According to Russian News & Information Agency RIA Novosti, the defense ministry is planning to finish the state flight tests of eight prototypes by 2015 so that they can begin standard production in 2016.
The PAK FA T-50 stealth jet fighter, first displayed at the 2011 MAKS airshow, features an electronically scanned active-array radar, super-cruise capability, high maneuverability, and low radar and infrared signatures. Sukhoi contends the aircraft will perform significantly better than the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor.
India plans to acquire 214 of the T-50 fighters, customized to suit its requriements, by the end of 2030 at an estimated cost of more than $30 billion.
During a visit to India last October, Russian defense minister Anatoly Serdyukov said India will begin production of an export variant of the T-50 stealth fighter in 2020. India and Russia are likely to sign a$11 billion contract soon for the design and joint development, with the costs equally borne by the two countries.
“The two nations discussed the progress made in the joint development and production of the [fifth-generation fighter aircraft] during the visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin to India last December,” an Indian defense official says.
The first prototype is expected to be delivered in 2014. Its production in India is likely to start in 2020, the official adds.
T-50 photo: Sukhoi