Some 20 years after its development began, the delivery of the Sukhoi Su-57 fighter has finally become a reality. The Tass press agency announced in a press release that the Russian Air Force has just received the first example of the fifth generation of this fighter aircraft. Its development began in 2002, followed by the first flight in 2010.
Like a F-35
The Su-57 fighter is built on the premises of the Sukhoi aircraft manufacturer in the far east of Russia. When comparing the Su-57 with other models from the same manufacturer, you can notice the much wider wing as well as an angularly designed nose, which makes this aircraft somewhat similar in appearance to an American F-35 fighter. Like this competitor, the Russian aircraft is also partly made of composite materials, which should make it more difficult for enemy radar to detect.
With its two turboreactors, the machine manages a top speed of about 2,600 kilometres per hour, a rate of ascent of 21,000 metres per minute and a radius of action of 1,750 kilometres. If the manufacturer is to be believed, the handling of the aircraft during flight is absolutely unsurpassed. It also features exceptional firepower.
Superfast carrier for the Kinjal missile
While the fighter is to be used mainly for missions in the airspace, it can also effectively target targets on the ground. It can also be equipped with a version of the Kinjal hypersonic missile. This missile reaches speeds of over 10,000 kilometres per hour. With a length of 7.4 metres and a weight of 4 tonnes, it can destroy targets within a radius of 2,000 kilometres.
The warhead of the Kinjal missile is fitted with conventional explosives to hit targets on the ground, preferably warships such as aircraft carriers. In major conflict situations, the missile can also be fitted with nuclear warheads. But armament is not the only advantage of the Su-57 fighter.
Great focus has been given to the greatest possible autonomy in the cockpit of the aircraft. The Russian Ministry of Defence emphasises that the computer acts like a perfect and physically present co-pilot. In this way, the human pilot can concentrate on his mission, more easily perform evasive manoeuvres or take aim at a target without having to worry about a whole slew of technical factors.
According to the Tass news agency, the futuristic plane has already proven itself in real military missions in Syria, but without providing any clear details. Enthused by the qualities of this aircraft, the chiefs of the Russian General Staff have ordered 76 more, which, given its £100+ million pound price tag, is a very generous order indeed. They have also made it a point to urge Vladimir Putin to increase the production capacity of the Su-57.