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Commander: Russian army to start receiving newest T-50 jet fighter from 2016

August 09, 2014, 22:14 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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MOSCOW, August 09. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia’s fifth-generation T-50 jet fighter will begin to be supplied to the Armed Forces from 2016, Air Force Commander, Lieutenant General Viktor Bondarev said on Saturday.

“It [T-50] has already participated twice in the Aviadarts show and performed aerobatics figures in pairs with other planes. I think it has a bright future,” he told the Russian News Service radio, adding that plane was being created using stealth technology.

Several such planes have already begun testing at the Akhtubinsk range in the southern Astrakhan region.

“We should start getting these aircraft from 2016,” Bondarev said.

The Russian Defence Ministry has worked out a detailed plan up to 2020 for re-equipping the country’s Air Force.

“In 2016 we will start receiving the first T-50 planes,” the commander said, adding that everything was going according to plan and the flight personnel of the 929th Chkalov flight test centre retrained for the T-50 aircraft also knwon as the Prospective Airborne Complexes of Frontline Aviation (PAK FA).

According to Bondarev, the pilots have already started flights on one plane, and the second one is being readied.

The first PAK FA aircraft will perform its first flight in 2019.

“In 2019, the plane is to perform the first flight, and in 2023 its tests will be completed and delivery to the troops will be carried out,” Bondarev said earlier.

PAK FA (T-50) is Russia’s multipurpose fifth-generation fighter jet, created by the Sukhoi design bureau. The plane performed its first flight in 2010. It is a missile-carrying strategic bomber of a new generation, designed by the Tupolev company. The plane will not be a deeply modernised version of Tu-160, but will become a principally new aircraft. In the future, PAK FA is to replace the Tu-95 and Tu-160 planes of long-range (strategic) aviation that are in service in the Russian Air Force.

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