Russia’s Sukhoi Su-57 Stealth air superiority jet fighter, known during its development as PAK FA and T-50, has performed its maiden flight with a new engine, designed specifically for the cutting-edge military plane.The test flight was successfully performed on Tuesday and lasted some 17 minutes, according to the Russian Industry and Trade Ministry’s press service. A Su-57 aircraft, fitted with new engines known as ‘Product 30,’ was piloted by a chief pilot of the Sukhoi company, Sergey Bogdan.
The successful test flight of the plane with the new engines proved that Russian aircraft builders are capable of creating cutting-edge advanced systems, the press service said, citing Minister Denis Manturov. While little is known about the specifications of the new ‘Product 30,’ the engine-building company that designed it said earlier this year that it is an entirely new device, fully suitable for the fifth-generation planes.
The Su-57 will be the first aircraft in Russian military service to use stealth technology. The fighter is planned to have supercruise, stealth, supermaneuverability and advanced avionics to overcome the prior generation fighter aircraft as well as ground and maritime defences.
The fighter is intended to succeed the MiG-29 and Su-27 in the Russian Air Force and serve as the basis for the Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA) being co-developed by Sukhoi and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for the Indian Air Force. The prototype first flew on 29 January 2010 and deliveries of production aircraft to the Russian Air Force are to begin in 2018. The prototypes and initial production batch are to be delivered with a highly upgraded variant of the AL-31F used by the Su-27 family as interim engines while a new clean-sheet design power-plant is currently under development. The aircraft is expected to have a service life of up to 35 years
The main armament of the Su-57 is placed in internal bays in order to reduce radar cross section and air drag. It includes a recently modernized 30mm autocannon and air-to-air missiles. The plane is also capable of carrying additional armament on external pylons. The military is expected to begin receiving the first fighters in 2018.