The Russian Ministry of Defense released a new promotional video showing its pre-production Su-57s aircraft firing an air-to-air missile. The clip appears to show the first known instance of the advanced combat jet firing a missile from one of its two small wing-root weapons bays.
The video, which has the fantastical title “Beyond the laws of physics: the Russian ASF [Aerospace Forces] pilots have fully mastered Su-57 fighters,” first appeared on the Russian Ministry of Defense’s official YouTube channel on Mar. 24, 2020. This appears to have been in advance of the Day of Fighter Aviation of the Russian Air Force, which is Mar. 25.
The video’s release also comes some four months after images emerged of what appeared to be a new compact Russian air-to-air missile, derived, at least in part, from the medium-range R-77-series. Its overall size and other design elements suggested it could potentially be intended to fit inside the Su-57’s wing root bays.
The missile launch clip begins at approximately 1:19 in the runtime of the video below:
The footage shows the 5th generation aircraft from almost any angle, during taxiing, take off, formation and low-level flying, high-g maneuvering and landing.
Among all these interesting scenes, you also get a close-up glimpse at the IFR (In-Flight Refueling) probe and, above all, at what appears to be the right side weapons bay.
In fact, the aircraft is equipped with two triangular-shaped canoe-like bays outboard of the air intakes with door that would open to fire an AAM during combat. The use of the inside weapons bay would allow the aircraft to keep its LO (Low Observability) in combat.
The video shows the missile already outside the weapons bay but this is probably due to the fact that a launcher extends the missile into the airstream from the clamshell-like doors.
Russia has been actively working to expand the export potential for its Su-57 aircraft (NATO designation: “Felon”).
The Sukhoi Su-57 is a stealth, single-seat, twin-engine multirole fifth-generation jet fighter being developed since 2002 for air superiority and attack operations. It is a fifth-generation fighter program of the Russian Air Force. Sukhoi’s internal name for the aircraft is T-50. The Su-57 is planned to be the first aircraft in Russian military service to use stealth technology. Its maiden flight took place on 29 January 2010 and the first production aircraft are planned to be delivered in 2020