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World Defense & Security News - Russia
 
 
First pictures of Russia's T-50 PAK FA fighter fitted with air-to-surface weapons
 
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.
     
First pictures of Russia s T 50 PAK FA fighter fitted with air to surface weapons 640 001Russia's PAK FA T-50-2 prototype fitted with two Kh-31 air-to-surface missiles
(Credit: Alex S/russianplanes.net)
     
Pictures unveiled on the russianplanes 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.

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. The T-50 prototype first flew on 29 January 2010 and the first production aircraft is slated for delivery to the Russian Air Force starting in late 2016 or early 2017. Yuri Borisov, Russia's deputy minister of defence for armaments stated in 2015 that the Air Force will slow PAK FA production and reduce its initial order of 150 aircraft to 12 jets due to the nation's deteriorating economy, along with the manufacturer's ability to produce the more complex aircraft.
     
First pictures of Russia s T 50 PAK FA fighter fitted with air to surface weapons 640 002The same T-50-2 prototype aircraft now armed with six unguided bombs
(Credit: Evgeny Volkov/russianplanes.net)