The Russian Defence Ministry has released a video which shows the new Russian SU T-50 fifth generation fighter in flight alongside various other Russian military aircraft. These include the TU-95 and TU-160 bombers, the SU-35 and MiG-29KUB fighters, the SU-33 naval fighter, the SU-34 fighter bomber and the YAK-130 advanced trainer. The film was apparently made in southern Russia, with the aircraft filmed by a cameraman based in an accompanying AN-12 military transport.
The Russian Defence Ministry had previously confirmed that the SU T-50 is about to enter service. The significance of this film is that it not only shows the appearance of this fighter in its final military form but shows it in the company of other military aircraft which are already in service. That confirms that the SU T-50 has now been formally accepted by the Russian Aerospace Forces and that its service entry is indeed now imminent.
One final point to make is that the aircraft’s service designation on formal entry into service will almost certainly not be “SU T-50”. That is a civilian designation for the industrial programme which has produced the aircraft. The military will almost certainly call it by some other name, which following standard Russian practice will use the initials of the design bureau (Sukhoi) and a number that follows an ascending numbering sequence. A possible designation might be “SU-37”, the SU-35 being the latest immediately preceding Sukhoi fighter. However the Sukhoi design bureau has previously used the “SU-37” designation to describe two other entirely unrelated aircraft and it may be that to avoid confusion the military will pick on a higher number.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.