Sukhoi has flown its secret S-32 forward-swept-wing fighter aircraft. The test flight took place on 1 October from the Gromov Flight Research Institute at Zhukovsky, near Moscow. The S-32, or S-37 project as it may now be known, remains shrouded in secrecy, with Sukhoi unwilling to discuss the project.

The aircraft is understood to be in a similar weight class to that of the Su-27 Flanker and, at least for the moment, is powered by the same engines, Lyulka Saturn Al-31Fs. The aircraft is also understood to incorporate certain low-observable features.

The S-32 prototype is more of an aerodynamic testbed for the forward-swept-wing, canard design, rather than a full weapons-system platform. This suggests that the project may have begun its design life as a research programme.

With the demise of the MAPOMIG Object 1.42 fifth-generation fighter, however, Sukhoi is pushing the S-32 for the air force's future air-superiority-fighter requirement.

Source: Flight International