Russian fifth-generation fighter jet takes to the air.
RussiaToday.com 29 January, 2010, 09:30
The maiden flight of the first Russian fifth-generation fighter jet was completed successfully on Friday morning.
The test flight of the jet, so far known under the name PAK FA (a Russian abbreviation for the perspective aircraft complex of the frontline aviation), was conducted near the far-eastern city of Komsomolsk-on-Amur, home of a major Russian aircraft production facility.
The press service of the Sukhoi aircraft producer reported that the 45-minute-long test flight ended successfully. “All tasks set before the pilot were successfully undertaken,” said Olga Kayukova, a spokeswoman for the company.
Little is known about the fifth-generation fighter aircraft, and even its appearance is still classified information. But to fit into fifth-generation requirements, the plane must have high maneuverability, supersonic cruise speed, high weapons payload and elements of stealth technology. The PAK FA producers say their plane is on a par with its rival – the US-made F-22 Raptor.
Ruslan Pukhov, an expert of the Centre for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies, told RT that he expected the Russian aircraft to be very competitive on international markets because its price will be significantly lower than that of the American fighter jet. “I think by definition this aircraft will be able to occupy up to one third of the market,” the analyst said.
PAK FA production is scheduled to start between 2015 and 2017.
Russia draws back veil of secrecy with peek at future fighter.
Russia carried out on Friday the first flight test of its fifth-generation fighter and revealed some details of its concept and design.
Russia has been developing its newest fighter since the 1990s. The current prototype was designed by the Sukhoi design bureau to compete with the U.S. F-22 Raptor, so far the world's only fifth-generation fighter, and the F-35 Lightning II.
"We started flight tests of the fifth-generation aircraft today. These planes, together with the modernized fourth generation aircraft will constitute the backbone of the Russian Air Force for the next few decades," said Mikhail Pogosyan, the head of the Sukhoi aircraft maker.
According to Sukhoi designers, the new fighter will feature advanced avionics, powerful vectored thrust engines, high-precision weaponry and stealth technology.
"The use of composite materials and advanced technologies, improved aerodynamics, and reduced engine heat signature minimizes its radio-frequency, optical and infrared visibility. All these features significantly boost the combat effectiveness of the plane," the Sukhoi maker said in a statement.
The aircraft is also expected to have a high cost-performance ratio and could become a new key item in Russia's arms exports in the future.
A spokesperson for the company earlier said the prototype showed "superb performance" during its maiden flight.
"It has met all our expectations during the maiden flight," said Olga Kayukova.
The Sukhoi company will continue flight tests of the fifth-generation fighter for several years, but Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said on Friday that the first batch of Russian fifth-generation fighters will go into service in 2013.
"The first Russian fifth-generation fighters will be put into service with the Air Force in 2013, and large-scale procurements will start in 2015," Putin said.
MOSCOW, January 29 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's fifth-generation fighter performed its maiden flight on Friday.
* The T-50 is the domestic name of Russia's fifth-generation fighter plane which has been developed as the Advanced Front-Line Aviation Complex (PAK FA) for Russia's Air Force.
* The project started its development by the Sukhoi design bureau since it won the tender in April 2002.
* The Tikhomirov Institute of Instrument Design, which developed the Irbis radar for the Su-35BM Flanker, has been working on the T-50 radar. The new fighter's radar and fire-control system will be designed on the basis of the Su-35BM's systems.
* The new fighter's exterior design was approved on December 10, 2004.
* Last summer, the fighter's design was approved, and the prototype blueprints were delivered to the KNAAPO aircraft building company based in Komsomolsk-on-Amur, where three experimental fighters will be built for testing.
* In February 2009, the first prototype was constructed. After the plane was successfully tested on the runway, a decision was made to stage the maiden flight in Komsomolsk-on-Amur, rather than in Moscow.
* The prototype fifth-generation fighter made a 47-minute maiden flight on January 29, 2010, in Komsomolsk-on-Amur.
