Russia launches construction of fifth generation fighter jet

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Moscow, Dec 12 (UNI) Air Force commander Col General Alexander Zelin today said Russian defence industry has started the construction of a prototype of the fifth generation combat aircraft.

''At present, we have prepared detailed work design documentation for the fifth generation aircraft. The documentation has been passed to the manufacturer and it has begun the construction of the prototype,'' Zelin told RIA Novosti news agency.

A Russian-Indian advanced mult-irole fighter is being developed by Sukhoi, which is part of Russia's United Aircraft Corporation (UAC), and India's Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, under an intergovernmental agreement signed in October.

The new fighter jet , which will feature high manoeuvreability and stealth to ensure air superiority and precision in destroying ground and sea targets, will be built at the Komsomolsk-on-Amur aircraft-manufacturing plant in Russia's Far East.

Flight tests of the fifth generation fighter will begin as early as 2009 and mass production of the aircraft may start by 2015.

''At present, we are building prototypes of the fifth generation fighter and will soon start preparation for flight testing, which is planned for 2009," Sukhoi CEO Mikhail Pogosyan announced last week at the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace (LIMA) 2007 exhibition in Malaysia.

On the future implementation of the Russian-Indian project, Pogosyan said joint efforts should be focused on three areas: coordination of technical specifications, application of advanced technologies, and preparation of a legal framework for future cooperation.

''We have conducted preliminary discussions on these issues and now we have to work out a detailed programme for the implementation of the fifth generation fighter project,'' he said.


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