PAK-FA Will Be Operational In 2015, Pogosyan Says
6:00 AM on Jul 22, 2010
Sukhoi's T-50 PAK-FA fighter will be delivered to the customer in 2015, Sukhoi director general Mikhail Pogosyan said in an interview here on Tuesday, notwithstanding Western skeptics who compare that timescale to other fighter programs.
"It's a matter of the experience that we have, the level of preparation and the solution that we have chosen," he said. "We did not wait for a new engine, but modernized an existing engine, and we have a lot of bench testing. Combined, that gives us a chance to succeed.
"In the last ten years we have readied four new aircraft - the Su-30MKI, the Su-34, the Su-35 and the T-50," Pogosyan said. "I don't think many foreign manufacturers can claim that much."
The Sukhoi leader also says that he expects the Su-35 to remain in production alongside the T-50 "for some time, at least through 2020. Any aircraft that has a 400 km radar detection range can live for a long time."
Pogosyan commented on reports that he has advocated a Russian ban on exports of RD-93 engines for the Sino-Pakistan FC-1/JF-17 fighter, in response to China's production of the J-11 "bootleg" Su-27 variant. "It's not that I am against the delivery of the engines, but that it should be regulated by a bilateral agreement. Military-technical cooperation is a long-term, strategic process and both sides need to observe the letter of the agreement. If they don't it will be chaos."
The T-50 won't be at Paris - the second aircraft is only due to fly "by the end of this year" - but what about the Su-35? "We'll think about it."