Russia's Sukhoi T-50 jet, to spin-off India's super fighter, undertakes test flight
The T-50 fighter which features elements of 'stealth-technology', super-cruise capability, advanced avionics suite including an X-band active phased-array radar underwent a long range flight from its manufacturing plant in Russia's far-east to an airfield near Moscow yesterday, Ria-Novosti reported quoting Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin.
"It is a breakthrough " Rogozin who oversees the Russian defence industry, wrote in his Twitter blog adding, " The plane flew 7,000 kms, making two landings, in Abakan and Chelyabinsk, on the way to the Russian capital."
A derivative of the stealth fighter is being developed for the Indian air force and an IAF version is to be test flighted in 2014.
The Indo-Russian version which is called the perspective multi-role fighter is to be developed at an estimated cost of USS 30 billion. The deal is reported to be in its final stages.
The plane joined three other T-50 prototype models at the Zhukovsky airfield prior to state flight tests, which are scheduled to start in March 2013. The T-50, also known as project PAK-FA, first flew in January 2010 and was presented to the public at the Moscow Air Show in 2011.
The Russian Defence Ministry is planning to finish the state flight tests of eight prototypes by 2015, so that they could go into standard production in 2016. The fighter is expected to form the core of Russia's future fighter fleet.