Sukhoi on Friday achieved first flight of its PAK FA advanced tactical front-line fighter. The Russian made Sukhoi T-50, which India refers to as the Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA), is the Russian equivalent of the US built F-22 stealth fighter. India is a full partner in the project and the Indian version of the jet will feature several homegrown technologies including the jet’s mission computer. The Sukhoi T-50’s flight comes nearly two decades after the first prototype of the United States F-22 Raptor took to the air, and Russian officials said it will take another five years for the new fighter to enter service. The test flight took place at Komsomolsk-on-Amur, Russia’s Far East.
This is the first warplane completely designed and built in Russia since the break-up of the Soviet Union. Only the United States currently operates a stealth fighter called F-22 Raptor. Compared to the previous generation fighters PAK FA possesses a number of unique features combining the functionality of both attack aircraft and fighter plane. Su-PAKFA is equipped with brand-new avionics suite integrating “electronic pilot” functionality, as well as advanced phased-array antenna radar. This significantly decreases pilot load and allows him to focus upon completion of tactical missions. New aircraft on-board equipment allows real-time data exchange not only with ground based control systems, but also within the flight group.
The aircraft piloted by Sukhoi test-pilot Sergey Bogdan spent 47 minutes in the air and successfully landed on the factory runway. “In the course of the flight we’ve conducted initial evaluation of the aircraft controls, engine performance and primary systems operation, the aircraft had retracted and extracted the landing gear,” Bogdan said. “The aircraft performed excellently at all flight-test points scheduled for today. It is easy and comfortable to pilot.”
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