Developers of the perspective air complex of front aviation (PAK FA), or Russian 5th generation multi-role combat aircraft will start manufacturing a pre-production model in the near future. Design documentation is ready and delivered to the manufacturer. According to the Commander of the Russian Air Force general-colonel Alexander Zelin all technical problems are being solved according to the schedules specified by the State Arms Program 2015, which specifies the parameters of creation of the new aircraft and the terms of their tests.
Noteworthy, the Commander emphasized that there is no need to speed up the process taking the risk of making technical mistakes. The program is financed 100% and in due time. The First Vice-Premier Sergey Ivanov himself announced that PAK FA will take off in 2008. Time wise Russian plane lags behind the US F-22 and JSF (F-35), but Russian designers keep saying that PAK FA will be not the first, but the best.
Commander of the Air Force also confirmed that Russia does not need to accelerate the PAK FA program in the context of the plans of the US to deploy its fifth generation F-22 in Alaska. According to the press-service of the corporation Lockheed Martin several fifth generation F-22 Raptors were already put on duty in Alaska.
Let’s remind that that F-22 program was once suspended in early 90s and re-opened just recently. According to some unofficial military sources in Russia one of the reasons why it was suspended was the super efficient performance of the Russian air-defense complex S-300, which at that time was demonstrated for the first time at the international show in Abu-Dhabi. The designer of S-300 Boris Bunkin suggested holding immediate comparison tests between S-300 and the US patriot. The Americans refused. Building a 120 million dollars worth aircraft which can be hit down by a single missile was economically senseless.
Something must have changed in the US technology and in the beginning of this century F-22 was finished. However, a lot of things changed in Russia too. Several days ago first S-400 outperforming S-300 times fold were commissioned with the Air Defense Units near Moscow.
There is a Soviet anecdote: "During a job interview an experienced accountant was asked: what would be two plus two? The answer was: it depends how much you need it to be".