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Russia to deploy fifth-gen fighters, S-500 missiles in 2016
In 2016, the Russian military will start deploying two advanced weapons, the fifth-generation fighter jet PAK FA and the long-range surface-to-air missile systems S-500.
In 2016, the Russian military will start deploying two advanced weapons, the fifth-generation fighter jet PAK FA and the long-range surface-to-air missile systems S-500, chief of the Russian Air Forces said.
Lieutenant General  Viktor Bondarev gave an outline of his branch's modernization  plans, including the build-up of Arctic infrastructure, in a  radio interview with the Russian News Service station on  Sunday.

The flight trials of PAK FA (T-50) will soon be over, and in 2016  the Air Force is planning to start commissioning the aircraft  into service, the general said.
PAK FA is Russia's first fifth-generation fighter jet built by  the Sukhoi Corporation. So far five prototypes have been  completed and are undergoing various tests. The fighter is  scheduled to eventually replace Sukhoi Su-27s.
“It took part in the [international pilot competition]  Aviadarts twice and performed aerobatic flights in pair. I  believe the aircraft has a brilliant future,” the general  said.

Another new addition to the ranks planned for 2016 is S-500, a  state-of-the-art long-range air defense system developed by Almaz  Antei, Bondarev said. The producer is finalizing new missiles for  the system, which would have advanced homing electronics. “The missiles will have a build-in intelligence system, which  will analyze the aerial and radar environment and take decisions  about its altitude, speed and direction of the flight,” the  general said.

S-500 is an advanced version of S-400 with dedicated components  designed to intercept ballistic missiles at a height of up to 200  km. The system is expected to be able to shut down up to 10  incoming ballistic missiles simultaneously. It also has an  extended radar range compared to S-400.

Gen. Bondarev confirmed the previously reported schedule for the  development of PAK DA, a new Russian strategic bomber. So far  little has been made public about the aircraft, which is to  replace Tupolev Tu-95s and Tu-160s as the backbone of Russia's  aerial nuclear capability. It's rumored to be a sub-sonic flying  wing design and may have a new nuclear-capable cruise missile  developed for armament. The general confirmed that the Air Forces expect Tupolev to  produce first prototypes of PAK DA by the end of the decade and  launch series production in 2021-2022. In the meantime,  modernization programs for Tu-95s and Tu-160s are enough to keep  the Russian strategic bomber fleet in good shape and sufficient  for the renewed long-range flight missions, he said.
Arguably the biggest modernization effort required from the Air  Forces is focused on the Arctic infrastructure. Back in Soviet  times the military maintained a massive network of airfields and  radar stations in the north, but they were neglected in the years  following the USSR’s collapse. With rich Arctic resources  becoming more accessible and a potential for a conflict in the  area growing, the Russian military are rebuilding the Arctic  bases.
“We don't see any rivals in the Arctic now, but if a  challenge comes, we must be prepared to defend this region. The  presence in the Arctic will be increased,” General Bondarev  said.
Russia this year reopened the Temp airfield on Kotelny Island  north of eastern Siberia, the general announced. There are plans  to enlarge the bases in Tiksi, Alykel, Vorkuta and Anadyr. In the  future, full-strength divisions and regiments of the Russian Air  Force will be deployed in the north.

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