United Aircraft president Mikhail Pogosyan believes there is a market for 600 of the Sukhoi PAK-FA fifth-generation fighter, which finally made its public appearance at MAKS and is due to enter service with the Russian air force in 2015 or 2016.

The prototype, one of two undergoing flight tests, is Russia's answer to the Lockheed Martin F-22 stealth fighter. The first test flight was in January 2010, and United Aircraft sid a total of 16 flights have been made. Two more aircraft will join the flight test programme this year and a further two in 2012.

Moscow has a requirement for around 200 of the single-seat aircraft, while India plans to buy around 200 aircraft, which are likely to be slightly larger and be twin-seaters. Its engineers and scientists are working on this programme jointly with the Russians, and contributing towards its development costs. Pogosyan believes another 200 export sales could be added as foreign air forces look to replace or add to legacy Soviet types. "There is a huge pool of MiG and Sukhoi customers that know our aircraft. We have very close relations with these customers," he said in an interview with Flightglobal at MAKS.

PAK FA aloft - Sukhoi
 © Sukhoi

The PAK-FA, which is known internally as the T-50, reportedly makes heavy use of composites. It has two Saturn "Item 117" engines and an indigenously designed active electronically scanned array radar.

The delta-wing fighter has a small radar cross-section in radar, optical and infrared range, said Sukhoi, and large deeply-set intakes. It also has small, canted horizontal and vertical tail surfaces to boost stealth, the company added.

Sukhoi also plans to export the aircraft, which has been included in the initial list of types South Korea is considering for its F-X III tender. It could compete against the Boeing F-15K, Eurofighter Typhoon and Lockheed Martin F-35 if it is shortlisted.

Source: Flight International