A futuristic, Russian-designed fifth generation fighter, the Sukhoi design bureau's T-50 PAK-FA, will conduct its maiden test flight on Friday. This will be an event of considerable significance for India as well, for this country's aerospace manufacturing and design complex, the Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL), is developing a two-seater variant of the aircraft.
The Russian version is a single-seater.
|Image : warfare.ru|
The Indian version of the fighter is referred to as the Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA).
"The [test] flight was initially scheduled for Thursday, but has been postponed," an official of the Gagarin KNAAPO company, a subsidiary of Sukhoi, said.
The T-50 is designed to compete with the US Lockheed Martin-built F-22 Raptor, which is the world's only fifth-generation air dominance fighter, as well as Lockheed's F-35 Lightning II - a fifth generation, stealth, ground attack fighter.
Speaking at a news conference later on Thursday, Anatoly Isaikin, chief of the Russian state-controlled arms export monopoly, Rosoboronexport, said India remains Russia's sole partner in this project.