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    Russia's future fighter conquers the skies

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    Russia's prototype fifth-generation fighter made a 45-minute maiden flight on Friday in the Far East, Russian television reported.

    Russia's prototype fifth-generation fighter made a 45-minute maiden flight on Friday in the Far East, Russian television reported.

    The flight had been postponed for 24 hours due to poor weather conditions in Komsomolsk-on-Amur where the prototype is being tested.

    "The plane showed a superb performance. It has met all our expectations for the maiden flight," said Olga Kayukova, a spokesperson for the Sukhoi aircraft manufacturer.

    Russia has been developing its newest fighter since the 1990s. The country's top military officials earlier said the stealth fighter jet, with a range of up to 5,500 km, would enter service with the Air Force in 2015.

    Russia's fifth-generation project is Sukhoi's PAK FA and the current prototype is the T-50. It is designed to compete with the U.S. F-22 Raptor, so far the world's only fifth-generation fighter, and the F-35 Lightning II.

    The PAK FA is to be equipped with the most advanced technology and armed with next-generation high-precision weaponry.

    India, which has a long history of defense relations with Moscow, remains Russia's sole partner in the project.

    India's Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) was reported to be seeking a 25% share in design and development in the project. It has also sought to modify Sukhoi's single-seat prototype into the twin-seat fighter India's Air Force wants.

     

    MOSCOW, January 29 (RIA Novosti)

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