The Russian military will name the country’s first fifth-generation fighter jet ‘Sukhoi Su-57,’ the commander of the Russian Air Force has confirmed. The aircraft was dubbed ‘PAK FA’ and ‘T-50’ during its development.
“The decision has been taken, the plane has been christened. Su-57 is what we are going to call it now,” Gen. Col. Viktor Bondarev told Zvezda, the Russian Defense Ministry’s official TV channel.
The quote is part of an interview which will be published later on Saturday.
The general confirmed earlier media reports, which said PAK FA’s official designation would be Su-57. There had been speculation in military media outlets that the name would be officially confirmed during the MAKS 2017 Air Show near Moscow in July, but this failed to materialize.
The Su-57 made its maiden flight in 2010 and is expected to go into series in 2019, when production of the first batch of 12 fighter jets will begin, according to the manufacturer. The Russian Defense Ministry could contract up to 200 of the advanced aircraft for its fleet.
The multirole fighter jet comes with an estimated price tag of $50 million apiece and features a body primarily built of composite materials for stealth, supercruise capability at a speed of Mach 1.3 and supermaneuvrability during dog fights. Sometime after going into series it will receive a newly-designed engine, currently dubbed ‘Product 30.’
The armament of the Su-57 is placed in internal bays to reduce air drag and radar cross section. It includes a recently-modernized 30mm cannon and a range of 14 different air-to-air and air-to-ground missiles and guided bombs.