ZHUKOVSKY, August 30 (RIA Novosti) – Russia is developing an unmanned combat air vehicle based on the T-50 fifth-generation fighter jet, the United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) said Friday.
The drone is still mostly on the drawing board, however, as development is currently at a “preliminary research stage,” in accordance with plans approved by the Russian Defense Ministry, UAC president Mikhail Pogosyan said at the MAKS-2013 airshow near Moscow.
With the significant technological head start provided by the T-50 program, it will be relatively easy to go ahead with the practical realization of the drone project once the fundamental specifications are agreed upon, Pogosyan said.
The T-50, which will make up the core of Russia's future fighter fleet, is a multirole warplane featuring stealth technology, super-maneuverability, super-cruise capability, and advanced avionics including an active electronically scanned array radar, according to its designer Sukhoi.
The T-50, currently undergoing tests in prototype form, made its first public appearance at the MAKS airshow two years ago.