TechRussia's Su-57: Advanced but sidelined in Ukraine conflict

Russia's Su‑57: Advanced but sidelined in Ukraine conflict

Images source: © Licensor

2:36 PM EDT, June 26, 2024

Former U.S. Congressional staffer and geopolitical analyst Brandon Weichert believes that Russian Su-57 fighter jets should not be underestimated, according to the Bulgarian Military portal. However, Weichert thinks the latest Russian aircraft is "too valuable" to send into combat.

The analyst recalls that Moscow ordered 76 fighters from the Su-57 manufacturer. However, this was long before the outbreak of the war in Ukraine, making it impossible to achieve the planned number of aircraft under current conditions.

Thus, the Russians have to make do with about 30 Su-57s, which, according to Weichert, are currently in the arsenal. Unfortunately for Russia, at least 10 of them are prototypes, and let's remember that recently Ukrainians claimed the destruction of at least one Su-57 on the territory of the Russian Federation.

The number of modern fighters is, therefore, relatively small, and India's withdrawal from the development of the Su-57 in 2018 further hampered aircraft production. Four years later, the war in Ukraine caused the Russian industry to shift in a different direction, and the construction of the Su-57 took a back seat. "The Su-57 now remains more exotic than effective," the report reads.

in practice, the Su-57 should not be underestimated

Weichert notes that the latest Russian design should not be underestimated. This is due to the fact that their defense industry produced it with the aim of competing with the F-35 and F-22. Due to the limited number and challenges associated with the mass production of such advanced machines, the Su-57 has not significantly affected the skies over Ukraine, the analyst states.

He also emphasizes that it is not correct to claim that the Su-57 should be considered insufficiently good because it is not present over Ukraine. "Many commentators claim that the Su-57 aircraft do not fly over Ukraine because they do not perform as well as advertised, similar to the T-14 Armata tank. But these impressive parameters may be too advanced for actual combat," explains Weichert.

Currently, it is difficult to assess the Su-57 impartially

The American geopolitical commentator believes that it is currently difficult to assess the capabilities of the Su-57 impartially. The machines have not had suitable opponents to engage in evenly-matched air battles. According to the Russians, the Su-57 does not differ in capabilities from the latest stealth fighters produced by the West. Western experts estimate, however, that it is entirely different and that the Su-57 is significantly inferior to the F-35 and even more so to the F-22.

Su-57 - sample photo
Su-57 - sample photo© Suchoj

Weichert points out, however, what is currently known about the capabilities offered by the Russian design. First of all, he emphasizes that its advantage is high maneuverability. The Su-57 has an aerodynamic design optimized for mobility in flight, allowing it to perform complex maneuvers in the air, which, according to the analyst, exceed the capabilities of competing fifth-generation machines.

What is also important is that the Su-57 was designed as a versatile machine capable of achieving air superiority and attacking ground targets. The fighter has the necessary equipment for conducting advanced electronic warfare, which means jamming the enemy's radars and communications.

"Compared to the old F-16s that the Ukrainians will soon send into battle, it is still technically a better aircraft than those the opponents might face in combat," the American analyst says about the Su-57. He added that the Russian design is equipped with the advanced N036 Byelka radar system, which allows tracking up to 60 targets, making the Su-57 a tough opponent for Western machines in the air—if the Russian Federation decides to test this weapon in combat.

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