The Sukhoi PAK FA (Russian: 0;, Perspektivnyi Aviatsionnyi Kompleks Frontovoi Aviatsy, literally "Future Front line Aircraft System"), is a fifth generation fighter aircraft being developed by Sukhoi OKB for the Russian Air Force.
The current prototype is Sukhoi's T-50. The PAK FA when fully developed is intended to replace the MiG-29 Fulcrum and Su-27 Flanker in the Russian inventory and serve as the basis of the Sukhoi/HAL FGFA project being developed with India. A fifth generation jet fighter, it is designed to directly compete with the American F-22 Raptor and American/British F-35 Lightning II. The T-50 performed its first flight January 29, 2010.
In the late 1980s, the Soviet Union outlined a need for a next-generation aircraft to replace its MiG-29 and Su-27 in frontline service. Two projects were proposed to meet this need, the Sukhoi Su-47 and the Mikoyan Project 1.44. In 2002, Sukhoi was chosen to lead the design for the new combat aircraft. The PAK FA will incorporate technology from both the Su-47 and the MiG 1.44.
The Tekhnokompleks Scientific and Production Center, Ramenskoye Instrument Building Design Bureau, the Tikhomirov Scientific Research Institute of Instrument Design, the Ural Optical and Mechanical Plant (Yekaterinburg), the Polet firm (Nizhniy Novgorod) and the Central Scientific Research Radio Engineering Institute (Moscow) were pronounced winners in the competition held in the beginning of 2003 for the development of the avionics suite for the fifth-generation airplane. NPO Saturn has been determined the lead executor for work on the engines for this airplane.
The Novosibirsk Chkalov Aviation Production Association (NAPO Chkalov) has begun construction of the fifth-generation multirole fighter. This work is being performed at Komsomol'sk-on-Amur together with Komsomolsk-on-Amur Aircraft Production Association; the enterprise's general director, Fedor Zhdanov reported during a visit to NAPO by Novosibirsk Oblast's governor Viktor Tolokonskiy on 6 March 2007. "Final assembly will take place at Komsomol'sk-on-Amur, and we will be carrying out assembly of the fore body of this airplane," Zhdanov specified.
On 8 August 2007, Russian Air Force Commander Alexander Zelin was quoted by Russian news agencies that the development stage of the PAK FA program is now complete and construction of the first aircraft for flight testing will now begin. Alexander Zelin also said that by 2009 there will be three fifth-generation aircraft ready. "All of them are currently undergoing tests and are more or less ready", he said.
 Maiden flight
On 28 of February 2009 Mikhail Pogosyan announced that the airframe for the aircraft was almost finished and that the first prototype should be ready by August 2009. On 20 August 2009, Sukhoi General Director Mikhail Pogosyan said that the first flight would be by year end. Konstantin Makiyenko, deputy head of the Moscow-based Centre for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies said that "even with delays", the plane would likely make its first flight by January or February, adding that there could be at least 10 years between the first flight and commercial production.
The Weekly Standard reported that Russian sources had indicated that the T-50 prototype would fly in 2010 or early 2011 with current technology radar, engines and avionics as the advanced systems for the completed PAK FA will require help from a foreign partner.
On December 8, 2009, Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov announced that the first trials with the fifth-generation aircraft would begin in 2010. The testing, however, has commenced earlier than stated, with the first successful taxiing test taking place on December 24, 2009. The aircraft's maiden flight took place on 29 January 2010 at KnAAPO's Komsomolsk-na-Amure Dzemgi Airport; the aircraft was piloted by Sergey Bogdan
Russia and India agreed in early 2007 to jointly study and develop a Fifth-Generation Fighter Aircraft Programme (FGFA). On October 27, 2007, Asia Times quoted Sukhoi's director, Mikhail Pogosyan, "We [India and Russia] will share the funding, engineering and intellectual property [of the new project] in a 50-50 proportion." The Indian version, according to the deal, will be different from the Russian version and specific to Indian requirements. While the Russian version will be a single-pilot fighter, the Indian variant will have a twin-seat configuration based on its operational doctrine which calls for a greater combat radius. The wings and control surfaces need to be reworked for the FGFA. Although development work has yet to begin, the Russian side has expressed optimism that a test article will be ready for its maiden flight by early 2010, with induction into service by 2015. Its maiden flight is said to be in early 2010. According to sources, both Russia and India will commit to build 250 fighters each and the cost of development will reach US$810 billion.[broken citation]
In January 2010 it was reported that the Bangalore-based HAL has negotiated firmly to get a 25 per cent share of design and development work in the FGFA programme. HAL's work share will include critical software, including the mission computer; navigation systems; most of the cockpit displays; the counter measure dispensing (CMD) systems; and modifying Sukhois single-seat prototype into the twin-seat fighter that the Indian Air Force (IAF) wants. Further, Russia's expertise in titanium structures will be complemented by India's experience in composites like in the fuselage. A total of 500 aircraft are planned with option for further aircrafts. The Russian Air Force may get 200 single seated and 50 twin-seated PAK FAs while the Indian Air Force is interested in 200 twin-seated and 50 single-
Although most of information about the PAK FA is classified, it is believed from interviews with people in the Russian Air Force and defense ministry that it will be stealthy, have the ability to supercruise, be outfitted with the next generation of air-to-air, air-to-surface, and air-to-ship missiles, incorporate a fix-mounted AESA radar with a 1,500-element array and have an "artificial intellect".
The PAK FA was expected use a pair of Saturn 117S engines on its first flights. The 117S (AL-41F1A) is a major upgrade of the AL-31F based on the AL-41F intended to power the Su-35BM, producing 142 kN (32,000 lb) of thrust in afterburner and 86.3 kN (19,400 lb) dry. In fact, PAK FA already used a completely new engine in its first flight, as stated by NPO Saturn. The engine is not based on the Saturn 117S. The engine generates a larger thrust and a complex automation system, to facilitate flight modes such as maneuverability. Exact specifications of the new engine are still secret.
The first flight video shows that PAK-FA has no conventional rudders, its vertical tails are fully movable. This special tail fin design is mechanically similar to V-tails used by the Northrop YF-23 in 1990s, but is supplemented by dedicated horizontal stabilators (as on the F-22).
* Crew: 1
* Length: 22 m (72 ft)
* Wingspan: 14.2 m (46.5 ft)
* Height: 6.05 m (19.8 ft)
* Wing area: 78.8 m² (848.1 ft)
* Empty weight: 18,500 kg (40,785 lb)
* Loaded weight: 26,000 kg (57,320 lb)
* Useful load: 7,500 kg (combat load) (16,534 lb)
* Max takeoff weight: 37,000 kg (81,570 lb)
* Powerplant: 2× New unnamed engine by NPO Saturn of 175 KN each,
* Maximum speed: 2,600 km/h (Mach 2.45) (at 17,000 m altitude) (1,615 mph (at 45,000 ft altitude))
* Cruise speed: 1,300 - 1,800 km/h (808 - 1,118 mph)
* Range: 4,000-5,500 km (2,500-3,100 miles)
* Service ceiling: 20,000 m (65,616 ft)
* Rate of climb: 350 m/sec (1184 ft/sec)
* Wing loading: 330(normal) - 470(maximum) kg/m² (67(normal) - 96(maximum) lb/ft²)
* Thrust/weight: 1.4
* Guns: 1x30mm
* Hardpoints: 10 internal, 2 external for R-74M Archer and R-77M Adder missiles