According to the assessment of the US Military Observer; Currently, many countries are eyeing Russia’s Su-57 fighter, including a country in Southeast Asia.
In the Organization for the Collective Security of the Post-Soviet States, Kazakhstan has always been the leading customer for new Russian weapons. Most notable is that Kazakhstan has ordered one of the fighter’s new features relatively high Russian Su-30SM to replace the older aircraft in Soviet times.
It is advantageous for Kazakhstan that it is allowed to buy Russian fighters at the same price that the Russian Ministry of Defense offers; This makes new purchases significantly cheaper than other customers.
In addition to the new Russian-made aircraft, the Su-30SM fighter, the Kazakhstan Air Force is currently exploiting two types of heavy fighters, inherited from the Soviet Union, Su-27 and MiG-31; it is possible that at least one of these two types (or possibly both), will be replaced by the Su-57.
Although Kazakhstan does not have to worry too much about airspace security, and at the current rate of use, the durability of the fuselage of the Su-27s is expected to be safe for use for a decade. To replace the Su-27, the Su-57 and Su-30SM2 are the top choices to replace.
The next potential customer is Ethiopia, a country from Africa; this is also one of the first foreign customers of the Su-27 fighter, and Ethiopia bought 18 of these planes, in the late 1990s, to meet the requirements of the war with “brother” Eritrea.
Tensions with Egypt and Sudan mean that Ethiopia’s air combat capability continues to be strengthened, and the Su-27 is expected to be phased out of service by the mid-2030s at the latest Su-57 remains the most profitable alternative.
The Russian Su-57 will ensure a qualitative advantage over potential rival fighters such as the Egyptian Su-35 and the Sudanese MiG-29SE while allowing Ethiopia to strike targets deep in the sea territories of both countries, the stealth capabilities of the Su-57 will help alot.
The next potential customer of the Su-57 is Egypt; After the country’s pro-Western Muslim government was toppled in 2013, Egypt emerged as a top customer for Russian weapons. Regarding aircraft, Egypt purchased MiG-29M and Su-35.
When the design of the Su-57 is complete, Egypt will look to buy the Su-57, instead of the Su-35. This will provide a decisive advantage over rival aircraft such as the F-15EX fighter that Israel is expected to order, and could be a more cost-effective investment than buy old generation fighters.
A country in Southeast Asia that can also become a potential customer of the Su-57 is Myanmar. Given the rapidly developing defense relations between Russia and Myanmar, it is possible that Myanmar may be interested in purchasing Su-57 fighter jets.
Currently, the Myanmar Air Force is using MiG-29 fighter aircraft. Implementing the modernization process of the country’s air force, in 2018 the Myanmar Air Force intends to buy 6 Su-30SM heavy fighters and order 6 to 12 more.
With Myanmar regularly having tensions with neighboring Bangladesh, Myanmar could become a buyer of the Su-57 in the next decade. This can be a more cost-effective investment, compared to the bulk purchase of lower-end aircraft.
A customer in Southeast Asia that may also be a potential customer of the Su-57 is the Malaysian Air Force, which currently operates two types of Russian fighter aircraft, including the MiG-29 and the 30MKM.
With neighboring Singapore moving to purchase more advanced F-35 stealth aircraft, in significant numbers from the US, Malaysia is expected to modernize its fleet with superior fighters from the US. Russia.
Only a single squadron of Su-57s is needed, to replace Malaysia’s existing Su-30 and MiG-29 aircraft; This replacement would be a major game changer for the balance of power in the region. The Su-57 has a very significant performance advantage over the F-35, which could make up for the numerical disadvantages if Malaysia buys the Su-57 in small quantities.
A potential customer in the Middle East cannot be ignored, it is the Iranian Air Force. After the UN lifted the arms embargo against Iran in October 2020, Iran is actively looking for the right type of fighter to replace its number of expired fighter jets.
Iranian officials had previously expressed interest in purchasing the Su-30SM from Russia in the mid-2010s, despite United Nations sanctions and a troubled economy, resulting in no contracts yet. perform.
Now that Iran’s F-14 fleet is nearly 50 years old, Iran needs to find a new type of heavy fighter to replace it. With Iran’s economy likely to improve in the coming years, as US sanctions are likely to be lifted, it’s likely that the Su-57 will be a worthy alternative to the F-14s. legend of this country. Image source: Pinterest.