The long-awaited Russian response to American stealth fighters is about to come true. And now it even has official designation: Sukhoi Su-57. This is the definitive name that the PAK FA prototype received from the manufacturer after the development program reached another milestone, with the assembly of the 9th prototype of the 5th generation fighter.
According to the Russian press, the new prototype is equipped with the new Izdeliye-30 engine that replaces the previous version, Izdeliye-117, which is an update of the AL-31 used in the Su-27 Flanker fighter. More powerful and efficient, the turbofan will allow the new hunt to maintain a super cruising flight.
It is estimated that it will be able to remain at Mach 1.6 for a long period of flight – the Su-57’s top speed is estimated at Mach 2. Tests for the new engine should occur later this year and also involve the use of Avionics that were absent in the first eight prototypes.
United Aircraft Corporation, a company that brings together leading Russian aircraft manufacturers, including Sukhoi and MiG, plans to deliver the first batch of 12 Su-57 fighters to the country’s air force in 2019.
Successor of Su-27
The Su-57 is the successor to two Russian iconic fighters, still born at the time of the Soviet Union, MiG-29 and Su-27. Both were a response to the new generation of American fighters such as the Navy’s F-14 Tomcat and the Air Force’s F-15 Eagle and showed maneuverability and an unprecedented flying envelope at the time. Now, the new hunt aims to outperform the F-22 Raptor and the F-35 Lightning II at least in cost-benefit as it is considered far more than its US counterparts.
The new russian fighter have a design reminiscent of the F-22, but also its competitor, the YF-23, with a furtive design (invisible to radars) built largely on composite material, internal armored compartment and dual empennage. But, unlike American jets, it has outputs with post-combustion cylinders.
Born as a T-50 fighter, Russian fighter aircraft flew for the first time in 2010 after a period of uncertainties in which the country’s air force invested in several aircraft such as MiG 1.44 and Sukhoi created the Su-47 prototype with negative weighting wings.