MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Russia’s fifth-generation fighter jet formerly known as Prospective Airborne Complex of Frontline Aviation (PAK FA), or Sukhoi T-50, has officially been named as the Su-57, Russian Aerospace Forces Commander Col. Gen. Viktor Bondarev said Friday.
"The decision has been made, the aircraft got its name, like a child after the birth. Su-57 — from now on, we will call it that way," Bondarev said in an interview with Russia's Zvezda broadcaster.
The jet made its maiden flight in 2010. Yuri Slyusar, the president of Russia's United Aircraft Corporation, which is involved in building the aircraft, said last month that the first Su-57s could come into service in 2019.
Since its first flight in the early 2010s, the T-50, part of the Prospective Airborne Complex of Frontline Aviation (PAK-FA) program, has receiving a vast series of upgrades to its avionics, stealth and armaments. On Wednesday, United Aircraft Corporation General Designer Sergei Korotkov confirmed that engineers are busy working on the creation of a next-generation engine for the plane, one that boasts increased thrust and fuel efficiency, lower cost, and improved reliability compared to the existing engine.
With six machines expected to be delivered into the Russian Aerospace Defense Forces by next year, the military plans to equip the air force with about 55 T-50 fighters by 2020, with mass production beginning after that.