The Su-57 is a fifth-generation multirole fighter aircraft developed by Russia’s Sukhoi Company (part of United Aircraft Corporation). It is designed to compete with other fifth-generation fighters like the F-22 Raptor and F-35 Lightning II.
The Su-57 features advanced avionics, stealth technology, supercruise capability (the ability to fly at supersonic speeds without using afterburners), and the ability to carry a wide range of weapons. It also has a highly maneuverable airframe and is designed for both air-to-air and air-to-ground missions.
The Su-57 made its first flight in 2010 and has undergone several rounds of testing and development since then. It entered service with the Russian Air Force in 2020, with initial operational capability expected to be achieved in 2021.
What are some features of Su-57?
Here are some of the key features of the Su-57:
- Stealth technology: The Su-57 is designed to have a low radar cross-section, which makes it harder to detect and track by enemy radar systems.
- Super cruise capability: The aircraft can fly at supersonic speeds (up to Mach 2) without using afterburners, which allows for faster acceleration and longer flight range.
- Advanced avionics: The Su-57 features a highly advanced avionics suite, including a digital fly-by-wire system, advanced sensors, and integrated electronic warfare systems.
- Highly maneuverable airframe: The aircraft has a highly maneuverable airframe, which allows it to perform advanced aerial maneuvers and evade enemy missiles.
- Multirole capabilities: The Su-57 is designed for both air-to-air and air-to-ground missions, with the ability to carry a wide range of weapons including air-to-air missiles, air-to-surface missiles, bombs, and rockets.
- Next-generation engines: The Su-57 is powered by two Saturn AL-41F1 turbofans, which provide high thrust and fuel efficiency, as well as reduced heat signature and noise.
- Advanced materials: The aircraft is constructed using advanced composite materials, which reduces its weight and enhances its durability.
Cost of Su-57?
The exact cost of the Su-57 is difficult to estimate, as it depends on a number of factors including production volume, research and development costs, and other associated expenses.
However, according to various reports, the unit cost of the Su-57 is estimated to be around $40-50 million USD per aircraft. This makes it significantly cheaper than other fifth-generation fighters like the F-35 and the F-22, which are estimated to cost around $80-100 million and $150-200 million per aircraft, respectively.
It’s worth noting, however, that the development costs for the Su-57 have been quite high, with estimates ranging from $10 to $15 billion USD. This is partly due to the fact that the aircraft represents a significant technological leap for Russia, and required the development of a number of new systems and components.
Despite the high development costs, the relatively low unit cost of the Su-57 has made it an attractive option for Russia and other countries looking to acquire advanced fighter aircraft at a lower cost.
Competitors of Su-57?
The Su-57 is designed to compete with other fifth-generation fighter aircraft, which include:
1. F-22 Raptor: The F-22 is a stealth fighter aircraft developed by the United States, and is considered to be one of the most advanced fighter aircraft in the world. It has been in service since 2005 and is designed primarily for air-to-air combat.
2. F-35 Lightning II: The F-35 is another fifth-generation fighter aircraft developed by the United States, and is designed for both air-to-air and air-to-ground missions. It has been in service since 2015 and is one of the most expensive weapons programs in history.
3. J-20: The J-20 is a fifth-generation fighter aircraft developed by China, and is considered to be one of the most advanced aircraft in the Chinese Air Force. It is primarily designed for air-to-air combat, but also has some limited air-to-ground capabilities.
Disadvantages of Su-57?
While the Su-57 is a highly capable fighter aircraft, there are some potential disadvantages and limitations that have been identified by analysts and experts. Here are a few:
- Development delays: The Su-57 has experienced a number of development delays, with the first flight of the prototype taking place in 2010 and the aircraft only entering service in 2020. This has led to concerns about the reliability and maturity of the aircraft’s systems.
- Cost: While the Su-57 is cheaper than other fifth-generation fighters, the development costs have been high, and the unit cost is still relatively expensive compared to other fighter aircraft.
- Limited export potential: The Su-57 has been marketed for export, but there are concerns that it may not be as attractive to potential customers as other fighter aircraft due to its high cost and limited combat experience.
- Limited production capacity: The Russian Air Force has ordered only a small number of Su-57s so far, and there are questions about the ability of the Russian defense industry to produce the aircraft in large numbers.
- Limited stealth capabilities: While the Su-57 has some stealth features, there are questions about its effectiveness against more advanced radar systems.
- Engine problems: The Su-57 is powered by the Saturn AL-41F1 turbofan engine, which has been criticized for its reliability and performance.
Is Su-57 battle proven? Has Russia used it in Ukraine?
No, the Su-57 has not yet been battle-proven, as it has not been used in any combat operations. The aircraft was introduced into service by the Russian Air Force in 2020, and while it has participated in a number of military exercises and test flights, it has not yet been used in actual combat.
However, there have been reports of UK intelligence where it is said that Russia has used Su-57 against Ukraine.
Did Russia offer Su-57 to India?
Yes, Russia has offered the Su-57 fighter aircraft to India for purchase. The two countries have a long history of defense cooperation, and the Su-57 has been a topic of discussion between the two countries for several years.
In 2019, Russia’s state arms exporter Rosoboronexport reportedly offered the Su-57 to India as part of a proposed deal for 114 fighter aircraft to replace the Indian Air Force’s aging fleet of Russian-made MiG-21 and MiG-27 fighters. India had previously withdrawn from the joint development program for the Su-57 in 2018 due to concerns about the high cost and delays in the development of the aircraft.
While India has not yet made a decision on whether to purchase the Su-57, the aircraft remains a topic of discussion between the two countries, and it is possible that India may eventually decide to acquire the aircraft in the future.
How many Su-57s does Russia have?
The Russian Air Force had taken delivery of 10 Su-57 fighter aircraft, with plans to acquire additional units in the coming years. These aircraft are part of a larger order for 76 Su-57s that was announced by the Russian government in 2018.
It’s worth noting that the production of the Su-57 has been somewhat slow due to delays in the development of the aircraft and issues with its engines, among other factors. However, the Russian government has stated that it plans to accelerate production of the Su-57 in the coming years, with the goal of fielding a larger number of these advanced fighter aircraft in the Russian Air Force.
How were the makers of movie “TOP GUN: Maverick” allowed to use the Sukhoi SU-57?
All shots of Su-57s in the movie TOP GUN: Maverick were completely computer generated imagery (CGI). Only 16 Su-57s exist, and all of them are in Russian possession. Russia has not yet exported Su-57 to any country. There is no way Russia will ever allow American film studios to use Su-57s.