Russia`s fourth T-50 stealth fighter flies

The first prototype first flew Jan 29, 2010.

Updated: Dec 12, 2012, 21:55 PM IST

Moscow: 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.