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Russian Air Force expects to receive first T-50 PAK FA fighters in 2017

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The PAK FA fifth generation fighter.

MOSCOW (BNS): The Russian Air Force could receive the first five T-50 PAK FA fifth-generation fighter aircraft in 2017, the country's Air Force Chief has said.

"We will complete the trials of the PAK FA fighter jet next year. The first five PAK FA fighter jets have been included in the contract," Russian Aerospace Force Commander-in-Chief Viktor Bondarev said as reported by Itar-Tass news agency.

"I believe that we will start receiving the first five planes next year," he said, adding that serial production of the advanced fighter jets will begin soon after the initial delivery.

The Aerospace Force is receiving Sukhoi Su-35S multi-role fighters, Mil Mi-28N (Havoc) and Kamov Ka-52 (Hokum-B) attack helicopters, as well as upgraded Tupolev Tu-95MS (Bear) and Tu-160 (Blackjack) strategic bombers that "are showing excellent characteristics," the Air Chief said.

Meanwhile, about 20 Sukhoi Su-30SM multi-role fighters would be delivered to the Air Force annually.

"We purchase planes of this type annually. We will receive 20-24 planes, which is virtually the number needed to equip an air regiment," Bondarev said.

The Russian Defence Ministry has awarded a contract to Irkut Corporation for the supply of Su-30SM multi-role fighters as part of the State Defence Order for 2016-2018.

The contract entails the delivery of more than 30 Su-30SM fighters to the Russian Air Force by the end of 2018.

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