Russia to unveil 5th-generation fighter at airshow

Thu Aug 11, 2011 1:36pm EDT

* To make first public flight of long-delayed jet

* Airshow to be showcase for Russian aircraft industry

MOSCOW, Aug 11 (Reuters) - Russia will unveil its long-delayed fifth generation fighter jet at the MAKS airshow next week, Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov said on Thursday, a move it hopes will show the resurgence of its air industry.

Russia has been developing the jet -- known as the T-50 or by its Russian abbreviation PAKFA -- for some years in the hope of competing with the established F-22 United States aircraft made by Lockheed Martin/Boeing and the upcoming Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

"The fifth-generation fighter will be displayed in the sky for the first time (next week)," Ivanov told a government session.

The plane, designed by Sukhoi, a unit of United Aviation Corporation, had its first test flight in January 2010.

Russia's once-booming military and civil aircraft sector was left in ruins following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, but was earmarked for revival under Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's presidency in 2000-2008.

Putin is expected to visit next week's airshow, held on the outskirts of Moscow, in the hope of overseeing a string of orders for Russian planes and helicopters as well as deals with overseas manufacturers.

Russia signed a deal in December to jointly develop the fifth-generation fighter with India, a long-time customer for its military products. (Reporting by Gleb Bryanski; Writing by John Bowker; Editing by Will Waterman) ($1=31.10 Rouble)