An upgraded Sukhoi Su-57 made its first flight in October 2022. The fighter jet has several new systems but has yet to be fitted with its new turbojet engines.
Improved Su-57 flew
The second, or optimized, stage of the Sukhoi Su-57 took place on October 21, 2022, according to a press release issued by Russian aviation company UAC on October 25. The development of the Su-57 was arduous and time-consuming and continues with the optimization, correction and modification of equipment. This version is based on October 29, 2018, the signing of a specific contract between Sukhoi and the Russian Ministry of Defense. Sukhoi was responsible for creating the “second stage” of the Su-57M (T-50M) fighter, also known as the Su-57.
With a slight delay in its schedule
The code name for this initiative is “Megapolis”. The current research and development of the Su-57 is known as “Stolitsa” (capital). The most significant aspect of this upgrade is the installation of new “izdeliye 30” engines with a thrust of about sixteen tons in place of the current AL-41F-1 (izdeliye 117) engines with a thrust 14.5 tons. The agreement stated that flight testing of the T-50M prototype would begin in mid-2022. The agreement requires the aircraft to be production-ready by the end of 2024, which is an ambitious deadline.
Sergei Bogdan at the helm
UAC’s Sukhoi Design Bureau is responsible for the development of the Su-57. The modified fifth-generation Su-57 aircraft performed its maiden flight at the Gromov Flight Test Institute airstrip on October 21. The statement said the flight lasted 56 minutes and was uneventful.
Without its second generation turbojets
The UAC claims that this Su-57 will test on-board technology with extended capabilities, artificial intelligence support to the pilot and the use of a wide range of new types of armaments. According to the announcement, the plane also allows for the installation of a second-stage engine. The second-generation turbojet, namely the izdeliye 30, had a long period of development, which is why the AL-41F-1 is still present on the aircraft. In its current configuration, the engine’s huge spherical nozzle does not meet visibility standards or even a reduced infrared signature.
With artificial intelligence
On its Su-57, Russia lacks an air-to-air missile comparable to AMRAAM or MBDA’s Meteor. Clearly, Russia needs new armaments for its super-maneuverable aircraft, as the R77 and, by implication, older generation missiles are inadequate. As for artificial intelligence, it should be able to combine data from the many and various sensors of the device in order to provide the pilot with important information at the right time.
According to the company’s website, Rostec Corporation will send a new batch of fifth-generation Su-57 fighters to the Russian military space forces before the end of this year. During a visit to the airline KnAAZ in Komsomolsk-on-Amur, Rostec CEO Sergei Chemezov said that the production of new planes will generally be accelerated, as reported.
He pointed out that the batch of fighters being prepared for handover to soldiers is already in an advanced state of readiness, and the manufacturing period of subsequent aircraft will be shortened.
Chemezov stressed that there is a deep understanding of the importance of fielding a new generation of combat aircraft; therefore, the factory’s manufacturing facilities are being actively modernized and their capacities are being expanded.
5th generation Su-57 fighter
The Su-57 is a fifth-generation Russian multirole fighter developed by Sukhoi. The aircraft is intended to destroy all forms of air, surface and ground targets. Su-57s are manufactured at the Komsomolsk-on-Amur Aircraft Plant (part of Sukhoi and United Aircraft Corporation). Before getting its serial number, it was known as the T-50. The first flight took place in 2010.
The Russian Aerospace Forces will receive 22 fifth-generation SU-57 aircraft by the end of 2024. A total of 76 aircraft will be delivered by KnAAZ under a contract signed from 2019 to 2027.
Earlier, the Ministry of Defense said that the Su-57 was used in Ukraine as part of a special operation, where it performed admirably. Army General Sergey Vladimirovich Surovikin, the new commander of the special military operation, announced this.
Three fifth-generation fighters built in the 21st century are currently in mass production: the American F-35, the Russian Su-57 and the Chinese J-20. Turkey, India and Japan have declared their intention to develop a modern fighter.