Russia has finally decided to go forward with the acquisition of many Sukhoi T-50 PAK FA starting in 2017.
Russian Air Force Commander Colonel General Viktor Bondarev confirmed on Thursday that Russia will buy as many T-50 PAK FA as the industry can deliver.
Last March, Russia dramatically decreased its T-50 PAK FA order due “to major economic setback—mostly due to Western sanctions and the fall of the Ruble.” However, the Defense Ministry reserved the right to readjust the order of the Sukhoi PAK FA if deemed necessary.
The Sukhoi T-50 PAK FA will become Russia’s first stealth aircraft to enter service in the Russian Air Force. The United States Air Force F-22 Raptor is currently the only fifth-generation stealth fighter in service.
Sputnik International reported that Bondarev confirmed the order of the Russian T-50 PAK FA and the performance of the aircraft is impressive.
“The aircraft will enter mass production in 2017. We will order as many [fighter jets] as the industry can provide,” Bondarev told reporters. The testing of the aircraft is in full swing, it shows excellent performance and its weapons system works great both on the land and in the air.”
Bondarev added that the T-50 PAK FA will outperform the Amercian F-22 Raptor and the controversial F-35 Lighting II in all parameters.
The fifth-generation stealth aircraft is quickly becoming the most important type of military aircraft to be built in the near future.
Although many technical problems have yet to be fixed on both the Russian T-50 PAK FA, the F-35 Lighting II Joint Strike Fighter and the Chinese Chengdu J-20 (an almost identical copy of the F-35), the fifth-generation stealth fighter will most likely become the backbone of many Air Forces in the world before 2030.
Until then, the PAK FA is a major step forward for the Russian Air Force and will enable them to conduct pre-emptive strikes if needed. The production of a large amount of T-50 PAK FA will also be beneficial for the Russian defense industry.