* Although T-50 specifications remain classified, fragmentary data on its engines imply that this heavy-duty fighter will have a take-off weight of more than 30 metric tons and will be close in dimension to the well-known Sukhoi Su-27 Flanker.
* The new fighter's exterior was designed using Stealth technology, also known as LO technology (low observable technology).
* The combat aircraft is fitted with 117S (upgraded AL-31) turbofan engines from the Russian aircraft engine manufacturer Saturn.
* The PAK FA can carry either eight next-generation air-to-air R-77 missiles, or two large controllable anti-ship bombs weighing 1,500 kg each.
* The new jet can also carry two long-range missiles developed by the Novator Bureau which can hit targets within a 400 kilometer range.
* The jet can use a take-off strip of just 300-400 meters, and perform sustained supersonic flight at speeds over 2,000 km/h, including repeated in-flight refueling. The highly-maneuverable plane has a range of about 5,500 kilometers.
* The fifth-generation fighter is equipped with advanced avionics to combine an automatic flight control system and a radar locator with a phased array antenna.
* The newest combat aircraft are planned to be mass produced in Komsomolsk-on-Amur from 2015.
Russia successfully tested a highly secretive stealth fighter for the first time on Friday as a multi-billion rearmament programme cranks into gear even as it pledges to make deep cuts in its nuclear arsenal.
Telegraph.co.uk By Andrew Osborn in Moscow Published: 1:34PM GMT 29 Jan 2010
Vladimir Putin praised the maiden flight of Russia’s new stealth plane as “a big step” towards giving the air force a fighter fit for the twenty first century.
The Russian prime minister told a cabinet meeting he wanted the first batch of T-50 stealth fighters to be in service by 2013, well ahead of earlier deadlines. The fighter will be the first all-new military aircraft Russia has built since the collapse of the Soviet Union nearly two decades ago.
Russian aviation and air force officials lost little time in boasting that the plane would equal if not better America's F-22 Raptor stealth fighter.
Experts believe the T-50s maiden test flight underlines the Kremlin's determination to overhaul its ageing Soviet-era military hardware even as it is locked in key nuclear arms reductions talks with the United States.
President Barack Obama and Dmitry Medvedev, his Russian counterpart, discussed a new nuclear arms treaty as recently as last Wednesday. The putative treaty would slash the number of war heads both countries possess and is seen as the centrepiece of a thus far largely rhetorical "reset" in relations between Moscow and Washington.
Negotiators have been hammering out the details of such a deal for months and are said to be weeks if not days away from a final settlement.
But though Russia may be ready to scale back its ageing nuclear arsenal it has signalled it will continue to actively renew its nuclear shield. So far unsuccessful tests to develop a new submarine-launched intercontinental ballistic missile dubbed the Bulava continue apace, a new strategic nuclear bomber is in development, and the country's strategic rocket forces have asked for a new silo-based heavy intercontinental missile too.
The stealth project is so secret that until yesterday photographs of the prototype had not even appeared in the Russian media. But state TV broke that embargo on Friday and showed the plane soaring over snowy forests in Russia's far east more than 5,000 miles east of Moscow.
Sceptics believe that Russia's plans to negotiate cuts in its nuclear arsenal do not mean it is ready to downsize its military ambitions. The warheads are ageing and would need to be replaced soon anyway.
Last Edit: Jan 30, 2010 7:35:05 GMT -5 by TsarSamuil
Post by TsarSamuil on Jan 30, 2010 14:17:24 GMT -5
There are 3 PAK FA prototypes: - The first one is a static model that is currently being tested in the Central Aero-Hydrodynamic Institute (TsAGI) near Moscow, in Zhukovsky. - The second is the so called "Kompleksny Naturny Stend" (KNS), which means "Complete Full-scale Model". T-50-KNS is the model that did the taxiing runaway trials last week. You can see it on the first picture here and its painted grey. - The third is the actual flying prototype, T-50-1. That is the model that did the flying yesterday. You can see it on the second picture and it's unpainted.
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