The Su-57 is the Russian answer to the American F-22 Raptor and F-35 jets. The aircraft is capable of supercruising at Mach 1.6, however, only one serial production aircraft has been built (other than 10 test prototypes) and the design is yet to prove itself in the battlefield.
The Russian Air Force has placed set to receive Su-57 fifth-generation fighter jets by the year-end. Delivery of 76 Su-57 aircraft platforms will be made to the Defense Ministry by 2028, reported Tass. The US is way ahead in the race of fifth-generation fighters. While F-22 Raptor took its first flight in the 1990s and F-35 in the 2000s, Su-57 made it in 2010.
Analysts believe that after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Moscow didn’t contribute much to aviation technology as the money was moved to meet the other essential needs for the Russian Army. Instead of investing in a brand new project, Russia decided to upgrade its four-plus generation fleet resulting in powerful fighters including Su-34 fighter-bomber and the Su-30 and Su-35 multipurpose fighters.
“Unfortunately, a similar project for the modernization of the successful MiG-29 light fighter according to the requirements of the 4 ++ generation, called the MiG-33, faced a host of economic problems and did not become serial. So far, the future of light Russian fighters is associated with the MiG-35, but this 4 ++ generation aircraft has not yet gone into production,” reported Vzglyad, a Russian news website.
“The F-22 was originally designed as an air superiority aircraft. And only later the Americans realized that it was fundamentally wrong to design the aircraft only for the placement of air-to-air missiles, and made an attempt to place the air-to-surface aircraft in the existing configuration of the compartments.
But the configuration of the compartments did not allow to accommodate larger loads,” explained the Chief Designer and the Director of the Sukhoi Design Bureau Mikhail in an interview with Russian state-owned Zvezda TV channel. Strelets noted that the F-35, created to solve the tasks of destroying ground targets, is inferior in its manoeuvrable and accelerating characteristics to both the Su-57 and the Russian fourth-generation fighters.
The American F-35, developed by Lockheed Martin and supported by an international team of government allies, is considered the most advance fighter in the world. There are eight international program partners — the U.S., United Kingdom, Italy, Netherlands, Australia, Norway, Denmark and Canada.
Six Foreign Military Sales customers are also procuring and operating the F-35 — Israel, Japan, South Korea, Poland, Belgium and Singapore. On the other hand, Su-57 is yet to see any customers apart from the Russian Defence Forces. However, Su-57 is a multirole fighter capable of performing the functions of an attack plane and a fighter jet.
It can destroy all types of air, ground and naval targets. It features stealth with the most advanced on board radio-electronic equipment, including a powerful onboard computer (the so-called electronic second pilot), the radar system spread across its body and some other innovations, in particular, armament placed inside its fuselage. While Su-57 lags behind its American fifth-generation counterparts in production and development, the US has already started looking at the sixth-generation fighter with a successful test flight of its first prototype.