According to the TASS report, Su-57M the production of an enhanced version of the Su-57 next-generation fighter, which first began serial production in 2019, is expected to start in 2025.
An unnamed source in the military-industrial sector was cited as the origin of the story. “In the upgraded version of the fighter as part of the Megapolis research and development project, a completely upgraded cockpit with the most advanced avionics will be installed.
In addition, the aircraft will be equipped with a second-stage power unit. It is planned that mass production of the upgraded Su-57 will start from 2025,” the source was quoted as having said, clarifying that the new variant would boast “a completely upgraded cockpit with the most advanced avionics will be installed.”
The Su-57 first entered service in the Russian Air Force in December 2020, with five fighters expected to be operational by the end of 2021 and 76 by the end of 2027. According to TASS, the fleet will have grown to two dozen fighters by the end of 2024.
The Su-57 will reportedly begin to integrate new Saturn 30 engines from 2022, which are reportedly the most powerful fighter engines in the world and are currently in an advanced prototype stage.
The fighter represents post-Soviet Russia’s first to use an original airframe that is not derived from one developed in the USSR, and represents a direct successor to the Su-27 and Su-30 heavyweight fighters currently in service.
The aircraft is prized for its powerful sensors, high endurance, sophisticated avionics, and electronic warfare systems, high internal weapons capacity, and excellent flight performance and while currently considered a fifth generation fighter a growing number of sixth-generation technologies continue to be tested on the airframe.
Improvements to new variants are expected to include the use of more advanced composite materials, integration of superior engines, newer armaments and electronic warfare systems, a stealthier profile, and the use of more next-generation features such as better forms of artificial intelligence capable of serving as a co-pilot. One notable recently unveiled upgrade was a new data link system for the fighter shown at the MAKS 2021 airshow.