MOSCOW — Russia on Friday unveiled a new fighter aircraft touted as a rival of the US F-22 stealth jet and developed amid the highest secrecy as part of a plan to modernize the armed forces.
The fifth generation fighter, manufactured by the Sukhoi company and known as the PAK FA, made a maiden flight of just over 45 minutes at the firm's home base of Komsomolsk-on-Amur in the Far East region.
"The flight lasted 47 minutes during which all the aircraft's systems were tested. It was successful," Sukhoi spokeswoman Olga Kayukova told AFP. "This is the first time it has been unveiled."
Pictures broadcast on state television showed the fighter jet -- which has been kept closely under wraps for years -- flying at altitude and then landing on a snow-surrounded runway.
"The aircraft performed well in all stages of the flight programme. It is easy and comfortable to pilot," said Sergei Bogdan, the pilot for the flight, in comments published on the Sukhoi website
Whats that DUmmies? No country out there has anything that warrents the need for the F-22?