Sukhoi has confirmed the company’s third prototype for the Su-35 programme crashed at Komsomolsk-on-Amur during high-speed ground tests.

Test pilot Yevgeni Frolov escaped uninjured after ejecting, a Sukhoi statement says.

A “commission of inquiry” has been launched to investigate the crash, says the company.

Sukhoi recently added the third test prototype to accelerate the flight test schedule. So far, the first two aircraft have completed more than 100 flights.

The overall schedule will not be changed because of the crash, says Sukhoi.

The Su-35 multi-role fighter is advertised by Sukhoi as a “4++” generation aircraft, incorporating technology from fifth-generation technologies.

It is the latest evolution of the Su-27 Flanker design, but with an updated airframe capable of operating up to 6,000 flight hours.


[Read's full coverage of the Su-35 program here.]