The PAK FA Program involves the design, production and delivery of a fifth-generation fighter aircraft to the Russian Air Force. It will help increase the combat potential of the RF Air Force, bring aircraft production and related industries to a new level of production and technology, lend impetus to research advancements, and provide a stable workload for defense industry enterprises involved in development and production.
The PAK FA took off for its first flight on January 29, 2010 in Komsomolsk-on-Amur. The first flight model of the fighter and a full ground test bed used for the testing of equipment and systems in support of the flight testing program were delivered to the JSC Sukhoi DB flight testing-and-development facility in the Town of Zhukovsky near Moscow on April 8. Upon completion of the required system and component-bed testing, including strength tests on the static airplane, ground testing of the test bed airplane and flight model, flight tests of the airplane under the preliminary testing program started on April 29, 2010.
The second flight model took off for its first flight at the Komsomolsk-on-Amur production site (KnAAZ) on March 3, 2011. After the completion of factory tests, it was included in the preliminary testing program.
The third flight model made its first flight on November 22, 2011. After the completion of a set of ground preparation works and re-equipment with an extended set of on-board equipment, it also entered the preliminary testing program.
The fourth and fifth PAK-FA flight models arrived at Zhukovsky airfield near Moscow on January 17, 2013 and November 20, 2013. The airplanes arrived from the Far East under their own power.
Good stability and handling performance has been achieved at subsonic and supersonic speeds, at low and high altitudes, and at post-stall angles of attack. Avionics tests are in progress. Fight refueling and examination of the airplane’s behavior in different configurations have been successfully completed.
Main flight testing objectives at the current stage are the testing of combat system-operating modes, interfacing with weapons, and the use of weapons.
The PAK FA boasts a number of unique features as compared with previous-generation fighters, and combines the functions of a strike aircraft and a fighter. This fifth-generation airplane is equipped with an entirely new set of deeply-integrated avionics featuring a high level of controlled automation and intelligent crew support. This considerably reduces the pilot’s workload and allows the pilot to concentrate on tactics. The avionics of the new airplane enable real-time data exchange with both ground-based control systems and within air groups, and also support off-line operation.