United Aircraft Corporation PJSC announced on December 28, 2022, that Komsomolsk-on-Amur Aviation Plant, named after Yu.A. Gagarin, United Aircraft Corporation PJSC (UAC PJSC, a subsidiary of Rostec State Corporation), manufactured and delivered another batch of the fifth-generation Su-57 production aircraft to the Russian Ministry of Defense as part of the current year’s supply programme. Two of the four new Su-57 fighters were delivered to the Russian Aerospace Forces by the Komsomolsk-on-Amur Aviation Plant named after Yu.A. Gagarin PJSC “United Aircraft Corporation” on their way to the base.
It is important to mention that the four Su-57s have external suspensions with ejection devices for weapons.
As per the plane spotters, the four new fifth-generation Su-57 fighter planes conducted an intermediate landing at Novosibirsk Tolmachevo airport on December 28, 2022, en route from Komsomolsk-on-Amur to their locations in the European portion of Russia.
The Russian Aerospace Forces acquired four additional Su-57 fighters of the fifth-generation Yu.A. Gagarin (KnAAZ) PJSC “United Aircraft Corporation” series in addition to the two delivered in May 2022. The side numbers and registration of the four fighters transmitted in December have been altered on all known videos and photographs. The May delivery of two Su-57 fighters carried red tail numbers “53” (registration number RF-81777) and “54.” (registration number RF-81778).
How many Su-57 fighters Russia has now?
With the latest deliveries, the Russian Aerospace Forces may have received a total of ten Su-57 fighters, estimates by a reputed Russian blog, BMPD.
The Ministry of Defense of Russia received the first serial Su-57 fighter with the tail number “01” on January 29, 2021 (T-50S-2 serial number 51002, manufactured by KnAAZ). The initial tail number was “01 blue.”
Board number “02 red” – manufactured in 2021, photographed in Tolmachevo on February 3 2022, during the transfer while carrying the symbol of the 929th State Flight Test Center called V.P. Chkalov of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation in Akhtubinsk (Astrakhanskaya region). Possibly, its original tail number was “02 blue” (T-50S-3, serial number 52201).
Built-in 2021, the tail number “52 red” (registration number RF-81775) was observed in Tolmachevo on the ferry on February 3 2022.
Board numbers “53 red” (registration number RF-81777) and “54 red” (registration number RF-81177) – manufactured in 2022, spotted in Tolmachevo on the ferry between May 25-26, 2022.
“52 blue” is the tail number of the aircraft demonstrated in the KnAAZ presentation film released at the start of 2022. The board was apparently constructed in 2021, although it has not yet been observed in Tolmachevo during the ferry.
Now that four 2022-built Su-57 aeroplanes have been delivered, their side and registration numbers have been altered.
In August 2018, at the International Military-Technical Forum “Army-2018,” the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation and PJSC “Company” Sukhoi” (as part of the UAC) signed a contract for the supply of the first two serial fighters of the fifth generation Su-57 to the Armed Forces (in the form of T-50S – sides of T-50S-1 and T-50S-2) with engines of the “first stage” (“product 117”). The contract ran from 2018 to 2020, with one aircraft each delivered in 2019 and 2020. The Ministry of Defense of Russia and Sukhoi Company PJSC signed a contract in June 2019 at the Army-2019 International Military-Technical Forum for the supply of a total of 76 serial fifth-generation Su-57 fighters to the Armed Forces (including the first two aircraft contracted in 2018), with a contract term of 2027.
The first series Su-57 aircraft (T-50S-1 aircraft, serial number 51001, the tail number “01 blue”), manufactured by KnAAZ, flew for the first time in Komsomolsk-on-Amur at the beginning of December 2019 and was scheduled to be transferred to the Ministry of Defense. On December 27, however on December 24, 2019, during the final phase of factory testing, it crashed due to an accident, presumably caused by a control system malfunction.
Flight tests of the second of two production models of the Su-57 fighter (T-50S-2 aircraft, serial number 51002) contracted in 2018 have begun in Komsomolsk-on-Amur in October 2020; it initially received the tail number “01 blue” and was commissioned in December 2020; however, the Ministry of Defense did not take possession of it until January 29, 2021. The aircraft is a part of the 929th State Flight Test Center, named for V.P. Chkalov, located in Akhtubinsk and operated by the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation.
KnAAZ reportedly produced three Su-57 aircraft in 2021 and six more in 2022 in accordance with a contract from 2019.