Russia to fly 5th-generation plane in 2007 - air force chief

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"Several experimental models will take to the skies as early as 2007, but for now they will be equipped with intermediary engines," Vladimir Mikhailov told journalists. "In the future they will get fifth-generation engines, development of which is ongoing."

MOSCOW, June 15 (RIA Novosti) - Russia will launch its first fifth-generation aircraft in 2007, the commander of the country's air force said Thursday.

"Several experimental models will take to the skies as early as 2007, but for now they will be equipped with intermediary engines," Vladimir Mikhailov told journalists. "In the future they will get fifth-generation engines, development of which is ongoing."

He said fifth-generation engines would be created by 2010, but that: "If everything goes well, we will be able to complete work earlier."

Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov said June 14 that Russia's first fifth-generation plane could make its maiden flight in 2009.

Mikhailov said in March that the new plane would be virtually invisible to air-defense systems.

He said the air force's financing would be increased in 2007, but did not name the exact figure.

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