United Aircraft Corporation is gearing up to start serial production of theSukhoi T-50 PAK-FA fifth-generation stealth fighter, according to Russian media reports. The eighth prototype T-50 — which is nearly compliant with Moscow’s requirements for a next-generation fighter — is set to make its first flight on June 20.
“Unlike the previous aircraft, the eighth airframe is fully equipped with the equipment and systems prescribed in the specifications to create a prospective frontline aviation system,” a defense industry source told the Russian-language daily Izvestia.
“With the advent of the new fighter, it can be said that the T-50 has reached a stage where it’s combat capable and ready for mass production and for use by the Russian Aerospace Forces.”
Four additional T-50 aircraft are in various stages of final assembly at the Komsomolsk-on-Amur Aircraft Production Association plant in the Russian Far East. A ninth aircraft is set to joint the T-50 flight test program in September.
But while flight-testing is not yet complete, UAC expects to sign a contract with the Russian Aerospace Forces to begin serial production of the T-50 in the fall of this year, according to Izvestia’s source. Deliveries of the new stealth fighter are set to begin in 2017.
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