I’m of the opinion that the Russian military is largely in danger of being a Potemkin Village. I’m not saying they don’t have capabilities or that they aren’t a serious threat — especially given the dearth of capability vis-à-vis the EU — but at the end of the day they’ve given nice paint jobs to aircraft which are outdated and under-maintained. You look at the T-14 and it outwardly appears to be advanced to a degree which “troubles” the West, but at the end of the day it’s a technological boondoggle… catching fire during May Day preparations notwithstanding.
The problem is that we’re still trying to maintain a development and procurement cycle that was designed to keep pace with a Soviet military industrial complex which had serious resources behind it… not so much anymore. It’s too expensive design a weapon system to hedge against a “likely” threat projected 30 years into the future. That’s how you end up with an F-35.