Russia's fourth T-50 stealth fighter flies
Russia's fourth prototype Sukhoi T-50 stealth fighter jet took to the skies for the first time Wednesday in a 40-minute flight at the Komsomolsk-on-Amur factory in Siberia, Sukhoi said.
"The fourth prototype PAK-FA made its first flight today from the Gagarin factory in Komsomolsk-on-Amur," Sukhoi said, referring to the aircraft by its project name, an acronym for future fifth-generation tactical fighter.
"The flight tested the aircraft's overall integrity and its main engines. The aircraft is making a good impression in all phases of the flying programme," Sukhoi said.
The T-50, which will be the core of Russia's future fighter fleet, is a fifth-generation multi-role fighter aircraft featuring low-observable technology (stealth), super-manoeuverability, supercruise capability (supersonic flight without use of afterburner), and an advanced avionics suite including an X-band active phased-array radar.
The first prototype first flew Jan 29, 2010.
The Russian defence ministry plans to purchase a first batch of 10 evaluation aircraft and then 60 production-standard aircraft after 2015.
Meanwhile, the Novosibirsk aircraft factory (NAPO) plans to deliver 10 more Sukhoi Su-34 strike aircraft to the Russian Air Force in the near future, the Air Force's Col. Andrei Bobrun said.
"The Novosibirsk factory will send another 10 aircraft to the Voronezh air base in the near future," he said. The air force set up its first Su-34 squadron at the end of 2011.
A two-seat strike-dedicated derivative of the Su-27 fighter, the Su-34 can carry a payload of up to eight tonnes of guided weapons over 4,000 km.