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MOSCOW, August 24. /TASS/. Sixth-generation aircraft may mark a transition from manned to unmanned aviation, Russian Aerospace Force Commander-in-Chief Colonel General Viktor Bondarev told Zvezda TV Channel on Thursday.
"What will it be: manned or unmanned? I believe that science confirms this and I think that this will be a transitional concept aircraft. We may begin with the manned variant and then switch to the unpiloted version but I think that precisely the sixth-generation aircraft will be the last plane when the pilot stays exactly in this air environment together with the platform and performs basic missions," the commander said.
Sixth-generation aircraft should not be solely a fighter-interceptor, Bondarev noted.
"A sixth-generation plane should be present in all the branches: strike and military transport aviation and long-range strategic aviation while helicopters will also belong to the sixth generation in their due time," the general said.
The operator of an unmanned aerial vehicle will eventually be able to operate several aircraft at a time, he added.
Russian Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov said earlier on Thursday that military aircraft developers were preparing scientific and technical groundwork for developing the sixth-generation fighter jet.