The Russian Navy will not receive a fifth-generation fighter before 2020, Russian Navy air forces and air defence forces head Lieutenant General Valery Uvarov said.

“It’s difficult to say when this aircraft will enter naval service. First it will go into service with the air force, and then be navalised. Conditions might be suitable by 2020,” Uvarov said.

The Defence Ministry and armed forces representatives had said a Sukhoi T.50-based new naval fighter could enter service around 2016.

The navy is still awaiting the delivery of the naval MiG-29K, which is being exported to India, according to RIA Novosti.

The Russian Navy is currently undergoing structural reforming, with plans to merge naval air forces and naval air defence into one branch.