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MOSCOW, October 14. /TASS/. Russia’s Aerospace Forces hope to have the first batch of fifth generation PAK FA T-50 jets next year, Aerospace Force commander Viktor Bondarev told the media on Friday.
"We will be through with its testing next year. The first five planes are priced in the contract," Bondarev said. "I believe that next year we will have the five planes in question."
He added the fighter jet would begin to be batch-produced shortly after that.
Earlier, the head of the United Aircraft Corporation, Yuri Slyusar, said the manufacturers and military were already discussing the delivery of an initial of batch of 12 planes.
The T-50 (the Promising Aviation Complex of Frontline Aviation abbreviated as PAK FA in Russian) is Russia’s response to the US F-22 fifth-generation fighter jet.
The T-50 aircraft is the quintessence of all advanced technologies in Russia’s aircraft-building. Little is known about its characteristics and the larger part of information is kept in secret so far.
It is known that the PAK FA incorporates a whole range of carbon fiber reinforced polymers for the first time ever. They are twice as lighter as aluminum of comparable strength and titanium and four or five times lighter than steel. The new materials make up 70% of the fighter jet’s coating, which has allowed developers to reduce its design weight: the T-50 weighs four times less than an aircraft made of traditional materials.
The Sukhoi Design Bureau notes “the aircraft’s unprecedentedly low radar, optical and infrared visibility,” although domestic specialists have quite restrained estimates of the jet’s RCS at 0.3-0.4 sq. m. Meanwhile, some Western analysts make more optimistic estimates about the Russian T-50 aircraft and consider its RCS to be three times less at about 0.1 sq. m.
The PAK FA is distinguished by its splendid maneuverability and controllability in the vertical and horizontal planes both in supersonic and low-speed flights.
Currently, engines of the first stage are mounted on the T-50 aircraft, which enable it to maintain a supersonic speed in a non-afterburning mode. After the fighter jet receives its organic engine of the second stage, its performance characteristics will improve considerably.
The T-50 performed its first flight on January 29, 2010.