TechRussia's fifth-generation Su-57 fighter production set to double annually

Russia's fifth-generation Su‑57 fighter production set to double annually

Su-57 airplane
Su-57 airplane
Images source: © Anna Zvereva, Lic. CC BY-SA 2.0, Sukhoi Design Bureau
8:57 AM EST, December 28, 2023

The official statement from the United Aircraft Corporation noted that in 2023, they managed to expand the production capabilities for the Su-57 and modernize its assembly line. They tackled bottlenecks in the final assembly and across the production cycle. Procuring technologically advanced components from suppliers and exploring ways to enhance aircraft assembly technology was also improved.

Delivery of Su-57s to Russia

The Russian Ministry of Defense signed a contract in 2019, noted by the EurAsian Times, to deliver 76 Su-57 fighters to Russia's Aerospace Forces by 2027. Relying on Russian sources, the service made an effort to evaluate the delivery schedule of these machines to the army. According to their findings, Moscow received one Su-57 in 2020, three Su-57s in 2021, six Su-57s in 2022, twelve are expected in 2023, and possibly fifteen Su-57 fighters in 2024.

These estimates are prudent, considering the actual number of aircraft produced is unofficially known. Yet, assuming the figures provided by the EurAsian Times are highly probable, we can predict that by the end of 2024, Russia will have 37 Su-57 fighters in its fleet, and the delivery of all 76 ordered machines is likely before 2027. Su-57 fighters are not frequently seen in Ukrainian skies, which does not preclude future appearances.

Su-57 - Russia's fifth-generation fighter

As reported earlier, the Su-57—the Sukhoi Su-57—is a machine designed to replace the aging fleet of MiG-29 and Su-27 fighters. Western experts indicate that the Russian fifth-generation fighter was conceived in response to the American Advanced Tactical Fighter (ATF) program and the American F-22 Raptor air superiority fighter. Work on the Su-57 started in 2001, but its prototype made its maiden flight in January 2010.

Russia initially expected the machine to operate by 2017-2018, but full-scale production did not commence until 2019. In the same year, Russian President Vladimir Putin declared during a meeting with the winners of the "Russian Leaders" contest that the machine is the world's best military aircraft—a claim highlighted by Rzeczpospolita at the time.

Equipped with stealth technology, the Su-57 features solutions designed to reduce detection using observational equipment. As Airforce Technology indicates, its construction and composite materials, such as polymers, glass fiber, and aluminum honeycomb fillers, reduce radar reflection, infrared emissions, and the Su-57's noise.

The Russian fifth-generation fighter is over 65 feet long and 15 feet high, with a wingspan of about 46 feet. It is fitted with two Saturn AL-41F turbofan engines. The Su-57 can hit a maximum speed of Mach 2 (over 1516 mph), with a cruising speed of Mach 1.3 (roughly 992 mph). Its main armament comprises a 30mm 9A-4071K cannon. The aircraft also possesses six internal and six external hardpoints for rockets.

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