Turns out, the dreaded Sukhoi T-50 PAK FA is not the only fifth-generation fighter jet under development by Russia. The PAK FA is expected to enter services in 2017. But the Russian Aircraft Corporation MiG is developing yet another cutting-edge lightweight fifth generation fight jet. The new lightweight fighter jet will be based on Mikoyan Project 1.44 (NATO reporting name: Flatpack), reports Sputnik News.
Russia’s new fifth generation jet to replace MiG-29
The Mikoyan Project 1.44 was meant to develop an alternative to the Advanced Tactical Fighter (ATF) project of the United States that led to the development of Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor. The aircraft made its first flight in 2000. It boasted of stealth technology, advanced avionics, super-cruise, and super-maneuverability. However, Russia shut down the project over a decade ago.
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On Tuesday, MiG CEO Sergei Korotkov said that the company will use the experience gained from the Project 1.44 to develop the new fifth-generation fighter jet. He added that the new plane will also use some of the technology developed for MiG-35 (Fulcrum-F) air superiority fighter. The new fifth-generation jet is supposed to replace the ageing MiG-29, which was first introduced in 1983.
Russian Air Force to get the first batch of PAK FA in 2017
However, it may take years before this lightweight jet is inducted into the Russian Air Force. Meanwhile, the first batch of Sukhoi T-50 PAK FA will join the Air Force in late 2016 or early 2017. PAK FA is a multi-role, twin-engine, single-seat, air superiority fighter with stealth capabilities. It is expected to have a service life of up to 35 years. It boasts of new avionics package that provides intelligent support and superior automatic control.
According to Sputnik News, the PAK FA is outfitted with a unique digital weapon guidance system with “fire-and-forget” capabilities. This technology allows the jet to lock on a target and hit it when it is no longer in the line-of-sight. It also features an improved technology to locate and track targets.