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Russia tests jet fighter prototype

  |   March 3, 2011 at 11:49 AM
MOSCOW, March 3 (UPI) -- The Russian manufacturer of the country's newest fighter jet says a second prototype has successfully conducted its maiden flight.

"The second prototype of the fifth-generation fighter conducted today [Thursday] its first flight. The aircraft spent 44 minutes in the air. ... It was a successful flight which met all set parameters," the Sukhoi aircraft company said in a statement.

The T50 has been in development since the 1990s and is designed to compete with U.S. aircraft like the F-22 Raptor and the F-35 Lightning, RIA Novosti reported.

The first prototype, built at a factory in Komsomolsk-on-Amur in Russia's Far East, first flew in January 2010 and has had 40 test flights to date.

T-50 specifications remain classified, but sources say the design incorporates advanced stealth capability, supersonic cruising speed, and highly integrated control systems.

The Russian Air Force plans to acquire more than 60 T-50s beginning in 2015, RIA Novosti reported.

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