Russia has performed the first flight of its second Prospective Airborne Complex - Frontline Aviation (PAK FA), known as a fifth-generation fighter jet, officials from the national defense complex told Interfax-AVN.
"The flight continued for 57 minutes. The aircraft was piloted by Sergei Bogdan, an honored test pilot of Russia. All goals set for the first flight have been successfully achieved," officials said.
All systems of the aircraft were operating in a routine mode. "The inflight stability and control characteristics of the plane were positive. All systems and the engine of the aircraft were operating error-free," the source said.
Mikhail Pogosyan, the director of the United Aircraft Corporation, the head of Sukhoi and MiG, told reporters earlier that it was planned to conduct test flights for three fifth-generation fighter jets during 2011.
According to Pogosyan, the fifth-generation program is being developed according to the plan. The first aircraft has performed 40 flights.
The first flight of Russia's Sukhoi PAK FA fifth-generation aircraft took place on January 29, 2010. According to experts' estimates, the aircraft is unique for it combines the functions of strike aircraft and a fighter jet.
The fifth-generation aircraft is equipped with a completely new complex of avionics which integrates the function of the electronic pilot and the prospective radar station into the phased array antenna. The new system simplifies the work of the pilot and gives him an opportunity to concentrate on his mission.
The new fighter jet is capable of carrying both air-to-air and air-to-surface missiles. As for the first category, it goes about long and small range missiles, as well as medium-range missiles by Vympel Design Bureau. As for the second category (air-to-surface), the jet can carry anti-vessel missiles, common purpose missiles and guided bombs (250 kg caliber). In addition, the plane can carry guided different purpose missiles and bomb units of up to 1,500 kg in caliber on external suspensions.
All guided aviation means of destruction for Sukhoi PAK FA fighters are designed by Tactical Missiles Corporation.
The PAK FA, when fully developed, is intended to be the successor to the MiG-29 and Su-27 in the Russian inventory and serve as the basis of the Sukhoi/HAL FGFA project being developed with India.
Sukhoi director Mikhail Pogosyan has projected a market for 1,000 aircraft over the next four decades, which will be produced in a joint venture with India, two hundred each for Russia and India and six hundred for other countries. He also said that the Indian contribution would be in the form of joint work under the current agreement rather than as a joint venture. The Indian Air Force will "acquire 50 single-seater fighters of the Russian version" before the two seat FGFA is developed. The Russian Defense Ministry will purchase the first 10 aircraft after 2012 and then 60 after 2016. The first batch of fighters will be delivered without the "Fifth generation" engines. Ruslan Pukhov, director of the Centre for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies, has projected that Vietnam will be the second export customer for the fighter. The PAK-FA is expected to have a service life of about 30-35 years.
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