Russian fifth generation fighter aircraft (FGFA) Su-57 will for the first time perform flights during the ARMY 2018 event near Moscow next week

The Su-57 is the production version of the FGFA previously designated as PAK-FA or T-50. The Russian Aerospace Forces have ordered 12 of the aircraft. A pair of Su-57 were earlier deputed to Syria ostensibly to test their electronic systems in combat conditions.

The Su-57 comes equipped with the first stage engine which opened the path to the serial production of the FGFA. A second stage engine, having the ability to super-cruise (fly at super-sonic speed without fuel-guzzling after-burners) is being flight-tested and is in advanced development.

Su-57 is equipped with an entirely new set of deeply-integrated avionics featuring a high level of controlled automation and intelligent crew support. This considerably reduces the pilot’s workload and allows the pilot to concentrate on tactics. The avionics of the new airplane enable real-time data exchange with both ground-based control systems and within air groups, and also support off-line operation.

NIIP's Byelka AESA radar for the Su-57 on display at the 2009 MAKS airshow (Image: Wikipedia)

Some of the Highlights of the Aircraft are:

  • Six internal and Six external hardpoints for a variety of missiles and bombs for all possible requirements
  • Top Speed up to Mach 2
  • X-band AESA Radar giving an excellent situation awareness
  • L-band AESA Radar for target identification
  • State-of-art infra-red search and track (IRST) system capable of identifying objects through their heat signature much beyond the radar’s range
  • Integration of the avionics suite with an information control system (ICS)
  • Himalaya onboard defence system which not only performs jamming but also acts as a radar
  • Composite materials
  • Extremely low radar signature, optical and infrared visibility

According to the Concern Radio-Electronic Technologies (CRET), which integrates major Russian developers and producers of the military aviation radio electronic systems, Su-57 can be viewed as a ‘flying robot’, where the pilot becomes only one of the integral parts of the aircraft. This means that his reaction is already included into the overall control network.