The Russian military will deploy the fifth generation fighter jet PAK FA and long range surface-to-air missile system S-500 in 2016, chief of Russian air forces, Lieutenant General Viktor Bondarev said today.
In a radio interview with Russian News Service station on Sunday, Bondarev said, “The flight trials of PAK FA (T-50) will soon be over, and in 2016 the Air Force is planning to start commissioning the aircraft into service.”
So far, five prototypes of PAK FA have been completed and are undergoing various tests. The fighters will eventually replace Sukhoi Su-27s, according to Ria Novosti.
“The producer is finalizing new missiles for the system, which would have advanced homing electronics. The missiles will have a build-in intelligence system, which will analyze the aerial and radar environment and take decisions about its altitude, speed and direction of the flight,” the general said.
S-500 is an advanced version of S-400 with dedicated components designed to intercept ballistic missiles at a height of up to 200 km.
The general confirmed that the Air Forces expect Tupolev to produce first prototypes of PAK DA by the end of the decade and launch series production in 2021-2022. In the meantime, modernization programs for Tu-95s and Tu-160s are enough to keep the Russian strategic bomber fleet in good shape and sufficient for the renewed long-range flight missions, he said.