Russia’s Su-57 Fighter Is Now For Sale. How Much Is One?

MAR 09, 2022 AT 03:00 AM

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The Su-57 is a Russian stealth one-seat fifth-generation fighter jet. The plane has been developed since 2002. It’s a multipurpose fighter that was built to maintain the philosophy of air superiority and for attack missions. This was the first Russian fighter jet to imply stealth technologies. The plane is produced by Sukhoi company that works in the field of military and commercial aviation. Its first flight is recorded in 2010, but it’s only in the year 2020 the company finally presented the version for sale.

You might think that Russians are building military aircraft for their own army only. But we want to assure you, the plane is now for sale. Of course, you can’t buy one. But some countries can. Obviously, Russia won’t sell its first stealth fighter jet to potential enemies. The race of weapons keeps getting faster, so every powerful country needs its own technologies. And the last thing you will want to do is to sell your technologies to your opponents.

But still, the Sukhoi Su-57 jet is for sale, and we know even more than we are supposed to know about it. In our today’s video, we’ll share this information with you.

Key features to outline

Well, it’s a twin-engine aircraft built for both air-to-air and air-to-ground missions. The producer implied all technologies that had been developed by Russian military labs and ensured that the fighter will be no less efficient than the US F-22 and F-35.

You can’t get full information on the specs of the aircraft unless you are going to buy it and you are approved as a buyer by Defense Ministry. The plane is known to have active phased-array radar and sensor fusion as well as other avionics surprises.

The producer incorporated advanced flight control systems with a great deal of automation and also applied thrust vectoring nozzles to make the aircraft supermaneuverable and really fast. The fuselage is a blended wing body that is known to be really efficient for achieving higher speeds. The supersonic range is 1500 km – nearly 930 miles.

In 2022 they are also going to show the improved version of the Su-57 fighter jet. The original hydraulic systems are planned to be replaced with electromechanical drives. That will improve many key factors of the plane, but there is still no information on the future version.

The producer made everything possible to reduce the number of details that can be seen by any modern radar. All weapons are carried internally within special weapon bays. The antennas are hidden under the aircraft’s skin. Some parts are coated with radar-absorbent materials that allow the stealth fighter jet to stay secret during its missions.

Also, efforts have been made to reduce the complexity of production. Sukhoi engineers have used quite a lot of composite materials in the body of the Su-57 fighter. And that allowed them to reduce the total number of parts. It’s four times shorter than in the previous generation Su-27. It makes the fighter lighter and easier to produce.

They claimed that starting from 2021 they will invent more materials to coat the body and to protect the plane from radar detection. Some covers are aimed to reduce UV and radiation impact on the pilot. The Su-57 fighter is said to be one of the first fighter jets that could easily go on missions in any weather.

Although international experts are never positive about Russian military aircraft due to significantly worse construction than in American fighter jets, they noted during MAKS 2019 that Su-57 is constructed better, the craftsmanship of the fuselage looked fine and the plane actually was much better than previous models.

But still, experts say that the huge size of the Su-57 fighter won’t hide it from major military radars. All the technologies implied will protect the plane from being seen by another plane. But it will be difficult to deceive the modern detection technologies that European armies, NATO, and the US have in their active use.

Engines and armament

Well, the engines aren’t that revolutionary. They are basically the same as in Su-27 fighter jets, but now they produce more thrust and are more powerful in all modes of their work. Also, engines are equipped with a thrust vectoring system that makes the big plane very maneuverable. There are two engines each weighing around 1600 kilograms, and that’s their main disadvantage. Big weight creates problems with making the plane light enough to achieve higher speeds. Also, big engines leave less space for weapons.

All the demonstration models have been equipped with the AL-41F1 engine and its modifications without major changes. But starting with 2020 they used a more powerful version of the engine that ensured higher speed. The new engine is still to be tested for 2 or 3 years before it may start selling to potential buyers.

The Su-57 fighter jet has two weapon bays each 4.6 meters long and 1 meter wide. There are also two small triangular weapon bays that are additionally carrying some light armament. There are now two projects of ejection launchers for the bigger bays. The aircraft is expected to be able to carry 4 beyond-visual-range missiles for air-to-air operations. Also, two short-range missiles can accommodate in the smaller bays. For air-to-ground missions, the aircraft will be able to carry missiles such as Kh-38M and others as well as precision-guided bombs.

There are also six external hardpoints to carry additional weapons. These hardpoints are covered when the aircraft is on stealth missions, but they can be used when detection isn’t dangerous. The internally mounted 30-mm automatic cannon fulfills the list. It’s capable of making 1800 rounds per minute. The cannon is equipped with a water cooling system specially designed to make it safe and precise.

The cockpit and functions

The Su-57 fighter jet is very similar inside to the Su-35s model. It has two big LCD displays on the cockpit as well as two other smaller displays for control panel information. The plane has got special equipment, the so-called anti-g set that is aimed to lower loads that pilots experience during flights. There is also an oxygen generation system for life support ensuring an unlimited supply of oxygen. Special seats are designed to hold the pilot firmly and they also add to the anti-g system in lowering loads. Pilot’s ejection is possible at heights of up to 23 000 meters.

All planes are equipped with a survival kit containing everything that is needed to survive after bad landings or crashes and ejections.

All avionics systems are engineered and set in Russia which isn’t a surprise. The advanced navigation system is connected to GLONASS satellites and shows quite good results in the automatic positioning of the plane. The monitoring system is described as the nervous system of a human. It constantly tests the plane’s equipment and sends signals to one of the displays if something goes wrong. Well, to cut a long story short, this plane is the most technological aircraft Russia has ever built.

Who will buy Su-57 and how much is it?

There aren’t many countries that aren’t potentially seen as enemies for Russia. Turkey had planes to buy Russian Su-57 in 2018 if the US canceled the supply of F-35 fighters. But currently, Russia and Turkey have quite strained relations so it’s unlikely that Russia will sell its advantageous technologies to Turkey.

Algeria has reportedly signed the contract for 14 Su-57 fighters. However, the governments of the countries never confirmed the deal.

Vietnam and Iraq are interested in Su-57 fighters. But there has been no information on the deals. Again, it’s politically very risky to supply potentially military active countries with any kinds of modern technologies that may be copied or that may result in better radar development by potential enemies.

India is said to be one of the main countries that may get Su-57 fighter jets after Russia launches the mass production.

Russian Air Force started getting Su-57 jets in 2020. But it will take over 10 years to supply the army with at least 75 jets that they need.

The estimated cost of production of one Su-57 fighter with all weapons will be around $40 million. But the final price is negotiated with every country that wants to buy the jet and highly depends on the risks that Russians will have in every single deal.