The Russian Armed Forces began to accept into service the first fifth-generation aircraft, the T-50 (PAK FA), announced Yury Slyusar, head of the United Aircraft Corporation (UAC), on January 30 during an interview on the TV channel Russia-24.
The PAK FA will be subjected to qualification testing directly in the service of the armed forces. Mass delivery of the aircraft to the armed forces is expected in 2016.
The T-50 is being built for both the Russian air force and foreign military customers, and is billed as an answer to the U.S. F-22 Raptor stealth fighter.
The T50 is a stealthy, single-seat, twin-engine jet fighter, and will be the first operational aircraft in Russian service to use stealth technology.
Composites are used extensively, comprising 25% of the T-50’s structural weight and almost 70% of the outer surface. Weapons are housed in two tandem main weapons bays between the engine nacelles and smaller bulged, triangular-section bays near the wing root. Internal weapons carriage eliminates drag from external stores and enables higher performance compared to external carriage. Advanced engines and aerodynamics enables the T-50 to supercruise, sustained supersonic flight without using afterburners. Combined with a high fuel load, the T-50 has a long supersonic flight endurance, twice that of the Su-27. In the T-50’s design, Sukhoi addressed what it perceived to be the F-22’s limitations, such as its inability to use thrust vectoring to induce roll and yaw moments and a lack of space for weapons bays between the engines, and complications for stall recovery if thrust vectoring fails.
Production T-50 from 2020 onward will be equipped with a more powerful engine known as the izdeliye 30, which will be a clean sheet design that will supersede the 117.
SOURCES – Russia and India Report, Moscow Times