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Russia's Su-57 fifth-generation fighter makes first flight with new engine

The flight lasted 17 minutes
Russia’s Su-57 fifth-generation stealth air superiority fighter Sergei Bobylyov/TASS
Russia’s Su-57 fifth-generation stealth air superiority fighter
© Sergei Bobylyov/TASS

MOSCOW, December 6. /TASS/. Russia’s Su-57 fifth-generation stealth air superiority fighter, also known as T-50, had performed its first test flight with a new-generation engine, a source in the Russian Industry and Trade Ministry told reporters on Tuesday.

"Russia’s newest fifth generation fighter, T-50, performed its maiden flight with the second stage engine on December 5, 2017, at the Gromov Flight Research Institute," the source said.

The 17-minute flight test was carried out by Sergei Bogdan, a chief test pilot of the Sukhoi aircraft maker.

"The flight took place in normal regime, in compliance with the flight assignment," the ministry said.

Commenting on the report, Russian Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov said the successful test of the new engine "will give an additional boost to the fifth-generation fighter jet program."

"This proves the high potential of the Russian aircraft industry, capable of designing smart and advanced systems - aerodynamic systems, innovative digital components, newest engines," he said.

The Su-57 fifth generation fighter jet (previously known as PAK FA - the Russian acronym for 'perspective front-line aviation complex') performed its maiden flight in 2010. Currently, nine prototypes are undergoing state trials. Its serial production is expected to begin next year.

Sukhoi-57 has a number of unique features of both a strike aircraft and a fighter. Composite materials and cutting-edge technologies as well as its aerodynamic design hinder its radar and infrared identification. Until recently, including during its public display flight at the international air show MAKS-2017, Su-57 was equipped with the first stage engine 117S. Its successor has no name yet and is referred to as "second stage engine.".