Moscow: Russia plans to begin flight tests of a new fifth-generation fighter sometime in 2009, the Russian industry and energy minister said last week.
"The development of a fifth-generation Advanced Tactical Frontline Fighter is being carried out under the Sukhoi PAK FA project," Viktor Khristenko said in a report posted on the ministry's website.
"The flight tests of the aircraft are scheduled to begin in 2009," he said.
The new fighter aircraft, which will feature high maneuverability and stealth to ensure air superiority and precision in destroying ground and sea targets, will be built at the Komsomolsk-on-Amur aircraft-manufacturing plant in Russia's Far East.
The PAK FA fighter is meant to neutralise the perceived superiority of the American F-22 Raptor and F-35 Lightning II fighters.
They are meant to eventually replace the MiG-29 Fulcrum and Su-27 Flanker fighters in the Russian Air Force and will also be exported to other countries.
An agreement between India and Russia will see the PAK FA project developing a Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA) version for the Indian Air Force, based on Sukhoi's PAK FA platform. The FGFA would incorporate specific requirements of the Indian Air Force with the basic platform being common to both the countries.