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Russia Wanted To Pitch Its Su-57 Fighters Against F-22 Raptors; India ‘Deflated’ The Propaganda – US Media

The Sukhoi Su-57 is Russia’s fifth-generation stealth fighter jet manufactured by Rostec and is considered Moscow’s answer to American F-22, F-35 and China’s J-20 ‘Mighty Dragon’ fighter jets. 

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Recently, The National Interest, a US-based magazine, published an article stating that the Russian Su-57 fifth-generation stealth fighter is “unlikely to enter operational service before 2027”.

The article in the US portal titled ‘Doomed To Fail? Russia’s Stealth Su-57 Isn’t Going Anywhere Soon’ and claimed ‘postponements, cost-overruns and research and development-related problems mar the project. This should come as no surprise. The Su-57 program was never really viable.

File:PAK FA Prandtl Glauert singularity.jpg - Wikimedia Commons
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The article laments the United Aircraft-building Corporation (UAC) that integrated all of Russia’s aviation firms into one single unit. Gradually, the UAC incorporated over 20 aviation firms but did not see much success.

Despite flashy reports, UAC turned out to be a dud and proved efficient of only re-launching old designs and remained incapable of innovation, the NI report said.

In the case of the Su-57, UAC’s downfall commenced when it decided to close its Combat Aircraft Division to global investors. The last hope for the project was India who had shown serious interest in funding the transformation of the Su-57 into a stealth strike fighter just like Su-30MKI. But it also failed.

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Russia was more interested in promoting the Su-57 as a rival to F-22 Raptor and create media propaganda. Clearly, the Indian Air Force was not interested to finance the propaganda, says the NI article.

A US Air Force F-22 Raptor refuels somewhere over the Middle East in November 2017. Via USAF

Rostec responded to this claim by saying that up to 70 Su-57 fighters will be delivered to Russian troops and will enter operational service by the year 2027. This also includes the aircraft which are going to be delivered this year, the company announced on October 14.

It added – Russian fifth-gen aircraft does not make the West feel easy. Su-57 and Checkmate fighters jets often become the focus of fake news. Untrue facts are published. The jet (Su-57) is already being serial-produced and delivered!

Russian Su-57 Aircraft 

The Su-57 is a multi-role stealth fighter jet and is capable of destroying all types of air, naval as well as land-based targets. It largely uses composite materials and is capable of hitting high supersonic cruising speeds, as per most media reports and Rostec.

Sukhoi Su-57 – Wikimedia Commons

The aircraft is equipped with the “most advanced” onboard radio-electronic equipment. It also features a powerful onboard computer (referred to as the electronic second pilot) as well as a radar system that spreads across its body. The fighter jet displays many innovations in its design, particularly in its armament as well.

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The aircraft is a product of the Russian Air Force’s PAK FA fifth-generation fighter program and has been given the nickname ‘Felon’ by NATO. It is a twin-engine fighter jet that is expected to replace the MiG-29 as well as Su-27 aircraft. The Su-57 is powered by Izdeliye 117 or AL-41F1 augmented turbofans.

Owing to its improved aerodynamics, the Su-57 can reach a cruising speed of more than Mach 2 without requiring to use its afterburners. When traveling at subsonic speeds, the aircraft can achieve a range of 3500 km.

Russia is also planning to field the S-70 Okhotnik (Hunter-B) strike drone alongside the Su-57. This stealth-capable drone is likely to be deployed as a “loyal wingman” for the Sukhoi Su-57 fighters.

S-70 Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle Fly With An Su-57 For The First Time

The aircraft has also received a lot of criticism even though it exhibited splendid performance at the time of its introduction. The aircraft encountered a “rough takeoff” when the first serially produced Su-57 fighters crashed in Russia’s far east during its initial testing in December 2019.

A US-based think tank RAND Corporation also claimed that the current prototypes of the Su-57 were fitted with an older engine and thus are not true fifth-generation aircraft.

Many experts also criticized that the Su-57 and claimed that it lacked stealth capability especially on comparing it to its American counterpart, the F-35 Lightning II and F-22 Raptor.

Some experts also find the Su-57 more maneuverable than the F-35 however the former’s higher radar cross-section (RCS) especially laterally and from the tail-end of the aircraft, compromises the overall stealth of the aircraft.

This indicates that the aircraft’s stealth capability was designed as a secondary feature, with more focus on its ability to perform limited stealth roles such as shallow penetration behind enemy lines.

Earlier this year, a senior Rostec official claimed that many countries have expressed their keen interest in acquiring the Su-57 fighters as it sparked speculation about India being one of its potential buyers.

“If we speak about the Su-57, this aircraft evokes high interest in many countries because it features unique combat properties and flight characteristics,” Viktor Kladov, Rostec’s Director for International Cooperation and Regional Policy had said.

Based on speculations, the potential buyers of the Su-57 include countries such as India (modified version or Checkmate), Vietnam, China, Algeria, Egypt and Turkey.

Turkey, which had been eliminated from the US F-35 program because of its S-400 deal with Russia, finds the Su-57 as a good option for its air force. A Vietnamese news portal Soha had earlier claimed that the country had shown interest in acquiring 12-14 Su-57 stealth jets.

  • Nitin holds a double master’s degree in Journalism and Business Management (MBA) from The University of Glasgow, UK. He has over 15 years of global experience in Marketing & Communications, Journalism, and Digital Marketing and widely worked & traveled across Europe, the Americas and Asia. CONTACT: Nytten@gmail.com 
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