Russian Air Force to receive first Su-57 stealth fighters jet in 2019

Russian Air Force and Russia’s Southern Military District to receive new Su-57 stealth fighters in 2019 and 2020 respectively

The Russian Air Force is slated to take delivery of its first Sukhoi Su-57 fighter aircraft, Russia’s first purported indigenously designed and built fifth-generation stealth fighter jet, in 2019, according to the deputy head of the Sukhoi Aircraft Company, Alexander Pekarsh.

Russia’s Southern Military District is to receive new Su-57 stealth fighters to bolster its capabilities in 2020, Commander of the Fourth Air and Air Defense Force Major General Nikolai Gostev said on Monday.

 

“If we speak about the Su-57 program, we are today at the stage of manufacturing the first serial aircraft,” Pekarsh, who oversees the company’s Komsomolsk-on-Amur production facility in the Russian Far East where Su-57 planes are manufactured, was quoted as saying by TASS news agency on February 26.

“In 2018, we completed the manufacture and the delivery of a batch of prototype planes that are now undergoing trials. Under the existing contract with the Defense Ministry, we have two planes in the production process, with the timeframe for the delivery of the first aircraft in 2019 and the second plane in 2020.”

At the moment, there are 10 Su-57 prototypes undergoing various stages of testing and evaluation. However, nine out of the 10 the Su-57 prototypes are equipped with a derivative of the Russian-made Saturn AL-41F1S engine, the AL-41F1, an older aircraft engine also installed on the Sukhoi Su-35S Flanker-E, and not with the more advanced Saturn izdeliye 30 engine featuring increased thrust and fuel efficiency and fitted with 3D thrust vectoring nozzles.  The Saturn izdeliye 30 engine, which enables the Su-57 to supercruise without afterburners, is not expected to be ready for serial production for a number of years.

Consequently, it is likely that the new aircraft will fly with the AL-41F1, which would call into question the stealth capabilities of the aircraft. The aircraft’s sensor suite and other mission systems also reportedly continue to suffer from developmental issues. Furthermore, the Su-57 lacks other high-end low-observable design features. All of this calls into question Russian claims that the Su-57 is a fifth-generation stealth fighter jet in its current configuration.

The Su-57 is a Russian-made fifth-generation stealth fighter designed to destroy all types of air targets at long and short ranges and hit the enemy ground and naval targets, overcoming its air defense capabilities.

Vladimir Putin said that Russia’s Su-57 stealth fighter jet is the world’s best plane “by all its operational characteristics and by its armament”.

“This is the best plane today, the world’s best aircraft,” Putin said at a meeting with the winners of the Russian Leaders contest. This is the world’s best plane “by all its operational characteristics and by its armament,” the Russian leader added.

“No other aircraft can fly as well as our plane,” the head of the Russian state stressed.

Deputy Defense Minister Alexei Krivoruchko said then that the military would receive the first Su-57 out of the planned 15 aircraft in 2019.

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