Nearly two weeks after Russia's sole aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov was engulfed in a major fire, a Sukhoi Su-57 fifth-generation fighter crashed near Komsomolsk-on-Amur in the country's far east on Tuesday, making it the first casualty of the stealth jet.
"The pilot of the ill-fated plane that crashed during a training flight ejected safely. The incident took place 111km away from the base airfield. There was no damage on the ground," local media reported, citing a statement released by United Aircraft Corporation (UAC).
The crash marks the first total loss of a Su-57 jet, although one of the type's T-50 prototypes was allegedly badly damaged due to an engine fire in 2014.
Ten Su-57s have been built at Sukhoi's plant in Komsomolsk-on-Amur for pre-production tests and combat evaluation. Some of them have been flown in combat during Russia's military campaign in Syria.
"The Su-57 fighter jet crashed in Taiga forest, far from Komsomolsk-on-Amur, during manufacturer's trials. The pilot ejected," an administration official was quoted as saying by TASS on Tuesday.
A special commission has reportedly been set up to investigate the cause of the crash.
On December 12, Admiral Kuznetsov carrier was engulfed in a major fire while the vessel was undergoing engine repairs. According to Russia's Kommersant newspaper, the damage caused by the inferno is effectively equivalent to the current value of the ship, at 95 billion rubles (around $1.52 billion).
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