50 stealth fighter pictured during tests this winter. Courtesy: knaapo.ru

The F-35 has been criticized for its lofty price tag. Cost overruns and setbacks have pushed costs beyond $400 billion, which has made it the most expensive weapons system in military history. That huge cost has led the likes of President-elect Donald Trump to assail the project, saying that once he becomes president the costs of the plane would drop by billions of dollars.

But Trump may have trouble cutting the costs. The 15-year-old project has been bemoaned by members of both parties, but lawmakers have been reluctant to cut costs because the company making the plane, Lockheed Martin, has reached out to subcontractors in all 50 states, so the plane is being built all across the country, and members who strip funding may face political backlash at home.