Russian Su-57 Tested Controlling Su-35 Fighter Jet Swarm In Real Combat Conditions

Russian Su-57 Tested Controlling Su-35 Fighter Jet Swarm In Real Combat Conditions
Sukhoi Su-57 fighter jets perform. Sputnik/Aleksey Nikolskyi/Kremlin via REUTERS

A Russian Su-57 stealth jet controlled a group of Su-35 front-line fighter in a teaming experiment designed to function as a ‘swarm’ in a coordinated attack mission.

“The experiment was carried out in real combat conditions. A group of Su-35 fighters was involved in the flock, the role of the command and control aircraft was performed by the Su-57,” news agency TASS reported quoting sources from Russia’s ‘military-industrial complex.’

Sources explained to TASS that use of a “swarm” operating in a single information space, significantly increases the efficiency of combat missions. The place and date of the experiment was not specified.

The report did not describe what ‘real combat conditions’ meant. Whether the jet swarm was tested in simulated battle conditions at home or in Syria where Russia has previously conducted several tactical experiments involving the Su-57.

As the leading Russian military expert, chief editor of Arsenal of the Fatherland magazine Viktor Murakhovsky noted, such tests are important in terms of building a unified information system for the armed forces.

“Work on interaction in a general battle order [in a flock – ed.] is important. In the future, information from all aircraft sensors, as well as from air defense systems, from satellites, from ground-based equipment should come into a single system that will create a single information field for land, air and space. And in it, with the support of artificial intelligence, the distribution of combat work, including for aviation, will already take place,” the expert explained.

He added that similar work is being carried out by the United States of America, in particular for its F35 fighters. At the same time, Murakhovsky said, so far neither Russia nor the United States have been able to build such a single information system for managing all types of troops due to difficulties in creating a single data format for different types and branches of the armed forces.

As we reported on May 5 the Russian Navy has worked out a new tactic called the “hunting flock”, designed to combat enemy submarines and defend their bases.

As part of this system, which was developed last year, several small anti-submarine ships and one of the newest patrol project 22160 – “Vasily Bykov”. Ka-27 anti-submarine helicopters act as assistants-search engines for submarines.

“Vasily Bykov” is included in a single combat contour of the base, which allows real-time reporting of the coordinates of targets to the S-400 Triumph coastal long-range air defense systems.

In addition, the Gibka anti-aircraft missile system was installed on board the ship. This SAM is capable of attacking planes, helicopters and drones.

At the moment, the Navy has two patrol ships (PC) of project 22160 – “Vasily Bykov” and “Dmitry Rogachev”. Both are part of the Black Sea Fleet.

Project 22160 PCs, in turn, are designed in a modular manner, which allows you to quickly install the weapons needed to perform a specific combat mission. Thus, new systems with various auxiliary equipment are currently being actively tested.

Before a week ago we reported that the Turkish company Defense Technologies Engineering and Trade will supply the Ministry of Defense of Turkey with hundreds of drones, among which there may be 356 units of Kargu kamikaze drones.

Such a weapon could become a “killer” of Russian-made “Pantsi-S1” anti-aircraft missile-cannon systems in Syria and Libya. According to the Drive magazine Kargu can also unite in a swarm of 20 drones for the purpose of a massive attack, which “could give the Turkish troops a new opportunity, potentially changing the game.”

Russian experts are confident that “the use of this ammunition in the daytime presents a certain problem, since it is vulnerable even to small arms,” however, flying a flock of such “kamikaze” in the air defense position at night may “constitute a serious problem for the enemy.”

“In general, Turkey has become the locomotive of the development and production of unmanned aerial vehicles, using large types of which achieved great results in Syria and Libya only this year,” they [experts – ed.] said.

As we announced earlier in the year, the Russian Aerospace Forces have successfully tested the unmanned mode of a fifth-generation Su-57 aircraft.

“An unmanned mode is being developed on the basis of the T-50 flying laboratory. The pilot is in the cockpit during the flight, but only controls the performance of all functions,” the agency’s interlocutor said.

According severeal sources from Russian Aerospace Forces Su-57 fighter will be supported by a real “killer” – a “more advanced” heavy attack drone. The development of an updated version of a heavy reconnaissance and strike drone has already begun.

It will be equipped with artificial intelligence. It will be possible to remotely control it from a Su-57 fighter. The device will be able to lay a route without human intervention, bypassing the enemy’s air defense, find and attack the most important targets [headquarters, communication centers, missile launchers] and return unscathed to the base. You can imagine what kind of fear the Su-57 will bring along with such an assistant. Such a combination will be the strongest in the world!

The combined flight of the S-70 “Hunter” heavy drone and the Su-57 fighter, in fact, is becoming the first visual example in the world of the flight integration of a drone with a fifth-generation fighter.

Therefore, the use and inclusion of heavy attack drones with artificial intelligence, which are under the control of the leading aircraft Su-57 represent a change in the traditional understanding of the tactical formation of the flock.

One or a maximum of two drones would be enough to disperse an enemy very well, assuming that in such a formation, they would play the role of a leading attacking weapon.

In an air battle, enemy pilots would be confused, as they would have to watch for a third participant in the battle [drone – ed.], who, in addition to being piloted by the Su-57 pilot, could also navigate from the ground [hidden pilot – ed.]. Then the enemy pilot would have to deal with his familiar enemy combat techniques in the air, but it is almost impossible to read the combat tactics of a pilot from the ground, as the psyche and way of thinking of the two types of pilots is radically different specific mission.

The hidden UAV’s pilot in any time can change the tactic formation and confused the enemy fighter pilot and also the navigation ground command. Literally the drone’s piot could change flock tactick into controlled chaos attack.

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