Russia Adds Stealth Su-57 Fighters, Su-35 Super Flankers To Its Arsenal As RuASF Rapidly Modernizes Its Fleet

Russia’s Ministry of Defense has received a new batch of advanced Su-35S fighter jets from the country’s aircraft manufacturers, underscoring the capability of the defense industry to deliver state-of-the-art weapons amidst the ongoing and protracted war.

On June 23, the Minister of Industry and Trade of Russia, Denis Manturov, announced the delivery of the new batch to the Russian MoD. 

“Russian aircraft manufacturers have produced and delivered another batch of new aircraft to the Russian Defense Ministry,” Manturov, who also serves as the Deputy Prime Minister, was quoted as saying in a statement. 

In his statement, the Minister described the Su-35S as one of the world’s finest operational and tactical aircraft capable of executing diverse missions that deserved its well-earned success.

According to the statement, the Su-35S aircraft, manufactured by the Komsomolsk-on-Amur Aircraft Plant named after Yuri Gagarin, part of the United Aircraft Corporation under the Rostec State Corporation, has successfully flown to their designated air base.

Following their production, the jets underwent thorough factory testing, with each aircraft going through comprehensive airborne assessments in various operating modes to ensure their performance and functionality.

Despite facing crippling sanctions, the Russian defense industry continues to deliver various weapon systems amidst the ongoing war, showcasing its resilience in supporting the military.

The Russian Federation’s Armed Forces are actively utilizing the Su-35S aircraft in the Special Operations Zone, referring to Russia’s ongoing conflict in Ukraine. The Russian Ministry of Defense frequently releases thrilling footage showcasing the Su-35S’s precise and strategic combat maneuvers. 

These fighter jets play a crucial role in safeguarding the Russian Air Force’s bombers and army aviation helicopters during targeted strikes on Ukrainian Armed Forces’ facilities and equipment, reflecting their vital contribution to the ongoing military operations.

Russia To Increase The Supply Of Su-57

Yuri Slyusar, the Director General of the United Aircraft Corporation, said that UAC enterprises responsible for executing state defense orders had received substantial funds through the program of technical re-equipment and production modernization. 

This investment has facilitated the introduction of new production facilities and capacities, enabling the company to expand serial production and increase output volumes.

Slyusar affirmed the company’s commitment to fulfilling contractual obligations. He disclosed that the company would increase the supply of fifth-generation Su-57 fighters to the Aerospace Forces of the Russian Federation.

Slyusar noted, “This year, the volume of supplies to VKS Russia’s fifth-generation Su-57 fighters.” He also revealed that the production of subsequent batches of Su-35 aircraft is currently underway.

The serial deliveries of the Su-57 commenced in 2022, and by the end of 2024, the Aerospace Forces are expected to receive a total of 22 fighters. By 2028, the number of Su-57 fighters in active service will be further augmented, reaching a total of 76. 

Su-57 plane
File Image: Su-57

The Sukhoi Su-57, known as the “Felon,” has long been praised by Moscow for its exceptional capabilities. Russian aviation experts have gone as far as to argue that it surpasses the F-22 Raptor and F-35 Lightning II, which are utilized by the US Air Force in terms of performance and capabilities.

In recent years, the Russian defense industry has been striving to ramp up the production of the Su-57 stealth aircraft, which has encountered its fair share of challenges and delays during its development. 

The current inventory of Sukhoi Su-57 Felon, the country’s sole operational fifth-generation fighter jet, is reported to be less than 20, and of those, only a dozen are believed to be operational. 

The United Aircraft Corporation is actively engaged in constructing several new facilities at its KnAAZ. This strategic initiative aims to bolster production capabilities and facilitate and increase serial production of both the Su-57 and Su-35S multi-role fighters for the Russian Aerospace Forces (RuASF). 

The construction efforts also include establishing specialized facilities, such as a boathouse for testing onboard radio-electronic equipment, a fuel box, and a motor test station specifically designed to support system and equipment testing for the Su-57.

Nonetheless, an increase in production, as claimed by Russian officials, would have a positive impact on the Russian Air Force, which has experienced significant losses of warplanes during the ongoing conflict. 

The bolstered production of advanced fighter jets like the Su-57 and Su-35S would enhance the combat capabilities and operational readiness of the Russian Air Force, enabling them to better address the challenges and demands of the ongoing conflict.