An upgraded Sukhoi Su-57 made its first flight in October 2022. The combat aircraft features several new systems but still needs to be equipped with its new turbojet engines.
The upgraded Su-57 flew
The second, or optimised, stage of the Sukhoi Su-57 took place on October 21, 2022, according to a news release issued by the Russian aeronautical corporation UAC on October 25. The development of the Su-57 was arduous and time consuming and continues with the optimisation, correction, and modification of equipment. This version is based on the October 29 2018, signing of a specific contract between Sukhoi and the Russian Ministry of Defense. Sukhoi was responsible for creating the “second stage” of the Su-57M (T-50M) fighter, also known as the Su-57.
With a slight delay in its schedule
The codename for this initiative is “Megapolis.” Current Su-57 research and development is known as “Stolitsa” (capital). The most significant aspect of this upgrade is the installation of new “izdeliye 30” engines with a thrust of around sixteen tonnes in place of the current AL-41F-1 (izdeliye 117) engines with a thrust of 14.5 tonnes. The deal indicated that flight testing of the T-50M prototype would commence in the middle of 2022. The deal requires that the plane must be ready for production by the end of 2024, which is an ambitious deadline.
Sergei Bogdan at the helm
The Sukhoi Design Bureau of UAC is responsible for the Su-57’s development. The modified Su-57 fifth-generation aircraft performed its maiden flight on the Gromov Flight Test Institute’s airstrip on October 21. Sergei Bogdan, a Hero of Russia and test pilot for the Sukhoi Design Bureau, piloted the aircraft. According to the statement, the flight lasted 56 minutes and proceeded without incident.
Without its second-generation turbojets
UAC says that this Su-57 will allow the testing of onboard technology with expanded capabilities, the support of artificial intelligence to the pilot, and the use of a vast array of new types of armaments. According to the announcement, the aircraft also allows for the installation of a second-stage engine. The second generation turbojet engine, namely the izdeliye 30, underwent a lengthy development period, which explains why the AL-41F-1 is still present on the device. In its current configuration, the engine’s enormous, spherical nozzle does not meet the standards for visibility or even a reduced infrared signature.
With artificial intelligence
On its Su-57, Russia lacks an air-to-air missile comparable to the AMRAAM or MBDA’s Meteor. Clearly, Russia needs new armaments for its super-manoeuvrable aircraft, as the R77 and, by implication, older-generation missiles are inadequate. As for artificial intelligence, it should be able to combine data from the device’s numerous and diverse sensors in order to provide the pilot with important information at the appropriate time.
Production ramp up
According to the company’s website, Rostec Corporation will send a fresh batch of fifth-generation Su-57 fighters to the Russian Military Space Forces before the end of this year. During a visit to the KnAAZ airline in Komsomolsk-on-Amur, Rostec CEO Sergei Chemezov said that the manufacture of new aircraft will be sped up in general, as indicated by the information.
He underlined that the batch of fighters being prepared for handover to the soldiers is already in an advanced state of readiness and that the manufacture period for the following aircraft will be shortened.
Chemezov emphasised that there is a profound knowledge of the significance of commissioning a new generation of combat aircraft; hence, the manufacturing facilities of the plant are undergoing active modernisation, and their capacities are being enlarged.
Su-57 5th Generation fighter
The Su-57 is a fifth-generation Russian multirole fighter developed by Sukhoi. The aircraft is intended to destroy all forms of air, surface, and ground targets. Su-57s are manufactured at the aircraft plant in Komsomolsk-on-Amur (part of Sukhoi and the United Aircraft Corporation). Prior to getting its serial number, it was known as T-50. The first flight occurred in 2010.
The Russian Aerospace Forces will receive 22 SU-57 aircraft of the fifth generation by the end of 2024. A total of 76 aircraft will be delivered by KnAAZ under a contract signed in 2019 through 2027.
Earlier, the Ministry of Defense stated that the Su-57 was utilised in Ukraine as part of a special operation, where it performed admirably. General of the Army Sergey Vladimirovich Surovikin, the new commander of the special military operation, announced this.
Three fifth-generation fighters built in the 21st century are currently in serial production: the American F-35, the Russian Su-57, and the Chinese J-20. Turkey, India, and Japan have declared their intention to develop a modern fighter.