Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu confirmed on Thursday that two T-50 PAK FA jets were deployed to Syria for testing
Responding to a question, Defense Minister Shoigu said, “Indeed, they were there for a while. Two days. During that time, they completed a program of trials, including combat ones. I can say that the trials were success and the planes returned home a week ago.”
It was not immediately possible to confirm whether the jets had returned to Russia. The jets were spotted last week arriving to the country.
“There were two planes escorted by flying laboratories and test beds monitoring the parameters of weapons work,” he said.
Defense Minister Shoigu dismissed satellite images appearing to show the two aircraft side-by-side at Hmeymim airbase, stating, “As for various satellite photos, I can state that now is not the year of 1995 and such planes are never located side by side. I am unaware where the released images were taken as the jets were kept in hangars throughout” their deployment.
The military designation of the T-50 PAK FA is Su-57. ImageSat International published imagery from February 23, 2018, appearing to show two PAK FA prototype jets next to each other at Hmeymim airbase.
#ISI reveals the first deployment of two #Russian stealth fighters #SU-57, as can be seen in Eros-B #satellite imagery from yesterday pic.twitter.com/SoOEhhpe0R
— imagesatintl (@imagesatint) February 24, 2018
Last month, Deputy Defense Minister Yuri Borisov noted that the aircraft were entering combat trials.