The fifth flight-capable test variant of the Sukhoi PAK FA fighter jet has made its maiden flight at the company’s test range in Komsomolsk-on-Amur in Russia’s Far East.
The flight took some 50
minutes and was dedicated to testing the aircraft’s powerplant
and flight stability, the company said in a statement.
The jet will take part in further testing at the site before relocating to the Zhukovsky test range near Moscow, where four other PAK FA prototypes are being fly-tested. Two more vehicles are used in ground testing currently.
PAK FA, also known as T-50, is Russia’s first 5th generation fighter jet, a counterpart to the American F-35C Lightning II and F-22 Raptor, and China’s J-20.
Its first-ever flight took place in January 2010. The test program since then has included some 450 air tests.
Most of the information about the aircraft remains classified and its final characteristics are not known yet. It will be a stealth one-man supercruise-capable fighter with an estimated maximum speed of more than Mach 2 (2,135 km/h).
It’s is expected to carry up to 7.5 tons of armaments in its two internal bays and up to six external hardpoints. In addition to missiles it is likely to be armed with auto cannon.
Russian Defense Ministry has so far ordered 60 PAK FA aircraft and may double the number in the future. The fighter jet is expected to enter service in 2017.
The fighter jet will be offered to foreign buyers, too, including possibly India, Vietnam, Brazil and Peru.