Today, the Advanced Tactical Frontline Fighter (PAK FA) flight testing program has reached an important milestone – completion of 100 flights. At present, two fighters are involved in the flight test trials.
PAK FA performed its maiden flight on January 29, 2010, in Komsomolsk-on-Amur. In the beginning of March, 2011, the second fighter took into the skies. Today, both aircraft participate in ground and flight test trials. The aircraft was presented to the public for the first time on August 17, 2011 at MAKS-2011, International Aviation and Space Salon, in Zhukovsky.
The PAK FA program includes creation of the fighter, setting up its serial production and introduction into service by the Russian Air Force. This will enable to enhance the combat capabilities of the Russian Air Force. This program is of top priority for Sukhoi and UAC, as it provides for development and introduction of materials, element base and technologies of high innovative potential for the aviation industry and the economy of the country, as well as for development of new generation projects.
Compared with the previous-generation fighters, PAK FA has a number of unique features combining functions of fighter and strike-fighter aircraft. The fifth-generation jet is equipped with new avionics with integrated function of “electronic pilot” and next-generation radar with phased antenna array. This equipment reduces the pilot’s workload and helps him concentrate on tactical objectives.
Onboard equipment of the new jet allows real-time data exchange with ground control systems and other aircraft. The use of composites and innovative technologies, jet’s airframe configuration and measures on reducing the engine’s visibility provide very low level of radar, optical and infrared visibility.
This significantly improves combat effectiveness against air and ground targets at any time of the day in both visible and instrument meteorological conditions.