Jun 21, 2015
Russia to Begin Testing Three More T-50 PAK-FA Stealth Fighter Prototypes
The president of the Moscow-based company, Yuri Slyusar, said three more of the T-50 PAK-FA, a fifth-generation stealth fighter made by United Aircraft subsidiary Sukhoi, will be transferred to the Russian air force in late 2016 or early 2016 as part of a test program.
That will bring the total number of T-50 prototypes to eight, according to a fact sheet distributed at the event. The PAK-FA first flew in 2011.
Compared to the previous generation fighters, the PAK-FA combines the functions of a strike aircraft and a fighter, thus offering a number of unique capabilities, the fact sheet states. As the fifth-generation aircraft, it has an essentially new thoroughly integrated avionics package providing superior automatic control and intelligence support.
While the T-50 has experienced some development challenges such as engine flameouts, the aircraft is performing well in tests.
The governments of Russia and India have partnered to develop an export version of the aircraft. Russian officials have trained their Indian counterparts and supplied with them data and software to work on research and development.
The Indian version of the aircraft “will have some differences from the Russian prototype due to specific requirements of the Indian air force,” the fact sheet states.
Unlike the previous Paris Air Show, when Russian aircraft such as the Su-35 dominated the skies and dazzled the crowds, the government doesn’t have any military aircraft performing at this year’s event largely because it wanted to focus attention on new civilian aircraft such as plans for a new wide-body airliner to be developed in collaboration with China.
Slyusar also said the company expects to sign a contract this year to sell 24 Su-35s for the Chinese military and is in talks to ink a deal to perform more maintenance work on Russia aircraft.