The number of Russia's Sukhoi T-50 5th generation fighters involved in test flights will be increased to 14 from three by 2015, Russian Air Force Commander Col. Gen. Alexander Zelin told RIA Novosti on Monday.
“There are three fighters already in tests, another three are expected to be tested in the nearest future. The entire number of aircraft planned for test flights is 14,” Zelin said.
The T-50, developed under the program PAK FA (Future Aviation System for Tactical Air Force) at the Sukhoi aircraft design bureau, made its first public appearance at the MAKS-2011 air show near Moscow on August 17, 2011.
The fighter, which is being developed in partnership with India, made its maiden flight in the Russian Far East in early 2010.
Zelin also said that Russia’s T-50 outstripped its U.S. and Chinese analogues.
“After a comparative analysis of the fighter’s characteristics with the U.S. F-22 Raptor and Chinese J-20 stealth aircraft, we can conclude that PAK FA exceeds the foreign analogues in maximum speed, flight range, maximum takeoff weight and the maximum overload value,” Zelin added.
Russia has been developing its fifth-generation fighter since the 1990s. The country's top military officials have said the stealth fighter jet, with a range of up to 5,500 kilomeeters, should enter service with the Air Force in 2015.