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  • Sukhoi T-50 (PAK FA) 5th Generation Multi-Role Stealth Aircraft

    The Sukhoi PAK FA is a Fifth Generation multi-role aircraft intended to compete directly with the American Lockheed F-22 Raptor.

     Updated: 4/1/2017; Authored By Dan Alex; Content ¬©www.MilitaryFactory.com

    The PAK FA (or "PAK[FA]") is currently in development with the storied Sukhoi OKB, a Russian aircraft firm granted origins in the dark days of World War 2 (1939-1945) and having since contributed many designs to the Soviet Air Force and Army in the Cold War years following. The PAK FA T-50 is categorized as a "Fifth Generation Fighter" recognizing that it will make use of the latest aviation technology, radar-absorbing materials and weaponry to provide for excellent performance, agility and response for the unseen conflicts ahead. As a Fifth Generation fighter, the T-50 is challenging the realm currently dominated by the American Lockheed F-22 "Raptor" air superiority fighter - the world's first 5th gen fighter aircraft. The arrival of the T-50 introduces a second player to the once exclusive "Fifth Generation Club", owned wholly by the United States, while China continues development of their own indigenous 5th gen fighter across the Pacific.

    In the Russian, "PAK FA" translates to "Future Air Complex - Tactical Air Forces". The T-50 has been developed somewhat jointly through a partnership between Russia and India to which India has contributed as much as 35% to date. The Indian intent is to benefit from the program by procuring their own PAK FA-based 5th gen fighter in the coming decade. Serial production for the T-50 is slated for 2015 and the first public unveiling of the prototype was shown during the MAKS 2011 Air Show just outside of Moscow in August of 2011. Four prototypes has been completed to date (2013) with a fifth under construction. State trials are expected for 2014.

    The Near Future

    In the Russian inventory, the PAK FA will move in to take over the roles held by the large Sukhoi Su-27/Su-37 "Flanker" family as well as the lightweight Mikoyan MIG-29 "Fulcrum" (all 4th Generation Fighters). Both of these lines have gone on to see much use in the global market resulting in a myriad of variants and configurations. The PAK FA will also move along the joint Russian-Indian FGFA (Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft) program for the near future - an agreement reached between the two nations in 2001 - with results expected to be introduced sometime in 2015. This aircraft and will be based highly on the developmental findings of the Russian PAK FA/T-50 program with India intending to purchasing some 250 FGFA fighters at project's end.

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    Sukhoi T-50 PAK FA Technical Specifications

    Service Year: 2020
    Type: 5th Generation Multi-Role Stealth Aircraft
    National Origin: Russia
    Manufacturer(s): Sukhoi OKB / United Aircraft Corporation - Russia
    Production Total: 8

    Structural (Crew Space, Dimensions and Weights)

    Operating Crew: 1
    Length: 72.18 feet (22 meters)
    Width: 46.59 feet (14.20 meters)
    Height: 19.85 feet (6.05 meters)

    Weight (Empty): 40,786 lb (18,500 kg)
    Weight (MTOW): 81,571 lb (37,000 kg)

    Installed Power and Standard Day Performance

    Engine(s): 2 x NPO Saturn / FNPTS MMPP Salyut AL-41F1 turbofan engines developing 35,000 lb of thrust each (T-50 prototype).

    Maximum Speed: 1,616 mph (2,600 kph; 1,404 knots)
    Maximum Range: 3,107 miles (5,000 km)
    Service Ceiling: 65,617 feet (20,000 meters; 12.43 miles)
    Rate-of-Climb: 1,184 feet-per-minute (361 m/min)

    Armament / Mission Payload

    1 OR 2 x 30mm GSh-30-1 internal cannon(s)

    Air-to-air and air-to-surface missiles; guided bombs across internal (two or four internal bays) and up to six external hardpoints.

    Global Operators / Customers


    Model Variants (Including Prototypes)

    PAK FA - Program Designation.

    T-50 - Prototype Designation; five examples to date (2013).