Friday, January 29, 2010

Russians test new fifth generation stealth aircraft

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 Russians have been very secretive about this aircraft and this is the first information Rightardia has seen in months. Earlier Rightardia had published artist conceptions of this aircraft. Little was known about the fifth-generation fighter aircraft until today, and even its appearance was classified information.

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.

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.

and Ria Novosti

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