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Akin To US Navy’s F-35, Russia Announces Plan To Develop Naval Version Of Su-57 Stealth Fighters

Russia’s Su-57 fifth-gen multirole fighter could be the foundation for developing its cutting-edge aircraft for new aircraft carriers, similar to the US F-35 fighter’s naval variant. 

Yury Slyusar, CEO of United Aircraft Corporation (part of the state-owned Rostec), shared the news on August 16 at the Army 2022 international military-technical forum. He mentioned that the Russian Maritime Doctrine calls for developing cutting-edge aircraft carriers.

So, the development of a carrier group based on a fifth-generation fighter and the use of drones are the most promising areas from the perspective of the Russian defense industry, Slyusar noted. 

“The groundwork laid under the Su-57 program makes it possible to solve the tasks of the Russian Navy’s naval aviation within the shortest time possible,” the chief executive said. However, he didn’t give any specifics regarding the upcoming naval fighter or a timeline for the project. 

There are three variants of the Lockheed Martin F-35. The US Air Force uses the F-35A variant, US Marines use F-35B, and the US Navy uses the F-35C. The F-35C Lightning II is the first carrier-based low-observable aviation platform in the kitty of the US Navy. 

Sukhoi Su-57 - Wikipedia
Sukhoi Su-57 – Wikipedia

The Sukhoi Su-57 is a fifth-generation multirole fighter built in Russia that developers claim can obliterate any aerial, terrestrial, or maritime target. It is also equipped with stealth technology and extensively uses composite materials.

The Su-57 fighter jet is equipped with the most advanced onboard radio-electronic equipment, including a powerful onboard computer (called the electronic second pilot), the radar system spread across its body, and other innovations. 

Whereas the US has successfully operationalized and exported its F-35 fifth generation fighter jet, Russia has had difficulty operationalizing its Su-57, let alone exporting.

By the end of 2024, Russia’s Aerospace Force will have 22 Su-57 fighters, and by 2028, that number will rise to 76. In 2020, the Russian military received its first Su-57 fighter. 

The Su-57 fifth-generation fighter jet will undergo testing in Russia in the fall of this year with an improved communications suite. 

Moscow has long praised the Sukhoi Su-57 for its impressive capabilities. The fighter jet is also known by the NATO codename “Felon.” Some Russian military experts have argued that it is even more capable than the US Air Force’s F-22 Raptor and F-35 Lightning II.

The aircraft has an integrated wing body fuselage and incorporates the capabilities of a fighter jet and a strike aircraft. The Felon has two internal weapon bays between the engines and two side weapon bays for short-range air-to-air missiles.

File Image: F-35B

Future Plans For The Russian Navy

According to Slyusar, four fifth-generation multirole Su-57 fighter jets in serial production were constructed today under a state contract with the Russian Defense Ministry.

“Under a state contract with the Russian Defense Ministry for the serial production of Su-57s, four aircraft have been built as of today,” he said. 

The delivery of the next batch of aircraft is also anticipated this year. The United Aircraft Corporation completes work with subcontractors following the signed state contract.

Meanwhile, the Russian defense sector also divulged other plans for the Russian navy.

The USC’s deputy CEO for military shipbuilding revealed that Vladimir Korolyov, the United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC), is developing cutting-edge surface ships and submarines at the request of the Russian Defense Ministry.

File: Russian submarine Tula (K-114) – Wikimedia Commons

The EurAsian Times had also recently reported that Russian ship design bureau Rubin had displayed its latest advanced submarine concept at Army Forum 2022.

The new ballistic missile submarine (SSBN), called “Arktur” or Arcturus, is a cutting-edge design named after the brightest star in the northern celestial hemisphere. The Surrogat-V, a large-displacement unmanned underwater vehicle, was paired with the new submarine in images from Army Forum 2022.

“On an assignment from the Defense Ministry of Russia, the Corporation is carrying out experimental design work to create new surface ships and underwater vessels,” the executive said. 

He explained that the work is geared toward increasing the combat effectiveness of ships and the caliber of their weapons, as well as their technical attributes and ammunition capacity. 

The executive noted that crewed combat vessels would shortly be deployed to the sea alongside crewless autonomous robotized ships. He added that crewed combat ships would be equipped with integrated combat control systems supporting various operational systems. 

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