April 18 (UPI) -- Russia began testing the weapons for its 5th-generation stealth fighter with plans to complete the trials in 2017, according to state media reports.
The Sukhoi T-50 aircraft, also referred to as the PAK FA, is being designed to have similar capabilities as the Eurofighter Typhoon and the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor. The F-22 is also marketed as a 5th-generation stealth platform.
Oleg Chizhevsky, the vice president of Russia's research and industrial association NPO Pribor, told the TASS news agency to expect the munitions tests to be completed quickly.
"We hope that the official munitions tests for the T-50's cannon will be successfully completed this year," he said.
Once the project is completed, Russia will effectively break the monopoly on 5th-generation fighters held by the United States with the F-22. The Pentagon is also finalizing development for its second 5th-generation fighter, the F-35 Lightning II.
The F-35A variant, operated by the U.S. Air Force, recently departed for the craft's first operational deployment to Europe.
The Kremlin plans to present five operational PAK FA fighters at some point in 2017.