The Russian military has signed the first state procurement contract for 12 fifth-generation fighters, Deputy Defense Minister Alexey Krivoruchko said.
Krivoruchko also said a new corvette was going to join Russia’s Pacific Fleet within a month. The Gromky is the second corvette of eight Project 20380 vessels that will be used for maritime patrols, Sputnik news agency reported.
“The first contract for 12 aircraft has been agreed on, and the deliveries under this contract will begin shortly,” he told reporters at a briefing in Komsomolsk-on-Amur.
The southeastern Russian city is home to a plant of Russia’s Sukhoi aircraft maker, which produces cutting-edge Su-57 stealth fighters.
The Su-57 made its maiden flight eight years ago. CEO of Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) Yuri Slyusar said the first batch of Su-57s could come into service in 2019.
According to UAC, the Su-57 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 Su-57 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 Su-57 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.