by Ryan Maass
Moscow (UPI) Feb 14, 2017
Russia's T-50 PAK fighter is scheduled to make its first flight with a new engine later in 2017, according to state media reports.
The Sukhoi-made aircraft is marketed as Russia's fifth-generation fighter and is designed to perform air supremacy missions. The twin-engine plane is planned to be equipped with super-cruise and stealth capabilities.
"The first flight of the aircraft with the new engine is expected in the fourth quarter of 2017," a spokesman for Russia's United Engine Corp. told the TASS news agency.
The T-50 was first flown in 2010. The planes are currently equipped with the "first-stage" 117C engine. The engine's successor has not been officially named. Russia's armed forces are expecting deliveries of the aircraft to begin in 2018.
The fighter is intended to replace the Soviet-era MiG-29 and Su-27 currently operated by Russia's air force. Kremlin defense officials expect the new plane to remain in service with the country for at least 35 years.
In addition to planning a maiden flight for the updated jet, Russian state media adds the country also hopes to collaborate with India for the development of its own fifth-generation fighter.
"Russian and Indian specialists have agreed and initialed a draft contract for R&D works for developing an advanced multipurpose fighter jet. The Russian side is ready for signing the contract. We expect a decision from the Indian side on this issue," Deputy Director of Russia's Federal Service for Military and Technical Cooperation Vladimir Drozhzhov told TASS.
Aerospace News at SpaceMart.com
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