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    Tests of Russia's new fighter must start in 2009 - deputy PM

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    The testing of Russia's fifth-generation fighter must begin in 2009 and the aircraft should be commissioned with the Russian Air Force in 2015, a deputy prime minister said on Wednesday.

    AKHTUBINSK, January 21 (RIA Novosti) - The testing of Russia's fifth-generation fighter must begin in 2009 and the aircraft should be commissioned with the Russian Air Force in 2015, a deputy prime minister said on Wednesday.

    "I insist that the testing start as early as 2009, and the fifth-generation fighter must enter service with the Russian Air Force in 2015," Sergei Ivanov said at a meeting of the Military-Industrial Commission.

    Earlier plans set 2010 for the first tests of the new fighter.

    Ivanov said Russia was "nearing the end of the development of the first prototype of the new fighter."

    Russia's advanced multirole fighter is being developed by Sukhoi, which is part of Russia's United Aircraft Corporation (UAC), along with India's Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), under a preliminary intergovernmental agreement signed in October 2007.

    Russia and India will simultaneously develop two versions of the combat aircraft - a two-seat version to meet the requirements of India's air superiority doctrine, and a single-seat version for the Russian Air Force.

    Russia's Sukhoi aircraft maker earlier said it had started to construct a prototype of the fifth-generation fighter, which will feature high maneuverability and stealth to ensure air superiority and precision in destroying ground and sea targets.

    The Russian version will be built at the Komsomolsk-on-Amur aircraft-manufacturing plant in Russia's Far East.

    Ivanov said on Wednesday that the aircraft manufacturing industry should review and adjust some testing programs and methods due to advanced nature of the new aircraft.

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