Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan today examined the Russian, state of art, fifth-generation Su-57 fighter jet that was showcased at the MAKS 2019 air show.
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The leaders mounted the airplane ladder and analyzed the fighter jet. Then the Russian and Turkish defence ministers joined the presidents, after which they continued the discussion.
Apart from the Su-57, the Russian and Turkish presidents also examined a Su-35 fighter, a Ka-62 medium helicopter and a Mi-38 heavy helicopter. Putin and Erdogan got a glimpse of the Mi-38’s interior as well.
Then they headed for a Be-200 amphibious plane, where Putin told his Turkish counterpart about its basic characteristics. The presidents also went on board the Russian civil plane MC-21 and examined the cockpit and the plane’s cabin.
Turkey began considering the Russian Su-35 jets after the United States refused to supply the F-35 stealth fighter jets to Ankara after the country took delivery of Russian-made S-400 missile systems.
The Su-35 is a heavy multirole fighter jet and has recently become a popular export item. One of the jet’s standout features is extreme manoeuvrability. There are several videos online of Su-35s performing impressive manoeuvres.
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The jet had its combat debut in Syria in early 2016 to beef up escorts of Russian Su-24 and Su-34 fighter-bombers deployed in the conflict there. It was, ironically, part of Moscow’s message to Ankara after Turkish air defences shot down a Russian Su-24 in November 2015.
The Su-35 is not a stealth fighter, like Russia’s developmental Su-57. The Su-57 project is years behind schedule, and expectations have been downgraded several times in recent years. The Russian Air Force has focused on more Su-35 procurements while delaying the Su-57.