Research, Technology

Su-57 fighter - a failure of the domestic aircraft industry or an advanced aircraft?

Su-57 is the latest Russian multifunctionalfifth generation fighter. According to some estimates, it is significantly superior in some respects to Western counterparts. Other experts argue that the SU-57 is a “long-term construction project”, as a result of which it became obsolete even during construction. Many planned technologies, such as a flat nozzle, were never implemented in it. India generally abandoned the joint development of the Su-57 with Indian adaptation due to the mismatch of the machine with the stated stealth requirements. We propose to further understand what this aircraft is, is it as bad as they say about it and what are its prospects.

Russian fifth-generation fighter Su-57


  • 1 The history of the creation of the Su-57 aircraft
  • 2 Characteristics and features of the Su-57 fighter
  • 3 Su 57 aircraft and the latest technology
  • 4 Criticism and perspectives of the Russian fighter

The history of the creation of the Su-57 aircraft

Work on the creation of the fifth generation fighterstarted back in the late 1980s. Then the USSR Air Force developed the basic requirements for the machine, which laid the foundation for a new project of the Su-47 Berkut. The new aircraft began to be developed by the Sukhoi design bureau. The fighter was supposed to replace the MiG-29 and Su-27.

However, the project was never implemented due tocollapse of the USSR. The economic difficulties that arose in the country led to the fact that the work was stopped. The next project to develop a fifth-generation fighter started only in the spring of 2001. True, the future aircraft was not called the Su-57 at all. Until 2017, the fighter was known under the symbol T-50.

Testing of the Su-57 fighter began in 2010

AVPK Sukhoi was appointed as the main executor,however, specialists from RAC "MiG" and OKB im. Yakovlev. According to the established plan, flight tests were to begin in 2006-2007, and in 2014-2015 it was expected that the aircraft would enter service. However, the first tests began only in 2010, and they ended in 2019. According to some reports, experimental combat operation began in 2018. Since 2010, a total of seven prototypes of the machine have been tested.

I must say that during the testing of the aircraftthere were several incidents, in particular, in 2019, near the Dzemgi airfield in the Khabarovsk Territory, a fighter crashed. Nevertheless, in 2020 it was officially announced that during the tests the aircraft showed compliance with almost all the requirements of the tactical and technical assignment, as a result of which it enters mass production.

Thus, from the start of development toIt took almost 20 years to enter production. However, to this day, there is no talk of really mass purchases. By the end of 2024, only 22 aircraft should enter the army. In total, according to the contract, the army will acquire 76 aircraft. Of course, this is not so little, but there is no talk of a complete replacement of the previous generation fighters. For comparison, more than 800 units of American F-35 aircraft have already been produced.

Flat nozzles failed to be implemented in the development of the Su-57

Characteristics and features of the Su-57 fighter

I must say that information about the Su-57 is kept insecret, so the exact characteristics are not known. The aircraft reportedly has a maximum takeoff weight of 35,000 kg, with a payload of 16,000 kg. The cab of the car is designed for one person. In terms of wingspan, the aircraft is superior to the F-22, but smaller than the Su-27. Presumably, in terms of mass, it belongs to the class of heavy fighters.

The maximum speed of the aircraft is 2.45Mach is approximately 2600 km / h. According to other sources, the maximum speed is 2130 km/h. At the same time, the aircraft fully corresponds to fifth-generation fighters. Thanks to stealth technology and modern electronic warfare, it is hardly noticeable, able to withstand high overloads when maneuvering and move at a cruising speed above the speed of sound.

It should be noted that the Su-57 hasthe possibility of autonomous operation under the control of AI or operator. That is, in fact, he aircraft can be used as a drone, which removes physiological restrictions in terms of overload. In addition, as we said earlier, the aircraft can perform tasks together with the Okhotnik strike drone, which is currently being tested. The interaction of the pilot and combat robot will significantly expand the capabilities of fighter aircraft.

In some respects, the Russian fighter is superior to the American F-35

Su 57 aircraft and the latest technology

Despite a lot of criticism ofaircraft, many Western experts give it a fairly high rating. In particular, according to Military Watch, thanks to a number of modern technologies, the Su-57 can compete with foreign counterparts, such as the American F-35 fighter. Moreover, by the nature of the tasks to be solved, the publication calls the Russian fighter the most balanced of all fifth-generation fighters produced today.

Western experts note the presence of sixradar stations, the high speed of the aircraft, laser protection and its maneuverability. Thanks to six radars, the Su-57 is capable of detecting up to 60 targets simultaneously. In addition, the main missile armed with the aircraft, the X-77, deserves attention. It has a homing head with an active phased antenna array. The missile is capable of intercepting even small and maneuverable targets at a distance of up to 200 km.

In terms of flight range without refueling, the Su-57 is capable offly a much greater distance than foreign counterparts. In addition, according to the same publication Military Watch, the use of the aircraft in real combat conditions showed its high efficiency in terms of suppressing air defense.

Su-57 may be the carrier of the hypersonic missile "Dagger"

The 2020 edition of The National Interest alsonoted several advanced features of the aircraft. According to the author of the publication, Mark Episkopos, the Su-57 is significantly superior to the F-35 in terms of aerodynamics. In addition, he notes a powerful arsenal of air-to-air missiles. These include the infrared-guided K-74M2, the radar-guided K-77M, and the long-range R-37M.

In addition, the aircraft is capable of hitting groundtargets with guided bombs and Kh-38 missiles. The fighter can also carry the Kinzhal hypersonic missiles. At the same time, the price of the aircraft is comparable to the less advanced Su-35.

Criticism and prospects of the Russian fighter

Critics argue the shortcomings of the aircraft inmainly because India abandoned the joint FGFA project. The reasons given were that the stealth of the machine did not correspond to the declared one, in addition, the avionics, radars and sensors did not correspond to the fifth generation fighters. It was decided to postpone the project until the moment when the aircraft will be finalized and will enter service with the Russian army.

In 2020, The National Interest namedone of the serious problems of the fighter is the “Product 30” engine. The main complaint against him was poor reliability and poor quality control during manufacture. It is difficult to say to what extent this information corresponds to reality, and whether quality control has changed with the aircraft entering mass production.

Since the aircraft was developed for a very long time, toBy the time it began entering service, the US had already begun work on a sixth-generation fighter. However, in Russia, work is also underway on sixth-generation technologies. Most likely they will be integrated into the Su 57 fighter, and not create a new aircraft.

The Su-57 fighter showed high efficiency during real combat operations

Despite all this criticism, the aircraft as a wholehas good potential. It is possible that some of its shortcomings have already been eliminated. It should be noted that the fighter has already shown high efficiency in the course of real combat operations. In particular, in Syria, the interaction of the Su-57 and Su-35 was worked out through the formation of a single information space for the entire air group. This is the so-called "network-centric" principle, which is also embedded in the Armata tank. which is currently being used only in sixth-generation fighters.

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Also, the aircraft showed excellent efficiency in terms of combat missions. For example, high-precision long-range missiles allow the aircraft to hit targets without entering the air defense coverage area.

However, there is another problem.It lies in the fact that all the electronics of the machine work on the basis of Elbrus processors, which were produced in Taiwan. Now they are under sanctions. As a result, the continued production of aircraft may be at risk, as well as other high-tech products.