Sukhoi Su-57 Felon is a fifth-generation, stealth, multi-role fighter jet developed by United Aircraft (UAC), a part of the state-owned defence company Rostec, to destroy various land, airborne and maritime targets.
Su-57 Felon was developed by the Sukhoi Design Bureau within UAC. It performed its maiden flight at the airfield of the Gromov Flight Testing Institute in October 2022. The aircraft remained in the air for 56 minutes and completed the flight efficiently. The fighter jet was also successfully tested under combat conditions in Syria in 2018.
The Russian Air Force is the primary operator of the aircraft. In 2022, it involved Su-57 Felon in special military operations against Ukraine, for launching long-range air-to-surface or air-to-air missiles into Ukraine.
Orders and deliveries
In August 2018, the Russian Defence Ministry signed a contract with the Sukhoi Company, part of UAC, to deliver the first two Su-57 fighter jets by 2020.
The Sukhoi Company signed an additional state contract with the Defence Ministry to deliver 76 Su-57 fighter jets, including the first two, to the Russian Air Force at the Army 2019 international arms exhibition.
Serial production of the Su-57 began in the UAC’s Komsomolsk-on-Amur Aircraft Plant in July 2019. In December 2020, the Russian Air Force received the first Su-57 fighter with the operational first-stage engine, which was deployed with one of the aviation regiments of the Southern Military District. Four more Su-57 aircraft were delivered to the Russian troops in 2021.
Delivery of the Su-57 fighter jets with the second-stage engine began in 2022. The Russian Air Force is expected to receive 22 Su-57 fighter jets by late 2024, which is expected to increase to 76 by 2028.
Su-57 Felon fighter jet design and features
The state-of-the-art Su-57 fighter jet features stealth technology. It is developed with the extensive use of composite materials such as polymer, fibre-glass, and aluminium load-bearing honeycomb fillers. The materials enable low radar levels and infrared signature ensuring continued supersonic cruise flight.
The aircraft is equipped with 3D thrust vector jets for higher manoeuvrability. Short take-offs, network centricity and multi-role capabilities are the other features that fulfil the criteria for the fifth-generation aircraft.
The fighter jet is equipped with a completely new set of integrated avionics featuring a high level of controlled automation and intelligent crew support.
It is installed with the most advanced onboard radio-electronic equipment, including the electronic second pilot, which is a powerful onboard computer, and other innovative solutions, such as the placement of the armament inside the fuselage. The onboard avionics systems include active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar and ELINT systems.
The aircraft also features a communications suite modernised by the Polyot Research and Production Enterprise within Ruselectronics Group, which is a part of Rostec.
Su-57E Perspective multi-role fighter is the export variant of the Su-57 fighter jet. It can perform a wide range of combat tasks day and night using modern guided and unguided weaponry.
The Su-57E is an advanced fighter aircraft installed with the most advanced avionics suite, armament, and self-defence systems. Its high level of automation ensures efficient execution of the complete range of combat tasks with one pilot.
The Su-57 is equipped with air-to-surface missiles to take on ground targets and air-to-air missiles for long-range air combat. It is also armed with 30mm air guns for close combat operations.
The fighter has two large internal weapons compartments, each capable of carrying up to four K-77M air-to-air missiles.
Engine and performance
The Su-57 is a twin-engine stealth fighter jet powered by Izdeliye 117 or AL-41F1 augmented turbofans. The future production batches of the aircraft will be equipped with the new Izdeliye 30 engines.
The aircraft can fly at a speed of up to Mach two without afterburners. It can reach a range of up to 3,500km at subsonic speeds.