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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Russia to start receiving fifth-generation fighters in 2013

RIA Novosti


MOSCOW, January 29 (RIA Novosti) - The first batch of Russian fifth-generation fighters will go into service in 2013, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said on Friday.

A prototype of the future fighter made a succesful 47-minute maiden flight on Friday in Russia's Far East.

"The first Russian fifth-generation fighters will be put into service with the Air Force in 2013, and regular deliveries will start in 2015," Putin said.

He added that the development of the aircraft was still underway and the flight tests would continue.

"A lot still has to be done [to make the fighter operational]...both in terms of the engines and weaponry," Putin said.

Russia has been developing its newest fighter since the 1990s. The current prototype, dubbed T-50, was designed by the Sukhoi design bureau and built at a plant in Komsomolsk-on-Amur.

Russian officials have already hailed the fighter as "a unique combat plane" which combines the capabilities of a heavy air superiority fighter and a strike aircraft.

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