The Sukhoi SU-57 took to the skies at MAKS 2019 at the Zhukovsky International Airport and gave a stunning aerobatic display.
President Putin is aggressively marketing the SU-57 as among the best in its class to its allies like Turkey and India and both the nations are keenly keeping an eye of the fifth-generation fighter jet. How would SU-57 complete against Chinese Chengdu J-20 and other fifth-generation fighter jets? A EurAsian Times analysis.
Moscow recently accused New Delhi of delaying the development SU-57 project or the FGFA – fifth-generation fighter aircraft. India last year reportedly withdrew from the co-development and production of the aircraft over dissatisfaction on desired performance parameters like the engine and stealth capabilities.
“We have never ever cancelled any agreement with the Indian government. Fifth-generation fighter aircraft project has been delayed by the Indian side, not by the Russian side,” Victor N Kladov, Director of International Cooperation and Regional Policy of Russian state corporation, Rostec, told reporters at MAKS international air show.
SU-57 Fighter Jet
The SU-57 fighter jet is a fifth-generation fighter jet which according to experts talking to the EurAsian Times, is a versatile, multi-role advanced aircraft that can perform a wide range of tasks, air to air, air to surface, maritime, it can perform together with UAVs.
The SU-57 jets took to the skies for the first time on January 29, 2010. Compared to its predecessors, the SU-57 combines the functions of an attack plane and a fighter jet while the use of composite materials and innovation technologies and the fighter’s aerodynamic configuration ensure the low level of radar and infrared signature.
A dozen PAK FA fighters officially named Su-57, have been flying at test airports in Zhukovsky, Akhtubinsk, Lipetsk, Feodosiya for long periods. The SU-57 has been tested in Syria, its performance was hugely appreciated with the defence circles.
SU-57 Key Advantages
The SU-57 is equipped with latest central computer centre and real artificial intelligence which relieves the pilot from many routine operations like searching and recognizing targets while offering the most optimal solutions to the problems of using weapons and aircraft defence.
This greatly reduces the load on the pilot and allows them to concentrate on the tactical mission, while the on-board equipment makes it possible to exchange information in real-time with land-based control systems and the airborne team, in addition to operating independently.
What Makes SU-57 Unique?
The most important element of the onboard electronic equipment of the Su-57 is the radar which makes the fighter jet quite unique. It is radically different from the airborne radar in the traditional sense. The X-band AFAR (Active Phased Antenna Array) radar element is located not only in the front of the fuselage but on the sides of the aircraft which gives an unmatched, multidirectional view to the pilot.
There is no such radar on any fifth-generation multi-functional fighter – neither on the F-22, nor on the F-35, nor on the Chinese Chengdu J-20. And the law of air combat is known to all: the one who detects first, shoots first.
One cannot also ignore the deflectable thrust vectors on its engines, which make the SU-57 super manoeuvrable, able to spin in one place in the sky, like an acrobat, perform somersaults, stop in one place or glide through the air from top to bottom like skiing from snow peaks.
This is an essential element of aerial combat. The SU-57 can suddenly stop its flight and quietly “slides” down like a sledge from a hill, and disappear from the screens of the enemy’s radars.
Not only the radars, but it also allows the fighter jet to escape from the hostile missile with an elegant manoeuvre. No fifth-generation aircraft has such an advantage including the F-22 Raptors, F-35 or Chinese Chengdu J-20.