Russia has just announced that it has successfully tested the upgraded Su-57 stealth fighter last week without any problems. It is believed that only few Su-57s has been officially commissioned so far, the rest are all experimental prototypes.
On October 21, the upgraded varient of the Su-57 stealth fighter flew for the first time at the Gromov Aviation Test Institute Range, the aircraft was flown by test pilot Sergey Bogdan of the Sukhoi Design Bureau.
The successful flight of the upgraded aircraft lasted for 56 minutes. The Su-57 stealth fighter also tested some new protective equipments with extended features, the new varient is equipped with Artificial Intelligence systems to support pilots and the ability to use a variety of new weapons.
The new artificial intelligence system can perform some maneuvers on behalf of the pilot, it can even control the aircraft and fire get it ready to fire any kind of available weapon. The upgraded varient also has improved engines performance.
Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu in an interview on August 21, on the news channel said that the Su-57 stealth fighter has demonstrated “high self-defense capabilities against many air defense systems and missiles” during its limited usage in the ongoing war in ukraine.
“The most important thing is that the Su-57 has got very advanced and powerful weapons” added Shoigu.
“We tested those weapons, they all work great, there are no other words to describe”
However, Mr. Shoigu did not specify what type of weapons they were Su-57 used when fighting in Ukraine and how effective they were.
According to official data published by the Russian side, so far, only few numbers of Su-57 stealth fighters are currently active with the Russian Aerospace Forces, while approximately 12 units of the Su-57 were built as prototypes earlier for evaluation and testing.
Many Defense Analysts believes that the engines problem is the weakest point of the Su-57, causing the aircraft to be constantly delayed into active service.
There are many standard criteria for 5th-generation aircrafts, but the most common one are still the engines performance, AESA radars, supercruise, and low radar exposure.
If russia has been successful in developing the AESA radar and other associated technologies for the Su-57, the engine issue is still a problem that need to be done properly.
Without a 5th-generation standard fighter engine, the Su-57 has no more combat capability than the Su-35.
The Su-57s produced till now are fitted with the AL-41F1S engines, which is a engine developed for 4th generati on jets.
The Su-57 is russia’s first stealth fighter, it is designed to compete with the US F-35, F-22 Raptor and the Chinese J-20.
This aircraft is designed to be a Multi-role Aircraft capable of aerial combat as well as ground and maritime strike, the Su-57 incorporates stealth, supermaneuverability, supercruise, integrated avionics, and substantial internal payload capacity.
The aircraft is expected to succeed the MiG-29 and Su-27 in the Russian military service and has also been marketed for export.
The first prototype aircraft flew in 2010, but the program would experience a protracted development due to various structural and technical issues that emerged during trials, including the destruction of the first production aircraft in a crash before its delivery.
After repeated delays, the first Su-57 entered service with the Russian Aerospace Forces (VKS) in December 2020. The fighter is expected to have a service life of up to 35 years.
The aircraft has a wide blended wing body fuselage with two widely spaced engines and has all-moving horizontal and vertical stabilisers, with the vertical stabilisers canted for stealth; the trapezoid wings have leading edge flaps, ailerons, and flaperons.
The aircraft incorporates thrust vectoring and large leading edge root extensions that shift the aerodynamic center forward, increasing static instability and maneuverability.
Sukhoi Su-57 role in the 2022 Invasion of Ukraine
In May 2022, Russian sources claimed that Su-57 fighters were used two or three weeks after the start of the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, striking targets with missiles outside of the zone of activity of Ukrainian air defenses, just like other Russian aircraft that are also restricted mainly to Russian airspace.
In June 2022, RIA Novosti reported four Su-57s working in a network were used in SEAD role over Ukraine to identify and destroy Ukrainian air defense systems. The source also noted that low radar visibility of the aircraft was confirmed in combat.
On 19 October 2022, Russian army general Sergey Surovikin, commander of all Russian Armed Forces in Ukraine, confirmed the Su-57 has been used both in air-to-air and air-to-ground role during the war in Ukraine and that it has scored kills in both roles. Subsequently, some Russian sources claimed the Su-57 shot down a Ukrainian Su-27 with a long-range R-37 missile.