13:26 GMT08 May 2021
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    Despite a number of technical details and specs about the Russian Sukhoi PAK FA (also known as the T-50) fighter jet being known to the general public, the main mystery surrounding the newest aircraft still remains to be unraveled.

    It is with respect to what weapons the stealth fighter will carry.

    In an exclusive interview with the Russian TV channel Zvezda, Radik Bariev, head of the Chkalov Flight-Test Center of the Defense Ministry, spilled the beans on the PAK FA’s weaponry.

    While the regular Su-35 jet fighter has 12 mounting locations for bombs and missiles, the body of the T-50 – at first sight – has none.

    "It does have weapons. Let people dream a bit and use their fantasy. It also has locations for mounting weapons. It has everything it needs, and even more," Bariev told Zvezda.

    According to the Russian military, the weaponry is one of the most outstanding features of the newest aircraft, and thus it is still kept a secret.

    The single-seat, twin-engine jet fighter — the first operational aircraft in Russian service to use stealth technology — is designed to be used to achieve air superiority and assist in ground attacks.

    Besides its ability to fly at speeds well above Mach 2, the T-50 boasts other, even more important, features such as invisibility to radar, powerful weapons and high maneuverability.

    The use of composite materials, innovative technologies, advanced avionics and engines ensure the T-50’s extremely low level of radar, optical and infrared visibility.

    The T-50 also carries the upgraded BINS-SP2M inertial navigation system, that autonomously processes navigation and flight information, determines position and motion parameters in the absence of satellite navigation, and can integrate with GLONASS, Russia’s space-based satellite navigation system.

    In December 2014, Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation announced that production of the fighter was ready to begin in 2016. Fifty-five PAK FA jets will be delivered to the Russian Air Force by 2020.


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