Russia Stealth Fighter Jet

The Russian military conducted the first successful flight of its new fifth-generation stealth fighter jet on Friday. The Sukhoi T-50 or PAK FA flew a 47-minute test run. It is expected to replace MiG-29 Fulcrum and Su-27. The jet is made to compete American F-22 Raptor and F-35 Lightning II. It can develop speed as fast as 2100km/h and it can fly approximately 5500 kilometers up above the sky. It can take off from short runways like 300-400 meters long.

The T-50 is the domestic name of Russia’s fifth-generation fighter plane which has been developed as the Advanced Front-Line Aviation Complex (PAK FA) for Russia’s Air Force. The project started its development by the Sukhoi design bureau since it won the tender in April 2002. The Tikhomirov Institute of Instrument Design, which developed the Irbis radar for the Su-35BM Flanker, has been working on the T-50 radar. The fighter’s radar and fire-control system will be designed on the basis of the Su-35BM’s systems. The fighter’s exterior design was approved on December 10, 2004. Last summer, the fighter’s design was approved, and the prototype blueprints were delivered to the KNAAPO aircraft building company based in Komsomolsk-on-Amur, where three experimental fighters will be built for testing. In February 2009, the first prototype was constructed. Although T-50 specifications remain classified, fragmentary data on its engines imply that this heavy-duty fighter will have a take-off weight of more than 30 metric tons and will be close in dimension to the well-known Sukhoi Su-27 Flanker. The exterior was designed using Stealth technology, also known as LO technology (low observable technology). The aircraft is fitted with 117S (upgraded AL-31) turbofan engines from the Russian aircraft engine manufacturer Saturn. The PAK FA can carry either eight next-generation air-to-air R-77 missiles, or two large controllable anti-ship bombs weighing 1,500 kg each. The jet can also carry two long-range missiles developed by the Novator Bureau which can hit targets within a 400 kilometer range. The fighter is equipped with advanced avionics to combine an automatic flight control system and a radar locator with a phased array antenna. The aircraft plans are to be mass produced in Komsomolsk-on-Amur from 2015.

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