FighterSweep Fans, the Sukhoi T-50, also known as the PAK-FA, is entering a new phase of flight test. It was seen recently taxiing out for a flight equipped with both anti-ship missiles and free-fall bombs. Russia’s Aerospace Forces (RuAF) are expected to field the aircraft, which doesn’t have an official designation yet, sometime later this year or early in 2017.

According to pictures released on the internet, Russia’s Sukhoi T-50 PAK FA fighter aircraft started flight test campaign armed with air-to-surface weapons.

These tests took place at the Gromov Flight Research Institute, located at the Zhukovsky Air Base. Pictures unveiled on the website first showed the T-50-2 prototype fitted with Kh-31 anti-ship missiles. A second series of pictures unveiled a few days before show the same prototype aircraft performing a test flight armed with two Kh-31 anti-ship missiles.

The Kh-31, also dubbed X-31 in Russia, is a Russian air-to-surface missile. It can reach a Mach 3.5 max speed, depending on variants. Its warhead is equipped with a 94kg HE shaped charge. The Kh-31 has an operational range of up to 110 km.

T-50 Seen Fitted With Air-To-Surface Weapons!
T-50 equipped with Kh-31 anti-ship missiles. (Photo courtesy of Evgeny Volkov/
T-50 Seen Fitted With Air-To-Surface Weapons!
T-50 equipped with gravity bombs. (Photo courtesy of Evgeny Volkov/

A few days later, the website released pictures showing the same aircraft fitted with 6 free fall bombs. The PAK FA previously had only performed flight tests with air-to-air missiles. Russia’s T-50 PAK FA is a fifth-generation fighter programme of the Russian Air Force.

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