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  • Pushing PAK-FA
    Posted by Bill Sweetman 4:20 PM on Jan 22, 2009

    Maxim Pyadushkin writes:  It looks like Russian government and military officials are in a hurry with the development of the country’s fifth-generation fighter, officially dubbed PAK-FA (Russian acronym:  Future Aircraft System of Front-line Aviation). On January 22, vice-premier Sergey Ivanov announced that the new aircraft should start testing as soon as this year and enter service in 2015. “We are already close to finishing the first prototype from the pre-production series” he added.

    Last December, Russian Air Force commander Gen-Col Alexander Zelin was more precise, saying he hopes to see the first flying PAK-FA prototype ready by Air Force Day on August 12. He was also sure that the new aircraft would begin test flight this year. Such announcements can be also explained by the MAKS air show that will take place near Moscow this August. MAKS is where the national state-controlled defense industry demonstrates its achievements to the country’s leaders, lobbing for budget subsidies and procurement orders. If PAK-FA does not roll out of Sukhoi’s hangars before the air show, it is likely to cause serious criticism from the government side. 

    Bill Sweetman adds:  Good luck on the 2015 bit – but if the RusAF and Sukhoi adopt a strategy of building an “A” model using engines, avionics and weapons being tested for the Su-35, which seems likely, development could be faster and less costly that one might expect. And at least today's Russian leaders don't use Joe Stalin's performance-incentive plan...

    Tags: ar99, pak-fa

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