Russia’s Stealthy Ambitions

The Russian air force is slated to receive its first production stealthy fifth-generation T-50 PAK-FA fighter off the Sukhoi assembly line in 2016, reported IHS Jane’s. “The number of prototypes is increasing; the state trial program is being conducted as per schedule,” Vladislav Goncharenko, director of Sukhoi’s parent United Aircraft Corporation, quoted from a radio interview in the Dec. 16 report. As part of its overall aircraft recapitalization plan, the Russian air force plans to have a total of 55 advanced T-50 aircraft in service by 2020, according to the report. Sukhoi has already produced five PAK-FA airframes to support testing and evaluation, and three more are currently on the production line. The prototype fighter flew for the first time in 2010.