New pictures of the Russian cutting-edge T-50 prototype fifth-generation fighter jet have been published on the planemaker’s official website.
The images were unveiled by the producing Komsomolsk-on-Amur Aircraft Plant and apparently show a first flight of a prototype model of the T-50 (T-50-8). The plane is being developed by one of Russia’s leading aviation companies, the Sukhoi, to replace its Sukhoi Su-27 fighter currently in service.
The respective test prototype accomplished its first flight on November 17, the BMPD blog, focusing on the defense industry, reported, though the information was not officially confirmed.
The fighter jet will come with advanced radar-evading stealth technology and a powerful 9-A1-4071K cannon which has a range of 1,800 meters and can fire at a rate of 1,800 rounds per minute.
The cutting-edge aircraft is coming at a cost of $50 million per aircraft, but its capabilities are thought to be worth the hefty price tag. The fighter can reach a top speed of 1,516 MPH (2,440kmh) and a battle range of 3,418 miles.
Defense industry analysts have made comparisons to the American F-22 Raptor, with the National Interest giving the edge to the T-50 for its high maneuverability: its three-dimensional thrust-vector jets can tilt in any direction to help the pilot execute maneuvers.
The Russian Defense Ministry is expected to buy at least one squadron of T-50 next year, the deputy Defense Minister Yury Borisov, announced in September at an international military expo outside Moscow.
“According to the plan, mass production of the PAK FA (T-50) will start in 2017. We’ll buy at least one squadron of the planes in the first batch,” Borisov said.
Another model of T-50, with some minor modifications and different components, is being developed for export to India.