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Russian 5th generation fighter makes its maiden flight

Russia's fifth generation fighter aircraft (FGFA), which is a joint project with India, today made a "succesful" maiden flight in the country's far east, boosting hopes that the stealth fighter may be ready for induction in the next five years.

world Updated: Jan 29, 2010 15:24 IST

Russia's fifth generation fighter aircraft (FGFA), which is a joint project with India, on Friday made a "succesful" maiden flight in the country's far east, boosting hopes that the stealth fighter may be ready for induction in the next five years.

"The 5th generation fighter made its maiden flight at Komsomolsk-on-Amur. The flight lasted about 45 minutes and was a success," Sukhoi Corporation's spokesperson Olga Kayukova told state-run 'Rossiya 24' TV.

Describing the flight as a textbook, she said, "all the expectations of the scientists were met".

With the aircraft getting airborne, Russia is the second country in the world to produce a 5th generation fighter, which is 90 per cent made up of composite fibre.

Sukhoi's KNAAPO aircraft plant in Komsomolsk-on-Amur is reported to have built three prototypes of FGFA with the technical name T-50 under its PAK FA project to rival US Lockheed F-22 Raptor and its newer version F-35.

Under an agreement signed in October 2007, India has also joined the FGFA project by taking a 50 per cent investment stake in the project. For the Indian Air Force, a lighter, two-seater version is to be developed to meet its
specific requirements.

The Russian Air Force intends to begin the induction of FGFA from 2015, India is also expected to induct at least 250 combat jets, which would be manufactured by HAL - the nodal partner of Sukhoi in the project.