The Russian Defence Ministry announced that it will buy at least one full squadron of PAK FA in 2017. According to Russian Deputy Minister, Yuri Borisov, Sukhoi could start mass production of its Sukhoi T-50 (PAK FA) in 2017.
Sputnik News reported that Borisov announced the news at the Army-2016 military forum near Moscow.
“Mass production of the PAK FA will start in 2017, according to the plan. We will buy at least one squadron of these aircraft in the first batch.”
Last July, Sukhoi announced that it was conducting its final stage of testing for the T-50. More than 700 flights have been conducted.
‘All-seeing eye’ for the PAK FA
KRET, Russia’s top manufacturer of electronic warfare equipment, is upgrading its Okhotnik (Hunter) target sight optoelectronic system so it can be fitted on the fifth-generation fighter aircraft.
“Okhotnik is planned to be integrated with the target sight optoelectronic systems of the fixed-wing/rotor-wing aircraft and other sophisticated military equipment. The system is intended for the electronic stabilization of the images and the detection/tracking of targets in automatic mode. Okhotnik increases the range of target acquisition in harsh environment by 50-100%,” a KRET`s spokesperson said.
The Sukhoi T-50 (PAK FA) is a fifth-generation fighter aircraft and is the equivalent of the American F-22 Raptor. According to the National Interest, “the PAK-FA and Raptor are close enough in capability, a small number of T-50s will not suffice to radically challenge the Raptor’s reign—or even the F-35’s.”
Unless Russia mass produce the PAK FA, it will most likely not have a significant effect on the battlefield. That said, if Russia employs the PAK FA in countries such as Syria, it will enable its Air Force to greatly improve its combat performance against terrorist targets.