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Russia: First deliveries of 5th-Gen fighter to start only in 2015 news
10 February 2010

Vladimir, Russia: Deliveries of the recently tested T-50 PAK-FA fifth-generation fighters to the Russian Air Force will start in 2015, rather than in 2013, as asked for by Russian premier Vladimir Putin, Russia' air force chief said Tuesday.

"In 2013, I hope... the [Sukhoi] PAK FA prototype will be ready and fine-tuned, and we will start deliveries to military units in 2015," said Col Gen Alexander Zelin.

It was earlier announced that limited series production of these state-of-the-art aircraft would commence in 2013, with a few deliveries being made and mass production only beginning in 2015. Gen Zelin's statement, apparently, rules that out.

A prototype of the fighter made its debut flight in Russia's Far East on 29 January. Soon after the 47-minute flight prime minister Putin said that the producers if the aircraft should ensure that initial deliveries of the fifth-generation fighters were made by 2013.

The PAK-FA has been under development since the 1990s. The current prototype, known as the T-50, was designed by the Sukhoi design bureau and constructed at a plant in Komsomolsk-on-Amur.

The T-50, dubbed as the 'Raptorski' by the West, is meant to counter the fifth generation American F-22 Raptor, which has already entered service. The T-50 is a joint development programme with India.

While the Russian Air Force is seeking a single-seat version of the aircraft, the Indian Air Force has opted for a two-seat variant.

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Russia: First deliveries of 5th-Gen fighter to start only in 2015