by Staff Writers
Moscow (Sputnik) May 04, 2017
Flight tests of Russian newest PAK FA (T-50) fighter aircraft with a standard engine will start in the near future, General Designer of the United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) Sergei Korotkov said Wednesday.
So far the prototypes of the aircraft have been equipped with the so-called Izdeliye 117 - an engine of the "first stage," which has already been put into production, while the engine of the "second stage" is being developed.
"Testing of T-50 aircraft with the next-generation engine, which was initially created for this aircraft, will start in the near future," Korotkov said.
Russian Sukhoi T-50 (PAK FA) is the fifth-generation stealth fighter. It is a single-seat, twin-engine multirole jet fighter designed for air superiority and attack roles. The first flight of the aircraft took place in 2010.
Russia's New 5th Generation Fighter Jet Just Turned Into a Deadly 'Ship Slayer'
On Wednesday, Russia's Izvestia newspaper reported that the Kh-35UE tactical cruise missile, an upgrade of the Kh-35 jet-launched subsonic anti-ship missile, has been incorporated into the Sukhoi T-50's array of potential armaments.
The weapon, capable of targeting and destroying everything from landing craft to aircraft carriers, as well as ground targets, including hard points, warehouses and even mobile military equipment, is able to bypass missile defense interceptor systems, as well as advanced electronic jamming, thanks to its dual-band active/passing homing guidance system.
It is the ability to target an array of ground-based targets, along with a shorter intake and folding wings, which distinguish the Kh-35EU from its predecessor.
Experts speaking to Izvestia said that the Kh-35UE's successful incorporation into the T-50's arsenal effectively turns it into a 'multifunctional fighting machine' whose characteristics go far beyond those of a mere fighter aircraft.
Nikolai Vasilyev, chief designer of the Kh-35UE at the Korolev-based Tactical Missiles Corporation, told Izvestia that testing of the cruise missile on the T-50 has already been completed, with the weapon proving fully compatible with the plane's onboard equipment. When deployed, the cruise missile will be mounted underneath the T-50's wings.
Vasilyev also reminded the newspaper that the Kh-35UE has demonstrated itself effectively on the carrier-based variants of the MiG-29K and MiG-29KUBR fighter planes, and on the Ka-52 attack helicopter.
Asked to comment on this development, Andrei Golovatyuk, a retired colonel and respected Russian military analyst, told Radio Sputnik that he found it unsurprising that the Kh-35UE, a universal cruise missile, has found its way into the T-50's arsenal.
The military analyst recalled that Russia's fifth-generation fighter uses the latest stealth and avionics technology, "and, accordingly, more modern armaments, both those that exist and those being developed by our engineers." Overall, "this is an airplane that's entering a new, fundamentally more advanced level," he said.
"As for the [Kh-35UE], it is simply unique," Golovatyuk added. For one thing, "this is a universal cruise missile, and can be placed on a variety of platforms -from ships, to airplanes, to helicopters, to coastal defense missile systems. In other words, the T-50 is considered as one of most promising platforms for this missile."
"What is the special know-how of this missile in combination with the T-50?" the analyst asked. "They can enter the target's zone of destruction without entering the perspective enemy's zone of air defense. The missiles are used according to the principle that upon launch, the missile instantly finds its target and independently directs itself toward it."
"In other words, the methodology here is 'launch it and forget about it'; the missile itself finds its target. Therefore the name 'slayer of ships' is in this case fully justified," Golovatyuk concluded.
Planned to be introduced into service with the Aerospace Defense Forces next year, the T-50, officially designated as a stealth air superiority fighter, is meant to eventually replace the Sukhoi Su-27 fourth-generation multirole fighter, in service with the Soviet and Russian militaries since the mid-1980s.
Since its first flight in the early 2010s, the T-50, part of the Prospective Airborne Complex of Frontline Aviation (PAK-FA) program, has receiving a vast series of upgrades to its avionics, stealth and armaments. On Wednesday, United Aircraft Corporation General Designer Sergei Korotkov confirmed that engineers are busy working on the creation of a next-generation engine for the plane, one that boasts increased thrust and fuel efficiency, lower cost, and improved reliability compared to the existing engine.
With six machines expected to be delivered into the Russian Aerospace Defense Forces by next year, the military plans to equip the air force with about 55 T-50 fighters by 2020, with mass production beginning after that.
Source: Sputnik News
Washington (UPI) Apr 25, 2017
The test flight of Boeing's second T-X trainer aircraft, in a partnership with Saab, took place on April 24th. The plane is marketed as a platform for advanced pilot training, with the US Air Force considered its primary customer. "The jet handled exactly like the first aircraft and the simulator, meeting all expectations," Boeing Test Pilot for Air Force Programs Matt Giese said in a p ... read more
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