AKHTUBINSK (Astrakhan Region, south Russia), May 7 (RIA Novosti)
Tests of Russia’s fifth-generation T-50 fighter jets in the Chkalov state flight test center in Akhtubinsk, Astrakhan Region in south Russia may start in July, Air Force Commander Lt. Gen. Viktor Bondarev said.
“In two months,” he said Monday when asked when the center would start tests of such jets, adding that the first serial fifth-generation jet may be manufactured in 2014-2015.
United Aircraft Corporation President Mikhail Pogosyan said in April Russia will start state flight tests of the T-50 in 2014.
The fighter jets will enter service with the country’s armed forces in 2016, and not 2015 as was previously announced, President Vladimir Putin said at a live Q&A session with the Russian public in April.
The Defense Ministry had earlier said the jet would be ready in 2015.
The T-50, also known as PAK-FA (future tactical fighter aircraft), first flew in January 2010 and was presented to the public at the Moscow Air Show in 2011.
The T-50, which will be the core of Russia's future fighter fleet, is a fifth-generation multirole fighter aircraft featuring elements of stealth technology, super-maneuverability, super-cruise capability (supersonic flight without use of afterburner), and an advanced avionics suite including an X-band active phased-array radar.
Bondarev also said some 60-70 military airfields will be built or reconstructed for Russia’s Air Force by 2020.