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Russia Eyes 76 Su-57 Stealth Fighters By 2027; Receives New Batch Of Felon, Su-35S Super Flankers

Despite facing stringent sanctions imposed by Western nations, the Russian military-industrial complex has announced the successful delivery of a new batch of Su-57 ‘Felon’ and Su-35S fighter jets to the Russian Aerospace Force. 

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According to a press release by the Russian government, the Yuri Gagarin Aviation Plant in Komsomolsk-on-Amur, under the umbrella of the United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) within Rostec, has successfully delivered a new batch of fifth-generation Sukhoi-57 fighters and 4++ generation Sukhoi-35S fighters to the Russian Aerospace Force.

Following a comprehensive series of factory and performance tests, the report noted that these aircraft have been officially transferred to the military.

The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov has also confirmed the news about the delivery of the aircraft.

Manturov highlighted the impressive production momentum achieved by Russian aircraft manufacturing enterprises, emphasizing their ongoing commitment to supplying cutting-edge combat equipment to the nation’s armed forces. 

Specifically, he lauded the seamless coordination and performance of Rostec’s enterprises, with the Komsomolsk-on-Amur Aviation Plant successfully delivering another batch of Sukhoi-57 and Sukhoi-35S aircraft to the Russian Aerospace Force.

The Deputy Prime Minister emphasized that the challenges related to fulfilling the Russian Armed Forces’ need for dependable and highly effective equipment were being addressed promptly, thanks to the endeavors of the coordination council operating under the Russian government.

File Image: SU-57

Even though the conflict in Ukraine persists, exerting additional pressure on Russia’s military arms complex, the country continues to increase the production of its sophisticated weapon systems, including the Su-57. 

The Su-57 program was initially slated to commence serial production in 2017. Nevertheless, it only managed to roll out the first aircraft in 2021, following a 2019 test flight accident.

Russia presently has a limited inventory of fifth-generation Su-57 fighter jets. However, over the last few months, Moscow has actively sought ways to boost the production of this advanced aircraft. 

In December 2022, Yury Slyusar, who leads the United Aircraft Corporation, announced that the aircraft manufacturer in Komsomolsk-on-Amur in the Russian Far East has achieved proficiency in mass-producing the Sukhoi Su-57 fifth-generation multirole fighters. 

Furthermore, he mentioned that the company is committed to continually raising the production numbers of these advanced aircraft.

However, neither the Russian defense ministry nor the United Aircraft Corporation specified the exact number of jets delivered to the Russian Air Force. 

Another Batch To Be Delivered By End Of This Year

Yuri Slyusar, the United Aircraft Corporation General Director, said that the Russian Aerospace Forces have taken delivery of a batch of Su-57 aircraft under this year’s state defense order plan. 

He further disclosed that the remaining fifth-generation combat aircraft expected to be delivered this year are either in the final assembly stage or undergoing rigorous testing at the flight test station. 

In addition to this update, Slyusar highlighted that the next batch of Su-35S fighters is also at an advanced stage of readiness, showcasing the progress and commitment of the Russian military-industrial complex.

Similarly, Manturov mentioned that the deliveries are underway as part of the state defense order. Russian troops will receive the next batch of aircraft by the end of 2023.

Meanwhile, images of the newly delivered Su-35 jets have surfaced on social media. Guy Plopsky, a defense expert, pointed out that this marks the third batch of Su-35Ss delivered in 2023. While the specific number of aircraft has not been specified, the photos and videos released by UAC appear to depict only two Su-35s. 

Image of a newly delivered aircraft: UAC

Plopsky added, “Delivery of the first & second batches of Su-35Ss in 2023 took place in June & July, respectively. They, too, appear to have comprised just two aircraft each. Thus, 6 Su-35Ss have seemingly been handed over to the Russian MoD this year.”

He also highlighted the notable differences in the external appearance of the starboard wingtip ECM pod compared to its predecessor (including the addition of formation lights).

Even amid a protracted conflict, the unimpeded delivery of state-of-the-art aircraft serves as a testament to the resilience and self-sufficiency of Russia’s aircraft manufacturing sector.

According to the current state armament program, the Russian Aerospace Forces will acquire 76 Su-57 aircraft by 2027. But the exact number of Su-57s currently operated by Moscow remains unclear.

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