TechRussia potentially tests fifth-generation Su-57 fighter with first use of Ch-69 missile in Ukraine

Russia potentially tests fifth-generation Su‑57 fighter with first use of Ch‑69 missile in Ukraine

Su-57 airplane
Su-57 airplane
Images source: © Anna Zvereva, Lic. CC BY-SA 2.0, Sukhoi Design Bureau
9:11 AM EST, February 18, 2024

In the initial stages, the specific type of missile used by the Russian Federation army was uncertain. A preliminary examination of the rocket debris found in Ukraine suggested it might be the Ch-59. However, this misidentification arose because the newer Ch-69 is, in fact, a deep modernization of the previously mentioned Ch-59.

Among the differences between these two missiles is the platform from which they can be launched. The Ch-59 can be fired from Su-35S aircraft, while the Ch-69 was specifically developed to be housed in the internal chamber of the Su-57 aircraft. This information suggests the possibility that Russians have commenced testing of their new fifth-generation Su-57 fighters.

About the Ch-69 Missiles of Russia

It's worth noting that the Ch-69 missile is considered the Russian counterpart to the American AGM-158 JASSM missiles. The latter are currently expected to be shipped to Ukraine, along with F-16 fighters. The Ch-69 differs from its precursor, the Ch-59, in terms of its aircraft body design modifications. In addition, the new design is lighter and can target ground objects regardless of weather conditions or time of day, including during nighttime operations.

Specifically, the Ch-69 measures 13.8 feet in length and has a diameter of 1.3 feet, with wings spanning 8.2 feet. It weighs exactly 1697.6 lbs, and a significant chunk of this weight, approximately 661.4 lbs, is due to the warhead. The missile's propulsion is facilitated by an NPO Saturn TRDD-50 MT turbojet engine.

An important characteristic of this concurrently contemporary and secrecy-shrouded weapon, kept under wraps for several years, is its fire-and-forget guidance system. This system integrates inertial and GLONASS satellite navigation with an onboard fire control system. As a result, the Ch-69 can achieve high precision, with accuracy estimated at around a mere 9.8 feet.

With launch capabilities ranging from a minimum altitude of 656 feet to a maximum of 36,089 feet, the missile speed bursts to subsonic levels. Furthermore, the Ch-69 can hit targets up to an impressive 342 miles away. The Ch-69 can be equipped with either a fragmentation or a cassette warhead, as per the manufacturer's discretion.

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