The maiden flight of Russia’s fifth generation fighter jet ended successfully.
“Having made a short run, the fifth generation jet took off and started ascending vigorously,” a source from the airbase in Komsomolsk-on-Amur told Interfax news agency.
The flight was a success, all systems worked normally, the press service of Russia’s Sukhoi design bureau said. The flight continued for 47 minutes.
“All the goals set for the first flight have been achieved successfully,” the source said. The flight was supposed to take place on January 28, but was delayed for 24 hours because of bad weather conditions.
There are still no specific details about the new plane. Experts only say that it is a highly maneuverable, multifunctional and powerful stealthy aircraft. Eight of 16 missile suspension points sit inside the fuselage. Sukhoi’s T-50 PAK FA can attack multiple air and ground-based targets simultaneously.
Russia’s Air Force will have first fifth generation fighter jets in 2015 and will use Su-35 of 4++ generation before that year. Russia’s Defense Ministry has already signed contracts with Sukhoi for the delivery of 48 Su-35 jets. India plans to buy 250 new T-50 fifth generation jets from Sukhoi in the future.
For the time being, it is only the USA that has a full-fledged fifth generation aircraft – F-22. Lockheed Martin currently works on a lighter version – F-35. China also works on a similar aircraft, although it is not known when the Chinese plane is going to be ready. Even if Russia has Sukhoi PAK FA only in 2020, China will still be working on its version.
The first test flight of Sukhoi T-50 showed that Russia is a member of the club that currently has only one member – the USA.
The aircraft that performed the first flight under the trademark of the fifth generation fighter jet was outfitted with engines of the so-called intermediate generation of combat airplanes 4++. These engines are currently produced for Su-35 fighters, although T-50 is supposed to have new, more powerful engines. It does not have the radar, which the plane of this class should have. The radar, or the system of radars, is nearly finished – the active phased antenna array. The system is currently being tested on another plane, Pravda.Ru reports.
Nothing is known about the battle equipment of the new jet. It was only said that several missiles will be placed inside the plane during the flight – similarly to the Tu-160 strategic bomber. This detail will make the plane even stealthier.
Like we reported before, only a few people have seen the new plane so far – designers, engineers and top officials of the Russian administration. There are no real pictures of Sukhoi PAK FA on the Internet either. All pictures that can now be found in the Internet are fake, Russian specialists participating in the project said.
Rumor has it that the Russian T-50 looks very much like USA’s F-22 Raptor. First photographs of the new plane have just been published.
Russia Today: Russian fifth generation fighter jet takes to the air